Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare // Book Reviews

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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!

30312891Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Series: The Dark Artifices (#2)
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: May 23rd 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 701
Source: Borrowed

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.


PLOT

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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The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson // Book Reviews

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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!

16303287The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson

Series: The Bane Chronicles (#1-11)
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: November 11th 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 507
Source: Borrowed
3.5 stars

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.


REVIEW

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.

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Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead // Book Reviews

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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!

6479259Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy (#5)
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: May 18th 2010 by Penguin Razorbill
Pages: 489
Source: Borrowed
3.5 stars

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.


PLOT

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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The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman // Book Reviews

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WARNING: the synopsis will spoil you for the FIRST book of this series, so if you don’t want to be spoiled – go read and come back so we can discuss!

26061581The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

Series: Lady Helen (#2)
Genres: Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Publication: January 31st 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Pages: 496
Source: Borrowed

June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.


PLOT

This was such a fun and intense sequel. Unlike a lot of second book sequels, this one isn’t a filler story. In fact, it contributed so much to the progression and intensity of the series. This sequel involves a very intriguing story that’s built on a great foundation provided by the first novel. We get a wider scope of the world of reclaimers and demons, and experience it through Helen’s perspective. A large focus in the story involves the dark days club being super convinced that Carlston isn’t loyal or stable for the club, so SPYING!

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Blood Promise by Richelle Mead // Book Reviews

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I’ve got my review for Blood Promise by Richelle Mead. This is going to be a spoiler free review for THIS book but you will be spoiled from previous books in the series if you haven’t read them. I do recommend this series. It’s lot of fun so if by chance you haven’t read the first 3 books, go do that then come back and we can discuss all the things!

5996153Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy (#4)
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: August 25th 2009 by Penguin Razorbill
Pages: 503
Source: Borrowed
3.5 stars

Rose Hathaway’s life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir’s Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose’s neck, a mark that says she’s killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters … Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life’s vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She’ll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir’s and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I was so excited about reading this book after the thrill of the previous one, I’m completely let down. This book was more emotionally-based rather than plot-driven and expansive like Shadow Kiss. So this could be a case of it’s me, not you. Although it was an emotional read, I couldn’t fully immerse myself in the story and even the plot itself seemed a bit detached.

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Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead // Book Reviews

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This is going to be a spoiler free review of the third instalment in the Vampire Academy series, but you will get spoiled for the first 2 books if you read this review.

2802316Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy (#3)
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: November 13th 2008 by Razorbill
Pages: 443
Source: Borrowed
4.5 stars

WHAT IF FOLLOWING HER HEART MEANS ROSE COULD LOSE HER BEST FRIEND FOREVER?

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

Rose knows it is forbidden to love another guardian. Her best friend, Lissa – the last Dragomir princess – must always come first. Unfortunately, when it comes to gorgeous Dimitri Belikov, some rules are meant to be broken…

Then a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose’s mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy’s iron gates. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmares, Rose will have to choose between life, love, and the two people who matter most… but will her choice mean that only one can survive?


PLOT

The foreshadowing was wonderful but the turns in this novel were unbelievable. I had so many thoughts and feelings running through my head all through the novel. I loved all the action and adrenaline filled scenes. Also the ghost subplot was so interesting and it definitely gives a different aspect to the vampire world that we know. I don’t want so say much, wary of spoiling, but it’s good.

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