Tag Archives: fantasy

Review Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue 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 the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa 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 himself 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?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Page Count: 502
Source: My copy.
Rating: 5/5
I mentioned in my updates that I am not tired of Clare’s books yet. That after seven books, you’d think I would get tired of Shadowhunters, but I’m so not. If anything, this book has renewed my love for Shadowhunters. You get a better sense of who they are and what they believe in in the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments and I found myself really understanding them. Family and strength and staying true to yourself is part of what makes them tick and I realized that they are truly amazing people.

I don’t get love triangles. I don’t. Kissing one boy in the drawing room and then kissing the other boy in the carriage the next day was not acceptable then and it isn’t now. (At least I don’t think so. When is hurting someone you supposedly love acceptable?) Tessa needs to make a choice. She has needed to make a choice for a while now, and I think what she is doing is wrong. And though she may think she has, I don’t think she has truly made that choice. And it is unfair. How long she has strung these boys along, it is unfair to them, and to herself. But I indulge the love triangles. Why? I don’t know. Why do I watch The Vampire Diaries? It’s unclear, but I think my interest in this story is the setting. The world they live in, not so much the characters (even though I love Will. And Magnus.). Which is weird for me. I have always said I can forgive plot, but never bad characters. And the characters aren’t bad, really, they’re just kind of there. I don’t feel overwhelming emotion for Tessa or for Jem or for Charlotte but I do love the magic. And the danger. And the badassery.

I said the characters didn’t wow me yet I still rated the book five stars. I really do love the world Clare has created, and don’t think I’ll ever get enough of it. I keep waiting for Clare to write a bad book, for me to open one of these books and scream WHAT IS THIS SHIT but I never do. She is an author who never leaves anything out while trusting us to read intelligently. She is wonderful and I will read her work for as long as she puts it out. No matter how many Shadowhunter books she writes.


Review Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act – singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry’s world, however, buried secrets stir. 
Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry’s involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton’s stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: February 1, 2010
Page Count: 225
Source: My copy.
Rating: 2/5

I did not like this book. I rolled my eyes a lot. Fantastically, the second half was better than the first, but there was still eye-rolling. And that ending!

Page 63, and hello insta-love. Our protagonist has fallen for an automaton. Which is not that far fetched, I guess, considering he is alive, but, up to that point, barely anything has passed between them! They have had like, one conversation, that involved them communicating their names to each other. Which is hardly grounds for true love. I mean, I could even understand the insta-love, the story being set in Jane Austen days (I’m guessing, there were carriages?) but I just expected more from Nimira. She didn’t appear to be one of those girls. She exuded strength, even in the very beginning when times were tough for her, and I expected more character from her. And I could totally see her falling in love with Erris when he is no longer an automaton (well not really an automaton) – I mean the guy is hot. And charming. And a prince. – but not before.

The characters are memorable (even the bad ones), I have to give the author that. The world building was even good – I pictured the story’s setting very easily, especially as the characters moved place to place. And though nothing particularly wonderful stands out about the writing, the story did flow well. But the romance was so, so cheesy.

And that ending! It was terrible. It was one of those endings that tried to be mysterious in leaving the reader to think about it and come to their own conclusions about where the characters end up? But it didn’t work. The most pertinent question that you want the answer to never gets resolved. And as far as I know, there is not a sequel. So if you’re like me, and you can’t stand insta-lovey books that leave you with more questions than answers, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

Review Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Page Count: 361
Source: My copy.
Rating: 1.5/5

I think this book is very immature. Not because it’s YA and the characters are young and immature, but the delivery of the whole thing is just very immature. My initial thoughts from the first fifty pages were that it had elements from my list of no-nos:

-Corny dialogue. Katy calls Daemon “buddy” when she’s mad. Like, “Oh, no you don’t, buddy.” What teenager talks like that? It’s lazy. In real life, not everyone talks the same as everyone else. Let’s give these people some originality.

-Amateur writing. There was no setting, no world-building. I couldn’t envision the characters and what they were doing, just what they were saying.

Katy was a book blogger. When I read other reviews/praises for this book I thought that it would be really cool. It turned out that it would annoy me to no end. Again, I think this book fails in the delivery department. When “Waiting on Wednesday” was referenced, I just felt like the author was mocking me as a reader, and friends who review books on their blogs. I felt that she was stealing from the literary community instead of choosing to be original. It was like a kick in the face.

Katy was a book blogger, and yet she never read anything. There was one reference in the book to her reading, and yet she didn’t enjoy herself because she had other things on her mind. For someone who says people don’t get books like she does, she sure doesn’t do a lot of reading. And I would have expected Katy to demonstrate a better vocabulary for herself, being someone that read so much. Yet, she expresses herself with “whatever” and mindless statements like that.

Daemon. Daemon is the reason I bought this book. (And bought book two, too.) When I got excited about reading this book, it’s because I thought I had found a YA fantasy/paranormal romance that told an engaging story about a guy, an alien, who was, basically, an asshole, but a charming asshole! You know, there must have been some reason (other than he’s hot) that Katy wanted to be around him?!?! But there’s not. He’s not charming, funny, or even likeable. And when he’s being “the real Daemon” as Katy describes him when he’s being cordial, there is nothing special about him. He’s just a regular guy. With that, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only reason that Katy is drawn to him is because “he’s hot”. Which speaks to me about her character: she’s self-absorbed and materialistic. Not someone teens reading this book should want to be like.

A 1-star rating for this book may seem unfair, especially since I read the whole thing. And I did enjoy certain parts: their kiss was well written, for example. And the ending had an interesting twist. But a total of thirty enjoyable pages out of 361 just doesn’t seem like enough to me to warrant a “it was okay”. I’ll call it 1.5.

As I ended it, despite all my negative feelings towards it, I was planning on reading book two. I already had it, for one, and I thought maybe it might be interesting to see how the story moves forward and whether or not these characters will develop and grow. Maybe they can redeem themselves. And then I read the last page, and (removed for spoilers). So, I won’t be continuing this series.

I will keep the books in my shelves. The covers are so fucking gorgeous, I’ve never seen anything like them. It’s really too bad because I really wanted to love this series. I thought I would love it, which is why I bought both books without even thinking twice about it. But from page one it just fell down, down, down. And it never came back up.