Wednesday, 8 May 2013

City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments #5) - Cassandra Clare

Spoiler Alert: If you haven't read this series then this review may reveal plots of the previous books.



Plot:

Jace has disappeared, along with Sebastian, from the rootop. The search for him is met with little result. In desperation, Clary decides to take action herself. However, her joy dies when she realises Jace is bound to her brother, Sebastian, with the blood of Lilth. Along with her friends, Clary embarks on journey to save not only the boy she loves but also the Shadowhunter world.

Review:

Welcome back to the world of Shadowhunters and the constant obstacles that Jace and Clary face during their relationship. The latest instalment was met with anticipation after Cassandra Clare had left fans on a cliff in City of Fallen of AngelsCity of Lost Souls certainly explains what happens to Jace and Sebastian after the rootop incident but seems to centre on the romance of the characters in the novel. It does come across as quite frustrating, the lack of the original plot of the series. What was once a battle between Valentine and Shadowhunters has now circulated to just the relationship between Jace and Clary, and also the other characters. Yes, they are important as well but I wanted a lot more badass fighting scenes and 'good vs. evil' moments. Not to say that there isn't, it's just limited. Clare tries to add those elements of the supernatural one but they seem more like snippets, that flitter in and out, and almost confuses the entire storyline.

However, because Clare is able to establish such strong bonds between her characters and readers, it is easy to fly through the entire story. I read it all at once. There are times when you get tired with the constant intimate moments between the couples (almost inappropriate for readers under the age of 15), but you are kept on the edge with wanting to know who is good or bad, and what will become of Jace. Clare can produce suspense and readers will go along with the ride.

It is only once you reach the end that it feels like the fifth instalment is quite unnecessary. What was once a promising trilogy, it seems as though The Mortal Instruments series is going with the hype, and has now extended to more of a romance series then anything. The series seems to have lost the original plot but overall, is still enough to keep diehard fans from continuing on the adventure. At least until the last book. I am a fan of the series, just not the last two additions.

City of Lost Souls is not the best of the series, it's just okay. There are some shocks and twists to it but it will mostly suit fans of Clary and Jace who will love the amount of time focused on their relationship.

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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Speechless - Hannah Harrington

Plot:

Chelsea Knotting is known for her big mouth. She'll spread any secret she knows and never feel any guilt about it. Until one night when it leads to a near death incident. Chelsea loses all her friends and becomes an outcast.

She vows to be silent from then on.

Review:

Speechless definitely was a surprise. It was different to expectations, in a good way. As a Young Adult novel I had thought it would lack in depth. Instead, it consisted of many lessons to be learnt.

The character, Chelsea, comes across as annoying and needy in the beginning. Her constant need to run her mouth almost wants readers to punch her because who really wants to read about a snitch. Except, it's this flaw that she tries so hard to work on, which changed my mind. She becomes relatable. At 16, who didn't find themselves spilling dirty deeds to their best friend and wanting to belong to the 'in' crowd? Harrington does leave room for some sympathy towards Chelsea, as she becomes a victim in some way.

The plot takes a serious turn after the first couple of chapters. It leaves a lot to think about, touching on the issue that is constantly debated about. It'll ruin the novel if I reveal what it is but it is a major issue. This is the pivotal moment, which differentiates Speechless from other novels in this genre. Harrington tackles this well known issue in a very simple way but conveys the best message.

During the novel you are also introduced to various characters that are likeable immediately. They become like a close knit family to Chelsea but also to readers. This is what I liked about the novel, how easy it was to read because of the characters.

The novel itself is different, in terms of the concept included, but it is also similar to typical Young Adult novels with the cliques in High School and the blossoming relationship that was bound to happen. Yet, those moments don't ruin the novel. Harrington has delivered a very enjoyable novel that contains an important message but also a plot that has readers continuing to read on. It's a short read, definitely for those who like teenage drama straight from High School.

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