[725]: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Lord of Shadows
by Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


It took me a while to finish this book. Not only because it’s a huge volume, but because I prolonged the agony of reading the end of this installment – with good reason. It was one of those rare moments when I sought spoilers just so I could prepare myself for the worst. And after everything is said and done, I’m still raw just thinking about it. It hurts. Still.

This installment, per usual, is crammed with plots and subplots that were sometimes tough to untangle. But if you ask me the what the crux of this novel is, I say it’s about Julian and Emma’s parabatai predicament. In the meantime, conflicts around them continue to pester. There’s the fact that a group called, the Cohort is slowly gaining momentum towards a registry that could spell trouble for the Downworlders. The Unseelie King has never forgotten his son, Kieran’s betrayal. As well, Mark. But since Kieran doesn’t remember what had transpired, he was left with little choice but to help him when he was literally about to be killed as a punishment for his betrayal. The Black Volume of Death is the hubris that each warring powers are on the hunt for; each one vested in trying to acquire it all for the sake of gaining more power.

Honestly, there were so many things going on in here. It seems that every time I read a book by Ms. Clare, all my synapses had to be firing, otherwise, I miss out on important details about this universe as a whole. Regardless, she still does a fantastic job of seamlessly tying everything together. And half the fun of reading these books is the painstaking way of gluing all the pieces, anyway.

Oy. That ending, though. I don’t remember a time when I dreaded the end of a book so much. That is to say, the end of a Cassandra Clare book. I had a lump in my throat and a heavy anvil in my stomach. (Special thanks to Carina for preparing me for the worst.) But even knowing how it ends didn’t really help. I was still devastated.

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[641]: Burn by Paula Weston

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Burn

by Paula Weston

Tundra Books | June 7th, 2016 | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Once upon a time, angel books are a dime a dozen. And even though it’s been reinvented in every conceivable way known to man, it wasn’t long before I got over it. I can only stomach so much forbidden love between an angel and a human. Gabriel and Michael have been cannoned to within an inch of their lives that I could no longer tell whether or not they’re God’s or Lucifer’s instruments. So yeah. I was over it.

I’ve always been a fan of Aussie authors and their contemporary fiction so I’ve never really strayed from that genre. I was easily coerced to read Shadows back in 2012; the postage I paid was astronomical. But I had no regrets. In strange ways books find their way in your shelves, that’s how Shadows came into mine. I was full of cynism at first (along the lines of, not another angel book! ). But two chapters in, I knew I was going to have a life-long relationship with Paula Weston’s Rephaim series.

Before

Soon after their reunion, Gaby’s and Jude’s memories came back with a vengeance. Events that led them to how they were separated played out like a reel of film in Gaby’s forgotten life.  Some revelations may be hard to stomach, but they’ll both be powerless to stop the onslaught.  Ultimately, all they’re looking for is a way to live without the threat of a war that could end their existence. Along the way, they learned more about their parentage and the secrets Nathaniel and The Garrison has hidden from the sons and daughters of The Fallen.

This is the End

If you haven’t read these books yet, then I envy you. Not only because you’re about to discover a brilliant series whose main M.O. is to give readers heart palpitations, but because you will not have to wait for installments. Paula Weston knows how to reel her readers in, and depending on how you feel about cliffhangers, be warned that she is the reigning queen. Truth be told, I waited until Burn came out last year (Australian release)  before I gave in and read Shimmer. I just couldn’t handle the wait.

Alas, all the books are here. This is the end of the line. It’s been four years since I discovered this series. Four years of waiting for answers.  And the one thing that I dread the most was exactly as painful as I thought it would be. I wanted to know the wedge that created the separation between Gaby and Jude. I wanted to know why Rafa insisted that if Gaby knew the truth, she’ll hate him forever. Those answers were a little tough to read. But I persevered. I can’t believe this series happened in a span of a week! A series years in the making. Talk about painstaking plotting.

The Rephaim series filled me with hopeless dread. Each book gave relief but exacted a different kind of torture for another year. It is the kind of series any book lover could obsess about. Every single installment gives you a flavourful bite, but you’ll be ravenous for a bigger piece of the pie.  And yet, even with my irrational fear and dread of reading the books, I couldn’t stop. Overall, I’m sad this series is over because I feel like their lives are just starting. I wouldn’t mind seeing them do banal things instead of kicking ass day in and day out.

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