TV review: Shadowhunters – Ep. 1-7

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Ok so from now on I’m going to be doing a weekly review on Shadowhunters, probably every Wednesday or Thursday, but this review is going to be my thoughts on the first seven episodes. Here we go!

So going into this show I knew it was going to be an adaptation and not identical to the books, so I tried to accept the changes they made to the story and characters. There are of course times where I’m like “but the books…” but obviously things are going to be different and I just need to get over it. On the other hand there are some things that didn’t make sense to me, so I’m just going to dive in and say what I think the strengths and weaknesses of the first seven episodes are:

Strengths:

  • I definitely think that the episodes have gotten stronger. The first two episodes I didn’t particularly like since the pacing was too fast, but the more recent episodes are paced really well and there are often moments where you’re really excited to see what happens next, and since the show is different to the books, we can never be sure what’s going to happen.
  • Simon, Izzy, Alec and Magnus. I think the actors portraying these characters have done a really good job. Malec (need I say more?) and I really like how Matthew has been portraying Alec, initially I wasn’t sure but he has grown more confident in the role. Simon is just awesome, and I’m curious to see where Izzy’s character is going. I was annoyed with how sexualised she was, but that doesn’t mean she needs to be like her mother either… Oh I think Valentine is portrayed well too!
  • Humour. This kind of varies with characters, but the majority of the comedic scenes are really funny. I really like Alec’s sarcasm – in the first book he was just really mean. The scene where he tries to flirt with the officer was awesome. And of course Simon wins the prize for funniest character.
  • The introduction of Maryse and Robert – it was nice to see them and Max *sheds a tear for the future*

Weaknesses:

  • The writing. Like I said, the more recent episodes have been really good, but some of the earlier episodes have confused me. I still don’t know why the vampires or werewolves would want the cup since they can’t use it anyway. Some of the lines have been really cheesy (like Clary thinking Luke could be her dad, or Isabelle calling Clary flat chested…) and I think for non-readers it could be confusing. The flashback episode could have been really great for revealing some important information, but I don’t think they handled it very well. Perhaps if the whole episode had been a flashback things would have flowed better, but that whole episode seemed oddly paced to me (I think that was episode 6).
  • Visuals. The Institute. What’s that about? The film captured the Institute way better. And I don’t get why there are so many people there either. It makes less sense that Jace and the others are breaking the rules when there are clearly other people there to stop them. The effects are meh, and I know this may be budgeting issues, but still. The whole exploding sparkly stuff with the demons just looks odd to me. Plus why do vampires and demons look the same when they die? Oh, and the slow motion fighting stuff needs to stop.
  • Why are Greater Demons so easy to kill in this show?
  • Jace. He isn’t cocky enough for me – although he actually was a lot better in episode 7, so maybe he’ll carry on improving. The scene where Clary and him pretend to have a fight in the police station was actually really funny.
  • Although I like the actor who plays Valentine, I don’t think we need to see the scenes with him. I actually have no clue what he’s doing, and I get it’s supposed to be a mystery but it’s becoming annoying now.
  • I also think they’ve dragged the Simon becoming a vampire storyline out, but it looks like that will be sorted next episode. It’s just odd that no-one thought to keep an eye on him, but I guess I can let that go since all the drama with Clary.
  • The arranged marriage. I do not approve.
  • I really wish the Clace kiss had been more private. I really liked the intimacy that we got in the greenhouse scene (from the books) that we didn’t get here. We didn’t get to hear about Jace’s past, and I know that’s probably coming, but what do we actually know about his character so far in the show?

So, overall I know there are more negatives than positives but I just really want the show to do well, and these are just my concerns. A lot of the problems I mentioned are more to do with the earlier episodes anyway, and I can see that the show is definitely improving! I’m really curious to see where we go next, and I should have the review for episode eight next Wednesday or Thursday!

The Story So Far…

So it’s almost been a whole month since I started this blog and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has liked and read my reviews so far! I’m actually surprised that I’ve been able to read so much this past month, especially with juggling uni work and essays and etc…

I particularly enjoyed reviewing The Girl on the Train since that’s not something I usually read. Some of my reviews have been on older books – like Allegiant – but that’s because I really want to share my opinions on books which I’ve found really good – or really bad, in the case of Allegiant. I think the next thing I’m going to start doing is TV/movie reviews, in particular TV/movie adaptations, for example: Shadowhunters, Allegiant, The 5th Wave etc…

Also, ahead of Lady Midnight (I know I keep banging on but I’m sooooooo excited!) I reviewed all The Mortal Instruments books, which was interesting, since some of my opinions actually changed on the books, some good, some bad. Re-reading those books – and Shadowhunter Academy – also really prepares me for Lady Midnight. I would have liked to re-read The Infernal Devices too, but maybe I can do a review on those at a later date.

Upcoming reviews:

So like I said, I will start to do movie and TV reviews – particularly book adaptations, and I’ll see how that goes. Additionally I will be doing reviews for Illuminae, The 5th Wave, I Am Legend (since I need to read this for my course anyway), and a few more books that I haven’t decided on yet – I recently heard about the Red Rising trilogy, so I might review those too!

Uni has meant that doing reviews recently has been slightly more difficult, but I will try my best to produce decent reviews for you guys. Thanks for reading!

 

Thoughts On The Shadowhunter Academy

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The New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling collection of short stories chronicling the adventures of Simon Lewis as he trains to become a Shadowhunter is now available in print for the first time with ten brand-new comic illustrations!

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. The events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. At least Simon’s trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. Written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman, these moving and hilarious short stories are perfect for the fan who just can’t get enough of the Shadowhunters. (Goodreads)

*There will be some spoilers in this review.

At this point I must sound obsessed with The Mortal Instruments, and originally I wasn’t going to do a review on this, but I just wasn’t expecting it to be so good! There’s so much that happens in these short stories that I definitely recommend reading them if you’re going to read Lady Midnight – I think there’s a lot of information in these stories that will be relevant!

The first few stories are kind of meh, but when you really get into it, we learn some pretty interesting things: we get to learn about James Herondale (Tessa and Will’s son) and how he and Matthew Fairchild became parabatai, we learn about the Circle, and we see Simon trying to get his memories back. We see how a parabatai ritual (?) works – ooh and lots of Sizzy stuff! On top of that, we learn about the training involved to become a Shadowhunter.

I kind of disliked (since hate is a strong word) Simon in the beginning, but as he became more sure of himself, I began to like him more. I like the dynamics between the Mundanes and Shadowhunters, and how Simon is slowly changing the prejudices of the Shadowhunters.

Ok SPOILERS!!!!!!

Malec.

Warlock baby.

Magnus and Alec are raising a warlock baby!!!!!! And Robert and Maryse were so enthusiastic about it! I was freaking out reading it and I couldn’t stop smiling the whole way through. And they named him Max *sheds a small tear*. There’s also a funny scene where Simon walks in on Magnus and Alec in a compromising situation, and it’s so awkward but funny. Especially as that’s what happened to Alec in one of the other books.

The last story was kind of sad, but I had a feeling that it was going to happen, so I wasn’t too upset (Mr Heartless strikes again) and overall it was a good conclusion to the stories. I’m really glad that Simon is making a difference to the Shadowhunter world too.

Overall, I think the first few stories are kind of boring, but it’s a really fun insight into how the Shadowhunter Academy works. Characters like Catarina and Marisol make the book especially fun, and there are some really funny moments with Jace. I don’t want to get too carried away, so I’ll leave it there, but seriously if you’re going to read Lady Midnight, read these stories!

My rating:

four of five

Book review: City of Heavenly Fire – By Cassandra Clare

8755785Title: The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publishing Date: May 28th 2014 – Walker Books ltd
Pages: 733
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Links to purchase: Amazon UKBook Depository

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments! (Goodreads)

Can I just say, how awesome is the cover for this book!?

As the conclusion to The Mortal Instruments I have heard mixed feelings about this book, however I thought it was great! The stakes were high with the infernal cup, the Shadowhunters were out of their depth, and the relationships were all resolved…sort of. There were some things that could have been improved in this book or things that didn’t make sense, but to me this was a strong conclusion.

For once there weren’t really any problems between Clary and Jace (unless you count the heavenly fire thing), so seeing their relationship strengthen was good. I felt really bad for Alec in this book – his worries over Magnus and the fact that no-one else seems to care as much. I felt that in this book, most of the relationships don’t necessarily change as much, and it is more the story that pushes things forwards. It was bittersweet to see how things ended for Simon and Isabelle though.

Edom was a really interesting setting, and the threat of Sebastian was cool. It’s kind of a stereotypical YA thing for adults to be completely useless in these situations, but it didn’t bother me since the Clave has been set up to be this useless authority. Sebastian was high levels of creeeeepy which was so cringey but so fascinating to see, as he really doesn’t get how love works – the way he’s desperate to cling onto Clary. That’s probably why he changed his plans so easily. The fact that Meliorn can’t lie, and the way faeries played into this was great, considering how sly they were. What bothered me though was why everyone was so surprised – I know they didn’t know Meliorn could lie, but clearly the Seelie Queen was working with Sebastian in City of Lost Souls, so I found that confusing. Also, the ‘twist’ with the sword and heavenly fire was fairly obvious, but it was enjoyable seeing how the other characters reacted to this.

I’m not sure if I liked the introduction of Emma’s character and whether her storyline was necessary. It’s a great introduction for The Dark Artifices, but whether they needed to be in this book I wasn’t so sure. I still wasn’t so interested in the Maia/Jordan relationship, I just couldn’t connect with it, which is odd because I don’t remember that feeling the first time reading this book.

On the other hand there were some really funny moments too – Alec constantly walking in on Simon and Izzy, and Alec’s fantasy with Jace when he first arrives to Edom. I was actually laughing at these moments. The ending too was a nice wrap-up with all the characters – I’m glad Magnus and Alec worked things out, just because I think Magnus was in the wrong before. And Tessa and Jem – I was so glad to see these two!

Overall, I could probably write an essay on this book, but I think it was really good and an easy read. Some things could be taken out, and some things were confusing, but the resolution of the book was fun (despite it being strange that no main characters died), and looking at the series as a whole, I think this is up there as one of my favourites.

My rating:

four of five

Book review: City of Lost Souls – By Cassandra Clare

8755776Title: The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publishing Date: September 6th 2012 – Walker Books ltd
Pages: 542
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Links to purchase: Amazon UKWaterstones

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series. (Goodreads)

Sebastian’s army is rising – dun dun duuuuuuun!

I really liked this one, just because the stakes are so high now – Jace is possessed and Sebastian is raising an army. It was also really cool that we got to see the gang without Clary – she’s usually the driving force of the story, and now everyone has to figure out what to do without her. This far in the series, we’ve really gotten to know the characters and now we get to see how the dynamics change and develop. Also, throughout the whole book you’re just desperate to see if Jace will snap the hell out of it.

Ok, so with regards to character I’m glad that we get to see Simon deal with his family life, since he’s the only character with a ‘normal’ family, and I’m glad how well his sister took it. I’m also glad that Isabelle is finally confronting her feelings, as it’s something you’ve waited for since the first book. Like I said, seeing everyone without Clary was fun – and Magnus was as hilarious as ever. The amount of times he got Simon’s name wrong was so funny, but it was really saddening to see how things turned out with him and Alec. There’s a short story in The Bane Chronicles where everyone keeps trying to get Magnus to call Alec, which is funny – especially Isabelle’s parts. We see a lot more of Sebastian as well. Can I just say, CREEPY. He makes a great villain though, especially as he is so cold. The whole book you’re just screaming for Jace to be himself again, which built some great tension.

I did find that I enjoyed Maia and Jordan’s part less than everyone else’s, just because so much is going on and I found the Praetor Lupus thing kind of boring.

Story wise I think the last section of the book was the strongest, just because Sebastian is seemingly in a winning position – the infernal cup poses a great threat leading into the next book. And the fact that the next book is called City of Heavenly Fire, we know that what has happened to Jace will play out in some way. I wasn’t a fan of some of the romantic dialogue, but that’s just a personal thing. I really enjoyed Sebastian and Clary’s interactions, just because there were a few moments where you thought Clary might warm to him, or he might have redeeming qualities, and then he goes all incesty (not a word, but oh well) and you’re just like: nooooooooo.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this book, definitely give it a read!

My rating:

four of five

Book review: City of Fallen Angels – By Cassandra Clare

6752378Title: The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publishing Date: September 1st 2011 – Walker Books ltd
Pages: 435
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Links to purchase: Amazon UKWaterstones

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

The stakes are higher than ever in the #1 New York Times bestselling fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series. (Goodreads)

Two thirds of the way there!

Ok, so when I started this book it instantly felt different: suddenly we were getting a lot more of Simon, and subsequently a lot more of Maia. I actually liked this, since the one thing that bothered me before was that we didn’t get to see much of Simon, and I liked the introduction of Jordan and how he relates to Maia too. We also see a lot more of Malec, so yaaaay – despite the problems they’re facing in their relationship. As for Clary and Jace, just when we think their relationship is going well, something has to go wrong…

I felt this book reminded me of City of Bones, in the way that this is introducing a trilogy and therefore there isn’t much closure, and a lot of building up to things. I liked the whole mystery of the babies and Lilith, and obviously there is a kind-of resolution, but this is clearly setting up the events of the next book, so I didn’t enjoy this one as much.

That being said, I was really gripped with the idea of a cult worshipping demons, and the way they keep trying to capture Simon, in fact Simon’s storyline was the most interesting thing about this book. He has to deal with not feeling like part of the group, the Mark, the Maia and Isabelle situation, and being hunted – oh and the fact that his mother is terrified of him. His character goes through the most in this book, so it was fun to read. The storyline concerning Jace and Clary was so frustrating just because this whole situation could have been resolved so easily if Clary and Jace had said something from the beginning – and obviously that’s what we’re supposed to feel, so Clare did really well with that – besides if they had spoken up, we wouldn’t have the rest of the series!

Maureen. This girl has some issues. That’s all I’m gonna say.

The mythology behind Lilith was really interesting too, I actually went and researched it just because I was intrigued if there was any truth to it, and I was fascinated by what I found. I like how mythology and religion plays a part in this series.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this as much as the other books, but I was still gripped by Lilith’s plans and what she was doing with Jace. Simon is really the one who makes this book stand out, as well as the mystery regarding the cult. Still worth a read!

My rating:

three of five

The Liebster Award

Liebster-Award-LargeI would like to thank Kim at Kim22blog.wordpress.com for nominating me for this award. I’m a new blogger so it’s nice to know that people have been reading my reviews and enjoy them. Also visit Kim’s blog, she has some really great reviews – there’s a link up above!

Here are the rules:

  • Acknowledge who has nominated you and thank them.
  • Give 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions that your nominator (is that a word?) has given you.
  • Nominate 3-11 bloggers and give them 11 questions of your own.

So, here are my 11 facts:

  1. I used to have two imaginary friends (since one just wasn’t enough), who were twins called Daniel and David.
  2. I am an only child (explains the first fact).
  3. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was three.
  4. At Primary school I invented loads of games for my whole class to play.
  5. At one point I wanted to be an actor.
  6. I once threw up in church – I was in the front row.
  7. I am obsessed with The Walking Dead.
  8. I was a member of the first aid society at my university.
  9. My favourite colour is red.
  10. I grew up on Disney/Pixar films – my favourites are Toy Story, The Lion King, and Finding Nemo.
  11. I have a signed copy of Divergent from Veronica Roth.

Here are the questions Kim gave me:

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are the 5 books that you would need to have with you?

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Is there an author that you like that you didn’t expect to? And if so, who is it?

  • I hadn’t really heard of Patrick Ness, so I didn’t know what to espect when I first read The Knife of Never Letting Go, but now he is one of my favourite authors.

If you were only able to read books from one genre for the next year, what genre would it be?

  • Fantasy. Nuff said.

What qualities do you look for in a good book?

  • Strong characters. I need characters I can invest in and care about.

Are there any genres or authors that you wont read?

  • Erm…During A-levels we had to study Jane Eyre and I hated it, so it’s fair to say I won’t be reading any Bronte novels anytime soon.

Best book series that you have read, and maybe wished was longer?

  • Well Harry Potter will always hold a special place in my heart – I don’t think it needs to be longer though.

New book being released that you are most looking forward to?

  • Lady Midnight!!! Only one month to go!

If you could ask your favourite author any question, what would it be?

  • I would ask J.K. Rowling if there was anything she would do differently with her books.

Do you read books more than once? If so, which ones?

  • Well I’m re-reading The Mortal Instruments right now, so I guess I’ll pick that.

What books are on your tbr list?

  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, All the Wrong Questions by Lemony Snicket, Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Which novel would you most like to see turned into a film?

  • The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness!

I nominate:

Here are my questions:

  1. What is your favourite book to film adaptation?
  2. What is your least favourite book to film adaptation?
  3. If you could have a dinner party with five authors, who would they be?
  4. What is your favourite book series?
  5. Who is your favourite author?
  6. What book do you want to see become a film?
  7. Do you have a book boyfriend/girlfriend, and if so, who?
  8. Favourite relationship in a book?
  9. Any book series’ that you dislike/think are overrated?
  10. Favourite villain in a book?
  11. What do you look for in a book?

 

Book review: City of Glass – By Cassandra Clare

3777732Title: The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publishing Date: June 22nd 2009 – Walker Books ltd
Pages: 492
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Links to purchase: Amazon UKWaterstones

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments. (Goodreads)

It is all going down in this book! Out of the first three Mortal Instruments, this is definitely my favourite!

I could not put this book down, just because it was so fast paced and had so much drama that I wanted to see how everything would end. Again, like City of Ashes, the tension between Jace and Clary was really good, and I think we learn a bit more about Jace and how he views himself. And of course there’s Malec (yes I’m slightly obsessed). I really enjoyed seeing Valentine’s history and having Jocelyn reveal why she did the things she did. And we’re introduced to Sebastian…

I have to admit, I did suspect who Sebastian was pretty early on, but it was still interesting learning about how he came to be involved in the story. The spies for Valentine were fairly obvious too, just because they were so annoying throughout the whole book, but that didn’t bother me too much. I just can’t believe they hired yet another useless Inquisitor – it kind of reminded me of Harry Potter and every professor teaching Defence Against The Dark Arts. There’s so many things to anticipate in this book – from Jace and Clary, to Alec and Magnus, to Jocelyn waking up, the war, and Valentine’s plans. I guess this book closes the trilogy and so everything that’s been building up comes to a climax here and I felt it was very satisfying. The only odd thing is that no-one was concerned that they never found Sebastian’s body…

There was also an emotional weight regarding Izzy and Max, which I found really sad too, especially as Max was a character constantly being dismissed. I do wish we’d seen more from Simon during the war, just out of curiosity, but I also enjoyed his struggle with adapting to being a Daylighter. The alliance rune was probably my favourite aspect of the book, as the Shadowhunters and Downworlders were finally working together, and it was cool seeing that play out. Oh the part where Alec and Magnus kiss and Maia’s response is the funniest part as well!

I was glad we got to see Idris, as we’ve heard about it for a while now. The descriptions of all the houses and buildings were really beautiful, and it almost seems like a paradise. The characters never disappointed, and the tension in the novel – especially with Raziel and Valentine and Clary was really good, and I love how we realise that Valentine has really underestimated the power of angels. Especially when we learn about all his weird experiments.

Overall, this was my favourite book just because we finally get some answers to questions that have built up the past two books. There is closure with some of the relationships: Jocelyn and Luke, Clary and Jace, Magnus and Alec, even Jace and Simon finally get along – so this book really felt like a strong conclusion to this trilogy, as well as a kind-of cliffhanger with Sebastian, leading to book four.

My rating:

five of five

Book review: City of Ashes – By Cassandra Clare

1582996Title: The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publishing Date: July 7th 2008 – Walker Books ltd
Pages: 411
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Links to purchase: Amazon UKWaterstones

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation. (Goodreads)

Wow, I forgot how much fun this book was! And how much I hated the Inquisitor.

I felt that this book was much better than City of Bones, just because I enjoyed so many components of this story: the tension between Jace and Clary, the introduction of Robert and Maryse, the Inquisitor, and of course Valentine. Oh and let’s not forget Magnus Bane!

It managed to blend humour (enter, Magnus Bane), as well as the horrific scenes involving the demons and Valentine. Now that we understand the world, we can just get straight into the action rather than having things explained. Like I said, the tension between Clary and Jace was so good and so weird, since you kind of want them to be together but you kind of don’t, which shows how well Clare has constructed her characters. What I love about book series’ is that we get to see characters develop over longer periods of time, so it was good to see more vulnerability from Jace, and even Alec’s situation with Malec – as well as Clary working out her feelings for Simon. I hated the Inquisitor, but I think that’s kind of the point – the fact that she was so infuriating means that Clare did her job well. We don’t get a lot of Maia, but the things we do get are interesting, and now having read all the books I know we get to see a lot more of her. I think Valentine is a very good villain – the most evil villains are the ones who genuinely think they’re actions are right and good.

Tension was done really well, the majority of the book you’re just desperate to find out what’s going to happen next, because the characters are drawn so well that you really invest in them. I kind of wish we’d gotten to see more of Isabelle in this book because we didn’t get enough of her, but I understand that so much is going on in this story as it is. The mystery between Jace and Clary’s gifts and the whole Seelie Queen business was also really intriguing too. I did say I enjoyed the world Clare has created, and the fact that we get to see more of that is awesome.

My favourite part was when Clary created the fearless rune for Alec, and how that all played out, just because it was so funny how Magnus knocks him out. I’m still shipping Malec as well, so this was a good scene.

Overall this book was really action packed with a very good cliff hanger that leaves you desperate to find out what happens next. There is a lot more action, and the mysteries that form in this book are really fun and intriguing. There are characters I love, and characters I love to hate – all in all, a great book.

My rating:

four of five

Book review: City of Bones – By Cassandra Clare

256683Title: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publishing Date: July 2nd 2007 – Walker Books ltd
Pages: 442
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Links to purchase: Amazon UKWaterstones

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end. (Goodreads)

Ok, so ahead of Lady Midnight (super excited!), I’m going to try – try – to re-read The Mortal Instruments and do a review for each book, especially since it’s one of my favourite book series’. Starting off, we have City of Bones.

Out of all six books, this one is my least favourite, just because I feel that not a lot is going on. In this book we’re introduced to this new world, and all these new characters, so it’s understandable that things only get really interesting in the next book, and I still found this one a lot of fun.

What I really like about Clare’s books is the world she’s created with these novels. I really enjoyed learning about runes and angels and downworlders etc… The characters were also a lot of fun, I did feel sorry for Simon though, and I noticed the second time reading this that there are numerous times in the book where Clary completely forgets about him, which made me dislike her. I’m really not into love triangles/hexagons (whatever you want to call it) , but I think that certain twists in the story makes these relationships really interesting and makes you want to find out what’s going to happen next. My favourite was the Magnus/Alec/Jace dynamic, just because when first reading this I hadn’t seen a lot of LGBT characters in novels, especially not a main character.

I think plot-wise this was enjoyable to read and I got through it pretty quickly, but some of the plot points seemed irrelevant, almost as if they were just there to add drama or a fight scene. For example, the Simon being kidnapped thing seemed irrelevant – and I know that leads to something major later down the line, but when first reading this, that’s what I thought. I also thought Clary trying to get her memories back was drawn out, especially as she basically finds out she just has to wait for them to return.

Strange side note but I also noticed a lot of similes being used. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just something I kept noticing that I never realised the first time reading, and I don’t usually pick that stuff up, but it was really noticeable this time.

The final confrontation with Valentine and the BIG twist at the end, had me like whaaaaaaaaat! So I think that was definitely effective.

Overall I think this is a good introduction to the series, we meet some fun and interesting characters and are introduced to an exciting new world. I didn’t enjoy some of the storylines, but the ending kind of made up for it.

My rating:

three of five