I stumbled across news of this great book right around its release earlier this year, because I go to college with the photographer of the covers. A b...moreI stumbled across news of this great book right around its release earlier this year, because I go to college with the photographer of the covers. A bookworm as well as an admirer of her photography skills, I looked into the book itself and was pleased with what it seemed to be, which was right up my alley. Hidden world of magic suddenly thrust upon semi-loner strong female? Yeah, that describes a lot of books I'm into. I have no idea why it took me so long to actually sit down and read this book, but I'm alright with it, because I get to go right onto the next one! There were only a few months between the two books, but with that ending, I would have been anxiously waiting for the next one! I had a feeling that whole no-magic-on-siblings thing would be important. I also loved it, it seemed very original and interesting. I didn't completely understand Riley's fascination with Jaden, and how she switched sides so quickly, it would have seemed more realistic to me to have her think it over for a bit, but I understand that they were pressed for time to get back. Overall, I thought it was a great balance between traditional fantasy and new innovations. I will be recommending it to my other bookworm friends, and even non-bookworm friends!(less)
I got into The Mortal Instruments series late. I read them all last summer, when the original trilogy, City of Fallen Angels, and Clockwork Angel were...moreI got into The Mortal Instruments series late. I read them all last summer, when the original trilogy, City of Fallen Angels, and Clockwork Angel were all out. CoFA had just come out earlier that year. I read them all rather quickly, finishing the trilogy in under a week, and CA and CoFA shortly after. As such, I didn’t really understand all the negativity about CoFA when I joined goodreads (after I read all the books). I didn’t feel like CoG’s ending was the definitive ending to a great series, and all the loose ends were NOT taken care of. (Not that all great series(es?) get great, definitive endings. See Nightshade). So when the story continued, I was happy. CoFA definitely had a much different feel than the original trilogy, but I just saw that as all their lives being a little weird after the war. After reading CoLS, though, I can see people’s points about CoFA better now. City of Lost Souls was amazing. Even the stuff that should have been “boring”, the exposition-heavy passages were so well-written that I was glued to my Nook even when nothing was happening. It was very interesting to see what our heroes and heroines would do when their governing system failed them, in regards to Jace. Would they continue to be “Team Good” and stick to things they knew they could get away with, or would they stop at nothing—including things that would condemn them—to reclaim the lost? By the way, when they were dubbed “Team Good”, I literally laughed out loud. So much that I snorted while laughing. I felt like this book was really one for the “secondary” characters. Sure, Clary and Jace got a lot of time devoted to them, but I felt like we learned so much more about Isabelle, Simon, Alec, Magnus, Maia and Jordan than we knew before. Magnus and Alec in particular for me, as I always liked them but in this book I really *got* them. I also LOVED Isabelle’s character development. Isabelle and Simon give me warm fuzzies. Also, I know he’s supposed to be the villain, but DANG Jonathan/Sebastian is smooth (An annoyance of mine is that the characters insist on calling him Sebastian. I know that it was explained that “Jonathan” is Jace’s name to them, but he doesn’t even go by it! What about the REAL Sebastian? He didn’t do anything to them). I found myself being charmed by him and his apparent want for a family, replacing his dead father and rejected mother with a sister and adoptive brother. This book was a great transition from the catalyst in CoFA to the conclusion in CoHF. All too often, books bridging the gap like this one does end up being forgettable, and when the series is over, you feel like its only purpose was to set up a few things for the finale. I have a very strong feeling that this will not be the case with The Mortal Instruments. The only thing I really didn’t like about the book is that it was over so fast! I can’t believe we have to wait until 2014 for City of Heavenly Fire! (less)
A fantastic second book in a debut series! I enjoyed Flame even more than its predecessor, even though it took me a while to finish it. Life got in th...moreA fantastic second book in a debut series! I enjoyed Flame even more than its predecessor, even though it took me a while to finish it. Life got in the way a bit. I was glad to have a flight home (and back) for Thanksgiving to get some solid reading time in. The twist we learned at the end of Ember came into play in a big way, helping shape Riley’s character and give her more of a purpose in the war that is unfolding. This book goes a long way to explain the backstory of the Aderan/Scuri conflict, especially as far as the rulers of the kingdoms go. There are also several characters introduced/developed that really help flesh out the story, and support other characters. My favorite was Jocelyn, she is connected in two very personal ways with the opposing kingdom and still fights loyally. Cree was a very successful villain, she creeped me out every time she was present. I have to say I didn’t particularly care for the stars, Gretchen seemed unlikeable to me, and Brynn was annoying and whiny. But I figure that was just my personal feelings. I did like the idea of stars holding secrets, but it would have been nicer if they’d been a little less whiny and defenseless. Overall, it was a great book. Even the things that I’d correctly predicted were going to happen didn’t disappoint, and there were enough things that I didn’t expect at all to counteract that. I cannot wait to read the third book!(less)
**spoiler alert** This review also took me forever to write. I was just so frustrated by the way some things were “resolved”. Yes, if I were speaking...more**spoiler alert** This review also took me forever to write. I was just so frustrated by the way some things were “resolved”. Yes, if I were speaking this, I would use air quotes on that word. If you’ve read the book, you know why. I tried to keep my review of Wolfsbane simple, but that didn’t work well. I’m trying it again.
Things I loved: 1)End of chapter 2. My notes say “HELL YEAH CALLA!!!” I absolutely loved how she handled the feuding boys here, her declaration of “I don’t need a mate, I need soldiers” was the best thing that could have happened to this love triangle. If only it’d stayed that way longer. Also, LOVED that Ren was the first one to follow her orders! Calla needed to pay attention to details like that. 2) I loved the relationship between Adne and Ren. It was an adorable sibling relationship, and after all those two had been through individually it was nice to see them bond and have someone after all the tragedy. 3) The general plot. The idea of the Scion and having to go find the pieces of the elemental sword was very interesting, and it was the reason I couldn’t put the book down. Having Shay’s uncle be this crazy bad guy was a good move, too. We pretty much knew he was a creeper and general bad guy, but having him be über bad was something I didn’t expect. 4) Sabine and Ethan. Both characters were introduced as hot-headed and somewhat abrasive. Having them fall in love and counteract each other was a cute move, although the way in which it played out was extraordinarily cliché, very “love at first sight” and all that crap. I also liked how Sabine gave up her wolf for Ansel in the end, she became a much nicer person over the course of the trilogy and not having the reminder of her horrendous past constantly was a good ending for her. 5) Honestly, I kind of liked the ending. I liked how the Guardians were able to take a step back and say “you know what, it kinda sucks that we won’t be able to be humans again, but we really need to LOCK the Rift, not just close it.” It emphasized the way that these characters were shown to LOVE being wolves, how their wolf characteristics bled over into their human lives. Which was something I really appreciated about Cremer’s storytelling. Things I hated: 1) Chapter 5. Calla says “I’m not choosing”, and then proceeds to do the deed. Really, Calla?! Sleeping with one of the guys you’re “not choosing” yet isn’t choosing? She chose long before she admitted it to herself and she knows it. Yes, I am aware she is a fictional character. I don’t care. She chose. She did. 2) Pretty much any Calla/Shay interaction. She was constantly “not choosing”, yet acting like she’d chosen Shay. 3) Adne has had all of her family taken from her. Her mother, her father... Ren has had all of his family taken from him. His mother was murdered when he was an infant, his “father” has always been a crap excuse for a father...he finally learns who his real father is, and then he dies as well. He gets a sister out of this revelation though. Sounds perfect, right? Two orphans lose their parents only to find each other. Happy ending, right? NO! As if these two (awesome) characters haven’t lost enough, one of them is now sentenced to have ZERO family, as the other is killed off. REALLY?! REALLY?! Poor Adne... 4) Ren. Poor Ren. I cannot believe all of the crap that happened to him in this book. It’s really ridiculous. He has his Alpha position challenged, loses Calla to Shay, confronts the man who raised him to hate his real father and sister, and then has his life taken as well. Ignoring the fact that it is completely a BOGUS way to “resolve” a love triangle, Ren’s death was completely insensitive. It took away all the family Adne had left, and they barely mourned him! Calla agonized over her feelings for the two boys and her sense of duty and leaving her pack behind more than she mourned Ren’s death. Sure, it was probably overshadowed by the fact that they eventually won the battle, but seriously? Seriously? 5) IT IS COMPLETELY SPINELESS TO “RESOLVE” A LOVE TRIANGLE BY KILLING OFF ONE OF THE MEMBERS SO THAT THE MAIN CHARACTER DOESN’T HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE. PERIOD. THE END. 6) What happened to the whole mother-decides-the-child thing? Shay’s mother was not a Guardian. I don’t give a flying F if he was changed by an Alpha. His mother was human, he should have stayed human. On that note, I felt really bad for Shay’s parents. They barely got to even see him before he was taken from them again, with even less time than Adne and Ren had. Another reason he should have stayed human. In summary, while the plot was good for the most part, I couldn’t get past the absurdity of the love triangle, and it has (probably unfairly) irreversibly tainted my view of this book. If this is what I can expect from this author, it would be a total shame, because I love her writing style and the prequel to this trilogy sounds great.( Also, she’s a fellow “Canadian Shield-er” Yay Minnesota! And Wisconsin!) Also, BOO for not having a pretty cover to match the style of the original Nightshade and Wolfsbane covers. I abhor it when publishing companies do crap like that.I am very OCD about my books. I want a series to all be in either paperback/hardcover, and have the covers match.