The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare | Sadly The Worst Book in the Series So Far

Warning: Spoilers for the previous books

content warnings: death, disability

Call is imprisoned after it was revealed in the previous book that he is Constantine, the Enemy of Death, reincarnated. Someone busts him out and he is unsure why someone would do that until he is taken to Master Joseph’s house and told he must revive his best friend Aaron or there will be fatal consequences.

I feel like the further this story goes the messier it becomes and there’s is one booklet and God knows what is going to happen there. These books are fun, easy reads but I just feel like the quality is beginning to lack and I’m a bit bored by it all but I’m still going to finish the series because I’ve got this far.

For a lot of this book, a whole lot of nothing happens. It’s mainly about Call’s inner struggle of being the reincarnation of the Enemy of Death and whether that means he isn’t Call and is a bad guy. And whilst this was definitely interesting and had some discussing of good vs. evil, it couldn’t been condensed and put all together with the final book.

Now I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to HP with this book and I get it but I feel like it’s still pretty different. But this book did something similar to HP and that was having a last-minute panic romance between 2 main characters. Very comparable to Harry and Ginny in book 6 where it felt like JKR just threw them together, that’s how I felt about the romance in this book.

I’m really hoping that because this book was a bit meh that the final book really blows it out of the park. I honestly just continued reading it to finish it because I was bored.

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Youtube
Goodreads
Instagram

Advertisements

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

AH I CAN’T BELIEVE I AM ALMOST CAUGHT UP WITH CASSIE’S BOOKS

Content warnings: death, murder, violence, sex, and there might be more but I read it during a tough time and can’t remember if there were more triggers, I’m sorry.

Lady Midnight is the start of a new series int he Shadowhunters world. We follows characters who were introduced to us at the tail end of The Mortal Instruments: Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn family. Someone is killing faeries, the same person that Emma thinks murdered her parents. So the Faeries allow the eldest Blackthorn to leave the Unseelie Court and aide in the investigation.

I have to say, whilst I am really loyal to The Infernal Devices and that is still my fave of the Shadowhunter books, this is definitely Clare’s best work so far, and I am super excited to read the rest of the series because i think it may takeover as my fave from her.

I love the kind of background to this novel, as in like we have the main plot line of “who is killing all these faeries” but in the background you have the struggle between the Shadowhunters and the Faerie Court, the Shadowhunters and the intensity of the Clave, and Emma and Julian having feelings for each other despite it being forbidden between Parabatai. I think with this world this is what really stands out to me is the amount of work Clare puts into the politics and I adore it. I want to read more and learn about the history of the world.

One thing I noticed with this novel was there was a couple of lines and phrases that Clare settles into repeating. The one I was most aware of was “tastes of blood” everyone tasted of blood when they kissed, which is a really weird thing to say. I don’t know what the deal was but it was a weird thing to always point out.

Clare has always been good at having LGB characters in her novels, we’ve had Magnus who is bi, Alec who is gay and the sapphic relationship between Helen and Aline, and with this book we have the introduction of another bi character in Mark Blackthorn. I’m glad that she’s always got some characters with differing sexualities but I would love for one of them to be the main character and for Clare to include characters who are trans or non binary.

My favourite character HAS to be Julian. He is a little lamb and is so soft and has put himself in the position of being a parent to his siblings and has had to grow up so quickly. He deserves to be so happy and I just want to read more about Julian. Emma is ok and she’s well developed but she also frustrated me a lot.

With the way the book ended I’m excited to read Lord of Shadows but I’ve also heard from a lot of people that it’s super sad, so maybe not that excited.

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

I don’t know if there is much for me to say about this book that I haven’t previously said about the novels in this series.

This was a solid finish for the series and I think tied up a few ends of this series to feel like it ended but left some loose too so that you know there is more of the story to tell in the following series in this world.

This whole book is mainly focussed on battles and whilst they were super fast paced and I felt like I was totally in the scene I did occasionally feel like they were a bit too fast paced and things were over quickly. I imagine this is because it’s a middle grade book and Riordan didn’t want to get too bogged down in the details but sometimes I just wanted a little bit more.

I really enjoyed the end of this novel. There was a lot of ways it could have gone that I don’t think I’d have liked but it didn’t. So much came together in such a wonderful way and it made me happy that I finally read the series after having it on my shelf for so damn long.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan – Everything’s Kicking Off

Annabeth has gone missing and it’s all kicking off. Percy and the newly awoken Thalia need to go find her with some new friends added to the mix.

I liked the change up in this novel of it not being set in the summer, it made it less repetitive. I don’t mind when novels are over the same period just a year later every time but sometimes it can get annoying.

I really enjoyed getting to know a few other demi-gods. For example we meet Thalia, Zoe and Nico who all were really well developed characters.

My one complaint with this book and generally with the PJ books as a whole up to this one is that I sometimes feel like things happen very quickly. The novels are quite short and they are made for 10-12 year olds so it’s totally fine for them to be like that. But sometimes I just wish things would last a little longer. Like some big dramatic scenes or fighting scenes are over pretty quickly, and whilst the threads are all tiedI just want more.

Overall I’m pretty happy with where this book went and I could feel the tone changing between this and the first couple. You can feel like this is the novel where you know it’s going to go pear shaped soon. Kind of like how I felt with the third Harry Potter. There was a slight change to the overall tone and I put this down and was excited to see what was going to happen next.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson & Robin Wasserman

On the whole I really liked this anthology of Simon at Shadowhunter Academy stories, spoilers if you didn’t know Simon is a shadowhunter. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about other people writing CC’s characters along with her but I think in this context it really works because it’s a different point of view to her other books and often there were little historical stories within each story that explained some lore.

The two stand outs were The Whitechapel Fiend and Born to Endless Night. I think because it mixed the stories of other characters that I knew in with Simon’s experiences. The Whitechapel Fiend really got me going because it was a little snippet into Will, Jem and Tessa’s lives after the events of Clockwork Princess and I’m always wanting more about those characters because I really fell in love with them. And Born to Endless Night is all about Magnus and Alec and it was so darn sweet that I just couldn’t deal with it.

Some of the stories were a little on the weirder side, like The Evil We Love which was about Robert Lightwood and reading the parts about him I felt very meh but it was intermingled with stuff that was going on with Simon and Izzy.

There were some pretty sad stories but it helped me understand a lot more of the politics in the world. And though I haven’t read it I’m aware that Lady Midnight deals with a lot of the political stuff so I feel like I’ve made the right decision by reading this first to prepare me.

This book also introduced a few new characters, one of the most memorable with George Lovelace. He was so loveable. He’s Scottish and I enjoyed reading him, which I don’t say often as a lot of authors really screw up Scottish characters, but he worked. He made me laugh a lot and he did actually feel Scottish. I commonly find reading characters who are supposedly Scottish just feel like the author has just thrown that in as a quirk and they don’t have traits that as a nation of people we have.

Though this is an anthology the main story of it is linear and so I’m just going to say that the end had me so upset I could see it coming but I was in denial and I don’t think I’ll forgive CC for it.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

This is one of the most fun books I’ve read all year. Thank you to netgalley and Abrams Kids for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Genie is focussing on getting into college until the new kid in school, Quentin, starts telling her all these wild tales about how she’s actually a powerful mythological entity. Of course Genie is very hesitant to believe him, but soon demons start popping up and she’s pretty much forced to realise Quentin isn’t lying.

The thing that really stood out about this book was how unapologetic it was about its Chinese influence. It’s entirely based on Chinese mythology so I think it’s the kind of book Chinese readers have been waiting for for a long time. But it never feels inaccessible, not that there’s anything wrong with books that are because some books are written specifically for people of a certain grouping to read and not for everyone and that’s ok, as a white reader who doesn’t really know much about Chinese mythology this was so easy to read. It was understandable and funny and explained background really well without feeling like as a reader I was being taught.

Genie is such a bomb character. She kicks butts of these hugely powerful demons between going to class and preparing for college.

Yes this book is a bit sill but that’s the whole point. It never takes itself too seriously, I mean how serious can you get with kids fighting demons in their school uniforms. In that respect it reminded me a whole lot of Sailor Moon.

I loved that this was set in the Bay Area because it made some of the more ridiculous moments of the novel even funnier. You have the image of these school kids beating up huge demons all with this metropolitan American city by the sea as the backdrop.

If you haven’t added this book to your TBR please do so because it’s one of the better books I’ve read this year.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Where to start with this review?

I’m sure you have a vague idea of what this book is about but it’s basically about the types of people you would find in a “freak show” at an old style circus, all trapped in a time loop to save them from dying. I know sounds a bit silly right? Which is why it’s better to go into this book not knowing much about it.

However I still found myself pretty disappointed. I thought from the way people went on about this book that it would be some crazy adventure with people who were different but honestly it was just boring. There was so much set up for a very short climax. It was so slow and I just felt like parts of it went on and on. I thought it would be spookier than it was as well, it’s supposed to have a creepy feel to it but it just fell short for me.

Something that really stood out to me while reading was that no one had a distinct personality. I couldn’t remember who was who and what their peculiarity was. Everyone rolled into one on my head and I just found myself confused for a majority of the time. To me if you’re going to do a book with lots of characters they need to stand apart or just don’t bother with them. Even the more forefront characters like Enoch didn’t really register with me properly, I had to keep reminding myself what they did.

Spoilers: It really upset me that the MC ended up having a relationship with his grandads ex. Like that’s really creepy to me, anyone else?

I do think it was incredible that a bunch of photos sparked Riggs’ imagination enough to now be writing a further trilogy but I won’t be reading anymore.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

Thank you to netgalley and Abrams Kids for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is set in the 20s during the time of prohibition, but that’s not the only thing banned; people who have powers to manipulate people using art are also banned.

The biggest part of this book that I liked was the sisterhood. There was no girl on girl fighting for the sake of it, the 2 MCs were really close friends and loved each other and you could feel that throughout the whole book. They had really distinct personalities and I liked them as characters, however I felt like the book maybe should’ve been told from just one perspective because they all just rolled into one and it kind of felt like more of an omniscient narrator than separate character’s points of view in a way.

I also really loved the magic system, everything was related to art, some people could do magic with music, some with painting, some with poetry which I just found really cool. Though at times they would start to use their powers at moments where I just felt like it didn’t make sense to the situation, like surely someone would’ve stopped them before it actually took hold of them. Would it not be obvious to you that someone was Iron Cast if they started just randomly singing?

The world building could have done with some work. I found myself confused a fair amount of the time about just what was really going on. It felt a bit wooly at times and I think that was partly to do with the pacing which went from being really slow to really fast that I couldn’t really concentrate wholly on what was actually going on.

There was some really good points about racism and sexism that were brought up that are often swept under the carpet in historical fiction. Just because things were different doesn’t mean people were happy to just be treated like second rate citizens because of their gender or skin colour and this book was a reminder of that. Not only was one of the MCs facing difficulties in her life due to her magic but she was also black and whilst it is set in Boston where racism wasn’t nearly as bad as places in the south there was still a clear racial divide. It also raised some thoughts on the anti-Russian sentiments in the states, which not as strong as the narrative about racism against black people it was still there and mentioned.

I’d definitely be interested in what this author will come out with next as I can tell that she’s going to improve the more she writes.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

The Curse of the Bruel Coven by Sabrina Ramoth

Thanks to netgalley and Sabrina Ramoth for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Vivienne finds out that her mum wasn’t her actual mum after she dies and her birth mother was a witch who gave her up for adoption to protect her from the curse on her family.

I often talk about bad pacing in books, more often than not it’s too slow but this was just too fast. I had no idea what was going on half the time because it was moving so quickly. I didn’t learn much about the characters but suddenly the adventure was already beginning. Ramoth seems to have the same problem that I do when I write and that is not describing things enough and not taking the time to slow things down a bit. If you like fast paced books then this is the one for you. I just didn’t read enough character development. Because it’s so fast paced it’s definitely the kind of book to read if you are in need of a book to read quickly for a bibliothon or a challenge.

I liked the premise and the setting. Since watching AHS: Coven the idea of witches in New Orleans has always interested me. And having vampires in it made it a little bit better, I still like vampires. I liked that the MC was getting flashbacks to previous generations of her family and she had to figure out what was going on.

I wish the MC had phoned her gran because it was like “well I’ve found out she’s not my actual gran so I’m going to go find my birth mother and forget my gran exists. It just felt really rubbish to me. And on top of that the whole thing starts with her wanting to find her birth mother than her birth mother is kidnapped and we start to learn about all her extended family and there was just too many characters.

This review probably makes it sound like I didn’t like this book and honestly it was ok, I didn’t hate it, I just felt like the writing could use some work.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Half Lost by Sally Green

This book broke my heart. I did not see what happened coming and I just didn’t know what to do with myself.

I feel like with this novel we came full circle with Nathan. In Half Bad Nathan doesn’t know who he is being half black half white and whether he’s good or bad. In Half Lost Nathan just doesn’t know who he is anymore. He’s really struggling over being the evil murderer that white witches expect him to be and just killing to survive.

There was finally the relationship that everyone was hoping for in this book but it actually kind of felt like a cop out. That being said I was reading it desperately hoping that the relationship was going to happen and that Nathan wasn’t leading the person on because he wasn’t in a good place.

There’s a huge fight at the end of this book, that’s not a spoiler it’s what you’d expect at the end of a fantasy novel but it honestly felt like there wasn’t much to the fight. It started then suddenly it was over and we were in the future.

There isn’t actually much I can say about this book without spoiling it or previous books. It wasn’t the perfect ending and there are some things I would definitely change but it was good.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram