Let me premise this by saying I enjoyed this on a young-adult fiction level, so the stars must be understood as such. Cassandra Clare's fan-fiction wrLet me premise this by saying I enjoyed this on a young-adult fiction level, so the stars must be understood as such. Cassandra Clare's fan-fiction writing roots become apparent in many parts of this book, the way she adds in cutesy little flourishes - eg grilled bat sandwiches, references to ebay and Google, etc. I can see why how this appeals to a younger crowd, but from a literary perspective these references are unnecessary and distract from the story and the flow.
Having read Clockwork Angel before beginning this series, I felt like many of the characters were a complete deja vu - Clary/ Tessa, Jace/Will, etc. The author obviously felt she had created the perfect characters in this series, and therefore stuck with these paradigms for her next series. This made it very predictable to guess how the characters would behave and act in certain situations, the element of surprise was gone.
I have to say I did enjoy this anyway and the author has a way of writing that gets you immediately hooked and you just can't put the book down. Clare has a great way of describing the action and fight scenes, I can really visualize them, almost like an action movie. The twist with Clary and Jace definitely threw me - not sure if that was really necessary. Also the whole thing with the Cup was a bit vague - could not understand how a Cup was able to create more Shadowhunters? I was disappointed that such a central part of the plot was so poorly developed.
I will, however, definitely be reading the next book in the Mortal Instruments series simply because I enjoyed the story and the Shadowhunter world, and I do love the characters, although they are somewhat predictable. You just have to keep one eye shut to Clare's writing flourishes, and keep in mind this is for young adults who probably think this is all super cool. ...more
I liked this book better than the first in the series, mainly because the author dove right into the story without having to spend a lot of time explaI liked this book better than the first in the series, mainly because the author dove right into the story without having to spend a lot of time explaining the whole world of Shadowhunters and all the characters. Yes, the romantic storylines between Alec and Magnus Bane, and Clary and Jace were rather weird, but at least they weren't as predictable as many other teen romances. Yes, te thought of a several hundred year old warlock consorting with a teenage boy is a bit gross, but a gay love story is a brave step for a teen book. The storyline between Valentine, the members of the Circle and present day was very intricate and well developed. There were some plot holes that I tried my best to overlook, simply because I just had fun reading this book, but I would consider them inexcusable from authors of higher literature. Still, I can't wait to read the next book and continue with the world of the Shadowhunters....more
I loved this book! I loved the non-formulaic idea behind the Graces, it was a really original idea of some people being born with a supernatural skillI loved this book! I loved the non-formulaic idea behind the Graces, it was a really original idea of some people being born with a supernatural skill or talent, and those with valuable talents being drafted into the service of the King. Katsa was a strong female lead, and yes, she did seem invincible at times which made it a bit unbelievable because I knew she would never be seriously hurt, but at least she didn't fall into the role of the damsel in distress who must be rescued by a tall, handsome, brooding man. I also liked the development of her from a cold, hard being into someone who learns how to show and deal with her feelings and emotions, and allows others to grow closer to her.
I also like endings that aren't overly happy so the bittersweet ending I felt was perfect to this story. I've almost come to expect 100% happy endings from YA fiction where the heros of the story overcome constant fatal battles without so much as a scratch, so the twist at the end was a surprise. I also like the fact that this was a stand alone novel without a sequel - although I'd undoubtedly read a continuation of Katsa and Po's story, sometimes a great story doesn't need to be spread over 3 or 4 books. In fact, having one amazing book is prefered over 2 or 3 mediocre books where a series is dragged on and on unneccessarily just for monetary gain.
One critique I had of the book is for one the names of the characters and places - they seemed a bit silly and detracted from the story. The part of world building, so important to fantasy books in general, was a bit fleeting and dry. That could have been fleshed out a bit more. I also hated the name of Po and Bitterblue and some of the other characters. I know fantasy names might be bit hard to come up with, but these names just made it feel really immature to me, when the content of the novel definitely wasn't....more
Blah. This story was so unoriginal (reminded me so much of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood which was so much better) and also rather unbelievabBlah. This story was so unoriginal (reminded me so much of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood which was so much better) and also rather unbelievable and full of plot holes. One thing I thought of right away - if men only live to 25 and women only to 20, who are all these medical labs staffed by? You're telling me a man or a woman can complete medical school to search for an antidote before they're 20/25? I mean the older generation has to die off at some point right?
The next thing that really irritated me: This book is geared to a younger reading audience, yet it's basically telling the story of sexual slavery and harem life - WITHOUT SEX! Yeah, it's totally realistic that a rich dude would spend a load of money buying a beautiful bride/concubine and then be perfectly content with just holding her hand, and being perfectly content to settle for a single kiss after six months. Of course a young, horny man in a relationship of basically captor and captive would NEVER think to expect his bride to have sex with him, willing or not. Especially not from his First Wife, when he basically bought her to breed a new generation! I guess staring into her eyes was enough for him. Yeah, very believable. If you're going to write a book about harem life, but then the main character somehow remains a virgin - it's just a bit much to take. I don't understand this prudish mentality with young adult fiction - it's ok to write about what is essentially sexual slavery, but it is taboo for our protagonist to be anything but a virgin or to describe sexual relationships beyond timid kisses here and there. It's just ridiculous.
Another thing that didn't add up was the obvious wealth of the household. Somehow, 2 men who don't even seem to spend very much time at work (the husband even took a break from working all together apparently sobbing over the loss of his last wife) can live in a vast mansion and support 3 wives, a whole host of house staff, and ever luxury imaginable, with grounds that seem to go on for miles and miles. Not to mention that the husband at 20 years old seems to be a thriving and gifted architect - I guess he must have started going to school for architecture and attained his degree when he was what - 14 years old?? It's absurd.
I just felt the whole world to be entirely unbelievable. Why do men die at 25 and women at 20? Why the age difference and why do they die at all? How would a society even function? The answer is, it wouldn't - this was my main problem with the whole book. It also was extremely slow and nothing ever happened until the end when somehow some servant just opens a gate and off they go. It seemed too simple. I would have given it only 1 star, but it did provide some entertainment for me for one day, so I gave it 2. If you want to read this book, make sure to turn your brain off first....more
Wow I LOVED this book! It was so fast paced, really good action scenes, and I loved the world building of the factions. Expect a full review of this oWow I LOVED this book! It was so fast paced, really good action scenes, and I loved the world building of the factions. Expect a full review of this on my LitChat series on Youtube. Highly recommend! The only negative thing I can think of is that the ending seemed a bit rushed. The author spent so long on the training and the factions, and then the climax of the story seemed very short. I read this book in about 7 hours or so! Too short :( I guess there will be a second book due to the cliffhanger ending? I hope so! ...more
I had really mixed feelings about this book - there were some good elements but overall it didn't convince me. TheThis review contains some spoilers.
I had really mixed feelings about this book - there were some good elements but overall it didn't convince me. The prose was jarring after a few chapters , very staccato and nothing was really shown and left for interpretation by the reader. It was more like the author was telling the story AT me, and I had to accept her storytelling as fact. That meant the only character that was developed was Mary, all the others were just seen through Mary's eyes and feelings for them, or her disdain.
The love story - it came out of nowhere. One minute Travis' character was introduced, the next moment Mary declares her love for him. WAT?? There was no back story, no development of their growing bond except for a few nightly visits in the nunnery. But suddenly Mary is head over heels for him and would go to any lengths to be with him.
Her actions near the end of the book are also completely irrational. Why would they wait until the moment they get attacked by zombies to figure out a way to escape their house to join their friends? They had months of boredom to think about it, yet they just sat around presumably playing Yatzee? Not to mention their village had been overrun by zombies before, so you'd think they would have been prepared not to make the same mistake twice.
Then finally when they reach the end of the path, Mary decides to abandon her 2 best friends and a fragile child to strike out on her own to find "The Ocean". OMG! Her salvation! A body of water that she's never seen before, but somehow this will be the answer to all her problems. I guess her friends are left to rot and die of thirst and starvation - omg who cares, I want to see the ocean WHEEEEE! And who cares if her brother dies, right? Then she blacks out in a tossing, wild river and miraculously wakes up on some beach by THE OCEAN! Of course she wouldn't have drowned or anything...
Props to Carrie Ryan though for killing off the protagonist's love interest - a bold move for YA fiction, and for Mary chopping his head off with a scythe. That's a first!
Am not sure if I will continue this series. It was somewhat entertaining but in the end, too many character and plot flaws....more
The characters fell flat for me - the romance between Meghan and Ash was not believable at all. Everytime she got in trouble, Ash swept her away to saThe characters fell flat for me - the romance between Meghan and Ash was not believable at all. Everytime she got in trouble, Ash swept her away to safety - classic damsel in distress situations. This got to be very irritating and predictable over time - weak female lead. I am not sure if I will continue to read this series. ...more
This was a good read but it wasn't amazing. I wouldn't even categorize this as dystopian fiction at all because the actual world building wasn't veryThis was a good read but it wasn't amazing. I wouldn't even categorize this as dystopian fiction at all because the actual world building wasn't very dystopic. The only idea I had about it was that earth was dried out, but that's pretty much it. There weren't many scary elements in this book that I associate with dystopia.
Saba's characteristics didn't add up. She lives her whole life in a desolate, barren place with no other human contact besides her nuclear family, yet she goes on to become one of the strongest fighters (I thought she was supposed to be malnourished) and suddenly knows everything there is to know about the world. A person who lives such a sheltered life would probably be socially completely underdeveloped and not a very strong person.
The reasoning given behind Lugh's kidnapping was so weak. A human sacrifice for a crazed king - really? That's the best Moira Young could come up with? It seemed a very thin plot line and poorly developed. And how exactly did their father know this would happen and why wouldn't he run away to try to protect his son instead of staying in the same desolate place?
The love story between her and Jack - hm. She spots him in a yard of leering men and suddenly she's drawn to him? Most women in that situation would be turned off, yet she later risks her life to save his - a complete stranger still by that point, whereas she was perfectly fine with leaving her own sister behind? It makes no sense.
I had higher hopes for this book. The prose was ok but nothing original, it reminded me a lot of Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series in fact.I don't know why this book even gets compared with the Hunger Games, they are nothing alike. I see more likeness to Patrick Ness here.