Clockwork Princess: Book review

wp-1463149911075.jpgThe third book in the infernal devices series picks up where the last one left off. The Shadowhunters of the London Institute have to fight Mortmain before his automatons destroy the Institute and the Shadowhunters.
There is only one piece missing from his plan and that is Tessa Gray.
Charlotte Branwell and the rest of their Institute try to protect her and they are desperate to find a solution to their problem before their enemy strikes.

Jem and Will face their most difficult time together when Jem’s condition worsens, even though he’s preparing for his wedding to Tessa. And still Will tries to hide his love for her and he tries to be there for his friend and his parabatai, and to keep his feelings for Tessa secret from him.

Danger and betrayal are tangled up with love and loss as the protagonists of the story fight to win against all odds.
The conclusion of the infernal devices trilogy is as an epic and grand as the previous two books. In clockwork Princess all the little threads come together in an epic showdown of loyalty, love and perseverance.

~ Harris

THE NON-SPOILERY TALK

Cassandra Clare has a way of weaving threads and stories together, of bringing characters to life, and creating worlds and settings that immerse the reader, and this book is no exception.
I always find it difficult to get in the books at the beginning of every Cassandra Clare’s story, no matter how amazing and breathtaking the previous one was. It doesn’t matter if there was a cliffhanger or not, somehow I always end up finding the beginning of the story to be slow but that is nothing that takes away from the story itself or the plot or the characters or anything.

The clockwork Princess is a spectacular end to a spectacular trilogy. The story starts with Tessa’s wedding to Jem, with Cecily in the Institute alongside her brother causing trouble, and Consul Wayland breathing down Charlotte’s neck. Things don’t go as planned for our protagonists and they find themselves with some unlikely allies in the faces of Gideon and Gabriel, and even the warlock Magnus Bane, a personal favourite of mine.

The Magister has created an army of automatons and he’s ready to use them against that Enclave. He’s only missing Tessa and he’s ready to do just about anything to have her.
The book starts with a scene that has Aloysius Starkweather, a man that relished in the glory of slaughtering downworlders and getting spoils from them, and his granddaughter Adele, when she’s about to get her first runes at the age of 10. He was very attached to her and she trusted him with everything. A heartbreaking scene, that shows some more light in the story and what happened in the past. And the most important thing, Tessa’s parentage.
I wasn’t surprised with Tessa’s parentage to be honest, I saw it coming a mile away. I know some people say they were surprised, but it didn’t ruin the story for me any. If anything, I felt relieved and rewarded in a way for being right.

I love how in-depth the characters are, even the ones that are considered side characters. I love how real and alive the world of England in 1878 feels, and even more so I love the world of the Shadowhunters with their traditions and their customs. It all feels real to me and I can appreciate that in a fantasy setting, especially since Fantasy is what I want to write myself.

Though I didn’t understand why the Consul suddenly turned on Charlotte even though he was the one who first put her in the position as the head of the London Institute.
Also, I felt some parts of the story were rushed when it came to the romance. Not the romance between Tessa, Jem and Will, but with some of the other characters. I felt like some things happened and they happened so fast so they serve some of the things that are going on in the mortal instrument series. This is something I didn’t particularly like but that didn’t completely throw me off the story or ruin it for me. It’s just something that I noticed and that I didn’t like. All in all this is a story and a conclusion to a trilogy that’s one of the best I’ve read. Especially the epilogue, which was just heartbreaking and even made me cry and I’m not a person that actually cries when I read stories but that epilogue made me cry.

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Clockwork Prince: Book Review

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So our first little reading assignment was the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. For Gee this series and all the related ones are more of old love while for me, it was more of a love interest. To book lovers this may make sense, or it may not.
This is best way to explain how I felt about the series starting off, I’d heard of it but never delved into it myself until recently and I wasn’t disappointed.
It is now one of my favorites series. Part of an ever growing list.
~ Thorn

THE NON – SPOILERY TALK

The second book in this series continues with Tessa’s story. Things have definitely changed for her since she first came to life in these stories. She came overseas to join her brother only to be held hostage by two of the creepiest old women. That’s what I think of them anyways, cause honestly the two were just creepy. They gave me a funny feeling from the start.
Thankfully Tessa has a timely rescue of sorts by a small group of Shadowhunters, which included dashing heartthrob Will and lovely Jem.  (Already you can see where my mind is at with them.)
She ends up at their Institute, surrounded by more strangers, and thrown into a completely different world than she grew up in. She’s taken in at the institute and it was there I start growing a fondness for everyone. Each in their own way of course.
In the second part of this story, we don’t have as slow of a start and things are already a little shaky. Charlotte is at risk of being replaced at the Institute and if she is, then Tessa is going to be in far more trouble than she is now. She would lose her safe haven and protectors, people who have grown to be more like friends by now.
Out in the world though, there is more risk for the Magister to get his hands on Tessa and we really don’t want that guy to have Tessa’s powers in his hands.
Now time is ticking for them all to find answers about the past, about Tessa and the Magister. Things only end up more complicated when it seems apparent they spy among them.
All the while the characters themselves are having personal difficulties. Tess is only getting closer to Jem after Will added more bricks to his walls. Only now, it seems like they are falling as he lays them, and we start to understand him more and more.
Problems mount and solutions are more and more scarce, with twists and turns that surprise me and a few of them that actually don’t. Just not in a bad way. Sometimes it helps to not be completely clueless, to grow your own ideas and suspicions about what is going on with the story and its characters. You could be right… or you could be wrong.
Love triangles, more betrayals and heart aches and breaks and all these things that make you feel more and more entrapped in the world like its yours. You only end up wishing it really was.
Fantasy is a favorite of mine, it’s what I’m writing actually and I have a fondness for historical fiction as well. mixed together I have nothing to dislike. I don’t stray far from fiction of any kind. I love being taken into different words, either for hours, days, or just a few minutes is fine.
Sometimes I get into a book that has me reading for hours on hours, chapter after chapter and this is a book that did just that. I’d keep giving myself a few more minutes or a few more chapters and just couldn’t put it down easy.
The story had me hooked from the start, it surprised me more than a few times and had me in tears by the time it was done. The characters especially. Cassandra Clare had a way of making each of them come to life, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one falling for Will, and had her heart breaking over him.
Not the only one hating that Jem was dying, felt betrayed by Nathaniel and then likely hated (or at the least severely disliked him).
Not every author can make you feel how it is to be in a characters shoes, but Clare has this, clearly. Otherwise we wouldn’t be crying, falling in love and giving up on life completely over a book with fictional characters and worlds.
Cause yes, that’s me right there.

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Clockwork Angel: Book Review

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/Boy, oh boy. We’re getting to the good stuff.

The Shadowhunter Chronicles have been a huge part of my life for so long, I can’t remember what I was like before getting to this world. I’m quite literally a walking Shadowhunter Codex at this point, and have sufficiently gotten Harris and Thorn into this as well. Sorry not sorry, guys.

But enough of that. This time we’re going back to the start, where the journey first began. ~ Gee

 

THE NON – SPOILERY TALK

The story starts off  in 1878 with Tessa Gray, a 16-year-old girl from New York on her first trip to England, to visit her brother who’s been living there for a while. But instead of him, she is taken by two old ladies, who end up keeping her hostage (yes, there isn’t much waiting there, right on to the point). They then start to “train” her, as she finds out she isn’t a human, but a Downworlder that can change forms and make herself look like other people. Their motive to that seems to be because they are prepping her up for something big, something and someone she doesn’t know of.

Luckily Tessa manages to run away with the help of a young team of Shadowhunters coming to her aid. They take her in their Institute, regardless of her “tainted” nature, and work together to find out what truly happened to her brother. In the meantime she tries to discover what is actually happening to her, why she has this ability and where it came from.

Now I love fantasy themes and historical fiction, and these series combined it perfectly. Anyone who is also into this concept, I’m pretty sure you’re going to like this one a lot. The beginning is a bit slow, taking its time to explain everything to the reader that they have to know. Once you get to know enough background information on this world building, it picks up the pace.

I also can’t help but love how all the characters are written. The characters that are good, the characters that are not so good, the characters that made a lot of mistakes on their way to their own right path, the “villains” of the story. It shows how diverse each of them is, what each has in mind as the right thing, and how far a person would go to do what they want in life. Each character has different aspirations and morals, and not one of them, from background characters to main, felt two-dimensional. I found myself relating in bits and pieces of each one, and I think that is a very important achievement for a writer to pass off to their readers. Cassandra Clare’s writing never fails to blow me away.

So, the pros of this book are: good story, witty writing, and realistic characters. The cons are: slow build-up at the beginning (but for a good reason), and…well…a bucket full of feels (I feel like I should have put that one in the pros though).

Obviously this story is very dear to me, and hasn’t let me down at all. And if you think I’m biased, ask the other girls about it. They’ll say the same thing, trust me. That’s why I’m urging anyone who likes this kind of theme to get their hands on this book right away. It’s a must.

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Carry On: Book Review

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“Aleister Crowley, I’m living a charmed life.”

I’m ashamed to say, I only recently read this. I got it around October, a week or so after its release, and yet I didn’t get to it until now. But it’s safe to say, I finished it in a day. ~ Gee

THE NON – SPOILERY TALK

In case you don’t know, author Rainbow Rowell has written snippets of this before, scattered around in her other book, Fangirl. Now this is where it gets meta. In Fangirl, the main character of the book, Cath, is writing fan-fiction based on the books about Simon Snow in her world. So we get snippets of the “actual” books and of her fan-fiction. But Rainbow didn’t want to leave it at that, so she made the Simon Snow story in her world into a book and story of its own. There, technically those snippets do not count as “canon” since they were written through Cath. Therefore, you may be familiar with the idea of the story, but nothing more specific is happening. So no, there’s no need to read Fangirl before this.

Still with me? Alright, good.

So the story follows Simon Snow, a 16-year-old boy who is said to be “The Chosen One”, the one to save the Magickal world from a “great evil”, as the prophesies say. Simon Snow himself, though, sure does not feel like one. He barely acts like one too. Baz, his roommate and sworn enemy since they were 11, thinks he is “the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.” Sure, he could be the most powerful person the world has ever seen, but that mostly means he sets a lot of things on fire by accident, himself included.

Simon causes a lot more trouble by trying to help than staying out of it. So he has no control of his powers, his wand seems to hate him, and he gets to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, since he’s the Chosen One. And if all that is not enough, there is also a powerful monster on the loose, a force that nobody has ever heard of, that sucks the magic out of everything around it, human and place alike, leaving “dead” (magic-less) spots on the map.

Worst yet, it looks exactly like an 11-year-old Simon.

In this world of monsters and creatures and snobby Magicks, it’s the cherry on top. The Mage, head of the Watford School of Magicks and Simon’s mentor, is the one that found him and hid him in the school to protect him from…well…everything. But he has troubles of his own, as the powerful families in the political world try to overturn him and as there are several wars going on, and Simon is left without anyone to turn to for advice.

Plus, his arch nemesis Baz didn’t even show up for class. That always means trouble.

One thing I really liked on this story is how nicely Rainbow Rowell has mixed the “magickal” world  with the modern world. In most books I’ve read about magic and stuff, I kept seeing how anything magical tends to keep away from the normal, how magical people keep to themselves because they look down on the technological advances of the human world.

In Carry On, the magickal world depends on the normal world. It’s believed that words have power, and the more a phrase is said the more powerful it is. That’s the reason why the spells they use are actually catchphrases, common slang said over and over by humans. Or, in more powerful spells, nursery rhymes, said and passed on by generations. I hope I’m not the only one on this, but I like little details like that a lot.

That is all I can say about the plot without spoiling anything.

Carry On has a good deal of humor, sass, feels, and kissing, sprinkled with a great deal of magic and monsters.

Overall, I will give this book 4/5 stars solely because it has left quite a few questions unanswered. If you are familiar with the author’s writing, you know how she tends to do that, just in smaller bits. But judging from this book, I would say that this was intentional, and there’s another one in the making soon. At least…one can hope. One can go so long without having their dose of Simon and Baz in their life.

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Lady Midnight: Book Review

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“We can be cruelest to those who remind us of ourselves.”

Because of all the ARC’s that got released before the book’s release date, it was hard to avoid spoilers. Thankfully, the people on Instagram knew of this, and made sure to put up the practical, non-spoilery reviews first, and all the tasteful, spoilery bits later. Which is what I’m also going to do here. ~ Gee

 

THE NON-SPOILERY TALK

 

She took a deep breath. “You’re too skinny,” she said, as brightly as she could. “Too much coffee, not enough pancakes.”

“I hope they put that on my tombstone.”

Before reading the book, I kept seeing the same thing on every other review. “Cassie has outdone herself,” they all said. Someone even went as far as to say it’s on the same level as The Infernal Devices series. I thought, I’ll have to decide that for myself. Clockwork Princess is hard to top, after all.

Conclusion: Cassie has, indeed, outdone herself.

To start with, it certainly comes close to the amount of feels, action, plot twists and drama. We get a glimpse of some of the book’s main characters at the end of The Mortal Instruments, in City of Heavenly Fire. Perhaps that’s what helped the plot set off right away, instead of a really slow build-up. Not that there wasn’t a smooth build-up, but we did know some facts about the characters beforehand. Some we meet throughout this book. Either way, we have yet to see each person’s full potential, but we get a pretty good idea of what is yet to come.

Like all her books, it had me at the edge of my seat. Just when I thought things were starting to slow down, and I was thinking it would be a good enough bit to put the book away and pick it back up later, Cassie threw a plot twist my way that almost had me screaming my head off, bawling, fainting, or all of the above. I slipped into this world I love so much almost effortlessly. Heart wrenching, witty, beautifully written. More than once, it had me laughing out loud on scenes I absolutely shouldn’t be laughing, at the most serious situations.

In just one book, I fell in love unconditionally with all the characters, all their traits and flaws, even the ones that betrayed me in the end (*coughs quietly*). Each one was so beautifully diverse, in just the right way, and together they all fit as a whole like the pieces of a puzzle. All the Blackthorn siblings, and then from Emma, to Cristina, to Perfect Diego (you’ll understand soon), to Kieran…Gosh, I felt for them, for each one’s burdens and problems, as if they were my own.

Not to mention, each plot twist was so nicely put, so cleverly hidden in plain sight, it will have you smacking your head and going “Of course!” every time new details get revealed. After you have finished screaming and have picked yourself up from your fetal position on the floor, that is.

Plus, the cliffhanger at the end (of course there is a cliffhanger, because all the torment you have just been put through was not enough) succeeded in making me gasping for more. So, anyone that has yet to read it: It’s not going to be what you think. Better have high expectations, because Lady Midnight is going to reach, if not top them.

Have fun (*laughs*) reading it, and good luck.

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