And I kicked of the challenge by reading five - yes, FIVE - books in January. Not everything was a winner; it turns out that some books that you would've loved in middle school should stay in middle school. I'd get into it, but this is about the best of January, not the most heckled.
My choice for best?
Blurb from Goodreads:
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
I loved this book and stayed up way too late devouring it. The Shadowhunter world that Clare creates between this and The Mortal Instruments series is vivid, not like Harry Potter vivid, but pretty damn close.
Her characters were well drawn and felt 100%, something I haven't experienced from reading in a while. Since this is a prequel, we're revisiting certain characters or their ancestors, which gives her a chance to build in particular traits*. How cool is that?
There were a few places where my brain skimmed over, but it wasn't due to lack of interest or purply prose. In fact, there wasn't a lot of extraneous crap. The action scenes were tightly wound and kept me up well past my bedtime yelling - yes, YELLING - at the book.
As I said in an email the other day, "I want to live in her head."
If you haven't read this, but read The Mortal Instruments, go pick up Clockwork Angel. And if you haven't read any of them yet, go read The Mortal Instruments then Clockwork Angel. It's worth it.
* I'm not going to get into it here, because I know some people are reading this right now. If you want to discuss, email me.
Last.fm hit of the day: Eggshell (Pressure Mix) by Die Krupps