Today I have a mighty long review for Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. Most of it is spoiler free with a spoiler section at the end. However, you may be spoiled for book #1, Lady Midnight so you may want to avoid this review until AFTER you’ve read that one. And you should definitely avoid that synopsis below. Otherwise, let’s go on!
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices (#2)
Publication: May 23rd 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?
A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.
Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?
Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.
When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.
I feel that I connected with the characters more than the overall plot arc in this novel. There were so many subplots that fitted well into the storyline. The layers gave the story sophistication and characters a great deal of depth.
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Today I have a bit of a different review. In fact, I have a short, sweet review of a bind-up of novellas: The Bane Chronicles. It’s completely spoiler free, but it a couple of the stories will spoil you for The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices series. So let’s jump straight in!
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson
Series: The Bane Chronicles (#1-11)
Publication: November 11th 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.
This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.
Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.
I think my different expectations for these stories ended up disappointing me a bit. Some of them were great, but it took me much too long to get through this bind-up. Overall, these were a bit of a hit or miss for me. Magnus is a super fun character and I was curious to learn more about his adventures and centuries old past. The humour was here and there, but it was a solid light-hearted read. If you’re a fan of Magnus Bane, this will be an entertaining read, but this isn’t a necessary read to understand the Shadowhunter Chronicles.
I’ve got a book review for y’all today! Book #5 of the Vampire Academy series AKA Spirit Bound. It’s completely spoiler free for this novel but there may be some spoilers for previous books in this series. I’d like to think that this is more on the shorter side in terms of my reviews so enjoy!
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy (#5)
Publication: May 18th 2010 by Penguin Razorbill
After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.
I enjoyed this instalment better than its predecessor. I found Dimitri’s storyline in the previous book really frustrating so I’m glad that situation has been resolved. I felt like some of the scenes were filler and made the story a bit directionless.
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Today I’ve got a review for A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas because I haven’t posted one in a VERY long time. This review has a couple of spoilers about a couple of characters (Tamlin and Rhysand) but if you don’t care, keep reading! If you’re still weighing up whether you should read this novel but want to get a feel of the book, you should probably stop reading once you get to CHARACTERS. So, these are my thoughts!!
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (#2)
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
Great. More territorial fae.
I was rather disappointed with this sequel and I think a majority of this was because of my huge expectations and the massive amount of hype. I have very conflicting thoughts about this book and the characters.
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I’ve got a spoiler free review for book #4 AKA the finale of The Naturals series. Looking for crime, mystery and mind games? This series might be for you. However, if you haven’t at least started the series, I kind of recommend doing so BEFORE reading this review. There aren’t any spoilers on major plot points in this review, but just be cautious. Anyway, let’s begin!
Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals (#4)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publication: November 1st 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
New victims. New betrayals. New secrets.
When Cassie Hobbes joined the FBI’s Naturals program, she had one goal: uncover the truth about her mother’s murder. But now, everything Cassie thought she knew about what happened that night has been called into question. Her mother is alive, and the people holding her captive are more powerful—and dangerous—than anything the Naturals have faced so far. As Cassie and the team work to uncover the secrets of a group that has been killing in secret for generations, they find themselves racing a ticking clock.
The bodies begin piling up, the deaths hit closer and closer to home, and it soon becomes apparent that this time, the Naturals aren’t just hunting serial killers.
They’re being hunted themselves.
This series has been such a thrilling ride! Suspenseful and unpredictable – I love it! I wanted to finish this finale ASAP, but also wanted to savour it. It’s a bittersweet feeling but now, I’m super sad. Why does this need to be the last book of the series?
So, you can tell I really wanted another novel in this series. I think the overarching plot and character development of the series would have benefitted from an additional book. Especially since each book has previously focused on one Natural in the squad. This was more of an emotional read than the action-packed previous novels. This series’ concept is so unique in the YA world and although it’s not that believable, you’ll need to suspend your belief for a while to enjoy this series.
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As I’ve been rereading the Harry series, I’ve been reviewing it and it’s been so much fun! Today I’ve got a spoiler review for book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince so we’re super close to the end. All the spoiler thoughts are at the end of the review so just in case you haven’t read this book yet, there is a WARNING before spoilers begin. If you want to know my thoughts on the series, I have a review for every book:
And now, let’s discuss this amazing novel!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter (#6)
Publication: July 16th 2005 by Bloomsbury Publishing
It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys’ house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can’t quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys’ of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time? Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine…
This is such an emotionally rich novel. The suspense was high and had me second guessing the intentions and goodness of characters. Who do I trust??
As always, the story was gripping, balanced with great humour and disheartening events. The irony of the Half-Blood Prince situation was very amusing in this reread and just knowing. (The liquid luck scene was pretty hilarious).
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I’ve a short-ish review for Fire Study, book #3 in the fantasy Study series. It’s completely spoiler free for THIS book, but it may spoil you for previous books in the series. If you HAVE read those 2 novels, read on!
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study (#3)
Publication: February 19th 2008 by MIRA
The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.
When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before…
Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.
This was a bit of a disappointing read. It dragged longer than previous books in the series. The action was a bit delayed and I couldn’t really follow what was happening.
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