BOOK REVIEW: City Of Ashes – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: City Of Ashes
(The Mortal Instruments #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: March 25th 2008
Finished reading: May 22nd 2015
Pages: 453
Rating 3

“I don’t want to be a man,” said Jace. “I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.”
“Well,” said Luke, “you’re doing a fantastic job.”

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While I was reading City Of Ashes I couldn’t stop asking myself: how many love triangles does a story need? Seriously, there are so many different love triangles in this second book of The Mortal Instruments series that it’s becoming ridiculous. And I’m not even talking about what is going on between Jace and Clary… THAT is just seriously messed up.. Sure, the story has a fast pace and Cassandra Clare is using a prose that is easy to read and even funny at times. But I’m having serious difficulties with some of the characters and their behavior. I won’t be going into details to avoid spoilers, but those who’ve read this sequel already will probably understand what I’m talking about. There are quite a few plot twists and while some are quite interesting, others are plain cheesy. I already have a copy of the next two books on my TBR shelf, but I’m not so sure I will actually continue this series any time soon…

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read City Of Bones yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

After all that happened, Clary just wants her normal life back. But that is not as easy as it seems, because the Shadowhunter world doesn’t seem to be done with her. With her mother in the hospital with a coma, Luke being a werewolf and her newfound brother Jace being a Shadowhunter, things are just not that easy. Besides, Valentine is still out there planning something evil and he isn’t going to stop until he finished whatever he is trying to do. It’s up to the Shadowhunters to stop him before it’s too late… And they are trying to solve the Downworlder children murders as well. Who can they really trust and will they be able to win the fight against Valentine?

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I actually liked the prequel trilogy The Infernal Devices way better and I don’t think I will continue The Mortal Instruments series any time soon. I found the characters and their actions really annoying and I don’t think I can take any more love triangles for now. I’m not saying this is a bad read and it’s actually quite well written and funny at points, but I think there are way better YA fantasy series out there that I would prefer reading instead. This one turned out to be too much of a cheesy romance novel for my taste…

WWW Wednesdays #41 – May 27th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

teaseathousandpiecesofyouI started reading A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray the other day and so far I’m enjoying it. Hopefully it will stay that way! I’ve also started reading Tease by Amanda Maciel a few days ago and while it’s interesting, I cannot really connect to the characters. It makes it a bit more difficult to read this one fast, but it’s not a bad read at any rate.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

cityofashestreasureislandI finished Treasure Island the other day, and unfortunately I cannot say I ended up enjoying this classic by Robert Louis Stevenson. I feel a bit guilty, but I was almost bored by the story and couldn’t connect to the characters… I also finished City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, and I’m still sticking with the fact that I like the prequel trilogy better. There are so many love triangles going on that it’s becoming annoying!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thedivinerstheassassinsbladeMy next TBR jar pick is still The Diviners by Libba Bray; another series I’ve been wanting to read for a while now…But I might read The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas first because I need it for my Bookish Bingo challenge. Plus, that way I will have another series completed until the next Throne Of Glass book will be published. 😉

WWW Wednesdays #40 – May 20th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

treasureislandcityofashesI’m currently reading the second book of The Mortal Instruments series: City Of Ashes. I mainly started reading it because it was my TBR jar pick, because I wasn’t planning on continuing the series any time soon… So far it’s ok, but I still prefer The Infernal Devices. I’ve also started Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson the other day, a classic I’m not really enjoying so far.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

fallingintoplacethewickedwillriseLast week was Bout Of Books week and I was able to finish no less than six books! Woot! The last two were Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang and The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige. The first I didn’t end up enjoying as much as I initially thought, which is mostly because of the annoying characters. The Wicked Will Rise was actually better than the first book in the series, or at least it had more action in it.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thedivinersteaseMy next TBR jar pick is The Diviners by Libba Bray; another series I’ve been wanting to read for a while now… I might take a break from the fantasy genre though and read Tease by Amanda Maciel first. I need this one for my Bookish Bingo challenge and it sounds like an interesting read.

Teaser Tuesdays #43 – May 19th: City Of Ashes

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve started reading City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare the other day. I’ve read the first book of The Mortal Instruments series September last year and I wasn’t really blown away by it, but my TBR jar decided it was time for me to continue the series. So far I’m not really convinced; I actually enjoyed the prequel trilogy The Infernal Devices way better…

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My teaser (51%):

“Simon watched Clary as she leaned against the refrigerator, biting her lip like she always did when she was upset. Often he forgot how small she was, how light-boned and fragile, but at times like this—times when he wanted to put his arms around her—he was restrained by the thought that holding her too hard might hurt her, especially now when he no longer knew his own strength.”

 

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: Clockwork Princess – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: Clockwork Princess
(The Infernal Devices Trilogy #3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal
First published: March 19th 2013
Finished reading: January 5nd 2015
Pages: 576
Rating 4

“Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read.”

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Since Cassandra Clare had ended Clockwork Prince with so many cliffhangers and I had a copy of the third book already waiting for my on my TBR pile, she left me with no other option than picking up Clockwork Princess straight away. I’m glad that I didn’t start reading The Infernal Devices trilogy when they were first published, because I don’t know if I could have waited so long for the last one to come out. That said, I  have to be honest and say that I was expecting a final novel with more action and less romance in it. I guess that’s why I ended up giving this third and final book a slightly lower rating than the first two; I loved all the other elements but the romance crossed the border of being too much for my taste. But then again, I detest cheesy romance and love triangles… Still, Cassandra Clare is able to dazzle readers with a quick pace, interesting setting/prose and likeable characters, and Clockwork Princess is without doubt worth reading.

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As with the review of Clockwork Prince, I will keep this summary short because I don’t want to spoil the fun for those who haven’t read the trilogy yet. Still, I strongly suggest not reading this summary unless you did, since it’s almost impossible to write a spoiler free summary of this third and final book.

Things slowly go back to normal after various members of the London Institute revealed some mayor news. New Shadowhunters have arrived at the Institute and have to be trained… And they have a wedding to prepare for. But Jem is still sick and his medicine is becoming scarce. Mortmain (The Magister) is buying up all the stock and using it to keep the werewolves running that are helping him build his automatons. He is after Tessa to help him get the final piece in the puzzle and make his clockwork army undefeatable and the perfect weapon to destroy the Shadowhunters… Mortmain tries to blackmail the members of the London Institute, saying he is willing to hand over his supply of Jem’s medicine to them under one condition: Tessa. When they refuse, the automatons come after her anyway… And soon she is in his hands and on her way to Mortmain’s hiding place. There she is forced to use her powers and reveals the secret that Mortmain needed to animate his clockwork army. They now hold demon souls and Shadowhunter weapons cannot destroy them… Will this be the end for Tessa and the Shadowhunters?

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While not as good as the first two novels, this third and final part of The Infernal Devices is still highly entertaining and without doubt worth reading. The rescue mission and hunt for Mortmain make you just want to keep on reading, and the fast pace and likeable characters made up for the slight overdose of romance. Plus, it has an interesting ending with a reference to the present situation… Recommended to those who enjoy YA fantasy; it is definitely worth reading the final part of this trilogy!

BOOK REVIEW: Clockwork Prince – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: Clockwork Prince
(The Infernal Devices Trilogy #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal
First published: December 1st 2011
Finished reading: January 2nd 2015
Pages: 528
Rating 4,5

“We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

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After a very disappointing last read of 2014, I needed a book that would guarantee at least a few hours of reading pleasure to make up for it. One of my goals for 2015 is to finally finish some of the series I’ve already started, so I decided to start the year trying to make a dent into the very long list of unfinished series. I really enjoyed the first book of The Infernal Devices trilogy, and since I had book two and three already waiting for my on my TBR pile, I decided to read Clockwork Prince next. The steampunk Victorian world Cassandra Clare sets her story in is without doubt interesting and I love the main characters. Tess, Will, Jem, Sophie, Magnus Bane… It’s hard to pick just one favorite character. The only thing I couldn’t really appreciate is the love triangle between Tess, Will and Jem; I don’t like cheesy romance and their relationship is on the border of becoming just that. But I will forgive Clare because the rest of the sequel is awesome… With some mayor twists in the last few pages that makes you want to read the third and final book straight away. Without doubt recommended to those who enjoy YA fantasy!

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I don’t want to spoil the fun for those who haven’t read the trilogy yet… So I strongly suggest not reading this summary unless you did, since it’s almost impossible to write a spoiler free summary of this sequel.

Tessa Gray is still living with the Shadowhunters in the London Institute, but her safety is in the line when some key members are plotting against Charlotte (the head of the Institute). If they succeed in replacing her, Tessa will be homeless again and an easy prey for the Magister. The Magister is desperate to get Tessa in order to use her powers to finish his dark plans; his powers are increasing and various important characters are following his orders. The clockwork army he is building is becoming stronger by the day and soon will be almost impossible to destroy…

Charlotte is set with an ultimatum in order to keep the Institute; find the exact location of the Magister and she can keep her post. It seems like the Magister started the war with the Shadowhunters seeking revenge, and slowly the members of the London Institute gather more information about his past. But not only information about the Magister is revealed; Tessa and Will also learn more about their past… And Jem is still fighting the disease that will kill him one day. They all have to make some difficult decisions during the search for Mortmain; decisions that will affect and endanger others. Will they find the Magister on time?

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I’ve said it before with Clockwork Angel, but I’m enjoying the prequel trilogy way better than the actual The Mortal Instruments series. I’m not sure if it is because of the setting, the steampunk elements, the book quotes or the characters, but The Infernal Devices trilogy just works. The amount of romance is on the border of being too much for my taste, but the rest of the story makes up for it. Warning: Clockwork Prince ends with some mayor announcements that will make you want to pick up the last book Clockwork Princess straight away. I know I did! I’m glad I didn’t start reading this series when it was first published… Because if I would have had to wait for more than a year to know what would happen next, it would have driven me crazy for sure.

WWW Wednesdays #23 – January 7th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading, WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

14064My TBR jar this time gave me a better result with I Am Legend. This classic horror/SF story is more my cup of tea and I’m enjoying this novel by Richard Matheson so far. If I can find some free time today, I will probably finish it since it’s quite a short story!

 

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

clockworkprinceclockworkprincessAfter first having read Clockwork Prince, I just HAD to read the final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy straight away. I mean, after the bombs Cassandra Clare drops on us in the last pages of book two, I just HAD to know what was going to happen next. Clockwork Princess did have too much romance in it for my taste, but I’m still glad to have finished my first series (trilogy) this year!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

gonegirlgardensofthemoonI will probably either read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or Gardens Of The Moon by Steven Erikson. I’ve been wanting to read both titles for ages now, and I think it is about time I finally pick them up.