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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Book Review: Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare


Synopsis (From GoodReads):
Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.

When I read the first Shadowhunter book, City Of Bones, several years ago, I was not overly impressed.  I thought the writing was terrible!  My favorite worst line from that book was: 
"The Weapons room looked exactly like a weapons room should look like". 
 Huh?  But I loved the characters, particularly Simon and his friendship with the main character, Clary.  And the writing improved, vastly, over the course of the series.  I grew to love everything about these books but wished there was more about Simon in them.

This is a book centered around Simon, and I couldn't be happier!


What I Liked:
Obviously, I adore Simon.  But he really got a chance to show even more of his ironic sense of humor, and his deep love of coffee!  Also, the book really showed that he was someone worthy of being a Shadowhunter.  He was always concerned for others, and made sure to stand up to those who treated the mundane students as inferior.

He also had to start over again with Isabelle.  At the end of the regular series, Simon loses him memories, in exchange for the lives of his friends.  He got some of them back from Magnus, but he really doesn't remember being friends with Clary, Jace,  and Alec.  And he has no memory of being Isabelle's boyfriend! He is filled with self-doubt over why Isabelle would have wanted to be with him?  Finding his value, Simon must trust that he is deserving of her love.

The School:
I liked that this Shadowhunter school was not a bit like Hogwarts.  The rooms are infested with critters, the plumbing is bad, and the food is gross.  This makes for lots of humorous moments as Simon and his fellow students must find ways to adapt to this school.  

I also liked the tension between the students who were born into Shadowhunter families, and those who were not.  This is kind of like Harry Potter, as the mundanes are treated as second-class citizens (much like the muggle-born wizards and witches in HP).  What I liked about this was that this changed by the end of the book.  

Also, in order to become a full Shadowhunter, students had to drink from the Mortal Cup.  This was dangerous, as sometimes the cup rejected the drinker and killed them!  So this created a lot of tension in the story as the time for the students (Simon included) to drink from the cup drew near. 

Isabelle is depicted throughout the books as almost a warrior goddess, and one might wonder why she is with Simon.  As they try to find their way back to each other, we can see why she loves Simon, and what Isabelle gets out of the relationship.  I loved that Cassandra Clare delved into this.  It was wonderful to see how much Isabelle cared for Simon.  And what she does to get his attention is fun to read.  I laughed out loud several times due to the situations Isabelle and Simon get in as they try to date like a regular couple. 

What I Didn't Like:
Although I loved this book, I think many people who are only casual fans will miss all the little references that make this such a special book for Shadowhunter fanatics, such as myself.   

If you want to go to this academy, you'll need to do your homework!  

Here is your reading list:

The Mortal Instruments:
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
Book 5
Book 6


 The Infernal Devices:
Book 1
Book 3
Book 2

 And don't forget...

The Dark Artifices: 
Book 1
So if you want to get the full enjoyment out of Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy, I suggest you hit the books.  This book is a sweet treat at the end of a very satisfying feast.


Release Date:  November 15th, 2016

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Source:  Bought by me

Format:  E-Book

Recommendation:  Read this if you are a super fan of the Shadowhunter series.  Otherwise, you might need crib notes.


Overall, this book 

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2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


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