Thursday, 11 September 2014

Book Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Iron TrialTitle: The Iron Trial
Authors: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Series:  Magisterium, #1
Pages:  295
Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
Date of Publication: 9th September 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will -- is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It's a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

My Thoughts:
I didn't really know that much about The Iron Trial when I first started it - only knowing that it was by Cassie Clare and Holly Black who are both pretty cool and so together would write a pretty cool book. The Iron Trial was completely different to how I imagined (I didn't even realise it's middle grade!) but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Once I'd finished the book, I headed over to Goodreads to see what other people had thought about it. A lot of reviews said that it ripped off Harry Potter, but while it did occur to me while I was reading that there were several similarities (eg Call, Aaron and Tamara were like Harry, Ron and Hermione), I think it stands on its own without having to be compared to Harry Potter.

Plot wise, it's quite simple. Call has been told all of his life that the Magisterium is a bad place, a place where young mages go and end up dead. Despite trying to fail the entry test, he's accepted in and forced to stay. He quickly finds that he doesn't hate it as much as he was told he would (surprise, surprise) and once he's accepted this he makes some friends and they have adventures together. I thought I had the whole plot of the novel sussed but was pleasantly surprised to find myself wrong. In retrospect the twists were not that remarkable but they were still interesting and I was quite engrossed by the end of the novel.

I liked reading about the magical world in which Call lives. I liked the system of magic - based on the elements of water, earth, fire, air and chaos. The elementals that Call and his friends had to fight were really cool to read about and I liked seeing him kick their butts. My favourite parts were Havoc and Warren though. They were really cool but you'll have to read it to find out what they are!

The Iron Trial is a really solid read that will easily be enjoyed by all. It's more suited to younger readers but there's enough in there that an older reader can appreciate and enjoy it too. Cassie and Holly's writing together was seamless and I'm looking forward to reading more from these two authors! If you're interested I definitely recommend it!

*Huge thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel. Also thanks Cicely! You're the best. 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

August 2014

Hey everyone! September means back to school (boo!) but summer was great fun! I roadtripped around Europe and spent two weeks in France, so I had a lot of time for reading and blogging. Here's what I read (and for the first time in I can't even remember how long I read TEN books - DOUBLE FIGURES :D )

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)  Department 19  The Giver

1. Zom-B Mission by Darren Shan
2. Zom-B Circus by Darren Shan
3. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
4. Department 19 by Will Hill
5. Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
8. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
9. The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
10. Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman

I finally caught up a little bit on the Zom-B books (still got one more to go before I'm fully caught up but that's reserved at the library ;) ) which was really great because I do love them so! Silver Shadows is the fifth book in Bloodlines which is definitely one of my all time favourite series so I devoured that. Department 19 was AWESOME and I'm so annoyed I didn't read it sooner! Definitely will be catching up with that series as soon as possible! Let's Get Lost was a lot of fun since it's a roadtrip book and I read it on a roadtrip, which made it even better. The Giver was also really good and I'll be discussing that as part of Chapter 5 Books' new book club in October so do look out for that! The Iron Trial was a good read too and I'm looking forward to reading more of the series. Finally, Winterkill. Unfortunately this book really wasn't for me! I'll have a full review up soon, explaining, but I didn't really gel with any of the characters, there was some super instalove and also I just wasn't engaged with the plot at all.

My book(s) of the month were...

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)  Since You've Been Gone

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I can't choose. Both Stephanie and Morgan write THE BEST contemporaries. I can't pick between them. They're both so readable and so heartwarming and you have so many feels while reading and GAH they are just the best. Definitely two of my favourite authors for sure and you should definitely have read their books! Get to it!

Reviews posted this month:

New books this month:

Thanks for Little, Brown, Chicken House, Mira Ink, Hot Key Books, Simon and Schuster, and Hodder for all my new books this month! I can't wait to read Eren, and I'll be on the blog tour for that so keep an eye out! Lies We Tell Ourselves looks really good so I'm excited for that one! The Memory Keepers looks AMAZING and I don't know anything about Belzhar but I've been told it's really good! I'm looking forward to finally reading Panic, and Red Rising looks quite interesting too. If any reviewer wants my spare copy of The 100 Day 21 you are welcome to it, tweet meh.

Some new releases to look forward to in September: 

Vivian Versus America (Vivian Apple, #2)  The 100 Society  

Thanks for reading!

Have you read any of these books?
What was your favourite book in August?
What are you most looking forward to in September? 
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