Mundie Moms

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Review: Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader Edited by Cassandra Clare

By: various authors
Edited By: Cassandra Clare
Published by: Smart Pop Books
Released on: January 29th, 2013 TODAY
Source: arc from publisher to review
4 Stars: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, epic urban fantasy set in a richly imagined world of shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, fairies, and more, has captured the imaginations and loyalty of hundreds of thousands of YA readers. Originally a trilogy (City of BonesCity of AshesCity of Glass), the series has extended to six titles, plus a prequel trilogy, the Infernal Devices, and a planned sequel series, the Dark Artifices. A feature film is planned for 2013.

Shadowhunters and Downworlders
, edited by Clare (who provides an introduction to the book and to each piece), is a collection of YA authors writing about the series and its world. -quoted from Goodreads

Shadowhunter/Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader is Shadowhunting 101 at it's finest.  If you were to take a course on Shadowhunting and Downworlders, I would venture to guess this book is what the class would be made up off.  Shadowhunters and Downworlds: A Mortal Instruments Reader is an interesting anthology that brings together authors who not only talk about various subjects and topics that are found within Cassie's books, they support what they're saying with quotes and references found through the The Mortal Instruments series, as well as actual fact, like with Michelle Hodkin's easy. I can honestly say I enjoyed reading this book more than I thought I would. I felt like I was having an in-depth discussion/lecture with other fans who really got and understood what Cassie's worlds, her characters and her books are comprised of. 

Smart Pop Books's newest release is edited by Cassie herself. I LOVE that Cassie not only had a hand in the book, but prior to each new chapter she includes her thoughts on each author's essay about The Mortal Instrument world. Speaking of those essays, I loved the in-depth insight each author gave to their topic. For example I loved what Sarah Cross concludes in her essay The Art of War, about Clary when she says: 

"Clary is what I think a lot of us hope we could be, if we found ourselves in her situation: someone who becomes a hero out of necessity, who is not on an even playing field with the rest of the players-but who, out of sheer determination, finds a way to turn her natural talents into the tours of her survival. 

Clary saves lives- her own, and those of her friends. She draws a better world into existence, and she never lets the word impossible stop her.

In Clary's hands, the stele is truly mightier than the sword." - page 33

I'm not one who normally writes in my books, but I totally highlighted some of my favorite passages from this book. How could I not? There are so many insightful quotes to highlight. I loved it. I enjoyed the in-depth topics of discussion that are made through the book. Robin Wasserman made an excellent point in her essay When Laws Are Made To Be Broken, when she says,  

"There's a choice after all.  There's always a choice.  There is the lesson our heroes need to embrace before they can grow up.... and before they can triumph.  To win they need to do more than just question the rules. They need to change them." - page 64

One of the essays I was most fascinated with is Michelle Hodkin's, Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero. In this chapter Michelle does an incredible job at digging into the rich Jewish religion, as well as vampirism. I know that nothing Cassie does or writes about in her series is for lack of filling space. What Cassie includes in her series always has a purpose, no matter how big or little the moment or the passage is. In this chapter I felt that Michelle really clued me in and educated me more on the complex world and turn of events Cassie truly created with Simon, and him becoming a vampire. Not only that, but some of the comments Clary makes to him have far more greater significance than I picked up on. 

Michelle describes Simon perfectly here when she says, "Simon Lewis isn't perfect. He sins. He "misses". He is tempted in City of Fallen Angels, and even though he isn't a literal angel, he certainly does fall. But in City of Lost Souls, despite his mother's rejection and his wandering and his loneliness, despite flirting with the idea of giving up and giving in, Simon returns to himself. He never let go of the things that make him Simon: his Jewish identity, his beliefs. He sinned-he missed the Mark-but he returns. And in returning, he shines." - page 86

I really enjoyed this anthology. Normally I'm not a fan of them. I've not been impressed with ones I've previously read in other big fandoms. In fact I swear I'd never read another, and then this lovely book arrived, and I went back on my word and read it. I'm glad I did. Honestly, when I first sat down to read it I wasn't excepting to enjoy it as much as I did. Luckily this anthology is one that lives up to it's hype. You'll find essays from authors: Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Kami Garcia, Robin Wasserman, Michelle Hodkin, Sarah Cross, Diana Peterfeund, Kendare Black, Gwenda Bond, Kate Milford, Rachel Caine, Sara Ryan, Scott Tracey, and Kelly Link. If you're a fan of Cassie's work I'd highly recommend picking up!

Catch a behind the scenes with Smart Pop Books here. Don't miss the two week essay campaign being posted on Smart Pop Books's Tumblr here.

The Prodigy Blog Tour!

Welcome to today's Penguin Teen PRODIGY blog tour. Excuse for just a moment as I celebrate one of this year's most anticipated releases... PRODIGY IS FINALLY OUT and today we're having a release day celebration! Today's stop features an excerpt, and Marie's thoughts on the book. Please excuse me as I run out the door to pick up my copy of PRODIGY.

An Excerpt:
My guards lead me into my own private railcar, a car so luxurious that I know I’m in here only because Anden insisted on it. It’s twice as long as the standard railcars (a good nine hundred square feet, with six velvet curtains and Anden’s ever present portrait hanging against the right wall). The guards lead me to the center table of the car, then pull out a seat for me. I feel a strange detachment from it all, like none of it is quite real – it’s as if I were exactly where I used to be, a wealthy girl taking her rightful place amongst the Republic’s elite. – June, page 209

Want to read more? You can down load a FREE Marie Lu digital sampler via: Kindle | Nook | iBookstore

Marie’s thoughts
Legend was more June’s arc, I think—it was the story of her coming of age, her revelation of the truth around her. Prodigy, on the other hand, is meant to be more Day’s arc, where he must go from hating the Republic to understanding the Republic. I think both Day and June have to overcome huge mental hurdles to understand where the other is coming from. I don’t even think they can ever fully bridge that gap.

Read Marie's e-special, LIFE BEFORE LEGENDS: STORIES OF THE CRIMINAL AND THE PRODIGY for $2.99 Kindle | Nook

About the book
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. 

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action

Don't miss tomorrow's stop on GreenBeanTeenQueen.

Cover Reveal: While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Source Books to reveal the new cover for Karen Schreck's While He Was Away. Here's the old cover:

You'll find the NEW swoon-worthy COVER on the special edition of Karen's books, which was revealed today on Mundie Moms's Guilty Pleasures Book Review blog. Yes I'd totally pick up this book based on this cover! Be sure to go check it out HERE and tell us what you think.

How Is Marcus Finch? Clue #6

Welcome to Penguin Teen's Who is Marcus Finch? two week campgain! Over the next two week's myself and a handful of other fabulous blogs will be treating you to a daily quote/teaser, giving you clues into who Marcus is. Today's clue is:

Dying to get your hands on The Indigo Spell? Be sure here to by and read an excerpt from the book before it's out. Enter to win a copy of the book HERE. 

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood. -quoted from Goodreads

Be sure to check out the Bloodlines Website, and visit the Bloodlines Facebook page.

Twitter Tuesday - Tammara Webber

Both Katie (her review of Easy) and I (my review of Easy) loved Tammara's story and gave it a 5-star rating. Now if you know anything about Katie and I, you know we don't agree about every book we read, but we definitely agreed that Easy was a book more people should pick up and read.

Tammara stated on twitter that she's doing some research in the Bay Area the weekend of February 23rd and Kepler's has arranged for her to do a book signing. Yes, one of my favorite Bay Area stops and the bookstore that's going to have Cassie's book tour stop in March.

So if you're in the Bay Area that weekend will you stop by? And if you haven't picked up Easy yet, what is stopping you? It made our Top Ten lists of 2012; pick it up and see why. Besides, Mundie Moms, you guys need to meet Lucas.