Thursday, 4 February 2016

Short Story Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-10 by Various Authors

This review contains spoilers about the events AFTER City of Heavenly Fire. If have not yet read the last book in the Mortal Instruments series then do not read any further.

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Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen JohnsonRobin Wasserman
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Purchased by myself
Publisher: Walker Books
Overall Rating: 4 stars

Tell Me About It
The series follows the adventures of Simon Lewis, one of the stars of Cassandra Clare’s internationally bestselling series The Mortal Instruments , as he trains to become a Shadowhunter. Throughout the course of Simon’s education, characters from the Mortal Instruments and the The Infernal Devices will make appearances, as will characters from the upcoming The Dark Artifices series and Last Hours series. Once a mundane, then a vampire, Simon prepares to enter the next phase of his life: Shadowhunter.
My Thoughts
I've had these books sitting on my iPad waiting to be read for a while, so a break from work over Christmas meant I was able to tackle a few books off my TBR pile, and these were some I managed to finish.
I will only be doing brief reviews for each book, just quick mentions of what I thought about it. The main reason it wont be like my usual reviews is that there are ten books to review. I also read these going to bed and some nights ended up reading till 3am in the morning, so you can imagine that I was barely functioning enough to write down proper review notes.

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy
This is the first book in this collection, and we see Simon getting ready to leave, knowing that once he leaves school, he will never see his family again. I liked the excuse he gave for leaving, but I did also feel sad for him. Simon remembers things that happened to him with his family, yet his family do not, and not only is it hard for Simon to not slip up, he also hold some resentment towards his Mum for her reactions the first time around.
At the academy things don't got well, not only does everyone expect him to be something he isn't, he also finds its harder than he thought it would be. I do have a lot of respect for him when he stood up for Downworlders  and Mundanes.

The Lost Herondale
This is a story within a story, not only do we see Simon on his first 'mission' with his school friends, we are also told a sorry about a Herondale that lives somewhere in the world. The story about this lost Herondale was interesting and it wasn't really what I expected. The circumstances surrounding the story were sad, but it also has a possible happy ending in the future.

The Whitechapel Fiend
We get a fleeting visit from Jace who is there to teach the students about falling, and how to do it correctly. He is also using Simon's amnesia to his benefit, telling Simon things that they used to do together, and it did make me laugh several times.

We also get taken back back to Tessa and Will when they are older and have their own children, to hear a story about them and the Whitechapel Fiend, which the Mundanes called Jack the Ripper. I forgot how much I loved Will's sense of humour, and the dynamic relationship he has with Tessa.
Where did he find the dagger? Tessa asked.
It’s possible I took him to the weapons room, Will said.
Is it?
It is, yes. It’s possible.
And it’s possible he somehow got a dagger from where it is secured on the wall, out of his reach,” Tessa said.
We live in a world of possibilities, Will said.
Nothing but Shadows
This story takes us back to the Herondales, as Catarina tells Simon a story about James Herondale. We hear about James's experience at the academy, and why he got expelled.
We also get to see more about what happens in the academy between the students, the prejudice against Mundanes and Downworlders. Simon stands up for them all, knowing what it feels like to be a Mundane, a Downworlder, and a Hero. He also gets to see what friendship really is for him, who his friends are, and what he wants from his future.

The Evil We Love
This is the beginning of the circle, how it was started and what they did. We get a glimpse into life before it all hit the fan and before we really saw what evil really was.

Pale Kings and Princes
Simon is back in the academy after a break over the summer. We get to see a familiar face with Helen, who comes back to teach the students about Fae and who she is. After the lesson we find out why she puts herself through this, being degraded by students and staff.

Bitter of Tongue
This story takes Simon on an unwanted adventure, when he finds himself captured by the fae and imprisoned. We also get to see Mark, and I liked how he hasn't changed much and is just as much a Shadowhunter now as he was then.

The Fiery Trial
This story also takes us to see the familiar faces of Emma and Julian. I was a bit worried for Simon and Clary before this event, especially as I was just as unaware as they were, but getting to see the parabati ceremony happen was a great experience.

Born to Endless Night
This has to be my favourite story out of them all. I loved getting to see Magnus and Alec with the baby and how they react to it. They are just so cute together and I love how they try to make things non magical for him.
I liked how this also brought the family together, and all of thier friends, which meant we got to see them all together for a while doting over this new addition to the family.

Angels Twice Descending
This is the final book in this series, and is one that had me crying and smiling. I never expected this event to happen, and I was left speechless over it. I did like how Simon reacted to his own event, and this is the one that had me smiling. The last few pages were bittersweet for several reasons.

Final Verdict
I really enjoyed getting to join Simon at the academy, and after finishing the books it just makes me want to read the entire series again, but also leaves me wanting the next book in my hands right now.

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