Book Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Book Reviews copy

shadowhunter-academy-1Having demon amnesia isn’t fun. Not when you have a gorgeous and fierce Shadowhunter claiming you loved her. Or another claiming you were her best friend.

Life is not easy for Simon Lewis. That’s why he signs up for the Shadowhunter Academy. Initially, it is to get his memory back. But it becomes so much more than that.

With friends and (sort of) foes alike, Simon learns about being a Shadowhunter, shaped by their history.

But Simon won’t stand for any of the snobbery.

He might just be on a path to change the world.

Or, at least, Shadowhunter’s attitudes.

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman

Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Publisher: Walker Books

Date: 2016

Rating:  4.25/5

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As with any of Cassandra Clare’s books, I couldn’t wait to read Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. And, as with any of her books, it did not disappoint.

The book is split into ten short stories, co-written with another author. I can’t pick a favourite because nearly all of them made me laugh at some point. Apart from the final story. That made me cry.

It shows the power of Clare’s writing that in so many of her books, my emotions yo-yo from one extreme to another, and this one was no exception.shadowhunter-academy-3

Despite each story being written by a different person, there was, for the most part, good continuity between them. Occasionally, there was repetition at the beginning of the story as they attempted to set the scene, despite the reader not requiring that. Other than that, they all blended well together.

Simon’s character was consistent across the stories. More importantly, you really saw him grow between them all – starting off as an unsure mundane wondering if he was doing the right thing, turning into a confident young man determined to do what is right, even if that means telling his classmates they were snobs.

I loved how many of the other series this book referenced. There was a lot of Isabelle and Clary. But there was also Jace, Magnus and Alec. Emma Carstairs and several of the Blackthorns. Stories about Tessa’s past and her life with Will, with Jem making his presence known. Having read the other books, it was great to get to re-visit these characters.

While Clare has always made sure to address the issues that affect our generation – sexuality etc – there were times when this felt too forced. Pale Kings and Princes pushed themes of isolation, degradation, acceptance etc too hard. Previously, Clare has always introduced these issues in subtle ways, but this felt forced, fracturing the story a little.

The only thing I regret is not having re-reading The Mortal Instruments before reading this – I, too, like Simon, couldn’t remember bits that had happened and it would have added more depth if it was fresh in my mind.

If you’re ready to fall back into the emotional rollercoaster that comes with any Shadowhunter story, then Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy is the perfect choice!

Amazon | Waterstones

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