City of Heavenly Fire

If you’ve come here looking for spoilers, you have definitely come to the wrong place. As a matter of fact, I’m not going to tell you much of anything about City of Heavenly Fire, the long-awaited conclusion to Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. Do yourself a favor and read it. And the rest of the series. And the prequel trilogy. And anything else that Cassie Clare writes. Even if it’s her grocery list. I’m pretty sure even that would be epic.

For those not caught up with all things Shadowhunter, you absolutely MUST read the first five books of the Mortal Instruments saga before picking up City of Heavenly Fire. Those books are City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, and City of Lost Souls. (And no, seeing the movie adaptation of City of Bones is not a substitute for reading the book. In my opinion, the movie was absolute crap and didn’t begin to do the book justice.) I’d also highly recommend reading the prequel series, The Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess). There’s a fair amount of crossover, and you may not get the importance of certain things if you don’t have the background provided in the prequels. (Hint: Brother Zachariah for the win!)

I honestly don’t know what I can say about City of Heavenly Fire without giving too much away. From the very first page, I was enthralled, and I’m still processing a lot of what happened. Throughout this 725-page tome, I laughed, I cried, and I got angry. It was an emotional journey, and one that I won’t soon forget…especially since I was extremely worried about my favorite character for much of the latter part of the book. (If you’ve read my other posts on these books, you likely know who I’m talking about.)

Those of you who’ve read the series thus far will get everything you’ve come to expect in a Mortal Instruments book. Snarkiness, sadness, redemption, action, emotional upheaval, intense battles, loss, fear, laughter, and love overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. The characters we met in the first book–Clary, Jace, Simon, Alec, Isabelle, and Magnus–have grown so much, endured so much, to get where they are, and this final war with Sebastian, Clary’s own brother, is their greatest battle yet. They are being tempered in a great fire, and, if they emerge, they will be stronger than ever.

I will say that the ending, while heart-breaking at times, was rather satisfying, and didn’t leave me with–you know–the urge to throw the book across the room or egg the author’s house. (I cannot say the same for my feelings when I finished reading Allegiant.) I felt it was a very fitting end to a beloved series, and it served well as a new beginning for many of the characters who’ve come to mean so much to me.

The official City of Heavenly Fire book trailer was released a few weeks before the book, and it captures the basic mood of the book. (I will admit I’m not crazy about the trailer. Something about it felt a bit off. The same is definitely NOT true of the book!) Check it about below, compare it to the book, and judge for yourself.

I first met these characters six years ago, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of the time we’ve spent together. Luckily, I don’t really have to say goodbye. I’m fairly certain I’ll see them again in Cassie Clare’s next Shadowhunter series, The Dark Artifices. We definitely get glimpses of what we’ll encounter in the new series, starting with Lady Midnight in 2015. Our newest adventure will center around Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs in the Los Angeles Institute, and, if what I saw in City of Heavenly Fire is accurate, we can expect another thrill ride from these young Shadowhunters!


I know this post didn’t give you a ton of information about City of Heavenly Fire, and I do apologize for that. It’s just that this series means a great deal to me, and I find it rather difficult to put my thoughts on it into words. Those I’ve used here don’t feel adequate in any way. If you take anything away from this, though, I hope it’s this: Read anything you can find by Cassandra Clare. She will wrap you up in an intense story, give you characters you grow to love, and teach you a little something about caring for your fellow man (or vampire, werewolf, warlock, whatever) along the way. Her books–this one and any others–are not to be missed.

The series is complete...for now.

The series is complete…for now.

Wings of the Wicked

Spoiler alert!  This post will be all about Wings of the Wicked, the second book in Courtney Allison Moulton’s Angelfire series.  If you haven’t read Angelfire yet, get thee to a library or bookstore and start reading!  (If, like me, it’s been a while since you read Angelfire, it’s probably a good idea to reread a bit—particularly the last couple of chapters—to refresh your memory.)

Wings of the Wicked has been on my to-read list for quite some time.  This weekend, I finally made the time to settle in and immerse myself in this story.  I call it a weekend well spent.  The story, like the one in Angelfire, was totally captivating and had me jumping at every little noise, particularly when I was reading at night.  (You can’t be raised as a Southern Baptist and not have a little fear when it comes to reading about demons gaining power and trying to bring about the end of the world.)  This book is chock-full of action, adventure, tension, romance, and grief.  It’s not for the faint of heart, and it packs quite the emotional wallop.

In Wings of the Wicked, Ellie continues to struggle with the knowledge of who she really is—the Preliator, or the human reincarnation of the archangel Gabriel.  She spends her days trying to live as a normal seventeen-year-old:  high school, college applications, parties, friends, parents, etc.  Her nights, however, are devoted to hunting demonic reapers, beings sent from the depths of hell to destroy her.  She fights alongside Will, an angelic reaper who has been her Guardian for quite some time.  He may also be the love of her life, however long that might be.  Their love for each other is strictly forbidden, but they may not be able to help themselves.  Distancing themselves from each other puts them both at risk, and, with war coming between demons and angels, Ellie and Will need each other more than ever.

When Ellie become the target of reapers who wish to capture her, it becomes apparent that the forces of evil have some larger purpose for her.  What could they want with her?  Why do they want her alive?  As Ellie, Will, and a few allies seek the answers to these questions, the attacks on Ellie and company continue.  Ellie is exhausted and sick of lying to her family and friends—even if it’s for their own protection.  She is growing tired of constantly living in two worlds.  Her mind wars with the desire to be a normal teenager and the knowledge that she is Gabriel, and the world’s ultimate salvation may depend on her.  When her oh-so-complicated feelings for Will are piled on top of everything, Ellie is a girl on the edge, and it won’t take much to push her over.

Unfortunately, that push over the edge arrives all too soon, and Ellie is left with feelings of betrayal, anger, and grief.  She doesn’t know where to turn, and she doesn’t know if she’s ready for what’s expected of her.  Feeling all alone, Ellie retreats into herself, shuts out nearly everyone, and places the blame for everything that’s happened on her all-too-human shoulders. 

But the war wages on, and Ellie must fight.  It’s up to her to stop the unspeakable evil that is about to be unleashed on the world.  She needs all the help she can get—and she finds assistance in some unexpected places—if she plans to save the world and everyone in it, including Will, the one who holds her heart.  Will it be enough?  Or will Ellie lose more than she ever thought possible?  Just how much is she willing to sacrifice to stop a holy war?  Find out when you read Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton.

If you liked Angelfire, I think you’ll enjoy Wings of the Wicked even more.  (I did.)  Even as I was eager to turn each page, I was also scared of what each page would bring.  I knew the characters were in for quite a battle, but I was unprepared for everything they had to face.  I know the next book will be just as anxiety-inducing, and, quite frankly, I can’t wait.  I’m hoping against hope that everything works out for Ellie and Will.  (Given the way Wings of the Wicked ended, that hope is very fragile.)  I also have high hopes for a couple of the secondary characters (like Cadan), and I really pray that I’m not disappointed.  Sadly, I’ll have to wait until sometime next year to find out what happens.  The third book in this trilogy is set to be released sometime in 2013.

For more on the Angelfire trilogy and author Courtney Allison Moulton, visit  You can also follow the author on Twitter @CAMoulton.

You may also want to check out this creepily awesome book trailer for Wings of the Wicked.  It made me want to go back and read the book again!

Fallen in Love

If you’re as enamored of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series as I am, you’ve got to check out Fallen in Love, an anthology of stories featuring beloved characters from Fallen, Torment, and Passion.  If you haven’t read these books yet, please do so before diving into Fallen in Love.

Fallen in Love contains four very different stories, but they all share the same basic theme–love, and how it can ultimately save or destroy a person (or angel, demon, whatever).  Each story intersects and takes place in medieval England, and the action centers around a Valentine’s Day Faire. 

The first story, Love Where You Least Expect It, explores the budding relationship between Shelby and Miles.  Roland’s story, Love Lessons, delves into what a being is willing to sacrifice if it means preserving the happiness of his love.  The third story (and quite possibly my favorite), Burning Love, tells of the forbidden love between Arriane and someone whose very blood could destroy her.  When her lover asks the impossible, Arriane must decide if love is worth giving up everything she believes in.  Finally, in Endless Love, Daniel and Luce are (sort of) reunited for a Valentine’s Day to remember. 

The stories in Fallen in Love provide some insight into some of the complicated relationships in Lauren Kate’s Fallen series. I especially enjoyed the stories of Roland and Arriane. Those two tales emphasized the dark side of love, and how heartache often accompanies it.

This book also gives readers a first look at the final book in the Fallen series, Rapture. I finished reading the prologue and first chapter last night, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of what is sure to be a gripping end to a fantastic series!  (Thankfully, the wait is not too terribly long.  Rapture is expected to be released on June 12th.)

Beautiful cover. I love the transition from the black dress of the previous covers to the white of the finale. I wonder what it could mean...

If you’d like more information on Lauren Kate and her amazing Fallen series, visit her website at


Spoiler alert!  If you haven’t read Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, proceed with caution!  Demonglass is book two in the Hex Hall series, and this post will be very spoilery.  (New word alert!)

If you just heard a scream of frustration that seemed to originate from a small town in upstate South Carolina, that was me.  I just finished reading Demonglass, the second book in Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall trilogy, and it ended on such an unbelievable cliffhanger that I am having difficulty suppressing my urge to throw things.  I want to read book three NOW, but I’m sad to report that I’ll have to wait until at least March of next year to find out what is going on in this amazing story.

If you liked Hex Hall, then I think you will like Demonglass even more.  The story picks up where Hex Hall ended.  Sophie Mercer, as wonderfully sarcastic as ever, is still at Hecate Hall.  She’s waiting on her dad to come and get her so that she can begin the process of removing her powers.  (Just to refresh your memory, Sophie is a demon with nearly uncontrollable powers.)  She’s scared of what she could do, and she wants the powers gone.  But things might not be quite so straightforward.

Sophie’s dad, the head of the Prodigium (magic folk) Council, takes Sophie and a couple of friends to London for the summer so that Sophie can reconsider the Removal.  She decides pretty quickly against removing her powers but only because she senses that things around her are somehow wrong.  Add to that a betrothal she knew nothing about, a couple of “new” demons, getting to know dear old dad, a ghost who’s seemingly attached to Sophie, and her feelings for Archer (who happens to be a member of the Eye, a group sworn to wipe out the Prodigium), and it’s going to be quite the eventful summer.

A war is brewing between the Prodigium and the Eye.  Sophie’s powers, and those of her father and the other demons (whose origins are unknown), could be used as weapons in this coming war.  Is Sophie willing to use her powers to fight for the Prodigium even if it means battling Archer, the boy who holds her heart?  Is there a way to avoid the war that is coming?  If Sophie can only find out who is creating demons, she knows that she can at least minimize the threat of war.  Her search for answers will take her to some unexpected places, and she may be unprepared for what she finds.  Can Sophie reconcile her duty to the Prodigium with her love for her sworn enemy, or will that choice be taken out of her hands?  Read Demonglass to find out!

I thorougly enjoyed Demonglass, and, like I said, I cannot wait for the third installment in this series.  Sophie’s voice is so refreshing and snarky.  Even with everything crumbling around her, she finds a way to break tension with a well-placed sarcastic comment.  I love that, and I think a lot of readers, especially teens, will be able to relate to Sophie’s fluency in sarcasm.

The third book in the Hex Hall series is currently (at least to my knowledge) untitled, and it is scheduled for a spring 2012 release.  I am happy to report, though, that there is a spin-off series in the works (Yay!) which will include cameos of our favorite characters from the Hex Hall series (at least those that survive…and maybe some that don’t).  Author Rachel Hawkins is also working on a new series that promises to include more snarkiness, kissing, and swordfights.  (Yay again!)  For more information on the Hex Hall series and what’s going on with the author, visit Rachel Hawkins’ blog at

Falling Under

One word comes to mind when I think about my latest read, Falling Under by Gwen Hayes–macabre.  The events of this book are horrifying and gruesome, but there is still a truly captivating love story in the midst of all the horror.  Falling Under takes the concept of forbidden love to new heights–and depths–with the story of Theia and Haden.  Romeo and Juliet had nothing on these two.

Theia Alderson has led a very sheltered life.  Her father restricts her every move for fear that she will end up like her mother.  Theia’s only escape is in her dreams.  It is there that she enters a terrifying world and meets a mysterious young man who ensnares her, body and soul.  But are these just dreams?  How can they be when the boy she’s been dreaming about is suddenly before her as a new student at her school?  It seems that Theia’s dreams and reality are about to collide…

Haden Black is the boy Theia’s been dreaming of.  She knows it, and he knows it.  From their first glance, Theia and Haden are drawn to each other.  Why, then, does Haden insist on pushing Theia away?  She knows he wants to be with her, but she can’t help but wonder at his hot-and-cold attitude.  It soon becomes clear that there is a darkness inside of Haden that he wants to protect Theia from.  But Theia may be beyond Haden’s protection.  Dark forces are at work that will pull Theia and Haden together while delighting in tearing them apart.

What is Haden really trying to protect Theia from?  Can love ever fight against the evil surrounding them?  The answers, I’m afraid, are not simple, and both Theia and Haden will have to rely on their friends and their love for each other to save them.  Will they overcome all of their obstacles, or will they simply fall under them?  Enter the madness and find out when you read Falling Under by Gwen Hayes.

Falling Under is at once a creepy, beautiful, horrifying, and emotional read.  The worlds created in this book were nightmarish and terrifying and definitely elicited an emotional response from me.  The characters grew and learned more about themselves as the story progressed, and the plot was so engrossing that I finished this book in less than 24 hours.  I was hooked.  I’m looking forward to the journey these characters take in the next book, Dreaming Awake, due out some time in 2012.  For now, though, I think I’ll move on to a book that doesn’t make me fear my own dreams.

If you’d like more information about author Gwen Hayes and her books, visit

City of Glass

What can I say about City of Glass, the third and final(?) installment in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy other than IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!  I’m ready to start reading it again right now.

I don’t want to give too much away because I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone wanting to read it (and trust me, you really should read this book).  Let me just say that most of my predictions came true, I cried a little, I was horrified a lot, and, in the end, I was satisfied with the outcome.

If you haven’t read City of Bones or City of Ashes, read those two books before you read City of Glass or nothing will make sense.  If you like the Twilight saga or Holly Black’s novels, I think this series is definitely worth reading.  I, personally, like the Mortal Instruments trilogy better than the Twilight series, and those of you who know me realize that is saying something.  The characters are rich and vivid, the action grips you from the very beginning, and there is never a dull moment.

City of Glass and its preceding books are perfect for those who like fantasy, especially fantasy involving vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, fairies, and all sorts of other things.  I LOVE THESE BOOKS and cannot wait for Cassandra Clare’s next work, the Infernal Devices trilogy.  Yay!

For more information on these books, go to