“Ghosts of the Shadow Market” by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link and Robin Wasserman

Rated 5 stars ***** 2019. Margaret K. McElderry Books. 607 p.

Ghosts of the Shadow MarketSeveral well-known Young Adult authors join with Cassandra Clare to pen 10 stories about Jem, Tessa and other characters from the “Mortal Instruments, “Infernal Devices” and “Dark Artifices” series in Shadow Markets of different locations and time periods.

Unlike “Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy”, “Ghosts of the Shadow Market” doesn’t waste time rehashing characters in each story. By now anyone who’s read the series knows the characters, so constantly describing them in each story is boring and repetitive for those of us who know all about them. Thank you for not taking more than a quick sentence or two to tell us about them in each story.

The stories take place between 1899 (when Matthew Fairchild was parabatai with James Herondale and Jem was still Brother Zacahriah) and 2013 (when Jem and Tessa are married and expecting their first child.) This time period is also when “Queen of Air and Darkness” ended, leading readers into what will definitely be a new series with Jace Herondale’s Thule double preparing to wreck disaster on the characters we’ve grown to know and love.

Highly recommended for ages 14 and older.

 

 

 

 

 

“Clockwork princess” Cassandra Clare

Rated 5 stars ***** 2013. The Infernal Devices, book #3. Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Cllockwork princessOh! Be still my heart! I just finished crying my eyes out in the final pages, hurtling through and eagerly reading so as to continue capturing Will, Jem and Tessa’s essence as the book neared its conclusion. My heart ached for Will and Tessa’s pure love, as well as for that same love felt between Jem and Tessa. To be loved so dearly and all encompassing, by two men who loved each other as blood brothers and who would die for each other, was something that bit deeply into my heart – thus causing the emotions I felt as each of these characters suffered through trials and tribulations.

My 2014 review gives you a taste of the rich plot, so read it to see the specifics of what the book entails. However, I couldn’t let my review go by without expressing the emotions I felt while reading it. These are emotions I know you’ll also feel.

Thank you Cassandra for breathing life into these characters. I already miss them dearly.

Highly recommended for ages 14 and older.

“Clockwork prince” Cassandra Clare

Rated 4 stars **** ebook. 2011. The Infernal Devices, book #2. Margaret K. McElderry Books

Clockwork princeWhat do the years 2011 and 2014 have in common? If you guessed those were the years I read “Clockwork prince” you’d be correct. Back then I had even combined both reviews into one post!

I really enjoyed this 2019 reading, finishing it in one day and eagerly waiting to get my hands on the next book in the series. As I read of Tessa struggles to love both Jem and Will it reminded me of Bella and her love for both Edward and Jacob. I was Team Edward in the “Twilight” series. In this series, I’m totally Team Will.

 

I am really enjoying rereading about Tessa, Jem and Will’s adventures in Victorian London, so make sure to read my past reviews to get the gist of what has been happening and what’s going to happen. You’ll be just as excited as I am to get your hands on an old friend and reread it. Perhaps it’ll be your first time; mayhap your third like mine, but it’s still going to be a great read. Go for it!

Recommended for ages 14 and older.

“Clockwork angel” Cassandra Clare

Rated 4 stars **** 2010. The Infernal Devices, book #1. Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Clockwork AngelI am beginning to read The Infernal Devices series for the third time, and it’s amazing how much I forgot over the years. I read it, probably sometime in 2012 before I started my blog, and reviewed it here in 2014. I found it to be just as exciting in 2019 as it was in 2012 and 2014.

There’s not much I can add to my earlier review, so if you want to find out the juicy details of how Tessa met Wil and Jem, take a look at it.

Recommended for ages 14 and over.

“Aurora Hellis and the remarkable chatelaine” T.A. Sawyer

3 stars *** 2018. Gjoa. 223 p.

AuroraHellisAndTheRemarkableChatelaineOn her way to school in the London of 1875, sixteen-year-old Aurora Hellis (known as Rory) finds a bejeweled chatelaine in the gutter. Though offered a considerable sum for it, she locates the rightful owner and it’s returned. Rory expects this to be the end of things, but it’s actually the beginning of a series of events in which she meets a mysterious man named Mr. McNeff and a woman named Madelyn who enlist her help in saving the lives of various people.  In between Rory’s wonderings about the role they play in these events, readers are told many anecdotes about her father, her brother’s love for a young girl, and her growing friendship with Amos (a seventeen-year-old boy she’d saved from dying of cholera).

Though learning a bit about 1800’s London was a bit interesting, there was too much rambling, and too many instances of  “what just happened?” Just one example of rambling and incredulity happened early in the book when Rory was walking alone. She is so fearful of a young man who seems to be stalking her that she runs to a constable screaming for help. Yet when she comes home she doesn’t even mention the incident to her father, instead using the time to talk about him being a magician, which reminds her of her uncle dying of cholera, which leads her to the doctor who saved London from cholera, which leads to her spending a nice time with her father for her birthday.

I would think that if something happened to scare her enough to summon a constable that it would be important enough to tell her father and brothers, but Rory doesn’t mention anything to anyone. I also thought it a bit “high browed” of the author to use the word “chatelaine.” Why not just call it a remarkable keychain?

However the book was a quick read, so I will leave it up to you to decide if you want to read it or not.

 

 

“Younger” Suzanne Munshower

Rated 4 stars **** Ebook. 2015. Thomas & Mercer.

YoungerAnna hated her life. She was 56, had just gotten fired from a job she loved, and knew no one would hire her because of her age. Just when things started to look bad, she was offered a contract with Pierre Barton, owner of BarPharm, a huge pharmaceutical company. The contract offered her millions, relocation to London, and a new identity. It didn’t take Anna long to decide, and blissfully headed off to London and her new life.

At first, working for BarPharm seemed absurdly easy. All she had to do was become a human guinea pig for a skincare line, which promised to take 30 years off her life in a few weeks. Anna loved looking and feeling young, but soon realized things at BarPharm weren’t as they seemed. As people disappeared, and she began to feel as if she was being followed, more than the fountain of youth seemed to be at stake. The closer Anna gets to the truth, the closer she comes to meeting the fate of those who recently had mysterious deaths. Will she be able to figure out what’s going on before it’s too late?

Russian spies, murder, intrigue and romance all come to a head in Munshower’s tale, which will keep readers on the edges of their seats. I couldn’t put it down, and neither will you.

Recommended for Adults.

“Tangled webs” Lee Bross

Rated 3 stars *** 2015. Hyperion. 298 p.

TangledWebsForced to work for Bones at the age of 5, an evil thief who forced children to steal for him, Arista and her best friend Nic grew up on the seedy streets of 1700’s London picking pockets and struggling to stay alive. Twelve years later, Arista has become Lady A – blackmailer of London high society. She and Nic roam masked balls trading secrets for money, which they hand over to Bones.

Trying to escape Bones’ evil clutches Arista decides to work for Wild, a more powerful thief, with promises that she will be able to live out her dream of moving to India and living a normal life with her best friend Becky. When she meets Grae, the handsome son of a ship merchant, she feels as if her dreams for normalcy are finally coming true. However, Wild has no intention of ever letting her go. Will love be enough to help Arista escape the plans Wild has for her, or will she be forced to forever be a thief?

Some of the exploits of the real life Jonathan Wild are explored, and the early life led by Nic and Arista is very similar to that of Fagin’s boys in Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.” If you want a quick, light read, a sort-of love triangle, and a boy/girl romance that develops within 2 minutes, then “Tangled webs” is the book for you.

Recommended for ages 14 and older.