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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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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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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Today I have a spoiler free review of Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance. If you want to know my thoughts, or looking for a quick and fun mystery and romance novel, read on!
Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
Genres: Mystery, Romance
Publication: June 11th 2013 by EgmontUSA
Pride & Prejudice meets Veronica Mars in this slick romantic spy-thriller where nothing’s as it seems.
Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.
So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.
But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?
With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.
This was a spontaneous reread because for some reason, I was really craving a quick spy book. I find with these type of novels, you can’t take them too seriously because some of the plot points aren’t particularly believable or convincing. Although I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, I got the reference in the title. I’m sure I would be able to appreciate it more if I had read it. Nonetheless, this was a very easy read but it’s not for everyone.
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I’ve got another reread review for y’all today. It’s a spoiler free review for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but you may be spoiled for previous books in the series. It’s a bit of a long review, but I hope you enjoy!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter (#5)
Publication: 21 June 2003 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…
This book gets dark and the events that take place in this novel are disheartening. It was a huge emotional rollercoaster and there were so many feels. Despite Harry’s pretty down but dynamic mood throughout this book, I found it pretty humorous. I love that the school (like the fandom) has a mutual rage and agreement that Umbridge needs to go, and everything must be done to end her rampage at Hogwarts (even the staff riot). The sass, the pranks, making efforts to defy every new stupid decree Umbridge enforces.
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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!
The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman
Series: Lady Helen (#2)
Genres: Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Publication: January 31st 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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.
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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Oh look! I have another post this week. Another book review because this is a pretty short one. Anyway, I have a spoiler free review for Olivia Decoded, the sequel for the Olivia Twisted series. I don’t have many thoughts so let’s get straight into it!
Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes
Series: Olivia Twisted (#2)
Publication: September 6th 2016 by Entangled: Teen
This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.
This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.
I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.
I’m really conflicted about this book because although I found myself engaged to the mystery, I was annoyed at the plot and the characters. I missed the hacking in the first book. It wasn’t great in my opinion but hacking is hardly explored in YA so it was different. The storyline in this book is creepy but it wasn’t as unnerving as I would have liked.
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I have FINALLY finished the Embassy Row series by Ally Carter. So, today I have a review for the finale of the series. It’s spoiler free so if you haven’t read this book yet and want to know my thoughts first, read ahead! If you haven’t read book #1 or 2, I recommend reading them first before reading this review. Just as a precaution because I don’t want to accidentally spoil you. But there aren’t any major spoilers from the previous books if you’re worried. Let’s begin!
Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row (#3)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publication: December 27th 2016 by Scholastic Press
The princess is dead. Long live the princess.
Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.
Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.
There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.
If she wins, she will inherit a throne.
And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.
I found the concept of this series real great with the conspiracies, lost princesses and secret societies. However, the overall execution didn’t impress me even and I was disappointed after each book in the series. I believe this novel was much too short to deal with all the conflicts and ideas explored so there wasn’t enough depth and development. Perhaps I’m rating this book a bit higher than my actual feelings. I feel like it’s more of a 2.75 but I’m feeling generous. Plenty of angst, plenty of drama. Let’s get into it.
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I have another review for you today on book #2 of the Zeroes series. This is a spoiler free review for THIS novel but it might spoil the overall outcomes from the FIRST book of the series (Zeroes). This is the first review I’ve done on this blog for a book did not finish (DNF) which was surprisingly longer than I expected. I’m not here to bash the book. I was just bored and disappointed in my reading experience. If you don’t mind negative reviews, proceed!
Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti
Series: Zeroes (#2)
Genre: Science fiction
Publication: September 27th 2016 by Simon Pulse
DNF @ 60%
They thought they’d already faced their toughest fight. But there’s no relaxing for the reunited Zeroes.
These six teens with unique abilities have taken on bank robbers, drug dealers and mobsters. Now they’re trying to lay low so they can get their new illegal nightclub off the ground.
But the quiet doesn’t last long when two strangers come to town, bringing with them a whole different kind of crowd-based chaos. And hot on their tails is a crowd-power even more dangerous and sinister.
Up against these new enemies, every Zero is under threat. Mob is crippled by the killing-crowd buzz—is she really evil at her core? Flicker is forced to watch the worst things a crowd can do. Crash’s conscience—and her heart—get a workout. Anon and Scam must both put family loyalties on the line for the sake of survival. And Bellwether’s glorious-leader mojo deserts him.
Who’s left to lead the Zeroes into battle against a new, murderous army?
I found this sequel to be so boring. I didn’t find the plot interesting and I really tried to get through. It’s a pretty big book and I made it just over the halfway mark so I think I gave it a fair go. I skimmed the rest of the book but I’m still confused about the ending. I’m not saying that I hated the book, I was just in complete boredom reading it. The first book had so great ideas and I saw the potential, but the execution wasn’t quite there. I wasn’t especially impressed with the first book, but I was intrigued enough to continue to see how it would go. I found both books to be disappointing. The entertainment value I found in the first book isn’t there for me anymore. I think it’s one of those cases of it’s me not you so go forth and give it a chance if you’re into unlikely superheroes and unique powers – I admit the concept of the series is interesting. Usually, I find it difficult to not finish novels, but I’ve heard that the ending is very open ended and super frustrating. I don’t think I regret not finishing it.
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