The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

city-of-bones

Goodreads Rating: 4.12

My Rating: 4.0

This was definitely a fun read all around; I’d actually read this back when it first was released, but I never got the chance to keep up with the series, so I thought I ought to reread the first to continue on with the series and I’m so glad that I did! I actually found the characters quite likeable and the concept was one that I’ve never seen before this series, which is always a plus. Despite some plot and pacing hiccups and some rather irritating character quirks, I’d say it was pretty damn good, even though when you look into it, you can definitely tell that it’s Harry Potter fanfiction.

Clary is just a normal girl. Nothing unusual besides her artistic tendencies, that is until she finds out that she is a part of a shadowy (ha ha, get it, shadowy?), underground world full of demons, angels, and everything in between. Simon keeps her grounded in the mundane, or human, world, while Jace, the Shadowhunter, keeps pulling her towards her true calling. When her mother is taken by a man named Valentine, Clary knows that she has to find her at any cost. What comes along the way are numerous allies and foes consisting of wizards, werewolves, and vampires (oh my!), each bringing another layer to the world.

Any novel with this many creatures and layers is bound to have hiccups, and The City of Bones is no exception, but despite that, it’s still a wonderful YA urban fantasy read!

Recommended for: those who like new ideas, YA enthusiasts, those who don’t mind quirky characters

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

fab killjoys

Goodreads rating: 4.00

My rating: 4.0

The Killjoys fought hard against the Better Living Industries company for years and now it’s time for their followers to take them on, come hell or high water.

I enjoyed reading this graphic novel quite a bit; the art is expressive and simple, there’s a pretty decent plot (it leaves a little to be desired in the plot development department unfortunately), and the characters are fun and interesting. The only thing I didn’t like is that the last few issues were very rushed and a bit detached from the plot. I think that they tried to cram too much in too few comic issues after the first half is over; they probably didn’t plan it out as well as it could’ve been planned, so things had to get compressed when the initial worldbuilding and first part of the story took up half the amount of issues they had left. It’s unfortunate, because I could see this working really well as at least having 10-12 issues and 2 separate volumes. That would’ve probably been perfect to not rush the majority of the main conflict parts. But overall, I can’t complain, though it is best enjoyed with Danger Days by My Chemical Romance in the background, because the companion album is absolutely fantastic to listen to with the added context of the comics. They go hand in hand, so the next time you’re at the record store or in the mood to download some music, pick it up and give this a read with it [or if you’re broke YouTube is a wonderful thing as well 😉 ]. My only wish for these comics is for more [of everything]!

Succubus Blues Review

succubus blues

Goodreads rating: 3.95

My rating: 4.0

Being a succubus isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. For Georgina Kincaid, it was a choice, but nowadays, it’s not all that exciting (shape shifting into a demoness sex goddess for some guy’s pleasure just to get his soul isn’t exactly what she wants to be doing), but her day job at the bookstore, where she gets to see the drop dead gorgeous author, Seth Mortensen, isn’t so bad. But something is happening in the demon underground of Seattle, something that Georgina might not be able to handle (or protect Seth from).

This wasn’t my first book by Richelle Mead and it most certainly won’t be my last – back in middle school and high school I read the Vampire Academy series and really enjoyed them, but I hadn’t heard of this series until later on. I’m definitely glad that I started this one. Despite the relatively slow pace at times, I found myself really invested in Georgina and her story and that kept me reading. There wasn’t too much in terms of romance at this point yet, but it’s definitely going to be more of the slow build kinds of things I have a feeling; it makes a lot of sense for Georgina’s predicament. The conflict also makes a lot of sense for an introductory conflict for the series, so I definitely look forward to reading the next books. It’s a good setup for a promising series.

Requiem Review

requiem

Goodreads rating: 3.75

My rating: 2.5

[Contains some mild spoilers – I marked when the bigger spoilers start at the very bottom.]

Unfortunately this book just wasn’t the ending I was looking for. So much could’ve been done with Alex, Julian, and Lena, but it all just fell flat about halfway through. The first half of the book was pretty good, the writing was amazing, as usual with Lauren Oliver, but the last half of the book was just so confusing. It was a mess of switching perspectives to avoid having to write actual conflict.

But Hana, congrats to you for becoming a badass. Her story was much more fleshed out than Lena’s and the story was about Lena. I would’ve been fine with it if it were the other way around where Lena is the one who has the more fleshed out and detailed story and Hana was the one who had a bit less of a story and more of a complimentary part, but of course it was the other way around. Lena’s story felt like the complimentary one and Hana’s felt like the main perspective; whether or not that was intentional, I can’t be certain, but it was interesting to read a bit more about Hana, if anything.

And I don’t think I’ll ever get over how weird the last few sections were [spoilers removed]. It’s good to read the book so you figure out what happens after Pandemonium, but be warned, Lena regresses completely as a character after all that lovely development in Pandemonium. Everything becomes about Alex again and she can’t move on. She goes back to being the person she was back in Delirium, being infatuated with Alex, but this time, she’s stringing poor Julian along for the ride.

As far as the rest of the book, Lauren Oliver continued with her lush writing style despite how rushed it felt and how awkward the perspective changes made it feel. Once Lena’s mother got more involved, I felt like the plot of the story and the writing just went downhill. The actual fight between the the Resistance and those within the walls was very sparsely written and the last half of the story was incredibly rushed. Though I’m really happy with the way that Lauren Oliver writes and describes the setting, that just wasn’t enough to carry the story this time unfortunately. The end made sense for all that’s happened but the way getting there in this book was a letdown compared to the the rest of the series.

[Spoilers below]

Continue reading “Requiem Review”

Delirium Stories + Alex Review

delirium stories

Goodreads rating: 3.97

My rating: 4.0

These were interesting little short stories; they’re definitely not necessary for the plot of the books, but it gives a bit of insight and extra information on the characters, so if you like or want to know more about Hana, Annabel, and/or Raven, definitely give this a read. It’s a bit of extra side plot for each of the characters that you wouldn’t know otherwise in the books. The stories are a little rushed, but that’s to be expected with both the plot of each and the characters they revolve around. Raven’s was definitely my favourite for the way it was written in the way it relates the past and present and jumps between them.

alex

Goodreads rating: 3.87

My rating: 4.0

I liked this short story. I actually read it in my copy of Requiem, which happened to be one of the editions printed with Alex included in the back. It was an intriguing little short story that was a quick read and offered some insight into how Alex thinks. Though Lauren Oliver isn’t the best at writing from a male perspective, she certainly isn’t the worst female author writing a male character that I’ve read. Like the Delirium Stories – Hana, Anabel, and Raven – this story isn’t necessary for the plot to make sense, but offers a little bit extra, kind of like the deleted scene of a film. It’s worth reading if you like Alex and I finished it in 20 minutes, so it’s definitely not a huge time commitment.

Pandemonium Review

pandemonium

Goodreads rating: 4.08

My rating: 4.5 stars

Making it in the Wilds is much harder than Lena anticipates. Everything is a fight to survive, whether it’s finding food or getting over a little cold or flu. Everything in the Wilds is also about community. You need people to survive and to keep a group together takes an immense amount of management and organisation. Can Lena learn to move on from where she left off in the end of Delirium and what is really going on within the walls of the cured cities?

I loved reading this sequel. It was an excellent continuation from Delirium, held true to the characters, and continued building and developing upon them. I don’t tend to like books that switch time perspectives (ie: present time one chapter, past the next), but surprisingly enough, it really worked for this one. I was surprised to have enjoyed Pandemonium as much as I did and the ending took me by surprise, though I had a feeling it was coming.

The pacing was a little rushed in some places, but despite that, it was consistent and maintained tension very well even with dips in the action. This was an engaging read that I finished in a couple weeks; definitely continue on to read this book if you enjoyed Delirium because it builds off of what has already happened beautifully and draws it to an unexpected climax. Despite the ever-present cliche of love triangles in young adult literature, this one isn’t done so poorly that it’s unnecessary. Pandemonium is a worthwhile, engaging read that will keep you at the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more.

Delirium Review

delirium

Goodreads rating: 4.02

My rating: 4.5 stars

Having read this series once before, I already knew what would happen, but I read it when it first came out, so I forgot almost everything that happened and I wasn’t a big fan of it at first. Now that I’ve read it again,  I realise that before, I read it at the wrong point in my life. I’ve changed quite a bit since Junior year in high school (I should hope so, anyway). I actually loved this book this time around, but for all the reasons I didn’t like it back when I first read it, ironically enough. I’ll start off by mentioning that while this is a “teen” book, it seemed a little bit young and overly optimistic given the circumstances; I can definitely understand why, but as someone considered a “new adult” currently, I can tell you that people aren’t this optimistic generally. Some people are, but it’s very rare, especially in a situation like these books describe, where love is illegal.

Lena is a high school-aged girl growing up in this world with her best friend, Hana, and they both seem to be looking forward to the day where they’re cured of amor deliria nervosa, or love, as we know it. But when Hana starts attending parties and listening to forbidden music, Lena starts growing suspicious of how Hana really feels about it. Then she sees him. At the worst possible time, in the worst possible place, she sees a boy about her age – obviously cured, but she can’t stop thinking about him. After a series of events that involved sabotaging the interviews for who will be paired with whom and what jobs these high schoolers will take once they’ve graduated, Lena finds that she’s falling for Alex. Maybe Hana is right, the cure isn’t as good as it sounds.

Overall, Lauren Oliver delivered this story beautifully – it was a lovely concept, but terrifying at the same time. I can imagine some people would flourish in a world where love is illegal and cured like it’s a disease, but there are also people who wouldn’t. Personally, I’d much rather live in the Wilds where people are uncured and are free to do as they please, so long as the regulators don’t catch them. Reading this book was like jumping into that universe; the characters had realistic emotions for the most part and you really get a feeling for what they’re going through while reading. Delirium was an excellent set up for the next book with the cliffhanger ending (definitely be prepared to need to read the next book if you finish and enjoy this one). Since this is the first book, it definitely hints at what’s to come but isn’t heavy on the action and starts out moderately paced, which is nice, since you really get to know the world and the characters before jumping into the politics and action later on in the book. It slowly builds up pace towards the middle and by the end, the pages are turning as fast as you can read them.

Just like the pacing, the romance also builds slowly, allowing the chemistry between the characters to really form before they decide to be sort of a couple. As that happens, Lena learns more and more about herself, and with her cure date like a guillotine on the horizon, she finds that she has to make a decision. Love (and how it changes us) is definitely the biggest theme in this story and it delivers that message in a way that is easy to understand – some people can’t handle the idea of losing what they love, so they cut it all off, but some people hold on tightly to the belief that no matter what happens they will find a way to be happy and loved, so they do everything they can to make it happen. Many people fall in the middle, but for teens especially, it’s a difficult time to be growing up because they don’t always know what they’re feeling and I think Delirium addresses that very thoughtfully without having to state it outright.

On top of all that, it has a great message and even though it is somewhat unrealistically optimistic, it’s a book that makes you feel so happy reading it a lot of times. Horrible things happen, but parts in between that are like little rays of sun where it gives you the warm & fuzzies. I don’t know, maybe I’ve gotten a lot more ‘free love’ since the first time I read this, but I do think that that sort of ‘free love’ message that continues throughout this book is important to teach in this day and age where everyone is huddled up with their technology and won’t take a moment to look up from the screens and think about the real world and real issues. If we all took a moment to really think about what is going on in the world and just try to understand other people’s worldview, we wouldn’t have nearly as many problems as we do.

10 keywords/phrases about this book: dystopian, romance, warm-fuzzies, chemistry, intriguing fictional politics, worldbuilding, LOVE, teen, awesome buildup, cliffhanger

Recommended for fans of: Divergent by Veronica Roth, Matched by Allyson Condie, Uglies by Scott Westerfield, The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken,

Hello!

An intro seems like a good idea to do, so an intro it is – I’m Taylor and I’ve been alive for approximately 7,450 days. I aspire to be a librarian of some sort, but I love doing odd jobs and I don’t much like stagnation. I’ve learned a lot and I am constantly looking for more knowledge; I guess if I were a dragon, I’d probably hoard knowledge, books, fuzzy blankets, and good food. I’m currently listening to Safe by Airborne Toxic Event (all their music is so good) and I’m currently reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver, The Constantine Affliction by T. Aaron Payton, and Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming. I’m loving each of them so far and I plan on posting some reviews as soon as I finish!

Check out my goodreads and instagram pages if you feel like it, also if you’re interested in custom chain mail, visit my site chainmailmjolnir.storenvy.com and/or shoot me an email at chainmailmjolnir@gmail.com! I’ll be posting more when it’s not 3:09 in the morning, but I thought it would be good to post a little something something since this is a new blog and it would be pretty boring without anything on it.

Goodbye for now and I hope to see you soon!