After years of following your favorite characters. You’ve laughed. You’ve cried. You’ve screamed at them for every stupid decision they make. And then you come to the end. As everything must end at some point. Here are the series that I finished this year and I will miss.
The Dark Artifices Series by Cassandra Clare – Another Shadowhunter trilogy in the books. It was good and I love that Cassandra continues to push boundaries and populates her worlds with diverse set of characters. I was kinda surprised on how it ended but as always with her books, one series bleeds into another.
Caraval Trilogy by Stephanie Garber – It’s rare that I actually find a series as it’s ending but this one I hit at the right time and read all three back to back and I’m glad I did because I don’t think I would have liked to have wait to see how the Caraval ended. Even if only liked one of the sisters.
Three Dark Crowns Seriesby Kendare Blake – This is like the Game of Thrones but mostly only the women in the kingdom. It had everything from palace intrigued to rebellions and betrayals and magic. It really kept me guessing to the end and really cemented Kendare Blake as one of those authors I just have to read.
Legend Seriesby Marie Lu – Technically I’ve already said good bye to this series once already a couple of years ago but that was before Marie Lu decided she needed to close a few plots she left open and give us readers the closure we all needed.
Renegades Trilogyby Marissa Meyer – Superheros with superpowers fighting each other is pretty awesome stuff. It was a quite ride as we follow our heroes and watch them debate who has what best for the city in mind. In the end, it was villains and heroes coming together to save the day.
The Folk of the Air Trilogyby Holly Black – I’ve probably said this numerous times but Holly Black really knows how to write fairies. She just understands how they think or how they would think. This was a perfect ending to a really great series and she even seamlessly wove in her other characters from past books into the narrative without it being obvious or distracting. That’s a true feat.
The Magisterium Series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. – Call and friends when through a lot in the year 5 years at the Magisterium. I kinda miss Call’s sassiness.
The Charlotte Holmes Series by Brittany Cavallaro – Charlotte Holmes would have made her famous ancestor proud in how she solved her mysteries. She was truly a class above all else.
What Series did you finish this year? Comment below and let us know what series we need check out next.
Earlier this week I told Kate that I keep trying to Quit Cassandra Clare and her Shadowhunters but just can’t. This was after a discussion of authors continue stories of characters after the story had ended. She felt that Clary and Jace, Simon and Alec’s story ended up after the original trilogy. Not that I totally disagreed with her. I didn’t really like the second Mortal Instruments trilogy as much as the original but it did bring about some interesting characters that wouldn’t have existed if Clare had stop after the first three. I keep reading her Shadowhunters novels because Clare knows how to write characters. The secondary characters in The Dark Artifices are so well constructed it really brings to life the story. I have nothing against Julian and Emma but I was far more interested in Diana, a transgender shadowhunter who lived in fear of being found out. Despite her own fears she remained a well respected in the community. As cliche as it sounds, it took the Gwyn the fame leader of the Wild Hunt to see her as she is and without question to give her the strength to stop hiding. Ty a shadowhunter with autism. Shadowhunters have long shunned mundane medicine, so Autism isn’t something that they know or understand. Of course that can be said for us Mundanes as well. To Shadowhunters he seems strange and slow but he is actually quite brilliant. Change is not something that deals with easily so when his twin dies at the end of the last book and how he deals with it is so heartbreaking. And then there is Christina, Mark and Kieran. A Shadowhunter, a shadowhunter half fairy and a full fairy prince in a full blown three-mance. (is that a word? Well it is now because I not sure how to explain their relationship) Of course there is Magnus, the high Warlock of all our hearts still about. Helen and Aline a married shadowhunter couple coming back from exile and so many more. I know that Clare has been planning these books out years ago so she knew where the story was going to back in 2012 when she first introduced the Blackthorns. She couldn’t have known that her story of Shadowhunters using fear and bigotry to lead them towards fascism and tyranny would be so timely. Sadly. It only makes the wide variety of characters from different backgrounds, cultures, races, beliefs and lifestyles that more vibrant. The story would not have worked or would have not been as enjoyable without such a diverse and inclusive cast, just as our world is far better off with wide array of voices and viewpoints. No matter what people tell you. So while, I do agree that some of her characters stories have passed and it’s time to move on, I’m glad that she has continued the story to include so many more voices because it has definitely kept me interested.
So how did I do with this year’s challenge. Pretty good, I think. I read a few books that I normally wouldn’t have read and other books I would have because I love the authors. I didn’t complete the challenge though and I’m sad about that. Will have to do better in 2018.
A Book with a Trans Narrator: Eddie Izzard in Believe Meby Eddie Izzard
2017 is almost at an end. It was quite a challenging year but at least it was filled with a lot of great books. Here are the Top 10 posts that got the most views on Stacks this year. Thank you for all of you stopped by and took a glance at our little corner of the internet.
Quick Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han I’m pleasantly surprised this one came out on top. It got over twice many views as #2 of this list so you all must have loved it. I’ll admit, I had mixed feelings about this novel because as much as I loved Lara Jean and glad I got to spend more time with her, I’m not sure it was really needed another book.
Sending Love to Sarah Rees Brennan This is another surprise since it was originally posted in 2016 but I hope the continue views have sent Sarah more healing vibes because I do love reading her books.
Quick Review: Intensity by Sherrilyn Kenyon I just adore this series and even though I’m unsure if this is the last book in the series or just shift in the series focus. Either way, I can’t wait to read more about Nick.
Rick Riordan Presents I was excited to read about Rick’s new imprint featuring authors of color writing about myths and stories about their cultures. It’s great seeing Rick use his power to feature new voices and help diversify our stories.
We are now halfway through June so I can accurately say we are halfway through the year. It’s time to check in and see how we are doing with our reading challenges. This year we decided to split up our Diverse Stacks, Diverse Lives Reading challenge into two different. One for authors and one for narrators. I’m doing the Narrators and I have to say, I’m doing pretty well. Now, I think there may be a few arguments over some of my books but who doesn’t love a good debate? Going off my list of the books I’ve read, I discovered that there were a few things we should have discussed before setting the challenge out. For instance, can you use the same book for different categories if they have more then one Narrator? I’m going to go with yes because you are getting different perspectives from different characters. So here we go.
Book with a Queer Narrator: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan. Narrator: Apollo. Ok, so this maybe a stretch because as Kate asked me Can we apply modern categories of sexuality to ancient Gods? Well I don’t know, but in The Dark Prophecy, Apollo is currently exiled to Earth as a mortal and while being on Earth has shown equal interest in both Men and Women. So, in the context of the book, I’m counting it.
Book with a African American Narrator: March Vols. 1-3 by Congressman John Lewis. Narrator: John Lewis
Book with characters from various socio-economic backgroundsSilver Stars by Michael Grant. Narrators: Frangie, Rainey and Rio
Books with Asian American Narrator: Always and Forever, Lara Jeanby Jenny Han and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. Narrators: Lara Jean and Daniel. I decided to count both since they are both Asian Americans but they have very different perspectives on growing up in America. Lara Jean is definitely your more typical middle class teenage girl who grew up in the suburbs. She’s also mixed because of her Dad is white so she straddles both sides. Daniel grew up in New York City and is the son of two immigrant parents. (I thought about using Natasha from The Sun is also a Star as my African American Narrator but technically speaking she’s not American as her family was living in the US illegally)
Book with a Narrator who has survived abuse: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. Narrator : Feyre. I really could have picked any character in this book but since it’s all from Feyre’s point of view she gets the top billing.
A Book with a Mexican Narrator: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. Narrator: Cristina. I admit I maybe stretching it a little thin with this one. Cristina is one of six narrators in Lord of Shadows and not one of the two main characters but she is an important to the story as a whole so for now I’m counting it but it might change before the year is out.
I read a lot of fantasy novels and lately many of them have been relevant to what’s currently going on in our world. I would say that some of it is a reaction to today’s political and cultural climate but books and art have a history of being predictive. The Handmaid’s Tale was written over two decades ago and is just if not more relevant today then it was then. Cassandra Clare’s The Dark Artifices might be her most political and timely series out of all her Shadowhunter series but it was years in the making first set in motion 10 years ago with the release of City of Bones. One of the main threats in Lord of Shadows comes from within the Clave itself. At the end of the The Mortal Instruments Series City of Heavenly Fire, the Clave started the Cold Peace. A harsh punishment against Fairies for their involvement in the Dark War. This has lead to anti-downworlder’s sentiment to spread among Shadowhunters. Once again proving that people, even supernatural people do not learn from their own history. Less then five years ago, they defeated Valentine, who’s group wanted to bring back the “golden age” of shadowhunters by ridden the world of downworlders and now the Cohort, a group of Shadowhunters are asking for downworlders to be registered and put into camps. They movements should be marked and controlled. Does that sound kinda familiar? It shouldn’t surprise any of you that the downworlders, particularly fairies are not happy and plan in invasion. While all of this is happening, the Blackthorns and Emma are dealing with their own issues. With each new book, they get more and more complicated with so many story lines that Clare is almost at George R.R. Martin level but not as many deaths. I’m not sure all are necessary but it does make for interesting reading. That being said to me the most interesting character is Julian. Here’s a guy who at seventeen runs the LA institute. He takes care of his younger siblings and is utterly ruthless. He will do anything for his family and his Parabati, Emma. Who he is also madly in love with as she is with him but that’s forbidden and for good reason. Parabati bond is pretty strong and only enhances strong romantic love to the point it drive them crazy. Yikes. As for the ending, I knew the character was going to die as soon as she admitted she was going to be friends with another character. It sounds silly but the way it was written it sounded so final as her arc was over at that moment. I was sorry to see that character go but boy there will be hell to pay now. Too bad we have to wait 2 years to find out what happens next.
The month of May has a lot of great new books coming out and of course I’m already behind in my to-read list. Sigh. Anyway, here’s a list a few books that I’m definitely going to try to get to in May. Let’s see how I’ll do.
The Clave are dicks. I mean seriously. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, the Clave is the who rules the Shadowhunters, with the Council that makes the decisions. They are not the most understanding of people. They are definitely judgemental. For those who read City of Heavenly Fire know that outcome of the Dark War lead to the Shadowhunters basically cutting ties with Fairies because of their roles in Sebastian Morgenstern’s rebellion. This meant that the two older Blackthorn siblings, Helen and Mark who are half fairy. Mark was taken by the Wild Hunt at the beginning of the City of Heavenly Fire and Helen was banished to Siberia by the end. They both had nothing to do with Sebastian and the fairies who fought with him but since they had fairy blood, the Clave was afraid they were side with them so they banished one and abandoned another. So basically because of the actions of a few, everyone like them are punished. (Does that sound familiar to anyone?) Emma’s parents were found dead with strange markings, blamed on Sebastian’s rebellion even though their deaths resemble nothing that he or his followers did before or after. Emma is convinced that their death is not related and their killers are still out there but the Clave have shut the door on in. That leads five years later when Lady Midnight begins. Continue reading →