Thursday, February 15, 2018

Book Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Review:  #723
Title:  Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Series:  The Mortal Instruments - companion book
Author:  Cassandra Clare; Sarah Rees Brennan; Maureen Johnson; Robit Wasserman
Read Before:  no
Comments:  Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy takes place after the finale of The Mortal Instruments, following Simon as he attends Shadowhunter Academy in order to become a shadowhunter and regain his memories.  The story is told via a series of short stories, which spans the time Simon spent at the academy.  Not only do almost all the characters from the series turn up from time to time, we get heavy doses of backstories and other fleshed out tidbits that were only mentioned in briefing.  The end result is a surprisingly cohesive and interesting story.  While the short story format will cause time skips to occur, you can still see Simon grow and develop, as he makes friends, and as his friends all change from the better.  The other shadowhunter recruits in the beginning are your standard bloated ego ones who look down on everything that is not them but by the end of the book, they’ve changed, able to see eye to eye with “mundanes”.  Simon develops a good relationship with the new character George, and the pair do feel like best friends or brothers, bursting with chemistry.  Through it all, we get the usual “being homosexual is fine” spiel between Alex and Magnus.  More insufferable is the fact that Simon’s memory loss is kept being brought up and causing huge issues with his relationships, in particular Clary and Isabelle.  Ignoring the fact that Simon returning to the shadowhunter world and regaining parts of his memory already lessens the emotional impact of his sacrifice in the final book, but it is milked and used an excuse to the extra with Simon constantly exclaiming that he is not the old Simon that they knew and loved.  You wait for him to get over this fact but he never does until the very end, which can make the stories insufferable.  The writing continues to improve, with a lot of great gags and humor.  The ending was surprising and invokes similar feelings to Simon’s fate in the final book, what was the point?  Overall though, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy was enjoyable and serves as an excellent continuation of the series.
Rating:  7/10
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