Monday, February 8, 2016

LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare / Mini Book Review (SPOILER FREE) #Shadowhunters



By: Cassandra Clare
Published by: Margaret McElderry Books
To Be Released on: March 8th, 2016
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
PreOrder from: Simon & SchusterAmazon | B&N | Waterstones (UK)
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Steles - I LOVED IT!
*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.


It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series. (Per Amazon)


My Thoughts (Mini Review, Full Review To Come) SPOILER FREE


Oh my Shadowhunter heart! This book is absolutely AWESOME! Be prepared to fall in love with a whole new group of Shadowhunters. Cassandra Clare's signature style of writing is enthralling, and utterly engaging. With all new characters to meet, there comes plenty of those heart pounding moments, sweet romantic gestures, danger, betrayal, snark & sass, moments that will break your heart, scenes that will leave your breathless and strong willed characters to fall in love with, that Cassandra Clare is known to write. 


Lady Midnight reminded me of what it was that first made me fall in love with her characters in City of Bones, and Clockwork Princess. This book was far more than I had hoped it would be. It is Shadowhunter perfection wrapped in a wide range of emotions that only Clare can make her readers feel. This book was worth the wait! Though all three of these series go together (The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices), this is a series that also stands on it's own. This book is all the book feels wrapped up in a riveting story that will leave you wanting the next book in this series! If you haven't already pre-ordered this book, I highly recommend that you do! 



* * * * *

I will be sharing my full review closer to the release date of Lady Midnight. If you're looking forward to getting your hands on this book before it's out, than stop back by Mundie Moms this weekend when we celebrate our 7th Blog Birthday!! 


Read the 1st chapter of Lady Midnight, HERE.


Snippet from The Dark Artifices / Sneak Peak of Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy Printed Book Releasing 11/2016 / Mundane Monday #270


*click to enlarge* Artwork done by Cassandra Jean

Happy Mundane Monday! This past weekend Cassandra Clare treated Shadowhunters fans to a snippet from her, The Dark Artifices series, on Tumblr. Below's snippet is shared from Cassie's original post here.


Far below them the world spun by, a patchwork of summer-gold fields, green hills, and luminous, winding rivers of blue and green. It was beautiful, but Julian could not take his eyes off his brother. So this is the Wild Hunt, he thought. This freedom, this expanse, this ferocity of joy. For the first time, he understood how and why Mark’s choice to stay with his family might not be an easy one. For the first time he thought in wonder of how much his brother must love him after all, to consider giving up the sky for his sake.

Cassie also gave fans a sneak peak into the print book of TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY, which will be released this coming November! Check out this sneak peak from the interior artwork, shared from her original post here.




Here's what Cassie said about it:

An interior illustration by Cassandra Jean for the print book of TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY, due out 11/15! We finally have a release date! Yay! Starring Simon as he journeys from mundane to Shadowhunter and tries to win back Isabelle’s heart…


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Shadowhunters TV: Preview of Episode 5: Shadows Fall Apart #Shadowhunters

(Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus, source)

Shadowhunters, check out the new promo trailers for this upcoming week's Shadowhunters episode 5: Shadows Fall Apart

 









Don't miss the latest Shadowhunters news, promos and more on YouTubeTwitterFacebook and Shadowhunters.comTune in to Freeform this Tuesday, at 9 pm / 8 pm CST to catch episode 5. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

UNHOOKED by Lisa Maxwell / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway


Hello and welcome to the last stop in the UNHOOKED blog tour. This book is SO GOOD!!! I'm thrilled to not only share my review with you today, there's also a giveaway for you to enter at the end of the post. First, here's a little bit about the book.

ABOUT THE BOOK


By: Lisa Maxwell
Published by: Simon Pulse
Released on: February 2nd, 2016
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | iBooks
Add it to: Goodreads
Rating: 5 stars - I Loved It
*Received arc from publisher in exchange for my honest review

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home. Her mother believes they are being hunted by brutal monsters, and those delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. Gwen’s only saving grace is that her best friend, Olivia, is with her for the summer.

But shortly after their arrival, the girls are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and dragged to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. And Gwen begins to realize that maybe her mother isn’t so crazy after all...

Gwen discovers that this new world she inhabits is called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the Neverland you’ve heard about in stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through your fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and tries to find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the captivating pirate who promises to keep her safe.
Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself?
Forget about everything you think you know about the story of Peter Pan. Maxwell takes that story and turns it upside down. UNHOOKED is a dark, suspenseful twist on Peter Pan, that will you leave breathless and unable to go back to version you knew as child. UNHOOKED is definitely not the bedtime story you were read as a child. This version is a lot more dangerous, daring, dark, and utterly enchanting.

I am a huge fan of fairytale retellings. Having read some previously disappointing Peter Pan retellings, I was a little apprehensive about reading it, despite being intrigued with this book's synopsis. Let me just say, this book is AWESOME. UNHOOKED was everything I had hoped it would be and a whole lot more. From page one, Maxwell hooked me (no pun intended), and from there, there was no stopping until I was finished with the book.

UNHOOKED is a daring, wild adventure that takes it's readers into a dark, enchanting world. Once you go there, you'll never be the same. Gwen never believed the stories her mother taught her, nor did she believe her mom about the creatures they're hiding from. That is until she's kidnapped and thrust into a world she thought only existed in fairytales. Neverland is not at all what she excepted, and as she finds out, some of the characters are just as dark as dangerous as the world she finds herself thrust in.

UNHOOKED has an exciting cast of characters. None were more surprising than Gwen. She is a main character I completely rooted for from the get go. She's awesome. She's strong, fearless, thoughtful, doesn't take crap from anyone, and willing to risk it all for those she cares for. She may be vulnerable, but she's a tough character and I admired her strength through out the story. She definitely met her perfect match in a certain character I also loved, Captain Hook. I loved the scenes he and Gwen have together.

At first it's hard to tell who's the real villain, Captain Hook, or Peter Pan. There's no denying, Captain Hook had my attention from the moment he entered the story. There was something about the way he treated Gwen that gave his character away. He might have a rightful reputation as a pirate, and a Captain at that, but he's nothing like I expected. I loved that about him. I found myself missing him when he wasn't in certain scenes. Peter Pan on the other, oh that boy has a way with charming words, but he's definitely no Captain Hook. I love the twists on their characters.

Maxwell not only delivers an unforgettable, daring adventure with UNHOOKED, she gives her readers an exciting, intoxicating romance that will leave you breathless. I loved the way Maxwell created this romance. It's a light in the middle of a dark, and hopeless world. This book is AWESOME! UNHOOKED is a fabulously written, twisted fairytale for YA readers. While I liked the way this book ended, I'm really hoping there's a sequel *please let there be a sequel*. I definitely recommend picking this one up!

*Edit - I've realized after talking about this book to many friends lately, that I needed to move my rating from 4.5 stars to 5 stars. I loved it.

About The Author



Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep (Flux, Fall 2015) and Unhooked (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). When she's not writing books, she's an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

ENTER TO WIN

As a thank you to the lovely authors who blurbed UNHOOKED Lisa is giving away…
(1) winner will receive a signed finished copy of UNHOOKED, a large Neverland map, and a Funko Pop Captain Hook, US Only.
(5) winners will receive a swag pack containing a NVR sticker, bookmark, postcard, other stickers, US only.

FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
1/25/2016- Supernatural SnarkInterview
1/26/2016- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
1/27/2016- Please Feed the BookwormGuest Post
1/28/2016- Stories & SweetiesReview
1/29/2016- A Glass Of WineInterview
Week Two:
2/1/2016- A Reader Under The SeaReview
2/2/2016- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
2/3/2016- Owl Always Be ReadingReview
2/4/2016- Lili's Reflections- Interview
2/5/2016- Mundie MomsReview

Thursday, February 4, 2016

LOCK & MORI: MIND GAMES by Heather W. Petty / Cover Reveal / Author Interview / Giveaway

Hello and welcome today's exciting cover reveal for Heather W. Petty's, LOCK & MORI: Mind Games! Check out this cover!


We love this cover! We are totally intrigued by the barn on the cover. I love the eeriness of the barn, and the trees. We're huge fans of this series, and we cannot wait to find out what happens with Lock and Mori in this sequel. 

ABOUT THE BOOK


By: Heather W. Petty

Published by: Simon & Schuster
To Be Released on: Fall 2016
Series: Lock & Mori #2
Add it to Goodreads

Mori’s abusive father is behind bars . . . and she has never felt less safe. Threatening letters have started appearing on her doorstep, and the police are receiving anonymous tips suggesting that Mori—not her father—is the Regent’s Park killer. To make matters worse, the police are beginning to believe them.

Through it all, Lock—frustrating, brilliant, gorgeous Lock—is by her side. The two of them set out to discover who is framing her, but in a city full of suspects, the task is easier said than done. With the clock ticking, Mori will discover just how far she is willing to go to make sure that justice is served, and no one—not even Lock—will be able to stop her.

INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER W. PETTY





* We love this cover! What was your first reaction when you saw it?

I fell in love with the color scheme! The warm tones and black across the middle is perfect. And the barn is perfectly dark and foreboding. 

* We're guessing there's a reason why the barn is on the cover. Are you able to tell us a little something about it? We know you may not be able to confirm nor deny it, but Sophie's guessing there's a kissy scene that takes place there *crosses fingers* 

Literally any info I give you about the barn would be a huge spoiler. I can say nothing! But once you've read the book, you'll definitely understand why it's there. 

We can't wait to find out more about this barn.

* We loved Lock and Mori! We've been patiently waiting for this sequel. What can we expect in book 2? We're assuming a kissy scene or two, some heart break and plenty of heart pounding moments. 

L&M: MIND GAMES starts about two weeks after the end of book one, which means that Mori and Lock are still recovering from all that happened before and dealing with the fallout when a new mystery is thrown in their laps. There also may be some kissing. (There is definitely kissing.) 

* Were you surprised at the direction the story goes, or the choices your characters make in book 2?

Yes, actually. I mean, the book stays on the trajectory that I needed, so that it would align with what happens in the third book. But how we got there changed a couple of times as I worked through it with my (brilliant and extremely patient) editor. I had no idea how tough second books can be. They're the cornerstone of a series, so making sure that second book is right is vital. It took a lot of work and angst, but I'm really happy with how it came out. 

* Which character surprised you the most and why? 

I can't answer this honestly without spoiling things, but I'll say that Mori's path ended up taking turns I never imagined it would. 

* Which of your characters do you find you connect with the most, and which one is the hardest to write?

Probably Mori for both. She's smart, but she makes dumb decisions sometimes. (I relate completely to the dumb decisions part.) It can be hard to write her, though, because she's dealing with so much that living in her headspace can take an emotional toll. I sometimes wish I had a more contrived process for that reason. But I still love it, even when it's difficult. 

* What was one of your favorite Lock and Mori moments to write about in book 2? 

There's a scene that takes place in the shadowed seating of the theater during drama class where I got to mix math metaphors with kisses, and I had no idea how fun that would be until I was writing it. I mean, math...not my best subject. (Shout out to my math guru, Author Sarah McGuire for checking my work on that one.)

THANK YOU Heather for visiting with us about your cover! We can't wait to read L&M: Mind Games!


ENTER TO WIN!


Thank you to Heather, we have 2 signed copies of Lock & Mori to give away! This is the first book in this series. Winners will have the chance to get their book personalized. Details will be sent to the winner once they've been contacted on their winning. Open to resides of the US / Canada. To enter, please fill out the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shadowhunters TV: Episode 4: Raising Hell / Review




Hello Shadowhunter fans! This week we're sharing our reviews for Shadowhunters TV series, Episode 4, Raising Hell. You can read our previous reviews here. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this week's episode below in our comments. 

Katie's Thoughts


In all honesty, I'm a little surprised by this week's episode. Last week was a huge disaster, and the only reason why I watched this week was because of Magnus! I love Harry Shum Jr as Magnus. His portrayal of him was awesome. Some of the lines he delivered were great. I like that he tells Clary, "You always have a choice", and "Only trust yourself". The memory demon thing was something I actually laughed at, at first, especially since Magnus is the most powerful Warlock, and I wouldn't think he'd need a demon to get rid of Clary's memories. However, his answer to why he fed them to the memory demon made sense, at least for the TV series. 


I like that the ruby necklace showed Magnus's flashy side, and his love of pretty things. It allowed viewers to know there's a past intimate relationship between Camille and Magnus. However, the scene in which it pulses was laughable. Aside from that, I really like that they used the 'pretty boy' comment, something Magnus says to Alec in the film (which is adapted from a similar conversation in the books). I loved Magnus, however I've always pictured Magnus's movements being similar to a felines, graceful and refined. I thought the twitchiness that Magnus had in some of the scenes was awkward. It reminded me of Johnny Depp playing Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean (whom I love), which worked for that character, but not for Magnus. Magnus has a somber, grave and wise side, which is not shown here.


We finally get a little bit of MALEC! I liked how they kept things between Alec and Magnus. It's some what similar to the books in the sense that you don't know Alec is gay (which isn't confirmed in this episode either), however Magnus makes comments to him that indicate Magnus knows he is. I loved that those comments also throw Jace off, which in turn have him giving Alec looks like "what the heck", and Alec just shrugs them off. When Alec breaks his hold, during the Greater Demon scene, because he's embarrassed that his one memory taken of the person he loves the most, was Jace, Magnus tells him there's nothing to be ashamed of, which is a setup for hopefully good things to come between them later. I liked that it was reiterated that Izzy knows Alec is gay, something that was known in episode 1, though he's not come out and told her. I love the portrayal that she's supportive of him, and that we got to see that in the same scene with the Greater Demon. Alec begins to freak out, and she tells him it's okay, and he yells back that it's not. One of the things I've always admired about Izzy is that she loves her brother no matter what, and could care less if he's gay or not, she loves him just the same. 

While Simon and Alec continue to be two of my favorite characters, I loved that we got more Magnus, and Valentine this time around. I also really like Izzy and her scenes with Alec, and Clary. The Simon / Clary moments were great. I love that similar to book Simon, Simon just wants to protect Clary. His jealousy of Jace was great! I also liked that scene were Jace was outside of Clary's room overhearing what she was telling Simon. I'm really interested to see the Simon's journey into becoming a vampire. I like that the last scene for this episode shows him outside of the hotel. I was totally shocked to see Simon's mom in this episode, though I love that she cared so much about him. I wasn't a big fan of the Maureen scene. Her jealousy over Clary doesn't seem justifiable, especially if she knows she and Simon are best friends. I continue to love Alec's attitude and his indifference to Simon and Clary. Matthew and Alberto have brought their book characters to life perfectly for the TV series. 


What didn't work


If this was a silent TV series, I'd most likely love it. I get that this isn't an award winning show, but I except better of the writing. Yes, it's far better than episode one, but there continues to be so many cringe worthy lines, and too many awkward scenes in this episode. For example, when Clary tells Simon about her dreams aka memory fragments, and she's talking about Magnus taking her memories. She says, "He reached his hand inside my head and ripped out my brain." Really? Last time I checked it was memory he was taking. Also not working, Simon's vampire hallucinations. Those were just as bad as Clary's memory fragments. I get what they're trying to do with these two things, but it's poorly done. 


Can we please put Valentine anywhere else in the world other than Chernobyl. I can't take him seriously there. I'm a bit shocked about his killing Panghorn, considering Valentine uses his two henchmen all the time. Why is it that Valentine is this feared character, and yet we've seen very little of him. He's not someone we're going to fear when he's hiding out in Chernobyl! Sure he's killed a couple Shadowhunters and what not, but get him out of hiding, and allow him to do what his book character does so that we can take him seriously. Talking about him does nothing. Show us!


Not surprising in this episode was the confirmation of Dot's death, which we already knew happened. I was a little shocked that Magnus was the one that confirmed that to Clary, vs Clary not realizing it since she hasn't been able to use her necklace to locate her, like she did in episode one. It was also shocking how little anyone seemed to care. While I love that Jace has some of that snarkiness I love about him in the books, he's still not book Jace, and I desperately want to love him and Clary like I do in the books, but I am not feeling anything between them. That is hard to admit, considering I want nothing more than for there to be something. I feel like their moments together are just awkward, the product of writers trying to hard to shove romance into our faces. Especially in the scene before they go to the club to meet Magnus, and they stand there checking each other out, and then Jace just leaves. 
Speaking of the club scene with Magnus, how many times can the word lair be used in one scene. What's with the word lair. Are we going to the vampire lair, the bat lair, the or the rat lair? The high Warlock of Brooklyn doesn't live in a lair. They should have used penthouse, condo, apartment, or anything other the word lair. 

Over all, I liked this episode better than last week's epic disaster, but I'm still not loving this series. The writing continues to show how juvenile it is, when it could be so much better. Yes there were better lines in this episode, two even had lines FROM THE BOOK, and it's way better than last week's episode, but there's still so much missing from the series, that I excepted to be there. The writing for me is what's killing my love of this series. However it's not just the writers, the executives and producers are also at fault. There is so much material they have to work with from Cassie's books, and they don't. Now that Magnus is in the series, I am going to have to watch next week just to see what transpires with him and the Shadowhunters. We definitely need more Malec and Valentine in this series. 


Sophie's Thoughts


This episode should have been called "Obi-wan Magnus, You're My Only Hope".

Just a quick aside regarding these particular producers using iconic Star Wars lines in TMI movies. Let's remember the not awesome moment when HipPirateValentine uttered, "Jace, I am your Father" in the City of Bones movie. Why, oh why, do they insist on doing that?

The bizarreness of what the producers/director/screenwriters choose to highlight from Cassie's books continues to puzzle me. Both Simon and Clary have bizarre dream visions. Clary sees Jace and Simon sees Camille. I get the foreshadowing, but both of them using this plot device is bizarre.

The heavy-handed delivery of the reminder that Clary's "memory fragments" are important to the plot was delivered in the most yawn-worthy way. I am pretty sure no one in the audience has forgotten that: "finding your memories is the only way to get the Mortal Cup back". We couldn't forget if we tried.

Adding to the bizarre, Camille's necklace is important, but at the same time not important to Magnus, because he gives it back. And what the heck is "Shadowhunter GPS"? Wait, I've seen this in an old cartoon -- Wonder Twin Powers Activate!



With the unnecessary highlighted details that don't exist in the book, and the badly written lines, I found myself trying to guess at which episode will most of the fans just stop watching. Epi 5, perhaps?

I'm going to add just one more nonsense quote uttered again by our brave hero, Jace:


"Blend in, but keep your weapons ready." If you need me, I'll be at Magnus' lair (how many times did he say "lair" in that one scene? I stopped counting at 3.) waiting for my only hope.



Emmaly's Thoughts


This was definitely better than last week but I still had some issues with it. I feel it started out slow but defiantly improved in the last half.


Again very dialogue heavy, to quote husband again "I have to leave the room and have another heartfelt discussion with someone else" The script is defiantly loosing me, we all burst out laughing at "The locket! It's pulsing!" Yeah we can see that thanks. It moves very quickly too, one minute they are looking for Magnus' lair, the next second there it is! gee that wasn't hard was it.

But the cast defiantly kept this episodes head above water. All of the main cast tonight were amazing. Then we have Magnus, he was just perfect. Funny, charming and very naughty. I hope he keeps up being a main presence on the show.

I'll keep watching for more Magnus.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Moreno Baccarin To Narrate Lady Midnight!



Cassandra Clare shared some exciting news earlier today! Moreno Baccarin will be narrating the audio version of Lady Midnight! Fans may know Moreno from Firefly, Homeland, among other shows/movies, including the current show