Book Review: The Bane Chronicles

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Synopsis from Amazon.com:

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

I love Magnus Bane. I love his sass and that he’s so kind and genuinely loving even though he sometimes tries to pretend he’s not. Therefore when I found out there was a book centered completely around Magnus I knew I had to read it.

Although the first story about what happened in Peru was terrible and left me worried about the rest of the stories, this book was actually really good. I think starting with the Peru story was the greatest mistake made in the creating of this collection of stories because it totally set the book on the wrong foot.

I obviously love Cassandra Clare’s writing and I know I’ve liked Maureen Johnson in the past but combining three authors’ writing into one book is never easy and I was scared of the outcome. Like I said the first story didn’t make me anymore confident in it but the next story was much better and as the stories went on, each one got better and better.

Of course my favorites were the stories with Alec but I liked the others too. It totally spoiled the Infernal Devices trilogy for me but honestly that’s fine. I’m still going to read them but word to the wise if you don’t want to be spoiled definitely read those first before reading this.

The stories of Alec and Magnus were so cute though. There’s a story about Alec’s birthday and their first date and they’re both adorable. It’s interesting seeing them in the early stages of their relationship because we didn’t really get to see that in the Mortal Instruments series. Alec is such a dork but in the cutest way and it’s fun watching Magnus fall in love with Alec.

Overall, I think I could’ve gone without reading this whole book and just read the stories with Alec but I’m not mad I read the whole thing. It was definitely interesting and made me excited to read the Infernal Devices. I’m glad I didn’t actually purchase it though. I’d only reread the Alec stories and I’m sure I could find those online if I really wanted to. Still, it’s worth a read.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Trust. It is like placing a blade in someone’s hand and setting the very point to your heart.”

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Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire

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Synopsis from Amazon.com:

Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 “New York Times” bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian–but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance… Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

If you’ve been following by blog for at least the last month then you know that I have fallen deeply in love with The Mortal Instruments series. I have now read every book in the series and have made most of the main characters either a Man Crush Monday or Woman Crush Wednesday. Needless to say I was obsessed. And, sadly, now it’s all over and I’m at a loss as to what to do with myself.

Thankfully, there’s more books to read! The Infernal DevicesThe Bane ChroniclesThe Dark Artifices (which hasn’t come out yet but I will get my hands on it as soon as it does or as an ARC if I can)! I can’t wait to get my hands on these.

Until then I’ll be taking a break from the Shadowhunters world to read other things to cater to those of you that don’t actually read books by Cassandra Clare (although you really, really should!). If you haven’t read the first five books in the series please stop here unless you want to get spoiled. It’s review time!

City of Heavenly Fire was everything I needed it to be and more. There were some parts I could do without and definitely some sections I skimmed but overall I absolutely loved it. The story began with Emma, a young Shadowhunter in L.A. who will be the main character in the spin off series that comes out next year. I loved Emma and her friend, Julian, and their whole story and I’m excited to get to know them better.

The focus of this novel, however, was Jace, Clary, Alec, Isabelle, Simon, and Magnus. So much happened in this book and I was enthralled by it all. By beginning the novel with new characters I was thrown off a little bit but liked how Clare didn’t just jump into the drama right away. She eased us into it, showing us just how bad things were for the Shadowhunters and what Sebastian was doing.

Sebastian is probably my favorite character to hate. He’s so diabolical but also a cunning, evil genius. He’s smart, which is what made him successful. Thankfully, Clary and Jace are smarter. I loved seeing Jace and Clary work together in this book. Of course, with every war there were many losses in the novel as well, some of which I wasn’t expecting at all, but there was also victory and romance and enough happy moments to keep me satisfied.

Clare’s ability to bounce from character to character, setting to setting, in her novels is what makes them so great. I never got bored because as soon as we spent time with one or two characters we were then moving along to the next. The third person narrative really works here and I loved reading this book. I found myself so sucked into the story there was definitely a day I almost missed my stop on the train because I was so into the story.

The ending of the book didn’t satisfy me and honestly that’s probably because of two things. One, I hadn’t wanted the series to end but also, for Clare the story’s not really done. Sure the spin off will focus on Emma but it’s still a continuation of this story and I’m sure we’ll be seeing Clary and her crew again.

Even so, I wanted something more final about the ending. I won’t spoil it but I will say I was a little disappointed with the ending for Simon. I need more closure than that but apparently there’s a bunch of short stories about him so I guess I’ll have to read those to know more. Honestly, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to read them. More Shadowhunters!

Overall, I really did love this book. I still wanted more from it although I’m not sure what exactly. I don’t think this is my favorite book in the series, I think City of Lost Souls was better, but I still really loved it.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! You need a complete set. I wish I had one.

Favorite Line: 

“There are a hundred trillion cells in the human body, and every single one of the cells of my body loves you. We shed cells, and grow new ones, and my new cells love you more than the old ones, which is why I love you more every day than I did the day before. It’s science. And when I die and they burn my body and I become ashes that mix with the air, and part of the ground and the trees and the stars, everyone who breathes that air or sees the flowers that grow out of the ground or looks up at the stars will remember you and love you, because I love you that much.”

Stars:

4 stars

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Man Crush Monday: Alec Lightwood

Now that I’m close to the end of The Mortal Instruments series I’ve actually fallen for Alec, just when I thought I never would.

Alec is the definition of the silent, brooding type and in the beginning I found him to be annoying and somewhat irritating. But now that he’s grown on me and I couldn’t imagine the series without him. Moreover, it was his relationship with Magnus that really sealed the deal for me. Their love, as with most of the relationships in this series, is complicated.

Alec did a lot of things in their relationship that made me want to knock him upside his head but at the end of they day Alec does the things he does because he loves so fiercely. All he wants is to be with Magnus and protect Jace and Izzy and make his father proud.

Alec is very passionate in this very quiet way and when he does speak, every word he says is valuable. Alec is such a great, well developed character and I’m a huge fan.

Also, if you haven’t voted for your favorite Man Crush Monday yet make sure to do so before it’s too late. The final round has come to Jace Wayland, a good friend of Alec’s, and Maxon Schreave, from The Selection series. Click here to vote!

“I did not make a pie,” Alec repeated, gesturing expressively with one hand, “for three reasons. One, because I do not have any pie ingredients. Two, because I don’t actually know how to make a pie.”
He paused, clearly waiting.
Removing his sword and leaning it against the cave wall, Jace said warily, “And three?”
“Because I am not your bitch,” Alec said, clearly pleased with himself.” – City of Heavenly Fire