Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (Spoiler Free!)

8755785Genre: 

Young Adult, buy Urban Fantasy

Pages: 

725

Part of a Series?:

The final book of The Mortal Instruments series

Release Date: 

May 27th, stuff 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

My Review:

I will warn you now: there will be NO NO NO NO NO spoilers for City of Heavenly Fire in this review, but there will be spoilers for City of Bones, Ashes, Glass, Fallen Angels and Lost Souls. If you’re reading this and you haven’t read the first five, I can’t imagine why you’re here, but I would suggest not reading this review.

Now I’m going to jump in. I was very excited for this book but also incredibly apprehensive. I loved the way the first trilogy of this series ended, City of Glass is beautiful and it remains my favorite. Fallen Angels was disappointing to me, and Lost Souls was better but I just didn’t feel like the second half of the series was good for me. I was happy with how City of Glass ended.

That being said, now after reading City of Heavenly Fire, I can say…that City of Glass is still probably my favorite of the entire series but City of Heavenly Fire was incredible and I’m highly impressed and I thought that the ending was really great.

It wasn’t perfect though, but I’ll get to that later. I’m going to be as spoiler free as I can possibly be, but if you literally want to know nothing before you read this book, I suggest you go. I promise to be spoiler free, and vague but it still may not be enough for you.

First off, the story. When we leave Sebastian at the end of Lost Souls, with the Infernal Cup, and the ability to transform the Nephilim into darker versions of himself, I thought, where on earth is this going? We know Sebastian is insane, and that the demon blood in his body has made him into a sick person but I couldn’t see exactly where the story was going in this book. It opens up with Sebastian attacking Institutes in order to build up his Dark Shadowhunter army. The fear of him is real, and the building tension and fear throughout the story is very real. I was clutching the pages, anxious to get through because I had to know what happened next. It wasn’t just the whole “it’s the end of the series” anxiety but also the “Ohmygod, what is happening, what is Sebastian doing, what is going to happen to my favorite characters” anxiety.

The romance in the story is absolutely beautiful too. There are so many great romances in the Mortal Instruments series and seeing them interact and struggle and work together, it was beautiful, and I loved all of it. I do love that we get to see Jace and Clary fight together, side by side for the first time in the series. Its the first time we really truly see them as equals and I absolutely loved it. There are a few couples that don’t make it, all heartbreaking but done in ways that killed your heart but also made sense too, if that made sense. Its hard to explain without feeling like I’m revealing stuff but the couples that didn’t make it together, it hurt but it was done in a way that it made sense and it was heartbreaking in all the right ways. Plus there are a lot of FANTASTIC sexy scenes, enough to get all of us Shadowhunters all hot and bothered.

We’ve known for awhile now that we would meet the main characters of The Dark Artifices-Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn-would be introduced in this and I was surprised with the…frequency that they appeared in the story. I won’t say more than that but what little we get to know of them as young Shadowhunters-in-training in CoHF makes me absolutely love them and I can’t wait to dive into their stories later. I also like that we get what seems like hints for Lady Midnight in this book.

Again, from the hints, and from Clockwork Princess (if you haven’t read that, please skip to the next paragraph), that Brother Zachariah would be…no longer a Silent Brother anymore. Again, no spoilers, but this scene caused me to burst into uncontrollable tears and the interaction between him and Jace was beautiful. I marked it in my book because it was truly one of my favorite scenes in the book.

I did have some issues with the end. I think that Cassandra Clare could have been…harsher than she was, and that she could have taken more risks than she ended up taking. I was disappointed that the sort of sacrifices she made didn’t make as much of an impact as she could have. Its so hard to talk about it without spoilers but I just thought Cassie could have taken more risks. I thought that the direction she took with Simon’s story was the sort of risk I was looking for but it changed in the end to something I didn’t expect and was also kind of disappointing too. I think she went safe in the ending of the book, though heartbreaking and heart wrenching, could have been…more realistic, I guess is the word I’m looking for.

The conclusion of Sebastian’s story, I’ll just do words: unexpected. but kind of expected. perfectly written. perfect in general.

I had two favorite parts: when Zachariah, no longer a Silent Brother, meets Jace. Then there is a part when…a group of our favorite characters come into contact with a demon that makes them…see things. The things they see…its very emotional and I had to pause after I read that part in order to wipe the tears literally streaming down my face.

Basically, I am highly impressed with this book, and the fact that it brought together so much that has happened in the Shadowhunter world. We got flashes to the time of Tessa, Jem and Will, we got hints at the time of their children. We have everything of the Mortal Instruments time come together and wrap up and we have hints at what is to come in the future, and I think it all comes through nearly flawlessly and I applaud Cassie Clare a million times. I am proud to wear the fearless rune permanently on my shoulder :)

One last thing that’s SLIGHTLY (very slightly) spoilery: Simon’s band finally picks a name. And its WONDERFUL.

Ave Atque Vale, Shadowhunters. Until Lady Midnight!

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Fandom Friday-The Shadowhunter Chronicles

So I’ve decided to start a new segment of my blog called the Fandom Friday

This basically comes from my desire to find more fandoms…and this doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m trying to fill my life with more fandoms but I’m trying to be more open to other ones.

The biggest reason I’m doing this is because I’ve always felt like…so many fandoms preach acceptance and tolerance and equality and respect and all that. And yet…I’ve found that a lot of us nerds can be kind of judgemental on other fandoms, sick myself included. I mean, some people are REALLY judgemental and mean about it, sometimes.

And I’m trying to be better at it. And I’ve decided I want to learn more about different fandoms and kind of have people…backing up the fandom? That doesn’t sound quite right. I guess I just want people to write of the fandoms that they like and say why they like them, and what they mean to them, and maybe we can all start to understand each other.

Hey, I’m not saying that you have to like the fandoms. There are some things that we’re just not going to like. But I’m hoping that we all learn about some new ones, understand the ones we don’t like and finally figure out the ones that we don’t really understand.

So the first one is my own. I’m looking for anyone and everyone who would like to contribute to this. You can do any fandom that you’d like, except Harry Potter, Stars Wars and Doctor Who…ONLY because these are my three biggest fandoms and they are also really, really popular and I write about all three of these all the time. Any others though, free game, and leave a little comment below (make sure to click “email me for replies”) and we’ll get this going!

So this week’s first Fandom Friday is The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. And I know its Sunday but its been a busy weekend and we’ll just forget the days of the week just this once okay?

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Now, the reason that I pick the Shadowhunter Chronicles as my first fandom of the week, instead of Harry Potter or Star Wars or Doctor Who is that I have almost never had to really defend my obsession with these. These are VERY popular fandoms and very highly accepted fandoms and some people may shake their head at HOW obsessed I am, but I never really have to defend it as a whole.

The Shadowhunter series…those I am always, always, always defending. They are honestly a big reason why I’m trying to be more accepting of other fandoms, even the ones that I just think are plain awful. Then I realized…a lot of people have a problem with Cassie and her books. It goes both ways.

Officially right now, there are 8 Shadowhunter books in two different series. The Mortal Instruments takes place in present time and is as follow: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and the 2014 finale, City of Heavenly Fire. The Infernal Devices is a companion series, taking place in Victorian England. This series is complete: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess. Cassandra has three more series planned: The Dark Artifices, (Lady Midnight, Prince of Shadows and The Queen of Air and Darkness) which is a Los Angeles series taking place five years after the finale of the Mortal Instruments, TLH, which is acronymed and not named and will be following the children of the Infernal Devices series and a completely secret series, that will take place three years after the Dark Artifices series.

The books are an urban, contemporary fantasy. Its a world that we all recognize and know, but there’s more to it than we know. Demons roam our world, along with vampires, werewolves, warlocks and fae. And there are those that would protect the world from those demons, called Shadowhunters, humans with a dash of angel blood, warriors trained their entire lives to fight these demons. They have their own secret world, can shield themselves from us and have their own secret country, Idris. They use special weapons like seraph blades, blessed by angels to defeat demons, and use steles to draw “Marks” or “runes” on their body to give them extra or enhanced abilities in battle.

Picture 2

The Mortal Instruments takes place in countemporary world, with Clary Fray, a sixteen year old girl who suddenly can see people and things she wasn’t able to see before. She stumbles upon some Shadowhunters while they are on the hunt, when she shouldn’t be able to see them. Shortly after, her mother is kidnapped and it is revealed that her mother is a Shadowhunter and once was married to a man named Valentine, who has a desire to “purify” the race of Shadowhunters and begin a superior order. Clary has to find her mother, and help to defeat Valentine, along with the help of her human best friend, Simon Lewis, the warlock, Magnus Bane, and her new Shadowhunter friends, Jace Wayland, Alec Lightwood and Isabelle Lightwood. The first book in the series, City of Bones, will be hitting theaters this summer, on August 23rd.

InfernalDevices

The Infernal Devices takes place in Victorian England at near end of the 19th century. Tessa Gray, again, is a human girl, who leaves New York to join her brother, Nate in England. She is kidnapped as soon as she reaches the dock, and soon learns that she has abilities she was never aware of: shape-shifting. As long as she’s holding the personal item of a person, she can change into them, and access their memories. According to her kidnappers, she’s being prepped to become the wife of a man called the Magister, who has a use for her and her talents. She is rescued by the Shadowhunter boys, Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs and, just like Clary, is suddenly aware of a world that she wasn’t before. Her story  shows her trying to figure out what she is and why the Magister wants her, and what he has planned for her and the Shadowhunters.

I first discovered these books three years ago, in 2010. To keep a story short, my boyfriend and I had broken up, and lets just say it wasn’t a nice break up. It was kind of a messy one and a lot was going on at the time. My boyfriend and I had gone through a tough time, and broke up due to that, and a couple other reasons. I was feeling crappy at my job. I was taking five classes in college and was overwhelmed. Everything was just kind of down in the dumps and I was absolutely miserable. It SUCKS to break up with someone that you had plans for in the future. Of course, it all worked out, in the long run because we ended up back together and have been together for five years :)

But at the time, I just needed to be distracted. I didn’t want to think about all the crap that was going on; I needed distractions. I discovered Starkid during this time, and became super addicted to their Harry Potter musicals because of how much they made me laugh. And I found Cassandra Clare. I went to Borders to pick up a book, and I found City of Bones. I read it that night, and picked up City of Ashes the very next day, and picked up City of Glass the day after. Then I read Clockwork Angel. I got addicted FAST.

Now, a big part of the reason that I was addicted so fast, and that it remains one of my biggest fandoms, is because of what it did for me at that time. It really helped me. I needed to be distracted and it did just that. It kept me from being absolutely miserable. The stories are super funny, especially with Simon and Jace and their sarcasm. The pop culture references are always awesome, makes me think of Boss Joss Whedon and his pop culture references in everything that he does. Its action packed, and it has a lot of biblical and mythological aspects (though I do think she could go further with these). The world she builts is sexy and addicting and she spins a romance that I’m in love with. And Jace Wayland is a character that you just can’t get over, especially when you’re single and lonely haha.

But its also more than that. Despite what a lot of people say, I think Cassandra Clare is a great writer. I think she’s very contemporary and that’s the way I write. Not all of us are going to write like Jane Austen or whatever. Not all of us can write classically but that doesn’t mean we aren’t great writers and I think she’s a great writer. I also don’t think that she’s “stolen” all the things people believe she has. I believe she used a lot of it in her fan fiction but that was her fan fiction and let’s move on. And yes, there are allusions to different worlds from different books, but doesn’t everyone do that? There are no 100% original stories anymore. We all tell the same stories, but HOW we tell it, and the characters we have, in the places we have…that’s what makes our stories unique. Cassandra Clare pulled from J.K. Rowling who pulled from J.R.R. Tolkien who pulled from Norse mythology which…and on and on.

But sometimes, we just enjoy things that aren’t literary masterpieces. Not every book I read is going to be an excellent example of literary prowess. Sometimes I just want my not so guilty pleasure book. I enjoy these books. I love the stories and I love the characters and they’re good for me.

And I do like the ideas that Cassie brings in. She talks about fears a lot. She talks about bravery and courage and the idea of fears. Clary is afraid of loving Jace, she’s afraid of her father, she’s afraid of a lot of things. Jace is afraid of letting himself love and be loved, both in family and romantic ways and he’s afraid of Clary. Isabelle is afraid to let her tough girl guard down. Simon is afraid of losing his best friend. Luke and Jocelyn are afraid for Clary‘s safety and what Valentine is capable of. Alec is afraid of his sexuality and coming to terms with it. Valentine is afraid of not having control. And a lot of times these fears hold them back, and cause more problems than anything.

And she doesn’t preach of just overcoming your fears, but learning to accept them and learning to live with them. This is a huge reason why I have the Fearless rune tattoo on my arm. I really agree with the way she approaches fear, and courage and bravery, and overcoming and accepting fears. These people aren’t fearless, no one can be fearless but you can learn to live with your fears.

One last thing, I do like that Cassie has included gay, bisexual and lesbian characters. Alec is gay, and Magnus is bisexual and Aline and Helen are lesbian. I really like how a familiar concept can be presented in an unfamiliar territory. I do love that more and more authors are exploring these in books, not just in subtext but in more obvious ways. I love that even though Cassie gets letters from parents complaining about the LGBT characters, she continues to write about them. Its fantastic.

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So maybe you’ll never be a huge Cassandra Clare fan, or even a fan at all. But maybe you can understand and respect my own obsession with it, the way I am starting to respect YOURS!

And don’t forget, I am looking for some guest blog posts from ANYONE on their fandoms! Comment below, with what fandom you’d like to write about. It can be anything: movie, tv show, book series, video game, card game, cartoon, whatever. I want to learn ALL about it. Comment below and I’ll be able to contact you and you can be part of the Fandom Friday :)

Can’t wait!

City of Bones Full Length Trailer is Released!

NOTE: There are some people on Twitter, tadalafil taking credit for writing this blog post, information pills and sharing it with Cassie on twitter. Honestly, I’m trying not to be upset about it, but it does upset me. I work very hard on this blog and everything on here is written by me, unless otherwise specified.

This blog post is by @anerdgirlsays, and if you see anyone else on Twitter taking credit for, please let them know that this is NOT okay. Its not okay to take credit for other people’s work!

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Okay, I totally got to see this, in all its glory, on the gigantic screen at WonderCon, the volume so loud, your chair was vibrating, but I was still so very excited for the trailer to come out today. One, so I finally can talk to you all of YOU about it and two, so I can watch it over and over and over again :)

This is the first full length trailer that we’ve gotten for the movie. We’ve gotten the teaser trailer, which I loved, but this trailer…it just blows it out of the water.

The panel for Sony included City of Bones, Evil Dead and This is the End. Those that were there for the other panels seemed pretty annoyed at the City of Bones part. You could just tell that they thought we were Twilight fan girls, part two. After the trailer, however, a lot of those annoyed faces turn to ones that seemed pretty impressed.

So even if you aren’t a TMI fan, or a YA fan, or just don’t seem like you would like it, I urge you to watch the trailer below because they did some serious work with this trailer. It looks BADASS.

Here’s the trailer:

Seriously? How can you NOT be super excited about this? In the book, its told from Clary‘s point of view, in third person so you get a lot of her attraction and interaction with Jace Wayland. However, in the movie, you can see more of the other characters, which seems like it’ll be attractive to guys as well as girls.

I love that we finally see more of Aidan Turner as Luke, and especially Lena Headey as Jocelyn, Clary’s mother. We haven’t seen much, if anything, and it was awesome to finally see that.

I love that Alec is SO Alec. He has that dislike for Clary that he has in the books, and he expresses that to Jace and straight to Clary’s face.

I LOVE the demon, the Ravener demon that comes flying into the room after Clary. I was honestly worried about how the demons were going to look. Were they going to look cheesy or stupid or I don’t know. Those are the biggest CGI elements of the movie and honestly, that demon was scary as hell. Very SLIGHTLY bummed about Jace killing it instead of Clary but honestly, I was more stoked at how damn scary that demon was to care that much.

I like that we’ve seen more of the vampires and werewolves, SUPER awesome.

I LOVED the way that the demon blew the door off its hinges and flung Jocelyn across the room.

I love Eric‘s reaction to Clary, looking all hot in all that black leather.

Valentine! More Valentine, which was great. I’m glad we got to see more of him. I kind of wish he was all clean cut, and in his suit, not all…I don’t know, raggedy? But he still looks great.

Spoiler For those who haven’t read the book and don’t want it ruined: I also liked that they were setting up the Jace and Clary love story in the trailer, and obviously the movie. They show that cute little scene of them on the motorcycle, and the moment that they have in the greenhouse, and even just the way Alec reacts to Clary, and how he tells her off. And especially when he says “We need you. I need you.” It really sets it up well, or so I hope, for the huge shocker that they are brother and sister at the end of City of Bones.

My favorite part though had to be Simon, toward the end of the trailer, saying “The werewolves are here to save us. Never thought I’d say that.” One, it just made me crack up, and it was the first thing Cassie talked about after we watched it at WonderCon. And two, that line was so classicly SIMON. It was such a thing that Simon would say. I mean, after he finds out about Shadowhunters and demons, werewolves and vampires and all that, he says “That is SO cool”. So that part…it was just awesome.

So, I’m really, really super happy with the trailer. EXTREMELY happy. Any time a book that I love is made into a movie, I get extremely nervous, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out (cough cough Percy Jackson cough cough), so I’m really excited because this looks like its going to be a GREAT movie, and that’ll mean sequels which means CITY OF GLASS, which is my favorite TMI book.

I also see a lot of things from the book. I do see changes, but in the grand scheme of things, I see mostly things that make me feel like its going to be great. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so great after a trailer before, and I have confidence in this movie.

Now, we only 144 days until the movie release…

What did YOU guys think of the trailer? Share in the comments!

And be sure to tell everyone about WhatANerdGirlSays!

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Don’t forget! Today is the VERY last day to enter to win an awesome, AUTOGRAPHED copy of Clockwork Princess. The contest ends at 12 am, Pacific time, which is 5.5 hours from when this was published. Find out how to enter HERE

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.

MidSeason Finales: Once Upon a Time and The Walking Dead

I both dislike and like midseason finales of shows.

I like them because they usually wrap up some part of the story that has been conflicting since the beginning of the season but then they introduce something new that is a cliffhanger that literally leaves you going WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED??????

Which leads to the reason why I don’t like midseason finales. They always leave it off in a torturing cliffhanger that makes you desperate to find out what happens next. And of course, viagra approved the show won’t return for a month, two months, three months. It’s completely horrible. Some of the greatest TV writers can drive you insane. (I’m looking at you, Steven Moffat).

So two of my favorite shows just had their midseason finales yesterday: Once Upon a Time and The Walking Dead. And I was actually pretty impressed with both.

Once Upon a Time-The Queen of Hearts

I love my Once Upon a Time but I will say this: stories have been dragging like crazy. For instance, I think that Snow and Emma were stuck in the old world for way too long. I feel like it just lasted way too long, and they kept introducing new characters, with Hook and Aurora and Mulan. Don’t get me wrong: I like them but it seemed unnecessary. And Aurora annoyed the HELL out of me in the beginning. I wanted to see all the characters we already know deal with the curse breaking and all that. One of my favorite episodes so far this season was Child of the Moon, where Ruby deals with finding out she’s a werewolf in the past, and deals with her first transformation in Storybrooke. That’s exactly the kind of episode that I was hoping for this season.

So finally, in this episode, things are finally getting wrapped up. Regina is finally starting to show some changes, helping to bring Snow and Emma home, even though she knew how much Henry wants Emma as his mom. Emma and Snow finally make it home. Hook and Cora are on their way to Storybrooke. Honestly, if the whole Hook and Cora on their way to Storybrooke on the ship was supposed to be a cliffhanger, its not. They were going to find their way in, somehow or another. There was no way they were going to stay behind. They’re the villians this time around, since Regina is on the path to goodness.

However, we’re left wondering whats going to happen with Prince Philip. We know that he is not completely gone and that they is a way to get him back, so that is the mission of Aurora and Mulan. Okay, I admit that’s kind of exciting because there’s obviously an adventure going to happen there. But here’s the thing: Mulan and Aurora are both in love with Philip which leads me to my least favorite thing ever: the dreaded love triangle. My honest opinion on that whole storyline? I ship Aurora/Mulan :D We could use a homosexual couple in the show and I’m down for that one…and it avoids the ugly, unnecessary, annoying love triangle.

And hello? What the hell happened to August? You know, Pinocchio? He was kind of a big character and we saw him turn into wood at the end of last season and when Geppetto goes to see him, he’s gone. And that was it. We’ve literally NEVER seen him again. I mean, I thought he was the love interest for Emma, but then we have Hook and it’s just all weird and doesn’t make sense and its annoying. So I’m hoping we see more of that coming in to play in the second half of the season.

I’m glad we’ll finally get to the topic of Baelfire though, Rumple’s son. It’s about time for that one as well. This is obviously the first thing that Rumple wants to do as soon as the curse is broken, but he can’t leave Storybrooke without forgetting who he is. Which could be a problem because then he’ll forget WHY he left Storybrooke in the first place. So I’m excited to see if they can find a way to leave Storybrooke without losing their memories, in order to find August or Baelfire. Hopefully, if Rumple finds Baelfire, it’ll help him to become a better person.

I also hope they start showing others lives, now that they know the curse is broken. I want to see Ella again and Hansel and Gretel maybe, Leroy/Grumpy and his little fairy love and so on. I want to see more of Emma, Snow, Charming and Henry’s growth as a family. I want to see more of Regina’s change. I want to focus on the characters we already have, and less on new characters.

Once Upon a Time returns January 6th, 2013. 

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The Walking Dead-Made to Suffer

The newest TWD episode, the last one of this half of the season, was actually probably my favorite of the entire season. There literally wasn’t a moment where I was like “my god, please make it stop”. Finally, some action is going down, and finally I’m starting to care what is going on with these people.

And Walking Dead…they know how to do a really great cliffhanger.

The scene with the Governor and his daughter Penny just further solidified my thoughts that the Governor is insane, but that he legitimately believes in what he is doing. That is the most dangerous of all. It’s bad enough that he is pretty evil, but that he doesn’t think of himself as evil is the most dangerous part. It’s like Dolores Umbridge from Order of the Phoenix allll over again.

But Michonne, man, that girl comes in and kills his daughter and stabs him in the eye! Oh my, that was so disgusting. I don’t know why Michonne felt the need to go in that room. I’m not sure what her obsession with the Governor’s daughter was…and I don’t know why she was so surprised to find his daughter as a zombie. I mean, she didn’t see that coming? Even if you didn’t know, it seemed pretty obvious. She was making the noises that the walkers usually make and yet, Michonne doesn’t get all freaked out until she takes the bag off her head. Huh?

I’m getting super pissed off at Andrea. She acts like this badass, who can handle a gun and handle all of her shit but I think she’s a scared little girl. Instead of hitting the open road, she stays with the creepy people in the town, even after she finds out that they have a sick zombie killing sport, even after she finds out that the Governor has a tank of zombie heads and a zombie daughter. I don’t know; she’s annoying as hell. She watches the townspeople cry out for the deaths of Merle and Daryl and she just SITS there. I mean, I can see why she wouldn’t say anything; she doesn’t want to die herself. But I would be out of there so fast if I were her but she just SITS there.

I’m not quite sure how to feel about this new group of people that have come in to the prison. I’m not always the biggest fans of new characters because sometimes I just don’t see the point. There is enough going on now in the story for me to not see a reason to bring in new characters. Unless they feel the need to replace all the ones that are dying. But even then, I just don’t get it. I feel like its the farm family all over again, where we’ll pick and choose characters that will stay and be important like Hershel and Maggie. I suppose we just have to see.

But that ending…leaving with Daryl and Merle’s lives on the line. I’m just saying right now: if Daryl dies, I’m done. Daryl is my favorite character; I think he’s a lot of people’s favorite character. He is badass, with that crossbow, and his southern twang and his affection and loyalty at the same time. Here he is, with that redneck accent, stabbing zombies in the face and just being plain badass. But then he turns around and searches for Sophia and Carol and goes and gets formula for the baby and feeds her. Its freaking cute…and kind of sexy too. Ending the midseason finale with the possibilty of some bad things happening to Daryl was a fantastic way to do so. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the town, what happens to Daryl and Merle, what happens at the prison and so on.

The Walking Dead returns February 10th, 2013

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Breaking Dawn Part 2: They Finally Got It

Now, more about look, decease I like Twilight. I do. It was one of my favorite books for awhile there. Even though its written terribly and lets face it, Bella Swan is NOT the best role model out there.

And the movies really really killed it for me for awhile there.

But I saw this series to the end as a book series (I picked up Breaking Dawn the book at midnight) so why not see the end of the series as a movie?

And they announced that the City of Bones trailer was going to be shown before the movie. That was a pretty nice incentive as well, even though they premiered it on MTV.com the day before and I’ve watched it…well, a bunch of times.

They didn’t show the preview for City of Bones at the movie theater I went to. Such a bummer. That’s okay though. Here’s the trailer for you to enjoy, if you’re a Mortal Instruments fan. If you’re not, you are seriously missing out.

Moving on though, to the actual Breaking Dawn movie.

I have never, not once, not ever, been able to say that I was impressed by a Twilight movie.

I was impressed.

Truly, actually impressed.

I’m going to warn you. There are spoilers ahead. If you have any plans to see this movie, I urge you not to read on. Even if you’ve already read the book, don’t read on.

THE GOOD: 

They actually stick pretty damn close to the story. They leave stuff out, tweak it a bit but they stick to the story. That is impressive to begin with because most movies from books do not do that. At all. So that was refreshing. However, one of the biggest beefs with Breaking Dawn is the fact that it ends too happily. There is no battle scene, no heartbreak, no nothing. It was fairly disappointing.

Oh, they change that. They cause one of the biggest WTF moments I’ve had in a movie theater in awhile.

Now, if you know the story, at the moment where Aro decides that true, the Cullens are not guilty of creating an immortal child but there is an uncertainty about Renesmee’s future, Alice appears and is able to prove to Aro that that the child is not a threat.

In the movie, however, Alice shows Aro and Aro refuses to accept it and Alice says “No matter what I show you, you will not believe, you won’t change your mind” (Keep in mind, I’m ad libbing here). Thus begins a CRAZY ridiculous battle. Jake takes off, with Renesmee on his back. Carlisle is killed, almost instantly. Then Jasper. Then Seth Clearwater and Leah Clearwater. And members of the Volturi and Jane and Alec. It was insane. The entire theater was in an uproar.

I mean, in all honesty, thats what should’ve happened in the book. I was crazy disappointed with the end of the series. I mean, I don’t LIKE when people die in books; it breaks my heart. But its realistic and it shows how attached you’ve come to characters. So when Carlisle dies and Jasper and SETH (I adore Seth), I’m heartbroken. But this is completely deviating from the storyline so the movie theater is an absolute uproar.

And then, the craziest WTF moment, when it pulls back and you realize that this is the vision that Alice is showing Aro and the entire theater literally goes “WHAT?!” One guy in our theater literally spewed out “What the F**K?” and we all laughed.

And I was really impressed by this part. One of the hugest criticisms of Breaking Dawn as a book was the ending. The ending…it just ended. They spend a good half of the book preparing for this big battle and nothing happens. I mean, I don’t like when people die but its necessary sometimes. Lupin, Tonks, Sirius, Fred…they all die and it breaks my heart but it made the book that much better.

So I thought this battle scene in the movie was a way to fix that huge criticism while still sticking to the book that she wrote and the one that we got. If that scene would’ve actually taken place, I would’ve been like WHOA, that is SO different from the book, as much as I would’ve liked it. But the fact that it was the vision that Alice showed Aro in the book that we didn’t get to see…that was awesome and perfect. Giving the audience what they desired without changing the actual story. Brilliant.

And I have to admit, the acting was much better in this movie. None of these kids are going to win Oscars or anything but impressive. Even Kristen Stewart seems to have learned some emotions. I was surprised at the difference she showed in this movie. It was noticeable.

I also liked that they stuck with most of the characters that they brought into this novel. That was my favorite part about this book: all the new vampires we get to see. I liked the vampire part of these books! The romance got to be too much but the vampire breakdown with the Volturi and the vampires all over the world? Thats interesting so I’m glad they kept all of those in there, with their special powers too.

THE BAD:

One, creepy Renesmee as a baby. Whoa. I know she’s supposed to grow fast and be strong and extremely smart and all that. I get that, I read the book. But whoa, as a baby, when Bella first meets her, she was a freaky alien baby. I was like, that baby is NOT beautiful. Whoa. When they show her growing up, and she becomes the little girl, then she’s gorgeous and I’m okay with it. But whoa, alien baby freaked me out a lot. I can’t even put up a picture of her, its just so creepy.

Aro? Also really creepy. I know he was creepy in the books. He was also creepy in New Moon as well. He’s a creepy creepy guy and I think that’s why he aspires so much fear. But it was too much in this movie. He had these weird facial expressions and unexpected reactions to things and seemed to laugh at the weirdest moments. I think Aro is supposed to be very smart, very powerful and very calculating. I don’t think they captured that about him at all in these movies. They made him just seem a little crazy.

Jamie Campbell Bower as Caius was very good though. Ten more points to my confidence in his portrayal as Jace Wayland.

I wish Renesmee would have talked more and we could’ve seen more of her power. We see it once when she shares her first memory of her mother with Bella. But we never see it again. She does it but we don’t actually see it and that kind of bummed me out because its the way she communicated. And she doesn’t talk much either so she just kind of was there to look pretty, I suppose. I was hoping she would display more of her amazing and impossible qualities that were described in the books.

The brief almost epilogue moment where Alice has a vision of a grown up Renesmee with Jake. Stupid. I hate those kind of flash-forward things. Unnecessary and dumb. That was weird. We already knew there was going to be a happy ending, that was implied, we didn’t need creepy photo-shopped Renesmee with Jake.

And there was a part where Bella says “Always”. I nearly lost my cool with that. When Peeta Mellark says it to Katniss in Mockingjay, I nearly lost my cool and I ADORE the Hunger Games series so I was pretty pissed when Bella says it in this movie. Oh my Rowling, I was not happy. I seem to be one of the only people unhappy about this but maybe that’s because I have “always” tattooed on my ankle…

All in all though, I left this movie theater impressed. I went into this with little to no expectations or hopes for it. I’ve been very disappointed by these movies in the past; they just haven’t been good at all. However, finally, in this last movie, they managed to finally produce a good one.

And honestly, it wasn’t the best movie ever. There are plenty of movies out there that are fantastic and WAY better than this. And what I’d say for this movie was that it was really good. Not amazing, not great, but good.

And I’d check it out. They should have done for the earlier movies what they did for this one. Maybe this franchise would’ve been better received from more than just the Twihards. But I digress.

For now, I think I’ll go watch that City of Bones trailer again and dream of August 2013 when some of my favorite books hits the big screen :) Like City of Bones and the Sea of Monsters. Can’t wait!

Stay tuned for a Book of the Week by our one and only Bazingirl!

What did you think of Breaking Dawn Part 2? And remember our one rule! RESPECT!

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Edit: Officially Twilight has NOT broken the midnight record release. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 continues to have the top spot, followed by The Dark Knight Rises. Breaking Dawn Part 2 doesn’t have an official spot quite yet.