Uncategorized

Review! Everless by Sara Holland

Started: 16th December 2017

Finished: 28th December 2017

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Series: Yes.

TW: Blood

I dunno man, I really wanted to like it…

Everless is a cool set up for a book and I can totally see why it’s been as popular as it has been, but I must confess I feel completely on the fence about this one.

The main character of Everless is Jules, a girl who had a childhood of riches when she lived on the estate of a wealthy lord. Then her father sensed her life was in danger and whisked her away to hide away in a poor village, barely scraping through the days in their new life of poverty.

In the world of Everless, time is money – literally. Magic has discovered a way to drain drops of a persons blood and, in so, their life essence. This of course leads to short lives for the poor and near immortality for the rich. Jules’ father is running out of time to give, which is why Jules takes a job at the estate of her childhood in spite of his warnings. Unsurprisingly to the religious YA reader, this leads to her becoming intrinsically entwined in a sinister plot of royalty and religion.

This is kind of the problem I had with the book. If you’ve read my past reviews, you might have noticed one of my biggest peeves is a (usually female) lead character who’s actions are entirely passive and who’s plot happens to her rather than her making the plot. Everless does the exact opposite so you’d think I’d like that – as it turns out, no, no I don’t. Jules’ doesn’t have many striking characteristics in my opinion, but the one she does have is that she’s headstrong to the point of ridiculousness. Constantly, characters are entirely reasonably warning her against doing things that are very likely to endanger her and constantly she ignores their warnings and does it anyway. Surprise surprise, this ends with her constantly in peril with no one to blame but herself! Obviously, a character needs to be put in difficult situations to further the plot and a character’s own recklessness is a way of doing this, but a normal book might use this once or twice – not for every single plot point in the story.

Outside of Jules, who I spent most of the book furious at, the world of Everless is pretty awesome. The draining of time thing was great, as was the way it played into its own lore. Most things were decently well explained, even if there was one small bout of Jules’ leaping to conclusions about things she probably shouldn’t have figured out quite that fast right before the climax. I thought most the supporting cast varied between decent, loveable and downright stellar – the last going to the villains, who are flippin’ great. Everless could have scored a lot higher for me overall if it hadn’t put the only character I didn’t like in, unfortunately, the first-person narrated leading role.

If you enjoyed any of these books, I think you’ll like Everless: Caraval by Stephanie Garber, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Cruel Prince by Holly Black

 

Advertisements
Fiction Review · Review

Review! Every Day by David Levithan

Started: 21st January 2018

Finished: 11th February 2018

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

Genre: Sci-fi

Series: Yes. (Every Day #1)

TW for: Transphobia, Fatphobia, Sexual Assault, Stalking – none of which are even framed as evil. I’ll be talking about them all in the review

Lots of spoilers ahead!

Do you think stalking is a romantic act? Would you sit by and not correct someone who is purposely misgendering a trans guy? Are you, too, unashamedly fatphobic?

Every Day might be just the book for you!

So I’ve given this book 2 stars on Goodreads to account for the fact that, while I hate SO MUCH of the story, the writing itself is pretty good and easy to read. If you’re reading on my blog, however, you’ll see it’s gotten a more appropriate 1.5 stars.

Spoilers ahead because this book induced so much rage I really, really cannot fully write this review without going into it.

Every Day is about a character who goes by, to themselves at least, ‘A’. Every day, A wakes up in a different body. A has no idea why this happens, but it has happened for as long as they can remember and it’ll always be a body the same age as them (which doesn’t really make sense to start unless all the 6000+ bodies they’ve inhabited have the exact same birthdate and time, but whatever. Suspension of disbelief there.) One day A wakes up in the body of Justin, mean old boyfriend of the perfect lovely adorable awesome – deeply unlikeable – Rhiannon. Being immediately, weirdly infatuated with Rhiannon, A encourages her to skip school and go on a date to the beach. It’s here that A falls in love with Rhi, which might be romantic if they hadn’t spent the day with her under a false pretence of who they actually are.

A wakes up the next day as a different person and spends much of the day thinking about Rhi, eventually resolving to take the various bodies they highjack to visit her. Sometimes this’ll be going up and striking a conversation. Sometimes it’ll be creeping on her from inside their car. It varies. Naturally, A hates Rhiannon’s-boyfriend-Justin and immediately starts trying to meddle in Rhi’s relationship.

The book has another subplot running alongside A’s creeping around. When I describe it, you might think it’s the main plot, because it actually sounds interesting and not entirely infuriating. Quench that hope right now, beloved reader. It’s a minor subplot which takes a backseat for the last 100 pages until the author realises “Oh yeah, kind of need a story in here”.

One of the bodies A hijacks – a guy called Nathan – remembers some of the experience and thinks he was possessed by the devil for a day. He manages to find a way to contact A by email, demanding answers which A doesn’t answer for most of the book and, when they finally do and agree to meet Nathan, shit hits the fan and you get a pretty good plot twist at the climax – a climax that lasts approximately 3 damn pages. Seriously.

Every Day as a concept isn’t a bad idea and at one point, when A starts having deeply creepy thoughts about how easily they could get away with murder (which are never bought up again, spoilers!) I thought it might be descending into a pretty solid thriller.

(That’s not what happens at all. Spoilers!)

Another thing I liked was when Justin punched A in the face. I don’t think I was meant to cheer, but hey, I cheered.

Every Day’s writing is also good, as I mentioned, so the reason Every Day is such a let-down is in part the pretty bad pacing but predominantly it’s utterly abysmal cast. The only character I remotely liked was Nathan who had every right to be angry and upset having been made to feel violated by A’s possession and was the only one who reacted to any situation in a believable way – and yet he was treated like a joke and an ineffectual antagonist.

A themself is ridiculous. The fact that they’re stalking Rhiannon is never addressed for how creepy it is. They claim that they’ve been every kind of person and aren’t judgemental but constantly seem to be contradicting themselves in that regard. When they end up in the body of a girl who likes to put effort into her appearance they’re quick to judge and when they end up as someone fat they literally act like it’s the most disgusting, repulsive possible thing for the entire chapter, saying horrible things like “he’s clearly just given up caring any more”. The poor bloody guy is only like 300lbs I swear to god. When they’re in a body that Rhi finds attractive they strip and get very, very close to having sex before A backs out. In the end they don’t, but they still spend the night naked with Rhi and messing around with her which means they’re both indisputably molesting the body of a teenager who cannot possibly consent to it – and Rhi even wants to go further, which would absolutely make it rape. A is just a huge douche through and through, but not even enough of a douche to keep it interesting. Just the kind of un-engaging douche you wouldn’t bother to associate with.

And then there’s Rhiannon. Rhiannon starts out the story not so bad, if a little overly passive and poorly characterised. She rejects A (who continues, despite this and despite seeing it makes her uncomfortable, to keep telling her they love her) but then does an out of nowhere one-eighty 2/3rd of the way through the book and decides they loves A too. Literally out of nowhere. Oh yeah and she tries to rape a guy. Did I mention that? Let me mention that.

But Rhi only loves A when they’re a conventionally attractive cis gender boy, obvs. Heaven forbid they be fat. Heaven forbid they be a girl. Heaven in particular forbid A be trans – when that happens, Rhiannon says “So you’re a girl who’s a boy?” and then spends the rest of the chapter misgendering the host. I thought this would be the point where A, who identifies as both a-gender and genderfluid, might be like “Well shit, maybe this girl isn’t all I’ve idolised her to be. Maybe I should tell her off, or at least correct her use of pronouns.”

Nope, they go on obsessing over her. Swoooooon.

The ending is a massive let down. There’s the sort of interesting plot twist involving Nathan’s subplot, as I mentioned, but that whole situation maybe gets 5 pages total consideration from the moment the plot twist takes place through to the end of the book. At the end, instead, A finds out that there’s a way to possess a person for more than a day – essentially take over their life, killing the original soul. They end up in the body of a nice guy called Alexander Lin and spend the whole day with Rhiannon showing her the nice things about that guy, then drops the bombshell at the end that A has ‘picked’ Alexander for Rhi to date instead. Instead of being like “Jesus Christ why are you trying to dictate my life and choose who I fall in love with?” Rhi kind of just goes with this. Alexander, of course, can offer no consensual part in this but I guess we’re left to assume he’ll be in love with Rhi too – after all, what nice guy wouldn’t be in love with a dull, transphobic, rude and obscenely co-dependant girl like Rhi? Oh, WAIT.

Now I’ve written this scathing review, I kind of regret giving it it’s 1.5/2 stars out of 5. I would say it barely scraped those ratings. It’s just… not a good book.

If you enjoyed: Changers by T.Cooper, you might enjoy Every Day. Maybe. Or maybe you should just stick to that series…

Fiction Review · Review

Review! The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

Started: 13th January 2018

Finished: 18th January 2018

Release Date: 3rd May 2018

Rating: 5/5 Stars.

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Yes. (The Smoke Thieves #1)

TW: Violence, Death, Domestic abuse (non-physical iirc?)

Literally just go and preorder The Smoke Thieves right now, thanks.

Anyone who knows me probably heard me buzzing like a most punchable bee about this book as I read it. This is the kind of fantasy novel that has everything you want in a fantasy novel – it has an epic map that you get to explore all corners of. It has a variety of characters who are all equally fantastically characterised to complement each other while remaining unique to themselves. It has a good ol’ bit of magic. It has demons! It’s witty, diverse, engaging and heart stopping enough to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. What else could you ask for?

The Smoke Thieves is a book that’s written in third person but told from multiple perspectives (Think Six of Crows, Heroes of Olympus), and it’s a book about five heroes who find themselves – or put themselves – in a conflict between their respective nations.

While the world is very strong and written in such a way that you feel very present, it’s the characters that take the story from good to great to holy shit where have you been all my life? The first character you’ll meet, and just about my favourite, is a young girl called Tash who hunts demons.  This sounds like it might work out horribly for poor Tash, but she’s pretty damn good at her job and her banter with her colleague is honestly some of the funniest I’ve ever come across. She’s equally part adorable and part always ready to fight, and both her dialogue and internal narration are hilarious. I loved every second of all her scenes. It took all of one chapter for her to rocket to being one of my favourite literary heroines ever.

Elsewhere in this world, you have Princess Catherine. Subject to an arranged marriage with a man she’s never met and dangerously in love with a guard far, far below her station, if I’m honest I was a little uncertain about this character at first. I feel awful for doubting – her character arc doesn’t take long at all to blossom perhaps more than anyone’s in the story. The guard in question, Ambrose – well, it’s hard to say much about him without spoiling so much of the story. Heroic and charming, he kind of reminded me of… somewhere between Ser Loras of Game of Thrones and Goldenloin from Nimona, and I thought his family ties were handled in an interesting and fantastic way.

March is a character I liked right off the bat precisely because he tries to be so difficult to like. Servant to a well-loved prince, March is a striking man who is one of the last of his people. Again, I can’t exactly say too much with big old spoilers, but this guy had me an emotional wreck I swear. The difficult position his story puts him in gives you all the feels! Edyon is the last character we meet – a happy, careless thief who is pretty sure he’s destined for greatness. As Edyon becomes more and more crucial to the plot, it seems he might be right.

The story does have some romantic subplots which definitely don’t override the story much and, coming from a person who’s generally not the type to get particularly invested in romances – oh my gosh, I was fangirling all the way. The character’s chemistry is so interesting and completely has you rooting for them all with enough conflict to keep you constantly wondering if, not when!

(And definitely not up at 1am because a book was giving you too many emotions. No no, of course not.)

There was a bit of a let down at the end of the novel, if I’m being completely honest. There seemed to be a lot of the characters joking around right before the very climax and, given how serious the climax is, it didn’t suit the mood at all. Also, the climax itself is really good but… it’s also the ending. The book literally feels like it ends in the middle of the climax and that was incredibly frustrating! First novels in a series need to be at least 50% self-contained, in my opinion, but the Smoke Thieves spins all these fantastic, engaging storylines and only seemed to really resolve one comparatively small one. I know this isn’t something that bugs everyone, and it wasn’t enough to make this book lose any stars, but man… I wouldn’t be half this annoyed by it if the storylines weren’t so damn good in the first place!

All in all though, I’ve been telling anyone who’ll listen they need to check out this book when it’s released in May. And now I’m telling you. Trust me – you want this on your shelves.

Bonus:

If you enjoyed Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas or A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin, I think you’ll like The Smoke Thieves.

Also you may have noticed that I’ve added trigger warnings for the book at the top. This’ll be happening on all review from now on – they’re usually for the book itself rather than my review but if I do explain them in review too I’ll make a note of that. This is because I have a couple of reviews coming up that are for books with a lot of common triggers!

Fiction Review · Review

Review! Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Started: 6th January 2018

Finished: 15th January 2018

Rating: 5/5 Stars.

Series: Yes. (Even the Darkest Stars #1)

Usually with books I receive via Fairyloot I read them pretty quickly, but for some reason it took me forever to get to Even the Darkest Stars. Even worse, now I’ve finally read it I so regret not reading it sooner – it’s absolutely one of the best books they’ve ever included!

Even the Darkest Stars is a book told in first person by Kamzin, the daughter of the leader of a small and remote village in the mountains. Like any good YA protagonist (Ok, that sounds snarky, but I do mean it sincerely!) Kamzin dreams of a bigger, better future that’ll take her out of the comfort zone of her enclosed community and challenge her against the great wide world. Kamzin is expected to pursue her heritage and become the village Shaman but, frankly, she’s pretty terrible at magic. What Kamzin does have a real knack for, however, is mountain climbing and when the Royal Explorer, River Shara, stops by her village and starts enquiring after her sister to join his next expedition Kamzin is determined to take the opportunity instead.

The expedition itself will have the team climbing the steepest and most deadly mountain in the world, Raksha. The last attempt at even coming close to the mountain left only two survivors – Kamzin and her older sister, Lusha. The story quickly becomes a death-defying race to the top.

Kamzin for her part is incredibly likeable. She’s prone to error but determined to succeed non-the-less, and her sense of humour had me cackling. She’s surrounded by a glorious supporting cast of both local villagers and people of the royal court and best of all, the setting is just jaw dropping. The Himalayan-inspired fantasy setting is beautiful on it’s own and all the more exciting for people populated by witches, ghosts and dragons. The story takes fantastic twists and turns throughout, and the finale had me on the edge of my seat and frantically texting my friend who was reading with me!

The only criticisms I could possibly make of the book is that A) The dragons aren’t real and I can’t actually have one as a pet and B) The ending actually high key broke my heart in so many ways. It was just that good.

Bonus:

If you enjoyed: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan, Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, I think you’ll love Even the Darkest Stars!

Fiction Review · Review

Review! The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Started: 27th November 2017

Finished: 10th December 2017

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars.

Series: Yes. (Iskari #1)

I try not to do half-star ratings, generally speaking, but I can’t in good conscience put The Last Namsara at 3 stars because it was a fairly ok book, but putting it at 4 stars would be an injustice to the books I’ve rated 4 stars in the past. It’s a funny one, this…

So, The Last Namsara has a really wicked set up. It’s the tale of a dragon-slayer called Asha in a world where dragons can be beckoned with stories. As a child, Asha was burnt by the oldest dragon, Kozu, who then destroyed her city and slaughtered hundreds of people. In retaliation/an attempt to appease the citizens who blame her for engaging the attack, she has sworn to kill as many dragons as she can.

On one of these dragon slaying missions her hand is burnt and that’s how she meets the defiant slave/love interest/worst-character-he’s-literally-the-reason-this-book-lost-half-a-mark, Torwin, who bandages her hand and essentially blackmails her so he’ll keep the secret that she got burnt. Around this point I kind of overlooked the blackmail because hey, he was a slave, one little piece of bribery didn’t seem nearly as terrible comparative to the shit Asha’s people put him through. Looking back, however, that really was an indication of his entire personality to come.

Now in this universe, practice of the Old Religion ™ (every good fantasy world has one!) is forbidden by order of the king and scapegoated as the reason their city was damaged. As the daughter of the king, Asha is strictly law abiding, so when the Old One bestows gifts on Asha and tells her she’ll save the kingdom in his steed, she’s not super keen on the idea.

The old religion things were definitely my favourite part of the book. I know I joked about every fantasy world having an old religion, but The Last Namsara is one of the few I’ve read that felt properly thought out and made the concept an intrinsic part of the plot rather than just throwing it in there to sound ancient and other-worldly. Once in a while the narrative is halted by giving you a story from the old religion between chapters and I found them totally enthralling. The power of stories, both myths and simply rumours, are such a big part of the book as a whole, and the continued throwback to that concept absolutely made The Last Namsara blossom.

Unfortunately, the characterisation fell slightly short. I immediately liked Asha’s cousin, Safire, and thought the King and Asha’s brother, Dax, and plenty of other minor characters worked great. Asha herself I took a while to warm to because she’s pretty bloody callous to start off, but by the end I was rooting for her. The first character the book fell completely short on were Jarek, the main antagonist, who was definitely evil but struck me as kind of underdeveloped. I know not every villain has the explicit motive to be an asshole and sometimes they really just are an asshole by nature, but it does help their character stay more memorable when they do. The second character I couldn’t bloody stand was, as mentioned, Torwin. He is a complete self-entitled, jumping-to-conclusions, emotionally manipulative asshole and worst of all, a hypocrite about it! He makes Asha feel awful for (minor spoilers ahead) getting his lute destroyed when she’s already explained she did it to save his and her brother’s lives and had no other option, and even then replaced the lute by buying a new one for him to apologise. Later, too, he criticises her relentlessly for letting herself be controlled by other people’s decisions for her, and for being used, which would be a good thing for him to talk to her about if he wasn’t only saying it to guilt her into doing what he wants her to do instead. He’s rotten to her when she makes contact with other male characters at a point when he and Asha aren’t even in a relationship and is, all around, a huge dick. I think this was the first time I ever wanted a book to bring in a love triangle solely so there’d be another option for Asha.

So yeah, all in all I could have really liked this story a lot. The world is fantastic, the protagonist is the kind that claws her way in to your heart and I loved the little touches with the stories. Also dragons are pretty hard to screw up. Who doesn’t love dragons? As it was, one bloody love interest had me raging so hard the whole book sorely damaged my otherwise positive opinions.

If you liked The Last Namsara, try: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett, The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green.

Fiction Review · Review

Review! Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Started: 8th January 2018

Finished: 12th January 2018

Rating: 5/5 Stars

I first read Illuminae around this time last year and frankly I was a bit sceptical at the time. I was only vaguely familiar with the two authors behind it, having read Amie Kaufman’s – and Meagan Spooner’s! – These Broken Stars, which I enjoyed and Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight, which didn’t click with me (If I’m honest, I think I was just in a grumpy mood when I read it. It warrants a reread). It ended up being one of the best books I read in 2017. Like, honestly, this book is on HOLY SHIT levels of writing.

Illuminae is an utterly unique book. If I had to liken it to anything, I’d say it’s perfect for fans of Homestuck or John Dies at the End and if you’re already an Illuminae fan you might enjoy those in turn. The book starts out in the fallout of the epic breakup of highschool sweethearts Kady Grant and Ezra Mason. Then their planet is blown up.

As refugees aboard two different ships, they get in touch with each other as the final lifelines to their old lives. They also find themselves quickly thrown in to their new roles aboard their respective ships – Ezra gets drafted as a military pilot and Kady is wise enough to keep her skills as a hacker secret. It’s with these skills that she unearths the horrible truths the ships governing body are trying to cover up.

Imagine a zombie flick set in, essentially, a series of tin cans floating through deep space. Add an overly-powerful AI to the mix and now you have a rough idea of what to expect out of Illuminae. What makes Illuminae so utterly different to other sci-fi, however, is it’s incredible use of page layout. Most the conversations between characters take place over instant messaging, other parts are written as though someone is watching and summarising found footage. Several pages of the book are in ascii and other pages, particularly later in the book, are nothing short of art. The author’s also use this style of writing to build suspense in an utterly unique way that’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat – or, if you’re like me, messaging your friends illegible keyboard smashes at 3 in the morning because something WONDERFUL and TERRIBLE just happened.

A reread was due in light of the finale, Obsidio, coming out in March – oh guys, I’m hype as hell. Illuminae is an a jawdropping book full of some of the most heartstopping plot twists and held together with one hell of a cast of characters. Of course with it being a reread, I knew the plot twists were coming but catching the little hints about them throughout the narrative that I missed the first time was a total pleasure in itself. A 5 star rating doesn’t feel like enough – Illuminae deserves ‘every star in the galaxy.’

Comic Review · Review

January Comic Binge! Fullmetal Alchemist, The Mortal Instruments and Lazarus

Hi there! Welcome to a new segment on Bitchin’ Fiction – comic weekends. Because I have a shameful lot of comics and graphic novels on my shelf on the first weekend of every month I’ll try to binge read as many as I can.

Because comics are quick to read and I probably cannot keep up with 4-5 extra full size reviews every month, I’m going to put all the comics I read into one post with a mini review of sorts. This month I read the first two omnibuses of Full Metal Alchemist, the first The Mortal Instruments graphic novel and the first trade paperback of Lazarus.

1-3

Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Hiromu Arakawa – Rating: 5/5 Stars to both volumes –  Sorry there’s 3 volumes in this photo! I planned to read 3 but I only managed 2 – busy weekend! Fullmetal Alchemist is perhaps one of the best acclaimed manga series of all time. It follows the story of the Elric brothers who, when they were young, attempted to resurrect their mother through the magical-but-actually-it’s-just-science art of alchemy. Their early dive into necromancy did not go well because alchemy works by equivalent exchange and, while it is possible to get all the physical materials to build a human body, there is nothing that can be traded for a soul. In this botched attempt, Edward and Alphonse Elric lost parts of their bodies. Their story is their quest to find a way to get them back.

The first volume sets much of the ground work for the series. It establishes the important characters, the history of the world, the protagonist’s goals and the moral quandaries that come with practicing alchemy. The first half is fairly episodically written as we get to know Edward and Alphonse, but it starts building into it’s overarching plot by the latter half. The second volume puts more of a focus on the brother’s past and the people who’ve helped them get to where they are.

Both volumes well deserved 5 stars. The story is stupendous, the characters wonderfully fleshed out and loveable – so much so, you’re left even rather liking the villains – and the balance between comedy and absolute heartbreaking tragedy is flawlessly on point. The art, too, is wonderful. I confess I can be a bit of a snob regarding manga because I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the art styles and not liking an art style can completely kill a comic for me, but Hiromu Arakawa’s art style is wonderful. It doesn’t suffer the troublesome same-face-syndrome (though women could, perhaps, be a bit more varied! Not sure why men get to look completely different but women all conform to similar standards…) and I just really like how… chunky everyone looks. In a market dominated, frankly, by either spindly-looking anatomy or muscles not far off an old Rob Liefeld comic, something about the shape of bodies in Full Metal Alchemist is really appealing.

1-2

Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family by Greg Rucka – Rating: 3/5 Stars – I was recommend this one by, erm, either Chris or Laura. I forget. Either way it was insisted I’d love it. Yeah, sorry whoever said I would – I didn’t. It was okay, I guess? In the world of Lazarus, ‘A Lazarus’ is the protector and defender of a family. In this world, there’s a few ‘families’ who pretty much govern the entire country/world/honestly I don’t know I’ve had to look up the Goodreads description to even figure out how to explain the story thusfar. This particular story is about a Lazarus called Forever, protector of the Carlyle Family.

The art doesn’t work for me at all. It’s kind of vaguely messy and I found it hard, at points, to differentiate characters. I can see how it might appeal to fans of that edgy comic-noir look, but I’m simple and I like colourful things.

The story seemed like it might get interesting, but I found it kind of confusing and the trade didn’t cover enough to get me engrossed in the world before it ended. Might be better as a longer hardback, but I’m not really willing to fork over the money to find out.

1-4

The Mortal Instruments: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 by Cassandra Clare – Rating: 3/5 Stars – I started reading The Mortal Instruments books last year because I sort of liked the show, and in doing so I discovered the art of Cassandra Jean and totally fell in love. As such, I was pretty excited for the graphic novel fully illustrated by her and, come on, that cover is pretty beautiful. The Mortal Instruments books are the story of Clary Fray, a normal girl who gets mixed up in a world of demon hunters on her quest to save her kidnapped mum.

The art in the book, though including some really gorgeous title pages, was a bit hit and miss within the comic itself. The earlier panels are mostly pretty decent but certain panels really deteriorate – quite large panels, too – and some I was surprised got away with being published.

So yeah, it’s okay, but I wouldn’t say it’s an essential addition to your Shadowhunters collection unless you’re a really die hard fan.