Thursday 30 October 2014

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments, Book Five
Publisher: Walker Books
Format: Paperback
Published8th May 2012
Number of Pages: 560
Book: Bought
Genre: Dark Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Drinking, Death, Faerie Drugs, Swearing
No Alcohol References
Author's Blog: Cassandra Clare

WARNING: This Will Be A Rambly And Long Review From A Crazy Fangirl.  Said Fangirl Has Tried To Cut This Review Down.  She Has Failed.  Miserably.
Oh, And There Will Be Spoilers.
You Have Been Warned.

Jace is now a servant of evil, bound for all eternity to Sebastian.  Only a small band of Shadowhunters believe he can be saved.  To do this, they must defy the Clave.  And they must act without Clary.  For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone.  The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul.
Clary is willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him?  Or is he truly lost?
What price is too high to pay, even for love?

We’ll start with a little rambling, before the spoilers (and more rambling) begins…
City of Lost Souls is engrossing, all consuming.  I left the house without it and nearly went stark raving insane wondering what would happen next.  It's one of those books that you simply can't put down without going round the bend!  If you're planning on reading any book in this series, make sure you clear out a whole day or two so you can read it without distractions!  Or, unlike stupid ol' me, DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!!
Spoilers begin now…
"Kill me, little sister.  Kill me, and you kill Jace, too..."
Jace Wayland disappeared the night Lilith died – along with her and Valentine's son Sebastian, the boy with ebony eyes and demon blood in his veins. 
The Clave has been searching for them ever since and Clary has almost killed herself with worry.  She thinks she's imagined the worse until she runs into Jace and Sebastian. 
And sees that Jace... isn't her Jace anymore.  He's evil, bound to Sebastian forever. 
Everyone thinks he's beyond saving.  Believes he's evil now too. 
Apart from the ones closest to him, the ones willing to do anything to get their Jace back.  Even if it means breaking every single rule ever made
Or, in Clary's case, risking her life to get more information, risking Jace's soul, as she tries to find a way to bring him back to her...
Y'know how you pick up a book cause you can't sleep and want to find out how it starts, and then end up reading two hundred odd pages and stay up til three AM?  CoLSSo that book.  Really I should have known better; after all, Clare has kept me reading way into the night before.  Really I only have myself to blame, thinking I would be able to stop reading a book with Jace Wayland and Magnus Bane and Simon Lewis in for any other reason than I was about to pass out from exhaustion.  Stupid Meg!  But, man, was it worth it!  I couldn't put it down (lack of sleep fainting aside) and was totally absorbed and invested in the plot and characters.  This series will never get old to me, not when there are so many wonderfully snarky characters and such a kickass world I've already got my bags packed, ready to move there like right now!  But how, how, how am I meant to wait months and months and months for the next book?!  Damn stupid waiting!  I need more: NOW!!
The characters…  I’m sorry, but I warned you about the rambling, people…
Jace, even with your evil on you are utterly irresistible.  And seeing Izzie's memories of Jace as a kid – just break my heart why don't you!  I love Jace so much – even twisted Jace.  But is it wrong that I love the not-Jace?  He still has the snark and wit...
Oh, who cares.  That boy is darn irresistible. 
Clary Fray...  I like Clary, I really do.  But are you an idiot?!  C'mon, self-destructive much?  Still, I love how much tougher and kickass she's gotten, how awesome she is at fighting.  Well done Clary!  But she was selfish.  Clary, Clary, Clary.  Why, why, oh why did you have to become one of those girls?
Magnus Bane, oh, how I love you!  He is so cute and funny and eccentric and just so... Magnus!  He is just my favourite!  He makes me giggle and he really brought humour into otherwise crappy situations.  He himself said that he was "not a hero", but he loved Alec enough to stay and fight.  I love him so much for that. 
And Simon, oh how I adore you!  Sweet, loving, warm, so, so human Simon who is just the best-hearted person in the whole book.  He’s really the hero of the story, the one who was pure and sweet and good and... well, I just love my "Warrior of Heaven"!
I love Izzy, the fierceness and how she's totally independent, would do anything to help the ones she loved.  She may look cold and hard, but she's so vulnerable inside, beneath the hard-ass-ness of her – and beneath the whip, too!
Oh, Alec!  I love you so much but don’t do that!  Stupidity aside, my heart broke to see how horrid the other Shadowhunters treated him – they aren’t open-minded when it comes to sexuality…
Sebastian...  I hate him!  He is an even better villain than Valentine – meaning, he's even MORE dreadful!  He has such believable motivations and reasons for his craziness – but don’t think that I don’t want to jump into the book and muder him dead!  He was truly intriguing and terrifying!
I adore all of the characters in this book, but I just loved how some of the more minor characters got starring roles in this.  I loved getting to know some of the characters I didn't really know that well before.  Maryse Lightwood really came through for me: how much she loved Jace just really made me warm to her.  I loved Simon's sister Becky: she was so sweet and added a perfect feel to the story.  
And I love the couples in this book.  Simon and Izzie were perfect, even if they weren't exactly 'official'.  Jace and Clary I've always loved 'cause they belong together.  But Magnus and Alec were my all-time favourite.  They were PERFECT!  And so darn cute! If they don't work out, I will cry my eyes out.  I'm warning you two!  The 'bromance' between Sebastian and the not-Jace was intriguing.  I hated what Sebastian had done to Jace, but their banter made me laugh nonetheless!
Oh and how the hell does Clare write in the way that makes me unable – like, physically unable – to put down her books?  How does she make me feel like I'm right there in the world, with all the others, like I'm a Shadowhunter too and there for the action?  I've decided how.  Cassandra Clare is MAGIC
And COLS may have had the best plot of the series.  It was just non-stop and super-fast, and I loved how some of my favourite minor-ish characters got their own chunk of the story line. COLS was just jam-packed with subplots and suspense.  It was addictive and could so easily have been confusing, but it just wasn't.  However, the problem with following many various characters' stories is that there will inevitably be some you don't like as much and some you to find and carry on with their story.  Though they grew on me, the ones I wasn't so excited about were Maia and Jordan.  The ones I skipped for?  Always Jace and Clary.  And also Magnus and Alec.  And Simon and Izzie.  It's not that I didn't like the Jordan-Maia scenes, some were actually pretty hot, just that I didn't feel as connected to them, as fond of them.  Nonetheless, this book addictive!  It was fast-paced and exciting and absorbing.  Perfection! 
And God, I wanna move to this world.  Like, so bad it's driving me insane!  I wanna be a Shadowhunter, have a Seraph blade and kick demon butt!  Book Fairy, PLEASE let me wish my way into this world!  PLEASE!
It's honestly crazy how much I love this series.  If you ask me, it just keeps on getting better and better.  I know there are fans who disagree, but I love it so, so much.  I guess those are the ones who thought it was just a trilogy and never thought more books would come out.  I always thought it was a series and read it as such.  I just adore everything about this series – and this book. 
Sure, there were not-so-good bits, but the story and characters and world just outshine everything and anything.  It's almost intoxicating.  God, I love it...  But, WHY, WHY, WHY must I wait a year for the next book!?!?!  I'm going to go insane!
Ok, I could go on and on and on about this book – well, more than I already have.  I loved it so much I'm not sure if all my rambling has even done this incredible book justice.  I loved it do much I couldn't put it down, couldn't stop reading until I passed out from exhaustion.  And now I've begun the rambling again...  What I was trying to say was that this book, this amazing, pure awesome book, is so good I can't even tell you.  So all I'm gonna say is read it.  Read the series – PLEASE.  I know you'll love them just as much as me – how COULDN'T you?!  So please, even if you're sick of paranormals or don't like them, please, please, please read these.  I'll love you forever if you do!

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rephaim by Paula Weston
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading


Tuesday 28 October 2014

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Series: Blue Bloods, Book One
Publisher: Atom
Format: Paperback
Published22nd February 2010
Number of Pages: 336
Book: Bought
Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural, Urban Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Suspense, Action Adventure, YA, YA-Adult Crossover
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing, Smoking, Alcohol, Drug and Sexual References
Author's Site: Melissa de la Cruz

Blurb From Amazon: 
They're Young, Fabulous and Fanged…
And they rule Manhattan from the trendy uptown clubs to the downtown boutiques. Fifteen-year-old Schuyler Van Alen has never quite fit in at her exclusive prep school - she's more of a vintage than a Versace girl - but all that's about to change…
Because Schuyler has just found out she's a Blue Blood. The Blue Bloods are the city's glamorous - and secret - vampire elite. They're young, beautiful and powerful. But now they're being murdered. And Schuyler must find out who - or what - is behind it before she's next.

“You are the newest Blue Bloods.  Today is your induction into your secret history.  Welcome to your new life…"
Schuyler Van Alen goes to the prestigious Duchesne School – a school full of socialites and the ridiculously wealthy.  But even though the Van Alen family is so deeply intertwined with Manhattan history the two are indistinguishable, Schuyler has always felt like an outsider in her society.  
But, as it turns out, she's part of a group of outsiders.  A group of gorgeous, rich and powerful vampire elitists.
Schuyler is a Blue Blood – a vampire.  She's immortal – she will never die.  Understandably, it's a lot to take in.
Taking it all in gets a lot harder when the fellow Blue Blood and super-rich-and-popular Jack Force reveals that Blue Bloods – who, according to The Committee, cannot be killed; by anyone or anything – are being murdered.  Forever.   With no returning.
Something is hunting the Blue Bloods – an old and ancient foe that no one, especially The Committee, want to admit exists.  And it's hunting Schuyler now. 
Nothing is as it first seems.  No one are how they first seem to be.  And no Blue Blood is safe...
Man, I love this book!  I don't know what it is – it is just totally addictive!  And so original!  I absolutely adored the vampire lore – and my taste of high-society-American-life.  And all the mystery: damn, it was hooking!  Blue Bloods was like Gossip Girl meets Vampire Diaries meets CSI.  Awesome!  
And damn do I want to be a Blue Blood!  It’s just all so very cool!  Well, aside from crazies stalking them and blood lust and whatever...  And the weird twinny-thingy.  Still.  Minor technicalities…
Onto Schuyler...  I liked Sky.  She was weird, unique and wonderfully odd – oh, and funny, sweet and brave, too.  But mostly awesomely weird.  I like weird.  And I like a girl who always, always sticks to her guns – and Sky never backed down, not ever.  She was awesome.
Oh, and her best friend Oliver was brilliant too – he was such a sweetie.  But what is it with best friends crushing on other best friends who don't return their crush?  Seriously, people: what's with that?!  Even so, I loved Oliver.
I loved Jack too.  He was... yum.  Sure, he was very very easily manipulated (damn, his twin was evil!) but I still liked him a lot – he was so... noble, almost.  I guess that's what immortality does to you.  I'm intrigued about where he’ll go next.  But that bond with his sister?  Freaky with a capital F…  It also didn't help that I really wasn't overly keen on Mimi.  I just didn't like the girl – she was too reckless, too cold, too... Mimi.
But now I just have to gush about this world!  I mean, the vampire lore is some of the coolest and most original I've ever come across – I just gobbled it up!  And I so wanna be a Blue Blood!  The mythology is all so rich and detailed and wonderfully built up: I loved it and totally believed everything.  But onto the more... upper-class-ish side of the world building...
Now, as a total fashion bimbo, I must say that I don't get all the designer brand stuff.  So I will admit that the extensive name dropping and clothes description wasn't my favourite part of the story.  But then I was like, ‘Hey.  This is a book about the one-percenters and to them, this stuff is every day.’  The lavishness of everything just added to the high society atmosphere and made me feel, for a bit anyways, like a hot, fanged, rich-rich-rich girl with designer everything and immortality to boot! 
Seriously, can I be a Blue Blood?  
I found de la Cruz's writing irresistible.  It was so gorgeous and so utterly hooking.  I liked how we got to see from lots of people's perspectives, even if sometimes I wasn't overly sure whose head I was in at the time (it jumped occasionally within sections, which threw me a bit at times).  But even so: so utterly gorgeous.  
And as for the whole mystery, plot-line side: hot damn, it was awesome!  It was a little slow to begin with, but the suspense...  Well, it just built from the word go.  I was tugged right into the heart of the mystery, totally hooked and absorbed.  I could not stop reading – not  for anything.  And if anyone had tried to take my book away whilst I was reading...  Well, I would've ripped their arm off to get it back: I simply had to continue reading and I just had to know how everything ended.  And I must say, I was surprised by a lot of the twists.  Not all of them, but some.
So, if you haven't read Blue Bloods and are looking for an utterly different and unique take of vampires, this is for you.  But here's a little warning: you will not be able to put this book down no matter how hard you try, so don't expect to get much else done the day you read it.  God knows I didn't.  But don't say I didn't warn you guys: you will want to read it in one sitting and you will be dying to pick up Masquerade the second you put Blue Bloods down.
Speaking of, where the heck have I put my copy of Masquerade?  I simply must know what happens next!  I gots to know, people!  
What can I say?  I'm utterly hooked.

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Angel by L.A. Weatherly
Rephaim by Paula Weston
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Happy Reading