Wrapping up Clare, Clary, and Clockworks

June 18, 2014 at 1:26 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

City of Heavenly FireTitles: City of Heavenly Fire and Clockwork Princess

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Fantasy/ Teen

*SPOILERS*

So I was finally able to wrap up two series, The Mortal Instruments and the prequel series Infernal Devices.  It was kind of refreshing to finish something and know that I know as much of the story that is available to know at the moment.

City of Heavenly Fire was exactly what I expected.  Great closing to it all, not a lot of surprises.  The only thing that did surprise me were the number of new characters that were introduced, seemingly to kick start another set of books.  But Clary and Jace are finally basking in their glorious together-ness, the readers got a wedding (Clary’s mother and Luke of course), and the teen couple finally sealed the deal which was expected, gratifying for the masses, but also disappointing for me – the girl who waited.

clockwork princessClockwork Princess was not nearly as satisfying.  It went as expected (the ending sort of spoiled by having already read City of Heavenly Fire), but also disappointed me in the sense that sometimes a girl should actually have to do a little more choosing.  No one gets everything they ever wanted that thoroughly, and Tessa being allowed to love both boys so completely thrusts you outside of the book’s reality and back into your own by the sheer fact that no one should be allowed such a fairy tale.  Even in happily ever afters, a girl has to pick a prince.  You didn’t see Clary marrying Jace and running into the ever after with Simon or vice versa.  It was sweet and wonderful, but too sweet and too wonderful, and therefore fell flat to me.

I’m glad I read them the way I did though, I am.  Even if things were a little anti-climactic, I understand stories and the fact that the characters simply have to live their lives and sometimes those lives are anti-climactic.  I’m just also a little relieved that both series have ended.

I still adore Cassandra Clare, I still look forward to reading more of her writing in the future.  But for now, I think I may have burned myself out.  Or maybe Clare burned herself out.  I’m not sure and it’s probably not fair for me to decide right now.

 

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Unexpected Odes to Literature

June 10, 2014 at 11:19 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

City of Lost Souls 2Title: City of Lost Souls

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy

Length: 534 pages

For me, what makes the writings of Cassandra Clare so captivating isn’t the fairy tale romance, the paranormal elements, or the bad ass fight sequences… at the heart of it all, it’s the way Clare manages to make a young adult fantasy saga an sequence of unexpected odes to her favorite pieces of literature.

“No man chooses evil because it is evil.  He only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” – Mary Wollstonecraft

“Love is familiar.  Love is a devil.  There is no evil angel but Love.” – William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost

“I love you as one loves certain dark things.” – Pablo Neruda, “Sonnet XVII”

“All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.” – William Butler Yeats, “Easter, 1916”

Whether the story was constructed around these quotes, or the quotes City of Lost Souls 1were slipped into the story, the two halves were beautifully married together.  Just as Clare always manages to do.

If you recall my review of The Book of Secrets you should be well aware of how much I cherish this particular aspect of storytelling.  I love peeping into the mind of the author and what they’ve read before – what work we may have both cherished.  I love to see how others acknowledge how literature builds a soul.  Even if that soul is an imagined character in another book.

A reviewer on Goodreads mentioned they thought it was silly that all these Shadowhunter kids were completely oblivious of what went on in the mundane world half the time – Jace completely misses references to Madonna or Dungeons & Dragons games – but are well versed in William Shakespeare and Dante.

As a classical book geek it makes perfect sense to me.  I was raised on Charles Dickens and the Brontes, not the latest boy band or pop culture trends.  Poetry is timeless.  New Kids on the Block obviously not so much.

One doesn’t expect these odes and references in a paranormal teen romance.  I suppose that’s what makes them so stunningly lovely.

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Plagiarism

June 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm (The Whim) (, , , , , , , )

Plagiarism sort of fascinates me.  Mostly because I am a reader, I think.  And as a reader I absorb.

I absorb thoughts, ideas, fairy tales, story lines, dialogue… and sometimes when I’m writing I find that I can’t remember if what I’m writing came from a dream I had, a book I read, or a an actual idea that I am actually formulating as my ink pours from my pen.

I am re-reading The Mortal Instruments series, and with a re-read comes more review reading, more research, because I no longer fear a spoiler.  So long after the scandal, I discovered this morning that Cassandra Clare was accused of plagiarism on a fan fiction site for a Harry Potter spin-off series about Draco.  Not only accused, but her account was cancelled because of it.

I’m not defending plagiarism, it’s not ok.  The idea that someone would purposely just copy someone else’s work turns my stomach.

But what if it is purely accidental?

What if you have internalized a work so completely in your youth that as an adult an idea, dialogue, plot points, come to you so wholly formed and you recall that it was inspired by something, but not necessarily who or where the inspiration came from?

I can see that happening to me.  I read so much as a child and I cannot remember it all, but I do have to say that I don’t think a single idea I’ve ever had could actually be attributed to myself.  They aren’t my ideas.  They are the ideas of those who came before me.  They are the ideas that came from authors I loved, and characters who became my friends.

I distinctly remember writing a story once, I was maybe seventeen at the time, and I was so in love with it.  I thought, man, I’m good – this story is fantastic.  I re-read it, I worked on it avidly.  Then I realized, about a month later, that it wasn’t mine.  I was re-writing The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley.  Perhaps slightly in my own words, but the essence of it was entirely hers and I was forced to throw it away.

It was the first time I became doubtful that I would ever publish anything.  Until then, I had been completely convinced that no matter what happened in my life, I would at least become an author in some capacity.  It was in my veins since the first time I picked up a book and could decode the letters that made words and sentences.  I had been writing stories and ‘books’ since I could manage to scrawl out a readable letter with my number two pencil.  But right then, as a teenager, I realized my biggest fear – that perhaps I didn’t have any words of my own.  Perhaps they all came from elsewhere.

That is when I realized what the biggest challenge would be for me to become an author – writing something original.  How do you sort through all that you’ve read, all that you love, and find something that doesn’t already belong to someone in some way?

Because of this, my novella doesn’t have much in the way of plot points.  The characters came to me, yes.  I can write their essence, yes.  But ultimately, I am terrified of plot points.  I feel like they’ve all been written before.  But people, people are always capable of being their own.  Characters are easier to write than plots, because I’m surrounded by characters – they live in my head.  Plots, on the other hand, only live in books that have already been written.  Real life doesn’t seem to consist of plots so I can’t rely on life to deliver inspiration that hasn’t already been had by someone.

Logical fallacies, of course.  But that’s how I feel.

And I can’t help but wonder if Cassandra Clare felt the same way from time to time.

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City of Glass

June 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

It seems even though this is my second time reading this book (my second time through the series as I prep to read the final volume!), I didn’t write proper reviews for each one.

I addressed the series, made references to Cassandra Clare’s work in many of my reviews, but City of Glass never got a review all it’s own.

So here it goes:

city-of-glass2Title: City of Glass

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Young Adult/ Teen/ Fantasy

Length: 541 pages

The book cover finally features a boy *with* his shirt on. However, the cover still annoys me. I suppose I’ll never get over how embarrassing they are. I’ve never preferred having actual people on the front covers of the books I read, unless of course they’re in some sort of Victorian garb. For some reason a person on the cover never truly embodies the mood of a story the way I want it to. I prefer buildings, scenery, landscapes, or the hint of a person.

For instance…

City of Glass 1That’s a cover I don’t mind flashing the masses, a train full of people, other moms at a public park, or I don’t know – MY KID.

Who am I kidding? In the U.S. the cover up top is the only one that is going to move copies of the book.  I’m an odd duck.  I know that.

Regardless of all that – I still adore these books. Brain candy, teen flick, romance nonsense and all. I just love them.

I love the book references, the intelligent quotes, the very teen appropriate quips.  I love that Jace (Jonathan) Wayland/Morgenstern/Herondale/whoever reminds me so very much of my own Jonathan at that age.  Clare has cocky teenage boy dialog down to an art.  Jace’s cockiness rings true and familiar, the knowledge that he is attractive and desired, edged with angst anyway.

I remember those conversations.  I remember the beautiful, desired boy flirting with me – the short, somewhat tomboyish and frumpy nerd who was always a little out of place.  Granted, I never got Luke & Leia -ed like Clary and Jace did.  But I think what makes these books so marvelous is despite the fantasy, despite the action and apocalyptic level of drama, despite the paranormal parts that drip into every aspect of the story – there’s something familiar for everyone in these stories.  Especially City of Glass, and the ever burning question so many romances have: If it’s not forbidden will he/she still want me?

This time around I re-read the first book, City of Bones, after seeing the movie. The library didn’t have the second book, City of Ashes, on hand so I just skipped it and went onto City of Glass. By doing this, I was brought to a whole new level of appreciation for the series, Cassandra Clare, and each book individually.

Even though I jumped in having skipped the second book – I wasn’t lost. Although the second book is pivotal to an epic saga of the Nephilim, I didn’t feel out of sorts by not having read it. Clare does such an excellent job of having each book stand on it’s own even though it’s merely a puzzle piece in a giant story. I love that.

I know it’s the thousandth time I’ve said this, and I shall say it a thousand times more – Well done, Cassandra Clare, Well done.

Do I feel bad about re-reading young adult titles over and over again and the age of thirty? No, not anymore.

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”- C.S. Lewis

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The Mortal Instruments to Film

May 16, 2014 at 2:47 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

JaceI finally watched City of Bones, the movie.  I’ve been debating writing a review for it since I first watched it and have since watched it two more times.

I’m trying to figure it out – why it seems to just fall flat.

(For the record, despite my use of the marketing, I am still opposed to book and movie covers/posters featuring shirtless men.  It seems so unnecessary and ridiculous.  I see it and all I can think is ‘I’m too sexy for my shirt’ in the most absurd voice that makes the song even more ironic than intended.)

Lily Collins did a great job.  I have a crush on Jamie Campbell Bower, have since I heard him sing – then watching him in Camelot just set it in stone.  He’s amazing, not just pretty.  I’ve been giggling at Robert Sheehan since Misfits.  Lena Heady is my hero.  When have I not loved Jonathan Rhys Meyers? – I’m 30, so pretty much never.  (The movie August Rush makes me swoon to no end.) So it’s not the cast.

The action sequences are brilliant.  Even my Kung Fu self loves them.  My I- Read-The-Book self loves them.  They are grand and epic enough.  The weapons are fantastic.

The graphics are great, the demons exciting and true to descriptions.

But something just didn’t quite work.

Then, I realized what it was:

The ending was all a muck.  We gloss over Simon becoming a rat, we skip through Valentine’s castle.  Jace is awake the whole time.  The writers just gave up halfway through and quit trying to stay true to the book.  They tried to wrap up 485 pages into a short teen flick of generic proportions when it should have been the introduction to something as grand as Harry Potter.

jace and swordIt fell flat.  It brings forth the reminder: “Don’t judge a book by its movie.”

The movie isn’t bad per se, it just makes me sad.  It could have been epic and instead it was a ‘pretty good date movie.’

Of course, Jamie Campbell Bower is still ever so pretty and makes it all worth it anyway.  He also manages to radiate that he read the book and knows who Jace is supposed to be.  Of course, I have no way of knowing if he read the books or not, but it makes me feel better thinking someone on set did.  And if he didn’t, his performance is even more impressive.

The movie is a B+

I wanted it to be so much more.

Jace with Book

 

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City of Fallen Angels and Lilith Lore

July 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm (Education, JARS, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Lilith in Atrology, click to read more

*Spoilers*

I sat down with City of Fallen Angels over a week ago, but just finished it this morning.  The first half was hard for me to get into, having the melodrama equivalent of The Twilight Saga’s New Moon, which drove me nuts.  The climax to ending though, of course was amazing.  Finally pieces were coming together and the “we love each other but can’t be together AGAIN” crap had some semblance of purpose.  More importantly, Clare hooked me with the introduction of a character that I’ve already had a long time fascination for (SPOILER ALERT): Lilith.

I have many interests, and though I tend to purchase books sporadically, when reading through my TBR’s I’d like to think that I do it with a little finesse, with purpose.  Years ago, I did a brief research day on Lilith, spawned from a conversation I had with someone completely convinced that Adam from Genesis had two wives.  I was startled that someone would think this and wanted to get to the root of it all, and spent my astonishment reading through websites, encyclopedias, and other reference material.  I have days like this, spent on a particular topic, often.  Mostly I end up purchasing things to read later.  Who would have thought that Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrumentsseries would have made that long ago ‘later’ into today’s now.

So I plucked The Book of Lilithby Barbara Black Koltuv, Ph.D., off my shelf, and started reading.  Much of the Hebrew mythology surrounding Lilith I was already familiar with from my previous research, but Koltuv has opened to my eyes to an entire history spanning across many cultures with lore about the demon that embodies all things feminine.

The most confusing thing about Lilith (that Koltuv sorts out for the reader well) is all the contradictions embodied in her.  She is supposed to be the first wife of Adam, equal to him being brought up from the dust like him, rather than a submissive form pulled from his bones.  Yet, she is also a she-demon, according to many as powerful as God, equal but opposite.  Some say she is God’s concubine, some say she is Lucifer’s current wife, but still Adam’s ex.  She is often linked or married to the King of the Demons known as Samael.  Sometimes Samael is thought to be equal to Lucifer, and sometimes he is thought to be Lucifer’s version of Adam, his own creation.  All the mythology overlaps making Lilith a strange, cloudy line between humanity and Satan, but always the opposite of Truth, Goodness, and Steadfastness in every way.  These characters are full of secrets and lies, evil, and are ever changing according to the story tellers grasp and manipulation.  One would expect nothing less from those who are supposed to counter balance God.

Lilith in History, click to view a concise but informative website

The most consistent version of Lilith is that she is a succubus for men, and “for women she is the dark shadow of the Self that is married to the devil” (Koltuv).  Like Cassandra Clare’s character in City of Fallen Angels, she is a baby killer and is known as the goddess of dead children, Clare uses this concept as a cult inadvertently kill their offspring via demon blood while trying to please her.

So tied to feminism and the uterus, people also believe that she is ever linked to women in the form of the curse of our menstrual cycle.  Tethered to our raging hormones, sexuality, and PMS.  This line of thinking eventually made possible the transition of Lilith of evil she-demon to a goddess and Feminist icon/idol.  It is amazing that this mythical creature has managed to be so many things (even a screeching night owl and a Leviathan)!  Some of the discrepancies can be attributed to the idea of there being two Liliths: a Grandmother Lilith (married to Samael) and a Maiden Lilith (married to a dark prince of demons, Ashmodai).

I find it all rather fascinating.  Throughout history people have linked Lilith to hundreds of stories, and though I don’t belive any of them as fact (I personally plop her right in there with Zeus, Athena, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer), I find the use of her in fiction pretty riveting.

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Now Time to Detox

July 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The other night I finished City of Glass by Cassandra Clare, the 3rd part to The Mortal Instruments series.  Of course it was delicious.

Sigh.  I feel as though I can rest and breathe now.  The series isn’t over, but the ending of City of Glass serves for a solid intermission.  Well done, Cassandra Clare, well done.  If you have been following my blog this last week, there is not much more I can share regarding my feelings about this series.  Pure cotton candy for the intelligent teen, it is lovely and exciting.  However, I need a little detox after all that sugar before I dive back in with books 4, 5 and the 2nd of The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Prince.

So, my intentional break until the weekend (when I plan to whole-heartedly go on another bender) is a steady diet of meat.  I’ve been leisurely reading through Merchant Kings: When Companies Ruled The World by Stephen R. Brown, which is fascinating and makes me want to grow a nutmeg tree (Myristica), sail the seas, visit new countries, and basically be a well paid legal pirate.  Of course, today while waiting for kids to come to Half Price Books story time (which they didn’t because there was a pretty intense rain storm going on), I discovered something even more fascinating and seasonally relevant…

The Naked Olympics by Tony Perrottet is just what I need right now.  I’ve been working on getting back to my old shape.  I used to be pretty intense about my workouts and my body, and that has taken a back burner in my life for quite sometime now.  Ironically, the less you do, the more it seems to become a huge issue and chore.  Back when I worked out all the time and trained 5 hours a day, there was no thought in my head about working out and the agony of it all.  I actually enjoy martial arts and running and a whole host of physical activities, but stretching my mind has overtaken the part of my life when I used to stretch my body.  I want to get back to a healthy balance.  Just in time, too, because there are a few life-long hopes, dreams, and plans currently working their way into being.  Also, the summer olympics are upon us…. London 2012! has been the talk for so long its wild that its finally here.  I have scheduled Olympic date-nights with my bestie (because my husband doesn’t care to watch them), and everything just feels as though its falling into place… my love for studying ancient history, my goals to get back to my old training routines, picking up a new Kung Fu student, and teaching my daughter how to live well and have fun, the list goes on.

Who else is down for a mind and body detox? Grab a good book, mix yourself some vitamin water (http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-vitamin-water-479989) and don’t shower until you’ve done 50 jumping jacks, 30 crunches, 20 pushups, all your stances for at least 30 seconds each (if you’re in martial arts), and had a good long stretch!
Here’s another earn your shower workout routine, and may I note that its been a good long while since I looked anything like this lady – man, she’s awesome. http://www.bodyrock.tv/2010/02/12/earn-your-shower-workout/

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Indulging My Latest Addiction

July 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

*Spoilers!*

Title: City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: McElderry Books

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Length: 453 pages

My obsession for these books goes against every fiber of my being, but I love them.  I blew through City of Ashes in just a few hours and am pausing to write this review against the deep urge to blow it off and just start the next book.  But the kiddo is napping and my blog is being neglected, so I have no excuse, and will sit and spout off a few thoughts before I move onto City of Glass.

First of all, the Jace and Clary business hasn’t been resolved yet and my impatient self likes to get past the angst and the romance and on with the war.  It’s that deep inner girly desire to lunge head on into adventure *with* the love of my life, rather than struggling with all the defining the relationship business.  I was never good at that, I married my best friend and soul mate after years of waiting for him.  The angsty waiting should be reserved for books like Persuasion, for me, not warrior demon-slaying sagas.  That’s probably what hooks me with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series, Jamie and Clare are married.  I get why that’s not applicable for a young adult series though.

Second, and mostly notable because its fresh on my mind (being in the epilogue), I love the Harry Potter reference.  It is fantastic.  Although, the subject matter puts this series in the sub-genre of Meyer’s Twilight Series, I find it more comparable to Harry Potter or the wonderful works of Robin McKinley.  There’s a fine line, but it makes a huge difference.  For those who read McKinley’s Sunshine as an adult, and perhaps read the Hero and the Crown, these books will suck you in.

Third… well, actually, I’m done here, I have more reading to do!

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And She Went There – A City of Bones Review

July 8, 2012 at 2:46 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

*Spoilers!*

Title: City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: McElderry Books (http://imprints.simonandschuster.biz/margaret-k-mcelderry-books)

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Length: 485 pages

Oh my… geeze Louise.  What the heck! I totally saw the insinuation of the plot developing, and I completely anticipate that this particular plot development will prove to be false… But Clare totally STAR WARSed us!  Except with Luke and Leah there was relief that came with the knowledge of their familial ties (after the ewww moment), because at least then we felt ok about hoping that whiny Luke didn’t get the girl and that Leah and Han Solo were meant for each other.  Clary and Jace! Really? Did Cassandra Clare have to go there?  Yes, yes, I fear she did.  Although I’m not buying the story line, it worked hook, line, and sinker and I’m itching to find out what happens next.

Of course, now, perfectly livid and irritated at my fascination for this series, I’m both addicted and torn.

What am I torn about? And why am I still addicted?

1. I was not a Twilight fan.  Meyer captured her target audience, and it was a fun little fairy tale – so in that aspect I can respect it.  But Bella is useless and I pretty much hate her character, Edward is ridiculous and I pretty much hate his character, and their whole relationship, I think, is absurd and sends the wrong message.  Cassandra Clare’s work definitely goes in the same genre, so in that sense I don’t want to like these books.  Still, Clare is just so much better with her character development, her story telling, and her writing.  Granted, I could do without all the teenage melodrama romance, but the adventure and the world she has created is wonderfully fascinating. (Read my Twilight review here: https://anakalianwhims.wordpress.com/tag/flaubert/)

2. These books are complete fluff.  In general, I am particular about my fluff.  I am very judgy, and frankly, a bit of a book snob.  Apparently, though, I’m in the mood for some complete and utter fluff, and a girl needs a healthy dose of dessert in her life in order to truly enjoy the non-dessert.    Clare makes up for the feeling of reading a crap ton of mind numbing cotton candy equivalent books with a healthy dose of literature references, so instead of cotton candy, I feel as though I’m reading a lemon meringue pie (with extra cool whip).

3. I absolutely protest having half naked boys on the front cover.  It’s a huge turn off when it comes to my book buying tendencies.  I was duped by Infernal Devices and the gentleman in the top hat.  Happily duped.

4. Then, which to read next? City of Ashes? (Book 2 of Mortal Instruments) or Clockwork Prince? (Book 2 of Infernal Devices).  Infernal Devices is the better series so far in my book, mostly because its Victorian and steampunk and all that delicious goodness, but I’m in a little more distress over the Mortal Instruments story line in this moment.  Does Clare pull a few more twists and rectify this ridiculous love story into the something morally acceptable I feel she is alluding to – or am I going to writhe my way through an incestuous romance?  And if this situation is resolved as I suspect (and hope) it will be, how does she do it?

Side note: Contrary to recent and probably most frequent posts, this is not a blog dedicated to childrens or young adult titles.  I read them a lot, therefore review them a lot, mostly because I have a child and partly because I enjoy reading what has been published since I was a child myself.  In the coming month(s), my readers/ followers can (fingers crossed) expect to find reviews and commentary for Book 3 of Les Miserables, Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Ferris, Merchant Kings by Brown, a surprise title sent to me to review by an author, and the latest discoveries in my Astrology research project.

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The Part Where I Admit I’m a Sucker…

July 4, 2012 at 2:04 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

…for any book cover featuring a gentleman in a top hat.

Title: Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: McElderry Books

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Steampunk

Length: 478 pages

I am very skeptical when it comes to current popular young adult titles.  Anything published in the aftermath of the Twilight Saga makes me pretty inclined to doubt that the story will be anything but unequivocal crap.  In fact, when I first saw the covers of Cassandra Clare’s original series The Mortal Instruments (City of Ashes, City of Bones, etc.), I had no interest whatsoever in the nearly naked teens displayed on the front cover in all their thin, muscled perfection.  Clockwork Angel, on the other hand, the first in the prequel series The Infernal Devices taunted me for months.  This front cover is still shimmery and radiates young adult paranormal pop culture crap, but the teen isn’t naked, he’s in full on Victorian era attire, coat, top hat, the whole shebang.  I was torn.  How did they know they would suck me in like this?  How did Cassandra Clare know that this book was basically screaming at me: YOU, You pompous, self-righteous, book snob, YOU, try to NOT read THIS one!

I rebelled.  I refused.  It continuously called my name.  And if it hadn’t been for 1) S. Smith renewing my faith in *new* young adult fiction with Seed Savers and 2) Felix J. Palma enchanting me with a love hate relationship with The Map of Time (that a. ended in love and b. also featured a somewhat shiny top hatted man on the front cover), my rebellion would have won out and in turn I would have lost out.

Cassandra Clare, if you are reading this, I loved Clockwork Angel.  I didn’t want to, because I’m a book snob, but you won me over, with – of all things – book love.

Clockwork Angel is a little bit paranormal, a little bit steam punk, a whole lot of adventure, and even more book worship.  Clare’s characters are well read in all my Victorian and pre-Victorian favorites.  No matter how predictable or typical they behave, they win me over every time with their references to Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, A Tale of Two Cities, countless poets, and more.  The feelings are that of typical teens without over exaggerating the melodrama.  And the adventure and fight scenes are just down right fun.  How do you pass up automatons, vampires, warlocks, and gadgets?  You can’t, especially when its been so long since the vampires have actually been bad guys, not sparkling, cheesy love interests.  Thank you Clare, for putting those vamps in their place.  In Clockwork Angel we know they are bad guys, dangerous, but they don’t over run the story… it’s not entirely about them, they’re just part of the landscape… Thank God.

Now, of course, I have the entire Mortal Instruments series sitting on my end table to be read, despite their front covers.  I’m suckered, I’m hooked, I have to know the whole story.

End Note: I’d put Clare’s writing at about a 6th-7th grade level, content probably for a 14+ but I’d have no problem letting anyone younger read it because there’s nothing inappropriate or anything, it just might take a slightly older child to catch all the literature references.

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