The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

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The Infernal Devices Trilogy
Author: Cassandra Clare
Total Pages: 1518
Overall Trilogy Rating:

★★★★☆

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 ✨SERIES OVERVIEW

Prequel series to The Mortal Instruments

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother. Her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

This was my first foray into the Shadowhunter world. I was not disappointed. Cassandra Clare’s writing is utterly addictive and I marathoned the whole trilogy in a couple of days.

THE BREAK DOWN✨

Book #1: Clockwork Angel

Tessa Grey goes to England in search of her brother. There she discovers shocking secrets about the world [gasp Shadowhunters exist!] and herself.

Solid intro to this new series. I love how C. Clare still took the time to set up the world for those who may not have read the Mortal Instruments (people like me). The pacing may have been a little slow but the budding love triangle just about killed me with frustration. Ugh!

Pages: 448
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Book #2: Clockwork Prince

With the help of her new shadowhunter friends, Tessa Grey discovers even more shocking secrets all the while going through a serious identity crisis.

Omg the plot literally thickens! (lol) As book two steams ahead more mysteries and plot twists are introduced to the story, making this a fantastic sequel. Was still very much annoyed by the love triangle which at this point was practically a living breathing thing yelling in my ear.

Pages: 508
Rating: ★★★★☆

Book #3: Clockwork Princess [aka the book that destroyed me]

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.
Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.
Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters (all the while the world’s greatest love triangle is played out!)

I can’t even.

Pages: 568
Rating★★★★★


OVERALL

The Infernal Devices

The very first thing I that comes to mind when I think of these books is: Love Triangles. Usually they’re frustrating as hell, and it this one started out that way but as the series neared the end  this one just blew my mind!

The start of the series was a little dull but I acredited that with the author setting up the story and the world. 1880s London is such a wonderful setting but the details of the world really impressed me. Cassandra Clare is an amazing world builder, she took this time period and somehow made it her own which is an incredible skill.

Getting into the second book the writing and story gets marginally better but the Will-Tessa-Jem love triangle still grates on the nerves a bit. Aside from that the pacing picks up as the gang tries to solve the mystery of Tessa and Mortmain and the Infernal Devices.

In the last book I finally come to terms with the fact that the Will-Tessa-Jem triangle would last till the end of the series. So it was about time to get over that and just enjoy the story. At first I was convinced Clockwork Princess wouldn’t affect me emotionally because I couldn’t seem to buy into the angst but then, like a brick wall slamming into me I broke.

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This book broke me so hard and put me back together. I don’t even know how it happened. One minute I was fine and the next I was a crying, blubbering mess.

To be honest the third book just completed the entire series for me. It was just such a satisfying finale, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. It was almost too perfect the way everything wrapped up but I’m not complaining!

I’m not sure if Im ready to tackle The Mortal Instruments yet. Someday I probably will because I know at some point the two series imterwieve and then merge into Lady Midnight. It all seems so cool but 6 (?) book series is pretty intimidating…

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Author Interview w/ M. Tara Crowl + Giveaway!

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Whats up bookworms, for this post I was lucky enough to interview M. Tara Crowl, author of the middle-grade series Eden of the Lamp.
Click here to skip ahead to the giveaway!

A Little Bit About the Author:

mtaracrowl

Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

The Interview:

Q. First things first Eden’s Escape released last year, could you tell us what the book series is about for those who don’t know?

edenswishEden’s Escape is the second book in the Eden of the Lamp series, which is about a twelve-year-old genie named Eden. In Eden’s Wish, which was published by Disney-Hyperion in 2015, she escapes her lamp, comes to Earth, and poses as a regular girl. There, she makes friends with mortals and tries to pretend that she’s one of them. But while she’s in the midst of trying to make friends and fit in at school, things become more complicated when she finds herself in the middle of a battle between dissenting groups of immortal genie alumni.

In Eden’s Escape, which came out last year, Eden changes history by being the very first genie to come to live on Earth while she completes her career. That means she can still be summoned anywhere in the world to grant three wishes, any time the lamp is rubbed. She finds herself in New York City with a genie alum named Pepper who becomes her new guardian. Before long, she’s whisked away for a granting that goes very wrong. She escapes the wisher, realizes she’s in Paris, and goes on the run. But she has to find a way to go back and retrieve the lamp in order to save her masters and the lamp’s legacy.

Q. Is middle grade the only genre you will write in or would you branch out into other genres, say young adult?

I wouldn’t say that I’ll only write middle-grade books. Young adult is a definite possibility in the future!

Q. Why did you write a book series like Eden of the Lamp? Was it because you have particular children in mind whom you want to read it or simply for the pleasure of writing the story?

I didn’t have specific readers in mind. It was just a story that came into my imagination, that I became determined to tell.

Q. Did you have a hand in creating your book covers?

The covers were designed by an artist named Erwin Madrid that the publisher hired. I did have the opportunity to discuss them with my editor and share my thoughts after seeing initial sketches, but I wouldn’t say I had a hand in creating them.

Q. Is writing middle grade hard? You know, making the “voices” of the characters sound the ages they’re supposed to? Keeping the language age appropriate?

For me, that aspect of it has not been difficult. In these books, my protagonist is twelve years old, so when I wrote them, I had the perspective of a twelve-year-old. The voice and language stemmed pretty organically from that. I think that to write authentic stories, staying true to your protagonist’s perspective is key.

Q. Is there any story that inspired this book series?

Yes, in a way. The idea came to me while I was listening to the audio book of Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. It mentions the prospect of meeting a genie and being able to make three wishes. But that day, I started to imagine what it would be like to be a genie. I thought that being trapped inside an oil lamp would be horrible! You’d have no friends, no fresh air, and no freedom. You could only go to Earth when someone rubbed the lamp, and your trip would be over as soon as you’d granted their wishes. You’d have no power whatsoever in your own life.

From there, I started to dream up the character of Eden, and then I began to imagine her world. That was when Eden’s Wish began to take shape.

Q. Are you working on another book in this series?

No, not at the moment.

Q. Are you influenced/inspired by any particular authors?

Roald Dahl, Madeleine L’Engle, J.K. Rowling, Kate DiCamillo, and many others.

Q. What drew you into writing a middle grade series?

The middle-grade space made the most sense for the story I wanted to tell, and it was a natural fit for me as a writer. When I was a tween, reading played a huge role in shaping who I was becoming and the way I saw the world. When I write for that age group, I think I return to that place.

Q. Are you a full time author?

No, I also work at a restaurant that my husband owns in our neighborhood.

Q. Do you have advice for aspiring authors?

Pay attention to your life, and experience it as fully as you can. Learn from your experiences, hardships, and relationships. Let your heart grow from them. The things that are most familiar to you have the power to give you the unique perspective that no one else in the world can ever have. Be honest, and be brave!

Q. Disney Hyperion is a pretty big publishing house. Was it easy or hard to get your book published by them?

When my agent took Eden’s Wish out to publishers several years ago, my editor-to-be at Disney was eager to work together on it, and I thought it was a great place for the book to be. I’ve had a wonderful experience working with them, so I’m grateful for the way it came together!

THE GIVEAWAY!

One signed hardback copy of Edens Escape (Eden of the Lamp #2) is up for grabs. The giveaway is open to US/CA addresses only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A bit about the book:

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Eden’s Escape
(Eden of the Lamp #2)
By M. Tara Crowl
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Released: September 6, 2016

Eden’s new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who’s also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting–only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world’s leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp’s power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly’s plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris–home to Electra’s headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound


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Favorite Books of 2016

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I suppose its that time of year now, when we bookworms collectively reminisce on our best bookish experiences of the year. These are my favorite books of 2016.

(This, ladies and gents is going to be a long one so I suggest you get comfortable…)

*This list is made up of books I read into 2016, not necessarily books released in 2016
*This list is not arranged in any particular order

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RED RISING by Pierce Brown

220px-red_rising_%282014%29Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Holy cow, this was a good book!  I read it sometime in the middle of the year and it immediately became my favorite book in the galaxy.

Pierce Brown takes everything awesome about Roman mythology (the brutality, the political head-games) and combines it with a kickass young adult dystopian plot. The result is something truly unique. Definitely recommend this one!

 🌸🌸🌸🌸

EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire

9780765385505_custom-f5a6896c76bab91434bb389e0c5eae3ff2599afb-s300-c85Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Every Heart a Doorway is a short story and yet it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read! Seanan McGuire did such an amazing job with this one; the writing was absolutely superb and the story itself was such a breath of fresh air. A unique little fantasy I wish everyone would try!

 🌸🌸🌸🌸

THE INFERNAL DEVICES TRILOGY by Cassandra Clare

7171637When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them.

As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Oh man, The Infernal Devices, I don’t even know what to say about this beautiful mess. Such amazing writing by C. Clare. To be honest the Jem-Tessa-Will love triangle was a little exhausting but that didn’t seem to matter while I was reading the last book because I was bawling my eyes out!

🌸🌸🌸🌸

PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken

20983362In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies-and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship wecomes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them —whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

Passenger was a really great book! I expected nothing less from the woman who gave us The Darkest Minds Trilogy. I love how this book has some amazing diverse characters, it really set the story apart from the others. Simply loved it!

🌸🌸🌸🌸

THE BRONZE HORSEMAN by Paullina Simons

6323104The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

I don’t even know how to talk about The Bronze Horseman. The book is so raw and heartbreaking.

This was the first historical fiction book I ever picked up and I remember thinking that it was going to be so dull. Yet I ended up loving the book and learning so much about World War 2 in Russia.

🌸🌸🌸🌸

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis

28510711Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.
Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the
language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.

As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Another raw story. Mindy McGinnis was not afraid to touch on subjects society had deemed “taboo”. The Female of the Species is not a pretty book, it is harsh and it delivers the truth unflinchingly. I absolutely loved it and I applaud McGinnis for bringing this into the world. We need to change our way of thinking and this book helped me do just that.

🌸🌸🌸🌸

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS by M. L. Stedman

13158800After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where thr supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

It seems I liked being sad this year! The Light Between Oceans is another heartbreaking story about life, love and loss. Its about how good people sometimes make bad decisions. Its about deciding when to let go and when to keep fighting. But mostly it’s about love.

🌸🌸🌸🌸

SIX OF CROWS DUOLOGY by Leigh Bardugo

23437156Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him
rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first

I don’t think I need to explain this one! The entire bookish community went crazy over this duology, and for good reason: it’s fucking amazing! Great characters, great world, Leigh Bardugo is queen…

🌸🌸🌸🌸

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas

26073150Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save
Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world torn apart.

A Court of Mist and Fury is The-Greatest-Sequel-that-Ever-Lived! Sarah J. Maas has this gift of taking one story and then smashs it up and uses the ashes to build an even greater story. I don’t know how she does it but her stories only ever go up never down.

🌸🌸🌸🌸

MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD: THE SWORD OF SUMMER by Rick Riordan

15724396Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met – a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

 

And lastly, Magnus Chase! I’ve read a ton of Rick Riordan books and this was most definitely the best. Norse mythology isn’t as popular as the other two main types so I’m glad Rick Riordan dug deep and pulled this story out. It made this list because it’s hilarious and full of adventure: everything I love from Riordan…

Vehicles [From Books + TV] I Would Love to Take for a Spin

awesome-cars

Va va voom bookworms! This post is all about the cars; beautiful cars from beautiful books and tv! I got this post idea when I heard about a company called Turo. A little bit about the company: Turo is a peer-to-peer car sharing service that allows you to rent out cars from regular BMW’s to the Aviato minivan (you know from the Silicon Valley tv show?!) Check out their rentals page for more dits.

Back to the cars:

In Books

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1. Twilight by Stephanie MeyerEdward Cullens Volvo S60R:

volvo
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Yes this takes me back to my diehard twiheart days. My inner fangirl used to scream at the thought of taking a spin in this stupid shiny volvo! And you know what, let’s just include all the Cullen cars that appeared in the books, I distinctly remember a Ferrari somewhere in there at one point!

🚘🚘

2. The Great Gatsby by F. S. Fitzgerald –  Jay Gatsby’s Yellow Rolls Royce:

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I don’t know exactly what model it was, just that it’s old and yellow. In the Leo DiCaprio movie you’ve got classy and flashy all in one package, of course I would love to take such a car for a drive! Hopefully not hitting any bodies along the way!

🚘🚘

3.  Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. JamesChristian Grey’s Aston Martin:

Fifty Shades of Grey
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Now say what you want about Fifty Shades of Grey but the man Christian Grey drove a wicked car!

🚘🚘

4. The Darkest Minds by Alex BrackenBlack Betty

Even though Black Betty was just a rusty old minivan I would love to take it for a spin just to hang out with the whole Darkest Minds gang #bookishsquadgoals!

In Movies

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5. The Batmobile (Batman franchise):

Barmob
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Ben Affleck’s (as batman) batmobile of course because hot damn who wouldn’t want to take this monstrosity out for a spin.

🚘🚘

6. Bumblebee (Transformers franchise):

Camaro
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This is probably the first movie car I ever had a cargasm over 🙈🙈! Bumblebee is one sexy camaro! Woudn’t you love to drive this around? Wouldn’t you??? 😄


That’s it folks!

What are some of your favorite cars from books/movies? Let me know in the comments! Plus be sure to check out Turo!
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Update: Comments and Email Subscription

This makes me so angry but this morning I checked the comments section of my blog and found a whole bunch of comments marked as spam. I don’t know how this is happening but I’m sorting it out. I’m just mad  at WordPress because you guys were nice to stop by my lil ol’ blog and drop a comment and it must have seemed like I was ignoring you. I’ll be responding to all the comments (hopefully it’s not too late) and I’m sorry if you commented on something and I didn’t respond, it was not intentional! I have the Blogger Commenting Back button in my sidebar and I didn’t put it there for funsies.

Anyway, another issues I discovered while going through these comments was that people were trying to subscribe by email but couldn’t find a way to do so. I have the follow by email button in the sidebar but in case you couldn’t see it I’ll make it more visible by placing it at the top of the sidebar. I hope that helps anyone interested in following me that way!

If you’ve got any questions/suggestions comment below or email me at sunsetsandbookfests@gmail.com

You can also:

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