Saturday, February 18, 2012

Clockwork Prince

Supposedly it's James Carstairs on the cover
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends. 

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them. 

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do? 

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

The second book of “The Infernal Devices“ is named “ClockorkPrince“. I know, that some people think that it’s a failure compared to the first one, but in my opinion, CP was much, much better.
  1. It did not drag on
  2. It was unexpected, at times
  3. The relationships were much more complicated
I’ve written down many notes and I’m going on with them in a minute, before that I’d just like to say that I’m glad I read the sequel, because the first one did not impress me that much and now I’m so looking forward to the third and final one (2013).
So. On the love triangle. I wanted to cheer on Jem and I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for him I think. He’s so symathetic and human, caring, friendly. He’s a great friend material. He’s a great relationship material. Other than that, I cannot deny the butterflies in my stomach caused by William, not James. James is all one could ever wish for and any girl would be happy to have him, but it does not mean that there’s a Jem for everyone in the world. That special someone could be anyone. Someone, who understands you completely, who you feel comfortable even during silence and sho completes you. Who understands you without any words spoken out loud. Will and Tessa have that connection and as much as I do not want to admit it, they’re made for each other. Parallels from young adult fiction can be drawn from many relationships, Rose’s and Dimitri’s is one of them. They’re soulmates and although I  l o v e  Adrian, he’s not the one for Rose.
Some of the reades think that Tessa’s weak and featherbrained, but I get her on some levels. She does not know why Will insults him all of the time and, at the same time, we, as readers, are inside of Williams head and know what he’s going trough. Tess doesn’t. Therefore, it’s hard to blame Theresa, because she cannot take the endless insults, she wants to move on. The last scene between only Tess and Will is heartreaking.
On some levels I’m bothered because of the parallels between TMI and ID, such as Jace covering Clary’s body in order to keep her getting hurt from the collapse of the Wayland manor and Will covering Tessa with his body to keep her from dying. There’s more, but maybe it’s somehow related to them being relatives? No? Anyway, it’s disturbing and I’d like to read more original thoughts.
Okay, I’m officially a fan girl. Really. Magnus Bane is the best part of the series.
I’d like an answer to two questions, which will be answered in the third part of the series (“Clockwork Princess“):
  1. Tessa – what is she?
  2. What’s the deal with the clockwork angel Tessa’s wearing all the time?

“Reparations,“ said Jem very suddenly, setting down the pen he was holding.
Will looked at him in puzzlement. “Is this a game? We just blurt out whatever word comes next to mind? In that case mine’s ’genuphobia.’ It means an unreasonable fear of knees.“
“What’s the word for perfectly reasonable fear of annoying idiots?“ inquired Jessamine.

“Perhaps we could say she’s a mad maiden aunt who insists on chaperoning us everywhere.“
“My aunt or yours?“ Jem inquired.
“Yes, she doesn’t really look like either of us, does she? Perhaps she’s a girl who’s fallen madly in love with me and persists in following me whereever I go.“
“My talent is shape-shifting, Will, not acting,“ said Tessa, and at that, Jem laughed out loud. Will glared at him.

Book trailer. Rate: 4/5.

Reading order:
  1. Clockwork Angel
  2. Clockwork Prince
  3. Clockwork Princess (2013)

Clockwork Angel

Supposedly it's William Herondale on the
cover of "Clockwork Angel"
Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

I’ve put reading Cassandra Clare’s prequel to The Mortal Instruments off for a very long time. If you’ve read some of my previous reviews for TMI you know that I’m a huge fan of the series. I was a bit sceptical about reading The Infernal Devices, because it’s a prequel (a series written after TMI, but the events take place before the events in TMI) and how can something, which takes place almost a century and a half before be better than TMI?
The heading of the first book in TID series is “ClockworkAngel“. The events take place in the 19th century in London. The main characters are Theresa (Tessa), William (Will) and James (Jem), plus some othere important and less important characters. The beginnig of it was pretty intriguing, because in TMI Clary is a Shadowhunter, but Tessa’s not. She’s not quite human either. She’s a shapeshifter and is held hostage and prepared to marry the Magister. Tessa does not know that, of course, and thinks that she has to suffer and hear humiliation and shift by command in order to save her brother Nathan, who supposedly is being held hostage, too. The girl is saved by the Shadowhunters, but it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning.
Other musings. At times, I felt like I was watching a Walt Disney cartoon, “The Beauty and the Beast“, to be exact, where Tessa was the Beauty and William was the Beast. Why? Tessa and Will are both bookfreaks. No, not nerds, but freaks! I thought I loved books, but I cannot quote all the books I’ve read. It’s not the only parallel. Tessa’s kind-hearted, bold and stands on her ground. Will, on the other hand, pushes everyone away (except Jem, who’s his parabatai) and is extremely mean towards Tessa. He’s also sarcastic and arrogant. Yes, one can tell that he really likes Tessa, but like the Beast, Will cannot let anyone in (except for Jem, who, by the way, is dying anyway).
Jem plus Will plus Tessa equals the love triangle. What’s interesting about it is that Will and Jem are best friends for life; even more than that they’re parabatai and in love with the very same girl. Neither of them knows about how the other one feels. Tessa falls for Will, obviously, but how he treats her is pretty bad and, at the same time, Jem is very sweet and kind. I think you get the picture.
It’s difficult to imaigne the clockwork army. Funny, too. I didn’t excactly get what the point of them was to bring down the Shadowworld, conquer England and then the whole world? I guess so. Anyway, I wasn’t sure who was behind all of this, but I had some ideas.
It was an up-tempo book (if you don’t consider the beginning of it), but TMI left a bigger impression on me and the first book of TID was not as good as all the TMI books, therefore, I felt like there was something missing. Best thing about TID is Magnus, who, again, is one of the main characters and it’s great to read about him. Oh, and Demonpox and ducks are the favorite subject of Jem and Will to discuss.
The attic scene between William and Tessa in Will’s point of view. Excerpts:

Will rolled up his sleeves. "We'll probably have to knock down the door--"
"Or," said Jem, reaching out and giving the knob a twist, "not."
The door swung open onto a rectangle of darkness.
"Now, that's simply laziness," said Will.

Will: "Nice place to live, isn't it? Let's hope they left something behind other than filth. Forwarding addresses, a few severed limbs, a prostitute or two ..."
Jem: "Indeed. Perhaps, if we're fortunate, we can still catch syphilis."
"Or demon pox," Will suggested cheerfully, trying the door under the stairs.

“Sometimes, when I have to do something I don't want to do, I pretend I'm a character from a book. It's easier to know what they would do.“

“You know," Gabriel said, "there was once a time I thought we could be friends, Will."
"There was a time I thought I was a ferret," Will said, "but that turned out to be the opium haze.”

Book trailer. Rate: 3/5.

Reading order:
  1. Clockwork Angel
  2. Clockwork Prince
  3. Clockwork Princess (spring, 2013)

Succubus Revealed

In Georgina Kincaid, succubus and she-demon, #1 New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead has created one of her most enticing characters. But with a shot at love, and maybe even redemption, is the ultimate seductress finally going soft? Like hell she is. . .

Georgina Kincaid has had an eternity to figure out the opposite sex, but sometimes they still surprise her. Take Seth Mortensen. The man has risked his soul to become Georgina's boyfriend. Still, with Lucifer for a boss, Georgina can't just hang up her killer heels and settle down to domestic bliss. In fact, she's being forced to transfer operations. . .to Las Vegas. 

The City of Sin is a dream gig for a succubus, but Georgina's allies are suspicious. Why are the powers-that-be so eager to get her away from Seattle—and from Seth? Georgina is one of Hell's most valuable assets, but if there's any way out of the succubus business she plans to take it—no matter how much roadkill she leaves behind. She just hopes the casualties won't include the one man she's risking everything for. . .

I think I’m not going to write about all of the books from this series separately, I’m just going to state all the things here. I liked the beginning of the series. The sequel was good. Loved the third and the fourth book. The fifth was not that good, it did not move me at all on any level and I wasn’t sure I wanted to read the last one. I’m glad I did, tho.

The sixth book was different from the others. I thought that, throughout the series, the flow of the story was quite easy to figure out, but I was not expecting the things happening in the last book. At all. It was understandable and reasonable, because I could not figure out the connection between the men from Georgina’s past. I liked the conclusion and, although I feel like Mead could have told the story bettew, all the loose ends were connected and the ending was quite logical. In the last one, there was not that much action, but it was still cool.

At times, I feel bad about reading all the books from the series right away, because in the next one the author always describes what happend in the previous one. It’s annoying to read it all over again. But, if I’d have to wait for the next book to come out for a year or so, I’d forget the details, too, so maybe it’s not so bad. 

In conculsion, it was an interesting series and I enjoyed Georgina’s relationship with her friends (Hugh, Peter, Cody) and Carter the most. Real friends are there even when their own perspective is not the greatest and one does not always have to fight on the same side to be there for someone. Even Bastian’s and Georgina’s sister-brother relationship was sweet and sincire.

I started to look for excerpts, actually, but there were too, too many of them, so, yeah. There were so many good thoughts, sayings and scenes that made me laugh. There were a few, tho, which made me laugh out loud, but in each of these books there was an aphorism, which one should keep in mind. Unfortunately there were too many of them and I could not choose a few of them to write here.

Rate to the last book and to the series in whole: 4.

Reading order:
  1. Succubus Blues
  2. Succubus On Top
  3. Succubus Dreams
  4. Succubus Heat
  5. Succubus Shadows
  6. Succubus Revealed

Succubus Blues

Succubus (n.) An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. Pathetic (adj.) A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georgina Kincaid.

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies. Her immortal best friends haven't stopped teasing her about the time she shape-shifted into the Demon Goddess getup complete with whip and wings. And she can't have a decent date without sucking away part of the guy's life. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore--free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny...

I’ve read all of the books from Richelle Mead’s “Vampire Academy“ series and I must admit, it’s  one of my favorites. I was a little sceptical about her second biggest series, but decided to give it a try and was pleasently suprised. Can this suave and loved young adult author write in a totally different style? It felt extremely weird at first and I feel like I got to know Richelle more as a writer.
Succubus Blues: The story itself was good, up-tempo and over a long period of time I could keep my hands away from turning the pages and from spoiling the story for myself. This series about Georgina Kincad is definitely for a more mature reader than 15-17 year olds. It’s different, but good. I liked that the characters were more mature themselves and had more life experience, expected more from life than the teenagers and young adults I’ve been reading so much about lately. The use of tongue was a bit gruesome and savage at times, but made me smile at times to. There are lots of scenes to smile about, but none made me laugh out loud, unfortunately.

Georgina’s name reminds me of the terrifying and hilarious Georgina Sparks from “Gossip Girl“, but the main character of “Succubus Blues“ is similar to her only by her determination and devotion. Georgina Kincaid, as Rose (TVA), is a strong, confident, humorous, caring and a diligent figure, who has a strong vision of her future. I felt for her, because she gave everything she wanted and cared for in order to make up for one mistake and has to pay for it throughout the eternity.

I liked the writings between Georgina and Seth, it was sweet, because, yes, they met each other on daily basis, but in the writings they both were more sincire and Seth could open himself up thwough something he felt comfortable and at ease.

It was a great start to the series. At times, very, very steamy.

“We all have moments of weakness. It’s how we recover from them that really counts.” 

Rate: 3/5.

Reading order:
  1. Succubus Blues
  2. Succubus On Top
  3. Succubus Dreams
  4. Succubus Heat
  5. Succubus Shadows
  6. Succubus Revealed