The third book of The Mortal Instruments is City of Glass, which acts as the finale for the first trilogy. Thankfully, City of Glass if full of answers. Plus, with the two previous books, it wraps up nicely into a trilogy. I did read the second trilogy in the series as well. But I enjoyed having a ‘break’ as I could read other books and then jump back into this world.

City of Glass Book

I loved that City of Glass moved from New York to Alicante in this book. The change in scenery gave us a lot more world building. It also gave us a chance to push Clary even further out of her comfort zone. Clary showed us what she can do on her own. Which I personally think, is a lot better. I also enjoyed the insight into the Clave. In the previous books, the Clave was made to look slightly inept, so seeing how it was run answered a lot of questions.

The characters have definitely grown. You can clearly see the differences in their behaviors throughout City of Glass. Clary, although still impulsive, does start to listen to other people as she realises her actions are affecting those around her. Which makes her a bit more likeable. Some have also been developed more. Especially Isabelle who is brought out a bit more and explored as a person. This a lot more bearable than her being the girl Clary dislikes just because she’s pretty.

The ending of the book was the biggest issue for me. The defeat of Valentine was overly easy? It also made me think about whether anything Clary, Jace, Alec etc did anything within the three books really had any input to this. For example, some of the action in previous books was unnecessary. Valentine would have ultimately ended up at the same place anyway, without their trying. Therefore, I’m unsure as to why some of the problems needed to occur. Did anyone else feel this way?

The epilogue was a nice way to wrap up the end of the book. Although, as I know there’s a fourth book I’m definitely reading a lot into the seelie queen interaction. I also think is very very over the top happy ending style, and I’m not sure how this will affect my reading of City of Fallen Angels.

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The second book of The Mortal Instruments Series, The City of Ashes, was my least favourite book of the original trilogy. This review will be non-spoilers except for the end (which I will tell you when) where I will discuss a particular plot point. This point was what made me dislike this book over the other ones. I’d watched the TV show so I did know the ending to the problem that arised, but it still made it so difficult for me to read. But I still enjoyed the book as a whole, and continued reading the series.

I enjoyed the exploration of Jace and his fathers relationship. It was something I could really think about, and it there was depth and confusion. I just really enjoyed how Clare wrote Jace’s struggle with the information. This was a stark contrast to how I felt about Jace and Clary’s changing relationship, which I just did not care for in this book.

City of Ashes had a lot of filler information packed into it. We find out a lot about the werewolves, vampires and faeries. Which I loved. The descriptions of the Seelie court excited because I love books about the fey. I also enjoyed insights into how vampires ‘work’ and the same about the werewolves. I really wanted to see more of the secondary characters such as Raphael, Luke, Maia etc. in this book, just because they were so interesting from what we did see.

You can tell the writing is getting better, as Clare is falling into her own style more in this book. It’s still very easy to read, I read this book in about a day because I just didn’t want to put it down. Except for some chapters which I will tell you about after the ‘spoilers’ line.  After reading the first two books, I was definitely ready to read the next one, so I’m happy I got the box set instead of individuals.

 


Spoilers beyond this point

The whole incest thing annoyed me so damn much. It didn’t really affect the story, other than Clare wanted to put in some tension between the couple. Apparently the love triangle just wasn’t a strong enough trope for this. This isn’t like in Game of Thrones where the Lannister incest actual drove the story from the beginning either, it’s pretty useless. All things considered, it could have been cut with a different tension created instead. It made it really difficult tor read. I actually nearly stopped watching the TV show because I struggled with this point and the same happened with the book. Luckily I knew what was going to happen so I continued. But, it was still difficult to understand these characters in City of Ashes.

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For a while now I’ve been looking at the Kindle Unlimited section of Amazon, but I really didn’t want to pay more on top of my Prime membership. Now they’ve came out with Prime Reading* which gives access to books, comics and magazines. Prime Reading is free for all current Prime members as well as any new members.

Amazon Prime users can now read thousands of books for free with Prime Reading

The book selection is a lot smaller than that of Kindle Unlimited, but there’s still plenty of books of interest. A lot of the books also seem to be a first in the series. So if you want to read a series you get a free first book to see if you like it. I went through some of the options and second books don’t seem to be available for prime, but are through unlimited. So Prime Reading must be Amazon’s way to get people to sign up to Unlimited through a ‘taster’.

I’m not fully sure how you would get your book into the ‘Prime Reading’ area, but I think it’s a fantastic way for authors and publishers to introduce people to a series. So just looking through now, I’ve added multiple books to my TBR which I will probably buy the rest of the series if I like them.

Here are some of my choices:

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Ink Mage* by Victor Gischler

The Gender Game* by Bella Forrest

Enchantress* by James Maxwell

Spirit Legacy* by E.E Holmes

Atopia Chronicles* by Matthew Mather

The Paper Magician* by Charlie N. Holmberg

YA

Ruined* by Sophia Stafford

The Concealed* by Sarah Kleek

Fantasy of Frost* by Kelly St Clare

Dragon Marked* by Jaymin Eve

Under Different Stars* by Amy A. Barton

Gateway to Fourline* Pam Brondos

Comics and Graphic Novels

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers*

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal*

Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1: The Parker Luck*

Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 (Alias)*

New Avengers, Vol. 1: Breakout*

Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 1: Gifted*

Mystery and Thriller

The Light of the Fireflies* by Paul Pen

The Thief Taker* by C.S. Quinn

Junkie*by Heather C. Leigh

Huntress Moon* by Alexandra Sokoloff

Abducted*by T.R. Ragan

The Gemini Effect* by Chuck Grossart

Do you have Amazon Prime and think you’re going to utilise the new reading function?

 

*affiliate links have been used.

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Desolate begins with a foreword, warning about elements of a sensitive nature. As this is classed as YA, this was definitely needed. Desolate is not for younger readers due to graphic violence and abuse. I researched a bit before reading, learning that Desolate is a prequel for the Arotas Trilogy. This is an in depth backstory of Roseline, only slightly alluded to in the trilogy.

After a massacre at her wedding, and being left alone in the world, Roseline Dragomir has to find the will to survive. With a murderous husband, and evil brother-in-law and a castle full of demons, Roseline begins to give up on her life. But being immortal has it’s downsides until a mysterious stranger offers his help. With him on her side, will she survive the upcoming hunt?

Desolate (Immortal Rose Trilogy, #1)

Reading from Roseline’s point of view allows you to understand her as a character. What she’s thinking. How she’s feeling. What happens when she loses control. Roseline is definitely one of the smarter protagonists I’ve read, although she let’s her despair think for her throughout the beginning. She begin’s to develop and toughen up by the end, becoming cunning and outwitting her enemies. This is what I enjoyed most about her.

Vladimir, also known as Vlad the Impaler, played the tormenting husband. With his brother, Lucien being his truly evil right-hand man. These two play perfectly off each other in both their words and actions. You also can clearly see the difference in character. Miles has created two different antagonists, without using two stereotyped villains.

The love interest wasn’t rushed or made into an instant love scenario. We see Roseline converse multiple times before she even think’s of her interest in him. Mile’s definitely thought out how to incorporate the romance plot into the overall story rather than adding it for no reason.

The main issue is that the book is quite slow in places. A lot of the middle section is a lot of violence and hatred, but Roseline just puts up with it and doesn’t do anything. Consequently, it gets quite dull but also difficult to read. It picks up as you get towards the end though. Another problem I had was imagining the fighting and wounds afflicted. All our characters seem to be immortals who can endure a lot more than humans. Therefore, the unrealistic wounds are hard to think of. As well as the actions which inflict the wounds.

Other than the pace, and the difficulty of imagining some scenes, I enjoyed reading Desolate. I would, again, like to specify it is not for younger readers.

I received Desolate* by Amy Miles as an e-book from the publisher via Netgalley. This is an unbiased and honest review.

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The Mortal Instruments Series has been popular for quite a while. Especially when I was around 12 or 13 years old. I just never read them. Probably because no one gave me the books as a gift. The reason I am now reading them is because I watched the TV show on Netflix. Yes, it is slightly cheating but I wanted to find out if some of the problems I had with the show were in the books. I got my hands on the whole series, with City of Bones being the first book. I’m also reading them as a lead up to the second half of season 2 which is airing on the 5th of June!

 

Now City of Bones itself is very generic plot-wise. Bringing a ‘normal’ person into the ‘magical’ world who then has to act to save it has been done over and over again. I personally don’t think this is a bad thing. It makes the protagonist more like the reader. Consequently making the protagonist more relateable and easier to understand. This book does have a good premise. I really enjoyed the overarching storyline, although some parts do get quite annoying.

Clary is the main character and the main POV although it’s written in 3rd person. A lot of people don’t like Clary. And yes, I understand she does stupid things. But she is only 15 years old at this point. Do you remember when you were 15? Yeah you made stupid decisions. Although it’s slightly annoying, it makes it a lot easier to read when you remember her age. She also is very good at picking up Shadowhunter skills such as fighting and runes. Which is slightly unrealistic, but this does fit with the generic plot of putting someone normal into the magical world. Although she may seem overly powerful, this is the main character and she does need something about her to make it interesting.

This was Cassandra Clare’s first ever book, so it’s understandable that it’s not as well written as others. She does improve over the series. One of my issues was the bad guy didn’t seem all that menacing. The name, Valentine, just made me think of little cherubs and valentines day and cupid. So not the big bad scary man who’s out to kill people. I wish there was more actions in the book about him doing evil things, just to make him seem more scary and manipulative.

If you go into City of Bones thinking about the controversy, you wont like it. I promise you. If you read it objectively as it stands on it’s own it’s a decent YA Fantasy book. It’s by no means the most brilliant novel of the century, but it’s alright. It’s also extremely easy to read. Although there’s some slower info-dumping scenes there’s a lot of action in just one book. You can imagine the fight scenes clearly in your head. Which is one of the better points. The series a whole is actually quick to read. You get drawn into the story very easily. Which means you want to read more afterwards.

You can purchase the box set off Amazon* for £30 like what I did. Or it’s now only £15 in The Works. Yes, I am annoyed that I paid double what I could have but I’ll be okay. I promise.

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