London Day 3 – Sunday, August 17, 2014

Itinerary: East London – St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, Blackfriars Bridge, Millennium Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe, London Bridge, Tower of London, Jack the Ripper tour.

This was such a long, long, long day that I am going to do my best to summarize it as much as possible and just going into the highlights. I planned the day to start at St.Paul’s and by the evening end up at Tower Hill tube for the Jack the Ripper tour.

First there was weekend construction in the Underground and we had to figure out a new route to St.Paul’s Tube station. I really love the huge advertisements they have in the subways. I already saw The Rover and What If in NYC, but if we had more time I would have liked to see what the cinema experience is like in London. I am surprised Daniel’s movie was not titled The F word. I thought it was changed to What If only for the US market?

It’s Harry and Cedric across the hall from each other!

IMG_3242 IMG_3243

 

Continue reading

Book Reviews: The Infernal Devices, by Cassandra Clare

The Infernal Devices trilogy is a prequel story to The Mortal Instruments. Even though it is a prequel it should definitely be read after The Mortal Instruments‘ first three books because they are not as bogged down with the set up of the mythology. It gets right to the story, so by the time the reader gets to this book they should know about this supernatural world.

 

tumblr_m70ogsGRUc1r8u7x7o1_500

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.

(Note: I originally wrote this review January 25, 2014. )

Not going to lie, I totally judged this book by the cover. I bought it years ago because I love the artwork. I knew I would not read The Mortal Instruments right away. I had no idea if I would even like that series or it’s prequel story, but I just bought it for the cover alone.

I really like the descriptions of Victorian London. The story was fun and well paced, even if it was a bit predictable. I knew early on not to trust Axel Mortmain and predicted the distractions. Still, I enjoyed the way it unfolded.

I also liked most of the characters. I feel Tessa is more mature and less whiny than Clary. I like her. I love Jem. In fact, it would not be a YA novel without a love triangle and I prefer Tessa with Jem over Will. I know it is futile since I read on Shadowhunter wiki page that Jace is a direct decedent of Will and Tessa. I don’t care. Jem is friendly, kind and open. (I love this quote from Jem to Tessa on page 472: “I know you feel inhuman, and is if you are set apart, away from life and love, but I promise you, the right man won’t care.” He said this after Will rejected her because she might be a warlock and it is forbidden for Shadowhunters to get romantically involved with them.) Will can be a jerk. I don’t dislike Will, he just needs a good kick in the behind and to stop putting up walls.
I am unsure about Jessamine. Her brattiness can get old fast.

The creepy Clockwork automations are interesting. It’s a new sci-fi addition in a mainly fantasy series, This is more of a sci-fi and fantasy mix.

I loved this quote from Tessa on page 87: “One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have power to change us.”

4 out of 5 automations

I was advised to read these in publication order, which means I should read The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels next. However, I never bought that book and it’s not availble to read at the library yet. So, since I own it already I am going forth with The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Prince.

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.

(Note: I originally wrote this review January 28, 2014. )

I really enjoyed this story. It was a mystery, crime solving adventure and a page turner. Over the weekend I read 365 pages. Saturday morning I was on page 137 and by Sunday night I was finished.

This whole world totally reads like fan fiction. Not that that is a bad thing. I just mean that I really like the relationships between these prequel characters and the world they live in, even though it does not reflect actual historical Victorian England. The characters feel too modern in a period setting. Still, the banter between the teenage characters is amusing. I especially like the brotherly bond between Will and Jem, as well as the friendship between Tessa and Sophie.

It is interesting reading about the ancestors of the families from TMI, and their feuds. 

I warmed up to Will and had a bit more sympathy for him. However, he’s so silly to believe that demon curse. I knew that demon was bluffing all along. That was so predictable. I mean, I guess because Will was young and clueless about the Shadowhunter world that made him too naive to realize the curse was bogus. It’s just so silly. And why didn’t Magnus mention the demon’s flaw in the first place? Would Will not have believed him?

I love Magnus more and more with each book. His humor and personality amuse me.

While I prefer Jem as a love interest (his make-out scene was Tessa was pretty hot), Will’s confession scene to Tessa was so sad. And while she cares for Jem, her heart is with Will. Poor Jem. I am a bit spoiled about what happens. I know Tessa gets to have them both. Talk about having her cake and eating it too.

5 out 5 swords

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

(Note: I originally wrote this review February 9, 2014. )

This was a great conclusion to The Infernal Devices trilogy. There was action, drama, humor, political vindictiveness, bitter-sweet good-byes, answers to questions, and possibilities. 
First off the Herondale birthmark. I was glad to see its origin, but Will never brings it up. I know he has too many scars to count, but I thought at least this mark would not have escaped his notice considering it has significance in the previous (yet future events) Mortal Instruments books. Besides being “touched by an Angel,” what does it mean? Does it mean Ithuriel protects him and his bloodline too? That would bring more meaning and protection for Jace who has the mark and was given Ithuriel’s blood before he was born. I just would have liked a follow up to its meaning, besides it being a marker for the Herondale bloodline.

I’ve come to love Will as much as I love Jem. He’s funny, and I did like his silly, cheesy songs and poems. I absolutely love Will and Jem’s friendship. My heart broke first when they had to say goodbye, and then when Will died. I cried during the Epilogue. Not only for Will and Jem, but for Tessa, who leaves her children and grandchildren because she cannot bear to outlive them too.

I really like Woolsey’s line to Tessa, “Most people are lucky to have one great love in their life. You have found two.” I have read that Tessa and Jem make an appearance in the next TMI books and I am so looking forward to it.
And even though I ship Tessa/Jem, I was totally cheering them on when Tessa and Will consummated. That scene was very sexy. I ship them both. I am glad Tessa and Will got to have a full life together and have children, and I am glad Jem found a cure, left the Silent Brothers and can finally be with Tessa. I hope they have children too in the next series to come.

Consul Wayland is a backstabbing piece of shit. So glad he got what he deserved in the end. His letters to Charlotte, or to anyone, would piss me off. On the other hand, the Lightwoods’ letters to him were amusing and made me chuckle.
So glad those Lightwood boys were good guys. Gideon’s proposal to Sophie reminded me of Pride and Prejudice. Everyone had to leave the room, Cecily and Gabriel were listening at the door. lol

It was really cool to see Henry’s invention of the Portal work. I liked that he worked with Magnus.

The climax when Tessa turns into Ithuriel was very cool. Having Mortmain’s clockwork device and Tessa be his destruction was a good backfire. Not to mention it is Tessa who saves them all with her power. She’s not as well trained, and an outcast in the Shadowhunter world, but she stands up for herself and doesn’t sit on the sidelines.

Another plus is that the end was not rushed and summarized after the battle was won. There was a good 100 pages after the battle to wrap it up making the last book well paced throughout.


5 out 5 Angels