Not so long ago I wrote my review for Clockwork Angel and with that talked all about my first impressions of The Infernal Devices, this well-loved series people talk about still so much. Today, I present to you the rest of my thoughts about this prequel to TMI in form of a double review since I flew through the second book and picked up the third one right after that. Now, I can at least say that I have read TDI for the first time during my time in quarantine. If that’s not an accomplishment I don’t know what is…
The year is 2020. We are in the middle of a global pandemic spending time at home in quarantine and I’ve finally decided that now would be a good time to pick up one of the most loved ya-series ever for the very first time
(yes, I’m not re-reading at this point!). You might be surprised but before reading Clockwork Angel I had never read anything by Cassandra Clare before i.e. I had never read a Shadowhunters book before, nor the movie adaption (which isn’t everyone’s favourite, is it?) or the tv show. How come?! Well, I don’t know why but somehow I never was in the right mood to start The Mortal Instruments and when the “trend” of the ya-paranormal genre started to flatten I lost interest in started trying out other ya subgenres (e.g. historical fiction) which made me love the setting of Victorian London. So, it was clear to me (after watching Emma’s video in which order to read the Shadowhunters books) that while TMI intimidated me because of its length I could still try out the prequel trilogy first and see what happens.
And, now we’re here, almost ten years (!!) after the release of Clockwork Angel and the start of The Infernal Devices and I’m trying to (as the last in the goodreads community for sure) sort my thoughts about this book and I’m sure that this will be amusing and entertaining for those of you who have already immersed themselves into the Shadowhunter world a long time ago…
Note: This review may contain spoilers! Read on at your own risk. Continue reading “I read MY FIRST Shadowhunters book! 🌑| Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare”
Hello everyone! I hope your days in quarantine have been going well. I already apologize for my inactivity these last few months. Unfortunately, I really didn’t have any chance to read anything except for my required school reads but luckily, these times are over now (!) and I can finally get back to reducing my tbr pile and continuing with this year’s reading challenge. The Kite Runner had been sitting on my to-read shelf for a while now, so I picked it up, slowly reading bits and bits until I finally finished it a few days ago being totally speechless and in awe. So, today is the day I’ll explain why that’s the case and to maybe encourage you to pick up The Kite Runner yourself – just in case it has been sitting on your tbr shelf for a while too.
Long time no see! Happy New Year and Welcome Back to this (still existing) book blog! I have to admit that I haven’t been really active at all for the second half of 2019 due to the basic reasons but I am looking forward to finally post again and, more and more frequently. Yes, that’s supposed to be a promise! Seeing all of your 2019 wrap up posts, reading resolutions and, my personal favourite; “most anticipated releases”-posts made me really excited about 2020 not only generally but also readingwise and, as a reader, there is no better way to celebrate the beginning of a new year than talking about upcoming releases, right? So, I came up with the following list of 5 ya books I can’t wait to finally read. This list may be a bit different from other posts you have probably already seen since 1) I narrowed my anticipated releases down to 5, and 2) you won’t see ACOTAR 4, this new novella (is it even a novella?) which is part of The Hunger Games universe, and so on. Okay, okay, enough of all this announcement stuff and let’s see what we have here. Continue reading “My TOP 5 MOST ANTICIPATED Books of 2020! // + Happy New Year ‘2️⃣0️⃣!”
Hello everyone! Before I start this review let me tell you that I was more than excited to finally read this book because – “Mulan meets Feudal Japan” – how cool is that?! I had never read anything by Renée Ahdieh before + it does help me add something to YARC (#YARC 2019 🏮🐯🥢 | Joining a Reading Challenge! + Updates). So, after months of it waiting on my digital want-to-read list I finally decided to pick it up. And, I’ll be honest with you guys: You have probably already heard me raving about Shadow of the Fox
(awesome book, check it out!! yes you!). This book may have contributed a little something to me wanting to read books with similar settings as itself. But Flame in the Mist turned out to be quite different from what I expected… Continue reading ““Mulan meets Feudal Japan” (??) 🍵 | Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh”
“Romeo and Juliet” – a romantic story you can basically put in any context, doesn’t matter the setting and get a good(?) story out of it. Used so much that it’s everywhere; books, movies, music, I don’t even know where else (on a cereal package, you say?). So, today I’m bringing you something old and something new, mixed with some magic. It’s definitely gonna be worth your time ALTHOUGH you have probably already read like 789 retellings, right?
After a long break of not posting anything on this blog I’m back with a collection of short stories a friend of mine recommended to me saying “I read this in one sitting and absolutely loved it!”. Now, after having borrowed it from her and finally finished it, I really want to talk about it. Before getting into the review I want to add that this was a really special and funny reading experience for me because this copy was annotated by two friends beforehand. So, I got to read their comments and write my own down and it is definitely one of the most fun ways to read a book. And, the more comments and people having already read it, the better!
When I went to my local library one day and saw this book displayed on one of those round tables I had to pick it up because the sypnosis basically begged me to 1) add this to my tbr, 2) read it, 3) solve the case while either feeling a) challenged or b) like someone who is always right about their assumptions and is the one saying things like “I told you” and “I knew it”. This time it was option 3b) and here’s the mini review to it.
published May 30th 2017
genre: ya, fiction, mystery, contemporary
one of us is lying on goodreads ( •⌄• ू )✧
my rating: ⭐⭐⭐
The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
I haven’t read a lot of books that belong into the “Ya mystery” category although I am a pretty big fan of everything that has to do with mystery as a genre. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about movies, tv shows, books, I think mystery is an amazing “combination genre” and I love it when readers can take part in the investigation of a murder, guess what’s really going on and who’s most likely to have done it. Firstly, I can tell that One of Us Is Lying had all this!!
“Things’ll get worse before they get better.”
The story is told through the POV’s of four students who coincidentally happen to all be suspects in this case. 4 People. Everyone has something to hide. No one wants their secret to be revealed. And they are all the incarnation of a stereotype that is a bit overused and which I wasn’t a big fan of. Nonetheless, every chapter is from a different POV which turns the book into an interesting and fast-paced read.
“I stand and hold out my hand. She gives me a skeptical look, but takes it and lets me pull her to her feet. I put my other hand in the air. ‘Bronwyn Rojas, I solemnly swear not to murder you today or at any point in the future. Deal?’
‘You’re ridiculous,’ she mutters, going even redder.
‘It concerns me you’re avoiding a promise not to murder me.”
I also did like the “unexpected romance” in this one since I think it made the story go forward in a good way but I have to admit that I didn’t feel attached to any of these characters though the author did her best to make them realistic while each of them struggled with their own problems. But all I could see were the stereotypes which was probably the reason why I didn’t share the thrill with them. At least, I can give a bonus point for diversity. I rather felt like an all-knowing observer and in terms of who the murderer is (I won’t tell, hehe) that is a pretty good description of what my role was. You can solve this if you pay attention and I was thinking about it way before the actual end of the story. And, I don’t even want to brag, guys. I think it was kinda obvious.
Overall, it was a fast read which you can read and maybe even binge-read with great POV’s and a nice idea to it but to me One Of Us Is Lying was underwhelming and I missed something (was it tension, atmosphere,??, idk!). Regardless, I think that it was an “okay” read.
Hi everyone! Today is the day I’m posting my first book review of 2019
, start to work on my New Year’s resolutions which included ‘Writing more reviews on my blog’ and it features Truthwitch by Susan Dennard – a book I’ve seen very mixed reviews for. I actually did not “plan” on reading this book anytime soon BUT it was compared to Avatar The Last Airbender by several people I trust (Hannah (A Clockwork Reader) is one of them!!) since the author added some supernatural abilities to the characters that are also based on the four elements and it has a lot of magic in it so I couldn’t say no! 🧙♀️ So, let’s just start with the review;
book 1 of The Witchlands Series
published January 5th 2016
genre: young-adult, fantasy, magic
truthwitch on goodreads ( •⌄• ू )✧
my rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.
Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.
In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
Truthwitch was a book I struggled extremely with getting into and I do not know if it was due to the fact that I read a translated edition or if Susan Dennard’s way of introducing you to a new world is just a bit different from what I am used to. New places, languages, stories about the world itself and the magic systems are mentioned in every chapter you read and I was overwhelmed so many times with who is from which realm and how their magic functions. A short explanation would have been great at this point but instead I found myself being rushed through the plot and looking up the city names on the map that was fortunately included.
Nonetheless, I can’t and don’t want to deny that the world Susan Dennard created in this book is amazing!! It’s exactly the kind of fantasy world I enjoy reading about with different landscapes, an obviously well thought out magic system and the connections/problems between the different rulers and nations. A different aspect I really liked was the atmosphere and reading experience! While it was difficult to get into the book, as I mentioned earlier, it was very easy to be kind of soaked into the adventurous story line which was told from different POV’s, third-person each. And, at this point I should mention that the POV’s changed not only every chapter which was refreshing but also in between a chapter which was… well, a bit confusing sometimes.
Truthwitch has 416 pages, my own edition had about 500+ pages and that turns it into a book with a pretty good amount of pages. Surprisingly, there is not “a lot” happening throughout the story. Sure, there is this adventurous fleeing and going back and forth but at some points it got really slow-paced, in my opinion. Maybe that will change in the sequels…?
“I hate this. Both the storm and the plan. Why does it have to be ‘we’? Why not just me?”
“Because ‘just me’ isn’t who we are,” Iseult hollered back. “I’ll always follow you, Safi, and you’ll always follow me. Threadsisters to the end.”
✧ Safiya fon Hasstrel aka Safi is a Truthwitch and of noble descent. Her magic is very rare and seems to be extremely important for all the nations and rulers so, they want nothing more but to be able to be in charge of her after they find out that she is indeed a Truthwitch. Safi is a really impulsive person with a hot temper and usually says what she thinks rightaway which is the exact opposite of Iseult det Midenzi‘s personality. Both of the girls are smart but Iseult is kind of the brain of the duo. She is a Threadwitch, able to actually see the emotions of others through the so called “Threads” and a Nomatsi (something liek outcasts that are hated by other nations because of their lifestyle and appearance). Iseult is a silent person and always thinks before she acts. Like the other characters in this book she has her own interesting back story and secrets. I loved the relationship between these two, their coordinated teamwork and friendship.
✧ Merik Nihar is the Prince of Nubrevna, a Windwitch and the current admiral of the Nubrevnan Navy. His country has been devastated by war and he tries everythings to create trade connections with other nations. Unfortunately, there is a lot of trouble following him; his sister Vivia, a contract with Safiya’s uncle and a lot of more to deal with. I would describe him as a selfless, responsible and realistic person who can get very angry real quick. And, guess what; there is a romance…
So, let’s move on to my favourite character of the book:
✧ Aeduan – the feared Bloodwitch and Carawen Monk who follows Safiya and Iseult all around the continents by using his magic which allows him to basically trace blood. Aeduan is a mysterious character and as I believe the most complex and complicated one. Since he is Safiya and Iseult’s enemy he is the villain of the story but sooner or later you’ll realize that it is not THAT easy and that he is conflicting with many things such as developing feelings for someone…??!!
All in all, Truthwitch was a nice and enjoyable fantasy-read which I cannot give an only “okay” 3-star-rating although I did have some problems with it the characters and their relationships as well as the world-building were the things that convinced me to give this book 4/5 stars. That being said, I definitely want to continue reading this on-going series especially now that everyone is excited about the third book coming out but first I’ll have to read Windwitch and find out what everyone’s up to.
“Sometimes justice was all about the small victories.”
Have you read any books by Susan Dennard yet? How did you like them? Have you read Truthwitch or do you plan on reading it? I’d like to know!
Firstly, I want to say that I was more than excited to read Escaping from Houdini after having read the first two books in the series earlier this year. This series and especially because of its characters Audrey Rose and Thomas became one of my all time favourites so quickly so, it should not be a big suprise to tell you that the third book was an anticipated release for me and I was waiting and waiting to get my hands on it until I finally got to pick up my paperback edition at the bookstore. Unfortunately, I was not able to get the beautiful tarot cards designed by Phantomrin as a pre-order gift since I am not living in the US but you should definitely take a look at Kerri Maniscalco’s Instagram account if you want to see how they look like!
It’s too bad I don’t have them. They would have been nice to display next to my copies.
There’s also a Double Review I have here on my blog for the first two books in the series if you want to check that out
and assure yourself that I have been waiting these couple of months for only this sequel to come out : Double Review: SJTR and HPD by Kerri Maniscalco 💉🖤 and definitely read about this hilarious idea Kerri Maniscalco had on Twitter if you missed it!
After having solved the murder cases of Jack the Ripper and Prince Dracula, forensic student Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation Thomas Cresswell are on their way to America while being on board the RMS Etruria, a passenger ship with a mysterious magical performance show called the Moonlight Carnival. But what seems like a dream-like show at first evolves into a terrible nightmare and it appears as if death has been following the two apprentices because young women begin missing and horrifying murders happen on board. So, it is up to both Audrey Rose and Thomas to solve the case, find out who the murderer is and stop the slayings before more passengers become victims without having reached their destination. The RMS Etruria becomes a prison with no chance to escape and nowhere to flee…
“So, I inquire you once more. which will you lose before the week is through? Your heart? Your head? Perhaps,” he drawled, face cast in shadows as the chandeliers dimmed slowly before winking out, “you will lose your life, your very soul, to this magical traveling show.”
After having walked through the streets of Victorian London and attending a forensic class in Romania, this time the setting of the book is a passenger ship en route to America. To be more precise the setting includes the first class deck, its promenade, several cabins and of course the main deck with the enchanting carnival show every evening. While I did REALLY enjoy this new setting with the sea always close by and the performance show, it is the foggy streets of London and the paths of the castle in the first two books I prefer reading about. However, deciding which of the three settings I really liked more was difficult to say and I believe that I am not the only one having struggled with the thought.
The performances of the Moonlight Carnival are amazing!! I am sure everyone who likes circus-themed books will enjoy this books same goes to fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval series. There are also A LOT OF NEW CHARACTERS introduced. Most of them are members of the carnival, each having their own magical ability. Fire-breather, Fortune-teller, Trapeze artists. Just to name a few talents. I would have liked to get to know them a bit better but since the Moonlight Carnival was such a big troupe with many backstories
(most of them tragic and sad) I think that the author already did a very good job. Without going into any spoilers, Houdini is introduced as well as the King of Cuffs and it was really enjoyable to read about this character who is not “just fictional”. Kerri’s author note at the end of the book was really interesting to read as well since it’s giving more information and I caught myself doing some research about Houdini as well.
“Truth is often compared to a blade,” I said. “‘I question those who marvel when it pricks.”
✷ Audrey Rose Wadsworth– Talking about characters, it was such a pleasure to read everything from Audrey Rose’s POV again. I have been liking her since the very first time she is introduced in Stalking Jack the Ripper and I only can repeat myself with saying that she is such a brave, smart and extremely likeable main character. Probably one of my favourite female characters ever. However, there was something about her behaviour in this book that made me question EVERYTHING and I was not that fond of it. She was insecure and had many doubts at times but I think that is totally fine!
“Removing intestines before luncheon is all right, but clowns are where your limits ends?’ he asked. “You never cease to amaze me, Wadsworth. What if I dressed up like one and knocked at your door later? Do you think you’d faint into my ruffle-sleeved arms? Reviving you might be worth the makeup and silly costume.'”
✷ Thomas Cresswell – I think that with every book he does get sassier and sassier but maybe that’s just a feeling. In Escaping from Houdini you really got to see how he went through his character development. He’s definitely not the arrogant student we know from the first book but developed into a kind and understanding partner when it comes to solving crime. Thomas did an excellent job of letting Audrey Rose choose her own path and freedom. It was too bad he didn’t get all the “screen time” but it was something different to the series and it wasn’t as bad as I got told by various of people on Goodreads.
“I politely disagree, Miss Wadsworth. There are many ways to assist people. Laughter and distraction are sometimes things people need in conjuction with medical diagnoses and treatments.”
✷ Mephistopheles – also called “Mephisto” or “the Devil” is the ringmaster and boss of the performance crew.
(It’s obviously not his real name.) He is a new character introduced in this third book of the series and the first things that you’ll notice are that 1) he’s self-regarding, 2) obsessed with the big show and his outfits and 3) incredibly dramatic. And, in my opinion he’s also the reason why Audrey Rose does a lot of things she normally would have never done. It’s the ringmaster who firstly created a love triangle in this series (I think we all agree that Blackburn does not count). I was about to feel really anxious when I found out about the love triangle but I see that it was necessary in a way for both Audrey Rose and Thomas to understand their feelings for each other. And, to be honest, I didn’t mind this love triangle though I am a big Cressworth fan. You won’t get disappointed
Fun fact: The name “Mephistopheles” fits very well since there are also some midnight bargains going on. It’s well thought-out indeed.
✧ SJTR, HPD or EFH? Which one was better and why?
To be honest, SJTR and HPD I prefer but don’t get me wrong! EFH was an equally fast paced and enjoyable read. But there were a few aspects in the first two books in the series that were just better to me. The setting for example. Or how the cases were solved and explained at the end. Likewise, EFH had great elements to it such as the acts, Mrs Harvey correcting Thomas and offering her traveling tonic
(I love that chaperone!!) and more of Audrey Rose, her uncle and Thomas inspecting the incidents.
✧ Without any spoilers (!!), please but was it obvious who the murderer/murderess was?
While I think that it was pretty obvious and predictable who the murderers in SJTR and HPD are, I believe that it won’t be that easy for you this time. I had many assumptions and struggled at time so, it was not suprising to me that the reveal of who had done all these murders was a bit of a shock…? Of course this may differ from person to person. Maybe you’re a better detective than I am. Probably.
✧ Rating? Is EFH a new all time favorite?
SJTR and HPD were 5-star reads for me. My rating system only includes those books to “all time favorites” that have a 5-star rating. Considering all this, I am going to put EFH into a 4-star, maybe even a 4.5-star rating
(though I usually try to not give 1/2 stars) because I enjoyed the first two books a bit more.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
✧ Expectations for the fourth and (unfortunately) final book in the series?
I know that I have just finished reading the third book but I am already looking forward to the release of SJTR4 because I have still so many questions about EFH. There are some things that remained unsolved and I am dying to know what these things are really about. On the other hand from what I have understood, the book coming out next year is the final one for this series?! That makes me extremely sad. Who would have thought this series could come to end? I could read a ton of books about Audrey Rose and Thomas and I probably still wouldn’t be tired of their wit and sarcasm. And, I am sure I wouldn’t be the only one. There has to be some bonus content/novellas!!!
I have no ideas for the title or the person it could include in it. Equally, I have no assumptions where the story could be set. America? England, again? A new country? France would be funny, I believe! The cover is not out yet as well but I think that Kerri has something good for the ending planned, at least I hope so!
“Magic is science. It’s simply a fancier term for showing people the impossible is attainable.”