magic

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

 

 

 

Review: Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, following the adventures of the assassin Celaena Sardothien and her friends, the prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and Princess of the Ellywe Nehemia.

Whereas I did enjoy the first book, Throne of Glass (review here), I found it difficult to read (I read it whilst travelling), and I found the plot and characters a little clichéd. This book, however, was a breeze to read. I love Maas’ prose, and her use of foreshadowing is divine. There’s more action, more romance, more assassin…ations? More everything… and it works really, really, well.

What I particularly enjoyed is the fact that these characters really develop during the novel, becoming multi-dimensional and interesting. They make mistakes, they say the wrong thing… and it makes the whole book so much more enjoyable. There’s twists and turns, unexpected surprises, right up till the last page.

Chaol, for me, became much more fleshed out in this book, and became a character in his own right. Dorian got his own scenes and secrets and, as a consequence, became a character rather than a plot device. Celaena turned darker, and actually killed some people, for once. Novel, for an assassin. Are these characters clichéd any longer? Not at all. They’re interesting, fleshed-out and explosive when put together.

Is the plot clichĂ©d? No. It’s dramatic, full of cliffhangers and mystery and ultimately satisfying – sub-plots are set up and explored, and I feel that the focus isn’t exclusively on Celaena – we spend time focusing on Chaol, Dorian and Nehemia, both separately and when they interact. Theres a really nice balance between the character’s perspectives.

The world-building here is also great, delving further into the history of the world and setting up an intricate world and conflict that will (presumably) play out in later books.

If you were on the fence after Throne of Glass, this book is really, genuinely, worth the read. It’s good. Like five stars good. Reading it, I kept on comparing it to the Harry Potter books. Yeah, THAT GOOD.

So, I have a problem. How are any other books of 2016 going to compare to this first read? And how am I gonna cope until I can get my hands on Heir of Fire?!

Annalise x

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