Audiobook Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

I had a poll on Instagram asking you all to vote for my next audiobook read since I had two digital audiobooks checked out from the library and both of them were due back in just enough time that I knew I could only listen to one of them. Needless to say, this is the book that won that poll. Also, I really liked having the poll so I’ll probably do that more often! ūüôā

I remember hearing some things while listening to the audiobook that I would have liked to have put down as TW/CWs but it’s been a bit and I honestly just don’t remember what most of them are. Here’s the ones I do remember:

  • homomisia
  • bimisia
  • amisia
  • child abuse
  • ableism
  • racism

Let’s dig into this review then, shall we?

IMG_20180509_113546_444.jpg

The characters were developed enough that I didn’t confuse any of them, but they weren’t all very three-dimensional. The three main characters were realistic enough to carry the story, but the others were all just about completely flat for me. I found myself kinda disliking Monty at the beginning, but I still rooted for him because I really liked Percy and Felicity and his success meant their success. He’s spoiled and entitled and doesn’t even begin to try seeing how things affect anyone but himself. I really loved the way the characters grew through their arcs, but honestly I think Percy deserved better.

The story is set in England and Europe in 1700 something. I felt like I got glimpses of the world and how it worked back then, but not enough to be immersive like I tend to look for in novels. I did enjoy some of the world, though I can’t say which parts were my favourite without spoiling parts of the plot. I just don’t feel like the world-building is a highlight for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.

The plot is definitely my favourite part, though it took quite a bit to actually get into it. The first third or so of the story was a bit slower than what I was looking for. After the party in France, the story really picked up for me and I had trouble putting it down. I really liked the mystery combined with adventure combined with pirates. Because nearly every story can be improved through the addition of pirates.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is narrated by Christian Coulson, who is absolutely perfect and I would not have changed a single thing about it. He read the novel almost like it was a very descriptive film script, giving just the right intonations at just the right moments. The words truly came alive when he spoke them and I’ll be seeking out his audiobooks in the future.

For those of you who are looking at the name Christian Coulson and thinking now, why does that sound familiar? I’ll tell you. He played Tom Marvolo Riddle in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Like I said. Absolutely. Perfect. (Or was it Prefict? ūüėČ)

I really enjoyed this story and the characters so, so much. I am already very excited for the companion novel that’s due to be released later this year. In fact, I was devastated earlier this week when I learned that it, in fact, was not released yet and I could not read it immediately. I can not wait to read more from Mackenzi Lee!

Overall, I rate The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue 4 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and enjoy it for yourself!

Advertisements

Series Review: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Helloooo, bookworms! So, I honestly just don’t even know what I’m doing with my life right now. I basically read and work and do stuff with my wee monsters and completely just have not been writing anything at all. I have been thinking about getting back into editing and writing the novel I somehow managed to write nearly a year ago (holy hell what have I been doing)… Anyway, we’re here so I can rant about a series, not rant on how much writing I have¬†not been doing. Let’s do it!

IMG_20180507_091439_324.jpg

I have also read the two novella collections attached to this series since I finished reading the actual series, so I’m going to include them in this review. I’m not sure if I can actually review this full series without being spoilers but let’s give it a go, shall we? First off, here are the Goodreads links for all of the books and novella collections attached to The Mortal Instruments series in case you’d like to see the individual synopsis or add them to your TBR. (You should definitely add them to your TBR.)

 

I had a work friend advise me to read the books in this specific order (The Mortal Instruments 1-6, The Bane Chronicles, then Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy) to get the most out of them. I really enjoyed them in this order, but obviously it’s a personal choice thing. Cassandra Clare did manage to avoid being overly spoilery in the novella collections (The Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy) so you could theoretically read them first or in the middle if you wanted to, though there are a couple big plot points that would have been spoiled for me if I had picked them up first like I initially planned to.

 

Characters

The characters are all amazing, though I obviously have my favourites. They’re all very well developed and Cassandra Clare obviously put a good bit of work into creating and building up individuality for each and every one of them. I feel like I could sit down at Taki’s and have a full conversation with any and all of them, though I would prefer some of them stayed home. If you’ve read the series, I’m sure you can guess who. I’m going to try to talk about the individual characters a bit without being spoilery about it, but I promise nothing so if you haven’t read yet and don’t want to be spoiled you should probably skip over this bit to the next section.

I’m not going to lie… Clary kind of got on my nerves a bit at first. She’s a bit cocky and overconfident and selfish. Really, I understand that she’s a very well developed teen character so I’m not disappointed with the fact that she was a bit irritating at first, but all the same I found her that way. However, from the City of Glass on, she was really great to read. Regardless, she was well developed through the whole thing and a complete badass by the end, so I’m calling her character a win.

Jace was and is an ass. I feel like there’s a lot of “I have to appear not to care because I care too much” going on with him through pretty much the entire series, but his character development, to me, screamed “jock.” I’m still not entirely sure I¬†like his character, but I feel like he’s built up and realistic enough to have a conversation with so obviously Cassie Clare write him well.

Simon is so freaking precious while still somehow being awesome. He’s basically what every D&D nerd wishes they could end their teen years as. While I feel like he was dealt a rough hand, I love his character arc and I hope it continues being as great as it has been so far.

The one character I couldn’t completely get a grip on was Alec. I feel like I only know him in relation to other characters. I can easily see him with Jace as a parabatai, with Isabelle as a brother, and with someone I won’t say to save from spoiling as a significant other. However, I don’t feel like I could sit down and have a conversation with Alec as a character. Who is Alec without the other people in his life? I’m not entirely certain and that makes me a bit disappointed because there is so much potential there.

Isabelle is another character who I had a little trouble getting an idea of without the relation to the other characters. Alec and Jace’s sister, someone’s possible girlfriend, etc. I do feel like I know her slightly better than Alec though so there’s that? I do enjoy her character and how it’s often described as fierce. I also relate very much to how she covers up her true feelings.

Oh. My. Goodness. Magnus Bane. For the first time, I found myself torn between an OTP and a book boyfriend. I feel like I should take a moment to point out that, as an adult, I’ve never had a book boyfriend before because I read a lot of Young Adult and New Adult novels and it just felt… weird. But, given that Magnus is several hundred years old, I feel like it’s okay? Plus, he’s fabulous, okay?! However, I will 100% stand aside and let my OTP rule because I NEED THIS OTP AND IT IS CANNON!! (Insert all the heart eyes here.)

He was not a main character and we didn’t see much of him, but I can’t write this series review without mentioning Max. I was told that what happens in his plot line isn’t the saddest of the series, though… It kind is for me. I don’t know if maybe it would have been different if I read this as a teen but Max’s character arc hit me so, so hard. Like… I can’t even write this without tearing up about it. Is that probably because Max is the same age as one of my wee monsters? Possibly. Is it also probably because Max is so similar in personality to said similarly aged monster? Probably. I just… Max. You deserved better.

Valentine was very morally gray and he honestly believed what he was doing was for the better of everyone, shadowhunters and mundanes (the Shadowhunter equivalent of Harry Potter’s muggles) alike. We get some back story on how he got this way in one of the novellas, but there isn’t really much. I feel like he could have gotten a bit more development because he’s not poorly done, but he does seem to fall a little flat to me at times.

What Cassandra Clare did with Jonathan Morganstern’s character development was absolutely masterful. Jonathan was¬†not morally gray at all. If there is a shade darker than black, that is what color his morality is. But I still somehow managed to feel for him and understand why he did the things he did? I’m not sure if that says something about me or him or Cassie’s writing but… wow. He is incredibly complex and real and probably the best developed character in the series in my opinion.

Shadowhunters in general (I’m looking at you, Clave): You’re all assholes. Good day.

 

World

Y’all. The world building. If I could learn just one thing from Cassandra Clare it would be how to build up entire worlds the way she has here. The thing I love about stories like this one is that they take the real world and layer an entire other world on top of it or parallel to it. The way that Cassandra Clare has done this is nearly seamless.

I really like the way that the Shadow world bumps up against the mundane world at times and how that’s explained in the story. It takes what could have potentially been a rough patch in the world building and sanded it down to sweet, smooth perfection. I¬†love the Shadow world almost the same as the Wizarding world, which if you’ve been around me a bit you know is a lot. Maybe even as much. I feel too feely right now to say for sure. Too many feels.

I do still have one question about the world though because I don’t feel like it was answered outright and here it is: Alicante. It’s glamoured so mundanes will never find it and if they accidentally wander too close, they’re redirected. Yes, okay, great. But. What about a mundane in space looking down at the earth? Would they not notice it or…? I need answers for this burning question.

 

The Story

Okay, but how did all that fit into six novels and two novella collections? I just… don’t know.¬†So much happened during this series that I feel like it can’t possibly have only been eight books, but it has. It feels like I’ve been with these characters going through their plot lines for literal years, though I only just started reading the series… last month, was it?

At the same time, I almost feel like this six book series could have been split into two consecutive trilogies? Just because of the way the plot changed while still flowing and keeping many of the same characters. I think this might have some to do with why it feels like I’ve been with the story forever. The combination of this series and the prequel series,¬†The Infernal Devices, gives me a similar feeling to the one I got after reading all 12 of the Kushiel and Naamah books by Jacqueline Carey. I love that feeling so I’m glad I took my friend’s advice and read the prequel series before diving into The Mortal Instruments.

Trying to think on the plot of this series in its entirety is a bit overwhelming and I feel like I could rant about it forever without actually having any organization to the post so I think I’ll let it go here by just saying the plot flowed really, really well through just about the entire series. There was no jarring stop and start, but rather it flowed like waves on water. In short: I liked the story itself and I couldn’t put the series down.

 

Audiobook

I didn’t listen to the entire series on audiobook, but I did listen to some of it. Similar to The Infernal Devices, this series has a plethora of different narrators. While they are all quite skilled at their profession, I found the constant changing of narrators quite irritating. Also, could you¬†please have a conversation with the narrators before they start recording about how things are pronounced? Between names, phrases, and shadowhunter tools, everything gets a new pronunciation depending upon which person is narrating and it drives me up the wall! Can we just at least agree that, at the least, the name pronunciations should be consistent. Please. Ffs.

 

I honestly really, really loved this series so much and I will probably reread it at some point. The characters, world, and story have wormed their way into my black and frozen heart. The Shadow World honestly just feels like home. I can not wait to jump into the next series from Cassandra Clare, The Dark Artifices, even though I know it won’t be complete until later this year. Usually, I would add Goodreads links here but since I didn’t write individual reviews on this series (I read them way faster than I could review this time) I put the links at the top of the post instead.

 

Have you read The Mortal Instruments series? Or another Cassandra Clare book or series? Let me know what you thought down in the comments section!

Audiobook Review: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

 

My Review

I finished listening to Batman: Nightwalker a few days ago, but I’ve gotten quite behind in my reviews and posts so now I’m playing a bit of catch-up on them. I was excited when I found out that one of the four DC Icons series books would be about Batman! I had never read anything by Marie Lu before, but everyone I’ve talked to seems to love her writing so I was doubly looking forward to this book to see how her writing style measured up to the hype surrounding it.

I do feel like I need to say here that, no, I haven’t read al that many Batman comics. In fact, I can’t think of a single one I¬†have read other than Batman Vampire. But, when I was growing up, on days when I got home from school fast enough, I used to watch the animated television series. So, basically, I have very little to compare this book to context-wise.

The characters are all developed fairly well. I feel like I could have easily had a conversation with any of them. I really enjoyed getting a pre-Batman look into Bruce Wayne’s mind and emotions. I feel like the teenage origin story is what the DC Icons series is going for and Batman: Nightwalker really nailed that with Bruce Wayne’s thought processes. Unsurprisingly, though, my favourite character was Madeleine Wallace. She’s clever and plays a¬†really long game. She seems to look at life as though it’s a game of chess, which she never really seems to lose.

Batman: Nightwalker is, of course, set entirely in Gotham City. I read somewhere recently that the original creator of Batman modeled Gotham City after 1940s Chicago, and that really came across on the page. There are references to other DC universes within the story, even though we never truly get to look at them. We do get a really good look at Arkham Asylum and its day-to-day operation. I liked getting that inside look of it since it seems like quite an intriguing place. I would have liked for there to have been more building up of Wayne Manor but, since not a lot of the story took place there, I can forgive it being slightly less than immersive. I did love that we got a decent amount of building up of Wayne Industries. It was a nice starting point for someone like me who has minimal experience with the source material.

I was a little surprised by how much of the storyline seemed mystery-based instead of action-based. As a reader, I spent a good amount of time trying to figure things out, and that’s a good thing. Even then end, which contains¬†yet another huge plot twist, left quite a few doors open. I don’t think it was done in a way that was meant to be cliffhanger. It felt more like Marie Lu was attempting to make me interested in the source material to find out what happens next, which she succeeded at admirably.

The audiobook version of Batman: Nightwalker is performed by Will Damron. I really enjoyed listening to his rendering of the characters and how each had their own distinct voice so that even if the story hadn’t told me who was talking I would have known. I also really enjoyed the storytelling style he used. It really added a layer of depth to the story.

If you’re expecting something hugely action packed, Batman: Nightwalker is for you. If you want a little mystery and some epic plot twists, Batman: Nightwalker is for you too. It definitely has more of a New Adult feel than a YA feel, so if you avoid YA like the plague, you might still want to check this book out. I really enjoyed it and I feel like Marie Lu’s writing definitely lives up to the hype. I look forward to reading more from her soon!

Overall, I rate Batman Nightwalker 4 out of 5 bookworms.¬†¬†But don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and enjoy it for yourself!

 

Review: Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

First book in the Wish Quartet, a new-adult, urban fantasy series set in a near-future alternate reality

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

Josephina Espinosa makes her living as a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. That is, until the day she and her best friend are gunned down in a government raid.

With her dying breath, Jo uses magical lore passed down from her grandmother to summon a wish-granter. Her wish? To save her friend’s life. Except wishes have costs, and for Jo, the price is the erasure of her entire mortal existence.

Now, as the most recent addition to the mysterious Society of Wishes, Jo must form a new ‚Äúlife‚ÄĚ alongside the seven other members, one of which being her savior himself. Living as an occupant of the Society‚Äôs lavish mansion should be quite the perk, but while it is furnished with everything its inhabitants could possibly need, it lacks one thing‚ÄĒfreedom.

Her otherworldly identity crisis takes a backseat, however, when Jo learns that the friend she sacrificed everything for is headed down the same path to ruin. Jumping in head-first, Jo uses her newfound magical abilities to protect him, only to realize that the ripples of her actions have far-reaching consequences. When the Society’s aloof leader Snow decides to give her a taste of his own ancient magic, Jo discovers that there are threads woven into the tapestry of her new reality that reach far beyond the wishes she is now required to grant. Ones that, if tugged on, could mean the unraveling of the world itself.

 

My Review

So, I started reading Society of Wishes along with the Official Facebook Read Along. I accidentally read ahead to the point where I was so close to the end I figured I might as well finish it. So, while the read along is still going strong, I’m here writing out my review. That should at least tell you something about how this is going to go.

The characters are quite mysterious and it’s hard to feel like I know them much. Aside from Jo, they weren’t overly three-dimensional, but I do feel like we have at least bits and pieces of the characters enough to at least start seeing them as people. Also, I can not speak to the authenticity of Jo’s Mexican American representation because I am not Mexican American, but she felt very white-coded to me. At the moment though I feel mostly like we have bits and pieces without that extra something that pulls it all together. Given what I have already seen from Elise Kova’s work, I have to assume this will come later.

Society of Wishes is set in a futuristic United States that are no longer United following a third World War. This was built up fairly well, but the majority of the story takes place in the Society, which is built up very well. As a location, it was relatively easy to immerse myself into, but also the hierarchy and expectations of the characters were very clear and easy to visualize. The world building was a strong point in this novel for me.

While I did really enjoy the semi-immersive quality of the world building, Society of Wishes is a very plot-driven book. And drive it does! The story flows very well from one bit of excitement to the next, which is what led to my accidental finishing of the book in two days instead of thirty-six days. It was very easy to get caught up and keep reading from beginning to end.

That is one thing I need to talk about though. The end. It just… kind of… stopped? Like… I hate cliffhangers. This much has been established repeatedly in my reviews and blog posts. But this… wasn’t even a cliffhanger? The story was building up to another bit of excitement and then… Nothing.¬†Needless to say the ending of this book was not a win for me.

I really did enjoy the story while I was reading it and I’m curious to see more about the Society and its members so I’ll definitely be continuing with the series. I did not like the way the book just kind of stopped, but I am invested in the plot so I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. Hopefully, the ending to that one will be a little easier to sit with.

Overall, I rate Society of Wishes 3 out of 5 bookworms.¬†But don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and enjoy it for yourself!

Audiobook Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living‚ÄĒand of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong‚ÄĒstronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland‚Ķand threaten the very survival of those she loves.

My Review

I’ve actually been meaning to read this one for quite a while, ever since it was first released about a year ago. I kept putting it off for other books on my TBR and it honestly had slipped my mind until quite recently when I heard about the upcoming sequel, The Heart Forger. I wanted to be ready to read that book when it’s released and I discovered that my library owned a digital audiobook of it so it seemed to be something of a match made in heaven.

I really enjoyed getting to know Tea and Fox especially, but the other characters as well. I feel like I got to know enough about each character to make at least most of them seem real enough to have a conversation with. None of the primary characters blur together at all, but I still don’t feel like I know them very well, Tea included. I’d really like to get to know them a bit better in the nest book so fingers crossed that happens!

Since I listened to the audiobook version of this, I didn’t have the advantage of any map that might have been put in the physical book. I’m not entirely sure what the land they’re in would look like, but I know the world-building itself put me in mind of somewhat of a cross between Memoirs of a Geisha and the Witchlands series. The way the world was built up made it seem effortlessly intriguing and immersive. I really enjoyed seeing and learning about the world the characters had to navigate.

The story is split between what could be considered real time where Tea is telling her story to the bard and the past, which is essentially the story she is telling. As with many other flashback style stories, this one took a bit of adjusting for me to be okay with but eventually the back and forth helped build up the plot’s momentum. It flowed really well, with interesting plot twists thrown in throughout.

However, I feel like it would be negligent of me to publish this review without bringing up the conclusion, or lack thereof. The ending of The Bone Witch was basically where you get to the end of the first hour of a two-hour series conclusion on a television show and the words “To Be Continued…” flash dramatically onto the screen. I have more questions about the plot after the ending than I did at any point during the novel itself and, if I’m being completely honest, had I read this book when it first released, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to read the sequel. As it is, the sequel is forthcoming and now I want to know why things happened so I’ll end up devouring it in a day or two.

The audiobook is narrated by Emily Woo Zeller when the point of view is Tea’s and Will Damron when the writing is meant to be from the point of view of the bard. This change was quite jarring at first because there is no pause between narrator changes, but over the course of the novel I grew used to it. At the end, I like that there were two different narrators for the two perspectives because it helped me differentiate between the two much more easily than I could have with a single narrator.

I really enjoyed Emily Woo Zeller’s voice and storytelling style. I feel like she really added an extra level to the novel for me while I was listening to her speak. I was less a fan of Will Damron’s voice, though his skill as a narrator was good. There was just something about his voice that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but it wasn’t comfortable either.

I did like the story a great deal but the ending really killed it for me. As those of you who have been around a while already know, I hate cliffhangers. Enough to drop a bookworm from the rating. In this case, we didn’t even get the cliffhanger ending. I feel like the book just kind of….stopped? And I don’t like that at all. I’m still mad about that but I’ll probably check the next book out when the library gets it to see where the story is going and how we got to the HUGE plot twist we did. I just honestly hope the second book is the conclusion because I can’t take endings like that.

Overall, I rate The Bone Witch 3 out of 5 bookworms. But don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and enjoy it for yourself!

That’s all for this review, bookworms. Until next time, happy reading!

Series Review: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

I recently finished listening to the audiobook versions for the books in the Infernal Devices series, which is the prequel series to the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I’ve had multiple people recommend these books to me so many times over the past few years and I finally decided to start with this series before reading Mortal Instruments. Since they were available as digital audiobooks through my local library, the bus ride to and from work seemed like the perfect time to finally jump into this series.

You can find my reviews for each individual novel here:

 

Characters

I can’t even lie… I did not like Tessa at first. At all. I’m sure I was supposed to relate to her, but I just didn’t like a lot of her choices. I suppose a lot of it came from her being naive while not being naive, if that even makes sense, but I just had some trouble relating to her at the beginning. As the story progressed, I she quickly grew on me and I came to understand her a bit better. I do feel like her character development was perfectly done because she grew and changed as a real person would and I have a hard time imagining her as anything but real now.

Will was such a pain in the arse. Throughout the first book, I pretty much hated him. While I appreciate that he made the choices he did because of the reason he did, I just had a lot of trouble making myself like him. At the end of the series, I can say I like him well enough but I still don’t love him. I am definitely not on the Wessa ship.

Jem. Jem is such a pure bean his name deserves its own sentence. I actually got so angry with the way his arc was going during Clockwork Princess that I turned the audiobook off and spam texted a friend until she convinced me to continue listening. Jem is easily the best character in the entire series and his development as such was perfect.

If a tiny human was a bigger badass than any bodybuilder type while still basically being a mother hen, that would be Charlotte. She was protective and caring while still managing to be an amazingly skilled Shadowhunter and Head of the London Institute. Her arc often left me irritated at those around her, but at the end of the series she definitely deserved what she got!

Henry is a large, ginger inventor. What’s not to love?! (That was rhetorical. Don’t answer.) He was so oblivious and caring throughout the entire series and I just loved seeing where his arc took him. He’s so supportive (when he can see past the gears and cogs) and caring that I had to love him.

If there’s anyone who probably deserved better than they got, it was Jessamine. I feel like she fell pray to something that we all do from time to time: She made a couple really bad choices.¬†I like where her arc ultimately ended, but I also understand why Charlotte chose the way she did with Jessamine.

Nate was a selfish asshole and he deserved worse than he got. I don’t really have anything else to say about him so I guess we can tell which character I hated most, can’t we?

While I can’t say I liked Axel Mortmain, aka The Magister, I can at least understand why he made the choices that he did. He felt a sense of revenge and that obviously set him on a very destructive path. He was a self-absorbed jerk, but his character development made him at least make sense on some level.

 

World

The entire story of this trilogy centers around Victorian London. Cassandra Clare not only had to build up Victorian London for us, but an entire underbelly society with Shadowhunters and Downworlders as well.

She did so masterfully. While it could easily have been very complicated, the world and how it functions was very easy to grasp. Regardless of the location, the descriptions scattered throughout the story made the world quite immersive.

 

Plot

While this series only consists of three novels, it feels like so much more. So much happened during the span of each novel that by the end of the series, I feel like I’ve known the characters for years instead of simply three relatively short novels. I also feel like the plot flowed well throughout the series, pushed along by the fact that Cassandra Clare makes brilliant use of a variety of alternating point-of-view characters.

Another thing that bears mentioning is that The Love Triangle‚ĄĘ is an actual love triangle, with all three characters loving each other deeply, though perhaps in different ways. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a story before that had an honest to goodness love triangle with all three people involved actually loving each other enough to make the use of the word “triangle” feel accurate. I really loved seeing it.

I also really enjoyed how at the end of the series Cassandra Clare left herself so many potential options for spinoffs, but she also left very few questions unanswered. Even after the point where I thought most authors would have typed “The End,” the novel continued, tucking in every loose strand and answering questions I didn’t realize I had. I was very impressed with how thoroughly this was done.

 

Audiobook

Since I did listen to the entire series on digital audiobook through my library, I felt it was important to include this section in the series review. I also feel the need to discuss it because the inconsistency of the narrators actually bothered me quite a bit. I enjoyed the first and last narrator, but the narrators for the second book felt wrong. Each time they switched places, it was jarring and I had trouble enjoying the story as much. I would have much preferred if all three novels in this series had the same narrator.

 

The Infernal Devices has quickly made its way onto the list of my favourite books. I am greatly looking forward to diving back into the world with Cassandra Clare’s other books in the near future and hope they live up to my now very high expectations. I also hope she sticks with a single narrator but I’ll still happily settle for multiples if I can only find them in English…

Overall, I rate Infernal Devices 4 out of 5 bookworms.

Because this is a series review, I’m not going to put in purchase links. Instead, I’ll link each book’s Goodreads page, which you can then use to get purchase links. Or you can pick them up in your favourite local shop. Or you can support your public library and check them out. Anywho, here they are:

 

That’s it for me this post, bookworms. Keep living one page at a time!

Audiobook Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

My Review

Here it is, the final book in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series. And wow do I feel like I’ve been on a journey, y’all. It’s been a couple days since I finished listening to this one so I’ve had time to process it a bit. I would like to pause for a moment though and thank¬†Kav @ xreadingsolacex¬†for being so in love with Cassandra Clare’s work that I had to (finally) read it. Go subscribe to their channel if you haven’t already! (After reading this review, of course…)

The characters were largely the same in Clockwork Princess from the other two books in the series, with only a few secondary character additions. I really liked this about it because it meant we got to see a lot more development on the existing main characters without having to focus a lot on learning information about newer characters beyond the bit that was given.

There were characters I liked and characters I didn’t like at all, but overall they were all developed very well and I could easily have been talking with or setting fire to any of them. I’m still not sure quite how I feel about Will’s arc, but it was well defined and easy to follow at least.

The majority of the world is the same from the previous books in the series so not much world building needed to be done at all beyond describing locations. One new location that I really enjoyed seeing built up was Mortmain’s lair, which I won’t be any more specific on because spoilers are the devil’s tools. The world building was sufficient enough in Clockwork Princess, as with the other Infernal Devices novels, to easily be able to immerse myself in it as I was listening.

THE PLOT OH MY GOSH! Okay now that I’ve flailed and screamed at your eyeballs, I can say that if nothing else in the novel was done at all, the plot was perfect. I might not agree with all of the things that happened in it, BUT… It flowed perfectly from beginning to end, keeping me hooked on the story and loathing when I had to put my headphones away. Who needs to do things like work or sleep anyway?

At the end of the novel, everything is wrapped up, every loose end tucked neatly into the glorious tapestry that is Clockwork Princess and Infernal Devices, even the ones I did not realize I needed to be wrapped up. I thought at one point that the story must have been nearly over because at least most of the loose ends were tied up and that is what I have become used to when reading: a few loose ends here and there left to keep the reader hoping for another book from the author. When I looked at the time remaining at that point, there was still another hour or so left. So, yes, EVERYTHING was wrapped up at the end and it was glorious.

As with the first two books in the series, Clockwork Princess has yet another new narrator. I actually felt like Daniel Sharman did an amazing job with narrating this though and I didn’t spend much of the listening time trying to get used to his voice. I really enjoyed the way he gave voice to the story and the characters within it. I really hope to listen to more of his work in the future.

I really, really enjoyed this book, though I’m also really sad to see the series end. I feel quite attached to the characters, some far more than others, and I’m glad I did get so much closure at the end because I’m told the other series is set much further in the future. I really look forward to reading anything and everything Cassandra Clare publishes.

Overall, I rate Clockwork Princess 5 out of 5 bookworms.

Don’t just take my word for it. Get your hands on a copy and enjoy it for yourself. A few places you can order your copy from are:

 

I’ve learned that my library doesn’t have the Mortal Instruments series on digital audiobook so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get around to reading it, but I’m hoping VERY soon. That’s it for this review, bookworms. Keep living one page at a time!