Can I just begin by saying that the "Clockwork Angel" cover artwork is the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen? So gorgeous in fact that I didn't reali...moreCan I just begin by saying that the "Clockwork Angel" cover artwork is the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen? So gorgeous in fact that I didn't realize at the very top it said that the book was a prequel to Cassandra Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series until after I had purchased the book. That being said, I have not yet read the "Mortal Instruments" series, though I plan on doing so in the future. So I basically went into this book having no prior knowledge of the series that created the prequel. And fortunately, I read this book with no confusion or questions. Cassandra Clare did a great job of making this book stand alone for those who have never read the "Mortal Instruments." But on to "Clockwork Angel" itself: I really loved this. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. From start to finish I felt like the book kept up a great pace and was exciting on practically every single page. And the characters! Loved them all, even the snide and pompous Jessamine! I'm all ready a fan of the Will/Tessa relationship and the charming Jem. Loved the vampire Camille and the mysterious Magister/Mortmain. And I certainly wasn't expecting the reveal of Nate until it literally happened on the page. In general, I'm a fan of any book that takes place in Victorian England and I loved the supernatural elements introduced within that era and culture. The book is also a great Young Adult book and for any reader of any age. Just really fun, dramatic, and some really great characters.(less)
**spoiler alert** Wow! I really liked this book! The first two books in the series I really enjoyed, but this one really steped up the game. Character...more**spoiler alert** Wow! I really liked this book! The first two books in the series I really enjoyed, but this one really steped up the game. Characters dying, drama, and angst, it's all there. At first I didn't know if I'd like the addition of Thalia and Zoe, but I really loved them. Thalia had great spunk. I didn't quite get the point of Bianca and Nico, but once the book finished, I guess there was a hidden purpose there since apparently they are the children of Hades. I did feel like Bianca's death was rather pointless: she was a character we didn't get to know, so there was no emotional value to it, whereas with Zoe's death, that was really emotional and her character had development from start to finish. Another element of the book I enjoyed was the winter setting---nice to get away from the more "summery" feel of the previous two books. The ending was really great with all the gods and goddesses together and the conflicts amongst them all. I honestly wish the gods were in it more because they are all fascinating characters. Riordan pretty much just uses them as obstacles for Percy.
On to book 4! I'm really enjoying this new pace and mood of the series and I'm hoping it continues into the last two books.(less)
**spoiler alert** Really really great read! Russia from 1900 until the end of WWII is some of my favorite reading material and this book did not disap...more**spoiler alert** Really really great read! Russia from 1900 until the end of WWII is some of my favorite reading material and this book did not disappoint. Paulina Simons showcased the deprivation and decay of Leningrad to perfection and there were times during the book that I literally felt like I was starving, haha! I felt like I was in the midst of all the drama between Russia and Germany as well as the conflicts between the people themselves within the city trying to help themselves and their families. And of course, the love story between Tatiana and Alexander is at the core of the novel. I'm actually a bit conflicted on how I feel about their love story. I absolutely loved their story during the Leningrad parts of the book and Tatiana's torment over "stealing" her sister Dasha's boyfriend. The whole book I was like, "I can't wait for Tatiana and Alexander to finally be together." Well, I was happy when they finally achieved happiness at Lazarevo, but then I didn't like Alexander's behavior towards her. Throughout the novel, starting with her own family and then on up to the old ladies in Lazarevo, Tatiana has always had the urge to help people before herself. A noble trait, except, as Alexander constantly points out, she needs to let others fend for themselves once in a while and don't let them rely so heavily on her. Well, it all gets to be a too much by this point in the novel---Alexander, though his intentions are well meant, does he really have to yell at Tatiana so much? There's a lot of verbal abuse between the two in the halfway point of the novel, and suddenly, my love for them as a couple begins to diminish a little bit. I was disappointed with the Lazarevo sections of the book as a whole---wasn't too happy with Simons storytelling for some reason and I just felt uncomfortable. And Alexander comes across as hypocritical to me. I think the love story gets back on track once Tatiana is back in Leningrad and Alexander at the front. Something I really liked about this book too, is all the side characters. From the vain and naive Dasha to the cowardly Dimitri, every character has a place and fits into the overall story in some meaningful way. I may have had a few issues with Tatiana and Alexander themselves, but they were fantastic, well thought out characters, and the novel itself a beautiful love story.(less)
**spoiler alert** Third book was amazing! It was great to get away from the New York setting and move off to Idris---the home territory of the Shadowh...more**spoiler alert** Third book was amazing! It was great to get away from the New York setting and move off to Idris---the home territory of the Shadowhunters. A really great change of pace. Alot of the issues and plots that have developed over these three book finally merged into one cohesive unit. Jace and Clary are finally able to be together after the reveal that they are not siblings (yes! I got that right!), the true Jonhathan is revealed, Simon is able to fully move on from Clary, Jocelyn and Luke get together (yes!), Alec is able to come out fully to everyone that he's gay, and we finally get a huge showdown between Valentine and Jace and a battle where the Shadowhunters and Downworlders merge together in an alliance to defeat Valentine's hoard of demons. Alot going on, but it all had it's place and fit perfectly together. Now, I know there's a fourth book (and more to come), but really, you could almost kind of read these first three books and feel complete. Clare, did introduce some new plots (like the prophecy about Jace falling in love with the wrong person introduced back in book one, and more mystery about Clary that she doesn't fully realize who/what she is).
Lots of death in this one: jeez, Hodge, Max, Sebastion/Jonhathan, Valentine...but all the death was appropriate for this particular book.
Seriously can't wait to get my hands on book 4 in the future.(less)