Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare // Book Review!

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017

Page Number: 701 pages

Format Read: Hardcover (I bought this one!)

Goodreads synopsis:

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

My Thoughts:

I’ve finally read Lord of Shadows! Hoorah for me! I don’t know why it took me so long or why I kept putting it off because it was amazing!

I loved reading about my old fam from TMI and the gang from TID were also mentioned throughout and my fav Jessamine was there too!

I love the Blackthorns and how much of a family they are, and hey guess what?! I’m finally starting to distinguish all of their names!

Helen and Mark are the oldest and they’re part faerie

Julian is the kind of patriarch and duh the main character of the book

Livvy and Ty are the twins who hang out with Kit

Dru is the sulky teen who always get stuck babysitting

And Tavvy is the baby 7 year old

I think that’s all right?

Anyway the romance and fighting and general badass-ery was all there and is it wrong that this Christina/Mark/Kieran love triangle is making me want Mark to end up with both of them? Threesome anyone? Cassie Clare even mentioned in the book itself!

Yay for LGBTQ-ness in the book also! I can’t figure Ty and Kit out, are they going to end up as parabatai or a couple? I don’t know!

Emma is such an amazing human and so cool with Cortana! Speaking of Cortana, that sword is powerful!

Can we also just talk about that ending!!!! OH MY GOD! I was reading then I stopped and re-read cause I could not believe my eyes. Oh yes Cassandra Clare has still got it ladies and gentlemen. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book!


I devoured this humongous book and loved every second of it! I’m scared that I’m going to get bored of Cassie Clare and shadowhunter writing one day though, like I did with Uncle Rick and Percy Jackson books. Whatever though, for now I still like!

My Rating:

5 stars!

Have you read this? Did you love it? Let’s discuss!


Griffen: Shadows of the Mirror Realm by A.J. Blakemont // Book Review

Griffen: Shadows of the Mirror Realm

Griffen: Shadows of the Mirror Realm by A. J. Blakemont

Page Number: 304 pages

Format Read: (E-ARC)

* I was provided a free e-ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review 

Goodreads Synopsis:

They are immortal, deadly, ruthless. I don’t belong to their dark underworld. I won’t be a victim. Never again.

She has nothing—not even a roof above her head. She has unimaginable powers, but these powers come at a price: she has to feed on the mental energy of human beings, killing them in the process.

Her name is Griffen and she is a newborn. She is a copy, a paranormal twin of a young woman, Letitia. Griffen is not the only one of her kind—there are others like her, living among humans or hiding underground. Romantics called them doppelgangers, ghostly twins, the harbingers of death. Scientists who know that they exist call them simulacra. They call themselves mirror souls. Who are they and what are their goals?

Lonely and desperate, hunted by her fellow mirror souls, Griffen hides in the London underground and preys on criminals. In this dark underworld, is there a place for compassion, for love?

In this action-packed paranormal thriller, dark fantasy author A. J. Blakemont will guide you on an epic journey through parallel realities toward a dramatic revelation.

My Thoughts:

This book was very entertaining and interesting because it was a whole new world and there were so many new concepts and things that the reader needs to learn throughout the course of the book.

I do have to say that while I really liked it, about 3/4 through I was a little bored and thought that some of the plot near the end could have been quickened. The pacing until then was fine I thought. At some points I really was completely immersed in the story.

I had the opportunity to read the prelude to the book, called Mirror Souls: A Prelude and that really made a difference while reading I think.

Honestly, Mirror Souls could be considered a sort of book 1, and then Griffen book 2 because I feel like the prelude really helped my understanding of the actual book.

The plot was different and and though at times the concepts of mirror souls were confusing, it was still fun to read.

There was some romance in this book as well as a lot of action. The action scenes were some of my favorite and I loved seeing Griffen fight.

Also, how cool is the name Griffen?

The themes of loneliness and love were present a lot throughout the book and it was different seeing these themes in a dark science fantasy kind of way.


An action packed book with science fiction concepts and a bad ass main character.

My Rating:

3.5 stars

Thanks for reading!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

My Bad-Boy Summer by Ann Herrick // Book Review

My Bad-Boy Summer

My Bad- Boy Summer by Ann Herrick

Publisher: Books We Love Ltd.

Publication Date: May 26th, 2016

Page Number: 151

Format Read: E-book (Review Copy)

* I was given a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

Will Nolan give up his bad-boy ways for Vija?

17-year-old Vija Skalbe wants to be an all-American girl—no matter how hard her parents try to impose their strict Latvian standards on her. She feels unsure of herself with one foot in each country.

Then Nolan, a folksinger, steals her heart at a coffeehouse. When Nolan stops at their table, it’s Vija’s friend, Caprice, who does all the talking. But it is Vija who gets his phone number—and later the back seat of his motorcycle. Soon she is cruising from one adventure to another, dizzy with joy, her new-found freedom and the excitement of being with the kind of guy who is a challenge.

However, when her father has a heart attack, Vija must take over running the family lawn-care business. She feels overwhelmed until sweet brainiac Joel volunteers to help. He shares the workload and lifts her spirits with his humor. But it is Nolan who fills her heart.

It doesn’t matter that Nolan wants everything his way. Or that he’s constantly eyeing other girls. Or that he can be pouty and punitive. Or that he says she’s seeing things all wrong. Until it does matter. But Vija’s in so deep. Will he change? Will she deal with Nolan’s controlling tactics, or is she too far under his spell?

My Thoughts:

As always, I’m going to be completely honest here because that’s what I’m here to do, review this book.

So given that, I just want to say that I think the title of the book and synopsis is severely misleading. I’m probably diving into a shady gray area here, because different people have different parameters for abuse, but that’s what I think Nolan was.

Nolan is the main character’s love interest for about half of the book. He’s called a “bad boy” but to me, he’s an abusive boyfriend.

He tells Vija how and what to eat, where to go and basically commands her around. He even tries to force Vija to have sex when she clearly says no and isn’t ready. I’m so glad that Vija stood up to him finally and said no.

The thing is though, Vija never sees anything wrong with the way Nolan treats her. Sure she gets a “flutter” in her stomach when he completely controls her, and she tries to talk to her best friend about it. And that’s another thing, Vija’s best friend was so concerned about Vija dating Nolan but then never listens when Vija tries to talk to her about her doubts about Nolan.

That all being said, I really like the old time feeling of the book, the setting being in the late 1950’s and the immigrant type family feel, my family being immigrants as well.

I loved Joel and the writing style was easy to read. The book is pretty short and I was able to read it in nearly one sitting.

The family dynamic was pretty sure but I was surprised at how Vija lied so effortlessly to her parents and how they believed her so easily.

And also, the problems I had with Nolan don’t affect my thoughts and feelings on the book at all obviously, it’s part of the character development and plot.


A summer contemporary with a relationship that made me really uncomfortable and intrigued to see what would happen next. I really enjoyed reading it and watching Vija grow throughout the book!

My Rating:

3.5 stars


Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys // Book Review

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Publisher: Philomel Books

Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016

Page Number: 400 pages

Format Read: E-book (Live-brary)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! The events that occurred throughout were so tragic and felt so heartbreaking! It was so interesting learning about new things in history and that there was a ship sinking even worse than the Titanic that isn’t even as well known.

You really start to feel attached to all of the characters and want them all to make it through the war.

One thing I found incorporated really well was the romance and the air of mystery and secrets. Like despite the horrible situation happening and people being killed, the plot and story was still propelled by the secrets and romance.

And those things helped make the story more interesting and want the reader to keep turning the pages.

At first I thought the multiple character POV’s would turn me off the story and I would get confused, but after three chapters, I was perfectly fine since each character was really diverse.

The only person whose chapters I kind of skimmed was Alfred. He just freaked me out in general. When we found out what really happened to his love back home, I was shocked. Like how does one not understand that they’re giving someone they love a death sentence basically??

And poor Emilia! I found her such a strong girl given that we’re practically the same age. I couldn’t imagine being on the run from Hitler while pregnant and Polish.

I think my favorite character was probably Joana, but I loved all of them too.

I definitely loved this book more than Between Shades of Gray and didn’t know much about it going into it so I was pleasantly surprised to see that Salt to the Sea took place during the same time era nearly as Between Shades of Gray.

I’m excited to see what Ruta writes next!


A historical fiction book with characters that brought the story to life and a plot propelled by secrets.

My Rating:

4.5 stars

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.s. This will probably be my last post for July, apart from my July wrap up since I’m leaving today for a sleep away journalism camp!