Walker acquires new Cassandra Clare trilogy | The Bookseller

Walker Books has acquired the UK, Australian, New Zealand and export rights to The Last Hours, a new Shadowhunters trilogy from Cassandra Clare, for a “significant” six-figure sum.

Fiction publisher Gill Evans acquired the rights from from Heather Baror Shapiro and Danny Baror at Baror International.

The new trilogy, set in Edwardian London and fin de siècle Paris, will be published by Walker in 2017.

Walker is also the UK publisher of Clare’s bestselling series The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. The final book in the Mortal Instruments, City of Heavenly Fire, will hit the shelves on 27th May.

“Cassandra Clare is our bestselling fiction author of 2013,” said Evans. “This acquisition is a real accolade to the massive success we have had. We are thrilled that we shall be publishing Cassandra for many years to come.”

Clare’s books have sold 654,059 copies through Nielsen BookScan, to a value of £4,264,733.

via Walker acquires new Cassandra Clare trilogy | The Bookseller.

What does this mean?

A new series from Cassandra Clare! Definitely something to cheer about.

Book Review: Clockwork Princess [Infernal Devices 3]

 

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Title: Clockwork Princess [The Infernal Devices 3]

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Steampunk, Historical

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

London 1873 shape-shifter Tessa Gray 16 is engaged to Jem Carstairs 17, dying of addiction to demon drug, all bought up by evil Mortmain. The “clockwork prince” controls an army of automatons to abduct Tess, kill the Shadowhunters, and blackmail Charlotte Branwell, head of London Institute. Will and Tessa hide their love, for love of Jem.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Absolutely beautiful. The Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare is a masterfully written end to a trilogy that will remain on my keeper shelf for years to come. It seems that often these days authors are pushed to extend series well past their breaking point, adding book after book as long as there are readers to buy them. It’s a growing trend that often leads to a drawn-out meandering death for a series–and though I dearly love the characters in the Infernal Devices Trilogy, I think there could have been no better point at which to end it.

Just as with the first two books, the narrative was expertly written to be clear and fluid. I sunk into the world as if it were the only one that existed and didn’t come up for air until the last page was turned. I never felt rushed or prodded along. I never felt the need to roll my eyes, or frustrated, throw the book at a wall (as I often do with YA fiction). This series was truly beautifully written, and in my opinion, even better than Ms. Clare’s other series: The Mortal Instruments. I simply could not get enough of these books.

This addition to the series was both heartbreaking and endearing. I will admit that I nearly broke into tears near the end. It was tragic, and yet full of hope in the final pages of the book, and it felt like I were seeing old friends again as the story wound down and began to close the gaps in the both series with small tidbits and glimpses into what became of the characters. I refuse to give spoilers to this series because I want everyone to experience it as I did. I was pleasantly surprised by Tessa’s actions in the final battle with the Infernal Devices, and surprised again at how the story closed out, but endlessly grateful for the choices the author made in wrapping up the series.

I finally learned to love the secondary characters, even weak Henry and musical Bridget (I finally learned her name and remembered it!) who filled the pages with endless sonnets of tragedy and death. It’s going to be a long time before I find another series I love as much as I did this.

I would highly recommend this series to anyone who even remotely likes Cassandra Clare’s work. Even if you just vaguely enjoyed the Mortal Instruments, I think you’ll love this series. It is so much better, and so much less frustrating–and if you haven’t read her other work, pick it up anyways. It is F A N T A S T I C.

Book Review: Clockwork Prince [Infernal Devices 2]

 

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Title: Clockwork Prince [The Infernal Devices 2]

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical, Romance, Steampunk

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when it becomes clear that the mysterious Magister will stop at nothing to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.


With the help of the handsome, tortured Will and the devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal and fueled by revenge. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa is drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa answers about who she really is? As their search leads to deadly peril, Tessa learns that secrets and lies can corrupt even the purest heart.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I have fallen in love with this series. I genuinely liked The Mortal Instruments series by Ms. Clare, but it was only when I started the Infernal Devices series that I truly began to appreciate Ms. Clare’s ability to write convincing fiction.

In the Mortal Instruments series I was endlessly frustrated by the manufactured love triangle between Clary, Jace, and Simon. That may have something to do with my great dislike of Simon, but nonetheless, a love triangle is only convincing if all the parties involved are equally favored by the reader. In this series, that is clearly evident.

For once, I am torn. I really like Tessa as a heroine, and equally, I am drawn towards both Jem and Will. I honestly can’t tell you which one I favor more. They’re both such tragic characters, and both so good and loving in their own way that I can’t help but feel saddened by the situation Tessa has found herself in. On the one hand I think Will has much more passion than Jem, and despite his brooding, sometimes cruel personality, I do like him. I can understand that his standoffishness is a mechanism to keep people at arm’s length. Equally, Jem is a truly caring, kind boy who unfortunately, has a short lifespan ahead of him. Both are so desperately in love with Tessa, and unfortunately, Tessa loves them both as well (even if she’s not always willing to admit it). I have an inkling that perhaps Tessa is meant to be with Will in the end (and we’ll see if I’m correct) but the thought of her leaving Jem makes my heart break for them. I am so glad I am not in her shoes.

This second installment of the Infernal Devices trilogy was every bit as good as the first book. It’s been awhile since I’ve come across a group of characters that are so easily likeable and tragic–and none of them have come across as ridiculously over dramatic, two dimensional, or annoying. Though there are some characters I maybe don’t feel as close to (What’s the new cook’s name? I honestly can’t remember – though I love her tawdry murder-filled songs!), I can’t pick out a single character that really got under my skin as with Ms. Clare’s other series.

The characters are so full of depth and true human emotion, I find it hard not to fall head-first into the world building of this story. Maybe it’s the romance of the Victorian era, the stunning characters or the thrilling plot, but I can’t seem to put this series down.

This is a short review because I honestly don’t have anything negative to say about this book. I’d happily recommend it to anyone, and I’ll definitely be reading it again and again!

Book Review: Separation [Like Kindred Spirits 1]

 

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Title: Separation [Like Kindred Spirits 1]

Author: Cassandra Lane

Genre: Historical, Romance

Rating: 1 Star

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Not yet available on Goodreads.

Description/Synopsis:

None available! Amazon provides only an excerpt from the beginning of the story.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Did Not Finish. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a partial review, and wow was this one a doozy. Reportedly, Separation is a story about a young mix-race woman who finds love with a white man in the newly post-emancipation from slavery era of New York. I wouldn’t know, because I didn’t get that far.

This book was dry. The narrative read like a text book written for grade-schoolers. I wish I were kidding. I honestly didn’t even make it past the first chapter. The text was one long exposition of backstory in endless paragraphs of completely irrelevant information.

The 100-acre Georges Planation was established in 1801 by the George family to produce tobacco leaves for the local business in Salisbury, North Carolina. The Farm was worked by thirty helpers under the direction of owner Frederick George, who was now in this thirties and had taken over after his dad passed away about a year ago. (His mother had died before then.)

That’s the first paragraph (available in the excerpt) it doesn’t get better from there.

Her serene personality and working ethics exceeded the George family’s expectations. She even considered herself a part of the family, loving Mr. George’s parents deeply and becoming very affected by their deaths, grieving them as if they had been her own parents.

The dialogue was just as dry, sporadic, and incorrectly punctuated. The characters seemed stiff and lifeless.

“Momma, we are free, don’t you get it,” said Missy for the umpteenth time to her stubborn mother. “Yes momma, I want to go to New York City. There are lots of things there. I can work like I do now, sewing.” But Bess refused to consider the notion.

And here’s some more:

“Darn it, Bess. Get those children to be quiet. I can’t stand all of that yelling at the same time,” said Mr. George..

“Don’t you know that I want to see my wife? You all took a long time in there,” he complained in a cranky voice.

“Yes, Master. Right away, Master. Hush, hush,” Bess kept hugging the newborns, one boy and one girl, in each arm. She put them in their cribs.

Yes, that second period at the end of the first bit of dialogue is a typo taken directly from the text, and no, the dialogue didn’t pick up again after that last bit. The story droned on in an endless prattle of information with very little action, and dialogue tags needlessly followed nearly every sentence of dialogue. It consisted almost entirely of facts, wordy backstory, and questionable world-building. I honestly tried to get past it, but when the story continued on like this past the 14% mark on my Kindle, I threw in the towel. There is only so much I can do.

I’d like to consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to writing. I read books – more than 100 a year. I write. I review books and blog about them… so I feel comfortable saying that in my opinion, this book was terrible. What may have been a wonderful, heart-felt story of romance against the odds (something that should have been very intimate and character-driven) was instead, a dry exposition on an unfortunate era.

I would not recommend this book, and I certainly won’t be reading it again. I’m a firm believer that narrative should be fast-paced and effortless to read. A reader shouldn’t have to slog through a book in order to get to the point. It should be an adventure, not a homework assignment.

Book Review: City of Lost Souls [Mortal Instruments 5]

 

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Title: City of Lost Souls [Mortal Instruments 5]

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Urban, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult, Teen

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

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?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I think this may be one of my favorites of the series. City of Lost Souls is a bit of a departure from the usual Mortal Instruments series. Though it does contain the usual back and forth between the main couple (Jace and Clary) and the secondary characters, this book seemed to deal a lot more with the personal relationships between the characters than the previous books (which tended to be a never-ending impact of action events and the character’s reactions). In part, I think that may be why I liked it so much.

Right around the fourth book in the series there was a gap in the narrative where Jace and Clary were very rarely mentioned, and when they were, it was a constant drama of fighting, ignoring, and getting interrupted by other characters. It was a nice change to see so much time being spent following Clary around, exploring their relationship, and getting to know Clary’s brother, Sebastian, better.

There was a very tense dynamic brewing through out this book between Clary, Jace, and Sebastian that was both fascinating, tense, and at times, tragic. I felt like I really got to know the character of Sebastian (Jonathan Morgenstern) better, and  in a way, I grew to like him. yes, he’s evil-incarnate, but also he has a much softer, heart-breaking side that I finally got to see and appreciate.

Yet, I am heavily disgusted by his fascination with his sister. He very nearly attempted to rape her (no worries, your brains will be saved from that imagery), but I think a good deal of the evil he does throughout this series comes from his inability to connect with people on any level. I’ll blame it on the demon blood – it left him with a dark pit in his personality that he isn’t entirely responsible for. That sounds like a cop-out, but I think in this situation, it makes me feel a little sorry for the guy. What he really need, craves, is love. Be that sisterly love, romantic, or friendship… the boy desperately needs someone to belong to (as Clary puts it), and I don’t think he truly got that sort of affection from his father (the one person who actually did care for him in some sense).

I can’t help but wonder if Clary actually gave in and said “You’re my brother and I love you as my brother, despite your demonic blood… the demon in you isn’t your fault.” if maybe Sebastian could be pushed into being a better guy, or at the very least, maybe Clary could gain some sway over his actions. Instead, everyone is always pushing at him and calling him Evil, and though Clary seems to get a glimpse of his softer side through this story, she outright ignores it and continues to hate his guts. Come on Clary, give the guy a chance. I may be a bit of a Sebastian fan-girl.

That aside, it was nice to see more of the main couple, and to really get a deeper understanding of their relationship and more importantly, Jace’s feelings towards Clary. He’s spent so much time in the series being wishy-washy and angsty about their relationship, that it was nice to finally see him own up to it and give it a real shot. There’s still a bit of frustration dealing with the author’s inability to let the main couple get past second base, but I didn’t feel quite so annoyed by it in this book due to the strange situation Clary and Jace find themselves in. There’s really only so much you can do with your brother around and your boyfriend possessed.

I also found that I hated Simon a little less in this book that the previous ones (although don’t get me started on how he’s still whining about his past relationships with Clary and Maia). He’s beginning to develop into a person of his own, and I’m hoping that trend will continue on into the next book. It was nice to see Simon and Isabelle really start to develop their feelings for each other (especially on Isabelle’s end, as she’s always been the reluctant party).

Overall, I liked the book. There wasn’t a lot of action as in the previous two books, but I think maybe the lull and return to the interpersonal relationships between the characters was needed in this instance. I’m excited to see where the series goes from here, and I’d definitely recommend this book (and the series) to anyone who enjoys YA fiction.

Book Review: City of Fallen Angels [Mortal Instruments 4]

 

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Title: City of Fallen Angels [Mortal Instruments 4]

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Urban, Paranormal, Fantasy, Teen, Young Adult, Romance, Action & Adventure

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

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, 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. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary 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.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Meh. That’s how I feel about this book. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t god-awful. Technically speaking, the writing was clean and grammatically correct. However, the plot this time around left something to be desired. Unlike the previous book (and this may be part of the problem), City of Fallen Angels wasn’t crammed full of tension and action. The first half of the book was a little more like the calm before a storm. Everyone seemed happy. Clary and Jace were downright silly around each other. It was a nice change of pace, but I’ll admit that I did miss the tension.

The book stalled out a bit in the middle half of the book. A lot of new elements were introduced with new characters, new backstory, and an exceedingly weak drawn-out plot. It almost felt as if every character introduced had some sort of secret they were hiding, and it made it very difficult to pin down anyone’s intensions. I get the need to be secretive—really I do—but when there’s so many secrets in such a slow part of the book… I ended up just getting frustrated.

A lot of time was spent around some of the not-so-important characters, including Simon (whom I hate), his family, his girlfriend problems… Maia, Jordan, and their relationship problems and backstory… and Jocelyn and Luke’s upcoming wedding. Other lesser characters like Alec, Magnus, Raphael, the Seelie Queen, and the newly introduced Camille, took up most of the narrative—leaving Clary and Jace (the main interest in this series!) by the wayside.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, every time the story switched to Clary and Jace they were either whining over each other, ignoring each other all together, or getting their make-out sessions interrupted. Talk about fan-girl frustration!

After the first 2/3rds of the book things became a little more tense—dark even, and it was a good change from the previous boring interludes of not-knowing-what-the-heck-was-going-on, but the whole thing left me with an increasing sense of unease. Everything was too perfect… then mysterious, then downright creepy.

In the end I found I just couldn’t enjoy the story as much as I did with the previous books. Not a lot seemed to happen with most of the time in the book being spent dealing with relationship issues. It didn’t seem to go anywhere, and even in the end, the drama was pointless. The one shining redeemer was the tragic ending (that I won’t spoil) which hopefully will lead into the next book and a much more interesting plotline.

Would I recommend this to anyone? Not if you haven’t read the previous books. It doesn’t stand on it’s own, and it certainly wasn’t the best of the series. If you’ve read the previous three, then I’d recommending at least sifting through this one in the hopes you’ll be caught up for the next in the series. This book was so-so. Readable, but lukewarm.

Book Review: City of Glass [Mortal Instruments 3]

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Title: City of Glass [Mortal Instruments 3]

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Urban, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, YA, Teen, Action & Adventure

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

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?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I loved this book. I may be giving it more credit than I should because I fan-girled over certain aspects of the plot, but I’ll hold by my 5 star rating. Let’s face it, this series has it’s issues. Clary is notorious for making bad, childish, and impulsive decisions. Jace whines about –everything- and pouts in the corner over Clary every chance he gets. Don’t even get me started on Simon. I swear I hate him. Despite all that, however, the series, this book even, is great.

With each book as I get farther and farther into the series, it seems that the world building is only getting richer, and the characters, are getting, if not smarter, at least more adaptable. There are some great kick-ass scenes in this book that are going to make you squeal if you’re as much of a fan of this series as I am (but I’ll be nice and not tell you what they are).

Unfortunately it wasn’t all rainbows and puppies, and there were definitely some drawbacks this time around. There was a lot going on in this book – in fact, it seemed to have more action and tension than the previous two books combined. There’s a lot going in the world of the mortal instruments. Unfortunately, that means that not all of the characters introduced are going to get a significant amount of face time.

Alina was one of those characters. To be honest, When I read the book, and even later when I went back over it for notes and context I’d written myself as reminders… I didn’t remember Alina all that well. I’m still not sure if there was any significance at all to her being in the story. Quite frankly, if the author had left her out entirely, I don’t feel the story would have changed that much. She had a piss-poor attitude, and really didn’t seem to be around for any reason other than to piss off Clary.

The same can be said for several of the other minor characters, and really it’s a shame… BUT on the flip-side of that coin, I think there’s a good reason why those characters got so little face time. This book was jam-packed with backstory and histories of the various characters. I felt like I got a significant amount of information out of this book (as opposed to the previous two), and while at times that did make things a little dry, I was glad to have the information so I could start sorting out the events of the previous books in my head. So let’s take a moment to talk about some of the characters:

Spoilers: I am sad to report that in this installment of the story, Max dies. He was a cute character, and it’s always awful when a child dies in a story—but I’m glad the author chose to make the decision. Though he was adorable, Max wasn’t an important character. I think by killing off Max, the author made a real point about the war at hand in this book and the tragedy of what happened that day.

I will admit, despite my ongoing hatred for the character of Simon (I swear, he annoys the crap out of me with his passive-aggressive puppy love issues with Clary), I did like him a bit more in this book, particularly towards the end. It was nice to see him stand up as a character and start to really become an individual rather than a side character that was around to play off Clary and Jace. I still hate him though, and his angst-y attitude. Let’s be clear.

I also didn’t like the new Inquisitor…but there’s no surprise there. If anything, this one was almost (I said almost) worse than the previous one. I don’t know what it is with the Clave, but I can feel Clary’s frustration with them. There doesn’t seem to be many members who are even decent human beings. It seems to consist entirely of lemmings and Harry Potter villains.

Clary and Jace this time around both frustrated me and made me squeal with joy. I adore their relationship, even if it is taboo, but there comes a point where even the fan-girling isn’t enough. Jace through this book was even more whiny that usual. He was angry and outright mean through most of it – though I can understand why. Clary spent most of the story being selfish and acting childish (as per her usual character), running into danger without a thought to anyone or anything other than her whim of the moment. It was frustrating, but I can also understand where the two characters were coming from. There was so much tension and frustration between the couple from the outset of this book and through the previous two books that they just weren’t thinking clearly anymore. In the same situation I’m afraid to admit that I probably wouldn’t be much more mature than they were.

As for the dark and seriously creepy Sebastian… he was a character I loved to hate. He was charming, but in a way that seriously creeped me out from the very beginning of his appearance in the story. Seeing where his story ended up… I’m not surprised. I think it’s a testament to Ms. Clare’s writing that Sebastian’s character came across with such an amazingly dark vibe. You could practically smell the evil on him, and it gave me the shivers.

Overall? I really liked this book – maybe even more than the first two books of the series (though it still isn’t my favorite. We’ll get to those.) I’d be happy to recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA fiction, and certainly to anyone who even remotely liked the movie or either of the previous books. This series seems to get better and better as it goes a long, and it feels like the world of the mortal instruments is becoming more filled out and intricate as the series goes on. This is going on my keeper shelf.

Book Review: City of Bones

 

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Title: City of Bones [The Mortal Instruments 1]

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy, Action & Adventure

Rating: 5 (4.5)

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Description/Synopsis: When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder. Much less a murder commited by three teenagers covered with odd markings. This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons–and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It’s also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. 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 an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know….

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

First of all, great cover. Second, it was about time I got into this series. I avoided all the hype when the books first came out and started to become popular, but when the movie came out, I felt it was finally time I look into what the hype was all about. The first thing I did was watch the movie, which was pretty good – if a little all-over-the-place at times. Having enjoyed it, I jumped right into the first book, and without delay, subsequently finished all five.

Honestly, overall, and I’ll probably repeat this when I review the other four—I enjoyed the novel series a lot more than the movie. It, (like most book series), felt more complete and put-together. The plot made more sense, and there were a lot of little moments (like Simon being turned into a Rat) that didn’t make the cut into the movie, but seemed to suit the books just fine.

Like most YA novels, it had it’s moments of unnecessary drama (that’s just how teenagers are), but overall the writing was clear, concise, and fast-paced. I never found myself shaking my head at the narrative or skimming bits. I didn’t feel the need to throw things at the characters (okay, maybe at Simon), and although Clary sometimes did really stupid, dangerous things, I didn’t get annoyed at her character like I do with some YA heroine’s.

I think overall, if you liked the movie even remotely, you should give this book (and the entire series) a chance. The characters were a lot more personable in the book vs. the movie, and their motives, a little easier to understand. Jace especially was easier to connect to in this version of the story, though I think Clary possibly lost a bit of her coolness-factor. Simon still irritates me, but no surprise there. Anyways, it was a good book and I’d recommend it to any YA (or even adult) reader. The entire series is age appropriate for anyone 13+. A little later in the series (towards the last two books) there are some racier bits if you’re considering gifting this series to your teen, but the author was very careful not to go into great detail of any sexual/romantic encounter even that late in the series, and I’d certainly feel comfortable recommending it to anyone 13+ who enjoys paranormal fantasy. The world-building was a nice mix of fantasy/paranormal that leaned a bit towards the grittier side, with conniving not-so-nice fairies, vampires, werewolves, demons, and avenging angels.

The –only- reason this book got a 4.5 rating from me rather than a full 5 stars, was because a little later in the series (the last two books in particular) the story gets even better. This wasn’t my favorite book in the series, but it was still a good read. Take a chance, pick up a copy today. This one’s going on my keeper shelf.