Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

Authors: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Number of Pages: 698

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Where I acquired this book: Amazon

When I read this book: March 15 2016

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 10

Pace: 8

Plot Development: 9

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 9


As a huge fan of Cassandra Clare, I obviously had to pick up this new installment in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. This novel follows Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn children, who were introduced in City of Heavenly Fire. I was a little apprehensive about this book, because I wasn’t Emma’s biggest fan in CoHF, mostly because her chapters took time away from our main characters from TMI, but I was clearly wrong. Emma and all of the Blackthorns were well written and easy to fall in love with, though I will say that after reading them in CoHF, they will always be that little in my head (which makes things a little strange during certain scenes for me).

Emma is like a mini-Jace, and it’s a nice change to see our main female character so sure of herself in the Shadow World. Both Clary and Tessa in TMI and TID were introduced to the Shadow World in their respective series, but Emma already knows what she’s doing, so we don’t have to go through another recap of the world. On that note, if you have not read TMI, I would not recommend reading Lady Midnight until that is rectified. There are some major spoilers to TMI, and TID for that matter, in TDA since it is a sequel series of sorts. *****FROM THIS POINT ON THE DISCUSSION OF LADY MIDNIGHT WILL SPOIL THE ENDING OF TMI***** Even though Emma is confident in the Shadowhunter part of her life, she is far from flawless, which is nice to see. She gets to deal with the loss of her parents and some of her deep seated fears. Moving on to the Blackthorns, Julian is the sweetest older brother ever, and it warms my heart to see how he takes care of all of his younger siblings. Cassie also addresses some of the issues we were left with about the older Blackthorns, Helen and Mark. While Helen isn’t discussed a lot, we get to find out a lot more about Mark and how his time in Faerie has affected him. We even get the chance to see more about Faerie in general, especially in the wake of CoHF and the Seelies Queen’s betrayal of the Shadowhunters. Dru isn’t a major part in this book, but what I do like is that she is portrayed as a plus-sized character in a world of super athletic shadowhunters. I know someone personally who exercises more than I do and eats better food, but still weighs more than me, and I know it lowers her self-esteem, so it’s nice to have a character who weighs a little more, despite her best efforts. It shows people that weigh and physique are not always a choice and that it doesn’t mean someone is unhealthy simply because they weigh a little more. Another more diverse character we get is Ty, who is autistic. This is my first time reading about an autistic character, and I found it fascinating. I don’t know anyone who is autistic, but from what I have heard from other reviews by people who do know someone like Ty, Cassie has made a fairly accurate portrayal of this type of autism (since I know that it is a wide spectrum and not every person with autism is like Ty). I think it is a great idea to have more characters with mental illnesses, because, like with Dru, it shows how people are more than this single piece of them. Ty is one of the most intelligent people there and the sweetest Blackthorn in my opinion, accepting everyone for exactly who they are. Seeing Livvy interact with her twin was one of my favorite parts of the whole family being together. Besides maybe Julian, she is the only one who truly understands Ty, so it’s nice to see how they interact, and I can’t wait to see how their relationship is expressed in later books. The last Blackthorn we have is Tavvy, who I will always picture as a two-year-old, even though he’s much older, but that’s about all I have to say about him, because he isn’t exactly a major character. Besides the main family, we are introduced to Christina Rosales, who is studying at the LA Institute from the Mexico Institute, I believe. She and Emma are practically best friends, and once again we get to see a strong female friendship from Cassie. It’s so important to portray to strong women who support each other and talk about other things than boys. Then we have Diana, who is their mentor and “trainer” (I can’t think of the right word right now), like Hodge was in TMI. Unfortunately, like Hodge, she has a secret that we have no idea about. I am both excited and nervous to find out what that secret is in a later book. Sorry about the long character rant here, but they are, in my opinion, the most important part of the book, and I could no longer hold in my love for all of them. I know I missed some crucial people, but I don’t want to spoil certain events in the book.

It was also interesting to get to see a new institute in this series. Lady Midnight takes place in L.A., which we haven’t seen in other Shadowhunters novels. Los Angeles is a place that I have always wanted to visit, and the gorgeous portrayal of it, both real and fictional, makes me want to visit even more.

This review has gotten really long, so I’m going to wrap it up here. Overall, I adored this book and would recommend it for any and all Shadowhunters fans, under the stipulation that you have read TMI and TID first. You don’t have to read them to enjoy this novel, but if you have any plans to read them, it should be before you pick up Lady Midnight.

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 5 stars

If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought below! Who’s your favorite Blackthorn?



Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros

I did want to quickly preface this review by saying that I did receive this book for review; however, this in no way affected my review of this book. Also, this post is part of the blog tour for Project Pandora, hosted by Chapter by Chapter, so you should go check them out, along with the other wonderful blogs as a part of the tour. There will by other reviews and promotions up on other blogs that I’m sure you’ll all enjoy.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass…

Authors: Aden Polydoros

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Number of Pages: 300

Genre: Mystery (???)

Where I acquired this book: Net Galley

When I read this book: July 8-16, 20117

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 6

Pace: 7

Plot Development: 7

Characters: 6

Enjoyability: 8

Ease of Reading: 8

Although my ratings may seem a little low, I did actually enjoy this book. It was exactly what I needed to read, since it was a quick read that I didn’t have to focus to much on, which was great, since I was mostly reading in the car while we were going to my college orientation. The action started immediately, so there were no introductions to characters or anything, and it had been a while since I had received the book before I read it, so I went in knowing basically nothing about this book. In my opinion, that is the best way to read it, since the characters don’t know much in the beginning either, so it’s easiest to just catch on with them. One of my biggest complaints about this book, though has to be the character development. Most of the characters felt two-dimensional to me, and by the end I realized that I didn’t even ship half of the canon ships. There was so much jumping around between POVs and changing personas that I didn’t get a good idea for who the characters are. I will acknowledge that most of the characters don’t know who they are, themselves, but I felt no connection to a majority of them. On the flip-side, I did enjoy reading about Hades character, and I wish we saw more of him (and hope he continues to play a major role in the coming books). My liking to him may have come from the fact that he was the only character who was always himself, which proves my early assertion as to why the others didn’t really click. By the end, Hades had me questioning things not only about the story, but about my own life and going deeper into things than I’m sure the author intended. I almost wish Hades was the only POV, but then we would’ve missed out on a lot of the rest of the story. For the most part, I flew through this book in the car, but I will say there are a few slower spots, where I had to power through. The ending, for me, could’ve been better, but I can see the potential for coming books.

I would recommend this book to someone who is looking for a quick YA read, to maybe fill the time between releases, since you don’t have to make a huge commitment to the characters to truly enjoy it.


OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 3 stars

This book just came out on August 1st, let me know below if you’ve read it. Who was your favorite character? If “Zeus” renamed you, which god/goddess would you be named after?


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Knopf

Number of Pages: 608

Genre: Mixed Media/Sci Fi

Where I acquired this book: Anderson’s Bookshop

When I read this book: March 2 2016

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 10

Pace: 10

Plot Development: 10

Characters: 9

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10


Just seeing the cover of this book, immediately intrigued me. It is just absolutely gorgeous and so is every single page within. Having never read a mixed-media novel before, I had no idea what to expect, nor what I would think of it. I actually went into it with little knowledge about it at all, including the plot, which may not have been the best approach, but it worked out for me. It was a little hard in the beginning to catch on, since you’re basically thrown right into the middle of the action and expected to just pick it up as the story progresses, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I personally love books where everything finally clicks into place at the end when you get that last kernel of information, so the plot of this book was totally up my alley. I was a little nervous about the way the story is told, since it isn’t a linear story line, but I honestly didn’t have trouble keeping up once I got the hang of things. In fact, jumping around so much enhance the plot line for me. I adored how sassy Kady and Ezra were! And AIDAN may be one of my all time favorite characters now!!

I definitely recommend this book to any hard core sci-fi lovers out there. I’m not a huge sci-fi person myself, but it is probably an acquired taste. If you’re looking for something new and exciting, I would give Illuminae a shot. Even if you don’t like it, it’ll look gorgeous on your bookshelves. XD

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 5 stars

If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought below! Also, if you have any mixed-media novel recommendations, I would love to hear them, since I have yet to find another book like this one.


Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: Harper Teen

Number of Pages: 444

Genre: High Fantasy

Where I acquired this book: Amazon

When I read this book: February 9 – March 2 2016

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 8

Pace: 8

Plot Development: 8

Characters: 9

Enjoyability: 9

Ease of Reading: 10


I absolutely hate to say this, but I was thoroughly disappointed in this book. After reading Red Queen and absolutely loving it, I expected nothing less from its sequel. One of the things I loved about the first book was how all of the characters had a purpose and were well-developed, and maybe it’s because it’d been a year now since I’ve read it, but when my friend was reading King’s Cage, I had no idea who she was talking about half of the time. The new characters in this book held no interest with me like the previous characters did. Even the older characters didn’t have the same intrigue they did in the first book. Cal was broody in the beginning, and while I semi-understand why it made sense for him, he took too long to come out of it, so it just became annoying. I was never a fan of Kilorn, since he seemed to be there as a reminder of Mare’s old life, and now he was just there to make her feel guilty or drive her stupid decisions. Don’t even get me started on Mare. Watching her discover her abilities and come into her new status in Red Queen was enthralling, but this book ruined all of that for me. She was whiny and useless throughout the majority of the book, and only returned to her kick-ass self towards the end, when it was conveniently too late in the story.

We did learn some new aspects of the world that saved the novel in my eyes. I hope the next book tries to focus more on their universe, because it is still interesting to me, since it is so unique, but the characters just aren’t doing it for me.

I have not yet been able to make myself pick up a copy of King’s Cage, and I’m not sure if I ever will.

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 3 stars

Let me know your opinion on this book if you’ve read it! Also tell me below if you think I should give King’s Cage a shot!


Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Author: Susan Dennard

Publisher: Tor Teen

Number of Pages: 416

Genre: High Fantasy

Where I acquired this book: Amazon

When I read this book: January 5-25 2016

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 9

Pace: 8

Plot Development: 9

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 9

Ease of Reading: 9

I was a huge fan of Susan’s first trilogy, Something Strange and Deadly (Here is my review of the finale Strange and Ever After), so I was ridiculously excited to read this new series. Picking it up I was a little skeptical, since it is still a huge jump (in my opinion) to go from historical fantasy to high fantasy, but after hearing her talk more about it at her signing, I was confident in her abilities. I was not disappointed at all. This book was refreshingly unique with a magic system that I have never seen before and a focus on the importance of friendship over romance. When I went to her signing in my hometown with Alexandra Bracken, a topic that was brought up several times in the discussion of their books was the Bechdel test, which if you’ve never heard of it before, is about whether a book has a conversation between two female characters that has nothing to do with the other male characters. At first I thought that it was a little ridiculous, because how many books really don’t pass this test? But after hearing this and rereading some of my favorite books, I was shocked at how common it really is to fail the Bechdel test. It was something I didn’t realize I missed until someone pointed it out to me and now I’m craving more books about strong female relationships. Safi and Isuelt work so well together, and no one can come between them. Romantic interests are introduced for the two characters, but it never overshadows the plot or their relationship with each other. Also, those two “love interests”, Merrick and Aeduan, have their own interests and plot points. It didn’t feel like there was a single character in this book who was put in just to drive a main character. Everyone and everything served its own purpose in the world outside of our characters, which gave the world as a whole a sense of realness, that I always appreciate in high fantasies and have found lacking in some other series.

I highly recommend this series to someone looking for a YA high fantasy with a well-developed world, strong female characters, and a kick-ass plot line.

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 5 stars

Let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought! Also comment any fantasy or sci-fi books that pass the Bechdel test for me to read soon!


Pottermore Sorting Hat Quiz

So since I am reading the Harry Potter books for the first time this year, I thought it would be fitting to take the official sorting hat quiz from Pottermore, especially because they recently updated it. 

Going into it I have always seen myself as a Ravenclaw because I care more about how I do in school and how much I know than anything else, but that is not what Pottermore thinks I am… Apparently I am a Gryffindor. Now I don’t have anything against being a Gryffindor, but I was definitely shocked. I am thinking about retaking it under a different email just to check, but yeah, I guess you learn new things about yourself everyday. 

Have you guys taken the new sorting hat quiz? What house are you in? Anyone else having a little identity crisis over what house they were sorted into?


Shadowhunters TV Show Review of Episodes 1 & 2

I was pleseantly suprised when I was watching the tv show. Yes, there were a lot of things that bugged me about it, but for the most part, I understood why they changed the things that they did. I think seeing how much of a train wreck the movie was made me a little more prepared for the changes in the show, because I understand that the book doesn’t necessarily translate well into video format. I think episode 2 was better than episode 1, mostly because they dropped several one-liners from the books about, like, Izzy’s cooking and “Shadowhunters looking better in black…” The firsy time I watched them, I saw it through rose colored glasses, and by that I mean that I was expecting it to be horrible, so when I first saw them, I didn’t notice all the things that were weird. The second time I watched them, my friend and I started writing out lists while we watched them of the things we liked or didn’t like. I made a list for the second episode, which is here: 

What’s with the rune that takes away the glamour on the institute?

How did seeing the institute mean there is a war?

Stupid circle rune

Jace’s father wasnt killed in the circle revolt jace wasnt even born at the time

“The runes may be less lethal (than izzy’s cooking)”

“Dont eat the food”

And luke transforms in the middle of a freaking parking lot

Fairchild name drop

Hodge sounds like he had a crush on jocelyn

Stupid rune curse why the hell wouldnt he be able to talk about the circle?

Hodge sounds like he’s on drugs

The mortal cup does not let people control demons, he did that with demon blood

How would hodge have made a deal with valentine if he couldnt talk about the circle without falling over?

Because that is the first thing that comes to mind when someone in a traumatic situation is a memory wipe spell. 

Izzy room has white which is a shadowhunter mourning color


Ew that was just creepy (he’a the ultimate protector) you are basically his freaking sister and it sounds like you have a crush on him

What is up with Luke’s boss? She has been in it too much to not have anything to do with the shadow world

If jace’s father died in the revolt that means jace was ten which would have meant he was eleven years older than clary because jocelyn was barely pregnant at the time of the revolt

The seelie dont work with the clave even involving valentine so how would the clave send seelie scouts

Weird freaking necklace

Shadowhunter mobile!

They finally called dot dorothea

I thought they were gonna get to talk to magnus! I was waiting for Alec to meet him, plus magnus was never THAT hostile towards shadowhunters

Yes, let’s follow the weird necklace visions


Why are they afraid of the silent brothers?

The city of bones

Ugh the city of bones is supposed to be in a cemetery 

“Are you kidding me? I was born afraid, which sounded a lot better in my head.”

She tried to freaking tell you but you wouldnt listen

Yes, it makes perfect sense that the reason you felt out of place is because you were part of a secret race of demon hunters so you shouldn’t be at all worried

Did he inject her with demon blood bc it’s black?

Why does mundane blood hurt shadownunters and demon blood hirt warlocks? Shadowhunters are half human half angel and warlocks are half human half demon so why does their blood hurt them?

Rune in the graffiti 

Soul sword

Why would she die?

Jace wouldn’t have let her done anything he thought would hurt her

You’re clary freaking fray

Why would the rune energy kill a mundane?

God, izzy is an obnoxious flirt

Does his captain know he is a werewolf? Because she is a little too suspicious if she thinks he is normal


The descent into hell is easy

Looking better in black than the widows over our enemies

It’s cute, you assume i have feelings. I dont. 

I circle members forfeit their right to be buried there, does that mean mayrse and robert wouldn’t be buried there either?

The silent brothers masks look like air dry clay from michaels or something

Where’s “it” going?

Of course there is already a vampire in the truck

Why wouldn’t they check if she was actually asleep before talking about what they are hiding from her?

Why did she find out about valentine so early?

Stop wasting time talking to jocelyn and get the hell out of there

The other guy had a seizure after being stabbed and this guy died fairly peacefully

So is dot dead now?

You think clary is a spy? Why would she tell jace that valentine was her father if she was a spy?

Still no rat simon in the show
I am going to try and post some more of these as the season goes on so I can see how my opinions change as the show progresses. I want to give it some leeway for a while, because they have a lot to try and set up, so I don’t want to judge it on the littlw things yet, but it has potential. 

Tell me what you thought about the show. Were there certain things that bothered you? Things you liked? Things you hope are included/changed later in the season?