Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare

GoodReads Summary:
The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks, and vampires. There, the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters’ world. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is a sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray. And Jem is searching through the Shadow Markets, in many different cities over long years, for a relic from his past.
Follow Jem and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festival, Anna Lightwood’s doomed romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin, and Tessa Gray as she is plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah.
Ghosts of the Shadow MarketReview:
Will there ever be a Shadowhunter book that I don’t love? Unlikely. I even love the ones I don’t like that much. That sounds like nonsense, but unless you are part of the Shadowhunter fan club, you wouldn’t quite understand.
This particular novella collection, Ghosts of the Shadow Market, was not my favorite of the novella bind ups, but I still really enjoyed it. I think I love Jem a bit more because of this book. The Infernal Devices was never been my favorite series, I liked them well enough but I don’t love the time period it was set in. So I really enjoyed getting to see Jem on his mission throughout the years. I completely adored any and all interactions with Lily Chen. She had me cracking up. I especially loved the stories with Alec and Magnus (duh!)
Overall, I really enjoyed getting some further insight into the Shadowhunter world and particularly The Dark Artifices tidbits that were given. There were some hints at what will be happening in the final (?) Shadowhunter series, The Wicked Powers, and I just ate it all up. So, if you like the Shadowhunter universe go pick this up and you won’t regret it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Summary:
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 disease 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.
Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3)Review:
Queen of Air and Darkness is the finale of The Dark Artifices. This is why I’m just now reading it five months after it was published. I was not ready to torture myself with the things I knew were going to slay me. I was absolutely correct. I somehow read this 900-page beast in three days. I did pretty much nothing but read. I just couldn’t bring myself to stop. I needed to know what was going to happen. This honestly was the whole mood for the book and I think it really says a lot about a book. The Shadowhunter world is one that never fails to do this. The story and the characters suck me in and I enjoy being in the world so much that I just can’t seem to stop until I’m finished with the story.

“You may not yourself be luminous, but you are an extraordinary conductor of light.”

There is so much that happens in Queen of Air and Darkness that it’s impossible for me to talk about each part. All of the characters each find themselves off on their own sort of missions. They all have a part they need to play to prevent a civil war among the Shadowhunters. Or if your Ty to completely ignore everything around you to do something that is the most unwise. Every time I found myself thinking about how the current plotlines were going to weird places they were soon brought back to the rest of the story and the other characters. This is why the book was so big. There were certain parts that I thought maybe this wasn’t really needed and could have been taken out to make it a bit shorter, but after finishing I knew that every piece of the story was needed and made it exactly what it is.

“None of us are okay,” she said. “Maybe that’s part of it. When you’re hurting, it’s sometimes hard to see how other people may be hurting differently or worse.”

I do have to mention that I’d love to live in Cassandra Clare’s brain. The things and ideas that she’s come up for this story were WILD. I cannot wait to see what she’s going to do next with the next (last?) series. I’ve heard it follows Kit and Ty and the fact that there is no release date or even year makes me die a little on the inside.

“We all stumble around in the dark and we cause each other pain and we try to  make up for it the best we can.”

The characters are as loveable as always. I don’t know what it is but I find myself loving the supporting characters more than those that are supposed to be the main focus. In TMI I didn’t care all that much about Jace and Clary, but now when they appear in this series, I freaking adore them. I didn’t love Emma and Julian. As the books went on, I liked them less and less. I adored Emma in the first book and then as they fall in love I just didn’t like them as much. I’m not saying I don’t like them, but I honestly prefer every everyone else.

“Grief can be so bad you can’t breathe, but that’s what it means to be human. We lose, we suffer, but we have to keep breathing.”

I wanted more of Drusilla and Ty and Kit. I still liked them and I was happy with how their story turned out, but I know I’m going to love them more when/if they appear in The Wicked Powers. We get to see so many characters I love from previous books like Magnus and Alec, Simon and Isabelle, Jem and Tessa. I loved every page that these beloved characters appeared.

“You made me understand that love creates far more joy than any pain it causes.”

Overall, Queen of Air and Darkness might be my favorite Shadowhunters book to date. I loved the full cast of characters, new and old. I love the wild adventures they found themselves on. I love the racially and sexually diverse characters that we get to know and love. I cannot think of anything that I did not like about this book other than the fact that it ended. I’m really sad that this story had ended but I’m excited to see what Cassandra Clare is going to come out with next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Summary:
A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but to never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?
Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spellbook of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.
When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As danger closes in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)Review:
If you’re new here, the first thing you need to know is that I’m complete and total Shadowhunter trash. If you’re not new here then you’ve probably read all my other reviews for all the previous Shadowhunters books. So, this won’t come as a surprise to you, but I absolutely adored this book. Check out my review for the first book in the series, Lady Midnighthere.
Just like in my review for the first book in The Dark Artifices, I’m going to say that I think these books are my favorite of all the Shadowhunter books so far. I attribute this fact completely to the fact that so many of the characters we already know and love are part of this story or at least make an appearance in the story. We see Clary and Jace, Tessa and Jem, and we even get a bit of Magnus and Alec. Though I still really adore the main characters that we follow in TDA.
Emma is sassy, fierce, loyal, and kicks butt. She’s constantly said to be the next Jace Herondale and I love that. She and Cortana are a serious force to be reckoned with and she proves that again and again. I can’t wait to see who’s butt she kicks in the final book. Then there’s her parabatai, Julian. I love Julian because he does anything and everything in his power to protect his family and to do the right thing. He is smart and charming. I adore these two as a pair and as individuals.
The rest of the Blackthorn clan add all the good things to the book. Livia and Tiberius are totally my favorites. Then add Kit into their madness and they’re the best squad out there. They get up to all kinds of trouble and I loved every page of their antics. They had me laughing and crying and my heart full of all the emotions. Livia and Ty’s relationship were so great. They just understand one another on totally another level. Then there’s Kit and Ty and they are the most dynamic duo there ever was. I can’t wait to see what they get up to next. Then there’s Drusilla. She is the character I can’t wait to see more from. She played her own part, but it just wasn’t enough for my liking. I’m excited to see what she gets up to in the final book. Also, there’s Mark Blackthorn. He is one of my favorites too. Honestly, I just love every single one of the Blackthorns. I would die for all of them.
There are so many other characters in Lord of Shadows that I could mention, but I’m only going to mention two more. Cristina is another that I just love. She’s so full of love for everyone. She wants good things for everyone and will help in whatever way she can. I wish that Emma and Cristina were parabatai instead of her and Julian. Finally, there’s Kieran. He’s the cause of so much conflict, but I can’t help but love him anyway. I just need to know where the story is going to go next.
The way that Lord of Shadows ended was NOT OKAY WITH ME. Not in the least. So, I’m really glad I already own Queen of Air and Darkness so that I can start it as soon as possible. If you haven’t read any of the Shadowhunter books, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Popular Books That Lived Up to the Hype

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Every week there’s a new topic where we get to choose our top ten and write about it. This week’s topic is the top ten popular books that lived up to the hype. This is going to be a fun one for me because I frequently buy or read books because of the hype.

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1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I read this series book by book when it was first released. But even back then there was so much hype that was all accurate. This series still gets hyped up all the time, which says a lot right there.
2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – If you read any of my posts on a regular basis you already know how obsessed with this series I am. It’s one of my absolute favorites. I jumped on this bandwagon pretty early and had to wait for each book to be released which made it ten times worse.
3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – After reading ACOTAR I knew I needed to check out her other series as well and I’m super glad I did. I can’t wait for Kingdom of Ash to be released.
4. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – I originally got these books from the library a few years ago and loved them so much I had to buy my own set.
5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – The first two or three books were already published and I had to not so patiently wait for the next three. But I also had to wait for the Infernal Devices and now I’m not so patiently waiting for Queen of Air and Darkness.
6. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – I am realizing that I am easily convinced to buy books. I bought this one not too long after it came out and have had to wait for each book to come out. Now that the whole series is out I somehow haven’t managed to reread them all.
7. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James – I totally bought this series for the hype. I wouldn’t say they’re the best books in the world, but I’ve enjoyed them enough to read them more than once.
8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer – I love a good fairytale retelling so when I heard the hype for these I obviously had to see what the deal was.
9. The Gender Game by Bella Forrest – Once I signed up for Kindle Unlimited (after I got my Kindle as a Christmas gift from my mother in law) I saw this series all over and eventually gave it a shot. I’m glad I did, these were fantastic books. I love everything Forrest writes.
10. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I was super late to jump on the bandwagon for this one. I read this last month and I was just blown away.

This is my top ten for this week. What popular books have you read that lived up to the hype?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare

Summary:
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word. A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other-but they can never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and he best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on Sunset Strip, and faeries-the most powerful of supernatural creatures-teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge-and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the Faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents-and can she bear to know the truth?
The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imagination of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.
Review:
Oh my god this book. You know that feeling when you finish a book that you really really liked and you feel almost broken hearted that it’s over. That’s how I feel right now. I can’t believe I just finished it. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare was just shy of seven hundred pages. I read it in one day and all I can think is, “What the hell just happened?” I’m sure many of you have heard of her first series, The Mortal Instruments or even her second series, The Infernal Devices. Well, I read both and this book, Lady Midnight, the first book in The Dark Artifices Trilogy was by far, without a doubt my favorite out of all nine of her books in the first two series, which is really saying a lot because I’ve loved every book that Cassandra Clare has written so far.
Lady Midnight has many characters that we’ve met before; I think that was one of my favorite parts. I knew all these people already. I definitely didn’t love them as much as I do know, but they were familiar to me. I met them in The Mortal Instruments series during the huge battle in Idris. I also immensely enjoyed the fact that Clare brought characters from the first two series into the third. We got to see Clary and Jace from the first series, as well as Jem and Tessa from the second series. I love that she made all the characters that I loved in her other books interact with the newer characters that I just fell in love with in Lady Midnight. The Blackthorns are a chaotic bunch that you really can’t help but love, and there’s Emma Carstairs, who might as well be a Blackthorn. They’re all such relatable and funny characters that they pull at your heart until you spend your whole day off reading about them and falling more and more in love with the whole family and their craziness. I won’t go into extreme detail because you need to read this book and love them too.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read any of Cassandra Clare’s other books so I either forgot or blocked from my mind how crazy good she is at completely blowing my mind. Lady Midnight was full of insane plot twists. I love books that can genuinely surprise me with where they’re going and this book did it more than once. Clare has a habit of leading you to think that you know exactly where the storyline is going until finally everything is revealed and you were completely wrong the whole time and you’re sitting there just yelling at the book because of the whirlwind of emotions running through you, or maybe that’s just me. I tend to get overly attached to fictional characters. Cassandra Clare is very good at making extremely attached to the story she’s telling.
Last I have to mention how crazy it makes me that I have to wait an ENTIRE YEAR FOR THE NEXT BOOK. The second book in this trilogy isn’t expected to come out until April of 2017. WHY DOES SHE DO THIS TO ME?! That’s really my only complaint about The Dark Artifices Trilogy so far. I’m going to keep this review short because its past midnight and I really should be sleeping already. That and my lack of details better make you feel the desperate need to go to the bookstore and buy this book so that you can love it as much as I did. I would suggest the library but this is a new book so I’m not sure they’ll have it yet.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Sequels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where every week we give our top ten on a specific topic. This weeks topic is Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get My Hands On. I’m a little excited for this one because there’s so many series that I read that I just can’t wait for the next book.

1)Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout– This is the final book of the Lux Series. I fell in love with this series within the first couple of pages of Obsidian. This is a series I think anyone and everyone should read. Opposition is expected to come out August 5, 2014

2)The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead– Ah! I just want this book to come out already! Number four of the Bloodlines series is expected to come out November 19th, 2013 which is very soon. I just don’t want to wait anymore!

3)Age of X Series by Richelle Mead– The second book in the Age of X seems like it doesn’t exist. There’s been no title released, or date of expected publication. The first, Gameboard of the Gods, came out this year. So, there’s probably a while to wait for the second.

4)City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare– What I believe is the final book of The Mortal Instrument Series is expected to come out in May of 2014. I can’t wait for this book. Mostly to see how the series will close and where everyone is going to end up. If you haven’t read any of The Mortal Instruments Series you should give it a try.

5)Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare– This is the first book in a series of three. It’s expected to be published in 2015, but there isn’t anything more specific than that. The trilogy is supposed to be kind of a companion to The Mortal Instruments. The series is called The Dark Artifices. I’m excited to read them and see how things turn out.

6)Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich– I’m obsessed with the Stephanie Plum series. I’ve read every single one of them. Most more than once. I’m excited for the twentieth book to come out because I know it’ll be good. It’s release date is posted as November 19th, 2013.

7)Unsouled by Neil Shusterman– Unsouled is the third and final book of the Unwind Trilogy. This book is actually currently out, I just can’t afford it yet. I’m excited to read it though, when that does eventually happen.

8)Vampire Most Wanted by Lynsay Sands– Expected to come out February 18, 2014 the twentieth book in the Argeneau Series will be just as good as the nineteen before it. This series doesn’t need to be read in order. Just pick one up and let it take you on the ride that is the Argeneau’s.

9)Revealed by Kristin and P.C. Cast– This is another book that’s already out that I’m too poor to afford. I’m happy for this series to finally be over. I think it was dragged on a little too long. But I’m excited to see where it’s left off.

10)The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey– The sequel to The 5th Wave is expected to come out in May of 2014. I’m especially pumped about this book coming out because I was really attached to The 5th Wave. It was an amazing book, and I’m hoping the second will be just as amazing.

These are my top ten, what are yours?