A Venator is a wizard, a spy and a demon hunter rolled into one. They’re taught how to wield their sorcery and enchanted weaponry by orcs, elfpires and aliens alike.
Their missions range from battling monsters and saving countless lives in the multiple worlds, to the more peculiar, like wrangling killer unicorns and calming down drunken yetis.
In their free time Venators enjoy goblin soap-opera’s and underwater bubble travel, but they also understand that every new mission they’re given could be their last.
Whilst learning how to manipulate the elements, summon magical creatures and shoot Spellzookas, Evan meets a girl who makes him feel nauseous; but in a good way.
He makes the first friends he’s ever had in the carefree Jed and the reckless Brooke. Whilst Jed gets on the wrong side of a rival Venator, Brooke finds herself falling for the enigmatic demon hunter who brought her to Veneseron, not knowing he isn't quite human. But it soon becomes apparent that Evan is more than just a Venator. Everyone wants to kill or capture him, from demons to Dark-Venators and even people he’s supposed to be able to trust.
Evan reckons he probably won’t survive his first year at Veneseron.
*May Contain Spoilers*
William Collins creates a universe that contains many different planets, realms, races, and threats in his novel, A Darker Shade of Sorcery, the first book in The Realmers series. Demon hunting has been taken to the extreme as people from all over the universe, who have the power to perform sorcery, come to Veneseron to train. They train to fight demons and dark-realmers, students who have been turned evil. Among the new recruits are Evan and Brooke, two teens from Earth who have no idea how special and unique they are.
Evander, Evan for short, hated his life. His Gram, the woman who found him abandoned as a baby, died and there was nothing he could do. Living in the orphanage, Evan was often attacked by a group of teenage thugs. Until the day he finds out that he has a bit of magic within him. And by find out I mean, of course, kidnapped by evil demons who want to convert him. Luckily, he is saved and taken to Veneseron to train to be a demon hunter. Though he is still hunted, even as a student. Evan is a young man who is given the chance to rise above his fears. He's unsure of himself at first, but readers will see his confidence grow as he trains. Evan is loyal, friendly, and strong. His old fears push him to be braver and better than he was before. Readers will undoubtedly like Evan as he grows into a courageous fighter. They'll also understand his fears of putting his friends in danger, since the demons only seem to want him, yet they'll kill anyone who tries to get in their way.
Brooke was ignored by her family, often feeling alone and a little lost. When she's found by the Realmer team, ordered to take her to Veneseron, her fear of the unknown and leaving her family freezes her into indecision. Yet, she accepts that she has been granted magic and vows to study and train to be a demon hunter, though the thought terrifies her. Brooke's a young girl who is nice, understanding, and curious. Readers will witness her falling in love for the first time and see how it affects her. They'll also see her grow into her abilities and find strength through training. She also displays a bit of loyalty, standing by Evan as he is fearful of being hunted by the demons.
The plot involves Brooke and Evan training at Veneseron, exploring the new world, and forming friendships. It's also focused on the hunt for Evan, hinting that something bigger is at play. The descriptions and details that Collins gives the readers are incredible. Everything is new and unique that even during the down time of the novel, readers will enjoy learning about Veneseron and the possible magical abilities. I couldn't help thinking that it was like Hogwarts for demon hunting, reminiscent of Clare's Shadowhunter series. Readers who enjoy fantasy and supernatural genres will thoroughly enjoy A Darker Shade of Sorcery, with all of the twists, surprises, and revelations.
Rating: 4/5 Cups