Bookish Thoughts | The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare

If Cassandra Clare plans to add and add and add more books to The Shadowhunter Chronicles, she certainly won’t be getting a complain out of me. I would gobble those books up any day for I could live and bask in the glorious Shadowhunter world forever.

What I love about Cassie the most is the fact that she keeps on stepping up and improving her writing. I thought The Infernal Devices was her being at her peak already, probably at that time, but The Dark Artifices (TDA) is on a whole new other level. It’s mature. It’s intense. It’s darker and dabbles on important issues and topics. Issues that are not just applicable for the Shadowhunters but also for our society. Clare used her voice as writer and made her stand known through TDA.

I have so many thoughts about The Dark Artifices but I’ll just do quick bullets.

💛 The Clave. The Council. The Inquisitor. The Consul. Government.

In TDA, we dug through the inner workings of the Shadowhunter government and I’m not even surprised to find how dirty and poisonous it is at the center. It’s not far from what we have in our country these past few years, actually. Reading all about the political aspect of this series is scary yet empowering. Scary because there are issues with their government that run parallel with our own government. Like the deceitful tactics and manipulations. But empowering because it fuels me even more to stand up for what is right.

My eyes are open and I won’t let things pass.

“The Clave was nearly taken over by extremists who would have driven us into isolation and self-destruction. And everyone who stood back and allowed this to happen – through inattention, through apathy and overconfidence – Well. We are all guilty. And therefore we will all vote, as a reminder that every voice counts, and when you choose not to use your voice, you are letting yourself be silenced.” – Jia Penhallow.

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ARC Review: Angry God by L.J. Shen

39709062._SY475_SYNOPSIS

Vaughn Spencer.

They call him an angry god.

To me, he is nothing but a heartless prince.

His parents rule this town, its police, every citizen and boutique on Main Street.

All I own is a nice, juicy grudge against him for that time he almost killed me.

Between hooking up with a different girl every weekend, breaking hearts, noses and rules, Vaughn also finds the time to bully little ole’ me.

I fight back, tooth and nail, never expecting him to chase me across the ocean after we graduate high school.

But here he is, living with me in a dark, looming castle on the outskirts of London.

A fellow intern. A prodigal sculptor. A bloody genius.

They say this place is haunted, and it is.

Carlisle Castle hides two of our most awful secrets.

Vaughn thinks he can kill the ghosts of his past, but what he doesn’t know? It’s my heart he’s slaying.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

mini book reviews (1)

Intense. Twisted. Dark. Angry God is certainly blessed with the L.J. Shen imprint. Even more. 

I’ve been dying to read Angry God because how not to be curious about Vicious’ spawn, right? I know we’ve met Vaughn Spencer in the previous books of All Saints High series and we basically know him as this dark and brooding type of guy. Vicious 2.0. But the question which is at the forefront of my mind since knowing about him having his own book is “What could certainly go wrong with Vicious and Emilia’s son?”. This is Vicious’ son, we are talking about and it just felt so impossible to me, then.

It is possible and I weep for him.

The overall mood of Angry God is kind of just how I anticipated for it to be. Reading it 2019_0929_17230900felt like being cloaked with something dark and heavy with all the mystery lying at the far-end of the story. I had a surreal reading experience. Adding intensity to the story are the main characters itself, Vaughn Spencer and Lenora Astalis who both brought their A-game when it comes to butting heads, one-upping the other and being crooked.

Lenora and Vaughn had their fair share of darkness in life and craziness and we all read that here. We are given two characters who are both so flawed in many and different ways and which only makes things so exciting. With readers having to wade through their flaws, witnessing them slowly opening up and learning the skulls hidden deeply inside their closets. I love Angry God for being character-centric. It really focused on their characters and how then it effortlessly pushed the story to its fullness. It’s like, there was no other way that this book could be written.

But what I have learned from reading L.J. Shen books in the past? Is that there will be parts in the book that will make me question myself, my morals and my sanity. Admittedly, until now I’m still sitting on some of my thoughts on certain scenarios and decisions that Lenora and Vaughn did. Did s/he did the right thing? Did s/he took it too far? Did??? Was it really necessary to act/react that way? Was it acceptable? It’s keeping my mind turning even after finishing the book.

With the constant darkness that followed Vaughn and Lenora around, I commend L.J. Shen for bravely tackling such a nitty-gritty issue. Especially for Vaughn’s character. Even though the book was already peppered with hints, I refused to believe it. Not until everything is laid out in the open. It was tough to read through. So if you read parts that doesn’t sit well with you, stop. Consider it as a trigger warning for yourself. But, what Vaughn went through sadly happens in real life.

A hot topic. I cannot count the amount of Lenora x Vaughn or Poppy x Vaughn discussions that I’ve seen ever since Broken Knight (BK) was published. Well, who did you root for?

As for me, I’ve been rooting for Lenora and Vaughn to happen. Come on, the tension between them? I’m getting roasted during their scenes in BK because of the heat. It’s also the perfect build up for a hate-love relationship. But aside from being teased of their chemistry, I truly felt that there’s so much more than the animosity they’ve been throwing at each others face every time they’re in the same room. I’ve been curious. I’ve given so much thought about how Shen will spin the story if ever L & V happens and what could she do to make her readers root for them. Surely, it worked for me and I really think it will on others too. You’ll root for them, I swear. They were IT. How I wish I could tell you more about my feels about them. But I really want for you to experience firsthand.

Despite the darkness that enveloped the story, there were scenes that got real laughs out of me. Mostly from Knight Cole aka the icebreaker, the ever voice of reason and truth. Please allow me to share with you this line (or you may choose to skip this part).

“Don’t what me like I’m interrupting your goddamn schedule of scowling at places, people, and your own reflection.”

I bursted out laughing when I read it because now all I kept thinking about is Vaughn scowling at his own reflection. It felt so authentic which makes it so easy to imagine. Bless, Knight for injecting himself in the story to make things a bit lighter. But can you try to imagine smiling about something that Vaughn said? Ain’t that would be sweeter? Well, hold on tight.

Will I recommend Angry God? Yes. But again, I repeat, if things get too much for you – please stop reading.

Angry God is a dark book, which contain dark themes and is really far from the previous themes that were tackled in the All Saints High Series.  

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