City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare: A reread review plus film rant!

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When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

When I first read this last year I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, or as much as other people expected me to. I didn’t dislike it, but I just wasn’t completely captivated by it. I enjoyed it enough to read the second book but I got distracted by a million other books after that and didn’t continue the series.

This time round however, I enjoyed it more. I forgot how funny Jace was (I found myself having a LOL frequently) and Clary didn’t annoy me as much, although it does still piss me off that she goes on and on about how much she loves Simon (as a friend of course) but always seems to forget he even exists or care how much danger she’s gotten him into.

I was impressed that Cassandra Clare’s story is based in our normal world but she’s created a whole new world within that, rich and complex and with its own history and by the end of the book we have one foot firmly in each side just like Clary does.

I also liked how religion and sexuality were portrayed in a ‘real’ and frank way. Clary questions Jace’s beliefs suggesting that if he believes in demons then he must believe in God.

“I’ve been killing demons for a third of my life. I must have sent five hundred of them back to whatever hellish dimension they crawled out of. And in all that time I’ve never seen an angel. Never even heard of anyone who has.”

My father believed in a righteous God…And when I saw him lying dead in a pool of his own blood, I knew then that I hadn’t stopped believing in God. I’d just stopped believing God cared. There might be a God Clary, and there might not, but I don’t think it matters. Either way, we’re on our own”

It’s clear to Clary that Alec is in love with Jace and I liked the fact that no one has an issue with it but they worry about the reaction from ‘the elders’ which definitely reflects our society at the moment. Naturally, the Jace/Alec bromance/unrequited attraction was hot!

Howwwwwever, the chapters dragged for me and seemed way too long than was necessary. I think it could have done with another edit to cut out some of the filler. And what is it with YA novels where the female protagonists are just so dumb when it comes to romance??? It’s like writers are scared of having a character who can admit to themselves that someone fancies them, as if we’ll think they’re vain or arrogant or something. They’re all like, ohmygod, why is he looking at me like that, he must hate me. Or, ohmygod he couldn’t possibly like me even though everything he has ever said or done has proved that he does.

None of it had been real anyway. Jace might be an exceptional kisser but he didn’t care about her at all. He’d said as much.”

Arrgh.

But other than that, I’m glad I gave this another go and will hopefully continue with the series at some point.

AND NOW FOR THE INEVITABLE FILM RANT ***MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD – 1ST BOOK ONLY****

Oh, where to start.

1. Never before have 3 hot men been made to look so unattractive. Whyyyyy? Jonathan Rhys Meyers is hot. Jamie Campbell Bower is hot. Robert Sheehan is hot. In City of Bones they look like this:
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robertsheehan

Not very hot.

2. The whole Simon not being turned into a rat thing: Isabelle was supposed to be much more of a bitch than she was in the film and was supposed to let Simon drink the blue drink that turns him into a rat. I don’t have an issue about him not becoming a rat, but why include the drink in that case? In this version someone spikes Simon’s drink and Isabelle tries to stop him drinking it. She fails…but it doesn’t do anything to him anyway. Pointless.

3. The vampire fight scene in the hotel was awesome but why does Simon say they kidnapped him to get the cup…why do they want the cup??? They were just trying to get revenge for them ruining their vampire motorbikes…which don’t exist in this version. Tenuous.

4. Magnus Bane…really? I was picturing a flamboyant, hot version of Elton John but we get this:
Godfreymagnus

5. Jace’s quips and sarcasm just didn’t translate. I’m assured that Jamie Campbell Bowers .. is a good actor but he was just wooden and flat.

6. The whole last 40 minutes or so just went batshit. Did they lose the script? What was Hodge doing? Why are we told that Valentine is just going to lie about Jace being his son – we’re all supposed to think it’s the truth the whole time- and why would Jace even believe him? He gave him no reason to. Plus how/why has Clary ended up with the Mortal Cup…Valentine is supposed to have it…therefore I have no idea what they’ll do for the next film….oh there’s not going to be a next film because this one did so badly. RAGE.

7. The kiss was pretty hot.

8. There was no homoerotic bromance going on between Alec & Jace. Which made me sad.

I’m sure I could go on but I won’t. I didn’t hate it, which is a feat. The action was good but it was way too long and lost its way towards the end. It provided me and Dora (Hi Dora – please add your additions below!) with many laughs however. All for the wrong reasons of course.

Here Endeth the Rant.

August on Lipsyy Lost & Found

Monthly Round-Up

August 2013

Total Posts: 20

New Followers: 27

Books Read & Reviewed (4):

  • The Black Dragon (The Mysterium #1) – Julian Sedgwick, 3/5 (Review)
  • Water (Akasha #1) – Terra Harmony,   3/5 (Review)
  • Throne of Glass (ToG #1) – Sarah J. Maas, 4/5 (Review)
  • The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton, 4/5 (Review)

Read; Yet to Review
Frost Hollow Hall – Emma Carroll
Hemlock Grove – Brian McGreevy

Favourites Fridays:
Most Fridays I have been posting about my favourite books or authors

Most Viewed Posts:

  1. WWW Wednesday 21/08/2013 (View Post)
  2. WWW Wednesday 07/08/203 (View Post)
  3. TTT #2 (Things that make life as a reader/blogger easier) (View Post)

Books Purchased: 
I’ve been really good this month. And when I say good, I mean broke.

1. Pollen by Aaron Lamb (Kindle Edition) A friend of a friend of mine wrote this. Amazon £4.11
2. Fearless – The Story of Samantha Smith by Devon Hartford (Kindle Edition). Currently only £0.74 on Amazon
3. Beginning of a Hero (Legends of Windmere) by Charles E. Yallowitz (Kindle Edition) This was free on Amazon but is now just £0.77

ARCs/Giveaways:
Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll via NetGalley

* MY BOOK OF THE MONTH*
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*MY COVER OF THE MONTH*

*MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH*

This was released on the 29th August, but I haven’t been able buy a copy yet so it’s the one I’m most looking forward to in September.

Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant #8) Out Now!

‘A lot of people are going to hate me’ – Derek Landy.

Ahhh!! I SRSLY can’t wait to get my hands on this!

Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads

War has finally come.

But it’s not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it’s a war between Sanctuaries. For too long now, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they’re going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making.

But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.

Published August 29th 2013 by HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks, Hardcover.

An Explosion, a Dwarf and a Missing Person: The Black Dragon (The Mysterium #1) by Julian Sedgwick

Click to view on Amazon
Click to view on Amazon

East meets West; past meets present; criminal minds meet skilled artists – welcome to the Mysterium, a circus with dark and thrilling secrets at its heart.

Twelve-year-old Danny Woo is half-Chinese, half-British. His parents are performers in the Mysterium. Following their death in a mysterious fire, Danny is sent to live with his aunt Laura, an investigative journalist. When Danny’s school is closed after an explosion, he joins Laura on a trip to Hong Kong. She is researching the Triad gangs; he is trying to understand more about his cultural background.

But Laura disappears, and Danny is plunged into a dangerous quest to find her – which opens the door on the past he could never have imagined, and which leads him to question everything he has ever known about his past.

I felt the same way about The Black Dragon on the whole as I felt about its protagonist, Danny. I liked him enough, and thought he was funny enough, but he just didn’t give me enough to keep me interested. I felt like his past was more interesting than his present which probably isn’t a good thing.

Danny grew up in a travelling Circus, The Mysterium, where his Dad was an escapologist and his mum a high wire acrobat. Prior to the events in The Black Dragon Danny’s dad dies in an under-water trick that he’d performed hundred times over, and shortly after their trailer is set on fire and his mum is killed too.

Under the care of his aunt Laura, Danny is just settling into a more traditional life and trying to get through the boredom of high school when an explosion goes off and Laura whisks him away to Hong Kong.

It’s not long before Laura is kidnapped leaving Danny and Zamora, an Italian Dwarf – a friend from The Mysterium days – to find Laura and find out how all of these things are connected.

As fun as this was, the whole way through I just wanted it to be about The Mysterium and didn’t really care about finding Laura. By the looks of it, the next book in the series might do just that, so I’ll definitely check it out when the time comes.

I enjoyed the characters here, especially Zamora, and the fast pace of the adventure was welcome but it didn’t have enough strings to its bow to really hook me. I do feel like this could improve in later books though.

Disclosure: I received a copy from Hodder Children’s Books via World Book Day
Details: Paperback, 340 pages, Published 2013 by Hodder Children’s Books
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Unicorns
Is it a keeper? Although I will check out the next book I’ve already added this to My Swapping List.
If you liked this try: Charlie’s Monsters by Dean Lorey. Similar in style…swap magic for monsters and viola!

Water (Akasha #1) by Terra Harmony: A Rant  Review

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Elemental powers in the palm of her hand…and it won’t be enough to save her. When Kaitlyn Alder is involuntarily introduced to a life of magic, she becomes part of an organization hell-bent on saving the Earth. Just as her new-found life holds promises of purpose, romance, and friendship, the organization divides and a rogue member holds Kaitlyn hostage. Now one of the most terrifying men the human race has to offer stands between her and Earth’s survival. Image and synopsis from Goodreads. Click the image to go there.

I was really fascinated by this book as it sounded new and different to me. I’ve also been a bit obsessed by the idea of eco-villages lately and part of me would love to just disappear somewhere, build my own hut and live a simple, non-materialistic existence so the eco part of this ‘Eco-Fantasy’ series excited me too.

Basically, Kaitlyn is harboring some serious elemental magic but doesn’t know it. Everywhere she goes, natural disasters follow which she was oblivious to until she is kidnapped by what can only really be described as a cult. A cult who want to save the save the world, no matter who gets hurt in the process. Excellent premise, yes? Well, yes, but unfortunately so many things didn’t work for me with this book.

For one, the way Kaitlyn was kidnapped was all good and exciting but she didn’t really seem to be that bothered about it. I mean, she had a bit of a rant, and was upset that they’d gone through her apartment and packed it up but she didn’t really hold it against them, and she definitely didn’t ever seem to want to leave.

If I’d been kidnapped by a cult who told me I was essentially their Goddess and they wanted to use me to help save the world I think I’d have a few more questions and doubts than she did. Maybe it was supposed to be a bit of the old Stockholm Syndrome going on, but she never really felt like a hostage, she just excepted that this was her life now. Odd.

Also, you can be forgiven for thinking this is a YA book because it certainly reads like one. The narration feels very ‘young’ which is pretty disturbing when the very non-sexy, sexy times start. I didn’t like that it was a given that Micah, ‘the love interest’ and Kaitlyn belonged together. They had barely said two words to each other and he’s kissing her to calm her down or something. Likely story. Plus, the fact that he’s just kidnapped her…oh it’s all a bit unrealistic really.

To me it sounded like all of the characters apart from Cato -the leader of sorts – were in their early teens. But at some point Shawn, the villain, is described and I realised that he was relatively old. I don’t want to give to any big spoilers away to those who don’t know but let’s just say that it was bad enough as it was, but then to realise that was pretty horrific. He was a great villain though, hats off to Harmony for that – it made for some very uncomfortable but riveting reading.

I really loved what a quick read Water was, and even with its faults it was interesting to say the least. It made me wish I knew more about elemental magic and the real science behind it so I could judge just how ‘fantastical’ some parts were.

There were a few laughs too – mainly from Kaitlyn’s quips – that I enjoyed, but then I also found myself laughing at parts that weren’t supposed to be funny. Like when Kaitlyn manages to make a whole coat (and shoes was it?) out of leaves from some candles. No really. Oh, and how after Shawn does the hideous thing they just seem too normal around each other.

And lastly (Wow, sorry I didn’t realise how many things I wanted to rant about in this book – I did enjoy it honest!) the way it ended left me a bit miffed. I felt like there were too many unsaid things, I needed closure. I needed Kaitlyn to spill all to Micah and see his reaction. But I guess that’s what book 2 is for….

After everything is said and done…I will definitely be reading the next in the series, Air. So Terra Harmony obviously didn’t do such a bad job. And I love a book I can rant about, if you haven’t noticed.

Details: Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 279 pages. Published September 26th 2011 by Terra Harmony
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Unicorns
Is it a keeper? Hmm not sure. I want to read the next one and see, but at the moment I’m glad I didn’t buy the paperback.
If you liked this try: The Skulduggery Pleasant Series for a child friendly adventure with some elemental magic thrown in.

WWW Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

Water (Akasha #1) by Terra Harmony.
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I’m not LOVING this so far but I have the feeling it is going to improve.

I’m also reading The Mysterium: The Black Dragon by Julian Sedgwick which I received from Hodder via World Book Day.

Click to view on Amazon
Click to view on Amazon

East meets West; past meets present; criminal minds meet skilled artists – welcome to the Mysterium, a circus with dark and thrilling secrets at its heart.

Twelve-year-old Danny Woo is half-Chinese, half-British. His parents are performers in the Mysterium. Following their death in a mysterious fire, Danny is sent to live with his aunt Laura, an investigative journalist. When Danny’s school is closed after an explosion, he joins Laura on a trip to Hong Kong. She is researching the Triad gangs; he is trying to understand more about his cultural background.

But Laura disappears, and Danny is plunged into a dangerous quest to find her – which opens the door on the past he could never have imagined, and which leads him to question everything he has ever known about his past.

Just Finished I finished Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas which I loved. I’ll get a review posted soon.

Up Next: Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy
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An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.
The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.Leave a comment with your link 🙂