I’ve finished this book months ago but it’s like I haven’t. Not really and not permanently. In fact, I feel like I will be forever reading it. The words seem too reluctant to leave my mind and the characters… those will always stay.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING.
A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.
What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the Lilith’s magic has bound Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?
Loving a book is not hard. If you read books regularly, the probabilities of finding a book that you love are very high. You’ll probably find a book that will make you think of it when you’re waiting for the money to come out of the ATM for no apparent reason. You’ll find a book that will force you to stay up late when you have to be up and ready by 7a.m. the next morning. You’ll find that book and you know you really love it when you reach the last page and you think “Goddammit, why does this book have two blank pages after it ends when they could have more of the story for me?”
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clara had that effect on me, as every single one of the previous books of the series did. It made me feel guilty when I was too tired to keep my eyes open to continue reading. It made me want to cry, it made me laugh, it made me feel sick, upset, happy and broken. It made me feel everything a great book should make you feel.
Let’s talk about what’s in now: courts and thrones and badass girls.
After serving out a year of hard labour in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves, assassins, and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Celaena Sardothien is an unexpected heroine. She is not a villain but that doesn’t stop her from being wicked. Her heart is good, her essence fierce. She is brave and smart and strong. But in her complexity, there is also arrogance and faithlessness. Not as much as a true heroine but more as an ordinary girl, sometimes she doesn’t know what she wants. And that, somehow, made me love her even more.
This book has grown in popularity ever since the screen adaptation by Tim Burton was announced. It has a huge fanbase and I’m sure that when the movie comes out, everyone will rush to the bookstores to get it. So it’s time to review it.
After his grandfather’s mysterious death, sixteen-year-old Jacob travels to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for a good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
It hooked me from the very first sentence:
“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
I’m lucky to have thought “oh, I know that feeling” when I first read it. It is precisely because of this that I defend the idea that a book must have, mandatorily, a good opening line. But this book has way more than one great line. And that’s mainly the reason why I didn’t stop reading it when I got slightly bored with it after the leading mystery was solved.
Ransom Riggs has the kind of writing that makes you feel guilty of putting the book down before you’re officially finished with it. That’s why I don’t regret having stuck with his peculiar story until the very end. Even though it gets too weird at some point, his writing makes everything seem better, sound better, work better.
I won’t spoil anything. Instead, I will leave here one of my favourite passages from the book in an attempt to seduce you into his strange world:
“Stars, too, are time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours had collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize that we are not alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries – but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.”
“She was back on the island. On Yamatai. A hellish storm raged all around her.”
The Ten Thousand Immortals is a Tomb Raider novel released in 2014, written by Dan Abnett and Nik Vincent. It tells the story of Lara Croft coping with her life after returning from the island of Yamatai. The novel takes place right after the events of Tomb Raider (2013) and before the new Tomb Raider Comic Series.
Back in her London flat Lara and Sam try to get back to their old life. However, for Sam this proves to be too difficult. When a call from the hospital reaches Lara, she is informed that her friend has suffered an overdose of a substance, allegedly trying to end her own life. Sam has left a goodbye letter addressed to Lara in which she explain, that it’s all too much for her to deal with and that she believes that she cannot be saved from Himiko, the Shaman Sun Queen of Yamatai.
Desperate for a solution, Lara searches for anything that could help her. A wisp of hope arising from a myth gives Lara purpose: the story of an ancient and mysterious artifact that could heal her friend.
No matter how thin the trail may be at times, Lara is willing to go wherever she must to find something that will help her friend. The hunt drives Lara across Europe, in a voyage through a twisted web of conspiracy, suspicious contracts, and life-or-death intrigue, as she seeks salvation for her friend and the truth behind the legendary talisman.
As expected from a Tomb Raider novel, we are offered an invitation into the world of archaeology, history and mythology. This is a fast paced book with plenty of action to go around. One of the things that I really enjoyed about it was getting to know more about Lara’s character. The reader sees through her eyes, knows how she thinks and acts in normal circumstances (like taking a train/subway or simply walking around the streets of London) as well as when she’s under stress or in danger.
“Every war has turning points and every person too.”
If you have watched the film, you know what this book is about: young people dealing with the consequences of war and the actions of those around them. It’s a heart-breaking story of a very unfortunate girl who is caught in the middle of a terrible situation and how she manages to survive through it all.
Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from America to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. And the next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy. Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.
Just like “The Catcher in the Rye”, this book might not please everyone due to its unusual aesthetic features such as the lack of commas, long sentences and the way the dialogues are spread throughout the text. However, it is perfect in the surprisingly easy way the reader can know who is speaking and, at the same time, recognize when the narration has continued without ever having to think twice about it.
My first thought on this short-story formed itself in my head like this: just because a story is just three pages long, it doesn’t mean it can’t unsettle or make you feel something. When I finished it (it took me five minutes to do it), I ended up thinking: well, this may be slightly confusing for someone who has never tried to write a story but likes to read some.
Because it is a story for writers. It explores the standards of storytelling albeit being a story. It makes sense if you read it.
It starts by introducing the two main characters, John and Mary, and then going through six different versions that could happen depending on what sort of personality they have, the situation they were in and what might happen to them.
I won’t spoil what happens in every version of the story but Atwood’s point is: a character needs the right development to be interesting so that the story is stimulating. That development may even be hidden behind the reasons why “Mary” stays awake to wash the dishes and puts lipstick before going to bed, where her lover lies. It’s not always obvious or noticeable but it is essential.