cassandra clare

Book Review: The Bane Chronicles

9781406360585-usThere are a few companion novels to Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, but as this one is centred around my favourite character, I just had to read it.

The first thing I noticed was how well the changing time periods were reflected in the language and writing. As a warlock, Magnus has lived through hundreds of years and in dozens of different countries. I felt like, as the reader, I was really transported to all those different eras and places along with Magnus. But he still had that charm and humour that I adore so much about him, and the eccentricity we all love.

Most of this book is filled with tales from before the characters of The Mortal Instruments are even alive. If you’ve read the series you’ll notice how the events tie into references from those books. I really enjoyed reading more details on things that are casually mentioned in the main series, especially as Magnus is such an interesting character with so many stories to tell. Some of the main events include his relationship with Camille, his helping Raphael when turned into a vampire, and (of course) his relationship with Alec. We also hear a lot about what really happened in Peru…

This is definitely one of my favourite companion books – a lot of authors seem to go too far with their franchise and try too hard to write extra books. This felt more natural and was thoroughly enjoyable. 5 stars!

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Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire

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City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #6) – Paperback, 638 pages – Published February 1st 2015 by Walker

Wow. I cannot believe the series is over.

I started this series thinking it was just another paranormal YA series, which it was in some ways, but I ended up falling in love with it as the series progressed. Now I’m gonna have to go and buy the gorgeous box set and read them a dozen times over.

If you’re not familiar with these books, you can check out my reviews of the first five books (starting with number one). I may actually be re-reviewing these in a while though, as I’ve come to appreciate them a whole lot more now.

So, where to start… The plot? Complicated but great. Action, tons of heartache, and a sprinkle of love. The ending is super sweet, too. Maybe a bit too neat and happy, but I’m a cynic. Honestly, it was nice to see them all find happiness at last.

The characters. Oh, the characters! I love them all. The use of the relationships in the plot is fantastic (and super sad), and the character development is pretty strong, too. The relationship between Clary and Jace becomes more *ahem* intimate, while Magnus and Alec finally get to talk about what happened between them. As for Isabelle and Simon… you’ll have to read it yourself to see what happens to them.

I find that Clare’s writing in these novels has a really distinct, iconic feel. From the first page, I was immersed in the Shadowhunting world, despite it having been a while since I read the previous novel. And although the book is long – over 600 pages – it didn’t feel tedious or boring. It took me a while to read it due to school work, but I did find myself having to force myself to put the book down and go to sleep.

Like I said, I have grown fonder of this series with each passing book. I’m going to start the series over again soon to see if I still feel the same way as before, but for now I’m going to give this finale a 4.5-star rating. Not quite in my favourites, but after a re-read it may be!

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Book Review: City of Lost Souls

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City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #5) – Paperback, 544 pages – Published September 6th 2012 by Walker Books

I can’t believe I’ve nearly finished this series!

First of all, I would like to complain about the cover. If I hadn’t heard so many great things about this series then I probably would have avoided it, simply because it looks like a typical teen paranormal romance atrocity. The story is actually way more action-based with a sort of hint of romance, but I just don’t think the cover portrays that very accurately.

Moving on to the actual book, it follows on from the last novel where Sebastian is sort of reintroduced. He is a massive character in this, after disappearing – along with Jace. It turns out there’s some sort of bond between them thanks to Lilith, and the only things that can separate them are the weapons of either angels or demons. Which, unsurprisingly, results in some rather reckless acts on the part of Jace’s friends and family, including the summoning of an angel and a demon. Nice.

Alec and Magnus have some pretty serious difficulties in this book, which actually really upset me because they’re currently my favourite couple. There’s also romantic plots following Maia and Jordan and even Izzy and Simon, but nothing major.

In the end, the Institute receives a disturbing gift, Clary stabs Jace, and Magnus kicks Alec out of his apartment. Maureen is seen again, claiming to have killed the woman Alec was out to murder, and Luke’s sister is taken and turned dark by Sebastian. I think that’s everything?

As for the writing, I love it! The books are all quite long, but they don’t feel it when you read them. I don’t understand how the feel so timeless and exciting all the way through!

Of course, this is a YA paranormal novel with typical romance lines and so on, but it is as unique as a book in this category can be. It has a nice mix of surprise, suspense and plain old action, and the diversity of the characters is fantastic. I’m really looking forward to the next novel in the series, yet I don’t want it to be over!

Simply because it is a somewhat generic book (there are just so many angel/demon YA novels these days) I can’t put my rating any higher than 4 stars. But the writing is fab and the plot always interesting, so there really isn’t any true fault.

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Book Review: City of Fallen Angels

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City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #4) – eBook, 377 pages – Published April 5th 2011 by Walker Books

This series is so exciting! I’m absolutely loving it.

This installment of The Mortal Instruments series follows Simon a lot more, including his difficulties caused by his being a Daylighter vampire. We also get an insight to his love-life which is getting rather complicated…

Clary and Jace are together at last, but his nightmares are keeping them apart. Clary takes him to see the Silent Brothers to find out the cause of these bad dreams, but it turns out to be far worse than they anticipated.

Lilith – a greater demon – features heavily in this book, as well as the head vampire, Camille. Alec and Magnus have their dating difficulties, and Luke and Jocelyn are trying to prepair for their wedding while the Clave is dealing with a demon-worshipping cult and multiple dead Shadowhunters. So yeah, a lot is going on.

I like how we are able to find out more about Simon’s way of life in this book, and the whole issue with Alec being mortal while his boyfriend is immortal is a great, very intriguing addition to the plot. Seriously, I hope they work it out, though. They’re such a great couple.

As for Maia’s ex-boyfriend, who we’ve heard nasty tales about in previous books…

This may be one of my favourite books in the series so far, full of action and emotion and tons of excitement. The descriptions are wonderful, and there always seems to be the perfect amount of dialogue. I’m really falling in love with Cassandra Clare’s writing.

I don’t think I can say this is my favourite series quite yet, mainly because it is yet another typical YA paranormal novel. But this book in particular definitely deserves a strong 4 stars.

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Book Review: City of Glass

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City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #3) – Paperback, 508 pages – Published 2013 by Walker Books

This is the third of six books in The Mortal Instruments series.

At 500 pages, I was slightly worried about this. The other two books were rather long too, and I had no problem with those, but I still feared that I would tire of this partway through. That was luckily not the case – far from, in fact.

We’re still following Clary and her Shadowhunter friends, trying to take down Valentine before he puts his plan into action while simultaneously trying to revive Clary’s mother from her coma. There’s a situation between both Clary and Simon and Clary and Jace – the latter being really rather awkward – and also a little thing going on between Alec and Magnus.

In this book, Clary finds herself in Alicante, the capital city of Idris, without any given permission. She also finds Simon there, locked up in the Gard. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that the whole sibling situation with Valentine’s children is finally cleared up, in such an incredibly believable-yet-unbelievable way. Also, we’re reunited with Hodge and a few members of the Seelie Court. Oh, and Luke’s pack of werewolves, Raphael and the vampires, and we even meet a couple of angels. Nice.

This book contains a lot of past information, details about Valentine and what he did to his children. It brings a lot of clarity, and really makes you think, I understand now. Valentine is getting ever closer to executing his plan fully, and the Shadowhunters have to learn to work with the Downworlders rather than against them. Spies hidden among the Clave are brought to justice, and one very unexpected character is introduced, before being killed off again. I do have my doubts about his death though…

As for Valentine… Well, if you don’t already know, you may as well go and read the book.

Usually I find that I prefer the first books in a series, but so far this is actually my favourite. It isn’t quite an all-time favourite of mine, but I’d be more than happy to reread it. There’s a lot of the typical YA paranormal stuff going on in here, making it not all that unique. That being said, it is really well written and very exciting and action-packed. I am wondering what the next few books are actually going to be about, now that the whole situation with Valentine and the Mortal Instruments has been cleared up…

So yeah, this is a really good book that I would definitely recommend to lovers of YA novels, dystopian and paranormal books. I found myself struggling to put it down, wanting to just read on and on to the end despite the length. I think 4.5 stars is a decent rating for this.

(P.S. I totally didn’t constantly think of Supernatural throughout this, especially not at the references to the Mark of Cain.)

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Book Review: City of Ashes

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City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #2) – Paperback, 411 pages – Published July 7th 2008 by Walker Childrens Paperbacks

This is the second book in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

So the last book contained a lot of fighting, mixed emotions, demonic activity and a hell of a lot more excitement. This book was very much the same. Thrilling fight scenes, confused lovers, a ton of creepy demons. Who wouldn’t love it?

Clary’s mother is still in hospital, Jace and Clary are still trying to decide what sort of relationship they’re in, Simon’s feelings are still abundantly clear, and Valentine is still causing havoc. But now Valentine has another of the Mortal Instruments, and the Queen of the Seelie Court has brought to light some very un-sibling-like emotions between Jace and Clary. Simon is no longer dubbed as “the mundane” after an unexpected turn of events, and Jace is being picked on by the Inquisitor simply because he is the son of Valentine. So yeah, things are going just great.

While all this is going on, people are starting to realise that Jace and Clary aren’t quite normal Shadowhunters. Once their unique abilities are identified, they’re able to use them to their advantage – against their very own father.

As before, Cassandra Clare has included a wonderful mix of action, surprise, emotion and twists in this book. The characters are all going through some problem or another, and the Clave is as threatened as ever. It’s a great read, and despite being rather long it wasn’t boring or anything. The only thing I can say is that it isn’t overly special, so not quite one of my favourites. So I think I’ll give it 4 stars, maybe just about 4.5.

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Book Review: City of Bones

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City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Paperback, 442 pages – Published July 2nd 2007 by Walker Books

I’ve heard so much about this series, so I’ve got the whole series out of the library. It’s nearly midnight; I’ve stayed up reading until I finished this book!

This sounds like any other paranormal YA book really, and I suppose it is pretty much the same as all the others in many ways. But it’s a great read, with its own unique twists and advantages.

Clarissa, a 15-year-old red-head who lives with her mother, is the protagonist of this novel. She’s just like any other girl – until she sees someone being followed by people that nobody else can see. After witnessing these people destroy a demon in the storage room of a club, Clary knows her life is never going to be the quite the same.

Accompanied by Jace, Isabelle, Alec and her good friend Simon, Clary begins to learn about her heritage, just as her mother is kidnapped by a monstrous creature. The rescue mission is complicated – people often turn out to be different than who they first appear to be – and not without it’s difficulties. Clary has to unravel the lies that her life has been built upon, all the while dealing with the confusing emotions of both her and her friends.

This book is full of action! Fight scenes galore! It really is an exciting read, which is somewhat surprising due to the length. I often find that longer books get a little too dragged-on, but that was not the case with City of Bones. I’m really excited about the rest of this series.

The characters and the relationships between them are wonderful. I don’t want to include any spoilers, but things between Jace and Clary are so complicated, and it’s fascinating to see how their relationship is affected by the occurrences in this book. The less prominent characters, such as Hodge and Luke, are also full of emotion and depth. Their back-stories are amazing, and I found it easy to feel the same emotions towards them as Clary did at any given time.

Another thing that I really liked is the little details in this book. The foreshadowing, for example, and the inclusion of Alec being gay, but not openly. It’s the little things that really submerge you in the world of a book.

I really did enjoy reading this, but it isn’t quite in my favourites. It’s thrilling and full of action and emotion, as well as tons of plot twists. I’d say 4.5 stars!

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