Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareTitle: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare (Blog, Twitter, Facebook)
Series: The Infernal Devices #3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk, YA
Pages: 592
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover
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A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy. Summary from Dust Jacket

I’ve waited for Clockwork Princess since I read Clockwork Angel. I wanted to read it sooner when it first came out, but I had to reread the first two first. I wanted to remember everything that happened before I read the end. I’m glad I did because there were details I had forgotten.

After I finished Clockwork Prince, there were certain events I wanted to happen in Clockwork Princess. The main one being that whoever Tessa ended up with, I wanted Will and Jem to remain friends. Sure, I wanted one of them to win out over the other, but I was more worried about their friendship than anything. The relationship between Will and Jem was intense in this book; I cried many times.

I couldn’t imagine how this would end. The story could’ve gone so many ways. And, I’m so happy it went the way it did. It was perfect. It fit with the characters. It fit with the story. It didn’t feel contrived. I adored it and felt so much emotion while reading it–sadness, longing, anger, happiness, elation, etc.

Now that I’m done, the only problem is that it’s over. I’m sad because I’ll never see all these characters together again. I love these characters. I loved being part of their story. I’m glad I took the time to reread the first two books and to savor the story. Clockwork Princess was definitely worth the wait.


Review: Insomnia by JR Johansson

Review: Insomnia by JR JohanssonTitle: Insomnia
Author: JR Johansson (Blog, Twitter, Facebook)
Series: The Night Walkers #1
Genre: Thriller, YA
Pages: 360
Publisher: Flux
Format: ARC
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High school junior Parker Chipp is a Watcher. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he's made eye contact with. After four years of sleeplessness, Parker can't take much more of the crippling exhaustion and memory blackouts.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that's utterly addictive. But catching her eye every night is not so easy. And when a stalker begins to terrorize Mia, Parker's memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence. Just what is a Watcher capable of? Summary from the Back Cover

I received the Insomnia ARC as part of a Utah book blogger tour before its release in June.

What a fantastically clever, dark, creepy–in a not scary but very suspenseful way–story! I really enjoyed the thrill ride this book took me on!

One of the best parts of the story … the protagonist is a teenage boy. It was really refreshing to read a YA novel from a male perspective. And, Parker was really believable for the situation he was in. I also liked his friends a lot.

I also really enjoyed the element of romance in it. I always love reading a good romance, especially in YA. I’m always disappointed if there isn’t any. Fortunately, even with the dark, creepy feeling of the book, you get to experience some awesome sexual tension. It helps lighten the story a bit. That and the snarky humor.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series when the books come out, even if I do have to wait a long time for them.


Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Review: Angelfall by Susan EeTitle: Angelfall
Author: Susan Ee Series: Penryn and the End of Days #1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Pages: 288
Publisher: Skyscape
Format: Paperback
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It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies fro the chance to be made whole again. Summary from the Back Cover

There are a few very minor spoilers in this review, but it won’t ruin the book for you.

My friend Ali let me borrow her copy of Angelfall. In fact, she insisted I actually read it. I had never heard of it before. (I know. What kind of book blogger am I, right?) I’m really glad she did insist I read it because I really enjoyed it.

Angelfall was really unique. It’s never occurred to me to think of angels as the enemies. I’ve always thought of them in a good light because of my own religious beliefs. This story was really neat how it made you want to like Raffe but still be wary of him at the same time because he’s an angel.

I really liked Penryn. She was strong and could take care of herself. She didn’t always have to rely on Raffe to take care of her like a lot of YA heroines have to do. She was a little pig-headed at times, but I probably would’ve been too if I had been in her situation. Plus, her stubbornness helped keep the plot moving along quite nicely.

I wish there was more romance. I really liked to slow buildup instead of the insta-love in most YA novels, but I’ll admit there’s a part of me that wanted more now. Honestly, though, it’s okay because there was still enough to keep me happy and looking forward to in the second book, which I’m not anxiously awaiting. I just hope that the possible love triangle I sense is brewing doesn’t actually brew. (You know how I feel about love triangles.) I really just want Penryn and Raffe to figure out a way to be together without breaking angel law.

I kind of wish the book was in third person so I could get into both Penryn’s and Raffe’s heads. I understand why this book isn’t in third person, though. We’re not supposed to know the true intentions of the angels yet and if we were in Raffe’s head, we would’ve got some of that too early on. I guess that’s why Susan Ee is the author and I’m not.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this story and I look forward to more books by Susan Ee. I’m glad her book was picked up by Skyscape (Amazon). I hope this will be the start of a long career for her. Frankly, if all indie books were as good as this one, I’d be less hesitant to read them. But, I’ve just been burned by them so many times. Maybe, I’ll try a few more now.


Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareTitle: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare (Blog, Twitter, Facebook)
Series: The Mortal Instruments #5
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Pages: 544
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover
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The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing--but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away--not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought--Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved--and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell--a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love? Summary from Dust Jacket

There are a few minor spoilers for City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls in this review.

I was so nervous going into City of Lost Souls because the ending of City of Fallen Angels left everything in such a chaotic state. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what happened without being able to finish the series right away. Now having read City of Lost Souls, I’m glad I didn’t wait to read it until after City of Heavenly Fire comes out in September 2014.

I adored City of Lost Souls. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. It has definitely earned a place on my Favorites shelf and adds so much to The Mortal Instruments series. City of Fallen Angels is still my favorite of the series, but City of Lost Souls follows closely behind it.

I didn’t think anything could top the anxiety of Clary and Jace thinking they were brother and sister, but I was wrong. This book was so much harder for me to swallow because of the situation they found themselves in. So many times I wanted everything back the way it was, but I still thought it was interesting to see how the events in the book played out and affected their relationship.

I love that Clary is growing as a Shadowhunter in the second half of the series. She’s getting so much better and it’s awesome to see her succeed and find her element and be able to fight along side her Shadowhunter friends and family.

There were so many fun visuals in this book, especially of Magnus. Some of my favorite parts were the way the other characters described him. He’s so eccentric and I love waiting to see what he’ll wear next!

Just like with City of Fallen Angels, I loved being inside more than just Clary, Jace, and Simon’s heads. And, I especially loved the references to The Infernal Devices trilogy and getting to know Sebastian better, even if he was creepy. Sebastian gave me the hebejebes big time! But, I found myself wondering, like Clary, if he was really different. I knew deep down inside that he wasn’t, but Cassandra Clare did a great job of getting me to doubt myself and wonder.

All in all, City of Lost Souls is a fantastic book! And, I’m definitely anxiously awaiting the release of City of Heavenly Fire in a little less than two years.


Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Review: The Diviners by Libba BrayTitle: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray (Blog, Twitter, Facebook)
Series: The Diviners #1
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Thriller, YA
Pages: 592
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
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Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first. Summary from Back Cover

There are a few very minor spoilers in this review, but it won’t ruin the book for you.

It took me three months to read The Diviners and it’s not because I wasn’t interested in it. I actually wanted to read it faster, but I just didn’t have the time. In fact, this is the first book I’ve read by Libba Bray and I can’t wait to read more of hers. She’s definitely my kind of author!

The Diviners was creepy, fun, interesting, suspenseful, and even a little bit romantic. I loved being thrown into 1920s New York City and experiencing all the fun of that era. I almost want to become a flapper myself now.

There are a lot of characters in this book. My favorite characters were Evie, Jericho, Memphis, Theta, and Henry. The story is mostly told in a third-person limited perspective from Evie’s and Memphis’s point-of-views. You do get to get in the head of several other characters, though, and I loved experiencing the story from so many different perspective’s and trying to piece it together. It was a little hard to keep them all straight at times, but I think that’s because I took so long to read the book.

I found the supernatural aspects of the story very intriguing, especially when the characters talked about the Occult and religion in general. It made for a very interesting read and mystery. I also thought it was fun to see a shout out about my religion in the book.

While The Diviners does have its own story arc, including a resolution, it’s definitely a set up novel to help readers become familiar with the characters and the world. “The Diviners” were hinted at several times during the story, but at this point, we still don’t know much about them other than that they have different supernatural-type powers and that they’ll be needed and important to stop the end of the world. I’m very interested to see how they’ll be needed and what types of things will lead up to the apocalypse in this series.

I can’t wait to see how the series unfolds and experience the next set of adventures in the upcoming books in this series. I’m also kind of excited to see if there’s going to be a bit of a love triangle and who’ll end up together by the end.