Review: ‘Lady Midnight’ by Cassandra Clare – Emma and Julian have to fight against a new threat

lady midnight

Format: e-book, paperback, hard cover
Format read: e-book
Series: book 1 of The Dark Artifices series
Rating: 14+ sensual content, graphic scenes
Genre: Young Adult
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25494343-lady-midnight?from_search=true

Before we get started with this, just want to give fair warning. There are minor spoilers for the series but if you have read all the books, then it won’t be. The things I hint at are fairly obvious (especially if you read The Shadowhunter Academy and City of Heavenly Fire). With that said, let’s dive in.
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The world of Shadowhunters is not yet over and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be over for a long time. In the first book of the spin-off series, The Dark Artifices, we follow the story of two characters that we met at the end of the sixth Mortal Instruments book, Julian and Emma. At the time they were 12 years old, but you could already see a budding story forming between the two of them.

Flash foward seven years. The pair are now 19 years old and in charge of running the Institute. Julian has more responsibility then a young man should have had and the pressure weighs heavily on him. He counts on Emma, his parabatai, to help alleviate some of the pressure, but as a new threat introduces itself, he finds that being around Emma only makes it worse.

The Shadowhunters growing up basically reciting, The Law is tough, but it is the Law. The hardest rule that he has had to follow is not falling in love with his parabatai. Being a Shadowhunter fan, I knew this rule since the beginning of the series but I could never fully understand why. Why does it matter if you romantically love them? Wouldn’t that make you better, stronger? This book finally dives into the problems that stem from falling in love with your parabatai as it looks like it’s the center of the new threat.

Julian Blackthorn is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in the series. I relate to him on a lot of levels (in regards to having to grow up before being ready and being the one that has to be strong for everyone, despite). Julian is a romantic at heart but struggles with his feelings for Emma while trying to do right by his family. Emma causes him to be reckless and I love to see those moments that he throws caution to the wind and acts like a teenager. Young love gives hope and them together brings a lot of hope (along with heartbreak) with it.

Of course it wouldn’t be an epic story without an epic love story. And this one between Emma and Julian? Yeah WAY more epic than Jace and Clary. Don’t get me wrong, they had a lot of obstacles and what not, but this whole thing with Emma and Julian, there are literally no words to describe how beautiful their love is. It’s what young love is supposed to give you, hope that the world is not as messed up as you know it to be. And that scene on the beach? The best scene between the two of them. When you read it, you will know why.
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Now it wouldn’t be a Shadowhunter series without something catastrophic about to happen. In this book, it involves a string of murders that are linked to Emma’s parents’ death. Of course, she is going to want to find out the truth and she quickly sees that it’s bigger than she imagined it. The plot is going to twist, people are going to get betrayed, lines will be crossed. The question will remain who will be there at the end and what side they are going to be on.

The ending? Oh my God. There are no words to describe the ending. And I’m not even talking about the climax. Oh no. I am talking about those three chapters after the ending. The part where all my hopes and dreams go right down the tubes and in a way that I just can’t swallow. I know that it’s going to be tough to come back from the ending and I just hope that when the whole series is done, that it turns out the way that I want it to.
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I love how in depth that this whole Shadowhunter story has become. There has been a lot of successful series that have come from the original Mortal Instruments. I thought when we got to City of Heavenly Fire we finally got to a place where we could be like ‘ok I’m good now’. But no, this book begins a whole new can of worms and I can’t wait to see where Clare takes us.

Clare’s world is often compared to the kind of world that JK Rowling created with Harry Potter. Unlike that world, she didn’t get the same kind of success with the movies, but she is finding success with the show Shadowhunters on ABC Freeform. For me, the stories are different but they are the same. They both involve so many different levels and while it is a story of fantasy and fiction, it is plausible enough to be true. For me, this is the perfect find of fantasy I like to read because when I want to escape, I want to escape into a world that CAN happen, not into a world that is nonexistent.

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 Lady Midnight at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, or other major retailing locations.

What do you think of the book?

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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A look back at the books that came out in 2015

books

While the end of the year might be a good thing for some people, it might be rough for the book readers of the world. There was too long of a list of books that came out this year and not enough days in the year to keep up. When looking back at the books that came out, it’s hard to pick just one favorite above the others as it’s like trying to pick your favorite kid.

So, don’t worry. I did it for you.

There might not be any mysteries that came out this year, mainly because some of the mysteries have been done so many times before it gets repetitive. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins probably had the highest sales amongst the older generation. They were able to get consumed with that world and the mystery. It was very much like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was a few years ago. We don’t have any of those books on this list.

The list below probably relates to the people probably around the age of thirty and younger. There is a mix of books in there that some may not like and some may not agree with. Opinions are important, especially with book reading. The point is that we all are able to read the books and let them into our lives. The books that mean the most to us are the ones that we can relate to in some way, and that’s why I chose these books for the top books of 2015. Below is the list of the top ten books that came out this year.

evil never dies

10. Evil Never Dies by T.R. Ragan

Out: 8/4

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24840347-evil-never-dies?from_search=true&search_version=service

Review: https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/review-evil-never-dies-by-tr-ragan-suspenseful-finale-as-lizzy-comes-to-terms-with-her-loss/

In the latest book of the series, Lizzie struggles with the loss of Jared and trying to be the role model. She submits to the darkness in her and finds that it might not be what she thought it would be, but it might be too late for her to turn back. The story touches on the struggle that we all must deal at some point in our lives when we lose loved ones and whether or not we would submit to the darkness within, or be able to rise above it.

fall with me

9. Fall With Me by Jennifer Armentrout

Out: 3/31

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20980781-fall-with-me?from_search=true&search_version=service

Review: https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/book-review-fall-with-me-by-jennifer-armentrout-story-of-not-letting-past-ghosts-control-the-future/

I admit, initially when reading this book, I didn’t think it was one of her better books, but after reading it a second time I wonder why I thought that way. I have loved every other book that Armentrout has written and I think that I had such high expectations for this book. When reading in between the lines, I see how beautiful the relationship between Reese and Roxy is and how pride is an ugly thing that can keep love from happening.

papper hearts cover

8. Paper Hearts by Claire Contreras

Out: 9/9

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25284952-paper-hearts?from_search=true&search_version=service

Review: https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/release-day-blitz-paper-hearts-by-claire-contreras/

Like the first book of the series, this story has a beautiful couple that you just want to hate because they are so cute. They were torn apart because of circumstances and once again pride shows its ugly head and keeps them apart. It’s not until they get older and wiser that they see that love is more important than one’s pride. I love every character that Contreras creates because they are real and can relate to anyone that reads the books. Hard feat to do for an author.

scorched

7. Scorched by Jennifer Armentrout

Out: 6/16

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18045624-scorched?from_search=true&search_version=service

Review: https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/review-scorched-by-jennifer-armentrout-a-heartbreaking-story-of-overcoming-one-of-lifes-hardest-things/

It’s these kinds of books that make me love Armentrout’s writing. While she may create characters that are similar and have their own bubbly lingo, she will throw in a deeply flawed character that we get to transform into that beautiful swan. This story touches on something that hit close to me and I couldn’t help but understand the story that much more. Alcohol is a problem for millions of people out there (whether it effects them directly or indirectly) and it hurts deeper sometimes than physical pain.

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6. The Shadowhunter Academy series by Cassandra Clare

Out: around the 20th of every month

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=shadowhunter+academy

In the surprise series released by Cassandra Clare, we get to watch one of our favorite characters, Simon, as he tries to insert his life into the Shadowhunters. While he has some of his memories back, he doesn’t have the core ones. Like the ones that connect him with Clary and Isabelle. At times, he can be annoying with it (especially the first few novellas) but he finally comes to his senses towards the end. The best part of the series, though, is that we get to see the background stories for all these characters that we heard about and how they effected the Shadowhunter world. Especially for Valentine and how he came to power. A must read for anyone who is a fan of the series.

nowhere but here

5. Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry

Out: 5/26

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23492282-nowhere-but-here?from_search=true&search_version=service

Review: https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/book-review-nowhere-but-here-by-katie-mcgarry-story-of-living-life-to-the-fullest-and-to-face-your-fears/

She is not like many of the other authors on this list where she had multiple books that come out each year, but when she does release a book, it’s one that you get right away and then obsess over it. This book is the first book of the series and it’s a spin-off of sorts from her last series. She talks about the importance of living your own life and not letting your past dictate it for you. Like many of her other books, she is able to bring characters to life that we can relate to in some way and hope that things turn out well for them in the end.

confess

4. Confess by Colleen Hoover

Out: 3/10

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22609310-confess?from_search=true&search_version=service

Review: https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/review-confess-by-colleen-hoover-story-of-loss-love-and-how-amazing-fate-can-be/

When reading this book, I was not expecting to like it as much I did. I read the blurb and I was like ‘eh this sounds interesting enough to read’. But after reading it, I was obsessed. Especially after finding out that the confessions in the book are all real. Some of them are dark and sinister while others are funny and light. It’s those dark ones that make you see how ugly the world can be and how it’s something that should be recognized. I liked how Hoover was able to work that kind of theme into her story, without it being the center point for it.

king tyrant-cover

3. King/Tyrant by T.M. Frazier

Out: 6/15 and 8/16

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27918024-king-tyrant?from_search=true&search_version=service

Review: Kinghttps://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/release-day-blitz-for-king-by-tm-frazier/

Tyrant – https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/tyrant-by-tm-frazier-release-day-blitz-and-review/

If you want to a read series and literally curse out the author from start to finish, then start reading this series. It dominates your life and doesn’t let go. If you join the Facebook group you will see that you are not the only one who suffers from King-itis. Frazier creates characters that we love but there are so many twists and turns that you never know what to expect. It’s the perfect book to read when you want to get worked up and get all crazed over.

say my name under my skin on my knees

2. Stark International series by J. Kenner

Out: 4/7, 6/23, 9/1

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/series/118761-stark-international-trilogy

Review: Say my Name https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/book-review-say-my-name-by-j-kenner-story-of-a-broken-woman-learning-to-trust-again/

On my Knees https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/book-review-on-my-knees-by-j-kenner-a-little-repetitive-but-sets-up-what-should-be-an-explosive-finale/

Under my Skinhttps://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/review-under-my-skin-by-j-kenner-jackson-and-sylvia-deal-with-the-ghosts-of-their-pasts/

It’s not very often where the sequel is better than the originally, but in this case, it is. Damien’s series is good in its own way, but I found that I liked the relationship between Sylvia and Jackson a whole lot more. They had more layers and I felt that we got to see more of a transformation for the characters throughout the series. Kenner had enough twists and turns that kept you coming back for more and demanding to know what happens next.

lawless

1. Lawless by T.M. Frazier

Out: 12/8

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25756072-lawless?from_search=true&search_version=service

Review: https://nerdysoul.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/lawless-by-t-m-frazier-book-tour/

There are really no words to describe how amazing this book is. While the King part of the series has its own dark secrets, this story never had gotten me so angry before. I never actively spent time in a discussion group talking about a book because it was THAT good. It made me want to hunt down Frazier and demand answers. It’s hard to make a book that creates such a reaction from the fans and the torture is waiting for the next installment to come out. COME ON FE-BEAR-Y!

What book did you like the most this year?

 

Book of the Week – ‘Angels Twice Descending’ by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

angels twice descending

This is the final book of the series and we are going to see what happens to Simon as his training comes to a close. He has been through so much during his training and has learned a lot about the life that was taken from him. Now, he will face a whole mess of new problems and he will once and for all see if he has what it takes to be a Shadowhunter.

Are you going to buy Angels Twice Descending?

 

Book of the Week – “The Whitechapel Fiend” by Cassandra Clare

whitechapel fiend

In the third part of the novella series, Simon continues his training at the Shadow Hunter Academy and the stakes are higher then they’ve been before. Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders and he starts to see the results of his decision to join the Academy.

We dive deeper into the world that was created in The Mortal Instruments as Simon is tested in more ways then he ever thought possible. Cassandra Clare has sent us on an exciting journey so far and it’s only going to get better from here.

You can buy The Whitechapel Fiend on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Are you going to buy The Whitechapel Fiend?

The next two covers for “The Shadowhunter Academy” by Cassandra Clare have been released

shadowhunter academy 2

The cover for the next two books in The Shadowhunter Academy series by Cassandra Clare have been released by Entertainment Weekly along with the official synopsis for each novella.

the whitechapel fiend

In The Whitechapel Fiend, There are two guest teachers this week, and—just Simon’s luck—they’re both Herondales. When Jace teaches a class at the Academy, warlock Tessa visits to share the true story of the Jack the Ripper murders.

nothing but shadows

In Nothing but Shadows, Simon is not the first student to feel out of place at The Shadowhunter Academy—half-warlock and total bookworm James Herondale certainly didn’t quite fit in with the other students. Simon learns about James’ time at the Academy and discovers what it means to find a place you belong in this prelude to The Last Hours.

Simon is still in The Shadowhunter Academy learning about how to be a Shadowhunter and each story dives deeper into the dangers that they have to deal with. All this is happening while Simon is slowly getting his memory back from before it was taken from him.

The Whitechapel Fiend is expected to come out April 21st and Nothing but Shadows is set to come out May 19th.

Both books are available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

What do you think of the covers?

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The first two covers of “The Shadowhunter Academy” released

shadowhunter-academy-01shadowhunter-academy-02

Yesterday, the first two covers of Cassandra Clare’s new e-series were released on Entertainment Weekly’s website. The series was announced in October and that she is going to be writing the series with Sarah Rees Brennan, Robin Wasserman, and Maureen Johnson.

The first book, Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy, will follow Simon as he struggles with who he is in the world as he tries to get back his memories that were taken from him.

Along with the covers was also the first synopsis, which can be read below.

After living as a mundane and a vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy. Simon Lewis has been many things. A mundane. A vampire. A hero. But Simon can’t remember any of that. His memories of adventures with Clary, Isabelle, and the rest of the New York Shadowhunters were erased by a demon, and now Simon is eager to reclaim that part of himself. But will he ever get back the parts of himself that he lost? Does he even want to?

The second novella , The Last Herondale, follows Simon as he continues his training and learns about the rules of being a Shadowhunter. You can read the full synopsis below.

Simon learns about the worst thing a Shadowhunter can do: desert their comrades. In the early 19th century, Tobias Herondale abdandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived…could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?

You can preorder the entire series on Amazon, Barnes and Noble (only the first novella), and Amazon UK (just the first two).

Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy is set come out February 17th with The Lost Herondale coming out March 17th.

What do you think of the cover?

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