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.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Summary:
Tessa Gray should be happy –aren’t all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army if pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan.
He needs Tessa.
Charlotte Branwell, head of the Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are engaged, Will is still in love with her.
The last words of a dying Shadowhunter provide the clue that might lead Tessa and her friends to Mortmain. But their small group cannot stand alone, and the powerful Consul doubts that Mortmain is coming. Deserted by allies, the Shadowhunters find themselves trapped when Mortmain seizes the medicine that keeps Jem alive. With his best friend at death’s door, Will must risk everything to save the girl they both love.
To buy Will time, the warlock Magnus Bane joins with Henry Branwell to create a device that could help defeat Mortmain. As they all work to save Tessa and the future of the Shadowhunters that resides with her, Tessa realizes that the one person who can save her is herself—for, in the discovery of her own true nature, Tessa could become more powerful than she ever dreamed possible. But can a lone girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Review:
Guys, I’m FINALLY finished with this freaking series. I’m so happy to have finally finished these books. I’m over this story. I’m over these characters. I’m over the horrible and terrifying robot clockwork creatures. The first half of Clockwork Princess was painful. There was so much running around trying to figure out what to do next, trying to deal with political drama, trying to plan their next move against Mortmain. Which is all well and good, usually I love that kind of stuff in fantasy books, but I don’t like the time period. I don’t like the mindset that is put onto the women in this series. I hate the Consul because he’s a sexist jackass and causes so much unnecessary conflict and I wanted to punch him. I did like how Charlotte did her best to combat this attitude and Tessa comes around also trying to defy these kinds of expectations.
The people that die in this book are not okay. I’m not okay with it and I never will be. Like, I hated one of them anyway, but that didn’t mean I wanted them to die. And the other was a death I was expected. It was talked about as something inevitable so I wasn’t too worried about it. I just had to mention these because I had completely forgotten about one of them.
I liked Tessa more in this book than the others. Aside from the whole love triangle, I liked Tessa by herself. I think she grew a great amount throughout the series and I love me some character growth. I really enjoyed finally learning about who and what she was. I also totally wasn’t mad about the ending that gave us a view into the rest of her life until ‘present day.’ Jem is still and will forever be a soft boy and that’s all I’m going to say about him. Will is still annoying. I wasn’t really invested until his sister came around. I absolutely adored his relationship with his sister. They made me laugh. I love sibling relationships is books almost every time. Gabriel and Gideon were another sibling pair that I loved. I totally loved their conflict with each other. They had some really great character growth. I also absolutely adored both of their love interests. And then my favorite, Charlotte and Henry. They are really my absolute favorites. I love them to pieces.
No surprise here, but I liked the supporting characters more than the main characters. This is something that seems to be a trend with Cassandra Clare’s books. The same thing happened when I was rereading The Mortal Instruments books. Overall, I don’t want to say that I didn’t like this series because there were some things I didn’t like and some things that I did. I think the ending of this final book really brought everything together for me. My absolute favorite was all of the connections made toward the end of this books (READ: The Ghost of the London Institute & Cortana & “That’s a story for another day about a different set of Lightwood’s and Heronale’s). I totally loved all the little tidbits that nodded toward the other series in the Shadowhunter worlds. It’s just incredible how complex and connected these books all are. Cassandra Clare is an incredible author and I’m so excited to keep going with the books in this world.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Summary:
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting rouge forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position Tessa will be out on the street-and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jam, Tessa soon discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. 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 finds her heart drawn more and more. to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will-the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
Review:
I’m honestly so over this series. I don’t love these characters like everyone else seems to. I’m over them. I just want them to catch Mortmain already. Will is annoying. I don’t feel bad for him. I get why he acts the way he does and then 180s that behavior after he learns the big twist. I also don’t love Tessa and Jem together. I don’t remember who said it, but Jem starts as a soft boy and ends as a soft boy. He’s not developing already. His whole story arc is that he’s addicted to drugs. I just don’t love it.
Much like The Mortal Instruments, I totally am finishing this series for the side characters. I’m obsessed with Charlotte and Henry and I LOVED the bit of news we got at the end of this book. I love their relationship and that they both seem to think the other doesn’t return their feelings. They’re definitely my favorite part of this series.
I also love Sophie. She’s sassy without stepping over the line of what’s appropriate and what isn’t. And then there’s the Lightwood boys. Gabriel and Gideon are rude and ridiculous and it wouldn’t be the same without them. They add the best kind of conflict in the sense that I love to hate them.
I still hate Jessamine. I’m not a huge fan of this time period in general. I also hate automatons. They’re freaky and I hate robots.
Overall, I like this series because I am forever trash for Shadowhunters, I’m invested in the story just for the fact that I love Jem in the later books. I have read this series before, but I remember liking them so much more.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Summary:
When Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the rein of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folks stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark sisters, who are members of a secret organization called the Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by-and torn between-two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyes Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
Review:
So, I’m a fake fan. If you’ve read my reviews for The Mortal Instrument books then you know I’m doing a reread of all the books that take place in the Shadowhunter universe because it’s been a while since I’ve read the first two series and Queen of Air and Darkness just came out. So I’m reading in publication order. I am a fake fan because I remembered almost nothing about this book except for the identity of our villain. I was surprised about my feelings while listening to this audiobook.
First of all, I’m not sure why I remembered really liking Jessamine and thinking of her as similar to Isabelle Lightwood. She’s nothing like Isabelle. For one, I liked Isabelle. I did not like Jessamine in the least. She was annoying and I just wanted to shake her and hope that the screws loose in her head would right themselves so maybe she would get her shit together.
I also remembered almost nothing about Tessa’s brother, Nate. So for those of you that have read this know how surprised I was at the drama involving him.
Really that was about it for what I didn’t like.
I did like our female lead, Tessa. Tessa was entertaining and interesting and developed wonderfully. She’s had her whole world turned upside down and she tries to go with the flow as best as she can. Though she was raised a certain way and that’s obvious by how she reacts to how different societal expectations are in the Shadowhunter world. It was interesting to see her adapt to how the Shadowhunters behaved toward one another, slowly changing her behavior as well even though it went against everything she knew. I liked Tessa because even though she’d been beaten down and shaken to her core, she holds her head high and does her best not to be pushed around by anyone else. I just really liked Tessa.
Now, Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs. So many people love these characters so much. Please don’t come for me guys, but I didn’t love either of them. Will was kind of a jerk to Tessa. I hate the hot and cold game and Will plays it with Tessa. He’s full of secrets and rather than finding it interesting and suspenseful I just thought it was annoying. With Jem, we barely even see him. We learn more about his past than we do for Will. But Jem is kept hidden away for too much of the book. I didn’t really feel invested with either one of them. I’m sure this will change in the next books, but for now Tessa should stay away from both of them.
Overall, I liked the story. The clockwork creatures freaked me out. But I liked (some) of the characters. Like Charlotte and Henry. I thought the villain was super hate able and the story kept me interested. I’m excited to read the next one.

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.

Amanda’s June Book Haul

Hi, lovelies!

So this month I went a liiiittle crazy buying books. Between Book Outlet’s fabulous sale where I bought 20+ new books and the discovery of the magic that is a local used bookstore (there’s three within fifteen minutes of my house!), I ended up with quite the book haul for this month.

I’ve never done a book haul post before so this is what we’re going to do. I’m going to put some pictures below of all of my new pretty books. I’m not going to talk about every single book because that would make this post entirely too long, but I am going to mention a few that I’m most excited to read in the upcoming month.

Let’s get down to it, here are all my new shiny pretty babies.

 

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser – The summary of this book sounds so interesting I couldn’t help but buy it. It’s high on my TBR list for July. I’m excited to get into the story. It’s a book that’s been translated from German which I think is super interesting.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – This was a Target find for me. I’ve seen several bookish friends read this and give it rave reviews. I’m excited to sink my teeth into it. I haven’t read enough realistic books lately.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – Shusterman is an author that I love more and more everytime I read another one of his books. I managed to pick up this book with the Book Outlet sale. It’s won a few awards and sounds like a really powerful story.

 

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – I found the whole series (except for book seven) at one of the local bookstores I found around my town recently. I stupidly sold my full series set before I moved a few years ago and have regretted it since. So when I found the (almost) full set all matching and hardcover I just couldn’t resist.

The Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin – I have heard so many good things about this trilogy. I’m super duper excited to read these books and will for sure be getting to them in July. When I found the boxed set on sale at Book Outlet I knew I had to have them.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – This series is one that a few bookish friends I know have started to read for the first time (Yes I’m talking about you Ebru @ EBS and Her Reads) so again, when I saw the boxed set on Book Outlet I knew I had to buy it and add it to my TBR for a reread soon.

This is my haul for the month of June! What did you haul this month? Did we buy any of the same books? What books don’t you see that I definitely should have bought?

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments and as always,

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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