“Waiting on Wednesday”: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Fan-made book cover
Fan-made book cover

Lady Midnight

Cassandra Clare

To Be Released March 2016

Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

I am beyond excited for Cassandra Clare’s new addition to her Shadowhunter World: her upcoming series, The Dark Artifices. Lady Midnight will be the first book in the series.

warrior

It follows the life of seventeen-year-old Emma Carstairs, an orphaned shadowhunter, and her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn. She idolizes Jace Herondale and is a badass fighter. She aims to exact revenge upon whoever killed her parents, bringing comparisons to my mind to Arya Stark of Game of Thrones, another kick ass fantasy female character much loved by me.

shadowhunters

I’m super thrilled to read her story, especially since I can’t get enough of shadowhunters in general. It’s so exhilarating to have another girl to join the ranks of Clary Fray, Tessa Gray, and Isabelle Lightwood. I’m particularly elated for a main female character who seems to be a fierce warrior. I’m used to seeing that more from male characters like Jace and Will Herondale. Sure, Isabelle was tough, but I see her more as a femme fatale, than just a kickass fighter. I’m highly anticipating Emma’s badassery.

shadowhunter girls

I can’t wait to explore Emma and Julian’s relationship as parabatai of the opposite sex. It’s cute how Emma is going to be crushing on, and I’m always a sucker for forbidden romance (parabatai cannot be together romantically). More so, I’m ecstatic to get to read an opposite sex friendship that also involves them being fighting partners.

Julian’s family, the Blackthorns, are going to be so much fun to read! I love reading about big families. I’m so interested in their family dynamic and reading the interactions between all the many different kids: Helen, Mark, Julian, Livia, Tiberius, Drusilla, and Octavian. I’m also particularly fascinated by the faerie blood in their family as a result of their father, Andrew Blackthorn’s extra-marital affair with a faerie producing Helen and Mark. I find it interesting that he named all his kids after Greek and Latin historical. I’m falling in love with this Shadowhunter family already.

Something that is really exciting about this series is that it is set in Los Angeles, which is a far cry from the New York setting in the Mortal Instruments series. It also continues Cassandra Clare’s portrayal of different big cities in her books, such as London in The Infernal Devices. I think that Los Angeles is going to be a fresh, interesting setting.

Mark is a character that I am desperate to know more about. I need to find out what happens to him after the events of City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6). He’s the second child and oldest boy of the Blackthorns, and his character really intrigues me. I don’t want to give away any  events of CoHF, though. I suspect that he could also be a love interest for Emma, which I wouldn’t mind at all. Fingers crossed!

After reading about Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorns last summer in CoHF, I’m dying to read more about this enchanting bunch. I was drawn to twelve-year-old Emma’s impetus and outspokenness in CoHF, so I’m highly anticipating more of that in Lady Midnight. 2016 can’t come fast enough!

If you’re interested in kick-ass heroines, large families, and forbidden love, look no further than Lady Midnight, coming out in March 2016!

Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

clockwork angelClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Published August 31, 2010 by Simon & Schuster

479 Pages

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them….

My Thoughts

The prequel to the thrilling Mortal Instruments Series comes The Infernal Devices. I would recommend reading The Infernal Devices after the third book in TMI, City of Glass, and before reading the fourth book in TMI, City of Fallen Angels, for optimum understanding and entertainment.

Clockwork Angel is the first book in this electric series, centered around a mysterious shapeshifter girl named Tessa Gray, who was tricked into going to London from America after her brother. Here, she stumbles and falls into the dark world of demons and witches and shadowhunters, the fierce race of angelic humans who fight demons. She ends up at the London Institute for Shadowhunters after painfully discovering her wondrous powers to shift into any person, as long as she has an item particular to them.

She meets the shadowhunter ‘family’ that live there: The small but mighty Charlotte Fairchild, the head of the Institute; her ditzy inventor husband Henry; the imperious and beautiful Jessamine Lovelace; the scarred and loyal pretty servant girl Sophie; the frail and dying yet delicately handsome Jem Carstairs; and the fiery, magnetic, passionate, bold, alluring Will Herondale.

Throughout the book, Tessa tries to figure out what exactly she is, while becoming aware of the growing attraction between her and the stormy Herondale. They both love literature and poetry, but it is clear that Will is twisted, racked with hidden inner pain. Tessa immerses herself in trying to figure this haunted boy out. Meanwhile, his parabatai (sworn fighting partner), Jem, is racked with actual physical pain, dying of a disease that destroys him from the inside out.

It is a powerfully urban fantasy novel, as Tessa steeps into the supernatural world hidden in the city of London. Yet, there is someone who wishes her nothing but harm, who desperately wants to get his hands on her for reasons the Shadowhunters do not know. He is the evil human Mortmain, who plots the downfall of all shadowhunters. Somehow, Tessa is the key to that downfall.

For lovers of the shadowhunters in The Mortal Instruments, this book is a must read! Meet the ancestors of the characters you love, and find out how the shadowhunters were centuries ago.

5 stars

Kele

The Hidden Factor in Hollywood’s Racial Diversity Problem

Originally posted on TIME:

If you’ve seen one study about the state of diversity in Hollywood, you won’t be surprised by the results of the latest. A new study from UCLA examines the gender and racial makeup of nearly 1200 movies and TV shows from 2011-2012 — and the data show that minorities and women are underrepresented, compared to real-life U.S. demographics, both in front of and behind the camera.

Of course, film and television have never accurately represented how diverse America really is: Statistics show that there are three nonwhite people in America for every nonwhite character on the big screen; in terms of lead roles on broadcast TV comedies and dramas, there are seven nonwhite people in America for every nonwhite character. Similarly, there are half as many women in films as in real life — although the amount of female lead roles on broadcast TV is on the upswing.

But the…

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Too Dark for “Dope”

keletheardentfangirl:

Just watched this movie and was disgruntled by the colorism.

Originally posted on Quiet As It's Kept:

Brown and dark skinned girls exist. There’s actually quite a few of us.

I’m actually really mad that I have to make this blog post, because I’m actually really excited to see this movie. But damn it if the trailer didn’t have one GLARING flaw (there were actually many, but I’m only focusing on the most blatant this time around).

So there I was a few months back, scrolling Tumblr and wasting the day away, when I came across the teaser for a new movie. It was produced by Pharrell Williams (who I have my own Qualms with–but he produced the second season of my favorite YouTube series “ABG,” so I was curious), and starred an entirely black cast. Dope, a movie set to release on June 16th, 2015, is the story of a trio of high schoolers who attend a drug dealer’s party and accidentally leave with his inventory…

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An Ode To Natural Black Hair (a poem of appreciation by me)

originally posted on my poetry blog wildcharismaandwanderlust.wordpress.com

natural hair

An Ode to Natural Black Hair

It looked like the devil’s hay,

A blazing inferno,

An untamable mane.

Bristly and dry,

A whorl of defiance,

Gravity wrangled.

Multiple snakes coiled,

Springing to life,

A tentacled being.

It looked like earth,

And weeds,

And the full richness of life.

A crown of fortitude,

A halo of ingenuity,

An afro of fiery glory.

Or just hair.

Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium, #2)

pandemonium

Title: Pandemonium

Author: Lauren Oliver

Published: February 28th, 2012

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: Young-adult fiction, Romance novel, Utopian and Dystopian fiction

Read: July – August 2015

Source: Purchased from Barnes and Noble

Where To Find It: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Synopsis

I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

My Thoughts

I read Delirium a couple years ago and really loved it. I picked up Pandemonium a while ago, started it, got bored of it, and dropped it. This summer, I decided to pick it up again and give it another shot.

What I Liked

Lena kicked ass! I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by her being a kick-ass heroine being able to fight for herself deftly. She used her brains adeptly as well with clever thinking to get herself out of tricky situations. She definitely developed a lot as a character, from being a naive product of her society to being fierce and independent.

I never thought I could see Lena with another guy after how cute she and Alex were together, but when Julian came into the picture, I really liked the idea of Lena getting together with him. I love star crossed lovers, and Lena + Julian was no exception. I loved how they started out as enemies, then grew to trust each other. I swooned when he shared things about himself and his childhood with her. I felt like their romance was really smooth and really rooted for them to fall for each other. I especially liked how Lena ended up saving him. They’re too cute together and I ship them so hard!

I found her dynamic with the leader of her “Wild” gang, Raven, to be pretty interesting. Raven is very hardened and fiercely independent, and she really influenced Lena to be “stronger”, yet they also brushed against each other the wrong way over their ideological differences over the revolution. I found that to be an intriguing relationship.

I lover Lauren Oliver’s writing style. Her descriptive language is impeccable and her at times poetic style is so beautiful. The narrative voice of Lena was pretty enthralling.

What I Didn’t Like

Lena’s attitude towards Julian at first. It was so unnecessarily rude and hostile to me. I didn’t get her animosity towards him. It kind of made me want to shake her a little and I found it really annoying.

Some parts of the book really dragged on and were quite uninteresting, particularly earlier on during the Then parts. It got better when the Then parts got shorter, though.

I sometimes didn’t like Raven because of how emotionless she seemed to be. I gradually got to understand why her character was so hardened though. She was a good leader, yet highly flawed. Her strength derived from stamping down feelings of care about others, which, although wise in their situation, I didn’t like.

The Twist

I did not see that coming. The revelation was really infuriating to me, yet somehow ingenious. It was actually a brilliant twist, no matter how maddening it was.

The Ending

Lauren Oliver really gave us readers the illusion of a happy ending. I felt so elated that Lena and Julian could be happy and free together. It was so intensely disrupted by the return of a very important person from Lena’s past, who she’d spent much of the book pining for. I’m kind of sad that Lena and Julian didn’t get much time together to be a blissful couple, but still ecstatic to read what happens next with Lena juggling two people she’s grown to care about dearly.

Favorite Quotes

“I wonder if this is how people always get close: They heal each other’s wounds; they repair the broken skin.”

“We have picked each other, and the rest of the world can go to hell.”

pandemonium quoe

Rating: 3.5/5

To the men who love us, are you really helping us?

keletheardentfangirl:

This is so important.

Originally posted on REAL for women:

For females, being raised in and living among a society filled with porn and rape culture, constant male privilege over the subordination and objectification of us, male voices; government and big business, male desires, male wants, etc, creates a state of hyper vigilance in a lot of us. “When will I be confronted next? When will I have my safe-space invaded? When will I be reminded that I’m invisible, worthless, an object, powerless, disposable?” And it would be remiss not to mention the times people laugh, make jokes, or harsh comments when we are triggered by what we are constantly inundated with.

This is just in mainstream culture, everywhere-everyday forms of media that wallpaper our lives. Where a safe space can’t even be found in our own house if we choose, like the rest of the population, to relax in front of the TV or open some…

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