A Deeper Love (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #5) by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

“It was because he had a will fierce as starlight, burning in darkness and refusing to be put out.”

4.5 stars

This was absolutely beautiful, and I feel like Cassandra Clare’s writing really shines in these short stories. This story takes place in December 1940, three years after Will Herondale has died, and features Tessa and Catarina Loss. We see Tessa and Catarina work as nurses in war-torn London, and their paths cross with Jem after he has been injured with a killing blow from a fey after trying to inquire about a lost Herondale.

We finally learn who the lost Herondale was, and this paragraph will contain spoilers for that, so skip to the next paragraph if you want to find out for yourself. But I think there is a chapter called “The Lost Herondale” in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, so maybe everyone else already knows. But anyway, it’s Tobias Herondale, and he is thought to have run from a battle where his fellow Shadowhunters ended up dying. But that story is wrong because Tobias was actually under a spell made to believe that his wife and unborn child were in danger. He ran to help them, but that broke the Law. The Clave couldn’t find him so punished his wife instead by killing her. But Catarina was able to help birth the child, Ephraim, who she then raised as her own. One of his descendants was a boy named Roland who became a magician (mentioned in “Learn about Loss“). He was famous in the Downworld. He had a fight with Catarina and they parted badly. But he had really run away because he married a woman (faerie) who was a fugitive and went into hiding to protect her. They ended up having a child together. But that’s still unclear because who is the lost Herondale: Tobias, Ephraim, or Roland? And is Roland Ephraim’s son or grandson? Very confusing. I’m guessing Roland is the lost Herondale, but then what happened to Tobias?

The next story, The Wicked Ones, will be out on September 11, takes place in Paris, and features Jace’s mom Celine.

You can also find me on Instagram: @moonspree

1. Son of the Dawn (takes place in New York City 2000) ★★★★★
2. Cast Long Shadows (takes place in London 1901) ★★★★
3. Every Exquisite Thing (takes place in London 1901) ★★★★
4. Learn about Loss by Cassandra Clare and Kelly Link (takes place in Chattanooga 1930s) ★★★★
5. A Deeper Love by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
6. The Wicked Ones by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman (takes place in Paris)
7. The Land I Lost by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
8. Through Blood, Through Fire by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

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Iced (Fever series #6) by Karen Marie Moning

Iced picks up the story the very day after the events of Shadowfever, but from Dani’s point of view. Ryodan pays her another visit and lets her know that when he wants someone to do a job for him, it gets done. She tries fighting him, but after making the foolish mistake of killing fae in his business, Chester’s, he captures her and a friend of hers, Jo, just to make sure she’ll comply. What could this immortal want from a 14 year old? Well, it turns out that someone or something has been “icing” the city. A normal person couldn’t even enter those rooms without being frozen, but since Dani has the unexplained power of superspeed, as long as she keeps running when in those rooms, she’ll be fine. Ryodan needs her in particular because she’s an astute observer and he couldn’t find anyone above the age of 14 who was as astute as her, apparently. In the first portion of the book, Dani thinks about Mac a lot, but Mac is never seen.

We learn a lot more about Dani’s back story: like how her mother used to keep her caged and shackled, and sometimes even let her boyfriends near Dani. And of course, somehow Ryodan knows all this. When her mother died, Dani had been in a cage and it took Rowena a week to find her. It didn’t take Rowena long, however, to take advantage of Dani’s power and ignorance to start compelling her to do things that Dani thought were innocent, such as giving an old lady some extra “milk” in her cereal, but which actually ended up killing her.

While the story is mainly told from Dani’s point of view, we also get a few chapters from Christian and Kat.

I wanted to enjoy this, but it just starts off in a very confusing way. Dani says that it’s 1 AWC, meaning one year after the wall crash. But then she talks like the events from Shadowfever just happened yesterday, and those events happened at most, 6 months AWC. So she makes it seem like this book has jumped forward in time, and yet no time has passed since Shadowfever at the same time. Very confusing. I’m thinking it’s a case of the author not realizing the first year AWC would actually be year 0. *eyeroll*

Also, she repeatedly refers to Mac as toilet paper, I mean, TP, which supposedly in her mind stands for “that person,” but we all know stands for toilet paper so it’s all just incredibly immature. Especially considering the fact that she killed Mac’s sister and doesn’t even really own up to it. On the other hand, Mac says she has let it go because she realizes Rowena compelled Dani to do it… so why will it take another two books for Mac and Dani to be friends again? It all makes no sense and is one reason I don’t think I could ever consider KMM one of my favorite authors. Her writing is just far too confusing.

I’m also beginning to wonder about KMM’s grasp on the English language. Why doesn’t she get that the correct wording is “all of a sudden,” not “all the sudden.” Like wtf is up with that? Second, is her vocabulary so limited that she has to repeat this one stupid, incorrect phrase about 2309 times throughout the book? Just bad writing all around.

I enjoyed the Fever series enough despite all its flaws, but this is one book I won’t be re-reading. I’m so glad I didn’t pay for it, just got it from the library. I gave it one star because there was really nothing I enjoyed about the book. I forced myself through it hoping for a single Mac/Barrons scene but that didn’t happen.

Characters:
➽ Mac is hardly in this one. The first time she and Dani are even in the same room, it’s chapter 13 and Mac doesn’t even go up to Dani to talk? Why? And you’re telling me when Dani, Ryodan, and his crew face the Hoar Frost King, Barrons decided to just sit back and relax?

➽ Christian has just become something else, and not just physically. Not only is he growing wings and thinks he’s turning into an Unseelie Prince (which makes no sense… then how come everyone else who ate Unseelie isn’t doing the same?), but while he hates Mac for saving his life (which is another problem… if he hates that she saved his life, why doesn’t he just get rid of his life then? Easy. But he’s a big baby who can’t be thankful for what she did and accept responsibility and own up to what he’s becoming) and turning him into something he “hates,” he at the same time contradictorily decides that he hates “humans” and is very aggressive and hateful to them (to Dancer in particular). He is one walking, immature contradiction and his character just isn’t consistent. Just reason #983098 why I don’t think Karen Marie Moning is that good of a writer.

➽ Ryodan. Among many things I could point out, I will mention this scene: he slams Dani against a wall, and when she tries to move her hand to wipe blood from her face, “He crushes it in his fist so hard [her] bones grind together.” Ryodan is a monster. Not sure how KMM decided it was a good idea to turn him into a love interest? This is so sadistic.

➽ Jo. Dani says about her, “She’s glowing again like she won some kind of prize instead of got picked by a class-A sociopath to be his disposable lube.” And it turns out, they have been a “couple” for a month? Wtf? Why would Ryodan do that?

➽ Kat is stupidly hiding the fact that Cruce has a hold on her and talks to her in her dreams every night. Did she learn nothing from Rowena? She has a boyfriend named Sean, who is forced to work at Chester’s, but even after he’s free, he doesn’t come back to see her. When she goes to see Ryodan, we learn through him that she is an empath and she did not speak until she was nearly five because “the pain of the world’s emotions overwhelmed [her]upon birth.” She cried incessantly but never spoke. She was called autistic. It was only when Rowena came to her family and offered them a deal (that she would “draw Kat from her autistic shell,” but at the age of 18 she would be Rowena’s and come and live at the abbey. And how exactly does Ryodan know all of this?) And how does Ryodan know about Kat and Cruce? Can he actually read minds? So many questions, as usual, from KMM and no answers.

➽ Sean is Kat’s boyfriend and turns out he’s yet another O’Bannion. Apparently Kat’s mom was his nanny and that’s how they knew each other.

➽ Dancer. So far, he’s my favorite character in the series, but pretty sure Dani doesn’t end up with him, so that’s annoying. Kat says he harbors secrets so dark and deep even she can’t sense them.

Inconsistencies:
In Faefever, it took Barrons 4 days to go from being dead to findng Mac. How does Ryodan recover in less than two days in this one?

Ryodan wanted to kill Mac for knowing their secret, so why doesn’t he kill Dani? That’s a huge inconsistency that really irritates me. That makes Ryodan a hypocrite and this is a total plot contrivance.

Lack of Barrons in any scene with Ryodans. Throughout the Fever series, several times he’d leave and be at Chester’s with Ryodan.

July 2018 Review

Had a great reading month! The books I love are bolded, and the ones that I have lengthy reviews for are linked.

Superbetter by Jane McGonigal
This book is hands down the best and most useful book I read all year and can be completely life-changing. I still need to type up my review for this, but if you only read one book this year, let it be this!

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
Overall, this was a good conclusion to the series, but I feel like a lot could have been cut out and it wouldn’t have changed the story. For the first third of it at least, it seems like it’s a series of Sebastian attacking and retreating and repeat, which is why it’s taken me months to try and finish this book. It’s also why I often have a hard time reading the last book in a series (ACOWAR, Clockwork Princess, and especially Mockingjay, even HP7). All of a sudden the books are a lot more action-driven, maybe even war-oriented, than they previously were. I like character-driven books.

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
I’d give the ending 5 stars, but other parts only 1 star.

Providence by Caroline Kepnes
Wow, this was super depressing, a colossal waste of time, and completely pointless because the main character ended the story in the exact same situation he was in 15 pages into the book! You get no answers, explanation, the antagonist conveniently dies right as the main character is confronting him so you really don’t get any answers. Ugh. This is why I normally don’t read thrillers.

Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia
I wanted to like this book so badly, but the writing just isn’t that great, and you can skim whole sections and not miss a thing. The first five chapters have been the same few words repeated over and over. At least, that’s what it feels like anyway. The main character keeps repeating over and over how she loves playing soccer and is excited about going to UNC, how she loves her boyfriend but he’s been acting strange, and her “best friend” loves her brother and would defend him at all costs because he pays the bills by fighting/wrestling since their mother can’t. She discovers that her boyfriend has been injecting himself with steroids to improve his fighting and keeps telling him, “Choose me or the drugs.” He asks her for more time, but when she tells him she wants to break up if he continues with the drugs, he pushes her down the stairs: she now can’t play soccer and is going to be forced to move to somewhere else where she meets another hot guy who is also a fighter.

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
Oh my word. This series stole my heart. I did nothing but read and breathe this series for this whole week. Mac/Barrons forever.

Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning
Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
Fever Moon by Karen Marie Moning
See what I mean? I literally read one of these a day. I just couldn’t put it down. Also, Fever Moon stands out as the first complete graphic novel I read!

Roomies by Christina Lauren
I enjoyed the romance in this, but didn’t care for the 30% of the book that focused on the politics of the fake Broadway show. Still, it was an enjoyable read and wason sale for only $1.99 as an ebook!

Total of 12 books, and now I am at 60 books read for the year, which is more than I have ever read in a single year since 2007 (when I first started keeping track of books)! And the year is just half over!

And two short stories I read:
Every Exquisite Thing by Cassandra Clare (July 8) ebook, 45 pages
Learn about Loss by Cassandra Clare (July 10) ebook, 45 pages

You can follow me on goodreads and instagram!

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare

“Remain in the existence you have, go to college, study music, get married. Live your life. Or–you can have an uncertain life of shadows and dangers. You can have the joy of reading the stories of incredible happenings, or you can be part of the story.”

2.5 stars, maybe 3.

Overall, this was a good conclusion to the series, but I feel like a lot could have been cut out and it wouldn’t have changed the story. For the first third of it at least, it seems like it’s a series of Sebastian attacking and retreating and repeat, which is why it’s taken me months to try and finish this book. It’s also why I often have a hard time reading the last book in a series (ACOWAR, Clockwork Princess, and especially Mockingjay, even HP7). All of a sudden the books are a lot more action-driven, maybe even war-oriented, than they previously were. I like character-driven books.

These violent delights have violent ends.

There were also several different points of view going on in this book:
Clary in Alicante.
Jace in Alicante.
Maia in New York.
Simon in New York and then Alicante.
Emma Carstairs at the Los Angeles Institute and then Alicante.
Magnus who ends up in Alicante as well.
And probably others as well.

So many new characters were introduced, so here’s a note on some of them:
Julian Blackthorn (must be a descendant of Tatiana Blackthorn, sister to Gabriel and Gideon Lightwood; and Gabriel was married to Cecily Herondale). And Julian’s father was Andrew, head of the LA Institute. We learn that the Blackthorns and Carstairs had always been close. Julian is one of seven children. His mother died shortly after the youngest child, Tavvy, had been born. Other Blackthorn siblings: Livvy and Ty (Tiberius) are twins, Mark (16, Julian’s older half brother), Helen (also older than Julian, girlfriend of Aline). Mark and Helen have Downworlder blood (it’s rumored that their mother was a princess of the Seelie court who had an affair with Andrew, and she’d abandoned the kids on the doorstep of the LA Institute before disappearing forever).

Demons: There are nine Princes of Hell, known as Fati . Shadowhunters can’t hope to defeat them. They can destroy angels in combat and remake worlds. One is Asmodeus. The asmodeiare powerful demons who left one hell dimension dry and left it for other, weaker demons to scavenge.

The Waylandfamily, who were “famous weapon makers before the Iron Sisters began to forge all the Shadowhunter blades. Wayland the Smith made Excalibur and Joyeuse, Arthur’s and Lancelot’s swords, and Durendal, the sword of the hero Roland. And they made this sword too, from the same steel… Carstairs have carried this sword for generations. The inscription reminds us that Shadowhunters are the Angel’s weapons. Temper us in the fire, and we grow stronger. When we suffer, we survive.” Anyway, this ties back to The Infernal Devices because Josiah Wayland was the Consul until the last book. And it’s revealed Michael Wayland (who raised Jace?) was Robert Lightwood’s parabatai.

So age wise: Helen; Mark, 16; Julian 12, Livvy and Ty, 10; Dru (Drusilla), 8; and Tavvy (Octavius), 2.

Cortana makes an appearance here. It was the blade Jem’s uncle had wanted to give to Will, but Tessa told him to keep it in case he wanted to have children one day. Cortana means “shortsword” and belongs to Emma Carstairs.

Emma Carstairs: daughter of John Carstairs. Must be descendants of Jem’s uncle. In this book, she is 12 years old. She’s an only child.

Penhallows: Jia and Patrick’s daughter is Aline Penhallow, who is dating Helen Blackthorn, a part faerie.

A few notes on what we learn in the book:
We learn that because Jocelyn and Clary were hiding, the ceremony that confers protection on Nephilim children that is normally performed by a Silent Brother and Iron Sister was performed by Brother Zachariah and a female warlock (Tessa). So Clary is kind of named after Tessa (Fairchild + Gray = Fray), and is the descendant of Charlotte Branwell (nee Fairchild).

And we learn how Jem became Jem again. He explains to Jace, “But when I touched you with my runed hand, when you were wounded, I absorbed the heavenly fire in your veins. It burned away the darkness in my blood. I became again the person I was before I took my vows. Before even that. I became what I have always wanted to be.” This scene takes place in Chapter 9, and Jace says something so profound to Jem: “Weapons, when they break and are mended, can be stronger at the mended places. Perhaps hearts are the same.” 

As for how this ties into The Infernal Devices: this takes place starting in December of 2007. The epilogue for Clockwork Princess with Jem takes place in 2008. Because of the tv show, I thought this book would be taking place in present time, so I was confused about how Brother Zachariah was featured here, but now I get it. And then the epilogue of this book takes place in May 2008, so it takes place after the epilogue of A Clockwork Princess.

And finally, my favorite chapter was chapter 20. Here are two quotes from it:

“He was looking at her like she was the first star that had ever come out in the sky, a miracle painted across the face of the world that he could barely believe in.”

And,

“If their first kiss in the water had been a sort of explosion, this was like a sun going supernova.”

As hard as it was to get through this book, I will really miss these characters. Excited to start the next series though!

Other random notes:
I absolutely love the book trailer for this! Now I can’t wait for the tv show to catch up to this book, and hopefully the scenes in this show match the trailer (or even better).

I also checked out the audiobook version of this as well because at first I was having a hard time getting through the book. It’s narrated by some girl and Jason Dohring. I love Jason Dohring’s narration (though he’s no Ed Westwick), but I really didn’t like the girl’s. I was listening to hers on 1.5x speed and her voice was still just annoying me so I went back to the physical copy of the book. I wish it had all been Jason Dohring. It would have been an audiobook worth buying then.

Learn about Loss (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #4) by Cassandra Clare and Kelly Link

“The world was its own sort of crucible, and in it all dreams were tempered and tested. Many crumbled away entirely, and then you went on without them.”

“Learn about Loss involves a dark carnival, a stylish demon, and Jem solving a mystery.”

This fourth short story in the Ghosts of the Shadow Market series takes place in Chattanooga, TN in October 1936, and unlike the previous three stories, this doesn’t revolve around any of the Shadowhunter children, just Jem and a soon-to-be Iron Sister, Sister Emilia. They have both come to reclaim some adamas that has ended up here, but they find that someone has already beat them to it.

A lot of people were expecting Will to be in it, and he is, but for only the final moments in the end, and he shows up in a different way than you’d expect. But I loved that scene all the same!

“The first strange thing they saw was a werewolf eating cotton candy out of a paper cone.”

Also, Cassandra Clare wrote the absolute most beautiful descriptions of Chattanooga and the carnival. I want to go visit it right now (luckily I don’t live too far away). I am thinking of doing a blog post of this: highlighting all of the places she mentioned in a blog post tomorrow, so make sure you’re following my blog so you’re notified of when the post comes out!

You can find an excerpt of this story at the end of Every Exquisite Thing, as well as a tiny teaser here.

The audiobook is narrated by Ross Butler, of 13 Reasons Why and Riverdale.

1. Son of the Dawn (takes place in New York City 2000) ★★★★★
2. Cast Long Shadows (takes place in London 1901) ★★★★
3. Every Exquisite Thing (takes place in London 1901) ★★★★★
4. Learn about Loss by Cassandra Clare and Kelly Link
5. A Deeper Love by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson (takes place in 1940 with Tessa)
6. The Wicked One by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
7. Through Blood, Through Fire by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
8. The Land I Lost by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Every Exquisite Thing (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #3) by Cassandra Clare

“I thought her very amiable,” said Anna, looking out the window at London sparkling in the vast night. She longed to be out there among the earthbound stars, walking in the streets of Soho, living a life of music and adventure and dancing.

This is the third short story in the Ghosts of the Shadow Market series, and should be read after The Infernal Devices because it has major character spoilers for that book.

This third story focuses on Anna Lightwood who was briefly mentioned in “Cast Long Shadows”. The story is about her being in love with another girl, Ariadne, at the turn of 20th century England, and how difficult that is.

“She decided to take the longer way home, through Hyde Park. The colors were soft in the sunrise, the waters of the Serpentine still. She felt friendship toward the ducks and the pigeons. She smiled at strangers.

This was what love was. It was total. It brought her together with everything. Anna barely cared if she made it home before someone would notice her missing. She wanted to feel like this forever—exactly this, this soft and fragrant and friendly morning, with the feel of Ariadne still on her skin. ”

Jem’s story is woven in as he runs into a warlock named Leopolda Stain and he has a bad feeling about her, so he keeps an eye on her. One night, he sees Matthew Fairchild and Anna head into a house in which Leopolda is. They think they’re just heading into a salon at midnight, but something more sinister is going on.

Jem is investigating who Tessa’s father is, but all he gets from Leopolda is that he was a Greater Demon and one of the princes of hell. (Tessa had confessed to Jem, “But I worry so over Jamie and Lucie . . . James despairs of his eyes, calls them doorways into Hell, as if he hates his own face, his own bloodline. If I but knew who my demon father was, perhaps I could know, prepare them and myself . . . and Will.” 

The audiobook version is narrated by Lara Pulver, who played Irene Adler on BBC’s Sherlock.

“She felt she could breathe, even with the ache of Ariadne’s loss in her chest: she might have lost the girl, but she had gained herself. A new Anna, confident, dapper, powerful.
Hearts were broken across London every day. Perhaps Anna might break a heart or two herself. There would be others—lovely girls would come and go, and she would remain in control of her heart. She would never be torn like this again.

She was a Shadowhunter. She would take the blow. She would harden herself and laugh in the face of pain.”

1. Son of the Dawn (takes place in New York City 2000) ★★★★★
2. Cast Long Shadows (takes place in London 1901) ★★★★

4. Learn about Loss by Cassandra Clare and Kelly Link (coming out this Tuesday July 10, and looks like it takes place in Chattanooga, TN in 1936!)
5. A Deeper Love by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
6. The Wicked One by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
7. Through Blood, Through Fire by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
8. The Land I Lost by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Tome Topple Readathon Round 6 (July 2018)

I recently discovered the Tome Topple Readathon thanks to a comment on Goodreads, and I have loved participating in Dewey’s readathon, so I thought why not participate in another one.

This did start on June 29, so I’m a week behind, but that doesn’t bother me. I still have another week to go (it ends on July 12).

I had a hard time finding much information about it at first because turns out there’s no blog associated with it, just a youtube video that explains it and then a twitter account (though it doesn’t seem like they’ll reply if you ask a question).

What: Tome Topple Readathon
When: June 29 – July 12
Where: twitter.com/tometopplereadathon and goodreads. Looks like they have reading sprints during the day on twitter, but sadly those take place during regular work hours so I haven’t been able to participate.
Who: hosted by Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube
How to participate:  All you have to do is choose a book that has at least 500 pages and read it. You don’t even have to finish it!

Challenges:
1. Read more than 1 tome
2. Read a graphic novel (still over 500 pages!)
3. Read a tome that is part of a series
4. Buddy read a tome
5. Read an adult novel **
Bonus Challenges: check out my IG for IG challenges closer to the readathon! **

The daily instagram challenge is here.

Already, now here are the tomes I’d like to tackle:
Children of Blood and Bone – It’s the #TonightShowSummerRead, and I’m so excited about reading it! I’m going to buy my copy tomorrow and then begin.
Dune by Frank Herbert – I plan to begin reading this so I can read along with a podcast I’m listening to, but I know for sure I won’t be finishing it before this readathon is over.

Books I’ve had listed as currently reading on goodreads forever that I wish I could finish but probably will not any time soon:
The Fellowship of the Ring – Yeah, right. I’ve had this marked as currently reading on goodreads for over a year and haven’t had an iota of motivation to continue.
City of Heavenly Fire – I don’t know why I can’t finish this. I’m kind of excited to read Lady Midnight/Lord of Shadows, if only I could finish this.
Super Better – Ahh, this has 480 pages. If I could bring myself to pick it up, I’d definitely count it.
Outlander – This one has been on my CR for several years. I can’t even.
Turns out the majority of my CR on GR are tomes. No wonder they’ve been sitting there forever. There’s also Strange the Dreamer, but I decided I’m only going to read it a week before Muse of Nightmares comes out. Same with Tower of Dawn. And forget about Shadow of Night. I don’t know if I’ll ever actually finish it, but am super excited for the tv show in the fall!!!

Tomes I’d definitely tackle if I had a longer attention span/wasn’t in a permanent book slump:
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – I wonder which day will come first, me finishing this book or the author finishing the series. Ha.

Wild card: Illuminae. People say it’s a quick read. We’ll see.

Okay, I’m going to set a super easy goal for myself: if I can read even 100 pages of any of the above books, I’ll consider this a success (that tells you how little I’ve been reading these past few weeks, sadly).