Category: Fantasy


Audiobook Review: 4 stars to Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine

Posted 8 June, 2016 by katheryn13 in Adventure, Audiobooks, Fantasy, Reviews, Sci-Fi, YA / 2 Comments

Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.

In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.

Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar . . . but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.

Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn. . . .

Review:
This one surprised me. I got the paperback not long after it was released, excited to read it. But either I wasn’t in the mood or something about the writing didn’t hook me, I stopped. I then tried the audiobook, and loved the narrator! I had high hopes, and those hopes didn’t let me down. Ben Allen narrates Ink and Bone, and wow, does he make the characters come alive or what!? All the characters have their own individual voices, accents and all, and I was hooked line and sinker. I became so engrossed with Jess, and his experience with the Library.
The idea that the Great Library controls everything related to books, and having originals is seen as illegal and people can only read Blanks (which from what I can gather are just copies of the original?). There’s a whole black market system going on in the background and everything. It’s fascinating. 
The great (yet somehow confusing) understanding is that if I’d just read the paperback, I wouldn’t have known the accents these characters had. Especially Scholar Wolfe. Who knew he’d be Scottish? 
And those that started out as complete assholes, turned out to be decent human beings – except the owners of the Library. Who knew they’d be the villains? It’s amazing. 
Jess was a very easy character to like, but that didn’t mean he was a simple person with no flaws. No, he had a lot of challenges to face and it was heartbreaking some of the things he had to go through, the secrets he had to keep and the people he had to lose. It’s amazing how much war and sacrifice goes into this story and it’s quite shocking, some of it, when I was listening and covering my mouth in horror. 
Besides Jess, and Morgan – I was shipping Jess and Morgan so hard! – my favourites have to be Thomas – though I wasn’t sure about him at first – and Khalila (Probably spelling that wrong…oops). I mean, in a way, I came to care about all of them.
One thing I had trouble figuring out though was whether this was set in a fantasy future, or an AU past time…either way, it’s one hell of a ride. I need book 2 but I’m concerned there won’t be the same narrator 🙁 I have a hard time picking decent narrators because of their voices. >_< 
Anyway, if you haven’t read this, I implore you to do so! 
-Kat
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Review: 4 stars to Magnus Chase & The Sword Of Summer by Rick Riordan

Posted 4 June, 2016 by katheryn13 in Adventure, Fantasy, Funny, Reviews, Supernatural, Updates, YA / 0 Comments

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Review:
Wow. Riordan has done it again. I was, to begin with, unsure how I’d like this book, but I took to it like a duck to water. *inside joke* 
Norse Gods were new to me – I’d only ever seen Thor movies – and so I’d ultimately pictured things differently, and wow, did this turn the images in my head upside down. 
I loved the way Magnus Chase talked, I loved his sense of humour, his quick witted remarks. I saw some comments on Goodreads regarding how he ‘sounded just like Percy and Jason’  but though I agree, yeah, he sounds similar, there was one thing that helped me decide my opinion: Magnus didn’t irritate me like Percy did, and it read easier than Jason Chase because it was in first person. So, yeah.
Sure, there were moments where he made me roll my eyes, annoyed by his behaviour, but it wouldn’t be a Rick Riordan novel if that DIDN’T happen, y’know? Blitz and Hearth really gave this some life, too, and Sam was just the right amount of disciplinarian that it balanced out Magnus’s sense of ‘let’s get ourselves in as much trouble as possible’. Although…they still managed that, didn’t they?
I won’t go into much detail, but there’s plenty of giants, Elves, Dwarves, Gods and other monsters to keep you occupied and bitchy Valkyries that don’t believe you when you say you’ve been attacked by a certain God. I mean, talk about stupid? Also…talking swords? ????????? – I can’t say more, because my confusion is so vast and would last for days.
By the way, Annabeth. ANNABETH! Oh…wow. I wasn’t expecting that. And Loki…he was a rogue sonofabitch, but man is he charming. I’m not sure how else to explain how baffled I was at some of the stunts Magnus and his friends pulled off, so I’ll leave this review like this. I can’t wait for the sequel, and I’m sure it’ll be just as astounding. 
-Kat
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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

Posted 24 May, 2016 by katheryn13 in Blog Talks, Contemporary, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Reading Challenges, Top Ten Tuesday, YA / 5 Comments

 

 

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
So hey guys! Long time no see on a Tuesday! I bring you today’s installment of 10 books…and this time it’s Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed, whether that be less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference or that I thought it was great in a genre until I became more well read in that genre, and on and on. You get the idea. I had to really think hard about this one because I either lose love or gain love, I don’t really get many feelings in between when I haven’t read something in a while. I’m usually not thinking anything at all, to be honest. So maybe that’s called indifference or just plain ignoring …I don’t know. Ha ha. So the list below is pretty…well…obvious, if you know me well. It’s not to say I dislike any of these books, but you’ll see my reasons behind them anyway. 

 


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1: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer- I absolutely loved this when I first read it. Maybe not so much the writing, although I certainly didn’t know a lot better than I do now. But the story hooked me. Perhaps I read it too many times, but now, years later having read so many different kinds of books, I can’t get through it again. I tried, multiple times, but I’m always snagging on things that bother me – grammar wise, or just phrases – and I can’t go past. This makes me sad, but the series will always hold a dear place in my heart.

 

2: Sabriel by Garth Nix- Another one I adored when I first read it a good ten or more years ago. It was brilliant, and I devoured the entire series. But now, I’ve tried to reread it, and it’s just not the same. Maybe it’s me, maybe I’m just not into that kind of fantasy or maybe it was the mood I was in at the time. I will never know.

 


3: Darren Shan Saga by Darren Shan (duh! 😛 ) – As with the ones above, I read this series a long time ago, and since then have read all sorts and I guess my style or taste has changed because I’ve tried to reread this series and it’s just not…agreed with me.

 


4: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- Now here’s one that I can safely say I have loved more and more each time I read it. Four times! I’ve read it 4 times and have not yet become bored. 

 


5: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins- The love I have for this book is ever growing and no matter how many times I read it (3 times!), I’ll never get bored.

6: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – Now here’s one that I’ve read at LEAST 5 times, maybe 6? I lost count, honestly. It’s not that I’ve lost love for it, but the more I reread it, the less excited by it I am. I still love it, don’t get me wrong, but I suppose there is only a certain amount of times within a certain time period that you can reread something. 

 


7: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – much like City of Bones, I’ve reread this between 4 and 5 times, but unlike with above, my love has grown. Though I still get irritated by certain things (like Jem, and the Magister, among other things) but my love for Will Herondale supersedes anything that might hinder my enjoyment. 🙂

8: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I loved this originally, but I tried rereading it recently and, maybe I wasn’t in the right mood, but it didn’t…sit well like before. It wasn’t as gripping. I’m hoping it was just mood, because I want to, NEED TO, read the rest of the series. I hate Chaol, but I can ignore that…I hope. 

9: Poison Study series  by Maria V. Snyder – Okay, this is one where I’ve not recently tried to reread, but thanks to someone claiming Valek is actually in his 40’s <_<, It’s put me off completely. I loved this series when it first came out, like 10 years ago or more, but now…I guess it’ll always mean something to me, but it’s ruined the images I had in my head, and ruined the character for me. So yeah.

 


 

10: Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan – Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Rick Riordan’s writing, and storytelling, but I have to admit, since reading Heroes of Olympus, I prefer that 100% more than Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Sorry not sorry.

Tell me, what books have you felt differently about since you first read them? 
-Kat
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Waiting on Wednesday: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Posted 18 May, 2016 by katheryn13 in Blog Talks, Book Promo, Fantasy, Waiting On Wednesday, YA / 0 Comments

 

New WoW

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

I was struggling to find a book that I knew was coming out this year and one I was excited for and then WHAM I remembered this one and WOAH! I love fairy tale retellings, and since I adored the Lunar Chronicles (after many unsuccessful tries, I finally got the hang of it), I’m so excited for this Wonderland retelling.
Alice in Wonderland is one of my most FAVOURITE Disney stories ever. Seriously. So this makes me eager and also slightly nervous because I have read a few attempts at retelling it in rather…unimpressive ways. I have faith in Marissa Meyer, so I’m keeping my nerves in one piece. 
What are you looking forward to?
-Kat
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Review: 4 stars to The Blood Of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan

Posted 17 May, 2016 by katheryn13 in Fantasy, Reviews, Updates, YA / 2 Comments

Though the Greek and Roman crew members of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

Review:
I had ultimately delayed the end of this series, and then when it came time to reading it…It took me ages. I had left it too long. And then I fell into a reading slump. I read a few others books, and then came back to this. Finally, finally I finished it. 
This final book in the wonderful series by Rick Riordan is just amazing. Yeah, there were moments that I felt dragged, and after what so many people had claimed to be a bad ending, I was pleasantly surprised when I was grinning like an idiot with the sweet ending. 
Anyway, on with my thoughts. 
My favourite characters, Leo, Jason, Piper, Percy, Annabeth, Hazel and Nico. Oh wow what a journey they’ve been on. Not to mention Reyna, who I wasn’t sure about at first. She soon got me on her side. I think that’s the best part when character development is done well, that joy of actually liking them. The story continues from House of Hades, where Annabeth and Percy are finally out of Tartarus and Reyna, Nico and Coach Hedge are transporting the Athena Parthenos across to Camp Half Blood. I think if I didn’t like this book for anything, and this is really nitpicking, it was because there wasn’t as much of Leo or Jason in it. I know, silly, right? A lot of the chapters were from Nico and Reyna’s POV and though, yeah, they’re okay, I prefer the others. I was hot and cold with Nico, because I couldn’t get a grasp on who he was…if you know what I mean. He was always so hostile with people and it had me being all “mehhhh.” Then you have Octavian who is a complete piece of work. I swear, I thought he needed a slap upside the head because he was so stupid and gullible and ugh. In the end, he made me laugh.
I loved how the Romans and Greeks worked together to get the job done. Defeating Gaia wasn’t going to be easy, but in a way…I felt it was. I don’t know what I was expecting but she kinda…didn’t impress me. All that talk of taking over the world, bla bla bla, and then…yknow. She was pathetic. The Gods were also kind of pathetic. Sure, they kick ass, but then they have the nerve to blame the demigods for causing all this. They never get the credit they deserve. 
I’m so sad this series is over, but now I can read Apollo’s and Magnus Chase’s story. It shall be splendid. I have enjoyed this series far more than Percy’s, but I prefer Percy in this. I’ve said that in previous reviews, so I won’t go on. 
If you haven’t read The Heroes of Olympus, I implore you to start NOW!
-Kat
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I’m doing the…Dewey’s 24hr Readathon April 2016

Posted 22 April, 2016 by katheryn13 in Blog Talks, Contemporary, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Readathons, Reading Challenges, Updates, YA / 2 Comments

Are you?
I’ve not done a readathon in ages (and I can’t exactly say the TBRtakedown was a success), but now, in the middle of all the writing I’m SUPPOSED to be doing before I go away, I’ve decided I’m going to take one day out to READ. Not that I haven’t been reading all this time, because I have been. Even if it’s just a couple hours here and there, I manage it. But I’ve been so disconnected with books lately, what with me writing my own one. 
So here’s my choices to read (because lord knows I’m not going to manage more than one book):
Passenger
Blood of Olympus.
I’m going to try one of these, and of course if within the first hour or so I decide I’m not feeling it (though I’ve tried the second one and I love the story, but maybe it’s clashing too much with my own story), then I can change.
Let me know if you’re taking part and what you’ll be reading. 
-Kat

 

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Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Posted 22 April, 2016 by katheryn13 in Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, YA / 0 Comments

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

 

Not gonna lie, I didn’t think I was going to finish this. I’d initially sort of given up at around the 75% stage. I set it aside, read something else, and then y’know what? I wanted to finish it. 
It had nothing to do with the story that I put it aside, no. It was more..the writing style? To me it felt quite stiff and fancy, like it wouldn’t flow well enough for me to imagine. I had trouble imagining the scenes sometimes, so I’d have to read it aloud and that got a bit tedious after a while (mostly because I ended up losing my voice! lol) But I pushed through.
The story was great, I loved the idea of a girl named Alice being the inspiration for the original Alice in Wonderland and that after her initial visit, things changed, warped to become something gruesome. Like the flowers looking like zombies and the White Rabbit being all skeleton and “rabid.” And that things aren’t as simple as you think they are. Generations down the line and the secrets get deeper.
The Caterpillar was human-ish and was charming and clever. Complete contrast to the original, which is probably a good thing. Haha. I kind of felt he was a mix of caterpillar and the mad hatter. I know the Hatter was someone different but he wasn’t in it as much so…Yeah.
Now despite all the likes, I have some dislikes. Which is mostly why I only rated it 3/3.5 stars. Jeb. Ew! Jeb! What an arsehole! He might be all “You’re my everything” toward Alyssa but seriously? He was obnoxious, controlling, patronising, and just over all ugh. I’ll admit, I liked him at the beginning. I thought he’d be a decent love interest, but no. His true colours shone bright and skewed to become something hideous. Now, Morpheus. Let’s just say he won me over in the end, but I did have my doubts. Yes he’s manipulative and sly, deceiving and deceptive, but man was he charming. I think he could have charmed the pants of a grasshopper. Maybe he even has. (inside joke.)
In any case, it was a real war between controlling and deception. Which one would win? I don’t know, I kinda wanna read the sequel just because I did like Morpheus. Alyssa wasn’t as much of a flake as she could have been, but she wasn’t exactly warrior princess, either. She stood her ground but she also let Jeb walk all over her and treat her like she was a child, and with zero respect, yet she was all “oh i love him” like seriously girl, where’s your reality check? Anyway, I guess she’s one character I don’t dislike, but I’m not exactly loving her. The banter between Morpheus and Jeb was golden, though.
I liked the whole madness aspect to her mother and how it was all in the ‘genes’. I know people claim it was portrayed wrong, but sometimes fiction is fiction and there’s a certain element of interpretation involved, so y’know…suck it. Never the less, it intrigued me, and it’s just a shame all that didn’t last. 
The truths come out in a flurry of angst and flirting and it’s so…fun. I just, have I said how much I love Morpheus? No? Well I do. I mean, yes he was everything I said above but at least he was INTERESTING! The secondary characters were fun but didn’t really stick with me, though Gossamer nearly came close, she wasn’t what we expected. 
I wish I could have rated this higher, and maybe I would have if the writing hadn’t kept me from getting sucked in as much as I’d liked. Maybe the sequel will be better? Who knows.
-Kat
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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

Posted 29 March, 2016 by katheryn13 in Blogging Challenges, Contemporary, Fantasy, Reviews, Romance, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Top Ten Tuesday, Updates, YA / 2 Comments

 

 

Good day, all. Here’s another TTT going and this one is about 10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads (Or Ten Of The Best Books I’ve Read Recently if you don’t 5 star stuff…or you could do 5 of my latest five star reads & five of my most disappointing or 1 star reads). This challenge is set by the wonderful people at The Broke and the Bookish 
I’ll do this in order or how I read them. From most recent to furthest…if that makes sense? Sigh.
1: Angels Twice Descending(Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #10) by Cassandra Clare & Robin Wasserman – I mentioned this in my last post. I forgot to put the rating, though. I suck at this sometimes. Ha! I loved this final installment in the novellas. It was a wonderful ending to Simon’s time at Shadowhunter Academy. 

2: Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #6) by Cassandra Clare & Robin Wasserman – Again, this one was one of my faves from the novellas. Brilliant. I miss them already. Sigh.

 

 


 

3: This Raging Light by Estelle Laure – I adored this book. I didn’t even think I would when I first got it from NG and then later got it from the library. I read it so quick and it was so sweet and sad and everything. I love when books surprise me like that.

4: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith – I guess I was on a contemporary streak at the time and I read this and loved it. Such a simple premise but so heartfelt and sad and happy and romantic…I love Jennifer’s books. Well, most of them. I’ve read 3 of them and they’ve been great.

 

 


5: Girl of Nightmares(Anna, #2) by Kendare Blake – I read the first of this duo a couple years ago, and I couldn’t believe it took me so long to get to this,but it was a joy to read and so pleasantly creepy. 

 

6: All Wrapped Up(Geek Girl, #1.5) by Holly Smale – Such a short novella but so so enjoyable. I wanted more. I can’t wait for Head Over Heels to come out in PB.

 

 

7: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman – What can I say about this that hasn’t been said by many people already? I LOVED this book and I am eagerly awaiting book 2, Gemina. It will surely be as mindblowing as Illuminae was. I might reread it soon, too.

8: You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day – I actually got the audiobook of this and it was so much, so so much fun. She has a very quirky, interesting way of talking and brought this book to life in a way I wasn’t expecting. It took me a few days to get through it, but I found myself so saddened and inspired by what went on in her life so far. She’s brilliant!

 

 

 

 

9: Sapphire Blue(Precious Stone Trilogy, #2) by Kierstin Gier – The sequel to Ruby Red was just as great as I’d hoped. I love time travel stories and this didn’t disappoint, though there were characters that bugged me, but not in any unnatural way. Mostly I guessed they were meant to be annoying.

 

 

10: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) by Sabaa Tahir – I was pleasantly surprised by this. Sure, there were moments that made me wonder why I’d rated it so high, but the overall story got me like WOAH. WOAH. WOAH. You should all go and read this. 

And so that’s it. I mean, I have loads more where that came from, because I seem to rate many books 5 stars. That’s just because if I have read it in a day or 2, or it left an imprint on my heart, then I loved it and it deserves a great score! 😀 
Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you rated them! I’d love to know. 
-Kat
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Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare (ft: Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan and Robin Wasserman)

Posted 25 March, 2016 by katheryn13 in Fantasy, Reviews, YA / 0 Comments

 

 

So basically. I finished the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy novellas. All 10 of them. PURE. BEAUTY! It had been ages since I’d been involved in the world of Shadowhunters (and I really don’t count the show..) and so reading about Simon and his friends and our friends and all the friends…I can’t help but fall in love with it all over again. So. Here’s a really long post on what I thought. Ready? Set? GO!
P.S. There may be some spoilers. It’s hard to know what to put and what is considered spoiling. Everyone’s different. If you don’t intend on reading these stories, then you’ll be fine. 

 

 

Welcome To The Shadowhunter Academy: 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

4 stars
The beginning of this journey wasn’t quite as thrilling as I thought it might be, but none the less, this was a great eye opener as to what was going on as Simon starts his training. Simon can’t bare to see Isabelle and Clary and anyone else who truly ‘knew him’ because he can’t remember any of it, and he can’t bare to see their hopeful faces, waiting for him to do something they know of the old Simon. It’s quite sad really, but also a little irritating. Simon acts really stupid when it comes to Isabelle.

The Lost HerondaleSimon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned 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?

4 stars

While fitting in the Academy, Simon discovers where he truly belongs. In this discovery, it’s obvious he wants to change things and how the Shadowhunter’s behave and treat downworlders/mundanes. Catarina, the warlock working at the Academy, tells Simon of a story about a Shadowhunter called Tobias Herondale who betrayed his fellow Shadowhunters when they most needed him. It’s a compelling story and I honestly felt so bad for Tobias. I want to know more about his son. 

 

The Whitechapel Fiend: Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders—“Jack” was stopped by Will Herondale, his former parabatai, and his institute of Victorian Shadowhunters.

4 stars

Oh my days, this story was so good. Will Herondale, people. Will. Herondale. Oh how I have missed him. And Tessa! Oh, Tessa! Cecily! Gideon! Seriously, guys, this is where the novellas get so so good. This time Tessa goes into the academy to tell the students a story of when Jack The Ripper was at large. We’re taken back to October 1888, where we see Will’s family, and the horrible murders going on in London. Tessa explains how these murders were actually the doings of a demon, and thankfully, Will puts it down. In among these people we love and miss, we see Jessamine Lovelace who is a ghost, looking after and protecting the London Institute. I almost teared up when she appeared. OMG.  Aside from this story, Jace Herondale is lurking around Simon and though Simon knows they must have gotten along before his memory wiped, he is unsure. Jace decides to seek Tessa out and find out more about his heritage. 

 

Nothing But Shadows: Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

4 stars

Oh man, this story was so sad but also really sweet. We’re taken back to the 1899, where James Herondale is starting Shadowhunter Academy. He’s shy, a book lover and not very good at socialising. I really felt for him because I know the feeling. He longs to make a friend, but when he comes across Thomas Lightwood and Christopher Lightwood, he’s overshadowed by Matthew Fairchild,who has all the charm of a real charmer. He barely does any work, he manages to hold everyone’s attention without doing much effort, and James hates him. Learning about these characters instantly made me want a series just on them, and I believe we are getting a series on James. PHEW! This story turns out all right when Matthew is found to not be such an arsehole, and him and James decide to become parabatai. 

The Evil We LoveAll evil starts somewhere, and Simon Lewis learns how The Circle—led by Valentine Morgenstern—began. One of ten adventures in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.The Shadowhunter Academy has only just reopened following the disastrous rise of the Circle. Now the faculty can finally admit to what happened when Valentine was a student.

4 stars

Robert Lightwood – the new Inquisitor – goes to the Academy to tell them a story of when he was part of Valentine’s Circle. We discover that Robert actually wasn’t able to take his Marks at the beginning, and the relationship between him and Michael Wayland. It’s such a heartbreaking moment, and Robert behaves like such a dick that I’m sorry, but it’s going to take me a long time to forgive him, but it’s obvious he’s trying to repent his actions. Valentine is shown as the compelling man he is shown in TMI but we see deeper into how he worked.  Isabelle is present during this tale and helps her dad teach the students a lesson but then confronts her father when she shows disrespect. She makes up with Simon and it’s like…SIZZY IS REAL! 

Pale Kings and Princes: Simon has an encounter with Downworlders and is reprimanded for not following the rules for Academy students interacting with Downworlders. A story within a story: Andrew Blackthorn, while a student at the Academy, becomes enthralled by a faerie and has two children with her: Mark and Helen.

5 stars
Helen Blackthorn is brought to the academy to tell a story of how she came to be, the story of her mother and how she treated her father and uncle. It’s quite tragic, really, and I felt so bad for Helen. Since the end of COHF, there’s a Cold Peace with the Faeries and nobody trusts or likes them, not that they did much before hand. Helen is treated as garbage despite only being half Fae. She announces she’s getting married to Aline Penhallow, which is great, but she’s still banished to that island (I think it’s called Wrangle Island?) so it’s like…what? WHAT?
Since the summer holidays ended, where Simon went back to Brooklyn and had several DISASTROUS dates with Isabelle, they end up  going on another date and things nearly end badly, but thankfully, he manages to keep the dreams afloat. 

Bitter Of Tongue: When Simon is kidnapped by the fey, he’s amazed to find a friend in former Shadowhunter Mark Blackthorn. One of ten adventures in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.After Simon is kidnapped by faeries (why is he always kidnapped?), he uncovers rumors of a secret weapon Sebastian left behind for the faerie queen. He must escape the Fey, relying on his only ally, former Shadowhunter and Dark Artifices character Mark Blackthorn.

4 stars

Simon and his friends have a job to do and George Lovelace, his roommate, is in charge of being team leader. Things go wrong when they cross over into Fae territory and Simon is kidnapped and put into a cage. It’s quite amusing at first, but then Mark Blackthorn comes to see him and we see just how badly he’s faring. Mark was taken in COHF to join the Wild Hunt and his mind is going slowly mad. He tries his best to remember his family and their names, but it only does so much. He decides to help Simon escape but not without consequence. In other news, Helen and Aline are getting married and we see everyone together again. 

The Fiery Trial: Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn become parabatai. Simon and Clary both act as their witnesses, so they can see what a parabatai bond forming looks like as they want to become parabatai as soon as Simon graduates — and because Emma asked Clary. The ritual goes unexpectedly …

4 stars

This story was a little confusing for me. The first half of it I was like “Wtf is going on?” but I think that was the point. Emma and Julian are going to become parabatai and Simon and Clary are asked to be witness. Then they’re drugged and thrown into some really strong hallucination in order to determine if they’re suited to be parabatai themselves. It lost me at some point, but because Simon was confused, I felt closer to him. Haha.
He goes on a journey, remembering bits and pieces from his life before, and is constantly drawn to Clary. The parabatai ceremony between Julian and Emma is intense and special. This was one of the less popular stories for me, though I still rate it 4 stars. Mostly because any ebook that gets me to read it in a short time deserves a high score. >_<

 

Born To Endless Night: Simon, like the rest of the Academy, is stunned when a navy-skinned warlock baby is found on the Academy steps. They hand the child over to guest lecturer Magnus Bane, who has to bring a child home… temporarily, of course… to his man!

4 stars

When Simon and George discover a baby left on the steps of the Academy, they’re left with a decision. What to do? The baby is blue, so it’s obviously a warlock baby. This story goes between Simon and Magnus’s pov’s and that was good, but I don’t know. I’ve never been much of a fan of Magnus and Alec’s relationship (I’ll point you to City of Lost Souls and Alec’s dickish behaviour…yeah) so it was a bit meh to me, but also sweet because they have the argument of whether to keep it or not. Though when I say argument I don’t mean they fight, I just mean it’s a big ordeal, especially when Magnus discovers the whole Lightwood family taking over his room the moment he goes back after a breath of fresh air. Magnus is such a great character and I always enjoy reading his scenes. Like when he arrives at the academy and clicks his fingers to fix the falling apart building. 
It’s honestly one of the funniest scenes/section of the story I’ve read so far. Mostly because after Simon asking Alec why he doesn’t like him, and then finding out he was wrong and Alec actually likes him a lot, it means Jace has trouble coming his way for saying otherwise. Then you have Robert and Maryse deciding baby names. It’s so cute.
I would tell you the name they choose but that might be a huge spoiler…lol

Angels Twice Descending:

Someone lives and someone dies at Simon’s Ascension ceremony.

Now we finally have Simon at the end of his two year shadowhunting training. It’s a daunting process when Simon has to ascend. By drinking from the Mortal Cup, he’ll become a full Shadowhunter. It’s also a really sad story because of character I absolutely loved. I guess it’s still a sore subject because I can’t say more. I don’t want to. He was my FAVOURITE (next to Simon, of course)
So over all, these novellas were a god send (or angel send?) and I’m SO glad I read them. Thank you to Christine (xtinemay) telling us all to read them, because I owe it all to her. I don’t think I’d have realised how important they are if she hadn’t. But now I have to move on, and that sucks because it’s like I’ve rediscovered my love for these adorable characters again and I’m expected to read a book on different people? NO. I don’t know how! Sigh. I guess I’ll try. But I have this need to reread TMI series (or even try writing fanfic on SIZZY!).
Let me know if you’ve read this set of novellas and what you thought. I don’t know many people that have, so it’d be nice to find those that did.
 -Kat xx
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