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!


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.



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.



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.



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!

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:



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.



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.



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™ 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.



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!

Review: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?


My Review

Reign of the Fallen was the book that came in the Shelflove Crate January ‘Royal Pains’ box. It’s a book I’ve been really looking forward to reading because the premise looked so unique, so it didn’t take much urging for me to read it as soon as it got here. It did take me a few days to read it, but that’s mostly because I mainly read physical books on my days off from work (which are low in number lately) and on my lunch break. The lengthy read time, however, has not given me any less to say about this novel and I will probably ramble a bit so buckle up and grab a snack because this is probably going to be a long one.

The cast of characters is incredible and diverse and I really enjoyed getting to know them. The main character is very well developed and I had no trouble fitting myself into her headspace. The secondary characters might have done better with a little more development but I could imagine having a conversation with most of them so they were developed well enough for the purpose of the story.

What really stood out to me about the characters was the amazingly accurate representation. There was one secondary character who was gay and in a committed relationship with a soft boy whose orientation is never discussed beyond the relationship itself. However, the main character represents multiple things that I identified with on a deeply personal level.

The main character is a bisexual woman who suffers from grief at the loss of a loved one and addiction. The accuracy of the grief and addiction representation in this book is so incredible that even thinking on it now has me tearing up a bit. I will say that if it hadn’t been so long since the beginning of my fight with addiction, I would probably have been more tempted by it so please keep that in mind if you’re thinking of reading it.

The entire story is set in a world where some people are magicians but most are not. There are a few different types of magicians and the type of magician a person can train become is determined by their eye colour. I couldn’t help wonder what kind of magician I might become in such a world, given that my eyes are multiple colours that frequently shift and change, but after finishing the book I realized that I would probably not be a magician because of it so that was slightly disappointing.

One type of magician in Reign of the Fallen are the necromancers, who have varying shades of blue eyes. The main character and most of her friends have recently completed their training and become Master Necromancers, which is how the king, who initially died centuries before, is still able to reign over Karthia instead of passing the rule along to his heirs. With a world this complex, it could be difficult to build up on the page but Sarah Glenn Marsh didn’t seem to have any trouble with it at all and the world quickly became quite immersive.

The opening line of this novel is epic and the story flows well from it. There are a few plot twists, which I absolutely LOVED, but I figured them out long before the characters themselves did, making me believe that these were the type of plot twists meant for the characters instead of the reader. The plot flows back and forth between relatively slow progress and action sequences, but all the while kept me thinking and enjoying the story.

I’m really happy that this book came with the Shelflove Crate box this month because my library hasn’t even ordered it yet. I really enjoyed reading it from beginning to end. At the end of the story, most of the loose ends are tied up, but there is most definitely room for a sequel or companion novel. I really hope to see one, but I would also like to read more from Sarah Glenn Marsh!

Overall, I rate Reign of the Fallen 4 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 could order your copy from are:


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

Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Favourite Excerpts:

Page 16

Faeries are twilight creatures, and I have become one, too.

Page 83

“It’s shocking,” he says, as though he’s giving me some great compliment. “I know humans can lie, but to watch you do it is incredible. Do it again.”


My Review:

Okay so The Cruel Prince is the first Holly Black book I have experienced and oh my do I understand the hype now! My friend has been pushing me to read her work for months now and when I started seeing this one around the interwebs, I went ahead and put a physical copy on hold with the library. After the hold came in, I still managed to put off reading it for a while and let it sit in my physical TBR pile until I finally decided I should work on reading through it before it fell over and killed me in my sleep. Before we dig in, there are the TW/CWs I remember from having read this book some days in the past (idk my life is basically a blur right now. Don’t judge.)

  • Violent account of murder of parents in front of their children
  • Drugging

The characters were all relatively well developed and I had no trouble imagining having conversations with any of them, though some of them I would love to have avoided. I also had my shipping goggles on from about the halfway point to the end, though I won’t say for who. I will say though that the hate-to-love is strong with this novel!

I did find myself not really much liking Jude at times. She had a tendency to remind me a little of a character from another popular series I really didn’t care for and that rubbed me the wrong way a bit. I felt like Jude got a good bit of character development, which is great because I love a strong MC, but it felt like it kind of tapered off from there. The other characters were realistic but somehow slightly less so. They lacked the level of depth that Jude received. Also, I repeatedly found myself needing to slap Jude’s twin, whose name I’ve honestly forgotten and I can’t be bothered finding it again. Feel free to correct my rudeness in the comments.

The world was probably my favourite part of The Cruel Prince. It’s so magical and sideways, but it’s built up so subtly and brilliantly that it’s obvious this is where Holly Black shines most. I had zero trouble whatsoever putting myself into this magical, albeit medieval-styled, world with its hierarchy and magic. I really enjoyed how immersive it was from beginning to end.

The storyline flowed relatively well for most of the novel. There were parts that were a bit slower, but I felt that there was enough “what will happen next” tension built into those moments that it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story too horribly. On the other side of that token, there were sections of this book that were absolutely impossible to put down.

If there was one thing I could change about this novel, it would be the ending. Not because I didn’t think it was worthy of the story and characters, but because… CLIFFHANGER! Why do authors keep doing this to me? I don’t know. It seems to be a theme lately though because most of the books I’ve been reading end with some level of cliffhanger feel. I did really enjoy this novel from beginning to end though and I can not wait for the next book in the series to find out what happens next!

Overall, I rate The Cruel Prince 4 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 The Cruel Prince from are:


That’s all for this post, bookworms. Happy reading!

Audiobook Review: Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

My Review:

I started reading this in physical form but I really missed the narrator after having listened to Truthwitch so I decided to hold off on reading further until the audiobook came in. I would like to, yet again, blame Katie for insisting I inflict this emotional pain on myself. And now, the review!

The characters were all really well developed and three dimensional. I could very easily see each and every one of them as real people. You know, the kind who have strange, and often dangerous, magical powers. Also, my shipping goggles came out in full force on this one with the tension between Aeduan and Iseult. Ffs JUST KISS ALREADY! *ahem* But yes the characters are brilliant.

I also really liked the addition of the new characters while the existing characters from the previous novel, Truthwitch, got extra development. Surprisingly, the Empress of Marstok came to be one of my favourite characters because she’s so incredibly real. She is so obviously human while still putting on a strong poker face and attacking everything head on. She is yet another of this series’ perfect examples of strong and amazing women.

The world of the Witchlands expands from the existing world building from Truthwitch. It both builds upon the existing information in regards to the locations and moves off to the side to add new locations that might have been mentioned previously but not built up very much. Susan Dennard does a masterful job at world building and before I realized it I was completely immersed in the Witchlands and the stories unfolding there.

So… I was warned that Windwitch would be a literal emotional roller coaster but… I was imaging one of those simple roller coasters where you’re given a padded harness and some popcorn at the end. I was most definitely not anticipating the old school wooden roller coasters where you’re lucky to have a lap bar and are expected to simply “hold on tight” while your car does loop-the-loops and tries to kill you. Obviously, I should have.

The storyline just… I have so many feelings right now. The story flows fairly well, especially taking into account the fact that multiple points-of-view are used. As many of us know, the use of multiple POV characters can generally go one of two ways. It can either add an incredible amount of depth to the characters, plot, and world, or it can fail horribly and rip the reader from the page, generally making them want to throw the book against a wall. There is no middle ground on this! Susan Dennard nailed the multiple POV usage yet again. The story keeps moving from beginning to end as if daring you to put it down.

As I said, I began reading Windwitch in its physical form but I really missed the way Cassandra Campbell reads. She brings the story and the characters in it to life with her voice through her flawless use of storytelling inflection, voice pitching, and accents. There could be no better narrator for this novel and I 100% recommend it if you’re looking for a good audiobook. I definitely look forward to hearing more of her work.

I just finished listening to Windwitch earlier today and I’m still an emotional wreck. From Susan Dennard’s masterful writing style to Cassandra Campbell’s perfect storytelling ability, I could not stop listening from beginning to end. Honestly, the only thing keeping Windwitch from being a full five bookworms is the fact that there are still so many loose ends at the end. I can not wait to read more from these characters, so the fact that Sightwitch will be released tomorrow is giving me the excited wiggles!

Overall, I rate Windwitch 4 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 could order from are:

That’s all for this post, bookworms. I’m now off to wallow in my bookish feels. Keep living one page at a time! 😉

Series Review: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I’ve seen series reviews around the interwebs and since I devoured this one relatively quickly, I decided to go ahead and give this multibook review thing a go. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is a series of fairytale retellings told in a Science Fiction/Fantasy contest. It’s basically Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, and Snow White but IN SPACE.

The entire series is set in the future where, after a fourth world war, there is peace throughout earth, which is referred to as the Earthen Union. At some point during that history, some humans left earth to build a colony on the moon, called Luna. The humans that colonized Luna are called Lunars and have developed gifts that allow them to manipulate people’s minds, whereas those that stayed on Earth are called Earthens and they did not develop those skills.

There’s all the action and magic of a good Steampunk SciFi Fantasy series but with the added bonus of being retellings. But let me see if I can’t pull together some semblance of organization for this series review because otherwise it’ll just end up being me ranting on and on about how much I loved the series. First, here’s the links for my reviews of the individual books in this series in case you’d like to check those out as well.

  • Cinder
  • Scarlet
  • Cress
  • Winter
  • Fairest
  • Stars Above – I’ve decided not to write a full review of this one because it’s a collection of novellas and not a single story.



The characters, for the most part, were relatively well developed. Each character had their own personality, voice, backstory, thought processes, and story arc that was easily identifiable. They also all have so much depth! I really felt like I could easily have had a conversation with any of them, though there were quite a few (obviously) who I would rather not be anywhere near.

Cinder is the character based most from the retelling of Cinderella. I went back and forth on whether or not I even liked her through pretty much the entire series. In the end, I love her. The fact that I was able to dislike her even though she’s meant to be the hero tells me she has flaws, making her an extremely three-dimensional character. She’s extraordinarily well developed.

Kai is basically a soft, stubborn, teenage Prince Charming and he’s perfect. He’s been put through so much but still manages to step up and rule and entire country. He has to face down some seriously difficult decisions throughout the series but still manages to stay true to himself and his country. We need more characters like him!

One of my favourite characters in the entire series is Scarlet, who is based from two separate retellings from what I could tell: Little Red Riding Hood (she would be Red) and Beauty and the Beast (Belle, obviously). She’s stubborn and persistent and caring and hard working and I fell in love with her immediately.

Wolf plays opposite of Scarlet so I believe his character is also based on two separate retellings: Little Red Riding Hood (the wolf, duh) and Beauty and the Beast (the Beast). While his character does have so much depth and so many layers, I felt like his character toward the end of the series could have been a bit more developed. I can understand how that’d be a bit difficult given how his arc went though so I’m still content with where he ended up.

Cress is basically a wee hacking genius version of Rapunzel where the tower is a satellite floating around in Earth’s orbit. She’s a bit socially awkward which made her incredibly relatable. She’s sweet and smart and awkward and honest and she is one of my very favourite characters from the series.

If Cress is Rapunzel, Thorne is basically Flynn Rider. I absolutely love that Marissa Meyer opted for a more Flynn character than a prince-who-sneaks-into-the-tower-and-impregnates-Rapunzel character. He’s been a thief and major flirt for years by the time we start reading him, but he maintains a level of kindness. I really enjoyed his character.

What is a retelling series without Snow White? Luckily I didn’t have to find out because Winter fits that role so very perfectly. I absolutely adore her character. She’s so sweet and loving and completely mad. She chose Lunar sickness over using her Lunar gift, which basically means she willingly went mad rather than manipulating people.

Jacin is quite obviously based on the Huntsman from Snow White. He’s dedicated and honorable and caring. His character has quite a bit of depth and one of the few questions I had at the end of the series was about his character. He’s also one of the few characters I cared slightly less about. Don’t get me wrong… I liked him. I just didn’t care as much about him as the others I’ve already mentioned.

Remember how I said some characters I’d rather just not be anywhere near? That’d be Levana, who is basically the Evil Queen from any and every fairy tale ever written. Even in Fairest, where we get a good look at her backstory, I just couldn’t stand her, but I think that was probably the idea. Her thinking is twisted to where she honestly believes she’s doing what is right for the people of Luna, even if it means torturing the people of Luna. It makes her a thoroughly unlikeable villain, which definitely works for the series.



The world building throughout the series is breathtaking. We’re given a multitude of locations with thorough enough descriptions as to be completely immersive throughout the series. We’re also given a thorough enough description of the mechanics of the world to understand how and why it operates the way it does. I love that it’s far enough into the future that Earth has changed quite a bit but not far enough into the future that the world has become unrecognizable.

My favourite part about the world building throughout The Lunar Chronicles is that the countries of Earth are always collectively referred to as The Earthen Union. Earth is at peace and has been for generations. I also like that this peace came at the cost of millions of lives at the end of a fourth world war. Do I like that millions of people had to die for that peace to occur? Of course not. I do, however, like that those lives lost finally taught the citizens of Earth that war is not the answer, especially when it involves nuclear weaponry: a lesson I wish modern humanity would learn.

I also enjoyed seeing the unfolding of the relationship between Luna and Earth. The backstory was especially interesting, especially when it was expanded upon a bit through the novellas. I kinda hope Marissa Meyer revisits the series a bit later and expands on the future of the relationship between the two…or lack therof…or anything really. Just give me more.



The story itself was really interesting. I had trouble putting the books down because I had to know what happened next for pretty much the entire time. I liked the use of multiple narrators, which only grew more complicated as the series went on and more narrators were added. I feel like it really added to the plot as a whole and didn’t take away from it as much, though I did notice a few arcs that were less than I hoped for and multiple narrators could easily be blamed for them.

I went into the story not knowing quite exactly what to expect from the series and came out completely blown away. I like to think of stories as a tapestry with each word being a thread. The Lunar Chronicles definitely lived up to that comparison. Each word was a thread, adding a little at a time to the bigger picture that didn’t become clear until each novel in the series was nearly complete. The plot twists were meant mostly for the characters and not for the reader, but they were quite effective in that way.



If you’ve followed my reviews of the series, you know I listened to most of it on digital audiobook. The entire series is narrated by Rebecca Soler and I appreciated the consistency of a single narrator carried throughout the series. It kept me from having to get used to the voice of a different narrator, which can be somewhat distracting.

In Cinder, Scarlet, and Fairest, the narration was kind of meh: not terrible but nothing to write home about. Her voice is smooth and easy to listen to so that was a plus, but she didn’t really seem to give it anything extra. The narration of Cress and Winter, however, Rebecca Soler did varying accents for the different characters and even attempted different voices for each. They were my two favourites of the series to listen to.



I really love that Marissa Meyer bridged the gaps I didn’t realize existed with the set of novellas attached to The Lunar Chronicles. I really enjoyed Fairest and how we got a closer look at Levana and how her thought process works and I loved the collection of novellas included in Stars Above because they add to a few of the other characters’ stories. Reading the novellas was like a nice little treat that allowed me to stay with the characters and world I grew to love so much during the series.


I really enjoyed this series from beginning to end and I’m kind of kicking myself for letting it sit on my TBR list for so long. Honestly, I foresee rereading it at some point because I fell in love with the whole thing and I am just not at all ready to let go!

Overall, I rate The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer 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:


Please let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this series review or if you’d like me to start doing series reviews more regularly. I’d also really love to hear your thoughts on the series! That’s all for me today, bookworms. Happy reading!

Audiobook Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.


Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.


My Review:

I actually finished Wonder Woman: Warbringer last week but it’s taken me quite a few days to gather my thoughts on it, a pattern I’ve noticed with Leigh Bardugo’s books. It actually got to the point where I wasn’t sure I would be writing a full review of it at all. This is the first in a set of four books in the DC Icons series, each written by a different author. I was really excited when I found out Leigh Bardugo was writing this one because I love her work and I just knew she would do Diana justice.

One of the best parts of Wonder Woman: Warbringer for me was the characters. They’re all really well developed and fleshed out enough that it’s super easy to differentiate between them. They’re all definitely individuals and I felt like I could have a conversation with each of them, even if the conversation might end in violence for certain of them.

The world was incredibly well developed, which I’ve come to expect from Leigh Bardugo’s writing. I especially loved getting to see Themyscira and all the different places there. I would have loved to see more of it, but I don’t think the story really allowed for that. In summary: The world building was absolutely stunning and immersive, two things I definitely look for in the books I’m reading.

If the characters and world were well developed, they were half as well done as the plot. There were twists and turns and setbacks and I just LOVED it. By the time the story was finished, I felt like I had been on an epic adventure alongside the characters. I was an emotional wreck, given that my heart was torn out, crushed, and then shoved back into my chest and forced to continue beating. I enjoyed watching the characters grow and change along their arcs. Well, most of them anyway. I’m still mad about the big plot twist, which was probably intentional.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer is narrated by Mozhan Marno, who has the smoothest reading voice. I could listen to her read for hours, which is good because the audiobook is roughly eleven hours long. She gives each character’s voice varying inflections and gives the words a weight that brings an extra depth to the words being read. She doesn’t attempt the voices, but the inflections are more than enough. I found an excerpt from the audiobook on YouTube, which you can listen to here.

At the end of the book, I found myself slightly overwhelmed, yet strangely satisfied. It’s a feeling you’d think I’d be used to, given my love of Leigh Bardugo’s writing, but it always still seems to surprise me. While there were a few things in the book I was slightly iffy about, the only thing I really disliked about the book was that we didn’t find out exactly what the Keralis Foundation did or what their stipulations on grant recipients were. I found myself devoting entirely too much energy to wondering what it was that they did or required that was so bad instead of being able to more fully focus on the characters and the story unfolding around them. Maybe that was just me? I don’t know. It was hinted at a couple times but was never blatantly stated and I didn’t feel like assuming.

I did really enjoy the story and the characters in it. I loved watching the world itself unfold through Leigh Bardugo’s storytelling style and how vividly I was able to imagine it all, as though I was there with Diana and Alia throughout the novel. Leigh Bardugo remains an auto-buy author for me and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

Overall, I rate Wonder Woman: Warbringer 4 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 go to order your copy from are:


That’s all for me for today, bookworms. Until next time, keep living one page at a time!

Audiobook Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,

Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


My Review:

I’m so far from ready to let this series go so I’m so very happy that Marissa Meyer also wrote Fairest. I’m also really glad they’re both available in audiobook form through my library’s Overdrive because it means I can listen on the bus to and from work. Unfortunately, that means that even if I do hear a great excerpt, I don’t get to write it down until later when I’m likely to forget it. But we’ll weigh out the pros and cons of audiobooks later… Now, for my review!

This novella takes place years before Cinder, the first book of The Lunar Chronicles. The main character is Levana and we get to learn her story and how she thought of the people around her. The characters are all well developed and it’s easy to see each of them as individuals, right down to little baby Winter. While it was difficult to relate to Levana, Fairest provided an unfiltered glimpse into her thought process and feelings.

I don’t know if the actual building of the world in Fairest was good or if it was so well done in the novels of the series that I carried over my image of the world into this novella. I think, if anything, this novella depends on the novels in the story in regards to world building because there are a few things I would have been confused on had I not already read the main novels of the series. This is probably at least in small part due to the amount of story packed into such a short novella.

And wow was it a good story! I loved getting to see Levana’s side to things. How she felt and thought and the reasons she decided to do the things she did. I also really liked seeing the other characters’ stories unfolding around her. The story flowed really well, though there were a few times when there was a flashback that got slightly confusing in the audiobook version. I’m not sure if it would have been easier to spot the different between the main storyline and the flashbacks in the physical version or not.

Fairest is narrated by Rebecca Soler, the same narrator who narrated the rest of The Lunar Chronicles audiobooks. In this one, there aren’t really any accents for her to do since it all takes place on Luna. She did attempt to “do the voices” but it ended up coming out kinda meh. Fairest is not my favourite from her.

I really enjoyed this novella and I’m hoping to be able to finish off the series by reading the other novella attached very soon. I’m going to be sad to leave this world and these characters behind! I did really enjoy this novella, but I also wish it had gone just a little longer and shown a little more background between Levana and Winter.

Overall, I rate Fairest 4 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 go to order your copy from are:

That’s all for this post. Until next time, keep living one page at a time!

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.


Favourite Excerpts:

Page 14:

“If only our wishes had power,” I said.

“Then I’d be the most powerful person in the world,” Käthe remarked, “for I have wishes aplenty.”


Page 26:

He looked at me as no one had before, as though I were more than the sum of my eyes, my nose, my lips, my hair, and my wretched plainness. He looked as though he saw me entire, as though he knew me.


My Review:

Here it is! The first book of 2018 I read entirely in physical form!! *parades around using the book as a baton* Wintersong wasn’t too high up on my TBR until a coworker started raving about it on Friday, grabbed it from the stacks, and ordered me to read it this weekend. I tentatively picked it up Friday evening and finished it last night. It would have been faster but I had to force myself to put it down because life interfered with my reading…again. There are a few trigger/content warnings but I’m unclear on how to word some of them so bear with me.

  • Unchecked use of a racial slur
  • Drugging

Let’s get on with the review! The characters were relatively well developed for the most part. There were times where I felt like a couple of the characters could have swapped names and there wouldn’t have been a difference in the story, but for the most part that was just the goblins so I’m not overly worried about that. There were parts of the storyline that actually required the human personalities be fluid, which definitely made for an interesting read. I did find myself disliking most of the characters. I wish it were otherwise but, as an example, I really just couldn’t stand Liesl’s sister for the majority of the book.

The story takes place in two different places: a small town inn with a wood grove and the Underworld, where the Goblin King resides. One of my favourite parts of this novel was the world building. I really felt immersed in the small town, from the market Liesl and Käthe go to to the inn to the Goblin Grove. It was something I already had a slight grasp for because I’m originally from a small town and had woods right in the back yard. That part of the story was almost like coming home, aside from the different family dynamic in place.

The world building in the Underground was really interesting because it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I like how everything was established, from the design of the world itself to the hierarchy in place with the different residences of the Underworld. I also really enjoyed the incorporation of wishes to the world. It made a somewhat scary and creepy world a bit more whimsical and magical.

The story is broken into several sections and so much happened that I have trouble believing it was all just one book. The storyline jumps around a little in some places, but otherwise it flows relatively well from beginning to end. It’s also pretty fast paced for much of the story, which accounts for why I had so much trouble putting it down.

The romance, if it can be called that, almost kind of felt like a slow burn even though it really wasn’t. I’m not sure if it’s because Liesl spent so much time arguing with herself or if its because the “romance” didn’t really begin until half way into the book. I also kind of felt like the romantic relationship between Der Erlkönig and Elisabeth bordered on emotionally abusive. There were certain scenes that made me feel gross, but that didn’t stop me from shipping them so idk if that says something about the romance or something about me.

While there were a few things about Wintersong I didn’t quite enjoy (character building, unchecked use of racial slur, slightly abusive feel to the romance, etc.), I really enjoyed the full story. There are a few questions I still have at the end, but for the most part everything wrapped up fairly nicely at the end of the story. I know there is a sequel coming to this novel soon and I’m really looking forward to reading it and hoping it can answer some of the questions I have from this novel.

Overall, I rate Wintersong 4 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 go to order your copy from are:


Let me know if you’ve read this book in the comments! (I desperately need someone to flail with me over it because flailing alone? Not as fun.) That’s all for me today, bookworms. Until next time, keep living one page at a time!

January Plans: What Will I Read?

Hi, bookworms! I know this is a few days late, but I wanted to at least put out what my hopes for my January TBR are before we get too deep into the month. Here’s a list of the books I’ve read so far this month and those I’d like to read with their synopsis as listed on Goodreads!


Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

I’ve already read this one and reviewed it for the blog tour. The giveaway is still active if you’d like to give that a go, though it is US only. Here’s the link for that post if you’d like to check it out!


Winter by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

I already read this beast and will hopefully have a review up for it shortly. Woot!


Traitor’s Prize by Thaddeus White (The Bloody Crown Trilogy #2)

One man’s treason is another man’s loyalty. The crown itself may be the traitor’s prize.

William Penmere dispatches his bodyguard Sir Hugh to rescue a woman claiming to be Sophie Hurstwood, the woman he was meant to marry. But with the enemy pillaging Hurshire, can Hugh reach her before Stuart Esden?

The Usurper’s son has been tasked with crushing dissent in Hurshire, and brings sword and fire to the earldom. Robbed of glory by being sent south instead of confronting Black Will, Stuart quenches his wrath in a bloodbath of his foes.

Meanwhile, William is trapped in Norshire. Cut off from retreat and reinforcements, he must destroy an enemy far more powerful than himself, or lose his throne. And his head.

Armies are mustered and cities besieged, but it’s the smiler with the knife who makes the nobles tremble.

Thaddeus White is one of the few authors who I’m okay with emailing me work even though I’m closed to review requests. (George R. R. Martin, if you’re reading this you’re good to send me WoW. Just saying!) He sent this over in November and I was in such a slump I couldn’t read much of it. I finally picked it back up today and couldn’t put it down for three solid hours. This is a very good sign!


Tarnished City by Vic James (Dark Gifts #2)

Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.

New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?

Another victim of my reading slump, I’ve had a digital galley of this one from NetGalley for over a month now and I completely forgot about it. It’s up next on my digital reads after Traitor’s Prize and I’ll hopefully be able to knock it out and review it by the end of this month.


Fairest by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,

Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

I have this one on audiobook and it’s up next to be my bus book. As it’s only six and a half hours long, it’ll only take me a couple of days to knock out because my current bus time is between four and six hours a day.


Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (DC Icons #1)

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.


Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

This is next in line audiobook wise after Fairest. I’ve really been looking forward to reading this one so when my audiobook hold came in, I got SO EXCITED! I’ve heard it’s amazing and I love all of Leigh Bardugo’s other work so I’m really looking forward to listening to and reviewing this one.


Everless by Sara Holland

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

This one came in the mail with the subscription box I got myself with a gift card someone gave me for the winter holidays. It looks really interesting so I’m hoping I’ll be able to dig in and review it soon!


I know my January 2018 TBR is a bit ambitious, but with at least a few of them being audiobooks that I’ll listen to while doing other things like riding the bus to and from work or cleaning I’ll somehow manage to make it happen. If you have any suggestions for my February TBR, please leave them in the comments!

That’s all for today, bookworms. Keep living one page at a time!