Giveaway: The Iron Trial Advanced Reader’s Copy by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black!

When I was at ALA just a few weeks ago, order I managed to grab an extra copy of The Iron Trial. The Iron Trial is a brand new book coming out this fall, seek from well-known YA authors, this web Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I’m about 80 pages in and I’m loving it. Its middle grade but these are two authors that I absolutely love so I’m enjoying it.

I have no idea how I ended up with an extra copy but I did and of course, I don’t need an extra copy! SO! I’ve decided to have a quick giveaway for this book!

Here are some pictures of what it looks like!

The Prize!

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Those are NOT real signatures on the book. Sorry :(

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Please keep in mind that this is a paperback, advanced copy. That means there could be changes between this version and the final hardback copy.

Rules! (Yes, there have to be rules!)

The contest will run from today, June 12th to June 20th!

The winner will be contacted within 24 hours of contest end. If winner(s) do not respond within a 24 hour period of contact, their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.

Come back every day to share on Twitter and Instagram to earn more entries!

This giveaway is in NO way endorsed by any authors, their publishers or any other affiliates.

What A Nerd Girl Says is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged prizes. It HAS happened before, but only once!

Enter Now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck!

Book of the Week: Clockwork Princess

Its been a really good month to be a Cassandra Clare fan, there especially in my boat.

First, recipe we had the release of the much anticipated final chapter in the Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Princess, which incidentally this blog post is about.

Then Cassie went on a CP2 tour, mostly West Coast dates, one of which includes this weekend’s WonderCon, where she will appear with Lily Collins (Clary Fray), Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace Wayland) and Kevin Zegers (Alec Lightwood) and the first official theatrical trailer appears. The trailer is slated to premiere on Monday for those who are unable to catch it at WonderCon, though there isn’t really an exact time.

Also, this last weekend, Cassandra Clare talked about the plans she has for the future when it comes to the Shadowhunter chronicles. As of right now, we have our Infernal Devices, which takes place during the late 1870s, and it is finished. The Mortal Instruments takes place in the more recent years, 2007 to 2009ish? The next series to be written is the Dark Artifices, which will follow the story of Emma Carstairs in Los Angeles, about five years after the events that take place in the last Mortal Instruments book, City of Heavenly Fire.

Well, she’s revealed that there will be TWO more Shadowhunter trilogies. The first one will take place in 1903, with the children of the Infernal Devices series as the protaganists. Clare has give us the acronym for the series, TLH, but that is as far as its gotten. There’s an outline to the series, the characters are going to be in the 16 to 17 years old range and we don’t really know when they will be released.

Also, there’s an additional fifth series that will eventually come out. It has no title, no name, NOTHING. We know that it will take place three years after the ending of the Dark Artifices series but that’s about it.

So its been a good week to be a Shadowhunter (I’ve always wondered what fans of Cassie were called and she said last Friday that she thinks of us as Shadowhunters, so there we go), and since I’ve read Clockwork Princess THREE times since it’s come out, I’m ready to discuss it in my blog

So this week’s book of the week:

Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead. Don’t read if you haven’t read this book yet, I’d hate to have to ruin it for you.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare 

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Genre:
young adult, fantasy, steampunk, historical, romance

Part of a Series?:
The third and last installment of the Infernal Devices trilogy

You May Like if You Like: 
The Mortal Instruments series, Tithe by Holly Black, The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray

Plot Summary:

Its all been sort of leading up to this last installment. Tessa Gray is still struggling to figure out who she is, or better yet, what she is. It has been hinted that she definitely has part demon in her, though her brother claimed in Prince that she was half Shadowhunter. Tessa is engaged to Jem Carstairs, but is also in love with his parabatai, William Herondale, and of course, they both love her back. Charlotte, the head of the London Institute and sort of mother to all these people, is pregnant. Cecily Herondale, Will’s sister that he hasn’t seen in YEARS, has appeared on the doorstep of the Institute, ready to train as a Shadowhunter. The evil Magister is preparing for his revenge. The Lightwood boys, Gabriel and GIdeon, are suddenly helping out the Insitute, especially after we learned their father had demon pox. Everything comes to a catalyst here: the love triangles, the mysteries, the relationships that could be, Jem’s sickness, and everything gets solved, in good and bad ways.

The Bad:

I had something for the bad part. I did. But after I read the book a second time, and then again, for the third time, I really realized that it isn’t bad, and I really understand what happened, and why she did it.

I would say I thought it was a little bit cheesy that everyone kind of ended up together: Cecily and Gabriel, Henry and Charlotte, Gideon and Sophie, it was all pretty and wrapped up with a bow haha but I honestly didn’t mind it that much.

But I had an issue, at first, with the way Cassandra wrapped up the Tessa-Jem-Will triangle. Jem decides to become a Silent Brother, to avoid dying from his sickness. This prevents him from being able to marry so he breaks off his engagement to Tessa. Tessa and Will end up together, they eventually get married, have children and grandchildren. Of course, Tessa is immortal (and confirmed to be half-demon and half-Shadowhunter) so she outlives Will, and they talk about his death and its horrible and heartbreaking.

When Jem becomes a Silent Brother, he makes a pact with Tessa, to meet her once a year on Blackfriar’s Bridge, so that they can see each other, if only for a short while. The epilogue takes place in Tessa’s mind, where she explains her life with Will, and his death, while waiting to meet Jem, as Brother Zachariah, in 2008. When they go to meet up though, Jem is normal again, more normal than he was before, his original coloring coming back. Tessa and Jem end the book, finding their way together. I had a HUGE issue with it. Whether I’m Team Will or Team Jem, I didn’t think it was right that Tessa got both of them. It seemed too much a cookie cutter ending, an ending to please the fans. However, after reading it twice more, I really get it and I will now discuss it in the “good” section.

The Good:

Tessa marries William Herondale, they get to live together and have children together, all the way until Will’s old age in 1937, and then Tessa and Jem find their way back to each other in 2008. I really didn’t like this at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I broke it down, the more I really understood and the more I liked AND the more I realized that…its one of the most realistic endings I’ve ever read.

Let’s face it, we don’t love one person in our lifetime and its rare if we do. And its okay if we love more than one person in our lifetime. We lose people, we move on, we fall in and out of love. This is normal. We have different degrees of love, we have the same degrees of love but we love in different ways.

Tessa loved both Will and Jem, in equal but different ways. She was able to love Will, spend his life with him, have children and travel and do wonderful things with him. She experienced so much with him, including the journey that she took to find out who she is. She also took this journey with Jem, and she truly loved and cared about Jem. Seventy years after the death of her husband, Jem is able to live again. Now, at first I thought that was a little too good to be true but its been over a century since he became a Silent Brother and I believe that a cure for his affliction could be discovered. And it only makes logical sense that they’d find their way back to each other.

This was hard for me to understand and accept at first, but I did realize it, and I love that Cassie made that point. Most authors make the point, in a love triangle, that the girl (or boy, in rare cases) has to make a choice but Cassie makes the point that…there isn’t a choice. Sure, in real life, we can’t make someone wait while we love someone else but we are able to love more than one person in their lifetime. The circumstances in this book are obviously different because of immortality and all that. But she makes a great point, a point I haven’t seen made in a book in a long time, and I really enjoyed it. The last time I saw something like this was in the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce.

I love that Cecily Herondale is able to come into Will’s life. Now that Will is aware his curse isn’t real, and he can love freely, its still really hard for him to show it and I think Cecily coming in really helps him to become the person that he truly is and that is has been hiding for all these years. I love that Cecily also has an effect on Gabriel Lightwood, who still has a loyalty to his father, despite what his father has done that is against Shadowhunter law. I love that she comes to the Institute to bring Will back home but she stays because she loves training to be a Shadowhunter.

The ending of the Will and Jem friendship was absolutely heartbreaking. They had a wonderful friendship, a brotherhood. They were parabatai, a pair of warriors linked together for life and that makes them closer than blood. This is the first time that we see parabatai separated. We know that Luke and Valentine were separated in TMI but we don’t get it. We obviously don’t get it in the parabatai relationship of Jace and Alec. When Jem becomes a Silent Brother, and the way it effects Will…its just heartbreaking. The end of a friendship is one of the hardest things to deal with it, even worse than losing a relationship and it hurt that Jem and Will did not get to grow old together.

I also liked the way the story ended with the Magister. We find out that Tessa is half demon and half Shadowhunter, and that she was created for a purpose, to become the Magister’s father, in her shape shifting abilities, to find out how to harness demons into the clockwork army that the Magister has created. He does this and creates an almost impossible army to beat. The fact that an angel, angel Ithuriel (from City of Glass, yes), has been protecting her in her clockwork angel necklace her entire life was surprising and awesome, and the fact that she used the angel to defeat the Magister, was also surprising and awesome.

Oher awesome things: Charlotte having her baby, and becoming the Consul for the Shadowhunters, Sophie Collins Ascending and becoming a Shadowhunter, Magnus Bane just being badass, and loving and caring, and a friend to Tessa through all the years, Jessamine kind of redeeming herself from Prince.

Rating:

Five out of five Stars. Easily. Great ending to the trilogy and worth the wait.

Recommended or Not?: 

Yes. Definitely. Easily. Obviously you should read the Clockwork Angel and Prince first but I recommend it. Its a great book and a great ending to the series. Secrets are revealed, questions are answered. We find out the secret of the Clockwork Angel, and that Will Herondale really does have a tattoo (ON HIS BUTT!). We find out how the Herondales get their little star scars, that Jace Herondale and the rest of them all have. Its a great ending, worth the wait, and a book that I will always remember.

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Don’t forget! You have until April 1st to enter to win an autographed copy of Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

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I met Cassie a week ago, and had her sign my extra copy of Clockwork Princess for the fans! Its free to enter and you can enter here! Good luck!

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What did you think of Clockwork Princess? As always, share below in the comments!

Book of the Week: Clockwork Prince

Hello all.

Hope you are all having a WONDERFUL week this week. I definitely am. I am mostly having a good week because everything has just been so good lately. There’s been a ton of awesome TMI and TID (Cassandra Clare) news, recipe with stills released from the City of Bones movie and the newly released book trailer for Clockwork Princess, viagra dosage the final Infernal Devices novel.

I recently went to Gallifrey One, look the Doctor Who convention, which was a ton of fun. My birthday is less than a week away, and that is insanely exciting. I was finally picked for World Book Night, where I hope I get to hand out either Percy Jackson or Looking for Alaska.

In the next few weeks, new books will be released by both Lauren Oliver and Cassandra Clare, and I’ll be meeting both very soon after. I will be seeing Andrew McMahon in concert, going to Anaheim for Wonder Con and watching brand new episodes of both Doctor Who and Game of Thrones.

So much excitement.

And because one of my favorite authors, Cassandra Clare, is releasing her final installment of the Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Prince, in less than three weeks, I decided it would make a fantastic Book of the Week to do the previous book, Clockwork Prince.

So here it is.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

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Genre:
young adult, romance, contemporary fantasy

You May Like if You Liked:
The Mortal Instruments series, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Tithe by Holly Black

Plot Summary:

In Clockwork Princess, we meet Tessa Gray, a normal New York girl, coming to London to live with her brother, Nate. She ends up kidnapped and soon learns she has the power to shift herself, become an entirely different person, as long as she’s holding something of theirs. When she is rescued by Will Herondale, she is brought into the Shadowhunter world, where she learns of that world and that her brother isn’t all what it seems. She’s different, and she doesn’t fit into the normal classifications that the Shadowhunters know: demon, vampire, warlock, werewolf or fae. In fact, Tessa seems to be one of a kind. And she’s wanted, wanted desperately by a man by the name of Mortmain, going by the Magister. She is left with a ton of questions, about her life and her presents and who or what she really is. The Shadowhunters are left with a crazy mad man, equipped with strong automatons, ready to do whatever he can to take over London and to take Tessa back. She meets friends in the form of Shadowhunters Charlotte and Henry Branwell, Will Herondale, Jem Carstairs and Jessamine Lovelace, humans like Thomas, Agatha and Sophie Collins and warlocks like Magnus Bane.

In the sequel, Clockwork Prince, the Institute in London is left kind of in shambles. Two of their very loyal servants are left dead by Mortmain’s hands, Nate has been revealed as a spy and nothing seems to have been accomplished. To make matters worse, Benedict Lightwood is making a bid to take the Institute away from Charlotte Branwell and has made this demand: that she must find the Magister in a fortnight. Everyone is needed to pitch in and things are starting to be revealed: there’s another spy in the midst, Benedict Lightwood isn’t exactly what he’s made out to be…but his sons are a different story. We learn more of Will’s past and we see Jem and his sickness in a way we’ve never seen before. And we see Tessa struggle: struggle to come to terms with her brother’s hatred of her, her love for two incredible boys, and her determination to discover herself.

The Good:

Though my heart always belongs to the Mortal Instrument series, the Infernal Devices were just written better. I am a TMI fan through and through, mostly because I discovered her books when I was going through a ridiculously hard time and those books were my saving grace. I grabbed on to them and held on, and fell in love with the characters and story. I still adore these books; they’ve done for me what a lot of books haven’t. I understand they are a version of a fan fiction that Cassandra did once upon a time, and that’s a whole ‘nother story. I honestly do not get why people give Clare such a hard time. I don’t think she copied the worlds of Harry Potter and such, like people say. I love this series.

But the Infernal Devices are a series all on their own. This is a work of her own imagination and you can see that. They are written very well and the story is captivating. There is something about Victorian England that captures your attention. You can’t help but be drawn in by the gentleman and lady lifestyle, the clothes, the behaviors, and all that sort of thing but you also see the beginning of the changes, with women fighting for their rights and the working class protesting their work conditions and that sort of thing. Clare chose a good era to produce these prequels to the Mortal Instruments series.

What I liked about this book was that it bounced back and forth between the different stories that were going on in this novel. Everyone has a story, everyone has an issue. Tessa is being hunted, and for reasons she still doesn’t understand. She hasn’t even begun to understand herself quite yet. Will is searching for a cure for his deepest and darkest secret. Jem is facing his mortality and his illness head on, as well as his love for Tessa. Charlotte has a huge weight on her shoulder, to find Mortmain before she loses the Institute. Jessamine doesn’t want to be a Shadowhunter; she wants a mundane life with a mundane love. The stories that are all going on at the same time weave together to make a fantastic novel.

I also like the strength of all the characters. I love that we get to see so many characters and their depth. I love that there are strong female characters, not only in just Tessa and Charlotte, but also in the servant girl, Sophie. I love that we learn more of all the characters in this book. We learn so much more of Will Herondale than we learned in the last book. I love a bad boy; I tend to go for the bad boys but Will almost seemed too bad. Jace Lightwood of the TMI series was sarcastic and biting but he wasn’t cruel. In Clockwork Prince, we learn much more of his past and why he acts this way and he won me over quickly.

I also like that Cassandra is really building up the anticipation of the ending. She gives you a second book that leaves you panting for more, if only because you want more sexy scenes like the one between Tessa and Will on the balcony. My god, I had to splash my face with cold water after that one. But you’re dying to know what happens to Jem and Will, you want to know that Charlotte and Henry’s baby is going to be okay, you want to know all about Tessa and what and who she is. You want to know what Mortmain’s grand plan is. Clare builds up suspense in the best way possible. She leaves you wanting more, wanting to know more about everything, and she spins a lovely romance in several characters. She leaves a ridiculous cliffhanger with the appearance of Will’s long lost sister, Cecily, who shows up at the Institute, wishing to be trained as a Shadowhunter.

The Bad:

I love Tessa Gray, I do. And I adore Jem Carstairs, for all his goodness, his sweetness and his maturity. And I am half mad in love with Will Herondale. But the one downturn of this book is the love triangle. I don’t like love triangles and I try to avoid books with them, but nowadays you’re hard pressed to find a book that doesn’t have one. So that kind of sucks.

One thing I can say is though, you have to kind of get over the fact that there are love triangles there as long as the story is okay without them. If you can remove the love triangle and still have a very strong story, then you’re in a good spot. While the love triangle drives me absolutely mad, there is an extremely well thought out and strong story in this novel and it makes up for it. Sure Tessa is being wooed (in very sexy ways) but she is also very focused on the problems at hand: Mortmain, his plans and his plans for her, and finding out more about herself. That is the most important thing at hand.

Also, at the end of Clockwork Prince, Tessa becomes engaged to one of the boys, which is a very strong move on her part. She has made a decision, or at least it seems so. I still feel the question of Will or Jem? will be present in the third installment but for all intents and purposes, Tessa has stood her ground and made a choice.

Rating?:

I give this book a 4 out of 5 Stars.

Recommended Or Not?

Definitely. Obviously, please please go pick up Clockwork Angel before you read this, but you won’t be disappointed. It has everything that a young adult fantasy needs: action, adventure, mystery, drama, strong male and female characters, romance, the works.

 Even if you’ve read the Mortal Instruments and weren’t a fan, I still encourage you to read this series. This series is her finest work, and I only hope that she continues to get better and better. You will not read this series and be disappointed, I can guarantee it.

The fact is, while the Mortal Instruments holds my heart, Infernal Devices is the diamond of Cassandra Clare’s writing. They are written very well and have a wonderful and new story. While people can claim that TMI is based on a fan fiction, Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince stand on their own and really help Cassandra Clare to stand out as a strong author.