Review: City of Bones (#1) by Cassandra Clare

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When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. 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 ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

This was actually my second read of City of Bones. I met Cassandra Clare years ago and read it for the first time then! But unfortunately, I wasn’t a massive fantasy reader and I didn’t quite click with the book. This time was definitely an improvement!

However, I did find it strange going back to The Mortal Instruments after The Infernal Devices. I wanted to read the prequels first as I’ve been told I’d understand TMI more by doing so, but I did find it difficult seeing Clare’s change in writing style. She definitely improved as she wrote, but I’m sure her writing will also improve throughout this series.

“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned:”

Of course this was still a brilliant book, and I really enjoyed it. Usually with fantasy, we discover the world after the protagonist. Discovering this world alongside Clary has a very special feel and made her and her friends very easy characters to relate to. Having Simon in the mix also made for a gentle transition into this new world.

“that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

I’m really excited for the rest of this series to play out, it’s definitely a page-turner and I’m enjoying it so much so far. At the moment I feel like The Infernal Devices is likely to hold a very special place in my heart, but The Mortal Instruments is sure to be up there too.

★★★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #110 / Clockwork Princess

Beautiful Quotes is a weekly meme hosted by me, where I post some of my favourite quotes. Any other bloggers are welcome to join me in this and just link my blog!

Hi everyone! I’ve had an incredibly busy but wonderful day today at one of the best places ever – the Harry Potter studio tour. I’ll have a full discussion on Sunday with photos but I need time to sort them as I took over 250! Thank you to my boyfriend Josh for the best birthday present ever.

I’ve also been reading The Mortal Instruments and looking back on 2018 reading. I adored The Infernal Devices and one of those books might be my favourite of 2018! Have a look tomorrow in my wrap-up and see.

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“You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing tight around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.”

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Clockwork Princess (#3) by Cassandra Clare

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If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?
The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.
Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

I am so overwhelmed right now, I don’t even know where to begin. I adored Clockwork Angel, and I loved Clockwork Prince, but this book has everything. It is a combination of everything I loved about both, and I’m just sitting here hoping I can put that amount of love into words.

The action is definitely back in this one, and once it picks up the pace it doesn’t disappoint. I felt like there just wasn’t enough in the second book, but Clockwork Princess definitely makes up for it. Again, the world building and exploration is just incredible. Living in England definitely makes it even more special as I really connected to where Clare was talking about, but the most impressive thing is how she captured the feeling of British countryside without having living here herself.

“Sometimes one must choose whether to be kind or honorable,” he said.”

Again, the characters are just so well written, and I found it even more so as the series continued. Clare has an incredible talent to make the reader sympathetic to even the most unlikely people, and I admire her for that so much. The way Clockwork Princess is constructed was also genius, and I loved how it flicked between scenes of different characters, keeping the tension and fast pace up.

I cannot write this review without mentioning the epilogue. My lovely friend and buddy-reader Chloe told me to be careful reading this late at night, and what did I do? Finish it at 1am. Of course this meant I was lying in bed, tears streaming down my face onto the pillow. And that is why I had to mention the epilogue – because it made me cry so much! Often, books will bring tears to my eyes, and I’ll feel emotional. But it’s rare that a book makes me sob. And oh, how Clockwork Princess made me sob.

“Sometimes one cannot be both.”

Emotionally, this book had it all. It made me laugh, cry, smile. It filled my heart with joy, only to break it into a thousand pieces. This book is a complete gem, a diamond, a shooting star. It is beauty, poetry, wonder. It might even be my favourite book of the year.

★★★★★
5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Clockwork Prince (#2) by Cassandra Clare

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In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray 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? As their dangerous search for the for the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa’s heart is increasingly torn, especially when one of their own betrays them…

It’s time to talk about book 2, and I am still very much in love with this beautiful series. I feel like this one was very much about the characters and I adored that about it. Finding out more about Jem and Will meant so much and gave me such a big connection to the wold and these characters.

In turn, I feel like I’ve got to know Tessa in a different way and even though I had a few problems with her, I love her character so much as a female protagonist. The only small niggles I had is (without giving spoilers), her inability to make decisions about people. But I accepted her age and her weaknesses, and honestly it also makes her a more genuine and flawed character in the end.

“It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone.”

Even though the majority of the book of course follows Tessa, the few scenes we had of other characters really touched my heart. For example seeing Sophie and Charlotte/Henry’s scenes were very heartwarming and made the book really well-rounded.

Of course there were some brilliant action scenes (and one particular one that brought tears to my eyes), but unfortunately I did feel like this one was just a little slow compared to the fast pace of the first novel.

“They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

The last comment I have is that I love the travelling in Clockwork Prince! It’s great to see Steampunk Victorian London, but to see more of England too is just brilliant. I’m already 100 pages into Clockwork Princess and I’m just loving this world and this series.

★★★★★
4.5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #75

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 9

Oops – I missed day 8 of my Twelve Days of Christmas! I was out last night with friends and didn’t have time to post – so now we’re onto day 9. I can’t believe how close we are to Christmas now, who’s excited?!

I bought a book this week that I’m very excited about. I managed to snag a very special edition of Queen of Air and Darkness not so long ago, but I also completed my paperback collection by getting this one.

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Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Clockwork Angel (#1) by Cassandra Clare

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 7

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In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Timesbestselling Mortal Instruments series.
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get around to these books, but in some ways I’m glad I’m reading this book now, when fantasy is coming round to being one of my favourite genres. Also quick shoutout to one of my best friends Chloe who I’m buddy-reading this with! It’s so much fun to have conversations about our reactions to all the twists and turns in these books.

I really love Tessa as a protagonist and it’s so awesome that she’s a woman in these times and this kind of magical community! I love how Clare doesn’t shy away from conversations Tessa has with other female characters and the discussions this book brings up are so important. I can’t wait to read more of them in the next two!

“”One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa,”

I also have to talk about this brilliant plot! I felt as though I was eased into the story, which picked up around halfway and then BAM, the real action started. It was so wonderful to read such well written fight scenes and so many plot twists! Doing a buddy-read made me very aware of the moments that shook me, because I was quickly on the phone and messaging Chloe to tell her how I was reacting. It’s making this experience so special!

Clare portrayed a magical and vivid view of Victorian London, and the Steampunk vibe is perfect. It’s such a unique feel to fantasy, and really makes this world stand out from so many others.

“”and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.””

Overall I’m loving this book and it’s so nice to be back in a brand new fantasy world! I have a lot of these books to go but it’s awesome to have so many to look forward to.

★★★★★
5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #61

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

Before I start, did you see my post yesterday? I’m hosting an international Harry Potter giveaway! 

I bought two books this week, which is probably 2 more than I should! My physical TBR definitely hasn’t gone down for a while…so I should really put myself on a proper ban. But to be honest, with my birthday coming up next month I don’t see that happening! Anyway, I couldn’t resist this weeks purchase because they were on a 2 for £7 Amazon sale including postage!

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I’ve had the first two of this series on my shelf for a while, and I knew I wouldn’t read it without completing the trilogy first.

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I started this collection when I met Cassandra Clare a couple of years ago, and my edition of City of Bones is signed. So I’m definitely going to collect these editions eventually, may as well start with this one while it’s on sale!

Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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