[Book Talk] Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1) by Cassandra Clare

Book Details:

Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Read: July 2017

Synopsis:

In a kingdom by the sea…

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

A 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.

My Thoughts

After reading Cassandra’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series, I was hesitant about reading MORE about Shadowhunters. I mean, I loved the books that I read but it almost felt like too much at this point. But then the cover was released and it was just too gorgeous that I had to buy it, which meant I had to read it.

Thankfully, it was a lot of fun to read, even if it was just a little slower paced at times, but certain aspects really did save this story from being just another run of the mill Shadowhunter book. First off, my favourite characters weren’t Emma or Julien, the main characters in the book, but rather Mark and Kit! Right off the bat we meet Kit and I knew we had to see him at some other point in the book- in fact, I needed to see him again! Second, when this book is compared to Cassandra’s other books, the world does seem a lot more richer and deep than in previous books. The fight scenes were great and the family dynamics were wonderful, but I still had some hesitations about the book.

First, I wasn’t a fan of the romance. It just felt too obvious for me. Frankly, I love being surprised by the romance in a book and I’m hoping that with book two we get more of what I want, but I’m really doubting that we will. Also, I really didn’t like how Jace and Clary were all hyped up, as bad as that sounds. I mean, if Shadowhunters were around for thousands of years, it just seemed weird that people would talk about Jace being the MOST AMAZING SHADOWHUNTER EVER. Like, can we talk about an ego-trip? Not only that, but everyone who met Jace talked about how gorgeous he was and it was just way too much. I’m all for characters from older books coming into newer books, but give me a break. I’m also not sure what to think of no one ever getting seriously hurt in Cassandra Clare’s books – is that a spoiler? I hope it’s not a spoiler. At any rate, I feel like Shadowhunters go into battle and it’s like the main characters CAN NEVER DIE. I had the same freaking issues with The Infernal Devices when a certain character dies and I was like, oh my gosh, thank GOODNESS she finally did something like this … and then they come back. Like, seriously? What is with some YA fantasy books where the main characters can’t be killed FOR GOOD. These Shadowhunters go into battle and get seriously hurt and then it’s like, “Oh no biggie, I’ll just write an iratze on you and you’ll be fine!” I’m hoping by the next book we get more conflict, maybe a death … and hopefully that doesn’t make me sound morbid.

Even though I did have things I hated about this book, I’m really looking forward to reading the next one but what hangs in the balance for me is the romance – I really, really don’t want it to be such an obvious thing but I’m so scared it will be. At any rate, if we get more Mark and more Kit, I am down with anything. Plus, I love the younger kids of the Blackthorn family and think they’ll play a big part in the next book. Am I totally over Shadowhunters yet? I’m not sure. I guess I’ll have to keep reading to see!

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[Audiobook Talk] Nimona by Noelle Stevenson #LoveAudiobooks

Audiobook Details:

Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Narrator: Rebecca Soler, Jonathan Davis, Marc Thompson
Length: 2 hours 16 minutes
Read: June 2017

Synopsis:

An original full-cast audio adaptation of the New York Times best-selling graphic novel sensation from Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic.

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Adapted for audio, this brilliant production is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and graphic novel and is sure to win Noelle many new ones. This full-cast audio edition is performed by Rebecca Soler, Jonathan Davis, Marc Thompson, January LaVoy, Natalie Gold, Peter Bradbury, and David Pittu and features original music by Loren Toolajian, with sound effects throughout.

Nimona is an impulsive young shape-shifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

My Thoughts

Since I had already read Nimona last year, I hadn’t intended to pick it up again. It’s probably one of my favourite graphic novels of all time, Nimona being such a hilarious and fun character and her relationship with Lord Blackheart is just so, so funny and memorable. I was looking for an audiobook to listen to and just couldn’t make up my mind so I thought I’d go with a reread of this one – I’ve always seen graphic novels as audiobooks on the library’s website but I’ve never listened to one, so since this one was just over 2 hours long I thought I’d give it a go.

This was so much fun! Rebecca Soler (who narrates the audiobooks for Marissa Meyers’s Lunar Chronicles series) does an AMAZING job as our lead character, Nimona, and her snarkiness and crazy enthusiasm for all things villainy is just SO over the top and hilarious and her paired with the voice of Lord Blackheart was just too awesome to listen to. However, while I loved the narration, the sound effects, the music, just everything about listening to this, I think something would’ve been lost had I not already read the graphic novel. I could easily picture the diagrams in my head and I thought it might have been even more fun to listen to this while following in the book, but had I not read the book already, I’m not sure it would’ve been that good.

Anyway, this was so much fun to listen to and it made me interested to listen to more stories as full-cast narrations. I love the idea of sound effects and music – it’s almost like watching a movie, but not watching. The narration does help a bit to describe what’s going on, but like I said, it’s probably even better if you read the book along with listening — it would definitely add something to the enjoyment of the story.

Audiobook Notes: 

Like I said, the narration of this was awesome. Rebecca Soler did a FANTASTIC job as Nimona and was just over the top hilarious and exactly what I wanted her to sound like. This really made her become one of my favourite narrators, just seeing another side of what she can do. I also loved all the other voices and the sound effects and music really added another dimension to the book, making it so enjoyable to listen to.

But don’t take my word for it — read some other reviews: 

Reviews And Read-A-Thons
Foxclouds
School Library Journal

[Book Talk] The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1) by Brent Weeks

Book Details

Format: Ebook
Source: Library
Read: April 2017

Lightbringer series

  1. The Black Prism
  2. The Blinding Knife
  3. The Broken Eye
  4. The Blood Mirror

Synopsis:

Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.

But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

My Thoughts

And it’s another book I read that was recommended by Regan from Peruse Project! Seriously, I love her book reviews so much and I feel like if she ever tells her audience to read a book I’m instantly picking it up. This book was fantastic!

Now, this isn’t a book I would’ve picked up originally. I don’t usually read fantasy and when I have, I’ve read more YA fantasy, books that are a bit lighter, etc. I don’t usually pick up high fantasy books by male authors with male protagonists. I know it sounds wrong, but my tastes usually lead me towards female authors. But NOW … now I want to read more male authors and more fantasy and definitely more of this series.

I loved this book. I loved Kip and Gavin and the whole world, the idea of colours and prisms. There were so many things that happened in this book that had me, like “WHAT?!?” and I flew through it … actually, it took me about 8 days to read, which is a long time for me to read a book (says the girl who took three months to read an Outlander book) and normally I’d be like, okay, just get this book read already, but it made me slow down and really take it all in. I loved how when I’d put it down and pick it back up, I was genuinely excited to read it and I knew exactly where I left off. The whole story was very plot driven and had so many twists and turns and just when I thought I knew where it was going it went in the opposite direction.

Honestly, I finished this book and needed more! It is such a great introduction to the series and there are so many things I need to know. The next book is going to be so good!

But don’t take my word for it … read some other reviews!

Rantings of A Cursebreaker
The Past Due Book Review
My Open Sketchbook