Review for City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare

City Of Glass by Cassandra Clare

TITLE: City Of Glass
SERIES: The Mortal Instruments #3
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
PUBLICATION DATE: March 24, 2009
PUBLISHER: Margaret K McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Divison
PAGES: 541 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

You would think that after two full-length novels, Clary would have, at the very least, found a way to wake her mom, but that is just not the case. The third book in the Mortal Instruments series starts with Clary going on another quest to find a warlock by the name of Ragnor Fell who can wake her mother up. Then there is always the added plot of finding a way to defeat Valentine, which eventually seeps in.

I have to say that after reading this, though I intend to finish the entire series eventually, I cannot imagine it ended better than this did. Everything ties up in a neat little bow, giving everyone a happy ending…well, everyone who is still alive gets a happy ending. Therein lies the problem.

My first issue with this was the deaths. Yes, the war with Valentine has been bloody and there has been no skimping on the character deaths before this novel, but there was one that I found intolerable. ****SPOILER****And that was Max. Seriously, he was just a little kid who didn’t get much time in the series anyway, so why fucking kill him? Don’t say it gives Isabelle the motivation she needs later to go after Jace and Sebastian/Jonathan/whatever the fuck you want to call him, because that bullshit. Hodge’s death didn’t make me all warm and fuzzy, but I felt it was an acceptable loss considering the bad he had done in book one.****END SPOILER**** The deaths alone bring the star rating down. If a certain character had lived, I would have given it five, but I’m so fucking tired of pointless character deaths, in books, movies, and shows, that I just cannot give it five stars.

On the whole, the novel was just as enthralling and enchanting as the other two, with good writing, witty dialogue, and a big enough mystery to keep you guessing until the very end. I knew that the sibling issue between Clary and Jace would finally be revealed and I must say that I didn’t see the way it played out coming. Some plot twists were a bit more transparent, but not one really got me, so bravo Clare, bravo.

I think my two favorite things about this was finally getting Jocelyn’s history, from her perspective and all the couples finally getting together. The biggest is Clary and Jace finally being able to be together without feeling like it is an abomination. Jace really stole the show in this one, in my opinion. The way he confesses his love, despite everything else, and the speech he gives to Clary at the end was just….

…okay, so maybe I got just a little carried away there, but what can I say? I love Jace and though I know many people were against Jamie Campbell Bower being cast as him, I think he’s perfect for the role and exceedingly pretty, so bite me. Back to my original point, I loved that the main couples do end up together. We finally get to see ****SPOILER****Alec and Magnus be together, in front of the other Shadowhunters and the rest of the Lightwoods, which was amazing. I love Magnus, he’s probably my favorite character or at the very least, he ties with Jace for favorite. We also finally get to see Jocelyn with Luke, which we were all routing for. Simon doesn’t end up with anyone, but it’s obvious he has a choice between Isabelle and Maia, so it’s up to him.****END SPOILER****

This novel is an excellent conclusion to the storyline of the first three novels. I don’t know what the main conflict of the next three will be but I can say definitively that if you don’t like longer series, you can legitimately stop here and not be left wanting. As for me? I am planning on reading the next three, but I’ll be treading lightly because the longer a series continues, the more opportunity there is for it to go south. Wish me luck!

Review for City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

TITLE: City Of Ashes
SERIES: The Mortal Instruments #2
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
PUBLICATION DATE: March 25, 2008
PUBLISHER: Margaret K McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Divison
PAGES: 453 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

I’ll be honest, there is a lot going on in this sequel. I really don’t know how to summarize this plot, because, like with most middle books, there is just too much happening. The most basic thing I can say is that they are still battling Valentine and things get really complicated, really fast.

I had a hard time getting myself to both start this and continue reading it. Not, mind you, because of any problem with writing or character development, or any of the normal nonsense that gets in my way, but because I knew that still particular installment wasn’t going to end with Jace and Clary happily together. Reading my little sisters review told me quite clearly that, regardless of how well written and entertaining this book is, I just wasn’t going to love it. The love triangle aspect is played up even more in this one, where Clary obviously believes Jace is her brother and starts dating Simon. Can I just say that sibling thing is bullshit? I know it seems like they are and all the evidence points to that end, but just fuck no. I can feel it in my bones that it’s just not true and deep down, I think Clary and Jace know it too. But that doesn’t stop Clary from being horrified by the feelings she has for her “brother” and the whole dating Simon thing that just irritated the fuck out of me. I’m sorry, I love Simon, but we all know he is going to end up with Maia. That much is completely obvious after one fucking meeting between the two. Besides I want Simon to be happy and having Clary settle for him will never make him happy.

I really hate reviewing middle books, it’s so fucking difficult to put how I feel for them into words. This one manages to more or less escape that middle book syndrome, being entirely entertaining and action packed in its own right, but I just hate being dead center in the middle of the story, you know? Or better yet, still just at the being since now this tale is a now a six book series instead of the originally planned trilogy. There is so much that’s happened that I don’t approve of ****SPOILER****like Simon becoming a vampire****END SPOILER****, but there is still so much to come that I don’t exactly know how I feel. It’s hard to rate middle books properly because how I will feel about the series overall is entirely dependent upon how it ends. I can’t love it if Clary and Jace don’t end up together. Speaking of endings, I can just say that the ending of this one fucking sucked? The whole Jace/Clary/Simon triangle and the ending conversation in the epilogue between Clary and Jace and just….grh!

So, I’ll just say this, it was an enjoyable ride and I can’t wait to start the next one…in fact that what I’ll be doing this afternoon, before reporting to college for my first day of fall semester.

Review for City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare

TITLE: City Of Bones
SERIES: The Mortal Instruments #1
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
PUBLICATION DATE: March 27, 2007
PUBLISHER: Margaret K McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Divison
PAGES: 485 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

Clary is just a normal girl with a quirky best friend and no clue that there are fairies, vampires, werewolves, and all manner of mythical creatures are roaming the world, until Jace Wayland walks into her life. Once she meets him, everything changes and the jury is still out if it’s for the better or not. Then her mom gets kidnapped and she is thrust into a world were everything depends on finding a mythical hidden item in order to bargain for her mom’s life.

I originally gave this five stars, but then downgraded it because it contains a love triangle and cliffhanger and I abhor those. I’ve seen a lot of hype on the blogosphere lately about the upcoming film and purposely waited until close to the movies release to read this because I knew as soon as I finished I’d be dying to see the film and I didn’t want to have an excruciatingly long wait ahead. I can honestly say that I understand the hype now. I really enjoyed this. It’s got that addictive quality that makes it difficult to put down once you start and that is quite a quality to possess.

As for the characters, I didn’t initially love Clary. She seemed decent enough, but too similar to so many other YA heroines. No Bella Swan syndrome (thank Satan), but nothing about her stood out. Short, slim, flat-chested, artsy, and relatively intelligent seems like a common theme these days. I’m happy to report that by the end, I did come to like her character quite a bit. That whole always fighting for your friends/family no matter what thing gets me every fucking time.

Then we have the main attraction, Jace. If you read my updates, I think it’s pretty obvious that I liked him from the start. There is just something about a hot, cocky, snarky, badass that just never fails to attraction my devotion. He kept me laughing through this somewhat serious book with his one liners and comebacks and complete confidence in his sexiness. And you can’t help but feel for the guy once you learn his back story. Team Jace, all the way.

The other is the other point in this particular triangle. Simon. I sympathized with him from the get go because he’s affection for Clary is rather obvious and I knew she’d never choose him. It’s almost an unwritten rule in the love triangles that they never pick the nicer guy who has always been there for them. Simon’s cute and totally geeky. He’s always ready with a Star Wars or D&D reference and even though I liked Jace more, I do hope Simon eventually finds his happily ever after.

All the other characters were equally interesting, from Luke to Hodge to Isabelle & Alec. I especially enjoyed Magnus Bane. Hodge’s character gets an irritated eyeroll ****SPOILER****because OF COURSE he’s the fucking bad guy, or at least, of course he is working for the bad guy. He’s casting choice for the film alone told me. He’s played by Jared Harris and he’s NEVER a good guy. I felt a little disappointed because that’s a running theme in everything lately, to have the “friend” be the bad guy or the helpful side character. I get it, it’s a good plot line and it keeps you guess, but could be leave it out for a bit?****END SPOILER****

The writing was great, the plotline wasn’t overly original, but it definitely wasn’t the same one we keep getting over and over. What really irked me was the love triangle? Square? Pentagram? For the first half of the book it felt like everyone liked Jace and/or Clary and it got old really quickly. Luckily they are all over it by the end, so we don’t get too much time angsting over it, but it was still annoying. ****SPOILER****The sibling accusation between Jace & Clary didn’t garner more than an eyeroll. I know it isn’t true and even if I didn’t have a little sister who let me in on that secret before I started this, I still would have known. There is too much passion between the two and this series has too many fans for that to be the case. Just no. No Flowers In The Attic for me, thank you.****END SPOILER****

On the whole, this is an immensely enjoyable read and I recommend it to anyone looking for an addictive thrill-ride, with some interesting, if a little predictable, twists.

Review for Wicked Game (WVMP Radio #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready

Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready

TITLE: Wicked Game
AUTHOR: Jeri Smith-Ready
PUBLISHER: Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
PAGES: 361 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 5 stars

Can I just say that I love this book? Seriously, these is the first book in the WVMP Radio series which is now officially my favorite vampire series (knocking the Sookie Stackhouse series from the spot). I love everything about this book. I seriously can’t think of anything I didn’t like.

This book follows Ciara Griffin (pronounced KEER AH) in her pursuit of a normal life. She fails to find it, in fact she finds a life that just gets stranger. She finds a job at a radio station as a marketing manager and they give her a manual to read to introduce her to the station’s unique world. The manual contains the most basic information about vampires. Ciara, naturally, thinks this is insane and calls to resign immediately because she doesn’t find the prank funny. Boy is she in for a surprise. She soon runs across one of the DJ’s in a bar and learns the hardway that they weren’t fooling her, the DJ’s truly are vampires (all six of them). She takes her job back and comes up with an awesome marketing plan. To keep the station from going under, why not promote the truth as a gimmick to get listeners? Tell the world that, yes, we are a station full of vampires which is why our broadcasts only play at night and each DJ only plays music from a specific period of time (because it is their ‘lifetime’, the period of time in which they were made into vampires and therefore that is where their mentality is stuck).

::blank stares:: …so she wants the real vampires to pretend to be humans pretending to be vampires to get attention for the station?

That would be correct. And it works like a charm until an older vampire decides it is a dumb idea and wants to kill them all if they don’t stop. During all this craziness, Ciara starts to develop a relationship with the youngest DJ, Shane McAllister. Obviously a rocky, interesting relationship since she refuses to be a donor for him to feed off of.

Seriously though, this book is so different than most vampire novels and the main character is so far from the generic heroines that it had me doing mental happy dances. How can you not love a girl who was raised by con artists? And the vampires are all OCD in an incredibly indearing way. Shane’s obsession with alphabetizing things really struck a cord because I am similarly obsessed with how my books/cds/dvds are organized.

Speaking of Shane…::drools:: damn can Mrs Smith-Ready create a leading male character. After reading Shade where she has not one but two amazing male leads, I didn’t think it was possible to have another one I adored this much but I was wrong. Now granted, Shane isn’t perfect and he definitely doesn’t knock Damon from The Vampire Diaries (books not the show) from his perch as favorite male vampire ever (because let’s face it, there is no way a catholic vampire is gonna ever rock my world THAT much given my very athiest religious outlook) but he is definitely high on the list. He’s tall, he plays guitar and sings, and he is hot as hell…need I say more?

Here, this is what I imagined Shane to sound like when I was reading:… Is this because he was described this way or because I have a sick obsession with the one known as Shimon Moore (in the video, he is the blond one)? Well, I’ll never really know, but I’d like to think it’s the former.

So everyone who likes vampires, con artists, rock music, and amazing writing should read this. Seriously. GO BUY IT NOW.

Disclaimer: those with issues with cursing, description sex, or hearing the main character bash Christianity a time or two might want to steer clear.

Review for Afterlife (Evernight #4) by Claudia Gray

Afterlife by Claudia Gray

TITLE: Afterlife
SERIES: Evernight #4
AUTHOR: Claudia Gray
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 360 pages
FORMAT: Hardcover
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

I just finished this and I’m not sure how I feel about it. This final installment of the Evernight series follows Bianca and Lucas when they are forced to go back to Evernight because Lucas was unfortunately turned into a vampire and Bianca into a wraith. When they return, Bianca’s existence is kept secret because they know Mrs Bethany is hunting wraiths and don’t want to risk her safety.

It was a little slow paced and boring for a while, but you finally find out what Mrs Bethany is trying to do, use the wraiths to become human. Apparently, combining a wraith and a vampire restores the vampire to life. That’s a completely insane notion, but in this novel, apparently it’s a reality.

But the ending was rather lackluster. I’ve read a lot of reviews of people pissing and moaning that Bianca stays a wraith, but I wasn’t really that surprised. She has an important power as a wraith and eventually will have a purpose. Lucas being turned back into a human was also the only option besides him committing suicide. The idea of him remaining a vampire was ridiculous. Seriously that’s like Sam & Dean Winchester suddenly deciding that being a crossroads demon for Crowley isn’t such a bad idea. So obviously this isn’t my issue with the ending. The ending between Bianca & Lucas was fine, they’ll have a happy life together and it leaves you with a feeling of hope for their future. My issue was that she didn’t wrap up the other characters stories. Balthazar is going to stay and tend to the horses? That’s shitty, but he’s getting a whole series, so I can deal with that. But what of Raquel? Dana? Vic? Ranulf? Patrice? Maxie? They are all just left kinda standing in the yard of Evernight while Bianca & Lucas ride off into the sunset. I’d like just a brief epilogue implying they all live happily ever after, please.

Review for Hourglass (Evernight #3) by Claudia Gray

Hourglass by Claudia Gray

TITLE: Hourglass
SERIES: Evernight #3
AUTHOR: Claudia Gray
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 339 pages
FORMAT: Hardcover
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 3 stars

Well, this seems to be one of those series that gets progressively worse. I liked the first one pretty well and the second one was decent enough, but this one irritated the fuck out of me. Bianca is just as annoying as she is in the previous novels.

In this novel, Bianca and Lucas run away from Evernight and both start working for the Black Cross (along with Raquel). The Black Cross trains the newbies but Bianca struggles to get blood because they are in lockdown and she is not allowed to leave on her own. Then Balthazar got captured and Bianca & Lucas save him. Eventually, the Black Cross figures Bianca out and her and Lucas run away. I hate the way this novel ends. Hate, abhor, loathe…none of them seem like strong enough words. After that ending, I’m wondering if/how this series can have a happy ending and it better fucking have a happy ending.

Review for Stargazer (Evernight #2) by Claudia Gray

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

TITLE: Stargazer
SERIES: Evernight #2
AUTHOR: Claudia Gray
PUBLICATION DATE: March 24, 2009
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 329 pages
FORMAT: Hardcover
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 3 stars

Well…ummm…remember that thing I said at the end of my last review about Bianca growing up? Scratch that. She may have had a moment or two of maturity but in this novel, she reverts back to her inner 5 year old Bella Swan personality. Bianca is my biggest issue with this series. I really don’t like her, she’s very one dimensional.

In this installment of the Evernight series, Bianca returns to school while trying to sneak off campus as much as possible for clandestine meetings with Lucas. Things at school get more complicated because it is now being haunted by wraiths (ghosts) and they seem to target her specifically. Then Balthy catches her trying to sneak back on campus after a Lucas meetup and, in a interesting twist, ends up helping her by pretending that they are dating so he can legitimately take her off campus. But Bianca swears to Lucas this is just a ruse to fool Mrs Bethany and her parents and there is just no way she will ever be attracted to Balthy like she is to Lucas. ::mutters:: lying bitch.

She does the typical stupid heroine thing and gets in a huge fight with Lucas, tells him to leave, and then cries when he does. What did you expect? Him to stick around after you’ve made it blantantly clear that you don’t need him? Those of you looking for some more Bianca/Lucas action will get it. Those of you looking for Bianca/Balthazar action, well you’ll get some of that too.

All in all, I like most of the story. There are a few twists that I didn’t see coming and I won’t give them away here. You want to know? Go read the book or read a spoiler.

My only other big complaint is the further I get into this series, the more I’m reminded of Twilight:
Book 1: Human & vampire fall in love
Book 2: Boy leaves girl and girl (unknowingly) starts to fall for another guy.

My prediction for book 3: Girl trying to decide between the 2 guys

Book 4: I know from the summary that it’s about an epic battle between 2 major forces….

Review for Evernight (Evernight #1) by Claudia Gray

Evernight by Claudia Gray

TITLE: Evernight
SERIES: Evernight #1
AUTHOR: Claudia Gray
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 327 pages
FORMAT: Hardcover
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

***This review contains spoilers***

For the first half of this book, I wasn’t sure whether I liked it or not. I wasn’t crazy about Bianca (or her name, for that matter. Call me shallow, but I do judge characters by their names). It seemed almost like Hex Hall-lite, same basic plot but with only vampires and a less enjoyable lead female. But I kept going and the further I got, the more I annoyed I became. Not only was Bianca annoying, but she was inexplicably drawn to a guy who was nice at first and then is a jackass to her and completely not attracted to the smart sexy guy who was actually nice to her. Fucking moron. Still, I kept reading because I have a complusive need to finish every book I start.

Then I got to the halfway mark and Bianca & Lucas make up and start making out and she bites him. Apparently she’s a vampire and just forgot to mention it in her mental narrative until now. And this isn’t the OMG! WHAT! Vampires don’t exist! type thing. No, she’s known her entire life that she was born a vampire to 2 vampire parents (a highly rare occurance) and that this depressing school she is in is for vampires with a few clueless humans lurking about to add diversity. This irk me initially too, I mean I get that it was supposed to be a plot twist and it worked, but I quickly got over it. It made me exceedingly happy that for once the heroine was the supernatural entity, not the hero or both as it is in most teen romance novels. Once this revelation was made, the writing seemed to get better and Bianca became less annoying. She has to hide it all from Lucas until he sees her standing on a roof basically covered in blood and like a smart man, her runs the fuck away from her.

After he leaves, she does become depressed but lucky for me, it was not an all out Bella Swan like coma. She continues her life, just a little sadder. Then she finally tells Lucas the whole truth and though he knows he should leave her alone, he doesn’t. He still wants to be with her, which becomes more complicated after she bites him twice because that apparently gives him vampire-esque powers because he is now eligible to become one, if he so chooses. They start digging into more vampire history and facts and little Bianca starts to see how sheltered her life has been and she starts to follow her own thoughts and ignore her parents wishes/demands.

I won’t reveal the other secret but I will say I did like how Bianca acted in the last 40 or so pages. It shows she is growing up. All in all, it was a pretty good read and I’m gonna start the next book soon.

Review for Midnight (The Vampire Diaries: The Return #3) by L.J. Smith

Midnight by L J Smith

TITLE: Midnight
SERIES: The Vampire Diaries: The Return #3
PUBLICATION DATE: March 15, 2011
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen , an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 567 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 3 stars

***This review contains spoilers***

This book cannot get more than 3 stars because though it was great overall, one detail completely ruined it. Damon Salvatore dies. Sorry, but this just completely obliterates my good opinion of the book. It does imply at the end, that Damon will come back, but that is a tainted promise after watching him die so painfully.

It really and truly saddens me that this is how The Vampire Diaires series ends…..Yes, I am aware that there are 3 more books slated to be coming out, but guess what? They aren’t written by LJ because the stupid publisher took the project away from her and I’m sorry, but I REFUSE to read any book that tries to follow the plotline of the book series that wasn’t written by LJ.

Review for Kissing Coffins (Vampire Kisses #2) by Ellen Schreiber

Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber

TITLE: Kissing Coffins
SERIES: Vampire Kisses #2
AUTHOR: Ellen Schreiber
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 224 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 1 star

I didn’t finish this book. I read the first one and it can only be described as mediocre at best, but I thought I give the second one a shot since a friend of mine with relatively good taste in books suggested the series, but I couldn’t get through the 50 pages with getting ridiculusly annoyed with Raven, the main character. She is just too steriotypical and I don’t really like her.