cassandra clare

My Dream Book Panel!

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Recently, I was inspired by the lovely people at Eventbrite who asked me who I would want to see at my dream book convention? Dedicated readers will know I’m a huge fan of YALC and I spend way too much time dreaming about attending BEA or YALLWEST over in the U S of A, so it got me thinking… who would I *really* want to see? And what would I want them to discuss?

(And also, why haven’t I purchased my ticket to YALC yet?!)

First up…

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I’d like to see a panel on world building with authors who really know their stuff when it comes to creating weird and wonderful fantasy worlds. This panel would be all about writing fantasy, world-building and lots of tips for the audience on how each author works. We’d need only the best for this one so I’d pick:

  • V E Schwab, author of the Darker Shades of Magic trilogy
  • Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer
  • George R R Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire series

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I’ve been reading some super huge books recently, and so I’d like a panel with authors of some huge books to discuss writing fantasy, writing a huge quantity and how they have built their worlds. This panel would focus on authors who publish big books at a superhuman speed and so would feature:

  • Sarah J Maas, author of the ACOTAR and Throne of Glass series
  • Cassandra Clare, author of the Shadowhunters’ many series
  • Brandon Sanderson, author of the Mistborn trilogy, among many others

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You can’t have a hyped book convention without some elusive authors with an exclusive talk. This panel would focus on the price and pressure of fame after a super hyped book, and their decision to stay in/out of the limelight. This would be the panel everyone would be clamoring to go to and would feature:

  • Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series
  • Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games
  • J K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series

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So many fantasies focus on royalty, and I think a panel focusing on the challenges and fun of writing about princesses, princes, kings and queens would be an interesting addition. I’d go for an range of authors, including:

  • Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries
  • Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles
  • Renee Ahdieh, author of the Wrath and the Dawn duology

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Now, I don’t think a book convention would be nearly as good without bookish friends and a heap of the amazing UKYA authors which have always made YALC such a special time. These authors I would probably listen to talk about Quorn cocktail sausages, but I’m sure they could come up with a few interesting themes between them!

  • Katherine Webber, author of Wing Jones
  • Non Pratt, author of Truth or Dare
  • Sara Barnard, author of A Quiet Kind of Thunder
  • Catherine Doyle, author of the Mafiosa trilogy
  • Holly Smale, author of the Geek Girl series
  • Lisa Williamson, author of All About Mia
  • Alice Oseman, author of Radio Silence
  • Sarah Crossan, author of One
  • Holly Bourne, author of the Spinster trilogy
  • and so so many more amazing authors!

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I’d love to see panels on topics such as diversity, mental health, feminism, disability, politics in YA, dystopias, LGBTQ, and so many more – I think sometimes the topic of the panel is what makes it so interesting rather than necessarily the speakers.

Check out Eventbrite’s conference page if you’re interested in hosting and organizing your own events!

So there are a few of my dream book panels! Who would you want to see? What would they talk about? Would you like to see some of my panels? Comment below, tweet me at @annalisebooks or create your own post – I’d love to know!

annalsie

 

I want ALL of the boxsets!

My TBR list is genuinely a bit scary – it towers over my bed and I can’t decide which book to read next because they all look so great. And yet I want more – despite the fact I have not yet been offered a job for after I leave uni in TWO WEEKS AAHHHHHHHH and I currently own a complete total of ZERO bookshelves.

It’s all going to be fine. Except I might buy more books. Fine, I AM going to buy more books.

Leigh Bardugo!

These JUST got announced, and I haven’t read any of them, but I know I should. I’ve heard so many amazing recommendations for these books, and the covers are so pretty. The question is whether I should wait for the boxed set…

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The *New* Cassandra Clare covers

I own (and read) all of Cassandra Clare’s novels, but I have about half of them on kindle, some in the original UK editions (with the scary faces – google if you don’t know what I mean!), and they’re a variety of sizes. I love these new covers and NEED them on my bookshelf (especially the new TID covers which I couldn’t find a pic of). I’m also considering getting the mangas of The Infernal Devices to read along with.

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Puffin In Bloom

These covers, AM I RIGHT? I saw these on HailsLovesNYC’s YouTube channel (I’ve been loving her videos lately), and oh my god, I’m in love. They’re so beaut.

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Jane Austen!

I really love these Penguin classic hardbacks, and I should probably read more classics. I haven’t read any Jane Austen, despite owning a huge hefty copy of all of her books in one book, which is completely impossible to read (very small print, very big book problems). I think this set would make me look very sophisticated and make me actually read some of her work (previous attempts seem to have failed).

That’s it from me on BOXSETS I am dying to buy, there are plenty more BOOKS I want to buy, but my hand hurts as I have been writing my thesis (a very painful procedure, let me tell you!)

Love and kisses,

Annalise xxx

Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters Super Fan Event!

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Today, Saturday 16 April, I boarded a very early morning train to London, traversed the Tube that was pretty much shut so had to go the long way round, and ended up in Leicester Square for a Super Fan Event. I wasn’t sure quite where the Leicester Square Theatre was, so I followed a trail of girls in all-black leather jackets and found it easily enough (the invite said Shadowhunter wear appreciated).

When I got there (around 45 minutes early) there was already a bit of a queue, yet the live feed had already been running for 30 mins. As the queue got longer and longer (and it was VERY long), Maximum Pop! Books filmed us, which was a little awkward. Everyone in the queue was Shadowhunter-ed up – so my leather boots, jacket and little lace dress combo fit right in! (The other jacket that seemed to be popular is the khaki parker!)

Before 11am, we were let in to the Leicester Square Theatre and those of us who had purchased the book received a copy (with the blue pages!). This event had designated seating but (and I think this is my fault), I’d booked a seat right at the back, thinking that it would be the front! Despite this, I had a really good view and didn’t struggle to hear anything. I was also sat to a girl who had come on her own, so we got to chat about the books and not just sit there on our phones!

After a brief wait, Anna James came on stage to read some ‘thank you’s and to confirm the plan of the event. Then she introduced Cassandra to the stage for a Q&A session and the crowd went a bit wild. The Q&A was interesting but touching on spoiler-y. There was an expectation that the crowd would have already read the book, when many fans buy the book at the event and don’t read it beforehand. I think it’s difficult to have a Q&A that doesn’t have a spoiler element, but talking about the book at a book launch is risky – and I, as well as many other fans, don’t like being spoiled when we’re there to appreciate the books.

Halfway through the Q&A, Special Guest Dominic Sherwood (Jace in the Shadowhunters TV Series) came on stage to join – I think he may have meant to be a secret guest but advertising gave him equal billing with Cassandra. Together, they made a good team and there was definitely interest in both the book and the TV show. I have also luckily finished the TV series and there weren’t many spoilers for the next season – but there will be more of Clace (Clary & Jace), Malec (Magnus and Alec) and the Seelie Queen will make an appearance – so the second season should be loosely based on City of Ashes. Dom also doesn’t try to read ahead – even though he really wants to.

The Q&A was about 35-45 minutes long, and questions weren’t opened out to the floor, which was a little surprising although understandable at an event in a theatre – at the last Cassie event two years ago for City of Heavenly Fire, there was a Q&A session but it was difficult to get to those in the middle rows. After the Q&A, Cassie signed copies of Lady Midnight, which took a long time as I was sat at the back. During the signing, make-up artists came round drawing runes and doing glittery lips and eyes (although I didn’t want either!).

At the signing, I spoke to Cassie quickly and had my picture taken with Dom!

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Leaving the venue, goody-bags were handed out to everyone (regardless of which ticket they’d purchased) – the bag says ‘Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters on it, and contained a Lady Midnight poster and postcard, and a Hashtag Reads bookmark and badge.

Overall, a fun day although a tiny bit disappointing. I can’t wait to start reading Lady Midnight, though!

Annalise x

The Changing Covers of… The Mortal Instruments Series

Welcome to the first in (hopefully) a series that I’m doing mostly for personal interest… ‘The Changing Covers of…’ will look at how different countries have envisioned the same book (and how that actually changes over time).

On the topic of covers, some covers suck. Other covers are brilliant, but then the publisher decides to go in a different direction. I have way too many series where the series starts with one cover, but ends with something completely different. Luckily in YA, we have some honest-to-goodness GORGEOUS covers, and I think TMI is no exception. Let’s get started!

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City of Bones, Early UK edition

This is actually the copy of City of Bones which I own, as I was an early adopter of the series and I live in the UK. The City of Ashes cover is similar (albeit red) and the City of Glass cover of this set was revealed… but the copy I received was of the original US editions (they decided to go in a different direction of what was then the last book!). I think this cover makes the series seem darker than it actually is, and although I picked up this copy due to rave reviews, I’m not sure this cover really reflects the fun of the first book.

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Mortal Instruments series, First US editions

These were the original covers for the US (and later the UK) – I love the covers for the last three books (with their bold use of colour) and I also love the cityscapes. These will always be the original covers to me.

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US edition, Redesign

Photo Credit: bibliomantics.com

I LOVE THESE COVERS. I think only after all the books were released into the wild, beautiful covers like this could come into existence. The spine art is amazing, and they go so well together as a set, with each book featuring one of the main characters. It’s becoming more and more difficult to resist buying a set of these.

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Photo Credit: mybooksareme.weebly.com

UK Redesign

I’m not such a huge fan of these covers – whereas the images are intricate and the colours bright, these books look a little boring to me (in comparison to the action-packed US covers). Not for me, unfortunately.

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Photo Credit: amyriadofbooks.blogspot.com

Germany

I like these, but they seem too fantastical middle grade for this series. I like the colours and the cityscapes, but not sure what if they set the right expectations for the books.

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Photo Credit: gbshortcake.com

Movie Edition

This cover came out when the Mortal Instruments movie was released – and I think overall it’s actually pretty good. It’s dark and mysterious, and I still prefer the US editions, but it’s not the worst cover I’ve seen (and I think it would work well even if it wasn’t a movie poster).

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Photo Credit: Shadowhunters.com

TV Show Edition

Not the edition I’d buy if I had the choice, but definitely a way of getting fans of the TV show into the book series!

Which are your favourite covers? Are there any here that you’d like to see featured? Tweet me at @annalisbooks or comment below!

Annalise x

 

Shadowhunters Episode 2 Review

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In true Netflix fashion, the UK got the latest episode of Shadowhunters the day after the US, and in true me fashion, I watched it this evening (whilst cooking dinner).

The episode picks up where the premiere left off, and then introduces us to the Institute (which is very high-tech) and Hodge Starkweather (who is much younger than I imagined him).  The episode revolves around finding the Mortal Cup, and reclaiming Clary’s lost memories seems like the obvious thing to do, with Alec, Isabelle, Simon and Jace along for the ride. Cue lots of sexual tension (Sizzy, anyone?), joking about Simon’s inevitable death by runes, and Alec being as uptight as ever.

I think I missed this part, but essentially the Mortal Cup is the most powerful object in the Shadowhunter universe, which can be used to create more Shadowhunters, and Jocelyn (Clary’s mother) probably has it, hence why Clary is trying to get her memories back.

Luke’s storyline this week involved beating people up, and turning into something. More on that in later episodes, I’m guessing.

Dot (Lady Dorothea from the film) is on the hunt for Magnus, but gets jumped by the Circle and tortured for information by Valentine, but she can’t undo the magic on Jocelyn (who is still comatose) as she wasn’t the Warlock who performed the spell.

Clary, having a vision of Dot’s attack as it goes down, becomes more frantic about getting her memories back and so Jace suggests the Silent Brothers. Cue creepy underground lair, a ‘Soul Sword’ and Clary remembering that her dad is in fact… Valentine.

As Clary leaves the Silent Brothers and heads back to the others, Simon gets kidnapped by a group of vampires, holding him ransom for the Mortal Cup. Oh boy…

Thoughts

  • Clary REALLY rocks leather. Potential cosplay?
  • Clary is a bit stupid.
  • Isabelle’s lipstick is a gorgeous colour.
  • Hodge is younger than I expected.
  • The Institute is much busier than expected.
  • There’s a lot more technology in the TV series than the books, and the lack of tech was charming in the book (and set the mood).
  • I got a little confused over who everyone was.
  • Sizzy was introduced fast.
  • Where are all the parents?!

An interesting episode developmentally, but one which I did get a little confused during (probably because I was cooking dinner). I’ll tune in next week 🙂

What did you think of this episode? Comment below or tweet me at @AnnaliseBooks 🙂

Annalise x

 

 

Shadowhunters: Episode 1 – the Mortal Cup

Shadowhunters, the TV adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s best-selling Mortal Instruments series, premiered today on Netflix outside of the US.

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Synopsis

Shadowhunters begins with Clary Fray, a red-haired 18-year-old who has just been accepted onto a programme at the Brooklyn School of Art. It’s also her birthday. Her mother, Jocelyn, and her mother’s boyfriend, Luke, discuss whether to tell Clary that she is a shadowhunter, a race who protect the human world from the demon world. Before Jocelyn has the chance to tell Clary the truth, Clary flounces out the door to a gig with her best friend, Simon, and Jocelyn resigns to let Clary have one more day without knowing the truth.

After the gig, Clary and Simon hang out outside the club, Pandemonium. Suddenly, a boy bumps into Clary, who Simon can’t see. Clary follows him into the club, where she witnesses him, and his two companions, murder several people with glowing blades.

Heading home in a cab, and leaving Simon at the club, two Circle agents follow behind, leading them to the home of Jocelyn Fray. Realising what has happened, Jocelyn has her friend Dot open a portal, and Clary is transported to the police station. Jocelyn stays behind to fight off the agents, but succumbs and drinks a potion that knocks her out cold. Dot is thrown out of a window, landing, apparently dead on the ground outside.

Clary overhears Luke at the police station, stating that Jocelyn and Clary mean nothing to him. Distraught, Clary returns to her apartment, finding it trashed and her mother gone. She finds Dot, alive, asking questions about the mortal cup. When Clary claims she knows nothing, Dot gets angry, and her face bursts open, revealing that she is in fact, a demon. Backed into a corner, Clary is saved when the boy from the club stabs the creature, but Clary has been bitten by the demon, and the venom causes her to pass out.

Clary wakes up to find Isabelle, the girl from the club, sat at the end of the bed. She introduces Clary to Alec and Jace (the boy who saved her), and Alec is seen to be jealous of the attention and interest Jace is giving to Clary. Simon calls Clary, tracking her down to an abandoned church. Wearing Isabelle’s leather clothes, Clary rushes down to meet Simon, not realising a Circle agent lurks outside the church. Jace kills the agent, to Clary’s horror and Simon’s confusion (as he does not have ‘The Sight’).

In Chernobyl, a man is now in possession of the body of Jocelyn Fray. He learns from his agents that Jocelyn has a daughter, and demands that she be brought to him.

Thoughts

  • Simon is pretty hot. Should he be? I don’t know.
  • Isabelle dresses like a baby prostitute. And talks like one. And dances like one. Huh.
  • Jace is cocky, which I like, for some reason.
  • I’m enjoying the amount of Magnus Bane, who has been introduced earlier in the TV series than in the books.
  • Some of the acting is really really awkward.
  • Why is part of this set in Chernobyl?!
  • Clary is a little too ditzy to be truly likeable, but hopefully this is a chance for some great character development.
  • This show has a lot of PoCs, which is good. The casting is good.
  • Dorothea from the movie has become the young, hip ‘Dot’.
  • It’s a little cheesy at times.

All in all, an alright, if a little cringey start to the show. I’m actually looking forward to the next episode and seeing where the show goes and how that relates to both the books and the movie.

Have you seen Shadowhunters? What did you think?

Comment below or tweet me at @AnnaliseBooks 🙂

Annalise x