Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Review of Clockwork Prince, Book 2 in the Infernal Devices

Clockwork Prince
(The Infernal Devices Book#2)
By Cassandra Clare


About
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.


Source: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10025305-clockwork-prince

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Thoughts
Poor, poor william... my heart broke for him when he discovered that he had been tricked by the blue demon in thinking he had been cursed and that he had been pushing everyone he loved away for no reason. All his sacrifices, leaving his family, treating everyone with disdain, there was no reason for it because he had not been cursed. Then when he finally admits his feelings for Tessa, hoping it's not too late and she could forgive him, he discovers she is engaged to his parabatai; Jem. Ouch! The two people he loves most in the world. Poor, poor Will, the unfairness of it all. 
 
Tessa also suffered greatly, caught between the two boys she loves. Her first love was Will but after she discovers he thinks of her as a toy and he openly admits there is no future for a shadowhunter who dallies with a warlock, heartbroken she finds comfort in Jem. The kindness and love Jem gives to Tessa eases her pain and she begins to fall in love for him, whilst still in love with Will. Finally Tessa chooses Jem only to discover the reasoning behind Will's cruel behaviour, and that he only kept her away to keep her safe. But it was too little too late, Tessa had committed herself to Jem and she could not go back on her word.
Despite the above, I am happy for Jem. He is so sweet and kind, only looking for the best in others, he really does deserve to be happy. I just wish his happiness was in someone else! 
 
Henry and Charlotte finally resolve their misunderstandings and I might sound too soppy now but at least someone has a happy story. The news of their baby was a brilliant ending to the book.

I am glad we saw less of Jessamine in this book; the foolish girl. If Nate can happily give his sister over for wealth and power, what possible chance did she have? The scene where Sophie knocks Jessamine out with a mirror was hilarious; she deserved it, and more!
 
As for Starkweather's weird behaviour towards Tessa, I find it strange, considering there is no love lost between him and Charlotte yet he has a softness for Tessa... perhaps he knows something about Tessa's magical side? Its like he feels responsible for her, like one would do with family. ..hmmm
 
To conclude, again a fantastic story, more heartbreak but still lots of adventure and funny quotes from Will
 
Zed (:
 
Favourite Quotes...

"...As for the rest of you-" He [Henry] paused for a moment, as if he were about to give them an order- send them to bed, perhaps, or back to the library to do more research. The moment passed, and a look of puzzlement crossed his face. "Blast it, I can't remember what I was going to say," he announced, and vanished into the kitchen.

"Darling" said Henry anxiously, coming around the desk to where his wife was sitting, "are you quite alright? You look a bit-splotchy."
He wasn't wrong. Red patches of rage had broken out over Charlotte's face and throat.
"I think it's charming," said Will. "I've heard polka dots are the last word in fashion this season."

"She also said she can use a nail clipping, or a strand of hair-"
"So you're suggesting we take the train up to York, meet a ninety-year-old man, leap on him, and yank out his hair? I'm sure the Clave will be ecstatic."
"They'll just say you're mad," said Jessamine. "They already think it, so what's the difference, really?"

Will threw up his hands. "That's it? You're coming because you've never been on a train before?"
"Yes," she said, knowing how much her calm demeanor drove him mad. "I should like to ride in one, very much."
"Trains are great dirty smoky things," said Will. "You won't like it."
Tessa was unmoved. "I won't know if I like it until I try it, will I?"
"I've never swum naked in the Thames, but I know I wouldn't like it."
"But think how entertaining for sightseers,"

"Do you miss Wales?" Tessa inquired. She wasn't sure why she did it; she knew asking about his past was like poking a dog with a sore tail, but she couldn't seem to help it.
Will shrugged lightly. "What's to miss? Sheep and singing," he said. "And the ridiculous language. Fe hoffwn I fod mor feddw, fyddai ddim yn cofio fy enw."
"What does that mean?"
"It means 'I wish to get so drunk I no longer remember my own name,' Quite useful."

"Perhaps we could say she's a mad maiden aunt who insists on chaperoning us everywhere."
"My aunt or yours?" Jem enquired.
"Yes, she doesn't really look like either of us, does she? Perhaps she's a girl who's fallen madly in love with me and persists in following me wherever I go."
"My talent is shape-shifting, Will, not acting," said Tessa, and at that, Jem laughed out loud.

"And filth everywhere, and everyone breathing down one another's necks," countered Will. "When I first arrived in London, I so quickly tired of being surrounded by so many people that it was only with great difficulty that I refrained from seizing the next unfortunate who crossed my path and committing violent acts upon their person."
"Some might say you retain that problem," said Tessa, but Will just laughed- a short, nearly surprised sound of amusement- and then stopped, looking ahead of them to Ravenscar Manor.

The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms were broken if revealed
- Charlotte Bronte, "Evening Solace"

"Yes, you've said that already," said Tessa. She heard the sharpness in her own voice, and softened it with an effort. It was unkind to speak so to someone so obviously distraught, even if he did insist on staring into space and muttering "Cecily" at intervals.

"He fell in love," said Jem. "It isn't that peculiar."
"'Fell' into it," said the warlock, still with the same faint smile. "Hurtled into it is more like. Headlong-crashed into it. Still, there are always some men like that- just one woman for them, and only she will do, or nothing.

She had taken him for granted, she thought with surprise and shame, watching the flickering candlelight. She had assumed his kindness was so natural and so innate, she had never asked herself whether it cost him any effort. Any effort to stand between Will and the world, protecting each of them from the other. Any effort to accept the loss of his family with equanimity. Any effort to remain cheerful and calm in the face of his own dying.

"Oh bother," said Jessamine. "Is this one of those days where we all stalk out in a fury? Because I simply haven't got the energy for it." She put her head down on her arms and closed her eyes.

"Well," Tessa said, sighting along the line of the knife, "you behave as if you dislike me. In fact, you behave as if you dislike us all."
"I don't," Gabriel said. "I just dislike him." He pointed at Will.
"Dear me," said Will, and he took another bite of his apple. "Is it because I'm better-looking than you?"
"Both of you be quiet," Gideon called from across the room. "We're meant to be working, not snapping at each other over years-old petty disagreements."
"Petty?" Gabriel snarled. "He broke my arm."
Will took another bite out of his apple. "I can hardly believe you're still upset about that."

Will looked at her, his blue eyes quizzical, his mouth just beginning to quirk up in a grin. "I must be more amusing that I thought. Which would make me very amusing indeed."

"...I suppose I am asking your forgiveness for my lack of consideration." His voice dropped. "Everyone makes mistakes, Jem."
"Yes," said Jem. "You just make more of them than most people."

"You swore to stay with me," he said. "When we made our oath, as parabatai. Our souls are knit. We are one person, James."
"We are two people," said Jem. "Two people with a covenant between us."
Will knew he sounded like a child, but he could not help it. "A covenant that says you must not go where I cannot come with you."
"Until death," Jem replied gently. "Those are the words of the oath. 'Until aught but death part thee and me.' Someday, Will, I will go where none can follow me, and I think it will be sooner rather than later."

"Let me see if I have this quite correct," said Tessa after a pause. "Jessamine found you with the invitation in your hand, so you struck her over the head with a mirror and tied her to her bed?"
Sophie nodded.

"...I got up beside her and commenced reading from Tatiana's diary."
"Oh, Will- you didn't!"
"I did," he said, "She had rhymed 'William' with 'million,' as in 'You will never know, sweet William / How many are the million / ways in which I love you.' It had to be stopped."
"What happened?"
"Oh, Tatiana ran out of the room in tears, and Gabriel leaped onto the stage and attempted to strangle me. Gideon simply stood there with his arms crossed. You'll notice that's all he ever does."
"I suppose Gabriel didn't succeed," said Tessa. "In strangling you, I mean."
"Not before I broke his arm," said Will with relish.

Could you really love two different people at once? Could you split your heart in half?

"Yes, you are," Magnus said, and kissed him. It wasn't the most dramatic kiss, but Will flailed his free arm as if a bee had landed on him; Magnus had to hope Camille would assume this was passion. When they broke apart, Will looked stunned. So did Camille, for that matter.

"Having a lie-in, no doubt," said Jem, "and as for him being a witness, well, everyone thinks Will is a lunatic as it is-"
"Ah," said a voice from the doorway, "having your annual everyone-thinks-Will-is-a-lunatic meeting, are you?"
"It's biannual," said Jem. "And nom this is not that meeting."

Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.

"That's what I thought about you," she said wonderingly. "Could we really both have been so stupid?"
"Well, I'm not surprised about me," said Henry. "But honestly, Charlotte, you ought to have known better."

"Have you gone quite mad?" she asked him. "You say 'demon pox' the way someone else might say 'massive surprise inheritance.' Are you really that pleased?"

If it had been anyone else in the world- but she did not love anyone else in the world. There were the boys she loved. For better. And for worse.

"I used to think if I married Master Jem-" Sophie picked at the blanket, then looked up and smiled bleakly. "You haven't broken his heart yet, have you?"
"No," Tessa said. Just torn my own in two. "I haven't broken his heart at all."


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Infernal Devices book 1 review!

Clockwork Angel
(The Infernal Devices #1)
by Cassandra Clare


About
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.


Source: Goodreads
My rating: 5+ stars

My thoughts

As you may know, the infernal devices series is linked to the mortal instruments and after reading the mortal instruments series I just had to read anything and everything else Cassandra Clare wrote. However, if truth be told I did not expect any of her other books to be nearly as good as mortal instruments. How wrong I could be.

Clockwork Angel is a wonderful read, and more so because it is set in England as it used to be. And so, the language is the lovely, prim and proper English that I adore, although I may be biased considering I live in England! The regular references to classic literature, and poems adds to the books' appeal.

This book was more of a mystery/detective story than mortal instruments and although I should not really compare the two I cannot help myself. Again, there is a very handsome, vain and witty boy called William, who has similarities with Jace from TMI. Then there is Tessa, who has some likeness to Clary, in that she was unaware of the Shadowhunter, is brave and can speak back to Will. Jessamine is quite the drama queen, who grew up with the boys and so she has some similarities to Isabelle from TMI. But unlike Isabelle, Jessamine hates being a Shadowhunter and does not like to fight. Her greatest ambition is to lead a normal life as a lady, marry and have babies, all without the drama and violence that the Shadow World involves.

Jem, on the other hand, is unlike characters from TMI. He has a sweet, kind nature and is suffering from a mysterious illness, which is why he cannot fight as much as he would like. Jem and Will both live in the Institute and are fighting partners; parabatai. I can sense that there will be problems in their friendship since both seem to take an interest in Tessa, which will be a considerable shame. I hate it when good friendships crumble because of a girl/boy.
 
I felt so sorry for Tessa, orphaned and then her aunt dies. The only family member that is living is her brother Nathaniel but she cannot find him and fears his safety. In addition, after being tortured by the Dark Sisters, her dormant ability comes to light. Tessa is a shapeshifter in that she can will herself to 'change' into any other person providing she has some object of that person's. This ability makes Tessa feel even more alone than before because she not a shadowhunter, but is not human either. No one is sure what she is :S

It is unfair of me to compare the two series but the main similarity between the two are that they are both fascinating reads. There is much humour in Clockwork Angel, and you can see snippets of that in my favourite quotes below.

I was afraid to read a book by Cassandra Clare other than TMI but I am glad I have begun reading the Infernal Devices series. The only problem is that I believe there are only 3 books in this series, yet!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes

Without him, she was completely alone in the world. There was no one at all for her. No one in the world who cared whether she lived or died. Sometimes the horror of that thought threatened to overwhelm her and plunge her down into a bottomless darkness from which there would be no return. If no one in the entire world cared about you, did you really exist at all?

"How can you not understand?" He pointed at her books. "You read novels. Obviously, I'm here to rescue you. Don't I look like Sir Galahad?" He raised his arms dramatically. "'My strength is as the strength of tem, Because my heart is pure--'"
Something echoed, far away inside the house- the sound of a door slamming.
Will said a word Sir Galahad would never have said, and sprang away from the window.

"As for the temperature of Hell, Miss Gray," he said, "let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome fellow who's trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs."

"You know what this means?"
Will set the vase down. "That you set yourself on fire and didn't even notice?"
"That the flame-retardant mixture I developed last week works!" Henry said proudly. "This material must have been burning for a good ten minutes, and it isn't even half burned through!" He squinted down at his arm. "Perhaps I ought to set the other sleeve on fire and see how long-"
"Henry," said Charlotte, who appeared to have recovered from her shock. "If you set yourself on fire deliberately, I will institute divorce proceedings. Now sit down and eat your supper."

Will took several chocolate tarts from the plate where they had been left to cool on the table. Will offered one to Tessa.
She shuddered. "Oh, no. I hate chocolate."
Will looked horrified. "What kind of monster could possible hate chocolate?"

"I never liked it much- seemed like so much nonsense."
Will's eyes were very blue. "There's plenty of sense in nonsense sometimes, if you wish to look for it."

"Be careful with it, though. It's six hundred years old and the only copy of its kind. Losing or damaging it is punishable by death under the Law."
Tessa thrust the book away from her as if it were on fire. "You can't be serious."
"You're right. I'm not." Will leaped down from the ladder and landed lightly in front of her. "You do believe everything I say, though don't you? Do I seem unusually trustworthy to you, or are you just the naïve sort?"

"Oh-Armadale! And The Woman in White...Are you laughing at me?"
"Not at you," said Will, grinning, "more because of you. I've never seen anyone get so excited over books before. You'd think they were diamonds."
"Well, they are, aren't they? Isn't there anything you love like that? And don't say 'spats' or 'lawn tennis' or something silly."
"Good Lord," he said with mock horror, "it's like she knows me already."

"What to do with you, of course. Downworlders can't live in the Institute forever," said Will. "I say we sell her to the Gypsies on Hampstead Heath," he added, turning to Charlotte. "I hear they purchase spare women as well as horses."
"Will, stop it." Charlotte glanced up from her breakfast. "That's ridiculous."
Will leaned back in his chair. "You're right. They'd never buy her. Too scrawny."

"A lady does not read the newspaper. The society pages, perhaps, or the theatre news. Not this filth."
"But you are not a lady, Jessamine-," Charlotte began.
"Dear me," said Will. "Such harsh truths so early in the morning cannot be good for the digestion."

Jessamine blew out her cheeks in exasperation "I think you ought to let me take poor Tessa into town to get some new clothes. Otherwise, the first time she takes a deep breath, that dress will fall right off her."
Will looked interested. "I think she should try that out now and see what happens."

Tessa, whose head had begun to ache, wished Jessamine would cease to speak of "catching" husbands the way one might catch a cold, or a runaway cat.

"I like ducks," Jem observed diplomatically. "Especially the ones in Hyde Park." He glanced sideways at Will; both boys were sitting on the edge of the high table, their legs dangling over the side. "Remember when you tried to convince me to feed a poultry pie to the mallards in the park to see if you could breed a race of cannibal ducks?"
"They ate it too," Will reminisced. "Bloodthirsty little beasts. Never trust a duck."

Gabriel's face darkened. "Is there anything that isn't a joke to you?"
"Nothing that comes to mind."
"You know," Gabriel sad, "there was a time I thought we could be friends, Will."
"There was a time I thought I was a ferret," Will said, "but that turned out to be the opium haze."

"What happened in there? We were waiting for the signal-"
"Henry's bloody Phosphor didn't work. Instead of sending up a flare of light, it set the curtains on fire."

"And Tessa, the silly creature, was supposed to be out the door with Magnus, but she wouldn't leave-"
"Her brother was manacled to a chair in the room," Jem pointed out. "I'm not sure I would have left either."
"I see you're determined to miss my point."

"Do reasons matter when there's nothing that can be done to change things?"

"You mean that I shouldn't wring my heart out over some boy who will never care for me-"
"No!" Sophie said. "There are worse things than that. It's all right to love someone who doesn't love you back, as long as they're worth you loving them. As long as they deserve it."

"He's known you since you were a boy. He cares for you like you were his own younger brother. As do I. All I've ever done is love you, Will-"
"Yes," said Will, "and I wish you wouldn't."
Charlotte made a pained noise, like a kicked puppy. "I know you don't mean that."
"I mean everything I say," said Will.

"How rude. Many who have gazed upon me have compared the experience to gazing at the radiance of the sun."
Jem still had his eyes closed. "If they mean it gives you a headache, they aren't wrong."

"No," he said. "You are not a fool like your brother. He is a fool and a coward. You are a fool who has some courage."


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Stars in her eyes

Stars in Her Eyes
(Sparkstone #1)
By Clare C. Marshall



About:

Burn hot and cold.

Read minds.

Disappear at will.

Dream your own death.

Welcome to Sparkstone University, where some students are more gifted than others.

When Ingrid learns she’s been accepted at the hyper-secretive Sparkstone University, she is sceptical. It’s an honour to attend, apparently, and yet barely anyone has ever heard of the place.

And everyone seems a little too happy that she’s there: especially when she meets Sunni and her group of friends. They seem to already know Ingrid. As if she was expected. Expected to save Earth from an imminent alien invasion. Like she has superpowers or something.

As if magic and mutations exist. As if aliens are really planning to attack.

That just sounds ridiculous. There’s no such thing.

…right?


Source: Goodreads
My rating: 5 stars!

My thoughts:

One word. Fantastic. I am surprised to give a sci-fi book a top rating considering I prefer paranormal romance but this book was definitely worth it. I have just realised there is so much more to sci-fi than I thought there was. I enjoyed the way the story was written, the characters were so realistic that at one point I was just wishing for a change to bring my favourite back (no spoilers :P) but alas, maybe in the next book??? wink wink!

Twitter: @ClareMarshall13 or @FaeryInkPress

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Gruesome and unusual; an interesting read

Wisteria (Wisteria #1)
By Bisi Leyton
 
About:
Sixteen year old Wisteria Kuti has two options—track the infected around the Isle of Smythe or leave the only known safe haven and face a world infested with flesh eating biters. But even with well-armed trackers, things go wrong and Wisteria ends up alone facing certain death, until she is rescued by the mysterious Bach. Uninfected, Bach is able to survive among the hordes of living dead.

Eighteen year old Bach, from a race known as The Family, has no interest in human affairs. He was sent here to complete his Great Walk and return home as a man—as a Sen Son. The Family regard humans as Dirt People, but Bach is drawn to this Terran girl, whom he has never seen before, but somehow knows.

Hunted by flesh eaters, cannibals, and the mysterious blood thirsty group called Red Phoenix, Wisteria and Bach make their way back to the Isle of Smythe, a community built on secrets and lies


Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4/5

My Thoughts:
Wisteria lives in one of the few safe havens left. She is training as a tracker, which involves shooting those infected with the Nero disease: something her people call 'curing'. The disease is caught by someone who already has the disease biting you, and then you become one of them; a flesher.

Then enters Bach, one of the 'Family' who stumbles against Wisteria as she is fighting off the fleshers that are trying to eat/kill her. Bach is generally disgusted by humans, or 'Terrans' as they are known by his kind but there is something familiar about Wisteria, like he has met her before but cannot remember...

It was an interesting story, with plenty of action and gruesome scenes, which is not great when I am reading whilst having my brekky :s



Wisteria's mum was a bit too cold...she continuously lied to Wisteria, and didn't seem the slightest bit sorry about it. I understand she did it to protect her, but encouraging her daughter in a dangerous way of living, and not even giving her the real reasons seems a bit too cruel for me.

I am not quite sure whether I like Bach or not. At times he would do something heroic, but at other times he seemed too self-absorbed for my liking, although Wisteria brought out some very positive changes in him.

Garfield (what a name!) was a cute character, and surprisingly loyal too. I feel he will have a larger part to play in the next Wisteria books, maybe even fall for Wisteria although I wonder how Bach would take that. Yikes!
Overall a good read though it could have done with a little more humour....

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

"Jake, you start singing and I'll boil your face in oil when I get back," her mother replied.

He wanted to follow her.
"Bach, let her cool off." Garfield stopped him.
"No," Bach replied, feeling frustrated. "Why is she still upset? I have apologised!"
"She's a girl. They don't behave like human beings." Garfield shrugged his shoulders.

"People are dying outside these walls." Bach halted and rubbed his eyes in frustration. "Why would you think the social order of your artificial society is something I will even think about?"

"Sorry. Let's go to school. Once Mr. Cheung screams and threatens our dead loved ones a little, you'll feel better and forget about Bach..." Garfield trailed off.

She wanted to understand how her mother did it. Did she lie so much that she was able to lie to herself? Perhaps her mother could also be crazy?



Monday, 20 May 2013

Review of City of Lost Souls

City of Lost Souls
(The Mortal Instruments #5)
By Cassandra Clare

About
The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.


Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:
Ok, so in the end I raised my rating, so overall I rated it as a 5/5 on Amazon and Goodreads, just like the previous books in this series. When I was 75% of my way through I was adamant that I was only giving book #5 a 4/5 because at the time it did not quite meet the high expectations I now have from Cassandra Clare. Regardless, the ending was brilliant and so I have upped my rating- thanks Cassandra, otherwise I would have felt very, very guilty!

In Book five there is a huge search led by the Clave for Jace and Sebastian. Unlike the lightwoods, Clary's family and Simon, the Clave's priority is to capture and kill Sebastian, as opposed to looking for Jace, who to them is just another Shadowhunter. However, after several weeks of searching the Clave deprioritises the search as they believe Sebastian cannot be found and Jace is dead. Nevertheless, Jace's family do not lose hope as they continue to search for Jace, in the hope that he is ok.

To Clary's surprise, Jace comes back for her, with Sebastian. Clary realises that Jace has not been tortured, in fact, much to her disbelief, he seems to like Sebastian and appears...happy. And so the story goes...

In this book I actually began to dislike Jace. How could he be so friendly with Sebastian, knowing what he did, and that he killed Max? And how could Clary be so stupidly blind in thinking he is still the Jace she knew and that somehow he could be saved? Infact , I even fell into the trap of sympathising with Sebastian of all people. Shocking, I know, but it actually seemed like he had changed and that there was some humanity left in him. After all, Jace did give him his blood so it seemed logical, in a twisted and bizarre way. Sort of. Needless to say I was wrong and Jace wasn't the bad guy after all. Sorry Jace!

There wasn't as much sarcastic humour in this book, probably because everyone was under so much stress all the time, what with Clary disappearing and Simon raising Raziel! I am hoping that the next instalment has a bit more humour in there, I missed the Clary-Simon-Jace conversations.

It was nice to see Isabelle realising how much she cared for Simon, and Jordan and Maia resolving their differences too. Unfortunately, Alec and Magnus did not have the same luck. Their relationship deteriorated because of Alec's insecurities, and it does not help that Magnus has had countless relationships and is immortal. Alec did not help things by regularly consulting Magnus' ex and coming very close to a very silly decision. I did feel sorry for Alec at the end, but I could understand why he didn't feel like he was enough. I hope things get better for him going forwards, he is a sweety at heart.

Now that I have finished the Mortal Instruments series I intend to read the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, and then the Bane Chronicles also by Cassandra Clare. Not that I'm obsessed or anything... Hopefully, by that time the City of Bones movie will be released!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes

"No one blames her."
"That never matters," said Alec. "Not when you blame yourself."

"I'm not related to them," Clary said. "I don't have any brothers or sisters."
"None?" Disbelief registered in the boy's tone, as if she'd told him she had webbed feet. "Is that why you look so sad?"
Clary thought of Sebastian, with his ice-white hair and black eyes. If only, she though. If only I didn't have a brother, none of this would have happened. A little throb of hatred went through her, warming her icy blood. "Yes," she said softly. "That's why I'm sad."

"Perhaps I did," said the Queen, admiring her shimmering toenails.
"I've noticed the Fair Folk often say 'perhaps' when there is a truth they want to hide," Clary said. "It keeps you from having to give a straight answer."
"Perhaps so," said the Queen with an amused smile.
"'Mayhap' is a good word too," Alec suggested.
"Also, 'perchance,'" Izzy said.
"I see nothing wrong with 'maybe,'" said Simon. "A little modern, but the gist of the idea comes across."

"So, do you mind if I ask you something? It's personal but important."
A note of wariness crept into his voice. "What is it?"
"With the whole Mark of Cain thing, does that mean if I accidentally kick you during the night, I get kicked in the  shins seven times by an invisible force?"

That was the problem with knowing someone so well, she thought. It was very hard to pretend around them, or to ignore it when they were pretending, even when it would be easier.

"'Valentine's son,'" he said. "Is that really how you think of me? Under other circumstances you could have been my godfather."
"Under other circumstances," said Luke, sliding his finger onto the trigger, "you could have been human."
Sebastian stopped in his tracks. "The same could be said of you, werewolf."

For as is often the happenstance with that which is precious and lost, when you find him again, he may well not be quite as you left him.

"There may already be no chance," said Jocelyn. "God, Clary, look at the evidence. You thought you and Jace were brother and sister! You sacrificed everything to save his life, and a Greater Demon used him to get to you! When are you going to face the fact that the two of you are not meant to be together?"

He looked at her warily and took a sip from his mug. "Weren't that what?"
"I have a plan."
He groaned "I was afraid of that."
"My plans are not terrible."
"Isabelle's plans are terrible." He pointed a finger at her. "Your plans are suicidal. At best."

"I would pluck out my own eyes with a fork before I would give away your secrets," Simon said, then looked anxious. "Wait a second. Do you think that's likely to be required?"

"I'd do almost anything for you," Simon said quietly. "I'd die for you. You know that. But would I kill someone else, someone innocent? What about a lot of innocent lives? What about the whole world? Is it really love to tell someone that if it came down to picking between them and every other life on the planet, you'd pick them? Is that-I don't know, is that a moral sort of love at all?"

"There are some people-people the universe seems to have singled out for special destinies. Special favours and special torments God knows we're all drawn towards what's beautiful and broken; I have been, but some people cannot be fixed. Or if they can be, it's only by love and sacrifice so great that it destroys the giver."

"Ah," said Magnus. "Nerd love. It is a beautiful thing, while also being an object of mockery and hilarity for those of us who are more sophisticated."

But it felt like touching only the edge of happiness; every time she looked at Jace, happiness slipped away from her. How could he be Jace and not-Jace, all at once? How could you be heartbroken and happy at the same time?

"What have you done to my cat?" Magnus demanded, returning to the living room carrying a pot of coffee, with a circle of mugs gloating around his head like a model of the planets rotating around the sun. "You drank his blood, didn't you? You said you weren't hungry!"
Simon was indignant. "I did not drink his blood. He is fine!" He poked the Chairman in the stomach. The cat yawned. "Second, you asked me if I was hungry when you were ordering pizza, so I said no, because I can't eat pizza. I was being polite."
"That doesn't give you the right to eat my cat."

"Can it tell the future? So, pentagram, is our band going to make it big?"
"It's a demon from Hell, not a Magic Eight Ball, Jordan," said Magnus irritably.

"Thanks for coming here with me," he said finally, having racked his brain for something meaningful to say; they seemed to be expecting it. He wasn't the sort who made big farewell speeches or bid people dramatic good-byes. He looked at Alec first. "Um, Alec. I always liked you better than I liked Jace." He turned to Magnus. "Magnus, I wish I had the nerve to wear the kind of pants you do."

"I am dead."
"I know," Izzy snapped. "I mean more dead than usual."

Alec shot her an incredulous look as he stepped out into the entryway. "Everything's going to hell in a handbasket, and you want to know about my relationship with Magnus?"

"You know men. We have delicate egos."
"I wouldn't describe Jace's ego as delicate."
"No, Jace's is sort of the antiaircraft artillery tank of male egos," Simon admitted.

There are memories that time does not erase, Clarissa. Ask you friend Magnus Bane, if you do not believe me. Forever does not make loss forgettable, only bearable.

"How could I protect you if you wouldn't let me?" He leaned forward. "That, by the way, is a rhetorical question."
"Good. Because I don't need protecting."
"I knew you'd say that. But the thing is, sometimes you do. And sometimes I do. We're meant to protect each other, but not from everything. Not from the truth. That's what it means to love someone but let them be themselves."


Clary wondered. She had seen Sebastian looking at Jace, even at herself, and knew there was some part of him as echoingly lonely as the blackest void of space Loneliness drove him as much as a desired for power-loneliness and a need to be loved without any corresponding understanding that love was something you earned.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Review of City of Fallen Ashes

City of Fallen Ashes
(The Mortal Instruments Book #4)
 
By Cassandra Clare
 

About
The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most importantly of all - she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.


Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4.5/5

My thoughts

Book 4 had a different direction than the others. Whilst the previous books focussed on fighting demons, here we saw more of the character's fights with themselves. Simon fighting the reality that he is a vampire, Alec wondering about his future with the immortal Magnus and Jace fighting for control over himself. We also see the semi-return of Sebastian; we all knew he wasn't completely dead.

Poor Jace and Clary. Just as things seem like they are getting better, it takes a turn for the worst. And took four ended, it does not look like their troubles are over any time soon.

Simon, as always, is the sweetest vampire there is. Well, as sweet as a bloodsucker can be! The story shows how we cannot escape reality. Simon can carry on playing in his band and going to school but no matter how hard he pretends to be normal, the fact is that he is not. He cannot stop his cravings for blood...and eventually he has to give in. To make matters worse, he has the mark of Cain upon him, so if anyone is truly cursed it is dear old Simon. He does seem to get the bad end of the deal doesn't he? At least he has Isabelle to make him feel better :P

Overall, a thrilling read, but I do hope Jace is cured soon. I don't think I can take any more of his moping around...

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes

By the time she came back to the training room, Isabelle and Jace had left the topic of dead Shadowhunters behind and had moved on to something Jace apparently found even more horrifying - Isabelle's date with Simon. "I can't believe he took you to an actual restaurant." Jace was on his feet now, putting away the floor mats and training gear while Isabelle leaned against the wall and played with her new gloves. "I assumed his idea of a date would be making you watch him play World of Warcraft with his nerd friends."
"I," Clary pointed out, "am one of his nerd friends, thank you."

Maybe that was the secret, he thought. Keep moving. Like a shark. Go to where no one can find you. A fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.
But that only worked if there was no one you cared about leaving behind.

Though Simon imagined Jace ran the gamut of facial expressions when he was alone with Clary, his default one around other people was a fierce sort of blankness. "He looks," Simon had once said to Isabelle, "like he's thinking about something deep and meaningful, but if you ask him what it is, he'll punch you in the face."
"So don't ask him," Isabelle had said, as if she thought Simon was being ridiculous. "No one says you two need to be friends."

"You look lousy," he said.
Jace blinked. "Seems an odd time to start an insult contest, but if you insist, I could probably think up something good."
"No, I mean it. You don't look good."
"This from a guy who has all the sex appeal of a penguin. Look I realise you may be jealous that the good Lord didn't deal you the same chiselled hand he dealt me, but that's no reason to-"
"I am not trying to insult you," Simon snapped. "I mean you look sick. When was the last time you ate anything?"

"Just think of yourself as someone who has two fathers for a while."
"You can't have two fathers."
"Sure you can," Simon said. "Who says you can't? We can buy you one of those books they have for little kids. Timmy has Two Dads. Except I don't think they have one called Timmy has Two Dads and One of Them Was Evil. That part you're going to have to work through on your own."

"Yeah," Jace said, "but youre a vampire. Blood isn't like food for you. Blood is...blood."
"That's very illuminating." Simon flung himself into the armchair across from the TV; it had probably once been a pale gold velvet but was now worn to the grayish pile. "Do you have a lot of other profound thoughts like that? Blood is blood? A toaster is a toaster? A Gelatinous Cube is a Gelatinous Cube?"

"Sometimes, Clary," he said, "love just isn't enough."

"Why," Jace said, "does everyone keep goddamn asking me if I'm going to break up with you? First Simon, and now-"
"You talked to Simon about us?" Clary shook her head. "Why? Why aren't you talking to me?"
"Because I can't talk to you," Jace said. "I can't talk to you, I can't be with you, I can't even look at you."

"Take it," Clary said, looking at Jace. "Take it and kill either her or me. It's your choice."
Slowly Jace bent down and picked up the knife.

But Magnus, he thought. You never told me. Never warned me it would be like this, that I would wake up one day and realise that I was going somewhere you couldn't follow. That we are essentially not the same. There's no "till death do us part" for those who never die.

Lilith spat. "You love each other- anyone can see that, looking at you- that kind of love that can burn down the world or raise it up in glory.

"Not really alive isn't dead enough for me," she said. "I'm going out there and I'm going to cut him into a thousand pieces."



Thursday, 16 May 2013

Review of City of Glass

City of Glass
(The Mortal Instruments #3)
 
By Cassandra Clare

About
To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City - whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.
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Source: Goodreads

My rating: 5/5

My Thoughts
***Spoiler Alert***
The third installment in Mortal Instruments series is my favourite so far. Another action-packed series, although it is a lot darker than the previous books. In this story Clary manages to make her way to Idris, the homeland of the shadowhunters, despite Jace protecting (tricking) her into staying home.

My main question is how could Valentine mingle demon blood with his own baby's? What an evil, twisted man. When I read this, I thought this child cannot be Jace (or rather, I was hoping it would not be Jace). Usually I am very poor at spotting mistakes but in this case I guessed fairly quickly that Sebastian was the demon son. However that may not have been quite an achievement considering I could not figure out who Jace's father was.

Poor Jace, he must be utterly confused by now. He's been told the wrong identity twice, stumbles across his 'dead' father only to be told he was not his real father but had been tricked all his life, falls in love with Clary and then realises Clary is his sister and then that she is not! Phew, I am getting dizzy just trying to keep up, and that's only half of it. I can guess Jace will be very paranoid from now, trying to separate the truth from the half-truths and the outright lies.
Source: Picture

I thought I would list the main reasons I feel that this is my favourite as yet, and these are:
  • Jocelyn is cured and awakens from her self-induced coma
  • The truth is uncovered that Jace is not Valentine's biological son
  • Someone finally beats Jace in a fight. Don't get me wrong, Jace is my favourite but every now and again even he needs to be brought down to earth
  • I haven't read the next books in the series yet :P
As always, the book leaves you wanting more. Thankfully, there are two more published in this series and then I believe there is a separate series written by Cassandra Clare so that should take me to next week!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes (just a few)
 
"Give him time. You did break up with him."
"I did not. He broke up with me."
"Because you weren't in love with him. That's an iffy proposition.."

"Look did you ask me to come all the way uptown just so you could stare at me like I was something in a petri-dish? Next time I'll send you a photo" [Simon to Jace]

"Even if you thought it would help the Clave," Simon said, "you'd never let them have her."
"What makes you say that vampire?"
"Because no one can have her but you," said Simon.

"...No human being can create new runes, or draw the sort of runes Clary can. Only angels have that power. And sine Clary can do that-well, it seems like a portent. Things are changing. The laws are changing The old ways may never be the right ways again. Just as the rebellion of the angels ended the world as it was- it split heaven in half and created hell- this could mean the end of the Nephilim as they currently exist. This is our war in heaven, vampire, and only one side can win it. And my father means it to be his."

Samuel's voice rose to a scream. "GO AWAY!"
Simon looked sideways at Jace. "I think he means it."
Jace shook his blond head in exasperation. "You had to make a crazy jail friend, didn't you? You couldn't just count ceiling tiles or tame a pet mouse like normal prisoners do?"

"She won't come out of her room," he said. "She thinks what happened to Max was her fault. She wouldn't even come to the funeral."
"Have you tried talking to her?"
"No," Jace said, "we've been punching her repeatedly in the face instead. Why, do you think that won't work?"

"...In fact, it wouldn't hurt if you just spent the next few days inside. You can lock yourself in your room like Isabelle."
"I'm not going to do that."
"Of course you're not," said Jace, "because you love to torture me don't you?"
"Not everything, Jace, is about you," Clary said furiously.
"Probably," Jace said, "but you have to admit that the majority of things are."

"There is no pretending," Jace said with absolute clarity. "I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there's a life after that, I'll love you then."

"You stole my memories," Clary said. "You took them away from me. You took away who I was."
"That's not who you are!" Jocelyn cried, "I never wanted it to be who you were-"
"It doesn't matter what you wanted!" Clary shouted, "It is who I am! You took all that away from me and it didn't belong to you!"

"I have given everything for this cause. My wife. My children. I have not withheld my sons. I have given everything I have for this- everything."
The Angel simply hovered, gazing down at Valentine with his weird, inhuman eyes. His wings moved in slow, undeliberate motions, like the passage of clouds across the sky. At last he said, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son on an altar much like this one, to see who it was that Abraham loved more, Isaac or God. But no one asked you to sacrifice your son, Valentine.

"I mean that I would never date a girl who insisted that I cut you out of my life, it's non-negotiable. You want a piece of all this fabulousness?" He gestured at himself. "Well, my best friend comes along with it. I wouldn't cut you out of my life, Clary, any more than I would cut off my right hand and give it to someone as a Valentine's Day gift."
"Gross," said Clary. "Must you?"
He grinned. "I must."

"I am a man," he told her, "and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone, woman, and bring me something brown."
"Brown?" Isabelle made a face.
"Brown is a manly colour," said Jace, and yanked on a stray lock of Isabelle's hair with his free hand.
"In fact, look-Alec is wearing it."
Alec looked mournfully down at his sweater. "It was black," he said. "But then it faded."

"Patience, grasshopper," said Maia. "Good things come to those who wait."
"I always thought that was 'Good things come to those who do the wave,'" said Simon. "No wonder I've been so confused all my life."
"Confused is a nice word for it," said Jace

Review of City of Ashes

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #2)
By Cassandra Clare

About
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.


Source: Goodreads
 
My Rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts
Again, a fantastic read by Cassandra Clare. In book #2 there are more uncovered secrets, more adventure and of course more confused feelings. Most surprisingly, Simon steps up and becomes more confident, self assured and well, a bit of a badass considering he won't die!

I loved the scene with the faerie queen, although I sympathise with Simon. He finally thinks there is a chance with Clary considering Jace is her brother, but his hope is short-lived. Although I must say, I am glad Clary gave Simon a chance...We get to see more of Magnus, who is frankly hilarious.

The Mortal Instruments series is highly addictive and I look forward to reading more of Cassandra Clare's other books (:

Favourite Quotes:

"I didn't know you were bringing the mundane."
His blue eyes flickered uneasily over Simon.
"That's what I like about you people," said Simon. "You always make me feel so welcome."

Jace put his head in his hands. "Tell Isabelle no."
"But she thinks it's a good idea," Alec protested.
"Then tell her no twice."

Something inside Clary cracked and broke, and words came pouring out.
"What do you want me to tell you? The truth? The truth is that I love Simon like I should love you, and I wish he was my brother and you weren't, but I can't do anything about that and neither can you! Or do you have some ideas, since you're so goddamned smart?"

He smiled at her. It was a sad smile with something else underneath. "Ypu know what the worst thing I can imagines is?"
She blinked at him. "No."
"Not trusting someone I love."
She put her hand on his sleeve. He didn't move away, but he didn't respond to her touch either. "Do you mean-"
"Yes," he said., knowing what she was about to ask. "I mean you."
"But you can trust me."
"I used to think I could," he said. "But I get the feeling you would rather pine over someone you can never possibly be with than try being with someone you can."