Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman
Type: Series (kinda the book between 2 series in the same universe)
Rating: 5 Stars
Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fireleft him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.
So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.
Do you ever forget how much you love something? And then go back to it one day and get to rediscover how amazing it is? Well that was this book for me. I have had Lady Midnight for the LONGEST time and have heard such amazing things about it but I’d heard that I could not read that before I read this collection of novellas. And for some reason that just wasn’t appealing to me.
But I saw it at Target the other day and bought it on a whim. And finished this 655 page whopper in less than 24 hours. This book reminded me why I love Cassandra Clare so much. Now if you haven’t read the mortal instruments…go away. Major spoilers ahead. This book bridges the gap between the Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices and Lady Midnight. So if you haven’t read the other 2 series, you won’t get it.
Now this book is all about Simon. And of course at the end of CoHF he lost his memory to save everyone. But he remembers some things and it’s so heartbreaking seeing him interact with his friends and not really remember them. But what makes this book great is Simon Lewis. I have always loved Simon as a character. He is the hilarious comic relief character, always coming up with witty retorts and nerdy references in the face of death. And he has not lost that ability. I was laughing out loud and smiling like crazy at the pages of this book. There were so many moments where you couldn’t help but laugh.
We also got to see a lot of favorite characters. Yes Jace, Clary, Isabelle, Alec and Magnus were all there. But also Jem and Tessa. And then there were so many great stories within the story. Tessa telling a story about her and Will fighting Jack the Ripper, Will and Tessa’s son at school and Robert Lightwood giving us a glimpse of the Circle while they were at the academy. It was nice to hear about old favorites.
What I also loved about this book was how much it made me think. At the end of CoHF there’s the whole big “cold peace” with the faeries and it really is a problem in this book. We see the Blackthorn children and all the pain that it’s caused their family. We see poor Mark Blackthorn who was basically left to rot in fairy by his own people and then he saves Simon and Isabelle anyway. The politics at the school of the “elite” looking down on the “dregs” but Simon being a catalyst for change. We really see in this book that Shadowhutners can be racist and this new generation is going to be the first big chance for change. I’ll be interested to see how Downworlder and Clave relations are changing in Lady Midnight and how the fairy situation escalates.
My favorite favorite story in this whole book was the one with the baby. I mean come on! It was so precious. First of all, Magnus is a fabulous narrator. But then just seeing the Lightwoods offer their name and their love to a warlock child was so magical. Because obviously we don’t have the highest opinions of Mr and Mrs Lightwood. But seeing them accept this child as a part of their family and offer up what is maybe now the most sacred name in their family was so touching. And then just the idea of Alec and Magnus having a little blue baby is so sweet. When they named him Max I wanted to melt.
This whole book blew me away and I devoured every page. Of course the end was incredibly sad. After everything we lost poor George. But the end, him being with Jessamine’s ghost was so special and then Simon taking the name Lovelace.
I think this was every bit the book Simon deserved. He is looking to find himself this entire book but he’s still so true to the Simon we know and love from TMI. But he does mature in this book and we really see him find his principles and stand up for what he believes.
I absolutely give this book 5/5 stars. It’s been so long since I’ve had a new Cassandra Clare book and I forgot how special they were to me and why (Sarah J Maas may have overshadowed it a bit…) I know some people think Cassandra Clare is just doing too many spinoffs and books but this is one I am so glad I’ve read and I honestly believe that the story of this world and these characters isn’t finished yet. There is a lot that still needs to change in the Shadowhunter world and I’m excited that we’re going to get to see it.
Thanks for Reading