Monday, 21 November 2016

REVIEW: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Pages: 653
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories
Release Date: November 15th 2016
Buy The Book: Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts:
It's no secret that I completely ADORE anything to do with the Shadowhunter world created by Cassandra Clare, so needless to say I was very excited to find out there would be a series of short stories about Simon Lewis from The Mortal Instruments! Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy follows Simon's next two years after the events at the end of City of Heavenly Fire. He's at the newly reopened academy, training to become a Shadowhunter. Whilst there he meets his room-mate George Lovelace, and the two of them quickly become friends.

The book consists of ten short stories written by Cassie herself and her fellow writers Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman. Whilst following Simon's journey, we also get plenty of updates on the other main characters from TMI, along with a few stories set back in time with the characters from The Infernal Devices. This variety in the stories kept me gripped. One of my personal favourites was Nothing But Shadows, that gave us a chance to get to know the characters in Cassie's future series The Last Hours. I'll admit that I wasn't overly interested about this series for a while, mostly because there are a lot of Shadowhunter stories (A LOT) and I didn't want to get invested in one series whilst currently reading another (TDA. Like I said, A LOT TO KEEP UP WITH). But this story completely pulled me in. I fell in love with the characters and now I REALLY WANT TO READ THE LAST HOURS AND GOD ONLY KNOWS WHEN IT'LL BE RELEASED. I loved being able to jump from Simon and his friends in the modern day academy, back to the academy in 1899 where we meet James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild.

Whilst the book goes off on tangents to tell us a collection of short stories, the journey of Simon and his friends is constant throughout. With The Bane Chronicles (Cassie's previous collection of short stories) it was possible to jump in and out of the book at any story, but with this one it's better to read all of the stories in order. It also gives a better insight into some of the characters and situations we read about in the main Shadowhunter books. For example, there is a story called Bitter of Tongue that focuses on Mark Blackthorn from The Dark Artifices. My absolute favourite story had to be Born To Endless Night, which focused a little more on all of the TMI characters, specifically Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. It had me laughing one minute and then an emotional mess the other.

So the final story in this book COMPLETELY TORE MY HEART OUT AND I'M NOT OKAY. I will mention that I did already know the Major Event at the end. These stories were released originally as eBooks on a monthly basis, but I knew they'd be released in physical copy at a later date, so I decided to wait until then to read them. Mostly because I like having physical copies and also I was way too broke to buy one every month. I had no idea that the short story at the end of Lady Midnight would contain a spoiler for this book, but...it did. A very huge spoiler. So that unfortunately meant I went through this whole book knowing the fate of a main character, and whilst I wish I hadn't known it beforehand because it would have packed more of an emotional punch, I still found the ending powerful.

All of the stories within this book were great to read and I enjoyed not only catching up with some old favourite characters, but also meeting some amazing new ones. I loved getting the chance to jump back into the Shadowhunter world again!

Royal Rating:


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