I love reading like a Koala loves eating eucalyptus

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End of My Hiatus

Hey Guys,

Sorry I haven’t posted for a very long while.  Things got kind of busy and crazy which means blogging was the first thing to go.  But even though I wasn’t blogging, I have still been reading.  I recently finished reading City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare.  This is the fifth book in the Mortal Instrument series.  I am very sad because the sixth and final book isn’t supposed to come out until next year, which is entirely too far away.  I hate getting really invested and interested in a series that isn’t complete yet.  I just want to know what happens.

But anyways, the Mortal Instruments series follows Clary Fray as she discovers some new things about her life.  First she learns that she is a Shadowhunter, which means she is part of a line of humans that have some angel blood and battle demons and protect regular humans, or mundanes.  She also finds out that her dad (Valentine) is one mean mamajama.  He views the Clave (governing group of Shadowhunters) as being corrupt and wants to overthrow them, so he gets all buddy buddy with demons to basically have a genocide of Shadowhunters.  Clary also finds out that her mother (Jocelyn) has been hiding all of this from her so she really has no idea about what happens in the Shadowhunter world.  She makes a group of friends that help her understand this new world.  And she falls in love with Jace Herondale (Morgenstern, Lightwood, Wayland…..he has lots of names).  This creates its own set of drama especially when Clary thinks that Jace is her brother.  Turns out he isn’t (he was just raised by Clary’s father as if he were his son), but they do have a shared bond of being more angelic than other Shadowhunters, which gives them enhanced abilities.

Clary does have a brother who also has many names, Jonathan Morgenstern or Sebastian.  Sebastian is actually part demon because Valentine gave Jocelyn demon blood to drink while she was pregnant (but she didn’t know that is what is was).  This gives Sebastian abilities that are even more enhanced.  Jace kills Sebastian and Clary in directly kills Valentine.  But then there is a ceremony and a spell that brings Sebastian back to life and connects him with Jace.  This is where City of Lost Souls starts.  Sebastian kind of kidnaps Jace mostly through a spell that binds there lives together so that if one is injured or killed, the other faces the same fate.  Everybody wants to save Jace.  Most of the book is spent trying to figure out how to sever the connections without killing Jace.

Ultimately, Simon, who is Clary’s best friend and a vampire and protected by the Mark of Cain, is able to get Glorious which is the sword of an archangel.  Clary uses this sword to stab Jace.  It burns all of the evil out of him which severs the connection to Sebastian, but does not kill either one of them.  So they are able to save Jace but not capture or kill Sebastian.  This means he is still on the loose with a plan to ally with demons, turn Shadowhunters in to part demon beings, and basically take over the world.

So now we have to wait to see how it turns out.  But it’s not all bad news.  The first book in the series, City of Bones, is being turned into a movie that comes out later this year.  Also, Cassandra Clare wrote a second series, The Infernal Devices series, that is set in the same world but during a different time period.  She also wrote The Shadowhunter’s Codex as a sample training manual of what Shadowhunters like Jace and Clary would have used to learn what to do when dealing with demons and in different situations.


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Torment by Lauren Kate

Torment is the second book in the Fallen series which I discovered looking through the book section at Target.  The first book introduces the reader to Daniel and Luce.  They are two reform school students who have an interesting relationship.  He tries to push her away, but she feels an unnatural pull towards him.  It turns out that Daniel is a fallen angel who has been cursed for falling in love with a mortal.  Luce has lived hundreds of lives, but in each one when she meets Daniel and gets close to him, she dies.  However, this life is different, and Luce does not die.

In Torment, it is discovered that Luce seems to be some sort of lynch pin for the balance of good and evil in the world.  Even though he is a fallen angel, Daniel is still mostly loyal to being good.  He has formed an alliance with a more evil (demon) fallen angel named Cam.  They are working together to protect Luce from the Outcasts (fallen angels who didn’t pick a side and are now rejected by both sides) who are trying to kill her.  One means of her protection is transferring to a different school, Shoreline.  This school is made up of half mortal students and half Nephilim.  Nephilim are the students who have some angel blood in them, no matter how watered down it might be.  Luce makes two fairly good friends.  Miles is a Nephilim very far down the line and basically the closest to mortal of these students.  He and Luce bond over this.  They have a very easy friendship that Luce sometimes longs for in her relationship with Daniel.  Luce also ends up getting close with her roommate, Shelby.  Shelby helps Luce in her attempts to glimpse her past lives and learn about her relationship with Daniel.

Daniel and Luce’s relationship gets a little rocky as she struggles to understand it better with him being unwilling to give her the information she wants.  This leads to her kissing Miles and wondering if it would be easier and better to be with him instead.  Ultimately, all of Luce’s friends (Nephilim, angel, and mortal) end up going home with her for Thanksgiving.  While there, a giant battle between the angels and Outcasts breaks out.  Miles saves Luce by projecting a mirror of her that the Outcasts take thinking it is the real thing.  Luce quickly realizes that if she wants to save her friends in this battle that she has to get away and she steps through basically a magical portal to another time and place.

So far this series has been pretty interesting.  I really agree with Luce’s opinions of her relationship with Daniel in this novel especially when she is questioning if it is right for her.  I found myself mostly cheering for her to choose Miles which maybe Lauren Kate will explore a little bit, but I know that in the end she will end up with Daniel barring some type of tragedy.  This series provides an interesting twist on a love story by bringing in all of the supernatural aspects the angels provide.  It allows for some more unexpected avenues to be explored that are not possible in more typical novels about teenage love.