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BOOK REVIEW: The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

BOOK REVIEW: The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley ChuThe Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1)
by Cassandra Clare, Wesley Chu
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

WHAT THE WHAT?! That ending….???!?!?!

It literally pains me that I can’t add quotes to this review but hey, I get it, it’s an ARC and things are subject to change. Just know that I was highlighting like crazy the last 25%.

I can’t lie, when I first found out that Cassie was writing ANOTHER series based in the Shadowhunter world, I was a little peeved. I mean I love Magnus, I really do, but I was just like “how much longer can all this be drug out?!”…I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, too. Even throughout this book, I was enjoying it but kept thinking okayyyyy was this really necessary?! What is this story adding to the bigger picture besides just basically being fanfiction for Magnus x Alec shippers??

Yes. Yes it was necessary. For numerous reasons but DEFINITELY because of what happened in the epilogue. But really, no, even though *you know who* was found *you know where* that isn’t why I will devour the rest of this series, no no no. I will soak up every single page of the next two books because finally being able to see Magnus and Alec’s love front and center was a beautiful thing. Like literally I’m tearing up just thinking about it.

There are so many times when Magnus can be TOO MUCH…like, basically all the time. I find myself wondering often, how can he be so glib and joke-y about everything?! It’s almost exhausting to read. Aaaand then you catch a small glimpse of who he really is, and why his facade is like that, and you understand. Magnus has been alive for a VERY long time. He has seen a lot of terrible things and lost a lot of people he had truly loved. He was almost killed as a child because of who he is and I’m sure since then there have been many more attempts on his life. He has lost friends, and he has seen the deep prejudices of the Clave play out against his fellow Downworlders. It’s no wonder that he doesn’t like to be serious. I think that is 100% his coping mechanism for dealing with the pure shittiness of the world. But there is so much more to him than that and it is really explored here. Magnus is so good it hurts. He is one of the best characters Clare has ever written.

And Alec, oh Alec. You sweet, strong, kind, and caring man. Guys, I LOVED getting Alec’s POV in this book. I literally can’t wait to see him in action View Spoiler » in The Wicked Powers. He has grown SO MUCH from the boy in City of Bones who was the epitome of a rule follower. He has learned that while the most Shadowhunters abide by the saying “The Law is hard, but it is the Law” that things can’t always be taken care of properly and fairly by the stupid “Law.” Watching him in love with Magnus was like watching the most beautiful flower bloom (AND I DON’T CARE HOW CHEESY THAT SOUNDS). They are one of my favorites OTPs of all time.

Also, we get to see Aline and Helen meet and see the very beginnings of their relationship too which was great. Even though they are a big part of TDA overall, we don’t get much time with them at all. Getting to know their personalities a little more was great. Also Raphael. I feel like I took him for granted during TMI. He’s funny and snarky AF and cares so much more than you will ever know. Any who has entered and even just liked the world of the Shadowhunters will fall in love with this book and like I said, after that epilogue I am dying to get my hands on the next book!

This eARC was provided by Edelwiess and the publisher in exchange for an honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

BOOK REVIEW: Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra ClareQueen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices)
by Cassandra Clare
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy.

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks.

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

“When I was at my worst, you were at your best for me. I can only do the same for you.”
“All right,”
 she said. “All right, I’ll wait one day.”
As if it heard her voice, the color closed up at her feet, hiding the parabatai tablet beneath the protecting marble. She wanted to reach out to Julian, to touch his hands, to tell him she was grateful. She wanted to say more, say the words they were forbidden to say, but she didn’t—just looked at him silently and thought them, wondering if anyone had thought these words in the Silent City. If they had thought them like this: with equal hope and despair.
I love you. I love you. I love you.

All right, can I just say that this took me like TWO TOO MANY WEEKS TO FINISH?! That is entirely my bad though and I am so annoyed at myself for it. I feel like I have been disconnected from my previous obsession with all things Cassandra Clare and because of that, I wasn’t fully prepared for this. In the past with her other series, I would have taken the time to reread all of the previous books before the new ones came out. Guys…I literally did NOT have the time to do that/ maybe I did but I was being greedy with wanting to finish the last book and was too impatient to read the previous two first. Also, I was kind of annoyed that all of the Ghosts of the Shadow Market novellas were recently released and I was worrying about missing out on information from those but also too busy to read through those as well. Long story short I have become slightly overwhelmed with how expansive the Shadowhunter world has become.

Reading this book has immediately sucked me back into this world. It hit me like a ton of bricks how much I used to live and breathe in the world of Shadowhunters and I cannot believe I have been absent from it for what seems like forever. When I finished up with Lord of Shadows last year I was left in awe of what Clare had done with Julian’s character and with this particular set of main character’s story lines but I was also straight up annoyed with how we were still getting strung along with the problems of Clary and Jace. I did not care to hear about them because their story, in my eyes, had been over. After reading this book I can obviously see that that isn’t the case. They were an integral part of this last chapter of this series and honestly, I didn’t mind it as much. Now that I know that she plans to end the Shadowhunter Chronicles in the distant future series, The Wicked Powers, I feel a sense of relief. I mean, they were the heroes of the very first series in this world, obviously they are still going to be important. I hope that Clare is able to give all of her characters the sendoff that they deserve in that series because after being with them and their families for the last decade, they have become like family to me.

Enough about that, though. Let’s get into the real reason I came to this review. This G-d book. Um…yeah, wow. I just finished rereading City of Bones and it is literally INSANE how much Clare’s writing has grown in the last decade. I am stunned. The Blackthorns’ grief, and Julian’s cunning and wit, and Emma’s strength and their love for each other and EVERYTHING ELSE. My heart was just this throbbing, beating mess for most of the book that I literally don’t know how I put it down as much as I did. Clare creates these UNFORGETTABLE romantic and even familial ties that I would lay down my life to protect.

I also loved seeing more of both the Seelie and the Unseelie courts. Books on the Fae have really been on the up and up lately so getting to see more of how their courts were set up and learning more about the Queen and King and the heirs was very interesting… During this final installment we met more Shadowhunters from around the world. We got to see things go to shit and then be reborn with the Clave. We got to see a NEW, and possibly equally horrible other dimension…..just…it was a lot. I am so intrigued with what will happen with so many different things and people and I refuse to say more on the matter lest I spoil ANYTHING.

The ONLY complaint that I have with this book (that isn’t really anything to do with the actual book) is that there were aspects of it that I just felt like I possibly should have known more about…? Again, it goes back to me not being able to reread the previous books and not being able to read the last set of novellas though. As much as I CRAVE series that are long and drawn out and that interconnect, sometimes it can be a pain in the ass. I can see how it would be daunting if you were a newcomer to try to figure out which to pick up first and in what order, etc. Each series makes mention to events in other series and other characters and their families in other series so as you can probably guess, if you don’t have it all straight or haven’t read it all, you are going to miss out on a LOT.

That being said, I would recommend this series (& all of her series) to literally anyone who likes fantasy. These books have something for everyone and are diverse in a way that a lot of YA isn’t. I will be reading her books until the day I die, mark my words, lol.

BOOK REVIEW: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

BOOK REVIEW: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra ClareCity of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
by Cassandra Clare
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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

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

“All the stories are true.” 

One of the best parts of re-reading old favorites (especially series) is actually getting around to reviewing them. One of the saddest parts of trying to review them, though, is that all of my initial wonder and excitement is lost. I will always love these books and characters, I know I will. BUT, this time around, this particular book was more of a four instead of the five I initially had it at. It might be because Clare’s writing has grown so exponentially and I know just how more amazing and intricate her books get….I’m not sure. Either way I will try to do my best to do justice to what sixteen-year-old thought about this book. *lol oh God what am I getting myself into*

“It’s so dark,” she said lamely. 
“You want me to hold your hand?”
Clary put both her hands behind her back like a small child. 
“Don’t talk down to me.”
“Well, I could hardly talk up to you. You’re too short.”

Yeah literally right after I typed that I knew there would be no way that was going to be possible bahahah. Sixteen-year-old me probably thought she was hot shit and was an idiot when it came to a lot of things and I literally would never want to read a review that she had written. And anyways, I can guarantee for the most part, the things I liked then were still the same things I liked now. Basically the reason why I started reading this again was that I am about 75% of the way through Queen of Air and Darkness and I felt like I had forgotten so many things and kinda of missed where things were in the beginning. I kept on reading QoAaD, of course, but I would randomly pick up this book throughout that too. Kind of a horrible idea, but here we are.

One of the best parts of this book, this series, this world of Shadowhunters is just that—the world. I have always been a fantasy fan so the thought of there being vampires, faeries, werewolves, warlocks, and a warrior race that has angel blood in their veins that spend their lives protecting the human race against demons (all hidden in plain sight of course!). As much as I would feel offended that such a world is there and that I haven’t been asked to be a part of it, I still think it is cool to think that *more* might exist than what we know.

Another aspect of these books that has always intrigued me is the Shadowhunter’s government structure, The Clave. I think Clare wrote their laws, their beliefs, and their prejudices very deliberately. It is so frustrating to read about their clashes with the Downworlders at times but then if you take a step back and consider how minorities are treated in real life, you have to think, ‘yeah..you think these fictional problems are frustrating and horrible? Try thinking about the ones that real life people face every day…’ It only kind of gets worse too and is at somewhat of a boiling point in the point I’m on in Queen of Air and Darkness. I really hope we can see things get better asap…

“Aren’t you tired?” His voice was low. “I’ve never been more awake.”

Finally, THE most important part of this book, this series—the characters!!! Clare knows how to write some funny/interesting/relatable/annoying/diverse/unforgettable characters, let me tell you. Clary, the main protagonist of this entire series, can be annoying at times but given her age and the amount of bat shit craziness that gets dumped on her all at once, I get it. Onto Jace. Jace for me is the OG snarky bad boy of Young Adult fantasy. Their dialogue is so funny and full of quippy one liners I can barely handle it (it a good way). You either love to love or love to hate her characters and I am all here for it. Also—can we just talk about how awesomely messed up it is that she wrote this story line where two of the main characters fall in love (and most of us immediately root for them), we find out they are “siblings,” and then we still end up rooting for them (or at least I did bahahaha) to be together until View Spoiler ». I remember being so ashamed/ embarrassed trying to explain the plot of these books to my friends back in the day lol, man. Good stuff.

Overall if you’re looking to get into a series that is now 16 books long and counting (counting the e-books as 3 separate books for when they’re in their compiled form) and is crazily woven together with characters that are related and interconnected over the span of over a hundred years then this is the series for you!!!!!!!!!!

“If you insist on disavowing that which is ugly about what you do,” said Magnus, still looking at Alec, “you will never learn from your mistakes.”

…So it turns out that I didn’t actually review this book but my general thoughts on the concept of the whole series, woops. I think it’s still plain to see what my thoughts and feelings are, though and that’s really why I came here to finally add a review!  Onto the rest!

“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

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

BOOK REVIEW – Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
by Cassandra Clare
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Honestly? I didn’t know what to think when I started reading this novel. It is based in the 1800s (not AT ALL my comfort zone), and the way they spoke, because of being based so far back, was definitely different from what I am used to reading. It had a dark undertone, really the whole novel was dark, but through the darkness came a sliver of light and I was so very drawn and attracted to it. I can’t explain what it was or why I eventually came to enjoy it, but it did eventually get under my skin, and for that I was very surprised.

The story starts with Tessa traveling to London from New York because her brother sent for her, saying how spectacular London was and that since they were all alone now, they should be together. Enter the Dark sisters, the creepiest characters I have come across in a long time. They teach her to use her “ability” in preparation for the Magister. It can only go downhill from there, and while it isn’t a steady decline, it’s as satisfying as it is tremulous. A weird combination, I know, but I grew to love Will, Tess, and Jem, and even Jess in some areas.

They grow to be close, and it is addicting to the reader. The writing takes a bit to get used to, but overall it isn’t bothersome.

While the beginning was ok, and I say ok because at the time I was staring at the pages in utter horror, confusion, and repulsion, the adventure they start to unravel becomes so addicting I couldn’t put it down. Because I hadn’t grown to adore the main characters yet, I don’t feel I enjoyed the beginning, which is a shame. We have Will-the everpresent, mercurial “badboy” who is unable to love, and we have Jem-the sweet, caring, and thoughtful boy. This was definitely YA and there was an heir of innocence, but it was alluring all the same. That is a hard feat to accomplish, and I felt it was done so wonderfully in my opinion.

My taste continues to amaze me, as I have been broadening my horizons and finding more “oh wow, that was good-I never would have thought so” novels. I have to say that immediately after finishing the first installment, I grabbed the second and dug right in. I am fully engrossed in the story, and I hope that the story stays consistently good, because I find this series to be very pleasing and worthwhile.

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BOOK REVIEW – Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare

BOOK REVIEW – Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
by Cassandra Clare
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

An excellent installment to a surprisingly addictive series. I came upon Infernal Devices in a discussion for another book entirely. It too had a love triangle in it, and some of the girls happened to mention TID and it’s apparently happy ever after for all characters involved. Seeing as how I am becoming increasingly aware of how much I love drama, to an extent, in novels, I had to hop on over and see what TID was all about. Upon reading the synopsis and seeing the cover of Clockwork Angel, I realized that I had passed it up months before. Boy do I ever see the error in my ways.

After the last novel, Tessa is now a permanent fixture in the Institute after Charlotte asked her to stay. We get to see how Tessa is affected after Will’s unforgiveable actions and remarks, and how close her and Jem become because of it. With less time being spent daydreaming about Will(hardly), Tessa finds herself spending more and more time with Jem, thus forming a bond between them. I like both guys a lot. Will has hurt Tessa quite a bit, but underneath it all, I love him because he has a sweet side to him that can’t be entirely hidden, and a passion for his work and also for Tessa. Jem is always there for Tessa, and it becomes increasingly clear he has strong feelings for her. Everyone around him (aside from Will) can see his feelings for her as clear as day, for he wears his heart on a sleeve.

I enjoyed every adventure and could hardly put the book down. I always seemed to be on the edge of my seat and reading at the speed of light-and I still wasn’t reading fast enough. I also adore how each character has such raw passion for who they love and what they believe in. It is hard not to be attracted to each guy when they so obviously are attracted to and care for Tessa. Don’t even get me started on Henry and Charlotte; they definitely add some adorable scenes to the story and make you smile when you least expect it.

So all in all, I really don’t have many words. It is just one of those stories where you feel compelled to tell people about it and insist they read it. I found myself goofily smiling at the pages from Will’s snarky remarks and funny scenarios he found himself in. He always seems to have the funniest facial expressions, and with Jem egging him on, it only fuels the fire. Now I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I can’t wait to see how it all ends and ultimately who ends up with whom.

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