Review – ‘The Shadowhunter Academy’ by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Robin Wasserman – Simon learns to be the hero that he’s always been

shadowhunter academy series

Format: e-book

Format read: e-book

Rating: 14+ sensual content, some graphic scenes

Genre: Young Adult

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/series/129925-tales-from-the-shadowhunter-academy

In the ten-book novella series, we follow Simon as he embarks on a journey through the newly reformed Shadowhunter Academy as he tries to get his memories back and get back to the life that he has now forgotten. He meets some new friends at the school, and quickly sees that he may be a hero in their eyes, but doesn’t feel worthy of the title. At least, not yet.

As the series progresses, Simon gets to learn more about himself. He learns that not only he can be a Shadowhunter, but he can be a good one. Like he said, he might have gone to the Academy for Clary and Isabelle, he stayed for himself. He learned that he does have the skills to be a successful Shadowhunter and that he really is that person that his friends remember him as.

There are times when Simon can be unsure of himself, annoyingly so, it causes conflict with his relationship with Clary and Isabelle (especially). His low self-esteem wants him to try and be the person that they remember but they know that he is, whether or not he can remember.

By the 5th book or so, Simon starts to come to the realization that Isabelle loves him for who he is, not some version of himself that he doesn’t think that he is. As the rest of the series progresses, Simon and Isabelle get back to what they were before and they are so cute that it’s hard not to just hate them for the amount of cute that they are. If it was a part of social media it would #RelationshipGoals. They joke around with one another and bring love into the dark world that they know that Shadowhunters have to live in. By the end of the book, I find that I like their relationship more than any other in the series.

While Simon was the focus of the series, he wasn’t the only story that we got to dive into. In fact, we got to dive into many stories. All of the stories that we have come to known (and will know) are brought in as we get to dive deeper into the complex world that Clare has created. We find out the backstory of Teresa, Will, and Jem from The Infernal Devices as they struggle to raise their kids in a time when they weren’t socially accepted. The best addition to the series was Magnus’s and Alec’s relationship. We see them transform into a power couple and best of all, we see them both happy.

Of course there is a twist ending at the end of the series, because she pretty much went the whole series without one. Clare is known for having twists at the best times in her series that leave the fans talking about it for days to come after. This series is no different. At the end of the last novella, something happens that is shocking (but maybe not so much if you paid attention to the detail). Even if you knew what was going to happen, you wished that it wouldn’t. It is one of those kinds of endings.

While the series was short and broken up over most of a year, it did provide us with a lot of information that we can use for the rest of the series as it looks to expand in March. The novella series makes you want more of Simon and his life (especially since he brings a fun way of looking at things) but overall it allows fans a deeper look into the series that we love as we get ready for the next series.

Rating: A+

To keep up to date on news from Cassandra Clare, you can go to her website, Follow her on Twitter, Follow her on Tumblr, or ‘Like’ her on Facebook.

You can buy the series on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or iBooks.

What did you think of the series?

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Book of the Week – “The Bane Chronicles” by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

the bane chronicles

In this spin-off series, we follow Bane and all the stories of his life before we meet him The Mortal Instruments and then again in The Infernal Devices. There was quite a big changes between his character in both of those series and it’s going to be fun to read more of his stories especially if the story is told form his point of view. He’s certainly one of the funniest characters in the Shadowhunter world.

Are you going to buy The Bane Chronicles?

“The Mortal Instruments” vs. “The Infernal Devices”

battle

With the final book in The Mortal Instruments recently released, it ends the second big series to come from author Cassandra Clare. Last year, she had finished her trilogy The Infernal Devices, which was a prequel of sorts for The Mortal Instruments. Fans who have read both series can’t help but compare the two series to see which book series actually came out better.

Below is the list of the major categories and how each book fared and which book did better. You should know that there are going to be plot points discussed below so if you haven’t read both series yet, then I would wait until you have before reading this. Unless of course you don’t care about spoilers.

Storyline

Clare has created such a complex and diverse world that she spent a lot of time creating in the minds of her fans. At times it was tedious, but in the end it was well worth it. The world of Shadow hunters is crazy and scary, but it makes all the things for an exciting adventure.

TMI was essentially supposed to end after three books but Clare really enjoyed writing about these characters so she added three more books. You can clearly see the divide between the two series as they really do feel like two separate series. While some might think it’s bad, it’s actually a good thing. You pretty much got two series for the price of one. We got to keep reading about the characters that we fell in love and the series that started the whole Shadow Hunter thing.

TID took us back in time in the world of Shadow Hunters. While it was not really the beginning, it offered a look at how long Shadow Hunting has been around. We get a whole new list of characters (even though they have similarities to those from TMI). We got to meet and hope for a whole new list of characters as they face off against a new villain. This story was a bit more prim and proper (as it took place in England) but certainly showed a darker side to Clare and this world she’s created.

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WINNER: TMI. With the detailed storyline and exceptional amount of detail that went into this series it has to be the winner. This is the series that started it all and you can not beat the original. This is the core of all her other series and they all come back to this. There is no way that this series could not win this category as without it, the other series would not exist.

Climax

With every major series there is a climax of the series, which is basically the point that the author has been working towards since starting the series. Both series had a big battle that of course lead to casualties but which book did it better?

TMI had a lot of loose ends that it needed to tie up which could is why it had such high expectations. There were a lot of little battles throughout the story that certainly kept you reading from chapter to chapter. A lot of relationships were put to the test as war has a way of making you realize that the end could be coming soon. The characters had to face their fears and try and conquer them before it’s too late. The ending was bittersweet as Simon ultimately gets what he wants (becoming mortal and a shadow hunter) but at the cost of his memory. This was a great twist to the story as we didn’t expect something like this to happen. The ending makes you see that there could be a chance he remembers but we all know that it’s more or less just wishful thinking.

TID ended with a big battle as Tessa really sees her brother for who he is. There are a lot of lives lost in the battle but in the end she is able to win by trapping the spirit in her clockwork angel. This of course comes after the fact that we finally get the answer that Tessa is a warlock and that’s why she was essentially the chosen one. The ending perhaps is the best as we see Tessa not only get her happy ever after with Will, but with Jem as well.

infernal

WINNER: TID. With the fact that TMI had extended the series I had expected a big battle, but was sadly disappointed. The fight was hardly a fight and it felt very anticlimactic. TID had a big battle and of course the big surprise that Jem is Brother Zachariah certainly helped it. With each ending, the story either needs a big action sequence or a twist to make it all worth it and TID did just that.

Character Development

Both stories had very similar characters. So that would make comparing these two stories easy considering they both had the same starting point and same ending point. The only difference is that TMI had six books to develop the characters where TID only had three.

TMI had essentially two focal characters in Jace and Clary. Yes there was a laundry list full of characters in this story that you could argue make up the cast, but it’s obvious that Jace and Clary were Clare’s main focus when she wrote the series. Jace was a broken mess of a person who never let anyone in until he met Clary. Clary was someone who was sheltered for so long she didn’t know just how strong of a person that she is. Watching as these two meet and fall in love and use that love to become the people that they are destined to be, it was nothing short of spectacular.

TID has three main characters in Jem, Tessa, and Will. Tessa was a very frustrating character as she kept flipping back and forth between Jem and Will. Of course you have those who are Team Will and those who are Team Jem but really, she couldn’t lose either way. Tessa changed Will in a way that he needed. He needed to grow up and start thinking about other people rather then just himself all the time. Jem finally saw peace in his life, even though he knew it was going to be short lived. While his love for Tessa made him hate his fate in the end, it was her love that gave him the peace of mind that love is worth having even if for a short amount of time. Straight out of a romance novel, Tessa didn’t think she was ever good enough to get a boy to fall in love with her and she suddenly finds two of them in love with her. At times she frustrates us as she is stubborn and indecisive but as we read on we see that it’s never easy to choose when you love two different people.

infernal

WINNER: TID. There was a better gradual change in the three characters and it was heartbreaking as you get to see it happening. Clary and Jace had more of an abrupt change that made it a little harder to swallow in the end.

 Romance

 Of course you can’t have an epic tale without some kind of romance. Romance or a love story gives something for the fans to root for. Something to hold on to. To hope for. Both books had a war so to speak that the main character had to fight through and each one had a love interest that they had to help the through it.

Each of the series had a love triangle of sorts (more apparent in TID then in TMI) and its something that is overly done in stories, especially ones like this. Though while they were there, the romance didn’t take away from the story or the main part of what Clare was trying to write. They were there to try and help the story and show that there is a small bright side to the darkness that is occurring.

In TMI, we got an epic romance between Jace and Clary that spanned over six books. They met and of course fell in love instantly. Clary was not the type of person that Jace ever thought he would fall for but when you see the two of them together you can see why. She challenges him and makes him see that he’s not the evil person that he thinks that he is. Jace encourages Clary to be brave and shows her that she can do anything that she sets her mind to.

TMI also had more romance in the stories because of the large number of characters it had in comparison to TID. Not only did we have Jace and Clary to root for but Simon and Isabelle together and Magnus and . Each relationship had a chance to lose the other and you did not want that to happen. You wanted everyone to get their happy ever after because that’s how things should be after a war.

In TID, Tessa fell in love with both Will and Jem. Will was exciting and dangerous and brought out a reckless side in Tessa. Jem was safe and was the type of person that she could always count on no matter what. Each of them brought made Tessa feel things that she’s never felt before but of course it comes down to who she loved most. This really became a team Will/team Jem thing rather quickly. Both guys had their strong points that made you root for them and it was hard to try and choose just one. Clare had the same problem as she was able to work it so that Tessa got to be with both Will and Jem in the end.

mortal

Winner: TMI. Jace and Clary had so much passion and hardships that they had to go through that they were the ones that you were rooting for from day one. There was too much back and forth in TID with Tessa and Will and Jem. It got to confusing that it was a little boring at times. In TMI, you didn’t know what was going to happen from chapter to chapter and that’s what made it more interesting. Also, with the fact that you had three relationship to hope for made it more agonizing because you believed that it was impossible for all three to come out on top and it’s very relieving to know that they did.

With all the main categories done, it looks like the winner is….drum roll please….

It is…..The Infernal Devices.

infernal

The Mortal Instruments had all the makings to be a great series but the fact that it didn’t reach the expectations that I had for the series made it fall short in this battle. TID had a great story and a complex set of characters. The fact that it did have a smaller cast made it easier to read as it didn’t get confusing at who was who. Knowing that TMI is the jumping off point for other series can explain why there are so many characters but it got confusing at who was who and what happened in each character’s life.

What series do you like better?

Book review: “City of Heavenly Fire” by Cassandra Clare – epic conclusion that will leave the fans satisfied

cohf

Format: ebook, paperback, hardcover
Series: book 6 of 6 of The Mortal Instruments series
Rating: 14+ for language, sensual content, dark themes
Genre: Young Adult
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8755785-city-of-heavenly-fire

In the final book in The Mortal Instruments series, the shadow hunters must come together to try and take down their greatest enemy yet, Sebastian, before he destroys everything that they hold dear.

Fans of the series, know that Cassandra Clare is not one to leave a stone unturned. In this conclusion, which stands 700+ pages, she is able to capture multiple points of views, making sure that the fans know everything that is going on. Writing the final book in a long series, or for any series for that matter, is very hard because you have the hard task of trying to satisfy every fan. This is virtually impossible so it’s best to do what deserves to be done and Clare did this for the story.

While she teased with the teaser cover that there would be a lot of deaths, you can rest assure, that while there is a lot of deaths, it’s not the number that you probably have in your head. And the ones who did lose their lives, they did it in honor and Clare was respectable in the manner in which they died.

What I enjoyed most about this story was how she was able to link her other book series into this one (The Bane Chronicles and The Infernal Devices) while also setting up her new series (The Dark Artifices) without it taking away from The Mortal Instruments series. If you haven’t read these series, it’s ok. You don’t need to to understand what’s going on. It’s just adds to your reading experience because when they make references to those stories, you know what they are talking about.

The Mortal Instruments series as a whole is a very complex series that has a lot of twists and turns, but is centered around Clary and Jace. So naturally, fans want to see these two grow as people and they certainly have changed a lot throughout the series. Their relationship matures and becomes it’s own in this story, but in regards to character development, one could argue that Alec and Magnus’s relationship had the most development. Magnus is a very old warlock set in his ways, but all that changes when he meets shy, timid Alec. Alec always felt he wasn’t good enough, always in the shadow of Jace but he really becomes his own when Magnus gives him the courage to be who he is.

The other main relationship Simon and Isabelle had their problems but in the end, Simon was able to break through Isabelle’s tough exterior. She never watned to fall in love because she thought it made her weak, but he made her see just how strong she was because of their love. It’s a beautiful relationship and perhaps the one that you are rooting for since book three.

This book will leave the fans of the series satisfied and complete with the series. While of course you want more, you can rest assure that we will probably see them again in the Dark Artifices so while their story may be over, we will get to see them again. It’s like saying good-bye to your friends from school knowing that it’s only a matter of time before we meet again.

To keep up to date on news from Cassandra Clare, you can go to her website, Follow her on Twitter, Follow her on Tumblr, or ‘Like’ her on Facebook.

The Mortal Instruments series:

Book #1 – City of Bones
Book #2- City of Ashes
Book #3- City of Glass
Book #4- City of Fallen Angels
Book #5- City of Lost Souls
Book #6- City of Heavenly Fire

as published by on examiner.com

A new Shadowhunter trilogy to be released

Today, Cassandra Clare has announced through her Twitter page that she is working on a new trilogy for her Shadowhunter fans. This is good news for fans that have liked The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices as both series are either finished or will be finishing soon.

Clare Tweeted about the announcement of Walker Books buying the new series which was already rumored to be true on Goodreads.

The new trilogy, called The Last Hours, will follow Will’s and Tessa’s children, James and Lucie and a few others in 1903 as the fight against the demons in an Edwardian time. Clare explains that the inspirations for the new series comes from Charles Dickenson’s The Great Expectations.

Some other key points to pull from the posting is that there is going to be three books: Chain of Thorns, Chain of Gold, and Chain of Iron. She has no schedule set for the books, but considering that she has this much information set, I wouldn’t be surprised if she has at least a rough draft for Chain of Thorns done.

You can read the full excerpt, you can go here.

Clare has a busy schedule ahead of her. Including this new series, she will be releasing nine books in the next few years, which include the final book in The Mortal Instruments, City of Heavenly Fire, and introductions into three new series: Magisterium, The Last Hours, and The Dark ArtificesThe Iron Trial, the first book in the Magisterium series, is set to come out September 14th, while Chain of Thorns (first book in The Last Hours) and Lady Midnight (first book in The Dark Artifices) have a 2015 publication date.

What do you think of the new series?

as published by on examiner.com

‘City of Heavenly Fire’ cover reveal date released

cover

Yesterday, Cassandra Clare, author of The Moral Instruments and The Infernal Devices, has announced via her blog that she will be releasing the cover of her new book City of Heavenly Fire January 14th on The Insider at 7pm EST on CBS.

In this book, the Shadowhunters must band together to fight off Clary’s brother and try and save the world from the darkness.

Clare has already released a cryptic cover-hold that states ‘Who Will Survive?’ It sounds as if there will be a lot of deaths in the final book and she has said everyone is fair game.

City of Heavenly Fire is the 6th and supposedly final book of The Mortal Instruments. The Mortal Instruments was initial meant to be a trilogy, but Clare liked writing these characters so much, that she added three more books.

To add the book to your Goodreads, go here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8755785-city-of-heavenly-fire?from_search=true

as published by on examiner.com