I marked this are currently reading way before I opened it, but I have to say I didn't really care for this one. I like the opening, the time still spI marked this are currently reading way before I opened it, but I have to say I didn't really care for this one. I like the opening, the time still spent with Ethan, I've always liked him as a narrator, but when it switched to the third person follow of Ridley I'm like okay at first I was cool and the more I followed the less I liked the story. I mean I guess she's supposed to be some kind of anti-hero or something maybe, but I liked her as a character a whole lot more before I was following her around. Regardless the world that Garcia & Stohl created is just too wonderful to walk away so I'm going to hope Dangerous Dream was the only one that just didn't really click with me and move on to the next book in the series....more
The best book in the series yet, somewhat sad, yet a satisfying ending to this I guess first part in the series. It's one of those books where after iThe best book in the series yet, somewhat sad, yet a satisfying ending to this I guess first part in the series. It's one of those books where after it's over and you imagine asking the character if it was worth all the heartache and sacrifice, every battle and challenge they faced to end up where they did, you can't help but imagine they'd say yes. And for me that makes it an excellent book. The challenge is bigger, the battles are harder in this novel than any of the others and that in my opinion makes it a page turner from beginning to end. Finally, any thoughts on this book would be remiss if I didn't mention the heart-wrenching emotions these writers pull from you as you face this journey with the character you've grown to love over the course of this series. Tears, hope, pain they're all part of the journey in reading this series and if a story can do that and still leave you feeling satisfied at the end, it can't be anything less than a great one....more
This is less a review and more a few comments on the story. I really enjoyed this prequel novella mostly because of the contrast between this and theThis is less a review and more a few comments on the story. I really enjoyed this prequel novella mostly because of the contrast between this and the rest of the series. The relationship between Dawson and Bethany is like day to the night of Daemon and Katy's relationship that is the central relationship of the remainder of the series.
Until the heartbreaking ending even the overall tone to the book is lighter than the rest of the series because of the focus couple in this novella. (In case you're wondering I don't consider that a spoiler because anyone who's read the first book in the series already knows how this ends.) The events of this novella shape who the characters become in the rest of the series. What's really wonderful about it is that even though Daemon plays a small role the difference in his attitude, his personality between this novella and the first book give a clear picture of his growth as a character and how these events shaped his character. I know this story really isn't about Daemon at all but it's how different he is in this story to how he is in the rest of the series that really makes this novella for me. ...more
This book is heart wrenching to say the least, and I'm at the point where I'd run out of books before even though this is the first time I've actuallyThis book is heart wrenching to say the least, and I'm at the point where I'd run out of books before even though this is the first time I've actually marked it as read. So while I'd highly recommend this book, I'll also suggest having the next book handy before closing the pages of this one. ...more
Phenomenal ending to the series! Now can we read about Luc? Because yes these are the kind of characters that are hard to let go of and besides... he'Phenomenal ending to the series! Now can we read about Luc? Because yes these are the kind of characters that are hard to let go of and besides... he's Luc!...more
I tend to be harsh on my ratings so I thought I'd offer a few sentence to explain this one, not really a review, but my comments. It took me at leastI tend to be harsh on my ratings so I thought I'd offer a few sentence to explain this one, not really a review, but my comments. It took me at least ten chapters, I think a little more to really get into this book, there were a few scenes I liked in the beginning and I really did like Tory Brennan as a character, but until the crew found a skeleton I wasn't really hooked on the story. Even then, when my attention was caught it took a little bit to get me really turning the pages totally engrossed in the story. As a parent I can objectively say that the beginning was highly educational for kids filled with little bits of history and science, but as an escapist reader who likes fast paced story from cover to cover and really doesn't care for nonfiction, the opening didn't appeal to me. However once I got to that part where the story really started to pick up, and why some of the information that was mentioned in the beginning was actually relevant to the story became clear to me I was really hooked on this story. It was overall a really good book once I got past the beginning chapters and I would recommend it. I look forward to reading the remaining books in the series....more
If Grayson had taken this and the previous novel in the Fate series and created them as an original series then this book would have been seriously imIf Grayson had taken this and the previous novel in the Fate series and created them as an original series then this book would have been seriously impressive however where as in the last novel she had nothing to connect it to the Fates series in this one she tried to force connections to the original Fates novels by contradicting truths she created in them which for me as a reader is an extreme turn off and seriously detracts from the novel in a major way. Alex Blackstone, mentioned as one of the Charming Princes in this novels was in his own novel not a prince at all but a Mage who in creating a spell to try to save his beloved's life ended up imprisoning her in a coma for a thousand years, but in this novel he's a prince from one of the kingdoms and Emma Lost AKA Sleeping Beauty who appears in the first trilogy of the Fate series is a princess when in her own stories she was an unwanted apprentice to a wicked female Mage. This book serves to do nothing but mutilate the histories of characters the author herself created and histories the author herself established. As someone who has read every novel in the Fates Series in order grouped together over a matter of days I can't help but feel betrayed as a reader when a writer changes her own story and the rules of the world she created. Wickedly Charming and Charming Blue, the 7th and 8th novels in this series are entirely different concepts and worlds to the first six novels. Had they been presented as a separate series they'd have been an enjoyable concept reminiscent of Once without the curses, but altering a pre-established fictional world to continue as a series that already had a satisfactory ending just to use the established series to increase sales does nothing for me but disappointment as a reader. It's NOT the name of the series that keeps people buying a writer's books it's the writer's originality and talent Grayson should have trusted her readers to pick up a different and original series by her rather than trying to lump them into an already established series where they don't belong. The book was also less a romance and more an Urban Fairy tale/Fantasy with Thriller like elements. The attraction between the two characters was there but not much in the way of a love story. If Grayson is going to keep mutilating her own work just to keep all her books part of the same series to increase sales, I for one won't be one of the ones purchasing them. ...more
Jace has been missing for two weeks now, and even with all the clave hunting for him and Sebastian no one ***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
Jace has been missing for two weeks now, and even with all the clave hunting for him and Sebastian no one can find even a trace of the boys. Clary is under investigation by the clave for her actions the night of the war in Alicante, unable to even help in the search and distraught with worry over Jace. When Jace appears in her room in the company of Sebastian however acting like someone who’s not quite him Clary knows that she can’t let him face the threat of Sebastian alone. She can’t kill Sebastian without killing Jace, but can she save Jace from her brother’s clutches? Will she have to make the choice of killing her only love in order to save the world?
I debated a lot on this rating because the book was good, and well written, however I just didn’t think it was one of those almost perfect novels or even up to Clare’s usual standard. My first issue with the novel is that I had a lot of trouble getting into it, becoming engaged to the story. I think I was about three quarters of the way through this book before I was really hooked on the plot line and rooting for the characters. I’ve never had that happen with one of Clare’s works before and it was disappointing for me. It’s not that the story before that wasn’t interesting, it was more that I didn’t get that involved sort of feeling I get when I read a really excellent novel until I’d already read over half of the book. My second issue is that before this novel Clare’s been cautious enough to skirt the ideas of her teenage characters taking their relationships to a physical level, but in this one she wasn’t. No she didn’t take Clary and Jace to that level, though she comes close, but she did take Alex and Magnus as well as Maia and Jordan there. I know their lives are different from the average teen and I know the average teen is not chaste, but I don’t know some scenes read more like an adult novel than a young adult one, all that was missing was the intricate detail in those scenes for her to have fully crossed the line into an adult romance. There were also a lot of points in the book where I had the sense of not really knowing who was good and who was evil. I mean the good guys were raising demons and the bad guys were killing them, that definitely left me with a lot of questions. There are portions of the novel where the villain Sebastian is downright likeable and definitely appears redeemable. My final issue is that nothing really seems to resolve right for these characters when the novel is completed. I understand that adversity in the character’s lives is what creates and interesting plot and I understand that being a part of a series she can’t wrap it up in a happy bow for readers, but I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m kind of to the point that I think these characters need a bit of a break, some small sliver up happiness. I don’t know but it’s at points like reading someone repeatedly stomping on the same people over and over again and well that gets depressing after a while. Is there any character that can be said to be totally happy at the end of this novel? Honestly? So anyway those were my issues with the plot and the reason I didn’t offer the book a higher rating.
On other hand I did like the book, the last quarter was definitely exciting and fast paced. I was very hooked at that point and it is the reason I debated on my rating. That section of the book I’d probably give a higher rating to if I could rate the book in portions. Bringing in the concept of other dimensions was interesting though it didn’t seem to fit with what’s she’s already established for the series if you understand what I’m saying. The scenes were filled with vivid details and the close third person, multi-viewpoint narrative was definitely ripe with emotion. The entire story offered interesting scenes but like I’ve mentioned at least for me those scene weren’t engaging until the last quarter of the novel. The beginning seemed to me at least to have a slower pacing than the ending. While there were some lively conversations and exciting scenes throughout the book the beginning portion seemed to be more emotion and characters dealing with that emotion than actual action. Overall it was definitely a good story that I think readers will enjoy, but I don’t feel it was up to Clare’s usual talent of writing.
I think it was the characters that threw me off the most with this book. Most of the book Jace is controlled by Sebastian so isn’t of being the character we’ve come to know he was a bit like a robot feeling that whatever Sebastian wanted him to feel. Because of this the emotions between Clary and Jace that usually drives these stories wasn’t there at least not on Jace’s side. He loves her, but since he’s not in control of his own person he doesn’t offer the same wealth of emotion usually offered. Clary is different here as well, we’re definitely offered a darker side of Clary in this novel. I think she becomes stronger as a character as the novel progresses and I like where Clare has taken this character. However her emotion doesn’t have the same fever pitch when it doesn’t have that mirror in Jace. Sebastian was one of the most interesting characters presented and it was strange though, kind of like reading a character with multiple personalities. I know he’s been trained to emulate emotion and appear to be the person people want him to be, but there are parts of the book, for example when he’s in Paris with Clary that Sebastian comes across as almost redeemable, likeable even. The more time we spent with Sebastian the more it seemed that while Jace had gained a lot of his coldness and disregard, Sebastian had gained Jace’s emotion and his honor. Then later in the novel it was like flipping a switch and the original character we’d met in City of Glass was back as nasty as before. I mean yes he was insane and yes we know all those things about what he’s been trained to do, however it just seems like too dramatic a change for me. Almost like Clare kind of had the idea of making Sebastian redeemable as a villain but then decided without Sebastian being evil there’d be no villain so we can’t do that. His character is definitely interesting, but the dramatic personality switches in him were most definitely odd. Alec was probably my least favorite character in this book because he was headed down some pretty dark paths and his emotions were for me difficult to relate to and understand. I don’t know what Clare is planning for this character but he was definitely darker in this book. Clary’s mother wasn’t really painted in a positive light either. She was, I don’t know exactly how to describe her but I can say I didn’t like her character at all in this book. She didn’t seem to really have any positive traits. Isabelle was also headed in new directions here and while she had some of the best dialog and I do like this new emotional side of Isabelle it just doesn’t mesh with the cold, dangerous girl she’s always been presented as. Simon also had some interesting developments, but he spends a whole lot of time agonizing in this book so scenes with him often dragged a little because he was so wrapped up in his emotions. A lot of characters in this novel were taken in totally new directions. I’m curious to see how those directions will turn out but I can’t say as I’m happy with all of the changes in character presented.
Overall I would recommend this book, but I don’t feel it compares to the original Mortal Instruments series. I’ll definitely be reading the next book to see how the second trilogy ends, but if City of Lost Souls if any indication of where this series is headed it might be a good idea to make the next book the series conclusion....more
When all the shadowhunters are summoned to Alicante to determine what can be done about Valentine the Ligh***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
When all the shadowhunters are summoned to Alicante to determine what can be done about Valentine the Lightwoods and Jace have no choice but to go. Clary, who’s learned that only a warlock in Alicante named Ragnor Fell can bring her mother from her coma, is determined to go with her. While the Lightwoods are in favor of the plan, Jace is completely against it. He lies to Clary about when they’re leaving and summons Simon in order to convince him to help him lie to the Lightwoods about Clary not wanting to go. When the group is attacked by Forsaken and Simon is injured in the battle Jace has no choice but to take him with them or leave him to die. When Clary finds them gone, she’s not willing to leave it alone and portals herself and Luke to Alicante behind them. By doing this she’s violating Shadowhunter Law and has put herself and her friends in danger. Will Alicante hold the answers she seeks or will it be the death of them all?
This third book in The Mortal Instruments series is a close third person narrative detailing the events when Jace, Clary, Simon, the Lightwoods and Luke find themselves in Alicante, the city of Shadowhunters. The plot has just about everything you could ask for, it shows the angst of Jace and Clary, unable to give up their feelings for each other even think that they might be siblings and their love therefore wrong. It offers danger in spies that no one expected and betrayals that shake the very foundations of the Shadowhunter way. You have war and character growth and basically there’s something new going on each and every minute of this story. Each scene is filled with vivid description and emotion so thick in the air you can almost taste it. The action starts almost at the very beginning of the book and doesn’t stop until you’ve almost reached the story’s conclusion. The story is told in four part broken by what events are occurring in each chapter. Many plots are offered and interwoven in an intricate design where they blend seamlessly together, each detailed and well fleshed out and each interesting. One of my favorite parts of the plot is how much it offers in what came before. We learn about Valentine’s experiments the creatures he tortured, the lives his depravity affected. We learn about how he influenced the decisions of other Shadowhunters and ruined the lives of most that he did. There’s so much to this plot that it’s hard to describe or pinpoint any one thing. I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about the novel. I mean it’s got love, war, friendship, excitement, danger and betrayals. The characters face so many trials in this story that it’s difficult to put down even when reading it for the third time, which by the way this was my third time reading the novel.
The characters are in my opinion what makes this book. Clary experiences a lot of growth and a lot of emotional hardships in this book. First the pain she feels, the anger at the situation she’s in with Jace. She loves him but thinks that she shouldn’t and can’t stop herself from doing so. The wrongness she feels when Sebastian kisses her and it’s not because she knows who he really is at that time, it’s because anyone other than Jace kissing her just doesn’t feel right to her. You can feel her almost questioning what’s wrong with her that she can’t move past loving her own brother. The sense of betrayal she experiences when she finds Jace left her behind, or finds him kissing Alice or even more so when she sees her mother and now that the fear is gone what hits is remember her mother paid to have her memories stolen and has been lying to her all her life. Clary goes through such a wealth of emotion in this book that you can’t help but be attached to her and want for things to go right for her. Jace is faced with so much in this novel with thinking he’s a monster for what Valentine made him, for his love of Clary and so many other things. Jace definitely seems to have lost his sense of self worth in this story and the only thing that seems to matter to him anymore is Clary so he goes through a lot of inner struggle and a lot of growth. He demonstrates many flaws and many strength, but again it’s his emotions that allow you to really connect to him as a character. Simon was definitely a character of interest in this story because he’s finally dealing with what it means to be a vampire, a downworlder and how he’s treated because of something he can’t even control. His honor and his inner strength is really placed on the line in this book and his inner struggles make him all the more likeable and all the more interesting. Alec and Isabelle definitely develop as character here too because they’re finally shown with a lot of emotion and Isabelle hasn’t really demonstrated a lot of emotion before, she’s never really shown something can break her icy facade. I definitely enjoyed where there characters went as far as development in this book. Sebastian was a new introduction to the series, but he was one of the most interesting. The way he behaved, thought, acted, could do nothing less than make him memorable as a character even though he wasn’t really likeable as a character. Many other characters either returned to the series or were introduced to the series in this novel and each was at minimum distinctive and most were well developed.
Obviously given my rating the story is highly recommended. The series, this book especially has everything you could ask for in a young adult urban fantasy. It’s a book you can’t put down and a journey not to be missed....more
Josh, Sophie and Flamel have made it to London, but in a city controlled by the Dark Elders their allies***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
Josh, Sophie and Flamel have made it to London, but in a city controlled by the Dark Elders their allies are few and far between. A bounty has been placed on their head and enemies are appearing every where they look. Josh is newly awakened still dealing with senses he hasn’t learned to control. Will they be able to distinguish friend from foe in this enemy territory or will they find themselves captured and their mission forfeit? Can they find the King Gilgamesh and convince him to teach them the element of water and even if they find him will the King be sane enough to even offer instruction?
This third novel in the series I think continues on the upward climb of the story arc. We’re offer a small resolution in the plot of Perenelle, but even there so many loose ends remain that it just seems like another twist in the greater tale. The action, history and mythology remain intense and with each novel the obstacles become greater, the cost higher. The novel continues with the multi-viewpoint close third person narrative allowing us to see so many more angles of the story and demonstrating that the tale could not be really understood without the view from each window shown. The right and the wrong of the goals presents remains a matter of point of view. Both Flamel and Dee feel absolutely that their goals are the right ones and must be accomplished at any cost. Most of my rating comes from the fact that the story doesn’t include a full story arc, it merely offers another two or so eventful days in the lives of these characters. Each story builds on one plot enriching it with new action, new details and history and new characters. In this novel the Dark Elders bring an Archon to the battle, a being older than The Elders themselves and one that most of the characters thought were only legend and have no really idea of what it’s capabilities are. Josh, now awakened, becomes an even bigger player, the military knowledge gifted to him by Mars upon his awakening offering a great advantage to the characters around him, but also changing him in fundamental ways. Sophie comes to the realization that the Witch of Endor might not have bestowed a gift upon her when she endowed Sophie will all of her memories. A person is a sum of their own memories and experiences and Sophie battles to keep those memories which are hers. It appears that the Witch of Endor might be after a younger more powerful form than the one she has, that of Sophie herself. If Sophie can’t maintain that which is her in her head and lets the Witches’s memories overpower her own that she won’t be Sophie anymore. The new information revealed about Flamel however is the part that kind of has me a little irritated. In the first novel it sounded as though Flamel wasn’t sure he’d ever find the twins and had no idea Sophie and Josh were who they were until Dee appeared, but in this novel it sounds as though they were offered their jobs only because they were twins. They were in essence manipulated by the Flamels to be where they were when they were and to become involved in the events which are now occurring. Honestly I feel if this was going to be the case that there should have been more foreshadowing of that offered in the previous books. It read to me at first like Scott changed his mind about the motives of the characters when he came to the first book. The question of who exactly Josh and Sophie can trust becomes a big part of the story in this novel because it’s not really clear anymore who’s right and who’s wrong and which characters really care about Sophie and Josh. In presenting that Scott brings an entirely new layer to the plot that’s always been a little bit in question yes, but nothing like it is here. Like the other novels this fast paced story is a page turner from beginning to end and a journey readers will no doubt enjoy.
As with the rest of the series works, Scott truly brings each character presented to life. Villains such as Dee, Machiavelli and in this novel Billy the Kid, those serving the dark elders, are not all bad. They’re full bodied characters with strengths and faults. Dee truly believes he’s doing what’s best for the world and at points in this story you can’t help but feel a bit sorry for him and his situation. Machiavelli is in my opinion the most interesting villain because he’s not entirely sure the Dark Elders are right, but neither is he willing to risk his life in disobeying his masters. In the second novel there was a sense that he actually cared what happened to Josh and I think he’s going to be a character to watch in future works. Perenelle is portrayed as both dangerous, but caring. Thrice now she’s approached those who were once her enemy or that had betrayed her and made allies of them. Her dealings with the elders themselves are the ones that really show her strength of character. She thinks about what people do and the reasons behind that rather than just condemning them for their actions. Flamel however who is portrayed as being on the side of good in previous novels becomes at points unlikeable in this novel, moreso than Josh ever did in the previous one. It becomes clear that the only person important to Flamel is his wife and the only things important to him are his goals. The other characters Josh and Sophie encounter seem to be much more concerned about their well being than Flamel is and the ending of the novel really shows him as almost as much of a villain as Dee. Shakespeare, Scatty, Gilgamesh, Palimedes and Germain all appear in this novel as well and each character is well developed and likeable. It’s as if Flamels allies have the right goal but also care about the twins themselves and show a great amount of loyalty, courage and sacrifice in trying to protect Sophie and Josh, the same can’t necessarily be said about Nicholas Flamel himself. Sophie and Josh continue to grow and change as characters throughout the novel. The differences between them are becoming more pronounced but so is their loyalty to each other.
Overall I’d definitely recommend this third novel in the series and to be honest I’ll probably say that about all the novels in the series since they are all parts of the same story and you can’t enjoy one without having read the others. It’s one of those series where you must read each novel in the series in order to understand what’s occurring in the next. The series is a definite must read for fans of fantasy young and old. ...more
Sophie and Josh have returned to San Francisco, but when they think they might finally have the opportuni***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
Sophie and Josh have returned to San Francisco, but when they think they might finally have the opportunity to returned to the people they care about a strange limousine is parked in front of their house and they don’t know if its occupants are friend or foe. When Sophie is abducted by the limousines passengers it’s Josh who must turn to the Flamels, people he doesn’t really trust in order to save her. Meanwhile John Dee has been declared Utlaga and the elders have placed a bounty on his head – they want him captured – Alive. Dee’s once allies are now his enemies and he has a plan to take them down before they can take him down- a plan to sacrifice Josh so he can recruit an even more dangerous ally. Both of the twins’ lives are in danger, but will they discover just who is friend and who is foe before it costs both of them their lives?
First all I have to say is OMG what an ending! Scott is almost cruel in how he leaves off in this latest installment in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series. The book has a different tone than the first three novels in the series. The twins returned to their Aunts only to leave again when Sophie is kidnapped by Scatty’s twin. The books hints in the scenes with Aunt Agatha that possibly Sophie and Josh have always been special, something more, but Scott doesn’t go into detail with this and I wonder if he’ll return to it in later novels. At the end of this novel it appears that we’ve might have reached the climax of the series storyline. Scott certainly presents a somewhat unexpected twist when he ends the story. Granted he’s offered some foreshadowing to this event, but I don’t think readers really wanted to believe this could happen and I think the ending might be a sort of climax for the series, though I’ll have to keep reading to be sure – one never really knows with a story of this length without having all the pieces. But enough about this, because if I keep talking about my speculations, I’ll end up spoiling that portion of the novel for readers which isn’t my intention. As with all the other series novels the narrative is a multi-viewpoint close third person story. In most cases this does actually add a beautiful depth to the story, but I felt that in this particular novel there were parts that the viewpoint switches were almost detrimental. We spend a lot of time in Dee’s point of view in this novel and not as much with Sophie and Josh as we have in the other stories and while the events Dee faces are interesting, some of the scenes with Dee seemed to drag for me because of how Scott left things with Sophie and Josh before switching to Dee. For example Perenelle tells Sophie that Nicholas is wrong, the witches memories are completely safe and a gift she should be using. The witch trusted Perenelle so Sophie trusts her too and starts accessing the witches memories more often. When they arrive in the Shadowrealm of Prometheus, Sophie is pulled into a memory from the Witch of Endor’s point of view of a time before humanity existed. The scene is chilling and one of the most memorable in the novel, however when we come back from that memory Scott chooses to switch to Dee’s point of view. It was downright frustrating and I’ll admit I found myself distracted from the entire portion that followed because I wanted to know what was happening with Sophie and Josh. Scott continues to build on the plot line of distrust of the Flamels and extends that to Perenelle in this novel, it becomes clear throughout the plot that the only people they can truly trust is each other. Granted some of the characters presented seem trustworthy, however those that seem to be someone Sophie or Josh could really depend on are only with them for limited times before events pull them away from the twins. Scott finally allows us to meet the hook handed man in this novel, this character has been alluded to throughout the series but we’ve never actually met him. However, in this novel Scott follows up with Joan and Scatty bringing their plotline into contact with the mysterious character and setting on a quite unexpected journey. Right now I’d say this novel is maintaining between four to five simultaneous but also interweaving plotlines with extreme talent. Yes we’re left with questions in all of them, but it’s not because Scott isn’t taking the time to develop them, it’s because we’ve yet to read the next installment of the story. The plot of this series definitely reveals Scott to be a master story teller and I don’t believe any fantasy fan will be disappointed in reading it.
As always Scott presents well developed characters but they’re not always likeable. In this novel both the Flamels come across as not very likeable at all. Their characters continue to grow and take shape throughout the tale and so much more is revealed about them, but in this installment I can’t say I actually like Nicholas or Perenelle and I definitely don’t trust them. They’re almost fanatical in their beliefs and I don’t think they care what it will cost their young charges if they can use them to achieve their goals. Dee character also undergoes a lot of development in this novel but whereas before I always liked him a little in this novel he’s extremely dislikeable in my opinion. Machiavelli continues to grow as a character and question his own beliefs, both he and Billy the Kid are extremely interesting characters in the story and both appear to be at least somewhat redeemable as villains, especially Machiavelli. I’m hoping this plays out in future novels because I really do like his character and would like him to I don’t know redeem himself or something. Josh grows as a character here, but while some of the growth is good some parts of it I don’t feel are and I’m not sure he’s really likeable in this novel either. It’s clear that he’s being used, but he doesn’t seem to see it. He sees it from the Flamels but also seems to trust Dee implicitly which really doesn’t make him appear to be too bright. Sophie on the other hand remains likeable but seems too trusting. Her actions and what’s happening to her with the witches memories make me worry for her as a character and I think Perenelle is dangerous to her at this point in the story. She’s growing as a character she’s starting to distrust Nicholas, but Perenelle at this point is to her untouchable and I don’t understand why she can’t see the issues before her eyes. Aoifa, a new introduction in this novel was one of my favorite new characters and I wasn’t happy with how things looked for her at the end of this tale. She starts off being mercenary, but the more you know her, the more you understand her and it’s hard not to like her. I honestly think I like this twin even more than Scatty. Prometheus was another excellent character introduction and I really enjoyed both seeing who he was and who he is. He’s a character with a lot of potential that was well developed but at the same time I didn’t feel like we spent enough time with him. Virginia Dare, another new character introduced as John Dee’s new ally is on the other hand almost one dimensional, not that she’s not distinctive but I can’t see a redeeming quality about her and what I’ve see of her so far makes me hope she’s one of the characters Scott chooses to kill off in the future. The new Dee and Dare are a match made in heaven, they’re so despicable that they really deserve each other. I’d have liked have seen the Archon eat them to be honest. Germain shows a bit of a dark side in this tale as well, granted his motives are honorable, he wants to save his wife, but his methods are a little cutthroat for my tastes. He’s a character whose past is unlikely to be pretty. We meet a few other new characters who are at minimum distinctive but in most cases fairly well developed and other series characters return for the story as well but I think the ones above are probably the most noteable. The plots of this story are impressive definitely but it’s this gigantic cast of well developed characters that really make this story as excellent as it is and well the review would be just too long if I sat and discussed my thoughts on each and every one.
Obviously this again a novel not to be missed by fans of young adult urban fantasy. The series is addicting, the story is entrancing and the journey is priceless. Highly recommended....more
Sophie and Josh are now in Paris, without belonging or passport with yet another dangerous foe on their tr***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
Sophie and Josh are now in Paris, without belonging or passport with yet another dangerous foe on their trail. John Dee has enlisted the help of Niccolo Machiavelli who lives in Paris to capture Flamel and the twins. Sophie is dealing with her newly awakened powers and more than a lifetime of memories left to her by the Witch of Endor while Josh is dealing with his jealousy of Sophie’s new powers and the difference between him and the twin he once knew as he knew himself. There’s no turning back to the world they once knew but there’s no guarantee of survival in the world they’ve entered. With dangerous foes on their trail will they learn their powers and escape Paris alive?
As with the first novel this novel again presents a plot that is but a slice of a larger story and doesn’t include within the book a full story arc. I guess you can say that each story comprises what happens in each country or location, but there’s no resolution offered in these novels which is probably why I hesitate to give them a perfect rating. The series is like one really long epic, urban, young adult fantasy. However I maintain that the series is one worth reading. This story offers more about the world Scott has created and introduces many new and interesting characters. One of the things I didn’t like is the many cliffhanger chapters. Scott alternates between the point of view of many characters, but often when he switches points of view to a different character in a different location he leaves the previous character in some sort of critical life or death moment where you want to know what happens next but instead of Paris for example fighting a Valkyrie, you suddenly find yourself on Alcatraz trying to outrun the Sphinx. What I actually noticed while reading this book is how similar Scott’s thought process is to that of Rick Riordan. And it’s not that I’m say that one borrows style or material from the other, it’s that I’m saying more it’s one of those great mind’s think alike sort of occurrences. Riordan employs a similar cliff hanger chapter style in his Kane Chronicles novels which drove me nuts there as well. Last novel I’d noticed the two writers had chosen to represent the same mythological goddess in two completely different ways. A second similarity offered in this novel is a setting. In Riordan’s 39 Clues Novel, The Maze of Bones, the book is titled such because of scenes which take place in the catacombs of Paris which were once filled with the bones from overflowing cemeteries to protect the health of the cities living residents. Scott offers scenes in the exact same setting in the later part of his novel. The little uncanny things in history and mythology that both writers seem to find themselves attracted to indicates readers of one author’s middle grade or young adult titles would probably enjoy that of the other author’s work as well. They approach the characters and settings differently, but each version of the characters and locals is equally enjoyable and entrancing. This narrative is again told in a close third person narrative which I think is a great benefit to the story because it allows Scott to brings us into the minds of so many different characters and put us in so many different situations. He does offer bits of back stories here and there in this novel, but most of his scenes stick with current events during this part of the series. The last novel offered a lot more in what came before, but this one definitely ups the ante in action and danger. Again I think we’re still on the upward climb of the first part of a story arc for the series, it doesn’t feel like we’ve even reached a climax yet because the characters haven’t had that critical story changing moment so far in the series. Like the first novel this book only covers two days worth of events in the storyline but those two days are absolutely amazing and it seems like Scott has managed to fit a lifetime into just 48 hours of time. The plot continues to weave actually mythology, history and geography into a thrilling narrative that fantasy readers are sure to enjoy. It is a page turner from beginning to end.
Scott again does an fantastic job with characterization. In this novel we meet Niccolo Machiavelli, another immortal villain in service to the dark elders. Machiavelli differs from Dee in the way he views the world but again Scott presents a villain you can almost relate to and understand. I think it’s shows true talent that he manages to do this because even though Dee and Machiavelli are villains they aren’t portrayed as only one thing, they have a greater depth of character than if they were just the personification of evil. He demonstrates with these characters that good and evil is just a matter of point of view and his characterization of both Dee and Machiavelli is superb. On Flamel’s side we meet the Comte de Saint-Germain, a master of fire and the infamous Joan of Arc. Again Scott offers a great depth to these newly introduced characters presenting them as individuals and easy to relate to characters. You can see Germain’s sensitive ego and Joan’s protective streak among numerous other character traits. Scatty also gains a bit more to her character both in action and through the memories Sophie recalls from The Witch of Endor. Sophie, Flamel, and Perenelle also develop more as characters but probably the most interesting developments are those of Josh. Josh is so caught up in his jealousy and the distance he feels from his twin in this novel that at points he’s almost unlikeable. His character gains a lot of depth in this novel but I can’t really say whether that is a good or bad thing and I think we’ll have to wait for future series novels to find out.
Overall this installment of the series is as excellent as the first and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy. Highly recommended....more