Book Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

28954137Title: 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)

Pages: 655

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

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Dog Breed Book Tag

Ok so I have been sitting on this idea for a little while now and I think I’ve finally come up with enough categories to post this tag. So this is the Dog Breed Book Tag! If you haven’t noticed I love dogs and I love books so what better way to combine these things?

The Rules:

-Tag the creator: Maggie @ MassachusettsNovel so I can see all your amazing answers

-Tag at least 3 people when you’re done

-Use photos! Who doesn’t want to see cute photos of dogs to brighten their day?

-Add a new dog category if you can think of one!

-Have Fun!

Ok so let’s get on with the tag and the dogs!

Golden Retriever, The Family Dog: What book character would you bring home to meet your family | Levi

Levi from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. Ugh what I would give to find a Levi of my own. A boy who would enjoy listening to me read a loud to him and would enjoy my immense neediness. A boy who would bring me coffee and be literally the sweetest person on the face of this planet. I would bring Levi home with me in a heartbeat and honestly the more I think about it the more the actual character reminds me of a big lovable Golden Retriever.

 

Pitbull, The Misunderstood: Name a character you misjudged at first meeting | Rhysand

Is anyone surprised that this is my answer? No? Didn’t think so. Rhys. My precious baby bat who must be protected. Now I did not hate him when we first met, but I was a little wary just because I was not looking forward to the back and forth love triangle I was expecting in ACOMAF. But boy was I surprised at the route it took and Rhys quickly became one of the greatest characters of all times, and like a pitbull looked tough on the outside but was actually a precious baby who needed some love and snuggles.

 

Dalmatian: A book cover that is aesthetically pleasing to you | Clockwork Princess

There are so many beautiful books so it was hard to choose but one of my all-time favorite book cover is Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. All her book cover are beautiful (the originals not the new ones) but this one is hands down the best. Tessa looks stunning and that dress *fanning myself*.

 

Lab, The Lovable: A book you think almost anyone can love | Eleanor and Park

This book is so sweet and adorable and addresses some sensitive issues but I honestly believe it is a book that most people could get something out of. It’s a great coming of age story, love story and catalogs some of the hardships that affect a lot of people the tae don’t always see in literature. Plus the characters are just so lovable.

 

Mutt: A book with a little bit of everything in it | I’ll Give You the Sun

I don’t know why I feel like this has a little bit of everything for everyone in it. It’s a contemporary following a twin brother and sister. It has loss, secrets, first love and love lost. I feel like it covers a wide variety of topics that come up in your peoples lives and incorporates a lot of important themes.

 

Dachshund: A long book that’s worth the read | The Book Thief

In an effort to avoid sounding like a broken record I have not chosen my gut instinct of ACOMAF. Instead I’ve picked The Book Thief. I loved this book and actually did not realize how big a book it is until I recently bought the anniversary edition. But I loved this book. I had to read it for school but it was so moving and sad but beautiful.

 

Samoyed: A book you love that is full of fluff | Anna and the French Kiss Series

These books are super fluffy. They are your classic “Boy Meets Girl” romances but they are so adorable and I love the way they all tie together even thought they follow different characters every time. They’re also super fun because they all take place in different places but if you’re looking for a fluffy feel good romance these are perfect.

 

Border Collie: A book that is a high energy read | Six of Crows Series

I love Six of Crows and by extension Crooked Kingdom. I love heist shows and books so this was perfect. If you’ve ever seen Leverage, it’s about a group of criminals who do these crazy heists to help people. Six of Crows reminded me of that a lot and so I loved it. The entire time there is so much going on, that you don’t even notice until Kaz reveals it usually, and it’s just such a fun, action packed read.

 

Chines Crested: A book that looks great naked | Three Dark Crowns/Insurgent

Ok so I have a tie for this one. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is gorgeous naked. I love the tiny little gold symbols on the cover, the deep maroon color and the black spine. But I recently learned the Insurgent is gorgeous naked. It’s cover is kinda a light sickly green BUT NAKED it is a deep dark BEAUTIFUL forest green with the gold tree insignia on the cover and I LOVE IT. So it’s a tie for this one.

 

Your favorite literary pooch | Fleetfoot

Of course it’s Fleetfoot from the Throne of Glass series. I have a stuffed dog named Fleetfoot but honestly I have some serious reasons for loving her. First of all she is a mutt and she was originally going to be killed because she was shy but she got a second change and became an amazing companion. Second chances for dogs, especially mutts is important for me which is why I love Fleetfoot so much.

Your Favorite Dog(s) | Jonesy and McGuire 

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Jonesy: 12 year old female border collie-golden retriever mix (brown)                                                 McGuire: 8 year old male pointer mix (black and white)

Who do you tag |

Emily @ Emiesnook

Jess @ Starswholsiten

Megan @ Bookslayerreads

Hannah @ Hannahreads2001

Ashley @ Insidemyminds

Carrie @ Carriesbookreviews

Birdie @ Birdiebookwormblog

M @ Mreadsbooks 

Aly @ Bookhuntressworld

Anyone who wants to do this tag!

What’s your favorite dog breed? Do you think there’s a dog category that should’ve been on this list? What for? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for Reading

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Book Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

22299763-2.jpgTitle: Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Type: Duology (Book 2)

Pages: 536

Rating: 5 stars

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Spoilers Ahead!

So. This. Book. Was. Amazing.

Six of Crows was so fabulous, with it’s ruthless characters, high action, twists at every turn and the ultimate heist. And Crooked Kingdom is just as good. The plans were just as daring and exciting, the cast of characters was everything you’d expected them to be after the first book and action and excitement was never ending in this book.

I loved that we really got to see Ketterdam in this book. In the first book we’re there briefly before we’re whisked away to Fjerda for the rest of the story. In this book we really get to see all the various areas of Ketterdam and learn more about the Kerch people.

Now of course this story picks up where we left off, with Inej being taken. And I’m very glad that we didn’t have to spend the entire book getting her back. In fact, the story can really be broken down into 3 heists. 1) Getting Inej back, 2) The Sugar Mill Plan and 3) The Grand Finale. So it was great to see Kaz and the crew succeed in their first plan. It was everything we’d expect from one of Kaz’s plans: everything was planned for, he had backup plans for everything, and when you thought everything was going wrong, it was really all going right.

So it seemed like we were on track to take down Van Eck and Rollins all at once but then plan 2 is not what we expect from a glorious Kaz Brekker plan. Literally everything goes wrong and since we were jumping back and forth between POVs I could not put the book down until everyone was safely in that hotel room after the entire plan fell apart. When Inej fell of the wire I swear my heart stopped.

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Book Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Non-Spoilery Section:

If you liked “An Ember in the Ashes” then you will definitely like this book. This is a story of a rich, aristocratic girl who purchases a slave on a whim. She is the daughter of the empire’s greatest general and lives in one of the lands conquered by the empire, Herran. Her new slave is a Herrani boy looking to help free Herran one day again. But of course the two of them start to question society and what is expected of them as they grow closer. He is a terrible server but she appreciates his honesty with her and his sharp mind. He thinks she is nothing but a spoiled brat at first, but then begins to see that she is intelligent and kind. Plus there is one thing both of them adore that really brings them together: music.

I highly recommend this book. It’s the first in a trilogy and really was a great read. It’s exciting but also full of romance. If you liked Ember in the Ashes, The Selection, or Throne of Glass then I think you’ll like this book as much as I did.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

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