Thursday, September 27, 2012

{MINI-REVIEWS} CITY OF LOST SOULS (TMI #5) FALLEN IN LOVE (FALLEN #3.5) and RAPTURE (FALLEN #4)

I've started making the time to read more "me" books. The books that I've purchased or received and am reading without any pressure to review. But, I'm a bit spastic when it comes to not writing up a review, so I'm going to post several mini-reviews from time to time. They're not actually "reviews", but more a summary of my thoughts/feelings.

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)Series: The Mortal Instruments #5
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 534
Source: Personal Purchase

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Let me just start by saying that I walk into every book Cassandra Clare writes, fully prepared to love it. It would take a train wreck of epic proportions to make me not love one of her books. I will admit, I was slightly disappointed with book four, City of Fallen Angels. I think that's mainly due to how FREAKING FANTASTIC City of Glass was. Seriously, I would have been completely happy if the story ended there. Not to say that I'm not happy to have more, but that book is kind of hard to top.

I loved City of Lost Souls. It was dark, suspenseful and morbidly funny. Cassandra Clare writes some of the best one-liners ever. Simon, Jace and Magnus all deliver sarcasm better than any other characters. The story was fantastic. With Jace being controlled by Sebastian, the emotional stakes were huge. And I will say that Clare is not afraid to go to dark and scary places. No character, no relationship is ever truly safe.

I do have two things I want to nit-pick on. First, the need to tell us, in every single scene, what every person, every surrounding smells like. There's only so many times I want to hear that Jace/Simon/Alec/Jordan smells like soap and some other "manly" descriptor. Really. Secondly, Sebastian has white/silver hair. We get it. You do not have to tell me in every scene how it contrasts with the blood that's in it or the darkness of his eyes. Sebastian = Evil. Got it.

Whew, I feel much better after that mini-rant. Having got that out of my system, I will still say that I desperately love this series. I'm so in love with the story, characters, the out-of-control feeling I get while reading them. City of Lost Souls ended wonderfully and I can't wait for the conclusion, City of Heavenly Fire.

Favorite Quote:

" 'I fell in love with you,' he said, 'because you were one of the bravest people I'd ever known. So how could I ask you to stop being brave just because I loved you?' " (pg. 523)



Fallen in Love (Fallen, #3.5)Series: Fallen #3.5
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 201
Source: Personal Purchase
Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story.

And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine's Day in Medieval England. Miles and Shelby find love where they
least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding-and losing love. Arianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first -and last- time, Daniel and Luce
will spend a night together like none other.

Lauren Kate's FALLEN IN LOVE is filled with love stories . . . the ones everyone has been waiting for.

True love never says goodbye. . .

My heart. Ugh, you guys, I love the Fallen series so much. I know there are a lot of people who just don't get the appeal. They don't like Luce, Daniel, the story, etc. And that's fine. But I love it. I will admit that Torment was a bit of a letdown, but Passion totally brought me right back on board with the series and I have been dying to find out how it ends. When I learned Fallen in Love was going to be published, I was kind of thrilled, but felt it was superfluous to the actual storyline of the series. And though it doesn't actually move the plot along, Fallen in Love is a nice respite from the dramatics and gives nice insights into the characters.

The first story, Love Where You Least Expect It, is the Valentine of Shelby and Miles. Unlike a lot of fans, I haven't been overly fond of Miles and Shelby. They're nice kids who want to help out, but I wanted them to "be quiet so I can have more Daniel and Luce". But I honestly enjoyed this story. It was nice to see them get their own piece of happiness.

Next was Roland's story, Love Lessons. Roland has always been a big mystery to me. I've never understood his motivations. Though this story didn't overwhelm me, I did feel sorry for the poor guy. And though this was my least favorite of the stories, I do have a new appreciation for Roland.

Burning Love is Arriane's Valentine. Arriane has always been a favorite character of mine. She's a bit unhinged, and I like it. Think Kristen Ritter in the tv show Apartment 23. Arriane's story surprised me, in a good yet sad way. I guess I never considered her an emotionally serious character. I was wrong.

Last is Endless Love, The Valentine of Daniel and Luce. All I can say about this story is SWOON. If you love this couple, Endless Love is highly satisfying. It's so nice to see these two in a (short-lived) happy place. I don't want to say to much, but honestly, I got chills.

Fallen in Love was a gorgeously written, very romantic book. I don't know that it's absolutely necessary to read this before Rapture. But if you're a fan of the series, I don't see why you wouldn't want to.


Favorite Quote:

"Daniel and Lucinda were emblems of romance, ideals that every mortal and some immortals needed to believe in, whether or not they themselves were capable of making a connection so true. Daniel and Lucinda were an idea that informed the way the rest of the world fell in love." (pg. 69)

"Sometimes love needed a lift from its guardian angels, to get its feet off the ground. But once it made its first early beats toward flight, it had to be trusted to take wing on its own and soar past the highest conceivable heights, into the heavens - and beyond." (pg. 201)


Rapture (Fallen, #4)Series: Fallen #4
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 448
Source: Gift


The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

I've been a huge fan of the Fallen Series since the beginning. Actually, Fallen is the first book I ever bought because of a review. (It was the Arkansas Democrat. Kate's husband is a native to the Little Rock area, which for some inexplicable reason makes me proud!)  As a fan, I've been largely happy with the series as a whole. Even when I didn't love parts of the storyline, Kate's writing is beyond gorgeous and a true pleasure to read. I had no idea how she would wrap up the series, all I hoped for was a Happily Ever After ending.

I loved Rapture. The story was scary for someone who was raised with a very literal interpretation of the Bible.  Very scary. The Bible does play a large part of the story, but only in a historical aspect. One of the things I love about the series is that it never becomes preachy. To the contrary, love is the divine power here.

What I was really looking for, besides love conquering all, was a full explanation and solution to Daniel and Luce's tragic love story. That's exactly what I got. Kate doesn't deal in generals here, the explanation for Luce's curse isn't glossed over or shrugged off. The curse goes back to the very beginning of Heaven, and it was extremely surprising.

The only part of Rapture that didn't feel fully explored was Cam. I've always loved Cam, even when he seemed irredeemable. I'm going to forgive this because I have a suspicion that Cam will return with his own series. If that's the case, consider me squealing with delight. I'll be the first in line for that story.

Rapture was gorgeous, beautiful, tragic, scary, sad and an overwhelmingly perfect love story. I was pleasantly surprised with the ending. I don't know how it could have ended any better. Reading The Fallen Series is one that I consider a true pleasure to have experience.

Favorite Quote:

"She basked in every reminder of how long and deep her and Daniel's love affair had been, even if the reminder was something small, like the cursive script that flowed along the centuries, spelling out Daniel as hers." (pg. 38)

  "Arriane flung out a hand to help Luce up, pulling her so hard her feet shot off the ground. 'Dee's an old friend. And a first-class party animal, might I add. Got the metabolism of a donkey. She almost brought the Crusades to a grinding halt the night she seduced Saladin.' " (pg. 204)

(I'm leaving this very vague, because this is a huge part of the story.)
"Our adoration never diminished the Throne, but your love diminished me. I never meant to hurt you. I only meant to stop you from hurting me." (pg. 408)

22 comments:

  1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who loves the Fallen Series!! I read it while on vacation and tore through the series in about two weeks time. They were just soo good!

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    1. Oh wow, that's lucky! I had to wait a year between books. I'm so happy you loved them!

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  2. Great mini reviews! I tried to read the Fallen series and never got into it. I did finish the first book (and I had bought the first three all at once for my nook) and never picked up the second one. I can see why people like the series, it just wasn't for me. Maybe I will try again later. I love the TMI series, but I totally get what you mean about smells and looks being overly used.

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    1. The Fallen series certainly doesn't seem to be for everybody. I have such a fond feeling for it b/c it's a series that really got me into reviews and blogging. I hope you do like it more if you decide to give it another shot.

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  3. So, I skimmed the Fallen reviews because I still need to read them. What I did see though was your comment about Cam. I've always loved him too. Can't wait to read these. I need to get to the Cassie's books too.

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    1. I am REALLY hoping that Cam gets his own series. He has no resolution in this one. Fingers crossed!

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  4. I sooo have to read City of Lost Souls because I absolutely adore the Mortal Instruments series .. My copy of CoLS is unfortunately in France while I'm in Dublin .. Thanks for the great reviews Andrea !!

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    1. Elodie, you poor girl! I know how excited you were about reading TMI. Hopefully you can read it soon!

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  5. I wasn't a fan of Clare's books. I never finished #1. Maybe I was just not into it at the time. I haven't read The Fallen series either, so I only skimmed your reviews. I do love the aspect of doing mini reviews, sometimes I do them for books that I can't put on my blog(goodreads or Amazon only), or for books that I have a hard time explaning my full thoughts about.

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  6. I was really disappointed with CoFA too! I don't want to continue the series any more but after your review I MIGHT give CoLS a shot!
    I've just started Fallen and it looks good so far except for the insta-love/obsession

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

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  7. I have City of Lost Souls but I refuse to read it yet since I found out the final book won't come out until 2014. Seriously? Freaking 2014!? I'll just wait until next year to read it...

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  8. I've read City of Lost Souls but wish I'd waited. I can't handle her ending during a series anymore. Gonna just wait till the last ones out and read them together. No more reading 1st or 2nd books for her till the series is out. Just Sayin'

    Valerie

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    1. I hear ya,Val. Believe me. I will say that the ending of CoLS is was less frustrating.

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  9. I'm with you, Andrea, I would've been fine with TMI ending on the third
    book because I thought that ending was perfect. I will not pick up book
    4 until 5 & 6 are out because of CC's love of a painful cliffhanger. I learned
    my lesson after reading Clockwork Prince and I'm not going to fall for that again!
    I stopped reading the Fallen series after book 2 & I really need to pick
    up the last two so I can see how things end. Nice mini reviews, Andrea
    I like! :)

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    1. Rachel, You are so right about the painful cliffies. Clockwork Prince was brutal.

      I hope you do enjoy the Fallen series if you decide to try again. Book 2 was the most difficult for me. The last two are much better.

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  10. I have to agree with you about COLS. That is one of my favorite series, ever. But COFA is definitely my least favorite. I think it was because, like you said, COG was great and then it was almost like setting up another trilogy all over again with COFA. I do love how she is intertwining her Infernal Devices series.

    I have to say though, I'm not a huge fan of the Fallen series, but I did enjoy the way she wrapped everything up. Like you, I am really hoping for a Cam spinoff.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. A Cam spinoff would be so stinking awesome. Fingers crossed!

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  11. I really loved the Fallen series. Its one of my all time favorites and I've followed it since its release. I've also follow the Hush, Hush series since its release. I love the fallen angel stories. I agree with your review. I'm honestly sad to se the series end, but I truely loved how it ended. I also cried at a certain part and wished that wasn't there, but all in all the book really as great. I love Luce and Daniel, seperately and as a whole and I loved where she went with them. I felt like she left the ending open for several of the other chracters, especially Cam. Kate really left Cam open the whole book. I'm keping my fingers crossed hat she will write a spin off series using Cam and maybe insert the others here and there. I loved Cam and want to see more from him. He really was a great character an in my eyes misunderstood. Here's to hoping for a series about Cam!

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  12. Yay I'm happy that you are finding time to read the books that you want to read instead of the stuff you have to read. Lately it seems like all I read is the stuff I have to read. Not that I'm not enjoying what I'm reading but it is nice to have a choice.

    I do like TMI series but I've never been in love with it. The surprising thing to me is that I'm listening to City of Fallen Angels on audio lately and it is the best book in the series so far in my opinion lol.

    I really need to read the Fallen Series since you enjoy it so much. I'm pretty sure I have the first book so now it is a matter of just getting started! :)

    Thanks for all of the great reviews!

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