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Review: City of Glass (Mortal Instruments): 3

City of Glass book review

Introduction

The end of the trilogy, a trilogy that started out a bit meh, but really found its feet. The third installment, City of Glass, rounds off the story in a satisfying way, answering questions, but not all of them.

There is certainly enough mystery left over to entice readers over into the next books, but I appreciate the author giving readers an off ramp if they decide to take it.

City of Glass picks up straight after City of Ashes, and dives straight into the story. It’s fast paced and there’s a lot going on, So, how did I like it?

What I liked

I mentioned in my review of City of Ashes that it improved on the first book in pretty much every way, and the same can be said again about City of Glass. The story feels more crucial to the Shadowhunter world, and people actually seem to be taking note of what’s going on, finally!

This time, all the characters felt more fleshed out. It’s been a peeve of mine that most of the characters have just felt sidelined, but in the third installment most of them got a good amount of page time, even Valentine became a little more than just a boring villain.

We finally get to see the world of the Shadowhunters, and as I mentioned, there seems like people finally have some urgency. The great thing is, that even with everything going on, the story never really moves away from our main cast. I liked the fact that we got to focus on them, and what they were doing.

The pace definitely picked up and the story really flowed, and as mentioned above, it answers enough questions and leaves a few lingering to entice you over into what comes next!

What I disliked

There was little that I disliked this time, but one thing that annoyed me was Simons arc. It seemed like it had been tossed in there to create some tension and give him a reason to bridge the gap between himself and the main group of Shadowhunters, but nothing was really done with it. His story seemed high stakes to start with, and then it’s put on hold and nothing happens with it.

Sebastian. His character is just annoying, and it seemed like another attempt at throwing in a love triangle for the sake of it. He didn’t work, his story was predictable. Speaking of predictable, the grand reveal. We all saw it coming right? Right?

Finally, and probably my biggest complaint about this whole trilogy, is Valentine. He’s the big bad, but he doesn’t really do much. He shows up every so often, delivers some emotionless lines, then everyone reflects on how upset they are by their past and links to him. As a villain he is simply a plot device and nothing else. He gains a little more depth in this final book, but not enough to make me care if he wins or not.

Audible Narration

We’ve got the same narrator who took over book two, and yet again the performance is great. The delivery of the characters works, it’s easy to follow who is speaking, and the whole thing just flows so nicely.

Production value was really good and I didn’t notice any weird sound errors or anything like that. Definitely worth checking this book out on audio if you can!

Speaking of, if you haven’t already then you can grab a free trial of Audible. Worth seeing if listening to books works for you or not.

Conclusion

By the time I got to the end of this book I found myself craving more. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and considering how rough the start to the trilogy was, that really shows how good the improvement was.

By the time I reached the end I even felt the story tugging at my heart strings. I was cheering on the characters and hoping that things turned out great for them. I’m not normally that invested, but somehow this won me over.

I’d definitely recommend checking it out if you get the chance.

Grab it on Audible

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Review: City of Bones (Mortal Instruments): 1

city of bones review

Introduction

This is a series I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, following a girl who finds out she’s a Shadowhunter after her mum is kidnapped. The world is full of vampires and demons, and she needs to figure out who has her mum and why.

Along the way she discovers the darkness of New York, and meets a team of new friends.

What I liked

The world created and the story telling is great fun. Honestly, I had a blast getting to know this world, and some of the ideas are really good. When this story actually tells its own stuff, that’s when it shines.

There isn’t too much hand holding throughout, with new ideas and monsters just showing up without too much to bog them down. This keeps the pace flowing very nicely throughout.

Speaking of pace, that’s one of the strong points. The story doesn’t really get bogged down trying to be something it’s not which really helps the flow.

What I disliked

The characters. Honestly, if they’d have been just a few years older then some of the themes and ‘romances’ wouldn’t have been an issue, but as it is, these seemed wildly inappropriate. These characters seemed so sexually frustrated that it just didn’t fit, and like I said, they needed to be older for this to feel OK.

Throughout it just felt creepy, and really took away from the story. Throw in the fact that almost every single character is crazy sassy, all, the, time, things just get a bit tedious.

As much fun as the story is, this book really struggles when it ‘borrows’ (and I use that word lightly) from other stories. There is enough of a world created to have some fun in, but the author relies heavily on tropes established elsewhere, outright replicating other very well known stories. It really takes you out of the story she’s trying to tell.

Combine that with the fact that every ‘twist’ really isn’t. Any surprise that is built up is so obvious that it left me groaning when it is revealed. This might be because they are straight out of other stories that we all know, but again, they really take away from what could be a good story.

Audible Narration

The narration is actually pretty good and the performance is well done. The quality was definitely there, but the one thing that really lets it down is the narrator constantly playing every character with so much sass. There are scenes where it doesn’t seem at all needed, but every character comes across as petulant and sassy throughout.

Apart from that, the audio book is well worth giving a go.

Conclusion

This really was a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the world and the story telling, but the characters lack depth and come off as creepy. I keep hearing that this book is dark and sexy, but we are talking about minors in some cases, so where people get the idea that this is a good thing I’ll never know!

I did have enough fun with the story to carry on to the next book, and hopefully these characters will grow a little more, and fingers crossed we don’t get more borrowed stories.

This book was at its best when it was telling its own story, and adding to the world created. Where it lacked was when it borrowed to heavily from other places.

All in all it’s an OK starting point, but I’m not sure how much things will improve…

The Mortal Instruments: https://amzn.to/3cj5Oz7

City of Bones: https://amzn.to/2PDQtzg

Audio Book: https://amzn.to/2VBCQ7t

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Review: The Last Wish (The Witcher)

Being a fan of The Witcher game series I decided to give the stories, written by Andrzej Sapkowski, a try, and I can say right from the start that I wasn’t dissapointed. The book contains a series of short stories, following our main character, Geralt of Rivia. There’s a main story in the background, that gradually unfolds, but this is really focused on the short stories, and they are all entertaining.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Witcher series, it follows Geralt who is a Witcher, a monster slayer who travels the country slaying bizzarre and interesting creatures. Witchers are taken from a young age and mutated, giving them supernatural abilities which aid them in their job.

If you’ve played the games, then you’ll be used to Geralt’s personality, and this is one thing that absolutely shines throughout the book. There were moments that had me laughing out loud, and other moments where I really found myself feeling sorry for our protagonist. Throughout the short stories I found Geralt becoming more and more likable, to the point of rocketing to one of my top favorite characters from any book!

He’s no longer disillusioned with grand ideas of being a hero and that theme is captured fantastically well throughout.

If there’s one blemish on this otherwise fantastic read, it’s that the writing occasionally feels a little odd. I’m not sure if it’s just the style, or the fact that this is a translation, but I couldn’t help but find myself having to re-read parts, correcting them in my head as I read. It’s not a huge issue as it doesn’t crop up much, but there are a few niggling little abnormalities that crop up.

After reading this I can say with absolute certainty that I’ll be checking out the next book. I didn’t really expect much, but I can certainly see where the games get their fantastic story telling moments from. If you’re a fan of The Witcher series, or just fantasy books in general, this is definitely worth giving a go. I absolutely loved it from start to finish!

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Progress so far

Well it’s almost been a month of being published and so far so good! Feedback from the book is great, glad everyone who has read it has been enjoying my story so far.

A Thousand Hearts broke into the top 10k selling books, not sure if that’s a great achievement in terms of sales but I’m pretty happy considering the huge number of books selling out there.

Onto the second book in the series, Fallen. I’m 10% of the way through the first draft so I’m on schedule so it shouldn’t be too long until the book is ready for my beta readers. Everything is on track to have the second book ready to be published this year so fingers crossed nothing huge comes up and interrupts the writing process, it has been known to happen to me in the past 😛

As always, if you haven’t checked out my first book yet, take a peek at the following links!

Thanks for reading.

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New books

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Got myself the latest book “Wormhole” in the “Rho Agenda” series. Started reading these a while back on Kindle and only just realised they had all been released in print format so thought I would add them to my collection. Definately worth a read.

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My Thoughts on The Wheel Of Time – A Memory Of Light

Now I’m a big Wheel Of Time fan. When this book hit the shelves I was there first thing when the shops opened to pick up my copy so I could get reading straight away but soon found myself disappointed. Continue reading “My Thoughts on The Wheel Of Time – A Memory Of Light” »