From Hicklebee’s: 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.
I feel very confident saying that Cassandra Clare is one of the most stunning fantasy authors in YA Literature. I have dutifully read each and every one of her books and I have found myself in love with each book for different reasons. Her Infernal Devices series is my favorite of her two. If you haven’t read Clockwork Angel this review will hold spoilers from that book. Also, if you haven’t read Clockwork Angel – get on that now. I promise you won’t regret it.
There are a great many things I loved about Clockwork Prince. The evolution of Jem from being pitiable and weak to a strong young man with a brilliant disposition on life. Jem was understanding, constantly there for Tessa and isn’t bitter with the lot he has been given. He is swiftly becoming my favorite character from Clare’s cannon.
Will on the other hand acted like an entitled ass through most of the novel. Yes, it is explained why he is an ass, and its sad tear-worthy even- especially when you learn the truth about him and Magnus Bane helps him solve his biggest life mystery. It was the last few pages of the book and his “Jem can take it” attitude that made me incredibly mad at him. I am in awe of Clare’s ability to elicit such strong emotions from me, especially related to the characters.
Tessa is still Tessa, smart, funny and well read. We are little closer to finding out what she really is at the end of the novel and the wait for book three where I hope we do find out is going to kill me. Tessa grows so much in this novel, she goes from proper American lady living in England to kick ass down and dirty I will do anything to save any of you and that was my favorite part of this novel.
The Lightwoods are introduced, Morty is still deliciously evil, there are still clockwork devices but they aren’t the main focus of the book. I did enjoy how the devices took a backseat here for plot and I have a feeling they will play a major part in book three.
The most important thing Henry is still awesome. Charlotte is going through a very hard time in Clockwork Prince and I hope everything works out and she and Henry become very happy together; they deserve it.
New characters, new hints and mysteries are introduced. The world building is superb and if I had the next book I would have dove into it immediately. If you haven’t had a chance to read Clare I highly suggest you drop everything and do that now.
For those who have read Clockwork Prince here is the balcony scene re-imagined by Vanya from VLC Photo:
Thank you so much Not Your Mothers Bookclub for hosting this fabulously swanky party at Books Inc Opera Plaza! There was food, prizes, and surprise guests! I was able to get my ARC of Huntress signed by the fabulous Malinda Lo! There is going to be a lot of info in this post but minimal bouts of text. I just want to make sure you guys know how awesome this was and get you some info on surprise guests and bloggers that were in attendance.
So who showed up to the shindig?
Tons of bloggers and two special authors besides the ones on the bill.
Sophie from Mundie Moms, Nancy from Ravenous Reader, Alicia from Shooting Stars, Zoe from Zoe’s Book Reviews, Emily from Super Reader Girl,, the FABULOUS Connie who works at Books Inc and just started her blog and I think that is it for the bloggers? Did I miss you? Let me know!
As far as surprise authors Malinda Lo was there, and the super secret surprise guest Ted Naifeh who illustrated a line of Holly’s books that are out now from Scholastic. He made some awesome art in my book that I bought and you guys can see that later…
Did you ask Holly or Cassandra my question?
Probably, but check out this AWESOME video interview to make sure.
You said there would be pictures!
…And I am not one to disappoint! Click the images to see them larger and click here to see the rest of the set.
Holly, Malinda Lo, and Cassandra
Me and Nancy
Alicia and Zoe
Sophie from Mundie Moms
Swag, signed stuff
Unsure what to buy that special or not so special person on your holiday list? Well of course my answer is buy them a book! Which book? The choices are so hard and there were so many fantastic titles out this year. Well never fear, we here at Bookalicio.us have created the perfect holiday gift guide that spans the ages of young to young at heart. I have buy now links with all of the books listed from Hicklebee’s which is an iconic indie bookstore. Support Hicklebee’s this holiday season and buy now!
It’s a Book by Lane Smith makes the list for the fantastical illustrations and the appeal for adults. The book follows a kind Monkey who loves to read and his tech savvy Jack-ass friend who can’t seem to understand what a book is for. You and your child will love this book!
The Llama Llama series continues with Holiday Drama which is all about Christmas. Llama gets a little overwhelmed by all the shopping and baking and true to Llama fashion has a complete melt down. This story is a great way to talk about the true meaning of the holidays and share some story time and a cup of chocolate with your little one.
Middle Grade Fiction
The Familiars is a fantastic story for your Middle Grader. We follow a starving alley cat named Aldwyn through a thoughtful plot as he finds his true place in the world. Plenty of life lesson is weaved into the tale and your child will enjoy riotous laughs and plot twists along the way.
Franny Flanders and her antics are a laugh a minute kind of book. Franny finds a box of spells and sets out to make her world a better place never thinking of the world at large. When all her spells take a wrong turn and things end up even worse than they were to begin with Franny has to turn to her new age Granny and Justin Timberlake for help. Okay so maybe Justin Timberlake doesn’t know magic but he is in the book!
Finnikin of the Rock is an epic fantasy full of fantastical writing and complex plot. As a child Finnikin has a dream that he will have to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom, however when his country is invaded and it’s citizens are ousted Finnikin will have to sacrifice a lot more to bring glory back to his land and bring his people home. With the help of a young girl named Evangaline he sets out on his final journey that may or may not be his final sacrifice.
Young Adult Contemporary
Stolen is one of the absolute best books I have read this year. I have to thank Scholastic for sending me this book with a note saying that I would enjoy it. I most definitely did. Stolen is the story of a girl who has to come to grips with her kidnapping and try to find a way home and away from Ty who has stolen her away to the outback and there seems to be no escape in any direction Gemma looks. It is easier for the reader to be sympathetic towards Ty at times but the author always reminds you that his is a bit off. Stolen gave me Stockholm’s just from reading. It would be a fantastic gift for your teen.
Sea is a beautiful story perfect for the holiday season. We follow Sienna through a coming of age story that is heartfelt and beautifully written. Sienna’s mother has died in a plane crash and her psychologist father is doing the best he can raising her on his own. When he gets the chance to travel to Indonesia to help the children of Tsunami he decides to bring Sienna with him. Scared to fly Sienna overcomes her fear and travels to Asia. This is where Sea truly begins. She meets a boy who is marked by so much tragedy his sadness mirrors Sienna’s.
The Heart is Not a Size is another fantastic contemporary hit this year. Beth Kephart pulls at your heartstrings and brings tears to your eyes with this poignant tale of helping those who are not as fortunate as ourselves while discovering what we are truly about on the inside. Highly recommended for your young adult.
Tell Me a Secret is brilliant contemporary YA writing at it’s best. Cupala weaves a coming of age story with the mystery of murder and unplanned parenthood perfectly. I was unable to put this book down and read it within a span of five hours. I had real tears in my eyes when I finished this novel and I love the generous dose of life lessons. I cannot wait to see what this debut author has up her sleeve next.
Young Adult Paranormal
Nightshade is the epitome of Wolves this season. Calla knows what she needs to do, what she is supposed to do as the alpha of her pack but sometimes it seems that what her brain says and what her heart wants are two totally different things. Cremer creates a world of magic with her guardians and I am waiting with bated breath for the next in the series.
Rampant is everything I thought it wasn’t going to be. Killer unicorns?! I avoided this book for as long as possible but when it eyed me from a local library shelf I knew I had to pick it up. Rampant was an amazingly funny tale of a girl who didn’t believe in killer unicorns even though her mother told her a time may come when she had to do her duty and be a virginal killer of these mythical beasts. Peterfreund paints a tale of a reluctant hero and does it in a laugh out loud style.
Beautiful Creatures starts this New York Times best selling series with a bang. We are told the story from small southern town born and raised Ethan who learns that all towns have their secrets. He keeps having dreams of this girl he loves and is losing to a darkness but the problem is he hasn’t even met the girl yet. When Lena literally blows into town she brings a world of intrigue, danger, and beautiful caster powers with her. Beautiful Darkness is a continuation of this Southern Gothic and both are perfect for this cold season.
Young Adult Fantasy
Plain Kate was my absolute favorite read title this year. It has been so long since I read such a simplistic fantasy it reminded me of the old fashioned fairy tales I loved to read as a child. There is no epic love triangle, no one sparkles, and I loved every sweeping minute. Kate is an amazing gal and I loved her dearly. I do believe this book is suitable for Middle Graders as well and it was purchased by the same guy who thought Harry Potter would be a great story! Pick up Plain Kate for anyone on your list young or not so young and you will not be disappointed!
Poison Study is a great book to buy this holiday season! Yelena is an orphan living in a mildly dystopic environment. She is a prisoner on death row for murder when she is brought from the dungeon dirty and diseased and given a choice. Be hanged or become the poison tester for the man in power. He has some powerful enemies and the most recent food tester passed away. They never seem to last long. Yelena figures she has nothing to lose and she trains with Valek for her new job. Yelena learns a few tricks along the way and that she may very well have a lot to lose if her life is ended tasting the food of the man who imprisoned her.
The Turning is a very fun book for that animal lover on your list. Who knew that our domesticated house cats were having a turf war with the stray cats in the neighborhood and that young adult shifters who turn into cats led the armies into battle? Not, I. I was intrigued by the concept of this book and when the orange kitten showed up the real story began for the domestics. Add in a boy who loves being a cat so much he can hang with either group and has stayed in cat form so often he has disfigured his own body, another boy who hates being a cat and is just biding his time until the curse is over. The protagonist has some very tough choices.
The Iron King and The Iron Daughter are both fantastical reads for those Faerie lovers in your household. Meghan Chase’s brother has been replaced with an evil changeling and she is on a mission to get him back. She could care less for the Fey politics including the fact that the summer and winter courts are in danger because they exist only because man kind believes in them. Man believes in technology now too and a new race of Fey is born. The Iron Fey, we all know that summer and winter are allergic to iron in a deadly way. Meghan will have to get involved to save her brother. This series is sure to knock the proverbial red and green Christmas socks off your little guy or gal.
Young Adult Crossover for the Adult who loves YA
Clockwork Angel is a great gift idea for anyone on your list. Young or not so much, male or female. Cassandra Clare starts a new series set in her provocative world of angels and demons. We go back to Victorian England and see how the Shadow Hunters we know and loved from The Mortal Instruments Series got their beginnings and rules. An evil man skilled in the dark arts is create steam punk style automatons with real souls who have only one thing in mind. Kill the Shadow Hunters. Tessa has some tricks up her sleeve as well. She doesn’t quite know what she is but she hopes to find out. Is she demon, wizard or something even more horrible? Either way she can’t have the man she loves even if she survives the automaton attack.
Merlin’s Harp is a moving retelling of the Arthurian Legend. Beautiful prose and delightful new insight astounds the reader in this tale of Niv daughter to the Lady of the Lake on her life journey and bearing the cross her own mother had to carry. Niv and Merlin carry the weight of the fate of Britain on their shoulders and the old wizard has made quite a few mistakes that Niv will have to clean up.
The Prophecy of the Sisters starts us on an epic journey of good and evil that outshines Bray’s Gemma Doyle Series by light years. Alice and Lia are twins buthave never been exactly close. When they find out they have an epic destiny to complete they fall even farther apart as one chooses light while the other chooses dark. Guardian of the Gate continues this saga and is a thought provoking sequel. These are must-read-faster-I-can’t-put-it-down books and are highly recommended.
Meena Harper never knew what hit her when Mr. Right flies into town…. on bat wings. Insatiable is laugh out loud funny and Meena is a riot. It takes all the vampire lore and pokes the big fun stick at it and has a very interesting mystery plot as well. Meena is a television writer for a daytime soap and the producer wants it to ‘go vamp’ and star her hot pasty new boyfriend. Meena has grown up watching this show and writing for it is her dream come true. Can she solve all the mysteries and keep her show vamp free?
Syrie James reinstilled my love for the classic Dracula with her rendition of this classic. So many questions were left unanswered in Stoker’s tale and James has give us the gift of a female perspective. I enjoyed this look into Dracula’s tale immensely and I suggest it for any lover of the genre. You will fall in love with the danger and the man all over again.
Darkfever is a sexy dark tale of evil beautiful fae and the sister of a woman who got caught up in the middle and died. When Mac goes to Dublin to find out what happened to her sister she is drawn into the dark war herself. This series is absolutely addicting and I am waiting for the final installment to come in January. This is perfect for anyone who loves sexy paranormal reads.
A Reliable Wife is one of those books that everyone loves. I originally read it because I had promised to read a chick-lit book this year. I read the synopsis on the book jacket and thought this book would be tolerable for a genre that I generally do not like. Oh it was so much more than tolerable. The intrigue, the lies, the outright passion of the book knocked my proverbial socks off and I am still reeling from the ending of this dark contemporary read. Pick this up for any reader and I guarentee they will have a mind trip!
Sacred Hearts is the perfect read for the literary reader who loves history! Sarah Dunant’s books are always a masterpiece of the time period and her latest is no different. We follow a young novice who was forced into the nunnery by her family as many young Italian women were at the time. She wants to run away and live free and love but the convent is more restricting than a jail. Another nun uses the convent as a protection from the outside world and a place to practice the craft her father taught her, her love of medicine is almost ungodly but the nunnery is in need of a healer. These two women and their lives intertwine in a heartbreaking story perfect for any lover of historical fiction, literary, or love story.
I was introduced to Silent in the Grave by a local bookseller in Richmond. I had seen the book everywhere over the summer and decided to pick it up while I was in the shop. For someone who doesn’t really like mysteries the corset gripping action in this novel by Deanna Raybourn had me on edge. I have read through the rest of the series and each of the books is a fantastic gift idea for the lover of Victorian England, mysteries, and great romantic fiction without all of the dirty explicit stuff.
I have had and tried several of the e-readers on the market and I have to say I absolutely love my Nook. I didn’t buy the 3G version but instead went with plain old wifi. Buying books from B&N is super easy and there is always a great free selection available. I highly recommend this device over Amazon’s Kindle. That being said don’t fall for the new NOOKcolor scam. If I wanted to read with a backlight and kill my eyes I would buy an iPad.
From Think Geek: The LightWedge is an efficient book light with a streamlined design. A lighted, distortion-free acrylic lens extends across the book page and emits all the brightness directly onto the book page, reducing shadows and glare. Since the light is emitted directly onto the page, there’s no excess reflection to disturb others nearby.
The LightWedge is thin and lightweight and easily slips into a backpack, tote bag, or briefcase. Also, when not in use, it is useful as a convenient bookmark stored between a book’s pages. The bright LEDs that illuminate the LightWedge have two brightness levels and a lifetime warranty. The light can run for 40 hours on four AAA batteries. The LightWedge can rest on the left page and then simply be flipped over to read the right page
Need even more suggestions? Check these out!
Goodreads: 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: Jem, 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.
If you thought the action between Jace and Clary was hot in The Mortal Instrument Series you better get yourself a fan and an Iced Chai to tackle Clockwork Angel. Clare comes back with a vengeance in this first book in the new series The Infernal Devices.
Set once again in the world of Shadow Hunters this story begins in Victorian England. Still a dark and twisted romp through an urban area, just a bit in the past. The world building is even more fantastic than the last series if that is even possible.
Clare has a penchant for writing swoon worthy boys in novels. Edward Cullen who? Move over pasty guy. There are two not one, yes count them two, avenging angels that are going to press all your right literary buttons. I am torn between my love for Will and Jem, but I think I am pulling a solid Team Will here.
Magnus makes an appearance or two and is still hilariously evocative.
The steam punk people are so exciting I was thinking of building one for myself! I rip roared through the streets of London on a horse, I walked across Black Friars Bridge at dark, I smelled the rot of the Thames and I fell in love. Who doesn’t want to do all that?
If you ask me “Pam darling, are you gushing?”, I would have to answer “Why, yes I do believe I am, how uncharacteristic of me”.
Seriously folks this is the big YA hit of the fall. Read it, really, just read it.
FTC Disclosure: I picked this up at BEA I was not paid for the review.
Cassandra Clare created a whole new world and race of people in this stunning trilogy. I was recently introduced to these books by a Twitter Friend, xbellaxmiax, she told me to pick up the trilogy and read it and I am glad I took her advice. I had seen the books around on Amazon even in my recommendations of products I might like to purchase, I think it was the titles that put me off a bit at first because the cover art is very stimulating, while not taking away from your imagination as you read.
The first book follows Clary through the discovery that not all things in her life is as they seem. Clary was born and raised in New York, life as she knows it with her Mother Jocelyn is pretty calm. Jocelyn is an artist, Clary dreams of becoming as good as her mother in lots of ways. Art, beauty, and the way Jocelyn is always calm and in control. They live in a beautiful victorian loft in the city. She has her best friend Simon, and her father figure Luke, all in all Clary is a pretty happy teen. She does tend to wonder why her Mom freaks out so much when she is a bit late, or when she goes to the club Pandemonium in the city.
Things start to change for Clary when she is in line to gain entrance to Pandemonium, she sees this handsome guy with blue hair gain entrance to the club carrying a weapon, fascinated by his looks and cunning, Clary is distracted by him through-out the night. She is terminally shy around boys except for Simon and finally talks herself into walking up to the guy and asking him to dance, but that is exactly when she sees him flirting with this amazing girl. She is tall, gorgeous with flowing black hair and perfect skin. She sees the girl and they boy disappear into a back room. Just as the boy steps in Clary sees two shadows with knives step in behind him. Flustered she tells Simon to find security while she stalks off into the room to see what is going on. She witnesses a murder happened. The two shadows have materialized and are killing her beautiful blue haired boy. She screams, the gorgeous girl and the two shadow boys turn around. This is when Clary is told she can see things that no ‘mundane’ should be able to see, she finds out the blue haired boy was a demon and the girl and boys killing him are shadow hunters.
The book then spells out with Clary falling for one of the shadow hunters named Jace, Jocelyn being abducted by an evil hunter, Clary finding out about who she really is and how her and Jace band together to give the hunters a bit more time before a huge war. Clary with the help of Jace finds Jocelyn but all is not well. Clary finds out her father is the evil hunter Valentine, and that Jace is her brother Jonathan, the incestuous plot didn’t bother me in this trilogy. It wasn’t anything like some slash fan fiction quality stuff, but how it would actually be if you found out you had a brother and was completely mad for him.
The second book begins with Clary dating Simon, he has been in love with her for years. She really isn’t into it because she is still in love with her brother Jace, but she is trying to make it all work. Jocelyn is still in the hospital asleep and no one seems to be able to wake her up. Jace and Clary are still confused and weird around each other and then their Father begins to attack everywhere he can looking for the Mortal Instruments. If he retrieves all three then no one will be able to oppose him and the fate of regular humans with demon blood along with shadow hunters being enslaved by Valentine is in the hands of Clary, who has never had training and is still learning what all this shadow hunting business is all about. The book follows the two through saving the Mortal Cup, and trying to stop their incestuous feelings for one another. The couple are betrayed at the center of their group of friends and Valentine wins the battle for the cup in the end.
Book three, Valentine has the sword and the cup. Clary has a special shadow hunter power and Jace realizes he has physical abilities beyond the norm. Jace and his adopted family return to the city of glass and Jace leaves Clary behind. So she draws a new rune makes a portal and follows after them. This book was more faced paced than the other, I love them all three equally and believe they should be read in order, but City of Glass had me on pins and needles. I was even reading the book in my class and missed out on some stuff the instructor was going over. I can’t really give you much more of a plot here, I don’t want to ruin the story with spoilers. I guess I can say Clary found the key for waking up Jocelyn, Valentine wages war on the city of glass, just as the clave leaders are going to submit to Valentines rule, Clary discovers a way they can fight. It doesn’t mean they will win though.
I thought the writing style for these books was amazing. The detail Clare put into these books is astounding. You got to see, feel, and almost touch every person and every aspect of this story. There are no open endings, no plots left unturned no matter how small. was sewn up into a detail abundant package. This quickly became one of my favorite trilogies. I am sad the story is over, I will always miss the city of glass.