The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Princess

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Book 3 Review

I’ve read tragic love stories and as much as I love happily ever afters, I admit there is something oddly touching in stories without it. Don’t get me wrong, The Infernal Devices is one of the unique exceptions because it ends in not one but two happy ever afters. And HEAs don’t come easily, especially for Tessa, Jem and Will.

There were a couple of distinct moments in this story that I feel should be addressed.

1. James Carstairs’ health.

It had already been established since the first book how sick Jem is but it is in the 3rd book where his death was certainly imminent. I felt for the people around him, who wanted so much to keep him alive but also I felt for Jem. The pain, the struggle to live, the dependence on the drug, it weighed on him. It was an integral part of the story because without Jem and without his addiction, Will would not have been saved. The irony in their friendship is that Will was not sick, not dying but it was Jem who saved him.

2. William Herondale’s catastrophic love.

Will has a way with words that make it hard for me not to love him. He loves deeply and passionately. It pained me to read about his “unrequited” love. Sometimes I wished h would love me instead. He is one of my favorite male protagonists ever, right next to Percy Jackson and Prince Ash.

3. Tessa’s two great loves.

This book showed me not just a romance between a man and a woman but also a love between brothers not related by blood. I said before that it was Jem who saved Will and he did; but that does not mean Will never did anything for Jem. I do not doubt why Tessa could love them both the same. I love them both too.

4. The Magister’s master plan.

Can I just say how intricate this plan is and how serendipitous everything is? The fact that Elizabeth Gray would bear a child wth Tedsa’s abilities is quite a feat. Sometimes I think Shadowhunters deserve to be killed.  They have this superiority to them that maes them easy to hate. Not the shadowhunters at the London Institute though. They prove they have respect for downworlders but shouldn’t every shadowhunter be like them? I understood Mortmaine’s thirst fo revenge but ultimately he took it too far, going from vindicative to evil genius bent on world domination. His planning skills though, amazing.

5. The masogynist Consul.

I know that men and women weren’t treated as equals before and that it can’t be helped that in those times people had different thoughts on how to be a lady or a gentleman. But the Consul? He’s a severe case and I hated him. He got what he deserved as did Charlotte.

6. Benedict Lightworm

I think this one of the pivotal moments of the story. The Lightwoods were a welcome addition to the strength of the London Institute, especially during the moments when they had to face Mortmain’s clockwork army alone. Even though they weren’t the main characters, they grew a lot in this book; Gabriel more so than Gideon.

I am sad anew that I finished their story for the 2nd time. It’s so hard to part with Cassandra Clare’s creations that i feel compelled to reread The Mortal Instruments next. Here’s to hoping I can find more gems like this series in the future.

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Prince

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Book 2 Review

This book is a story of betrayal, love, brotherhood and family. If there was one thing that this book emphasized on it is the relationship between each of the characters. Charlotte and Henry’s marriage, Will’s family, the love triangle between Jem, Tessa and Will, and Jessamine’s love for Nathaniel Gray.

I won’t break it down into the different elements like I did last time because the setting is basically the same but I will still be discussing the characters and plot individually.

So, where to begin?

Compared to Clockwork Angel, the second book is more heart-wrenching. This is the book where the mystery that is Will Herondale is solved. He was cursed or, at least, he thought he was, which was probably worse. It also reveals a little more about who and what Tessa is.

What I really liked about this book is about the growth of each of the characters. Will and Tessa, especially. Of course, this is also the book where the love triangle blossoms and Tessa’s heart is split into two. I will admit that I cried.

The most difficult part about the love triangle is not that Tessa loves them both; it’s that Jem and Will love each other like brothers do and yet they love the same girl. I love Jem and I think he is the perfect gentleman: calm, understanding, loving. But my heart ached for Will. I could feel it when he was desperate to find Marbas. Even if I don’t have an unrequited love, I felt for him. How much it must have hurt to realize that even though the curse was “lifted”, he was too late to get the girl. Late by mere minutes.

I feel for Tessa as well. She loves Will, but she was so hurt by him that she never would have thought he loved her back. Jem was there for her when she was hurting and I can understand why she could have fallen for him. Jem was easy to love unlike Will who pushed people away. I don’t know about the possibility of loving two people (romantically) but Tessa loves them both.

The plot thickens in this arc. Jessamine’s betrayal, Nathaniel’s hatred, and of course, the Magister’s sinister plot is still a mystery. Mortmain is a formidable villain, for sure. He has a lot of power, he’s clever and his plan is almost foolproof. Even if the Shadowhunters at the London Institute uncover some of his secrets, he is still one step ahead. It seems impossible to beat him in this part of the series. The story keeps getting better and better.

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel

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Book 1 Review

As Cassandra Clare had written the series, my reviews will also be in trilogy. I thought about writing an overall review because it’s easier.  However, having re-read the first book, I think I have much too much to say about the story that I need to get off my chest. So, I decided on a 3-part review.

Now, Clockwork Angel. I have loved this book since I first read it years ago. I even like the prequel series better than The Mortal Instruments. Clary and Jace have nothing on Tessa, Will and Jem. Although, to be clear, I love Cassandra Clare’s works in general. On with the review!

Setting

The story is set in 1878, London. And even if the author took some liberties in a few of the landmarks and overall geography of the place, I read that she put in great effort to make it as accurate as she can without sacrificing much of the story. The location of the Institute, the church called All-Hallows-the-Less, did exist and it was burned during the Great Fire of London. I appreciate this much attention to detail in any story so when I read the notes on Tessa’s London at the end of the book, I was impressed.

The descriptions as well helped me imagine what Tessa’s London looked like. Cassandra Clare has a way with words to help readers dive into her stories as if they were really there. I could picture the gray skies of London and the stone walls of the Institute. I could only wish that if it’s ever made into a movie that they would do it justice.

I also like that in 1878, women wore dresses, like everyday. It makes me want to be there too, wearing dresses in daytime, complete with gloves and everything. I could only wish for a movie adaptation of only to see the beautiful Victorian-esque fashion the characters wear.

Characters

First of all, Theresa Gray. Tessa, whatever she is (human, warlock or what), is a very likeable character. I like that she’s a bookworm and that she loves so deeply and passionately. I also love it when she banters with Will. She is strong, even if she does not think so. And her power? I think it’s really cool.

William Herondale, on the other hand, is easy to hate. But I don’t hate him even if he is a jerk. Maybe it’s because I’ve already read the series before so I understand him but even before, I had already liked him for Tessa (or myself if that were possible.) He loves books, despite him denying it to Tessa. He can quote words from books! Very romantic, especially for a hopeless romantic such as myself. And he’s handsome to boot. 

His parabatai, James Carstairs, is his exact opposite. Not just in looks (and no, I don’t mean he’s ugly), but also in character. Jem is less hateful than Will. In fact, he isn’t hateful at all and he exudes a calm that Will lacks. He is the ying to Will’s yang. I guess that’s why they complement each other in battle and otherwise. And plus points because he plays the violin. Musicians are dreamy.

The other characters are good too. I like Charlotte and Henry and Sophie. Jessamine leaves a lot to be desired as a shadowhunter but I guess she just wanted to live an ordinary life. I don’t particularly hate her though. I do hate Nathaniel Gray. He’s an opportunist as well as a selfish and ungrateful snake — which actually makes him quite an effective antagonist. The Magister, though, is something else. Clever, good at acting and ambitious – he’s the kind of guy you would be suspicious of but least expect to be the bad guy.

Cassandra Clare makes her characters realistic (as realistic as warlocks ad Shadowhunters can be) and the way they interact with each other makes the story an interesting read.

Plot

Oh how I love the intricate story line Cassandra Clare created for her characters. There’s more to it all than finding the Nathaniel Gray and catching the Magister. There are back stories for each character and even though all of them are orphans, they handle their situations differently and see the world in various lights.

The pacing may seem slow at first but I think it’s because the author needed to establish the Shadowhunter world first and introduce the many different characters. The more I read it, the more I got caught up in their world, and the less I wanted to stop reading. It has all the things I love in the book.  Intrigue, plot twists, romance and well-written chapters.

This is one book that I’m sure I’ll be reading again in a couple of years and I’d still love it as much as I do now.

 

Love, love, love: My favorite fictional couples

Updated: July 15, 2015

In light of the love month, I figured I’d do a list of couples I absolutely loved shipping in literature. I’m not gonna list the obvious, like Romeo and Juliet, because they’re obviously immortals in the Romance category. I’m listing those in more recent books I’ve read. Even though it’s a little late, February 14 was like a week ago, I’ll make my list anyway!

Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase

My favorite scene from the book. That moment when they finally kiss. I googled this.

My favorite scene from the book. That moment when they finally kiss. I googled this.

They’re first not because they’re my ultimate favorite but because I’m reading the Heroes of Olympus series and despite the many pairings in that arc (there’s Jason/Piper, Hazel/Frank and Leo/Calypso) I still love Percy and Annabeth together. Reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I felt like I watched them grow. They were 12 when the series started but they only ever got together by the end of the fifth book. Their love story wasn’t rushed. It started with a forced partnership, then they became friends. It was always hard to tell with Annabeth because at first I thought she was in love with Luke. In the end, they figured it out and it was swoon-worthy!

William Herondale, Theresa Grey and James Carstairs

I couldn't find a good fanart version of them together but I always really loved the covers of the books.

I couldn’t find a good fanart version of them together but I always really loved the covers of the books.

No, they are not a threesome, well, not in the way that you might think. Will and Jem are best friends, brothers, and Parabatai (it’s a Shadow Hunter thing). Tessa is not completely human, she has powers that can be dangerous. She falls in love with both of them. Reading The Infernal Devices was heart-wrenching. Will with his curse, Jem with his illness and Tess with her own problems – they were three of the most unfortunate characters and they all loved each other. Will was willing to suppress his love for Tessa for Jem’s sake. It was a complicated love triangle and although I was all for WIll, I’m glad Jem had a happy every after as well.

Simon Lewis and Isabelle Lightwood

I might not have thought the casting for the movie was spot on, but I actually like the Isabelle and Simon there.

I might not have thought the casting for the movie was spot on, but I actually like the Isabelle and Simon there.

Another pair from Cassandra Clare’s shadowhunter series. This time it’s the Daylighter (a sort of Vampire) and the kick-ass shadowhunter (and heartbreaker). It started with Izzy simply playing Simon. Simon loved Clary at first and he tried to make her jealous. Obviously, the jealous thing didn’t work out and Isabelle really fell in love with him. It’s a funny story and super cute. I feel sad remembering what happened in the end.

Prince Ash of the Unseelie Court, Meghan Chase and Robin Goodfellow

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A cute chibi-fied fanart. Adorable!

So, I’ve been re-reading the Iron Fey Series by Julia Kagawa and I still love it a lot. I can say the same for the series love triangle between the Prince of Winter, the Princess of Summer and the Summer Court Jester. I honestly admit I’m on Team Ash but I cannot hate Puck…ever! He is the sweetest, most loyal friend a girl could have. Sometimes I wonder why Meghan doesn’t pick him but I also really love her relationship with Ash. Theirs is a forbidden love story that I really think is meant to be. Cliche or not. While Puck is easier to love: best friend, same court and all that, Kagawa shows us that love doesn’t work that way. You don’t fall in love because it’s easy, you fall in love because, even if it’s hard, you’re willing to do everything, go against everyone, to be with the one you love. On a completely unrelated note, I am secretly wishing I can have Puck for myself, instead.

Strangely I can’t remember the other pairs since I started this on a whim. But this will be updated, much like my Kick-ass Female Characters post.

Girl Power: My Personal List of Kick-ass Female Characters

I would have said “heroines” but not all kick-ass female characters are necessarily the lead (though there are many strong-willed, I-am-so-not-a-damsel-in-distress protagonists too).

1. Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

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This isn’t in chronological order but Hermione is the first on the list for a reason. That reason being I have a big girl crush on Emma Watson (who played Hermione in the movie adaptation of the HP Series, though you probably already knew that.)

What I like about Hermione is that she’s independent from the start. Granted, when she was first introduced in the novel she was an insufferable know-it-all but that’s part of Hermione’s charm. The sorting hat knew that she wasn’t just an intelligent girl but also a brave one; why do you think she was sorted into Gryffindor and not Ravenclaw where all the smart people were? She is bookish and borderline nerdy-intelligent but she’s also fearless and in control of her life. Harry would not have survived his years in Hogwarts without Hermione. In book one, she helped him solve that weird potions riddle to get to where The Mirror of Erised was; in the second, she was there when Harry battled the Basilisk; in the third book, she was the one with the Time Turner so they could go back in time to save Buckbeak and Sirius; in the fourth, she taught Harry the Accio spell which helped him escape Voldemort in the end; and so on.

That’s why I think Hermione deserves to be on this list.

2. Beatrice “Tris” Prior from The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

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It would be the ultimate crime not to put Tris on this list. She’s simply the personification of kick-ass: Brave. Selfless. Intelligent. (Notice that those adjectives are the three factions she got on her aptitude test – Dauntless, Abnegation and Erudite – cool, right?)

She’s one of my favorite dystopian heroines and one I remember the most because she had the most unique ending. Her most notable kick-ass act is her sacrifice at the end of Allegiant (which I really didn’t expect but loved a lot – see my Divergent review here.) Overall, she’s very “martyr“, so whoever said chivalry was dead didn’t know that it all just went to Tris. Saving the boys (and the girls) is instinctive to Beatrice Prior.

Tris is one of the kick-ass heroines who figuratively and literally kicks ass.

3. Meghan Chase from The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa

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For me, Meghan is a mix between kick-ass and damsel-in-distress. She has two incredibly handsome dudes in love with her (namely Puck and Ash) and a father that a lot of people in the book fear, so she’s pretty much insured.

But, she’s not weak. She’s a fighter. She’s not afraid to go into another world to save her half brother from an evil entity nobody knows about. She’d barter her life for the sake of people she cares about. And she’s stubborn, impulsive and pretty much a vagabond princess.

Well, she’s isn’t just a princess of the Summer Fey. She’s also the Iron Queen, which is pretty badass. She’s half-human half-summer fey so she has both powers of iron and summer. Pretty cool as far as faeries go.

So, despite her tendencies to be a damsel-in-distress, I think Meghan still has the chops to be a kick-ass heroine therefore she’s in this list! And I wish they’d make this into a movie, I’d love to see some faery action on the big screen.

4. Lucinda “Luce” Price from The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

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Luce and Daniel’s love story is tragic. Falling in love over and over again only to lose each other in the end. Although it has been established that Daniel has it far worse than Luce (I mean, it’s also pretty painful to die in fierce heavenly (?) light) because he remembers everything and lives as an immortal while Luce is reincarnated every time. Ignorance is bliss right?

But I think Luce (her last incarnation) is a pretty strong-willed character. She wanted to understand her past with Daniel so she travels to the past using the shadows (which I forgot the name thereof.) Compared to her past selves, the last Luce was very independent and stubborn and ultimately kick-ass. She makes her own decisions and is not afraid to die. I love that she chose to lose her immortality for a lifetime with Daniel. It’s a brave choice, something I think fits Luce’s character like a glove.

5. Clare Abshire Detamble from The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

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Clare is very bright and very brave. She meets her future husband (naked) in a field behind her house. And she believes him when he says this and doesn’t run away. (I know I would have when an underdressed forty-year-old man appears out of thin air and tells me he’s my husband from the future.) Did I mention that Clare was only six-years-old when they first met?

And the stuff she has to deal with just by loving Henry? A time traveler who doesn’t know when he’ll go and where, who disappears suddenly and may or may not come back in time for their wedding. Luckily, a future Henry arrives to take his own place at the altar with Clare. I can’t go into too much detail because it’s been too long since I read the book but I know she was the strongest when she was trying to have a baby with Henry. After all those miscarriages (time traveler babies already know how to time travel even in the womb, scary right?), even Henry gives up on them ever having children, she refuses and when she’s finally blessed with a little girl (her name is Alba), I was so happy for her.

6. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Who could forget the girl on fire? I haven’t read the complete series (it’s long overdue, I know) but I’ve watched both films and I’d be watching the last one for sure, so I know how much Katniss kicks ass. She volunteers in her sister’s stead in Hunger Games to join a sick and twisted reality show that the government makes people watch because they’re sick and twisted people. Crazy, I know. Most dystopian fiction are crazy – that’s part of its appeal.

She was willing to do anything (even kill people who wanted to kill her) in order to keep her promise to her sister, which was come out of the games alive. She even rebelled against the government inciting revolution and sparking hope in the hearts of the oppressed people. She’s 75 years too late but better late than never right? That’s what I call girl power.

7. Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

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Izzy is a character that takes some warming up to. Especially in the first few chapters of the Mortal Instruments series because she acts like a bitch. Sometimes you’d love to hate her but you can’t because somehow her sass is appealing and refreshing. She doesn’t get along with Clary (main heroine) in the beginning. In fact, she tells Jace off for bringing her into the Institute. She warms up to her eventually, though, for plot reasons. And you’d think she’s obviously just playing Simon (not that he complained, of course) but as the series goes on, the readers get to know her better.

Isabelle Lightwood’s character was brilliantly developed. By the end of the series, you would not question why she acts a certain way or where she gets her strength from. She is strong-willed and a brave soul. Besides her awesome shadowhunter skills, I say she’s pretty and kick-ass. It also helps that she’s related to Will Herondale (one of my ultimate fictional guy crushes of all time).

8. Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Illustrated by palnk on Deviant Art

Illustrated by palnk

I’ve recently been reading Rick Riordan’s works and I am truly amazed by Annabeth. Annabeth Chase is the daughter of the Goddess of Wisdom herself, Athena. But she’s not just smart, she’s also kickass. She was able to save Percy from a lot of things during their quests and she was the only one who still believed in Luke even after everything. I was kinda scared about that part of the last book because I was shipping Annabeth and Percy. I’m glad to be right about them. They make a cute couple.

But anyway, she’s the daughter of a goddess, she can fight, she is smart — therefore she’s awesome!

Well, so far this is my list. I can add more in the future should I encounter a new female character that fits the bill or if I remember one that I forgot to add here. Onto the next book!

My 20 Promises To You

It’s not a book review but I can really really relate to this. He doesn’t even have to know I’ve promised this. I just have to make sure I keep them. ❤

Thought Catalog

Everett Collection / (Shutterstock.com) Everett Collection / (Shutterstock.com)

1.

I will be your sanctuary and a safety net to fall back on—all while praying that never will there be a time in life you’ll need me to be.

2.

I will love you when you insist on having a twirly mustache. And I’ll secretly hope it’s a phase you’re going through. But I’ll love you.

3.

If you’re ever bored with me, I will learn new things to spark your interest all over again.

4.

If ever you’re wrong, I will stand up on tiptoes and whisper it in your ears. But I will hold your hand throughout, because no one else in this world should believe in anything less than you being right. You will always be right. Anything else will be our secret.

5.

So you are never troubled, I will always answer all your questions about where I’m going…

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If I Stay and Where She Went: A Review

I picked up this series because I saw someone post the trailer on my Facebook Newsfeed. I watched it and got curious. I read the summary and eventually, I was interested enough to read the book.

I wasn’t disappointed. The premise was simple. The girl and her family got into an accident and she’s having an out-of-body experience where she has to decide whether to stay or die. Gayle Forman writes it a lot less morbid and a lot more heart-wrenching. It’s a book that will make you cry. I know I did because I am a crybaby.

What’s interesting about these books is how they’re told in flashbacks. Writing that way almost always leads to much confusion between past and present but somehow, Gayle Forman manages and it wasn’t confusing at all. The first book (“If I stay”) is narrated by Mia, the girl trapped in a coma. The second book follows Adam, her boyfriend, from where she went after she stayed alive (I find it funny that you can tell the story with the titles, lol.)

In my personal opinion, Where She Went was a lot heavier, a lot more dramatic, but that made the ending all the more touching and made the happy ever after sweeter. I loved both books and I can’t wait to watch the film adaptation after it comes out. I just hope it’s as good as the book. ❤