What Really Happened in Peru Review!

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Yeah, physician we finally get to see some background information on our favorite sexy warlock, ed  Magnus Bane, of the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.

Magnus Bane is a pretty big character in both series. You first meet him in The Mortal Instruments, when he comes to the aid of Clary, Jace and the rest of them, and is the warlock that erases Clary’s memories of her Sight. Then he starts dating Alec. Then as Cassie started to release the Infernal Devices series, you meet him again, in the Victorian age, years before Clary’s time, and he helps out Tessa, Will, Jem, Charlotte and the others and is involved with a lusty vampire by the name of Camille. We’re never really sure of Magnus’s real age, it could be anywhere from 300 years old to 800 years old and he makes odd and random references to his past that leave us dying for more.

And so Cassandra Clare, along with her dear friend and fellow author, Sarah Rees Brennan, decided to write stories about Magnus Bane called The Bane Chronicles. The Bane Chronicles will release a chapter at time over the course of the next few months, starting today (April 16th) and ending with the last story on December 31 of this year (check out the list below).

Eventually all of the stories will be bound together in one print book, but there isn’t any concrete information on that quite yet.

But anyway, the first story that was released was What Really Happened in Peru, where we finally will learn why on earth Magnus is banned from Peru, something he mentions very briefly in the Mortal Instruments series.

Now there ARE spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, go ahead and skip this part, and check out the future release dates for the next installments and their titles!

I LOVED the first installment of The Bane Chronicles…mostly because they were so absolutely random but so…so…so Magnus. They live and breathe Magnus. This story tells of a few adventures that Magnus has in Peru, mostly with Ragnor Fell, and another warlock by the name of Catarina, who sounds like an awesome character and I hope makes more appearances.

The first adventure takes place in 1791, where Magnus and Ragnor explore Peru, and Magnus gets in trouble with a monkey and then they get a job protecting a ship carrying guano, or bird poop. Of course, only madness can occur. We are informed that this incident is NOT the reason Magnus is banned from Peru.

The second adventure takes place in 1885, so after Magnus’s part in the Infernal Devices trilogy. He’s back in Peru but with Ragnor and Catarina. This story is the shortest and involves breaking into an ancient tomb to acquire a lost treasure. Still no word on what got him banned…

Next adventure is in 1890, with both Ragnor and Catarina again. Magnus has fallen in love with a local musician named Imasu who plays the charango…and of course he’s a black haired, blue eyed man (oh Alec Lightwood). This story is the longest and the BEST. It showcases Magnus falling in love with Imasu and his relationship with the man, and even though I’m a HUGE Malec shipper, you can’t help but ship Magnus and Imasu too. And then after Imasu breaks Magnus’s heart, he goes on a crazy drinking bender and has the craziest adventures ever. He does…he does the craziest things. He enchants a carpet to fly and sets guinea pigs free, and its just fantastic. I was cracking up the entire time while reading this story…and yet…he still isn’t banned from Peru…

The last story takes place in 1962, where Magnus runs into tourists and steals away the girl to go on a sort of Bonnie and Clyde adventure for the summer. Its short, and sweet and just…its just SO Magnus.

I think that’s the best part of these stories. Magnus is an eccentric but wonderful character and he’s just so mysterious and obviously has a lot of history. He casually mentions his past often, doesn’t really tell anyone what his real age is and is just one of my absolute favorite characters in the novel, and one of the favorites of most Shadowhunter fans. Obviously Magnus is old, though we don’t know exactly how old, and he’s had to have experienced a lot and we get a little piece of his random and awesome life.

We also start to get a little bit of his past and the way he is kind of damaged by his parents: his mother, who committed suicide after realizing that she had not had a child with her husband but with something ungodly, his stepfather, who obviously wanted nothing to do with him and his father, the demon, whose identity we don’t know yet but obviously isn’t a great friend of Magnus’s. Its very consistent with the Magnus we get in TMI and TID; we get the charming and funny and sexy Magnus but the complicated one as well.

But, oh, Cassie and Sarah, you WICKED wicked wonderful women, how dare you! The stories end with us finding out that the Peruvian government sends Magnus a letter, saying that he is banned from Peru for “crimes unspeakable” but we don’t know what they are and they remain a mystery!

We still don’t know why he was banned! After all of that, we get to see a ton of Magnus Bane’s adventures in Peru but we still don’t know why he’s banned! What brilliance and poppycock! I think if the stories weren’t so good, I would have been so mad but I just laughed and shook my head, thinking of what clever little girls that Cassie and Sarah are.

All in all, five out of five stars for this first installment and I canNOT wait until the next one comes out, which you can see on the list below!

Release Dates for The Bane Chronicles

The Runaway Queen-May 21, 2013

Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale-June 18, 2013
(apparently Magnus has a thing for Will’s dad! Scandalous!)

The Rise of the Hotel Dumont-July 16, 2013

The Fall of Hotel Dumont-August 20, 2013

Saving Raphael Santiago-September 17, 2013

No Immortal can Keep a Secret-October 15, 2013

The Course of True Love (And First Dates)-November 19, 2013
(Alec and Magnus’s first date! Wee!)

What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who has Everything-December 17, 2013

The Letter-December 31, 2013

You can read the brief plot hints for each story HERE, on Cassandra Clare’s website. The only one that doesn’t have any hint is the last one, but that is almost to be expected haha.

All of these are ONLY available in ebook format, for Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, Ipad, etc. If you don’t have any of these, don’t worry! You can download Kindle or Nook apps for literally any device, including just your regular ‘ol computer! So everyone gets the chance to be able to read it! Yay!

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For those of you who have read it, what did you think? Did you like it or dislike it? What do you think really got Magnus banned from Peru? Was it something in the stories or something we may never know about? As always, let me know in the comments!

Book of the Week: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

One of the authors I was privileged to meet at WonderCon was Jessica Brody, capsule author of several young adult novels, viagra sale the most recent of which is Unremembered.

I had already started the book when I met her but hadn’t gotten more than halfway through it. After meeting her, page I was determined to go home and finish it, because she was a sweet author with wonderful insights and great writing advice.

I stayed up late Tuesday night, finishing the book and here it is for you all, my review of the first installment in the Unremembered Trilogy:

Unremembered by Jessica Brody 

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Genre:
young adult, romance, mystery, science fiction

Part of a Series?:
Yes. The first installment of the Unremembered trilogy. This book is the only one published so far.

You May Like if You Liked:
This one is kind of hard. I haven’t read anything quite like this, as far as science fiction goes. I would slightly link it to The Host by Stephenie Meyer.

Plot Summary: 

Sera wakes up in the middle of the ocean, in the wreckage of a plane crash as the only survivor without any memory whatsoever of who she is or where she’s from or anything. When she is rescued, she says the year is 1609. While at the hospital, she becomes famous as she has no identity, no memories, nothing. And mysteriously enough, she wasn’t listed on the passenger manifest and no one seems to know who she is. People around the hospital call her Violet, because of her violet eyes, and she is soon placed in foster care until they can find who she belongs to.

Then a boy appears (doesn’t it always happen), named Zen, who says he knows who she is, that her name is Sera (or Seraphina) and that they are in love. He wants to protect her but Sera doesn’t really understand what from.

Then she starts to realize how different she is from the rest of the people she meets. She’s ridiculously smart and can add up large sums without blinking an eye. Words pop in her memory through dictionary definitions. She speaks different languages without even realizing that she is doing so.  She doesn’t understand emotions, and her body is stronger than a normal human, running abnormally fast and ripping car doors off without even really trying. She has absolutely no memories of anything. Suddenly, the things Zen is saying are start to make sense and she embarks on a journey to figure who, or what, she is.

The Bad:

I always do the bad first. I think I like to get it out of the way, because as a writer, I hate to talk bad on other writers even though I know I write badly at times and I love to hear bad reviews of my books because its the only way I can get better.

And I LOVED this book, I really truly did.

But the one kind of beef I had with it was the ending. Not the ending exactly. I thought it was a good ending. It left off with a cliffhanger, LITERALLY a cliffhanger, but it was really fast. It happened really fast. I felt like there was a ton of build up, and it ended super quickly. I think maybe it did because Jessica has more for us in the second and third books but I was a little disappointed at how fast the ending happened, not the ending itself. It was a great ending, enough was answered to satisfy the reader and yet there was a lot unanswered that it makes the reader want to read the next.

The Good:

I have to get to the good now though because I really really enjoyed this book. What I really liked about this book was the character development of the book, which I think a lot of books nowadays are missing, and the action and romance of it, balanced enough so that its not too much of each. Its not overly full of action but its not a sappy romance and I feel like its a balanced blend that we really don’t get to see much of anymore.

First off, there’s the development of Sera and her story. Its very intriguing and it really gets you thinking. Of course, Jessica KNEW who Sera was but when you start reading the story, Sera is a blank slate, completely. How difficult it had to be to write a character who is basically a human robot. She has no memories of anything. She doesn’t know what food is, what cars are. She has no concept of emotions, no idea what a hug is, or what beauty is. She knows nothing. But for some reason, she knows numbers and she can count. She has a dictionary in her head that downloads definitions of words as she hears them. She is the strangest main character that I have read in quite a long time and I think that’s the reason I was caught so fast. She is intriguing and you can’t help but want to know about her.

Because think about it: she’s basically a 16 year old infant (for the most part). She’s relearning so many things, like cars and food and all kinds of things. She doesn’t even understand clothing, like underwear or pants. Its crazy. I look around me as I write this post and wonder how I would feel if I didn’t know what the computer in front of me was, what the Internet was, if the things in this room would confuse me. The psychology of it, and of Sera, was intriguing and thought provoking. I’ve read books where characters lose their memories but they still know some things, like food and technology and things like that. Sera is completely a clean slate, except her ridiculous aptitude for numbers.

I also like the relationship between Sera and Zen because it takes most of the book to develop because of her memory loss. Even when you do get the memory flash backs of their relationship, you realize that, yes, it was a bit cheesy but it wasn’t a quick, cheesy fall in love sort of thing. Zen really had to win her over, because she was basically emotionless the way she is in this particular book. It’s not forced, in my opinion. The feelings Sera has for Zen are memories of what she felt before she lost her memories and so none of it seems forced at all.

I also love the science fiction of it. Its very Jason Bourne of the Bourne series but with a badass sixteen year old girl. And I like it more because of that. We don’t see a lot of characters like this and it was extremely refreshing. It wasn’t a super new concept but it was presented in a very new way. After a hundred million books about angels and vampires and werewolves and magic and dystopian societies, it was really nice to read a book that was straight up science fiction, with labs and genetics and memory cubes and time travel and all kinds of really cool stuff.

Also, I just liked watching Sera experience everything for the first time. I liked the way she discovered the Internet and found it absolutely fascinating. I loved her observation of cars and grocery stores and clothes. I really loved her discovery of grilled cheese sandwiches. Imagine trying your absolute favorite food for the first time, as if you’d never tried it before. Exactly. I loved her reaction to that. It was kind of fun to experience that with her.

Lastly, I just like her name. I was wary about Seraphina, its a little abnormal for me but Sera is beautiful. And yeah, I’m partly saying that because my name is Sara. I just think its a gorgeous spelling of such a traditional name.

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5 Stars.

Recommended or Not?: 

Most definitely. Its the first of the series so if you like it, you can eagerly wait the next installment, Unforgotten (which I have just been informed by Jessica is to be released in March of next year). And honestly, its a really thought provoking series. I think some people may be turned off on it because of the science fiction aspect of it but I loved it. Its seriously addicting watching Sera as she rediscovers the world and who she is, and how she rediscovers Zen.

The best thing is, you can try the first five chapters of the book for FREE for Kindle on Amazon. For those of you who don’t know, you can get the Kindle app for any device, or phone, or just your computer, so definitely download that, and try the first five chapters for free. You may find that you need the rest of the book :)

Don’t forget if you click the book title above, it takes you straight to the Amazon page for the book!

Happy Reading!

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