Tag «Author: Clare»

Spin-Off- Saturdays: The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare

Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:

The Dark Artifices Series is a spin-off of the The Mortal Instruments Series

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Fave Author, 2016 Fave
Series: The Dark Artifices Trilogy

This is a spinoff of the The Mortal Instruments Series.

Author: Cassandra Clare
# of Books: 3 (Lady Midnight, Lord of Shadows, The Queen of Air and Darkness)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, The Queen of Air and Darkness will be published in 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance, Mystery
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: March 8, 2016 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover

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WARNING: If you have not finished the original series, this review may have unintentional spoilers!

thoughts

My Expectations?

I’ve been awaiting Lady Midnight for years. Even before the final Mortal Instruments novel was published, I was excited that Cassandra Clare would be returning to the Shadowhunter world. It was great knowing that these characters and the world that I loved so much would have more to it–that City of Heavenly Fire and Clockwork Princess were not going to be the end of my favourite book series. Now, we have a TV show so that would have made me happy after the “flop” of the movie (though I can’t be the only person who actually liked the movie am I?) but a whole new book series, yeah, I was stoked!

I couldn’t wait to meet a new cast of characters and see whatever Clare has in store for them. I knew there would be heartbreak, great plot twists and characters I would love and hate; a new series I could totally invest in because it seems like a really, really long time since I read anything by Cassandra Clare who is one of my all time favourite authors.

How does it compare to the original?

Lady Midnight has all the charms of the original series but with a new and unique cast. I didn’t feel like I was reading a regurgitation of the original series nor did I feel like she recycled characters. While I can definitely draw parallels between the original cast (the Blackburns and Lightwoods have very similar family values I think), I felt like everything was fresh and exciting. You get the romance, the intriguing side characters and many plot twists you are accustom too with the previous instalments.

I also like that Clare doesn’t really on past characters to carry this series either. She could have easily filled the pages with Magnus, Alec, Clary and Jace and people would have gobbled it up and been happy. (Well, I would have for sure). Instead, you get brief mention of where they all are now (this series is 5 years after City of Heavenly Fire) and they aren’t integrated into the plot as necessities. I think that takes a lot of strength as an author to do, especially with a series as successful as The Mortal Instruments was/is, and Clare does a great job.

Anything I Didn’t Like?

That it’s over and I have to wait a whole year for Lord of Shadows?

Honestly, my review is a little biased. I came in with high expectations and every single one was met. It’s really hard for me to write this review without gushing like a rabid fan-girl.

I also hate that is made me cry a little. With The Mortal Instruments, it took me an entire book to really fall in love with the characters. In the Infernal Devices, I think Jem and Will made me cry in the first book but I don’t remember. But in Lady Midnight, my emotions were played like Jem’s violin (meaning very, very well) and I loved all these characters so much and so quickly I don’t really believe it myself.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m super excited to see what happens next! Things are definitely getting twists and feelings are hurt, so I can’t wait to see how everything plays out in Lord of Shadows!

updates

–June 20, 2017– Book #2: Lord of Shadows

I can’t say much without simply fangirling about how much I adore this series.

This was an emotional roller coaster for me because I am so in love with all these characters. The Blackthorns are easily one of my most favourite fictional families ever and the rest of the cast is just sublime.

I will admit, this one lagged a bit in the middle but went full speed ahead at the end!

Series Rating: 5/5

Lady Midnight 5/5 | Lord of Shadows 5/5 | Queen of Air and Darkness TPB

overall

I came into this book with high expectations and every single one was met. It kept me interested and wanting to know more. There were great twists and characters and I will be in a book hangover for quite some time I think.

Read if You Like: like The Mortal Instruments, Urban Fantasy
Avoid if You: dislike long books, multiple POVs

similarreads

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Lady Midnight (from Goodreads):

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

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Movie Mondays: Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Movie Mondays: On Mondays, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this week’s offering:

Book: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare | Movie: Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

Which did I read/see first? THE BOOK

Book Cover | Movie Poster

The Book:

Series: Mortal Instruments
Genre: Young Adult, Action, Romance, Paranormal

Thoughts:

While City of Bones isn’t my favourite book of the Mortal Instruments series, it is a strong opening for a long saga. I find it really builds up the rest of the series and by the end there are a few twists that make you want to grab the next book.

The shadowhunter world is complex in the sense that there is quite a bit going on but is simple enough that you will easily understand what is happening once Clary discovers it.

I also really love the characters and they are what keeps me coming back to this series and waiting the 1-2 years it takes for each book to be published. It’s easy to get invested in their stories and I’m excited to see how it all ends.

My full review of the series can be found here!

Conclusion:

The Mortal Instruments is one of my favourite series so I am probably a bit biased when it comes to this book. Compared to the rest of the series it isn’t as action-packed or have as many plot twists–BUT it does have all of that so it is never a boring read. Those who like paranormal young adult action series will like this a lot.

Rating: 5/5
Series Review: Full series review here!.

Similar Reads: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices, #1) and The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey Series, #1)

The Movie:

I had meant to see this in theatres when it came out in August but it came out at an awful time for me because I was so busy and I completely forgot. I had been keeping tabs on the movie since I read the book so I was super excited to see it.

I’ll start with the casting–I thought it was great! At first, I wasn’t a fan of Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace. I think it’s because I could only think of him as the scraggly King Arthur in the short lived Camelot TV series so he wasn’t who I pictured as Jace. But after watching the first 10 minutes of the movie I realized he was a good choice. He’s got the Jace humour and swagger and that helped change my mind. Lily Collins as Clary was a choice I’ve always liked and the rest of the cast is great without singly calling out each person. Magnus is a little iffy for me but I think I’m just super critical of my favourite character. He seemed a little too young and not as eccentric as I expected but I did warm up to him by the end. It’s been so long since I read them that I can’t remember if the shadowhunters have British accents in the books or if that is just a movie thing but it seemed weird to me…

The book truly comes to life in this movie and they captured Clare’s world and characters perfectly. It was funny and I loved seeing some of my favourite scenes coming to life before my eyes. My only peeve is the slight plot modifications. I understand why certain ones where done and agree that it is probably the best move for them to do BUT the one scene with Simon in particular I think could have been left as it is in the book (though I can see what they were trying to do with it).

Before the movie was even released, they had decided to make the sequel, City of Ashes. I’m not sure if they are still following through on these plans due to the dismal box office numbers but I hope they do. This movie had a lot of promise as there are quite a few smaller cliffhangers left open by the end of this movie that are resolved in the next book. I think if they market it better, (ie remember most of the people who read these books when they first came out are now in their early twenties) it will do a lot better.

So, which is better: the book or the movie?

In this case, the winner is the BOOK . The movie was great but due to some plot changes in the movie the scenes that had me gasping in disbelief aren’t as shocking as they should be. Both movie and book build and set the stage for the rest of the series but the book just does it so much better. I don’t think book fans will be disappointed in the movie–I certainly wasn’t and I won’t be as long as they make a sequel 😉

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for City of Bones (from Goodreads):
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . .

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Spin-off Saturdays: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:

Infernal Devices Trilogy is a spin-off of the Mortal Instruments

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #4
Series: Infernal Devices Trilogy
Author: Cassandra Clare
# of Books:3 (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess )

This is a PREQUEL to the Mortal Instruments Series. It takes place approx. 1 century before the events of the Mortal Instruments Series

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Victorian, Action, Demon Hunters, Magic

Thoughts:

I recommend that you read this series after you have read the first 3 books of the Mortal Instrument Series (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass) just so you can recognize last names easily which is what I did (it was also because this book was released AFTER the first 3 had been published of the Mortal Instruments). But by no means do you have to follow this! It would probably be better to read this trilogy first but I find there are things hinted to in the later (books 3+) Mortal Instruments series that connect to the Infernal Devices that might not make sense if you read this series first.

I am a huge steampunk fan. It is definitely one of my favourite genres so this book was a win-win for me: a prequel to one of my all-time favourite series and it takes place in a steampunk world! This is probably why I enjoy this series more than the Mortal Instruments.

One reason I like this series so much is because it is so different from The Mortal Instruments. It’s not just a carbon copy, following similar plots and characters. The whole world Clare creates is different from Mortal Instruments and as such we don’t just see the battles between otherworld creatures and the like. It focuses more on magic and automations instead. It is a unique series on its own but still maintains connections to the follow-up series that fans of the series will appreciate. That being said, you can definitely expect some twists and turns along the way!

Another reason I like this series more is the characters. Like I said in my Mortal Instruments review, the characters make this series for me. However, unlike the Mortal Instruments, I really like Tessa as the heroine. She isn’t annoying to me and while I hate love triangles, I totally get her dilemma between Jem (James) and Will. It should be noted that the love triangle really only begins to make prominence in book 2, The Clockwork Prince though it begins to build in book 1, The Clockwork Angel. I also like all the secondary characters like Charlotte and Sophie as well and I devour their POV sections whenever they appear in the books.

UPDATED: I just finished Clockwork Princess last night and WOW. What a read! It was so hard to put the book down during the last 200 or so pages–despite the fact that I was dead tired I pushed on to finish the series.

I always get worried with prequel series–especially when I have read the sequel series first–because I don’t like predictable books. I like being surprised and I am glad to say that was the case here. While I suspected some things to happen I really had no idea how this book was going to end–and that made it all that more fantastic. It was a beautiful, albeit heartbreaking way, to end the series. I can only really recalling sobbing (shedding a few tears is nothing–so I am talking actual pain-in-the-throat-can’t-catch-my-breath tears here) for one other book (Beautiful Chaos, Beautiful Creatures Series #3) and I definitely did that here. I literally felt every emotion reading this last book and while it is hard to pick a favourite book, I think this last one would be it.

One thing that I love about Clare’s writing is how she ends her series. While the main climax ends (ie whatever they are fighting for), there are always a few additional chapters to tie up the lose ends in her characters’ lives (ie. romances, the Institute, etc.) and as a reader who loves these characters (and has invested a good portion of the last few years to them), I really love this. She doesn’t just give us one chapter to tie up the plot and thrust us into an epilogue. She gives us a solid few chapters of character progression and then an epilogue. The ending to this series was so satisfactory that I feel using the word “satisfactory” is an insult. It was a fantastic ending and readers who fell in love with this series will not be disappointed!

Conclusion:

An awesome steampunk read that really shows how the world Jace and Clary find themselves in centuries later is created. Fans of the Mortal Instrument Series will like this prequel and for those new to the series, this is a great way to get a feel for the world in the Mortal Instruments! A Must Read!

Rating: 5/5 (If I could rate this higher, I totally would)

Similar Reads: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments Series) and The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)

WARNING: IF YOU HAVE not FINISHED (original series) SERIES THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS may have SPOILERS!

Synopsis for Clockwork Angel (from Goodreads):
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Series Review: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for City of Bones (from Goodreads):

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #5; Sad to See Go Series 2014
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Author: Cassandra Clare
# of Books: 6 (Full List Here)

The Prequel Series is the Infernal Devices Trilogy; There will be a sequel series released in 2016 (The Dark Artifices); There is also a spin-off series, The Bane Chronicles — More Info on all here

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Action, Magic, Romance, Paranormal
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: March 2007 – May 2014
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

thoughts

I had a friend in high school who was really into this series but I didn’t actually decide to read the series until first year university. This worked to my advantage because by this time, the first three books of the series had been released and I didn’t have to wait for them to be released. Which was FANTASTIC because these books are a non-stop train of awesome and you want to stay on board for as long as possible!

No, in all seriousness, I really enjoyed these books and they were hard to put down!

The series was originally supposed to be a trilogy and you can see that in the first three books. There is a definite story arc that builds in City of Bones and City of Ashes and concludes in City of Glass. City of Fallen Angels was intended to be a spin-off of sorts but it actually begins a new arc for all the characters in the previous books. The story isn’t as strong as the first 3 books but by no means is it weak! Clare does a fantastic job of creating a probable storyline using the events of the previous 3 books in the last 3 books so fans will really enjoy books 4-6.

There is literally something for everyone in these books. There are creative and constantly twisting plots that will draw you into this story. Because the POV (though it is 3rd person) shifts amongst multiple characters there are multiple plots going on. However, it is really easy to follow what is going on. However, I recommend that you get as many of the books as possible when you start to read because you will want the next novel ASAP.

The cast of characters in this series is also amazing. There are characters you love and love to hate. There are relationships to cheer for and ones that make you cringe. There are awesome bromances and friendships–so let’s just say the characters really make this series and they a big reason this series is so addicting.

Why people might not like this series?

If you don’t like paranormal creatures (ie. vampires, werewolves, faeries, etc.) you won’t like what is going on here. The characters would also be another reason. As I said before, there are some you love to hate. I don’t particularly like Clary–my like of her fluctuates depending on what she is doing in the novel–but if you find you don’t like a character, that can be a big turn off for a book and I get that. My argument would be that you don’t like everyone in everyday life so you can tolerate those characters and focus on the ones you do like (like Alec :P).

The other argument I see people make is that it takes storylines from other series, therefore it isn’t original. Yes, it has similar stories from other books/movies/etc. but what doesn’t nowadays? When you study major English works you quickly discover that a vast majority use text references to other works–and you know what, there are actually admired and respected for the link! I would love to argue this point but to sum it up it is my opinion that Cassandra Clare has blended various story elements together to create a fantastic world with fascinating characters and plots! This world may not be for everyone but it works for me and I love it!

updates

–August 2, 2014– Book #6: City of Heavenly Fire

I just finished reading the last book of the series, City of Heavenly Fire and what a roller coaster that has been! As a huge fan of this series I couldn’t have asked for a better ending. Out of the last three novels in the series, this one was by far the best. It had the perfect blend of a fast, interesting plot but enough “character moments” (basically fan service but not the dirty kind) to satisfy longstanding fans of the series. Overall, I’m really impressed with how this last half of the series concluded and can’t wait for the next spinoff–The Dark Artifices–to begin. (And in case your wondering, we do get to meet the next set of characters for the next series and it really sets up an interesting stage for their time here).

When To Read the Infernal Devices?

I just want to say a quick word about the Infernal Devices Series and when you should read it. I read it right when it came out, which is when the first 3 books of the Mortal Instruments had been published and I continued to read them as they came out. This worked out well I would say because the prequel series is directly linked to the events of the last half (3 books) of the Mortal Instruments. So while you can read the Infernal Devices before you even read Mortal Instruments, I would almost wait until you read City of Glass to start it. But definitely read it before the last book, City of Fallen Angels or else you won’t appreciate some of the scenes and events we get because you aren’t familiar with certain characters and stories.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

overall

This is one of the best series I have ever read. While reading I’ve felt every possible emotion. I’ve cried, shrieked for joy and threatened to toss the book across the room throughout this series. I’m so addicted to this series it’s crazy. The only negative thing I have to say is that I hate waiting for the next one 😛 (But if it means that I have to wait for awesomeness then that is what I will do)! Give it a shot if you like paranormal action series, but if you don’t enjoy the first one, City of Bones, you won’t enjoy the rest of the series so it would be my advice for you to stop.

similarreads
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices, #1)
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey Series, #1)

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