Book Review: The Iron Trial ARC by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

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This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through Scholastic at the American Library Association Conference for free. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Middle Grade, malady Fantasy

Pages: 

295

Part of a Series?:

This is the first novel in the Magisterium series, viagra 100mg of five planned novels.

Release Date: 

September 8, medications 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Cassandra’s Website / Holly’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will — is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It’s a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

My Review:

When I heard that Holly Black and Cassandra Clare were releasing a new book together, I knew immediately that I had to read it. When I found out it was a middle grade, I was slightly deterred because I feel like I just getting older and older but I adore both of these authors and still felt the desire to read the book. I got my hands on an ARC at ALA in July and it was one of the first books that I knew I wanted to read.

That being said, it took me a couple weeks to read it. I started it, got about half way through and then had to put it aside for a bit. I read 8 other books, including my Bloodlines reread, before picking it up. Once I picked it up again, I sped through the last half and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I was used to YA and the sort of adult stories in that and it took me a second to adjust to a middle grade story. Once I was able to do that, I immediately fell in love with the stories and the characters.

This is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson series, JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series and John and Carole Barrowman’s Hollow Earth series. It’s obviously influenced by the first two. Its full of adventure and magic and humor and the uncertainties that come with being a tween. Callum Hunt has all these insecurities, hidden behind a pretty thick veil of sarcasm and dry humor, added in with the fact that he is handicapped too. He’s brought to the Magisterium to learn magic and it feels like Harry going off to Hogwarts or Percy arriving at Camp Half Blood. Its a whole new world and you get to experience that will Callum and its so fun. Throw in his mentor, his two new best friends and a pretty awesome animal that becomes a kind of an unusual pet.

But what I love about it is the depth that comes from that. What could be a silly story of magic and spells actually holds a lot of depth. I mean, don’t get me wrong: this story IS fun. Callum makes me laugh and his friends are awesome, and there’s just a lot about it that’s just so whimsical and really makes me think of Harry Potter. But, like HP, there’s a deeper story there, one that is very unexpected. It actually threw me quite off guard and when it happened, I knew immediately that I needed to keep reading. The story is twisting and turning and I honestly hope that it will make its way into plenty of middle grader readers because I think its a great book. There’s magic and adventure and friendship and insecurities, and doubt and learning and growing up and so much that I would want in a book at that age and even now, and that’s what made it so good.

I do believe that the beginning lagged a bit but whether that was because I wasn’t feeling that sort of book at the moment or it could be that the beginning honestly lagged. Only a reread of the book would tell me the answer completely but I do feel like the beginning lagged a bit due to the lessons that Callum and his companions were learning. As time went on and the story progressed, it made sense but I did struggle with the beginning, definitely.

In the end, it became a truly good novel, and it is a definitely one of the few middle grade series that will remain on my radar in the next couple years.

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead (Spoiler Free)

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Note: There will be a spoiler filled review uploaded on YouTube within the next couple days.

Genre: 

Young Adult, medical  Fantasy

Pages: 

380

Part of a Series?:

This is the 5th novel in the Bloodlines Series

Release Date: 

July 29th, diagnosis 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.


In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. 

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

My Review:

Please note that while this review will have no spoilers for Silver Shadows, there will be spoilers for the rest of the Bloodlines series. 

When I first picked up the Vampire Academy series just about a year ago, I didn’t know that it would lead to me to two incredible series that would literally change my life. The characters, the stories, all of it, means so incredibly much to me and in such a short period of time. I already have a VA tattoo because of it. After the end of VA, I felt empty, until I picked up a copy of Bloodlines, and literally sped through that series. To say that I was dying to read Silver Shadows at the end of the Fiery Heart would be a vast understatement.

I woke up on Tuesday, on release date, and immediately got ready and went out to buy my copy. I found it, clutched it to my chest and didn’t let it out of my sight until I got home. I then warned everyone that I would be disappearing for awhile while I read the book. I read it in less than four hours, which already goes to show you how much I enjoyed this book.

When I read Fiery Heart, I wasn’t a huge fan of the split point of view. I understand why she did it but it helped me keep my resolve as Indigo Spell as my favorite. Now in Silver Shadows, the split point of view was definitely necessary to the point of the story. Adrian and Sydney are separated, Adrian remaining in Palm Springs and Sydney in some unknown location as the Alchemists attempt to “re-educate” her. In this novel, I found myself eager for each of their points of view, hoping, with each turn of the page, that their stories would finally intersect and they would be back together. I really enjoyed the split POV and I hope she continues this in The Ruby Circle.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this novel, something that just kept me pushing page after page, until the end was Sydney Sage. I know that sounds weird because she’s the main character of the series but I’ve mostly read for Adrian more than Sydney. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Sydney but I think she really became one of my favorite characters, period, in this book. The strength that she shows, the resolve, the fact that she is determined and doesn’t stop trying. She is absolutely incredible in this novel. She blows me away, and I always kind of held her second best to Rose Hathaway but I think she’s her equal, just in a different way. I really began to truly appreciate Sydney in this novel.

I also liked the story of it. There was a lot more built into it than just the recovery of Sydney. It was a struggle for Adrian, handling his spirit and his vices and that sort of thing. He is miserable and he literally sends himself into a spiral. Its about his relationship to other people besides Sydney (and Jill and Eddie and Angeline), and his family, and even his friends back at Court, like Lissa, Rose and Dimitri. I love that Sydney’s story is more than just her own in the re-education center. We really get to see the person she’s become and what she’s willing to do to help not only herself but others as well.

And I mean, keeping this as spoiler free as possible, but there are some truly excellent Sydrian moments in this novel. Truly. There’s an entire segment with the two of them that I honestly thought I would be horrified by but instead, I was so full of joy and happiness, I could barely handle it. It made sense to the storyline, which is why I liked it. I don’t like things like this happening just for the sake of it. I know this is so vague and you can check out my spoiler filled review for more on that.

Loving all the appearances that Lissa, Rose and Dimitri make. My loves!

And OHMYGOD that cliffhanger. I can’t handle that cliffhanger. Just when you think …okay, everything is going to be okay, I can handle this, Richelle leaves us literally panicking on the last page, wondering what on earth could possibly happen next. Literally, I would sell my kidney to find out what happens next, maybe even a lung or two. I mean, those aren’t important right? I’m just saying. With a cliffhanger like that, anyone would want to read the next book!

Stay tuned for my spoiler filled vlog coming soon!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

July Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2014:

150 Books

Am I On Track: 

According to GoodReads, site I’m 3 books ahead

Books Read So Far: 

90

Total Books For June: 

14

Remember, as always, to click the book title in order to read the review!

The Young Elites (ARC)

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Alienated

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Invaded (ARC)

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Four: A Divergent Story Collection

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Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future (ARC)

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Landline 

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Exile

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Bloodlines (Re-Read)

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The Golden Lily (Re-Read)

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The Indigo Spell (Re-Read)

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The Fiery Heart (Re-Read)

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The Giver (Re-Read)

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The Iron Trial 

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Silver Shadows 

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Monday Missions #15…On a Tuesday!

And in blog form instead of vlog!

I was feeling kind of lazy between blogging and working yesterday so I never got to Monday Missions. Now today, look I have dirty hair and I’m kind of sloppy looking after binge reading so I decided that instead of just ignoring the Monday Missions period, health I would do it in blog form.

For those of you who don’t know what the Monday Missions is, treat its a weekly vlog that my dear friend Daisy created on her YouTube channel The Thousand Lives of Daisy. Every week, you come up with your weekly TBR list. On mine, I talk about the books I wanted to read, what I actually read and what I hope to read this week.

Let’s jump in!

What I Wanted to Read: 

The Iron Trial

The Indigo Spell 

The Fiery Heart

What I Actually Read: 

The Indigo Spell 

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I continued my reread of the Bloodlines series in anticipation of today’s release of Silver Shadows!

The Fiery Heart

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Ditto

The Giver 

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I knew I would have to reread this soon because of the movie and so I decided to do so. AND I finished it in about an hour haha.

The Iron Trial 

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I was about halfway through this and I needed to finish it. So I did!

What I Want to Read: 

Silver Shadows

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This came out today! AGH!

Heir of Fire

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I’ve had this ARC since ALA last month and I’ve finally ready to dive into it. Its SO huge but I’m ready for it.

Atlantia 

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I’ve had this one as well since ALA and its a standalone which is something I really need in my life. I can’t wait to read this.

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What are you reading this week? Make sure to share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten: Authors I Own the Most Books From

Once again, generic I’ve fallen massively behind in my regularity with the Tuesday Top Ten. I’ve also been out of a lot of creativity so I decided to pop on over to The Broke and Bookish blog, sick where they host the Top Ten Tuesday, and grab their idea for the week.

I think that even though it suggests something kind of simple, it also shows something. The authors who I own the most books from? Obviously that means they are authors I really, really love to own so many from them.

So let’s do this.

Also, when doing this, a lot of authors have a count of 3 and 4, because of trilogies haha. So I own alllllll these books but there are very few authors that I have more than 3 or 4. But I digress. Check out the list.

10. J.R.R. Tolkien – 6 books 

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I own the entire LoTR trilogy, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin. I know there is so much more than I could own by him but baby steps haha. I’ve read these six books, and I love them dearly. I actually feel like I have more than just 6 because I’m fairly sure I have multiple copies of the LoTR and The Hobbit, hidden somewhere in my ever growing collection of books.

9. Tammara Webber – 6 books 

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Tammara Webber has been one of my favorite authors for quite some time now. I own the entire Between the Lines series because she was sweet enough to send me all four books, signed and personalized to me. Which was the sweetest thing EVER. I also have her new adult novel, Easy, and its companion book, Breakable. I know that my collection of her books will only grow as she releases more :)

8. Cinda Williams Chima – 8 books 

Cinda Williams Chima 9

Cinda Chima is such an incredible fantasy YA author and its easy to have all of her books in my life. I have all four books of the Seven Realms series, no problem, and I own a complete collection of the Heir Chronicles, so far. This collection will grow just slightly when the 5th Heir Chronicles novel releases (OHMYGOD) this fall. If you have not given her novels a chance yet, you definitely should. Seriously, she’s absolutely amazing.

7. Rick Riordan – 11 books  

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This one is so easy. I own the complete Percy Jackson collection, with a few extra copies and the entire Heroes of Olympus series so far. I hope to get my hands on the complete collection with the new covers because I actually quite like them. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final Heroes of Olympus book. I’m just dying for it!

6. Sarah Dessen – 11 books

Sarah Dessen on Tour 1

The reason that I put Sarah Dessen lower (higher?) on the list is because even though I own all 11 of her books, I also think that the count is probably higher because I am almost 100% positive that I have doubles of a few of the books. Again, I have so many books scattered around, in my room, in bins in my backyard, in boxes in storage. I have over 600 books, so I’m bound to own more than 11 Sarah Dessen  books. Plus she’s one of my auto-buy authors so I immediately go out and purchase every new release of hers, every since I was about 12.

5. Richelle Mead – 15 books 

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YES! I own the entire Vampire Academy series and Bloodlines series, with a few doubles there too. I am actually counting Silver Shadows in this count even though I’m technically writing this at 2 am and the bookstores haven’t opened so therefore I don’t actually have my copy of Silver Shadows yet. But I’m going to buy it immediately tomorrow and I can’t wait for it. As soon as I started reading VA, I immediately fell in love and had to get my hands on all of them. Because of generous gifts from my dear friends Mina and Katie, I own both series now and I’m glad to have them complete!

4. Cassandra Clare – 16 books 

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I feel like this one is such a duh. One, she’s one of my favorite authors. Two, she has a TON of books. I have the entire Mortal Instruments series, of course. But that includes the fact that I have 3 copies of City of Bones and 3 copies of City of Heavenly Fire. I’m weird that way. I also have Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess. Of course. Add in The Shadowhunter Codex because that was a must. Then I have ARCs of The Bane Chronicles and The Iron Trial and I’m overflowing with Cassandra Clare books. I adore her. I want all of her books in my life!

3. Tamora Pierce – 20 books 

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Tammy Pierce has been writing YA fantasy since the early 80s, which means that she has quite a few books under her belt. Which means that I have quite a few of them in my collection. I am hoping to branch out into her not-Tortall books soon but I’ve always been massively obsessed with her Tortall world. So my collection is The Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, The Protector of the Small, The Daughter of the Lioness and the Beka Cooper trilogy, which a few scattered doubles in there, plus the Tortall stories she released a few years back. Any time a Tortall story hits the shelves, I’ll be first in line.

2. J.K. Rowling – 30 books 

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Again, duh. My favorite author of all time, so of course I’d own a ton of books. I have the entire Harry Potter collection, which doubles, triples, even quadruples of some copies. I have two copies of Beedle the Bard, Quidditch through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts. I also have foreign editions of several of the books from the UK, Australia, Spain, France, Korea, to name a few. I also have The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling as well. Hopefully soon I will have The Silkworm as well but for now, I’m just too broke for that book. Adult books are very expensive :( But yes, I have a ton of books by JKR. I don’t know why I keep buying copies of HP but I see them at used bookstores for fairly cheap and just have to buy them. I’ve overrun haha.

1. Meg Cabot – 45 Books 

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Aw yes the winner. I actually think the number of Meg Cabot books that I own is much larger than this. This number is based on what I know I own but I have been reading Meg since I was 12 years old, which means I know I have a decent collection of her books in boxes in storage. I have every single book she’s ever released, except her romance novels under Patricia Cabot mostly because I’m just not a romance person. Other than that? I own them all, and probably doubles of a lot of them too. She is definitely one of my auto buy authors so its easy that she is the top of the list. She’s a machine and she’s released so many books over the year, and as a dedicated fan for about 15 years, I own them all :)

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What authors appear the most in YOUR book collection? Share in the comments!

My Sister Opened an Etsy Shop!

I am so excited to announce that after some hard work on my part and a ton of hard work on my sister’s part, abortion she has officially opened her Etsy shop: Art by Dink.

In the past few weeks, she’s been working on these mini canvas, and they’ve been super amazing. She started with Disney characters, but I recruited her right away to start making some fandom ones. I immediately commissioned her for an Amity one, because that’s my Divergent faction and it came out amazing.

Amity

I knew right away that she had to work on more fandom ones and that people would really want to buy these.

And she’s been relatively successful so far in in orders, with just friends and family. She’s currently working on a fearless rune, a deathly hallows and a TARDIS one just for me alone. My friend Ally just commissioned her for four of them. Check out some of the other ones she’s done so far.

Ariel

Nemo

Olaf

Pikachu

Simba

Snow White

Spiderman

Stitch

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Winnie the Pooh

She paints 4×4 canvas with oil and acrylic paints.

She has done all of the ones above, including some sports teams logos as well. The best part? She takes custom orders. She will sketch out a few ideas and working with you to create the best canvas possible. 

She’s working on several orders for people right now, as well as doing some new ones. As I mentioned before, she’s going to be making a fearless rune, a deathly hallows symbol and the TARDIS for one, which is VERY awesome. My friend Ally has ordered a Dauntless, a Peter Pan and more. The options are limitless.

And they’re only TEN BUCKS. That’s such a steal!

We’re still working on tightening up the edges of her Etsy page, hopefully getting her a logo soon, but her page IS open for business so head over, check it out and start buying! These canvas are so cool and I’ve already bought four, and I’m totally ready to buy more!

Check out her Etsy page now

You can also find her art page on Facebook and Instagram, as well. There, she will show all of her new canvas before she adds them to her Etsy page!