The Whimsical Mama

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Flashback Friday #5: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare September 12, 2014

Flashback Friday is a feature I started here on The Whimsical Mama featuring books I read before I started blogging. Most reviews will come after rereading the book again. This is a biweekly feature. This week’s selection is:

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 8 May 2012
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: hardcover, personal copy ,audiobook, via library
Status: Book five of The Mortal Instruments series

Summary:
The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

My thoughts:

The reread binge has come to an end for The Mortal Instruments. I ended up forcing myself to take my time with City of Lost Souls because I ended up reading through the series faster than I anticipated. I would’ve started with The Infernal Devices if I had known I’d be able to breeze through soquickly. I still have to say I don’t like Sebastian as an adversary. I still prefer Valentine. Sebastian feels too evil to be believable. The action surrounding him in City of Lost Souls is better than in City of Fallen Angels. The first read, I had a sense of maybe things could’ve changed just like Clary. My second read, I could see that he’s too evil to be redeemed. This time around, I feel like the quest to save Jace is too drawn out. Some of the adventures of Jace, Clary, and Sebastian are too much of page fillers. Also the change in Jace is so drastic, he becomes unlikable for me. A brave move by Clare, but one I wish hadn’t happened. I also feel that Isabelle is abit out of character. I think it works nicely though because she’s never felt the way she does about Simon. That first rush of love is always unsettling even for someone as sure and confident as Izzy. I love that Jordan and Maia are working through their issues. They are easily my favourite couple in this book. I wish we’d gotten to see more of Luke and Jocelyn’s romance. Not delving into it makes me fear for their safety in City of Heavenly Fire. Why put so much work into something you’re going to destroy? The relationship between Clary and Sebastian truly makes my skin crawl. He is definitely one character I absolutely despise. Not just dislike, but outright hatred. I still feel the first trilogy half is the stronger of the two trilogies in this series. City of Lost Souls is stronger than City of Fallen Angels, but I still feel like it’s filler to set up for the epic showdown in City of Heavenly Fire. I have a feeling Jace has a larger role with the heavenly fire part. There is definitely action and unexpected twists which were incredible the first read, but not as thrilling the second time around. I can understand the beating a dead horse feel with more and more books being cranked out in this universe. I’ve already ordered City of Heavenly Fire. I think I will  borrow the next series before deciding to buy it. Hopefully, it will be more on the level of The Infernal Devices and first half of The Mortal Instruments. The more I think about it, the more I feel the second trilogy hasn’t been as well executed.

About the author:

“Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.”

You can find me online at

http://www.cassandraclare.com

I have a blog:

http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com/

and a Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/Cassandraclare

and a Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/cassieclare

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Flashback Friday #4: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare August 29, 2014

Flashback Friday is a feature I started here on The Whimsical Mama featuring books I read before I started blogging. Most reviews will come after rereading the book again. This is a biweekly feature. This week’s selection is:

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 5 April 2011
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: paperback, personal copy ,audiobook, via library
Status: Book four of The Mortal Instruments series

Summary:

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

The stakes are higher than ever in the #1 New York Times bestselling fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series.

My thoughts:

The first book of the second trilogy of The Mortal Instruments series feels a bit off par to the first three books. It picks up shortly after the events of City of Glass. Jace and Clary are happily together though Jace is having some issues. Simon is struggling dating Isabelle and Maia and fails to see how that’s a bad idea.

The plot is exciting and the twist at the end is mind blowing. I honestly don’t know why this feels lacking compared to the others. Maybe because things felt like they were pretty neatly tied up and now a new series of events are stirring up. I also like Valentine as a villain much better than Sebastian – or Lilith.

I did like that we have a bit of perspective toss up. It’s a progressive adjustment from the beginning of the series and I think it works nicely. I especially love the Malec scenes. They’re my favourite couple.

My favourite non couple pairing for scenes was Simon and Jace. I love the bickering. It’s the best. It’s even better when Kyle is thrown in.

I liked getting to see the background between Jordan Kyle and Maia. It’s a very tragic story but great that they’re going to have a chance to work through things.

My first read of The Mortal Instruments after reading The Infernal Devices, I was super excited to see Brother Zachariah. I wish there’d been more of him in it.

I still recommend this series, I just recommend the first trilogy half more strongly than I recommend the second set. This could change once I read City of Heavenly Fire. I do love City of Lost Souls as well. I’m just less than thrilled with City of Fallen Angels. As great as the first three are, I feel all this one does is set up the next trilogy.

About the author:

“Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.”

You can find me online at

www.cassandraclare.com

I have a blog:

http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com/

and a Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/Cassandraclare

and a Twitter:

www.twitter.com/cassieclare

 

Flashback Friday #3: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare July 18, 2014

Flashback Friday is a feature I started here on The Whimsical Mama featuring books I read before I started blogging. Most reviews will come after rereading the book again. This is a biweekly feature. This week’s selection is:

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 24 March 2009
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: paperback, personal copy ,audiobook, via library
Status: Book three of The Mortal Instruments series

Summary:
To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

 

My thoughts:

Re-reading binge continues with City of Glass. The action picks up shortly after the events of City of Ashes. Preparations are being made to travel to Alicante in Idris. Clary is on a mission to save her mother. Jace tries to leave Clary behind, but the determined Clary makes it anyway.

Along the way, the group comes across several new characters – all of which have an impact on the story. The most important being Sebastian – who isn’t all he seems.

They’re hurtling toward a battle with Valentine and his demon army. He’s certain his hidden followers in the Clave will ensure loyalty to him. He never expected the Clave to align with the Downworlders.

It’s clear that this was originally intended as a trilogy, but enough things are left open for the second trilogy to take place. The battle with Valentine is over, but the battle against Sebastian has only begun.

I really enjoyed getting to see even more perspective in City of Glass than City of Bones or City of Ashes. I really loved having more interaction between Alec and Magnus. I also enjoyed a closer look at Isabelle. She’s a tough warrior, but she also has her own insecurities. I found myself torn over Aline again. I like getting to see other Shadowhunters, but she also feels like an annoying character. She feels like she’s one that has to grow on you.

I will say that the length got to me this time around. Not sure why, but it felt like I was reading two books in one. It might be because I’m excited to see where everything ends up or it might be because I’m trying to remember what happens in each book.

Obviously being longer, there is much more chance for action. City of Glass definitely has highs and lows in action and slowly reveals everything that was alluded to in City of Bones and City of Ashes.

I do believe that you can read the first three books as a trilogy and not feel you have to commit to a six book series. However, I do think the events in the first three are necessary to the story for the next three. I do not see the second trilogy as standalone in their arc. They are reliant on the first three books.

About the author:

“Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.”

You can find me online at

www.cassandraclare.com

I have a blog:

http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com/

and a Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/Cassandraclare

and a Twitter:

www.twitter.com/cassieclare

 

Flashback Friday #2: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare July 4, 2014

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!!

Flashback Friday is a feature I started here on The Whimsical Mama featuring books I read before I started blogging. Most reviews will come after rereading the book again. This is a biweekly feature. This week’s selection is:

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 25 March 2008
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: paperback, personal copy ,audiobook, via library
Status: Book two of The Mortal Instruments series

Summary:
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation

 

My thoughts:

Picking up close to where City of Bones left off, City of Ashes quickly kicks up the action and snark. City of Bones introduced us to the Shadow World and City of Ashes drives us deeper and deeper into the drama. City of Bones also mainly focused on Clary and we get the chance to see other characters have a chance to shine. We also are introduced to a wide variety of characters – Downworlders and Shadowhunters.

While the main focus is thwarting Valentine’s next move, there is a large focus on the realisation that Jace and Clary are siblings – or are they? Clary tries a relationship with Simon. Jace refuses to visit Jocelyn. They’re still attracted to each other. Emotional drama to the extreme and vague hints dropped that you have to be on the look out for or you’ll miss them!

Clary struggles with learning Valentine is her father. She clings to Luck, adamantly proclaiming that he’s always been a father to her. Not that I blame her. Luke did help raise her. He’s always been there for her. Valentine is still – well – a creepy psycho. Luke is also there for her to help her navigate the Shadow World.

Jace is forced to come to terms of the fallout from discovering Valentine, not Michael Wayland is his father. Maryse Lightwood turns against him. The Inquisitor has it out for him. Clary’s his sister. Alec’s hiding something. Simon gets turned into a vampire. All in all, it’s the pits for Jace. He keeps his snarkiness top notch though. Never fear for the snark!

Now in possession of two of the Mortal Instruments, Valentine sinks to a new low raising even more demons and slaughters children. His ego and power know no bounds. An epic battle breaks out between the Shadowhunters of New York and Valentine’s demons. Losses are heavy on both sides, but some good does come out of it.

Valentine disappears, but no one truly believes he’s dead. (The obvious mystery is well done!) The quest to prevent him from getting the third Instrument begins!

The last bomb is dropped as Clary learns there is only one person who knows how to save her mother. Just another piece in the growing puzzle.

Again, I highly recommend City of Ashes and the whole Mortal Instruments series. Onto City of Glass!

About the author:

“Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.”

You can find me online at

www.cassandraclare.com

I have a blog:

http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com/

and a Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/Cassandraclare

and a Twitter:

www.twitter.com/cassieclare

 

Flashback Friday #1: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare June 6, 2014

Flashback Friday is a feature I started here on The Whimsical Mama featuring books I read before I started blogging. Most reviews will come after rereading the book again. This is a biweekly feature. This week’s selection is:

 

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 27 March 2007
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: paperback, personal copy,audiobook, via library
Status: Book one of The Mortal Instruments series

Summary:
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…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

 

My thoughts:

I think it’s fitting that my first review for Flashback Friday is starting with a binge reread of The Mortal Instruments in preparation for City of Heavenly Fire coming out. I picked up an ebook of City of Bones on sale from Amazon. Mary had recommended it to me in passing, so I decided to get it. Then I saw the announcement that Jamie Campbell Bower had been cast in the upcoming movie. I liked him in Sweeney Todd, Twilight, and Harry Potter, so I decided to read this series. I asked Mary about it again and she said to read it. I devoured the whole series and then The Infernal Devices. The Infernal Devices was read while snuggling my very clingy newborn. She’s Team Jem like her mommy. (;

Anyway. Focus.

Once again, I was immediately sucked back into Cassie’s incredible Shadow World. I’ve been to New York City once, but between The Mortal Instruments and Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods, I feel that I know it much more than I learned in that single visit. I love that both star in a club scene. I’m much like Simon in not caring for clubs. I’ve only been a handful of times.

I think that Clary is a very strong and magnetic leading lady. She is thrown into a horrific situation and is able to relatively together. I’m sure it’s part of her Shadowhunter legacy over her strengths as a 15/16 year old.

I absolutely love Simon. I think he’s the true scene stealer of City of Bones. As a whole, I consistently love him. Yes, he irks me occasionally, but not as much as others. He’s the best best friend Clary could ever want and most definitely needs. He has a lot thrown at him, but he remains calm and stays by Clary’s side. A true friend for sure, sticking with her through thick and thin.

Jace is a strong personality to swallow. He’s so full of himself that during a first read, it’s easy to dislike him and wonder what the crap Clary is thinking. Multiple reads and it’s still irritating, but you’re more sympathetic to his issues.

Isabelle and Alec are introduced and set up to become excellent secondary characters. Isabelle is so sassy and I love it. Alec is well, Alec. Like Jace, he’s on the rough side to handle in the first read and then he becomes so endearing.

On my list of villains, Valentine is definitely one of the better ones. Much like Voldemort in Harry Potter, he’s a shadowy and feared name an dno one knows if he’s alive or dead. I think not knowing is worse than Valentine himself in City of Bones. I find him a much more intimidating figure in City of Bones the book than the movie. As much as I love Johnathon Rhys-Meyers, I thought he was horribly miscast for Valentine.

For a debut novel, I think City of Bones is a well put together story. The world building and characters are incredible. It’s full of actions and twists and turns. Every time I’ve read it, I’ve breezed through it. I highly recommend it and the series. I think it’s worth the hype. Will all of the future spin off series set in the Shadowhunter universe be as great? I can’t say. I do think this is a good paranormal series that can be enjoyed by young adult readers of all ages.

About the author:

“Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.”

You can find me online at

www.cassandraclare.com

I have a blog:

http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com/

and a Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/Cassandraclare

and a Twitter:

www.twitter.com/cassieclare

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 25-31 May 2014 May 31, 2014

Last week’s looked a little sparse despite getting a lot of reading done because I slacked on blogging and was spending time with my family. Hubby’s at a military class plus it was Memorial Weekend so family took priority over keeping on top of posting. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I was still a good deal ahead on posts scheduled. Have to get back ahead! Just on paper doesn’t help! Haha. Naptime will be my best friend while I’m being a military separation single mom. Every time hubby is away for an extended time, I am always reminded of how much I admire parents that pull single parent duty all the time. It’s not an easy thing to do!


Completed:

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)


Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (audiobook)

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare



Read to the Kiddos:

I was bad and didn’t keep track. ):


New to my shelf:

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 18-24 May 2014 May 24, 2014

Ack! I’m not as ahead as I was on my schedule. I’m still getting a ton read and written, I just have to get it up on here to post. Sheesh. Time is flying by and we’re getting things ready for the summer. Hopefully this week will be a tame one so I can get caught back up on things! (:


Completed:

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)




Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (audiobook)

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)



Read to the Kiddos:

I was bad and didn’t keep track. ):


New to my shelf:


From the library:

Narnia audiobooks! (:

 

Waiting on Wednesday #31: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare May 21, 2014

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

 

 

My pick of the week is:

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)

 

By: Cassandra Clare

 

Coming: 27 May 2014

 

Publisher: McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster

 

Summary:
ΕRCHOMAI, SEBASTIAN HAD SAID.

I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

 

Why I’m excited:

Um. I love this series. I’m currently re-reading the first five books in preparation to read this book NEXT week! I’ve been impatiently waiting for this book since the beginning of last year when I first jumped into this series. I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype that’s surrounding it, but I really love this series. I promptly ordered the whole series (through book 5) and the companion series The Infernal Devices (preordering Clockwork Princess) before I even finished City of Bones. I knew this series would be great.

Why I need you to be excited:

The ultimate battle is about to go down. We know SOMEONE will not make it out alive. Maybe more than one person. I’m pumped up to see how it all ends, I want you to be excited too!

 

 
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