Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy pt. 2

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman
collection of Shadowhunter stories!

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.


Helen Blackthorn comes to SA and tells her story - as she knows it. We later are treated to the real version courtesy of Lady Narissa's POV. Gives you a lot of perspective on TDA, not overly emotional or anything to me. More interesting is the Sizzy going on- failed dates and Simon stupidity, but a really good conversation about the Cold Peace. I found that the Shadowhunter situation with the faeries has a lot of parallels in real-life politics, and both Simon and Izzy made good, thought-provoking points. Feelings of frustration about it that I was really able to relate to. I even wondered if Cassandra Clare was maybe alluding to my country. 

Also, Sizzy finally becomes a thing again. YESSSS


While this was a good story, it also made like no sense. George leads a mission of SA students to do... what? It was never clear. When they get there... what happens? Also didn't understand. All I know is that Simon gets imprisoned by himself by a faerie and has a lot of funny "WHY is it always ME" memories. And then Mark Blackthorn shows up and gives me all the feels. I admire that character so much. Also, Simon has nice, simple line. 

There's more to both sides than the worst. 
The conversation between the two was a good and important one, if a little all over the place when it comes to topics- something I find is regular occurrence in Cassandra Clare writing. 

This whole story and the mission failure is a HUGE foreshadow to the end of the book. DID ANYONE ELSE MISS THIS COMPLETELY? If you stop between story to story and contemplate, you probably won't though. 

And then- the wedding. Simon becomes very perceptive for purposes of us getting a glimpse of the Blackthorn children and their dynamics. He also continues the process started in the previous story of beginning to fit in with himself and his friends, which is nice to watch and also kind of a learning thing for all of us trying to find ourselves. 


Talk of Parabatai. Funnily enough, only in this story did I realize how unrealistic the whole thing is. It is LITERALLY like finding someone to IRREVERSIBLY MARRY BEFORE THE AGE OF 18. I'm not a commitment-phobe, but that seems like too much for kids. Yeah yeah, I know they live short lives, but still. 

Also, cameos. 



Magnus Bane is the other thing besides 19th century London that I read Shadowhunter books for. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS STORY WAS SO GOOD. Everything. Alec's confidence, Magnus's sexiness, everyone's reactions to Magnus's sexiness, BOTH MAGNUS AND ALEC TOTALLY GETTING WHAT HAD BEEN COMING TO THEM FOR YEARS NOW IN TERMS OF WALKING IN ON PEOPLE, A BABY, everyone's reactions to the baby, everyone getting all baby-lovesick. The feels. Magnus and his history. Millions of baby jokes. FAMILY BUILDING. LOVE AND HAPPINESS AND EVERYONE'S RIDICULOUS PERSONALITIES ON DISPLAY. Tears and laughs. By far my favorite story. 

And then, even more miraculously, it gets better. We find out about all the work Alec, Lily Chen,  Maia and Magnus have been doing for all the Downworlders (and Shadowhunters) of New York, a little, properly-balanced Council they have going on. Unofficial Accords based on mutual understanding and a will to help each other. All the hope. 

Oh, and Simon and Alec reconciliation. Jace and Clary future baby talk. Sizzy. Robert Lightwood displays massive change and process. Magnus begins to forgive the former Circle members, and bonds with his parents-in-law. Name significance. And other things I can't spoil for you. 


George's wistfulness reminds me of myself when graduation from boarding school. And Cassandra Clare. Once again. breaks your heart. just. because she can. 

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