Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Lady Midnight--Cassandra Clare

Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry, 2016
Pages: 720 p.
Source: Library e-book
Compensation: None
Read: March 2016

Cassandra Clare's Lady Midnight

Oh, the FEELS.

I am officially proclaiming my membership in the Shadowhunter fan club. I wasn't sure how I would react to this book... I am a Jace/Clary fan and I found the Emma parts of the previous series to be a bit distracting. So I went into this new series a little hesitant. I mean, I knew I would read it, but would I love it? Would I respond to Emma the way I did to Clary?

I'm getting ahead of myself though.

Lady Midnight takes place five years after the events in City of Heavenly Fire. The Shadowhunters are trying to recover from Sebastian's treachery and the Dark War. 17 year old Emma is still trying to recover from the murder of her parents--blamed on Sebastian although she doesn't believe it--and bent on revenge. Afraid that she would be taken from the only family she's known, she agreed to be parabatai with Julian Blackthorn when she was just 12 years old. Julian's father was also killed during the Dark War and even though his Uncle has legal custody of him and his 4 siblings, Julian is the one who really takes care of both the family and the Institute. 

As parabatai, Julian and Emma have a sacred bond. One that prohibits romantic love. This isn't a problem until a series of events occur that push the two closer together. The Clave has laws that seem unjust and unnecessary, but sometimes their laws really are intended to protect Shadowhunters. But for Emma and Julian, it might be too late.

At the same time Emma and Julian are dealing with forbidden love, dead bodies have been turning up with cryptic writing on them--just like the writing found on Emma's parents. Some of the bodies have been fairies, so the Wild Hunt makes a bargain with the Blackthorns. If they investigate, they will release half-fey Mark Blackthorn from his service to the Wild Hunt and allow him to choose his own fate. Mark has been gone 5 human years, but countless fairy ones, so his transition back to the family is not as smooth as the younger Blackthorn siblings had hoped.

There are twists and big plot reveals that I am trying very hard not to spoil. It is going to be quite difficult waiting for the next book!

So, yes, I did fall in love with Emma and Julian. I did get swept up in the story and invested in their futures. Fans of the Shadowhunters will love this one as well. Those unfamiliar will want to read the earlier books. Although this is Emma and Julian's story, our favorites do make tiny cameos. Clary and Jace, Magnus, Jem and Tessa. Others are mentioned as well giving us updates on characters from the other series. I can't wait for the next one!

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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

See How They Run--Ally Carter

Title: See How They Run
Author: Ally Carter 
Publisher: Scholastic, 2015
Pages: 336 p.
Source: Library e-book
Compensation: None
Read: February 2016

Ally Carter's See How They Run

There are a few authors that I consider must-reads. I will read absolutely any and all of their books--Sarah Dessen, Melina Marchetta, Garth Nix, Rainbow Rowell. Ally Carter is quickly climbing to the top of that list. I hope she doesn't start publishing her grocery lists because I have enough to read.

I've read all of the Gallagher Girls, the Heist Society books, the short stories tying them together, and now her latest Embassy Row series. I loved loved all of her books, but I think that maybe Embassy Row might be favorite. It's difficult to say, but I think it's true.

See How They Run picks up the story right where All Fall Down left off. If you haven't read All Fall Down yet, get on it. Now. Go the library, go to Amazon, go where ever you need to go and get it read. This is not a pick it up in the middle type of series. I'm not responsible for spoiling you on All Fall Down if you continue reading this review.

In All Fall Down, Grace learns that almost everything she has believed has been wrong. She was right in that her beloved mother did not perish in a fire and was indeed shot to death. She was wrong in blaming the "Scarred man" for pulling the trigger. The Scarred Man *was* sent to kill her but was actually trying to save her. The truth is so much worse than what she feared--Grace is the one who fired the fateful shot. See How They Run deals with the aftermath of Grace's discovery and reveals the mystery surrounding Grace's mother is even deeper than Grace believed. The more that Grace learns, the more secrets she must keep from her new friends and her protective older brother Jamie. But as Grace digs deeper, she quickly realizes her own life is in danger and that some people are willing to murder to keep secrets from becoming known.

Grace is such a complex character. She is stronger than she admits, but also vulnerable. There are so many secrets and lies that she doesn't even know if she can believe herself anymore. Is she completely crazy? Or is she the only one who can see the truth?

There is so much in this book--Grace's complicated relationship with her older brother Jamie who comes to check on his fragile sister; Grace's relationship with her brother's best friend & her romantic interest Alexei; the political ramifications when Jamie's West Point roommate is murdered and Alexei is blamed. It is nearly impossible to put down See How They Run--the pages practically drip with intrigue. The story is gripping, the characters are gripping, the only downside is having to wait for Carter to release the next one. The ending of See How They Run will have you gasping for more.

I'm an Amazon Associate now. If you click on the Amazon links and buy anything I might make a tiny bit of money.

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