Thursday, 28 March 2013

Review of Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices#3) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Pages: 568
Publisher: Walker Books
Released: March 2013

Plot: Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy
Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her. (Taken from the back cover)

Good Points: One of the major things that I love about Cassandra Clare's writing, especially within this series (TID) is her beautiful descriptions of things that would usually seem ordinary.
 Everything seems vibrant in the world she has created and The Clockwork Princess does not fail to continue in proving Clare's worth as a writer. 
The Infernal Devices series undoubtedly as a whole is amazing. The characters in which I have grown to love continue to develop right up to the very last page of the book and every character in the series felt important, even the cook Bridget whose constant yet prophetic singing annoys the entire institute to the very end. Within the book there is also the inclusion of a series of letters between the consul and the inquisitor and other members of the clave which were an interesting addition to the story giving a back channel to what else is going on outside of the Institute. 
There was everything that I wanted and expected the concluding book to have- action, romance, drama and the bond between Jem and Will is just as breathtakingly good and strong as shown in the first two books, probably more so in this book than the others. 
The ending had me in tears because it was just so... I guess you could call it bitter-sweet. To be honest I'm still unsure on how I feel about it and I'm trying to do this without revealing spoilers and all I can think of saying is that it is like nothing I have ever read before of even imagined would or could possibly happen within the story.
You realise throughout the series that although Will and Jem share the Parabatai bond, they also share another bond with the inclusion of Tessa.The relationship that the three of them (Tessa, Will and Jem)so obviously have and the love that they share for each other is just as described throughout the series with the mention of Sydney Carton from a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. You realise as the story progresses and this love grows even stronger that each of them is willing to die to save the lives of the other, and the tangled mess which they cannot control is so complex and painstakingly beautiful that the ending could never have been more fitting.

Bad Points: If I am being truly honest I must admit that for the first hundred pages or so I just couldn't get into the book, maybe this was down to the fact that the gap between the last book felt so long, I don't know but that was my only problem with the book. Aside from that it was just...WOW.

To Sum Up... If I had to make the choice between The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments the choice, I think, would be an easy one. Hands down, The Infernal Devices would win simply down to the characters.
 In TID the depth to which the characters are developed and the relationships they share with each other and the reader are just...perfect. I am literally at a loss for words to describe just how good this series is and just how much it means to me. Tessa is the character that most relates with me as a reader simply down to the fact that she reads. She's a character that's real; she's faulted, she makes mistakes yet she tries her best to cope in the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders which she is thrust into. 
Her relationship with Jem and Will throughout the series has left me hanging on for more. It made love triangles seem unlike the slightly over-used structure of YA fiction and instead made it seem important. I grew at war with myself over who Tessa belonged with and it was clear as the books went on that Tessa's heart truly was split in two.
Overall this books was just the perfect ending to a perfect series. If you haven't read the Infernal Devices I strongly recommend that you read them, not only for the amazing characters, the beautiful described Victorian England setting or to find out who Tessa does end up with in the end, but for the story. I can promise you its not one you'll forget.

*Also try and get the Collectors Edition of the book as it includes a pull out poster with the family trees of the families. 

Did you like the ending? Leave a comment below :)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Review of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pages: 435
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenReleased: 1813

Plot: When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life. (Goodreads)

(Slight spoilers-so be warned!)
Thoughts: I really loved this book! If I'm honest I was a little sceptical at reading it first simply because I didn't think I could handle reading such a delicate romance without getting bored but I couldn't have been more wrong! I really loved Elizabeth's character. I thought she was headstrong, at times funny and very much ahead of her years in terms of her character developing towards the modern. The story is plotted well and at no time whilst reading did I feel that nothing of specific interest was happening. Everything felt...right, as though each event and character played a vital part to the story which in some books I have read recently isn't a common feature. Although at first, like many, I was sucked into believing that Darcy was an arrogant fool but as the story develops and more secrets and truths are revealed I ended up seriously falling for his charming character.
Jane AustenI think this is another reason why the book is so well... relatable. Each character develops an actual personality and as the reader we see more clearly these 'sides' to the characters as Lizzie changes her opinion on the figures that surround her due to specific actions and twists within the plot. I think because the themes titled still resonate with today's society it is why the book is still very entertaining and a factor that makes each character likeable to some extent in their own way as each are faulted and make mistakes yet learn to overcome their prejudices.
Overall  I am pleasantly surprised by this book and would definitely read it again. 5 STARS!

To Sum Up: I cannot recommend this book enough, I absolutely loved it and you can tell why it has become such a classic among society. I have yet to see any of the film adaptations of the book though I have been watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries web series which I posted about a couple of days ago.
Loving this author though and cannot wait to read more of her novels.

Any recommendations on which Jane Austen novel I should read next leave in the comments below :D

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Recently I've been having quite a bit of trouble following peoples blogs and I've found this site that seems to do the job okay.
Its called Bloglovin and there will now be a permanent link to subscribe/follow in the side bar>>>>

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries- 'It was illuminating'.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across something that I would never have guessed would evolve into one of the major highlights to my week.
That something was the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a web show based around the classic novel Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen.
 The show, styled as a series of vlog entries by the character Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Bennet is a modernised adaptation of the book and each week two videos are uploaded onto Lizzie's channel in which she spills the beans on events such as her sister Jane's romantic entanglement with the handsome Bing Lee to her own encounters with the mysterious figure that is William Darcy.

Firstly, I have to applaud the writers, actors, directors and anyone else who was involved in the making of such a wonderful adaptation of Austen's novel. The series is truly a fantastic creation that I am sure has made many people more susceptible to Austen's works and the growing world that is online web series.
I for one am one of those people.

Originally, and as much as I hate to admit it, I probably would have looked at Pride and Prejudice gingerly, fearful that I wouldn't be able to understand what was happening because I mean come on its like 200 years old and the language would be far too complicated for me to understand. I can honestly say however that was probably one of the stupidest things I have ever said in my life.
I read the book, it was awesome and probably one of the best books I've read in ages (aside from TFIOS by John Green which is one of those rare books that has managed to make me both laugh and cry), and I think I owe a HUGE thank you to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries for getting me there. 
The series,which by the way consumed my entire Saturday night as you can imagine kept me glued to my computer screen hugging a pillow and gasping each time a new revelation to the story was revealed.
I grew to love the characters, each and every one of them and they made my previous reading experience of the book even more enjoyable as an entire new dimension was added to the story.

Lizzie is every bit of the complex character that she is in the book, even more so perhaps due to the seemingly direct relationship we as the audience have with her character. With social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter playing their part alongside the weekly vlogs you genuinely feel as though these characters are real people that exist as they interact on these formats and with the audience.
Hank Green and Bernie Su you really are geniuses! You've brought us something new and unique that I am sure will long be remembered, watched and loved after the series comes to a close on the 28th March 2013. I for one, am extremely grateful that you took the chance in making the series happen and making me aware not only of how great web series can be but how one book can interact on so many levels with so many people in a way I never imagined it could.
I could probably talk/write for ages on the details of each character but I want to leave this post with one final note.
Hopefully we will see more online book adaptations from you and others in the future but I just wanted to say, before the series finishes, a huge thank you for bringing the Lizzie Bennet Diaries to life...It definitely was illuminating.  ;)

Many thanks,
 A Lizzie Bennet Diaries Fan.

     For those that haven't seen the show before, I highly recommend it to you! But be      warned they're addictive :D

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