Book Series I Fell Out of Love with Over Time

orangutan list

Hello all! I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about falling out of love with series. I guess part of this comes from realising certain books simply don’t interest me like they used to- which is a pity- but is all part of growing up I suppose 😉 We have our childhood sweethearts and then drift apart… However that’s not exactly what I’m talking about here. What I want to talk about today is the books that leave a sour taste in my mouth, the ones which feel increasingly tainted and the series that really broke my heart. Let’s get to it, before I chicken out…

mortal instruments

Anything in the Shadowhunter-Verse– this is the most obvious to me right now and the inspiration behind making this list. Sorry to the people that are still diehard fans, but the more I think about it, the more I’m bothered by the direction the series took (or in some ways, the lack of direction). The recycled characters and plots, the endless cliffhangers, the insertion of politics- it began really grinding my gears at the start of the Dark Artifices and had driven into a ditch by the end. And while I may continue to look back on my first foray into this world with fondness- ie the Infernal Devices trilogy- the more recent books are actually managing to taint my original view of the series as a fun paranormal romance. Sadly, its lost the entertainment value for me.

divergent series

The Divergent Series– I’m gonna confess, I was never a massive fan of this series. That said, I consistently rated it around 4* for enjoyment alone- always stating “don’t think about it too much”. Well I guess I couldn’t take my own advice, because the more I’ve thought about it over the years, the more I think it fails as dystopic fiction. The world building is nonsensical and the messaging (super important in this genre) is all over the place. And certain decisions in the last book are. so. frustrating (and I’m probably not even thinking of the one you are- which just goes to show how many issues there are with it!!)

twilight series

Twilight– unfortunately I have the awful claim to fame of being one of those peeps that liked Twilight before it was cool (I definitely ought to bury this fact somewhere- but for some reason I keep bringing it up 😉 ). Anyway, I think it’s fairly obvious why I stopped loving a story about sparkly vampires- not only is a concept like that bound to lose its shine over time, but that series GOT SO MUCH WORSE. I’m just sad I staked any energy in it 😉

kingkiller-chronicles-books

The Kingkiller Chronicles– ooh controversial opinion time. I actually LOVED book 1- however I ended up hugely disappointed with Wise Man’s Fear– in a way that made me question why I even liked the first instalment. My increasing despondency to this series hasn’t been helped by the huge wait between books. That said, this is the sole book on the list where I’ll happily read more and the only one that I think has a strong chance of redeeming itself with a killer finale.

poison study series

The Chronicles of Ixia– ah this is another one it pains me to think about these days cos I *loved* the first book. Unfortunately, it didn’t keep up its unique momentum in book 2 and managed to get progressively more generic as the series dragged on. Such was my disappointment that it’s even tainted the earlier books for me and, as much as I still have a soft spot for some of the characters (*cough* Valek *cough cough*), I always feel a twinge of sadness when I think about this series.

maximum ride series.png

Maximum Ride– now I didn’t want to include a lot of books from my childhood, because I know that my tastes have changed over time, I usually just read things based on what was available in libraries and mostly I look back on them with rose-tinted glasses even if they were lousy- BUT I can’t forget how much this series crashed and burned. It started out as a great concept and then flew wildly off track. Such a pity.

There you have it, these are all the series that cut me to the quick! 

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So do you have any series or books you used to love, but don’t anymore? Let me know in the comments! 

Expressing Some Shady Opinions on Lord of Shadows

Whoops- I read another Shadowhunter book. Yes, I know I said ages ago this was getting samey for me… but I went right ahead and read this anyway (yeah I know I’m a completionist, but I swear I was gonna give this a miss… probably 😉 ). Yet since I owe the fact that I did read this to my younger sister, I thought it might be fun to have her come along for this review too- SURPRISE! Introducing the Monkey Baby… monkey baby finalBonjourno – Je suis le monkeybaby

Well evidently she’s not bilingual- but let’s do this thing.

lord of shadows

Right off the bat, I’m going to say that if you’re not already into the whole Shadowhunter world this book is not going to convert you. I’d say if you are into Clare’s work, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy it… and a good chance you won’t. I’m going to come clean straight away and say I did not see this as Clare’s strongest book. Not by a long shot, not even a little bit.

Monkey Baby: I agree I don’t think it’s her strongest work, I think the first one was much better. But I think due to the romance of this book being the best one, it kind of makes up for it a little…

Ahh what we’re all here for: the romance. Now this is a minor spoiler, but I will say that I liked how Clare dealt with the Mark/Emma/Julian love triangle, getting it out the way pretty quickly. That was a massive relief for me… but the second we were over that love triangle hurdle, another, totally unnecessary love triangle got shoehorned in. I couldn’t stand the Kieran/Mark/Christina love triangle- it was just so jgfsldgesnbarmj (translation: utterly pointless and frustrating)

Monkey Baby: MMMMMMM I’m not so sure I agree. I think it was a tad confusing but not irritating. Although this is probably the only love triangle that has no correct answer EVER!!! I have no ship for it…

Let’s talk about some of the things I did like then. When it came to the characters, I found that a lot of them were seriously growing on me. I definitely am finding Ty and Kit well-developed, intriguing and a great duo. I do think the younger characters are beginning to steal the limelight quite effectively from their older siblings- which is a good thing.

Monkey Baby: J’adore Ty and Kit. Ils sont THE BEST!!!

(I have no idea why she’s speaking franglais) Okay, moving on, I honestly don’t know how she keeps writing action packed stories and that’s one of my favourite parts about these books. No matter what, they can keep you on your toes. Plus while the writing isn’t flashy, it did have its moments of beauty and was genuinely funny and sweet at times.

Monkey Baby: No comment. I agree.

That said, when it came to the plot, I felt like it was initially bogged down by recapping. This could be just a personal thing (as I’ll always opt out of the “in the last book so-and-so did this and the other-so-and-so did that”). Still I also felt like this book offered nothing different. When it came to the ending (don’t worry no spoilers) I did feel like it was dramatic BUT it’s not like we haven’t had *more* dramatic things happen in the past and consequences that are equally dire. As ghastly and gut-wrenching as the ending was, we all know at this point that Clare is willing to take us to some pretty dark places. But when it comes to taking us to said dark places, I did think there were some places where this fell down. And while this book made me feel things, *a lot* of those things were irritation. And the main source of that irritation was the villains.

Monkey Baby: I felt like this book didn’t have any real villains. Where is Voldemort???

Wrong book babyface, but *brace yourself for a rant of epic proportions* cos these were lousy villains for me. They came across as loutish losers and were easily dismissed as “bigots” and “fascists”- and as effective as name-calling is in defeating your enemies, I did not think the book effectively dealt with their arguments. Predominantly, this was because it didn’t give them any arguments- there were no reasons for their behaviour except that they’re nasty bigots who don’t like fair folk and call everyone names. There were times when the story actually devolved into a juvenile cussing match. Don’t get me wrong I want people to defeat these arguments- that’s why, if you’re gonna bring this shit up, you actually have to put up a fight. Don’t bring a feather duster to a boxing match. And for goodness sake, don’t invoke serious issues for the sake of some naff point scoring (unless you want an angry ape writing a ranty review). What frustrated me more than anything is that here is a series that always dealt in complexity and created villains we can actually fear (remember Valentine anyone?) and now we have a cohort who are just mean because they’re big meanies (wah!) Plus, we were even given a blueprint for a fantastic baddie with the Unseelie King, but were left to focus on Zara-blooming-Dearheart who was about as ominous as a gnat.

Monkey Baby: SERIOUSLY WHERE IS VOLDEMORT????????????????????????????????????????????????

Oh alright, since you asked…

The Real Look of Lord Voldemort from "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Rating: 2½/5 bananas

small bananasmall bananasmall half banana

So have you read this? What did you think about it? And do say hello to the Monkey Baby!

Shadowhunters: First (and Second) Impressions

shadowhunters

Happy Sunday!! So, like many of you I’m having a lazy Sunday and catching up on TV- and what better TV could I be watching than the new Mortal Instruments series? Actually lots of programmes as you’ll soon find out.

Because while this programme was thoroughly entertaining and a pretty decent adaptation, a lot of it was really cheesy and had some straight up ridiculous special affects (I mean did anyone see those Seraph blades? I mean, c’mon they looked like they’d been pinched from a cartoon).

Honestly, I think the main issue was the script. I knew from the trailer it wasn’t going to be great- but I had hoped it wouldn’t all sound like such a cliché ridden gag reel. Sadly, I was disappointed- the writers obviously thought that pinching every single line from every single fantasy script ever made was a good idea. I mean, they genuinely put in the line “even in the darkest of places, there is light” when referring to Witchlights. Which felt like it was lifted straight out of Lord of the Rings (of course, I recognise that Clare is famous for plagiarism, so I suppose it’s an appropriate complaint for an adaptation of her work). Either way, it was *not* a good line.

Okay, that being said, I managed to sit through all three episodes- so there were obviously some good parts about this show.

I think the thing holding this programme together at the moment is the characters. Some of them (Alec and Simon in particular) are excellent interpretations. Even Isabelle, who is quite different from the character in the book, has a certain charm to her and is far less flat than the film version. Likewise, Valentine is much truer to the book version than the camp-but-acceptably-villainous version from the film. I mean, just compare the images of the two:

I’d say there’s no comparison, but there clearly is: the one from the movie looks like a failed 80’s rocker and the TV show looks like a slick supremacist out to destroy the world (in short he looks like Valentine). I love how they’ve quickly established how he cares for Jocelyn- and I loved his reaction to finding out about Clary, whilst also throwing in some super evil moments. It’s a very promising characterisation and it’s giving the show the much needed dark edge it needs.

On the flipside, of course, I’m really not convinced by the leads at this stage- which is a problem, because even if the supporting cast is great, I don’t want to wince every time the main characters come on screen. In a way, it’s actually quite funny, because in contrast to Jace’s wooden acting, Clary is totally overdoing it. Every time Jace comes across like a creepy robot (which is every time he delivers a supposedly witty or sarcastic line) Clary just gets more earnest and ridiculous. And don’t get me started on Clary trying to run in heels (that actually had me giggling to myself).

That said, it’s an enjoyable enough waste of time, so I will probably continue watching it. Although, that’ll probably be because I can never seem to stop watching things once I start- even if they’re rubbish- so it’ll probably take 5 years to wean myself off this. I actually hope this show gets cancelled before that stage (which tells me I should probably just stick to watching Homeland instead)

So what did everyone else think of this show? Will you be watching it? Let me know in the comments section 🙂