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Shadowhunters and Downworlders; an analysis into Cassandra Clare's world

Saturday, September 26, 2015 Geraldine Lee 0 Comments

Having been a fan of Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter and Downworlders' universe for a very long time, I grabbed the opportunity to read this book. Although it is only a book discussing aspects of the Mortal Instruments, I jumped at the opportunity. The introduction didn't really excite me much, in fact, it made me cringe.

'Explore the world of the Mortal Instruments with Cassandra Clare and more.
Join Cassandra Clare and a Circle of more than a dozen top YA writers, including New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Rachel Caine, and Kami Garcia, as they write about the Mortal Instruments series, its characters, and its world.
Inside you’ll read:

-A cinematic tutorial on why the best friend (Simon) always loses out to the bad boy (Jace)
-The benefits (no, really!) of incest . . . at least in literature
-What we can read between the lines of Alec and Magnus’ European vacation
-The importance of friendship, art, humor, and rebellion
-And more, from the virtues of Downworlders to the naughty side of Shadowhunting'

However, when I got right down to reading it, it soon became clear that this was a book that would take me a while. A whole collection of essays by a myriad of people is quite hard to get through, having to reorient yourself each new topic at hand when reading a new essay.

  • 'Unhomely Places' by Kate Milford
  • 'The Art of War' by Sarah Cross
  • 'Sharper Than a Seraph Blade' by Diana Peterfreund
  • 'Laws are Made to Be Broken' by Robin Wasserman
  • 'Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero' by Michelle Hodkin
  • 'Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl' by Kami Garcia
  • 'Brotherly Love' by Kendrare Blake
  • 'Asking for a Friend' by Gwenda Bond
  • '(Not) For Illustration Purposes Only' by Rachel Caine
  • 'The Importance of Being Malec" by Sara Ryan
  • "Villains, Valentine and Virtue' by Scott Tracey
  • 'Immortality and its Discontents' by Kelly Link and Holly Black.
  • 'What Does Thar Deviant Wench Think She's Doing? Or Shadowhunters Gone Wild' by Sarah Rees Brennan

  • Some of these essays were interesting and others completely boring, due to the author's writing style. However, all of these essays had one thing in common; they all made me learn something new, from what the inspiration for Magnus Bane was (read 'Immortality and Discontents'), to more real-world matters, such as the Jewish faith.

    An iratze (healing rune)
    After reading all these essays after a while, I realised that some did not focus primarily on the Mortal Instruments series. Quite a lot of essays were about real-world situations that are incorporated in the Mortal Instruments. These essays go on and elaborate about how these scenarios are presented in the real world. For example, 'Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl' by Kami Garcia uses Simon's situation in The Mortal Instruments as context to discuss, as the title says, why the best friend never gets the girl. However, Garcia uses quite a lot of examples that have nothing to do with The Mortal Instruments to explain this. I don't really have a problem with this, it's just that I wish that the essay was more oriented towards The Mortal Instruments. Garcia is not the only author to do this, there are quite a lot of other authors who followed this procedure.

    Apart from the writing, I really liked how the runes were scattered throughout the book. They gave me a chance to see the runes. However, I would have liked it better if Clare had given us the name of the rune seen. I would've liked to see what the name of the rune I was looking at was.

    In conclusion, I'd rate this book 3 stars out of 5. I'd only recommend this book to friends who are more interested in learning or analysing the real-world aspects of the Mortal Instruments or interested reading deconstructions of the characters in the series. I was hoping for a more TMI oriented novel.

    Keep reading and loving books,

    (I got an ARC of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review)

    Midnight Moon; the conclusion to the Unbidden Magic series

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 Geraldine Lee 0 Comments

    'The Trimarks are planning an invasion. And the only thing standing in their way is Allie and the moonstone.
    All Allie wants is a normal life – friends, boys, school dances. Right. Like that’s going to happen.

    In two weeks, during the summer solstice, Allie’s going to face the biggest challenge of her life, fighting against time to save the world from a Trimark invasion. You’d think the world of weird might leave her alone to plan how she’s going to survive. But nothing in Allie’s world is simple or easy, especially when she’s attacked by Trimarks trying to steal the moonstone. Then Sammie disappears into the faery world of Boundless, and Allie must follow and bring her home, only to find the fairy queen, Luminata, isn’t about to let Allie leave. So, what’s a girl with magical powers supposed to do?

    Fortunately, she has a team to help her, a team with special talents of their own.'

    Ooh, what an interesting life/death introduction! And such a pretty book cover with a mystical vibe to it! Those were the first things I thought when I picked up this book by Marilee Brothers. My mind urged me, even though it's the last book of a series (the Unbidden Magic series) and it's probably going to take you a while to catch up on what's going on. It's going to be totally awesome. I was in for a surprise.

    Technical flaws in this book made it hard for me to really be absorbed into reading it. There was the childish writing by the author, Brothers. While I was reading this book. I felt like I was reading a book aimed at grade-level students, not a book aimed at young adults. Secondly, it seemed like the author couldn't describe the story by showing me, instaed opting to tell me, like an operation manual. For example, Brothers wrote 'don't-mess-with-Junior glare' to describe how Junior was glaring at Allie. Instead of writing that, Brothers could have written 'Junior glared defiantly', which would've come off better.

    I could not stand most of the characters in this novel. Faye, Allie's mum, seemed very frivolous. For me, mothers should be more serious than Faye was. Faye seemed to let Allie do whatever she wanted without caring for what may come. Allie was a protagonist I simply could not sympathise with. In my opinion, she was possessive of Sammie (her best friend). She seemed to be able to boss Sammie around, getting upset when Sammie left her. She wanted everything to go her way, and when they didn't, she sulked. Her ego. Another thing. It was huge. She thought she was so special, being the only one who can save the world. Then there was how she treated her sister rudely. Allie refused point-blank to speak to Anna, her sister, because of her connection to a Trimark. Isn't that.... Trimarkism?

    The pace at which Brothers writes is very irregular. The interesting parts (i.e. the part when Allie goes into Boundless) was quickly paced, when it needed to be a bit slower. The boring parts (i.e. anytime when she's with another human being in Boundland a.k.a. our world) were paced slowly when they really needed to be a bit quicker. I guess I just like the scenes in Boundland more than our everyday scenes

    I liked the idea of the Tuatha. They seemed mysterious and very strong. Resisting iron, a few of their kind left, making them special. The plot was pretty substantial too, although it was repeated over and over again (like I needed a reminder); save the world. 

    In conclusion, do not read this book unless you have read the first four books. My experience definitely proves this. I rate this book a 2 out of 5 stars, mainly because the writing technique by the author irritated me too much. Then again, if I had read the series from the start, maybe I would understand everything better. Off to the bookshop for me, to find all the books in the Unbidden Magic series!

    Keep reading and loving books,


    (I got a copy of this book in return for an honest review on Netgalley)

    Sneak by Evan Angler

    Saturday, September 05, 2015 Geraldine Lee 0 Comments

    'When Logan Langly backed out of getting the Mark and went on the run, no one thought he could survive on his own. Without the Mark, you can't buy food, go to the doctor, or use a tablet--you aren't even a citizen.
    But when he discovers that his sister is being held in a mysterious hidden prison named Acheron, Logan risks everything to travel through an underground network of the Markless to rescue her.
    Logan arrives only to find that Acheron holds more secrets than anyone could have guessed and that all his careful planning is worthless against a government that will do anything to gain absolute control.
    It seems there is only one place to turn. But can a banned book with whisper-thin pages and warnings about the real meaning of the Mark really hold the Answer?

    Sneak is part of a series, called Swipe, after the first book in this series. This is the second book of the series, something I didn't realise until the end of the book and I had Googled up it.

    What was really good about this book is that anyone can just pick it up and start reading from the start. You don't have to be acquainted with Logan's story very well to know his situation. You are pretty much fully briefed in the first few pages of the novel, without Angler going into boring and endless detail.

    I liked all the characters, except for one. Erin was a really annoying character for me. She seemed so discriminative and so mistrustful of people without Marks, when she was friends with some of the Markless too! Her character was confusing and, for me, not very thought out or made to be utterly unlikeable.

    Angler's writing is really quite phenomenal, I believe. I was intrigued and hooked from the very first pages that I read! The book's concept was amazing, thought-provoking, but not to the point where Angler preached anything. This book provoked some thoughts about discrimination today, and whether or not the world will get to the point that wwe see in Sneak.

    I would  give this book a 4 stars out of 5 stars. The plot was quite good and the characters were all amazing, with the exception of Erin. It is suffice to say I will definitely be reading the next book that comes out on May 7th 2013, as well as the first book Swipe.

    Keep reading and loving books,


    (I got a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)