Blog Update and Announcement

Hey, What’s up Book Lovers.

Today I have some things that I would like to talk to you about. I am sorry to say that I will be taking a break from this blog for a while. I have some things that I need to do and at the moment this blog is taking up most of my time on here and trying to post frequently.

I will be taking some time off, so that I can focus on getting up to date with my reading, so when I come back there will be more book reviews and other bookish posts that will hopefully be more frequent, maybe even daily.

I am also planning on giving this blog a little bit of a makeover, nothing to big. There may be better headers, but at this moment in time I’m not sure what but I will hopefully think of some things while I’m away.

Don’t worry I will be coming back, but I’m not sure when. I would like to thank you guys for viewing my blog, it has meant so much and a special thanks  to my 5 followers, you guys are amazing. Again, another big thank you to all, I love you guys and I’ll see you when I get back.

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection by Derek Landy // Review

(Skulduggery Pleasant #10)
By Derek Landy

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction, Paranormal
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: June 1st 2017
Pages: 432

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★★

That’s right, Minions, Skulduggery and Valkyrie are back in a brand new adventure that takes the story to truly global proportions… while answering questions that go right back to the beginning.

A lot has changed. Roarhaven is now a magical city, where sorcerers can live openly. Valkyrie Cain has been out of action for years, recovering from the war against her alter-ego Darquesse, which nearly destroyed her and everyone else.

Some things never change though: bad people still want to do bad things, and Skulduggery Pleasant is still there to stop them.

When Skulduggery learns of a plot to resurrect a terrifying evil, he persuades Valkyrie to join him for just 24 hours. But they need someone else on their team, someone inconspicuous, someone who can go undercover.

Enter Omen Darkly. Student at the new Corrival Academy. Overlooked. Unremarkable in every way.

24 hours to save the world. One sharply-dressed skeleton. One grief-stricken young woman. One teenage boy who can’t remember which class he’s supposed to be in.

This cannot end well…

Skulduggery Pleasant was one of the staples of my teen years, and I immediately fell in love. Derek Landy’s writing style is so smooth an intoxicating and his characters are so well written that the Skulduggery Pleasant series is by far my favourite book series ever- yes, it even beats Harry Potter. Landy’s style is packed full of humour and little quirks and he easily creates characters that are raw and feel so real that you forget that they are literally words on a page. Resurrection is no exception.


First off, the humour, as always was on point! It’s actually really hard to add humour into books, I have tried, but it’s so difficult for it not to seem forced. I am honestly in awe at the ease of which Derek Landy writes humour, it never seems forced, it’s always natural and is so much a part of the style of these books, so it was nice to see that continue in this book and helped a lot to balance some of the darker moments.

Skulduggery is still as amazing as ever and we even got another glimpse of Evil Skulduggery in this book, which I liked as we don’t really get to see his dark side particularly often. I would say though that the book focuses much more on Valkyrie and Skulduggery definitely takes more of a back seat. That was one of the things that I missed in this book, there wasn’t so much of them working together, which is obviously the main highlight of the books, so that was a shame.

I actually liked Valkyrie a lot more in these books? This new, mature, broken, reluctant hero Valkyrie was a lot easier for me to get on board with than the arrogant, I am the best hero Valkyrie of the previous books. Naturally everything that Darquesse did in Dying of The Light was going to have an effect on her and I was glad to see this explored throughout the book, especially because PTSD is not something you see very often. I didn’t love that Derek’s still trying to make her out to be the specialist special to special in the magical community, like okay she has this white lightning, that was pretty cool, but she has to be a Sensitive too?

The world has changed so much in the time that Val’s been away, and whilst I get that it’s showing Val’s sense of isolation, it does seem a little implausible that so much changed in the five years she was away as compared to the time she was part of the magical community. Still I did like all this extra world building, I liked getting to see how Roarhaven had expanded and changed, I liked the addition of the magic school, Corrival Academy, that felt like a natural thing to have, I liked getting to see some new magical disciplines. It was an awful lot to take in though, all at once!

The plot was for the most part quite slow paced and it did get a little confusing at times. I don’t know, the new villains just didn’t feel quite scary enough for me, there were chapters that didn’t seem to really contribute anything to the overall plot (like all the chapters with Sebastian and Bennet, what the hell were they about?) and I’m still not entirely sure of what exactly a Neoteric is! Still there were some decent fight scenes and once I actually got into the book, I did find myself enjoying it, I was just confused at times! There were a lot of things added that I felt like we should have heard about before, like if Abysinnia (the new Big Bad) is so evil, why haven’t we heard about her before? And the whole Neoteric thing, shouldn’t we have heard about that before? I get that this is the start of a new series, but the whole set up seemed a bit clunky.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Omen at first, after all, he’s not one of our old friends who we’ve grown to know and love, but I really enjoyed his arc. He’s not the chosen one, he’s not special, he’s the Chosen One’s brother and doesn’t really know his place in the world and it was great to see him explore this throughout Resurrection and come to see that he doesn’t need to be The Chosen One to be special, to make a contribution, he can do that as Omen Darkly.

I was so glad that the chapter numbering in this book was consistent, Derek Landy always used to do this really annoying thing in the original Skulduggery series where some of the chapters were named and some were numbered, and I was so happy that in this book it was consistent numbers! The chapter lengths were all pretty decent, although I suppose I will just have to accept that the one page, one paragraph, one line chapters are here to stay! I also loved the title, so accurate for this book, not only with it being the start of a new era of Skulduggery, but with the story itself as well.

I would have liked to have seen more of the old characters from the original series back in this book, it was great to see Val and Skulduggery again, but aside from China, everyone else seemed to be new. I missed the Dead Men, I missed Scapegrace and Thrasher, I missed Tanith, so I hope more of them will be back in future books, if Landy does in fact continue this as a series.

The representation in this book was definitely better than in the original Skulduggery Pleasant series, you have Never who is gender fluid, you have two new gay characters, and Val’s suffering from PTSD, I hope this trend continues into the next books.

There were a few digs at Donald Trump, in the form of Landy’s parody character Martin Flanery and whilst this was humourous, I didn’t quite see the point? Like this character added literally nothing to the plot.

I loved that Valkyrie has a dog, Xena seemed so cute and more books should have dogs!

It was nice to meet a good necromancer with Militsa, she was sweet and I hope to see her and Valkyrie’s friendship grow in the next books.

I wasn’t so keen about the whole remnant of Darquesse thing? I get that it’s meant to represent Valkyrie’s guilt and everything but there were a lot of hints throughout the book that Landy might be bringing her back and I hope that’s not true because her arc was pretty neatly tied up at the end of the original series.

It felt like the climax was somewhat rushed, but that could have been because of the slow pace of the start of the book. The last 10 or so chapters were definitely my favourites of the whole book, Val and Skulduggery get some great moments, some weird spoilery stuff goes down (I literally can’t say more than that, all I can say is that it’s some of the weirdest stuff Landy has ever written) and the action is thick and fast. There was a massive twist at the end which I did not see coming at all. Still everything resolved in a really satisfying way and the last chapter really felt like the start of a new era.

Overall, this was a decent start to a new era of Skulduggery, whilst the plot wasn’t the easiest to follow, I loved Valkyrie’s character arc, Skulduggery will never not be amazing and I enjoyed the new characters for the most part. I’m hoping that the plot will be more streamlined, in future books and we get to see more of our old favourites, assuming that there are more books, which it seems like there will be as the whole book feels like set up for more. I did feel like this book left me wanting more though? I seriously hope there is more to this new phase of Skulduggery because there are way too many loose ends not to be!

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Skulduggery Pleasant One-Liners

I’m placing you under arrest for murder, conspiracy to commit murder and, I don’t know, possibly littering.

– Skulduggery Pleasant

Skulduggery: What would killing the Elders result in?
Valkyrie: Panic? Fear? Three empty parking spaces in the Sanctuary?

– Skulduggery Pleasant

I woke up, a bag of bones. Literally. They had gathered up my bones and put them in a bag and thrown the bag into a river.

– Skulduggery Pleasant

If you hear any screaming, that’ll be me.

– Skulduggery Pleasant

Serpine: You have caused me so much trouble over the years detective. It’s almost a shame to end it
Skulduggery: You’re surrendering?

– Skulduggery Pleasant


Valkyrie: Was it a test? I mean, I know I’m still new to this. I’m still the rookie. Did you hang back to test me, to see if I’d be able to handle it alone?
Skulduggery: Well, kind of. Actually, no, nothing like that. My shoelace was untied. That’s why I was late. That’s why you were alone.
Valkyrie: I could have been killed because you were tying your SHOELACE?
Skulduggery: An untied shoelace an be dangerous, I could have tripped.

She stared at him. A moment dragged by.

Skulduggery: I’m joking.
Valkyrie: Really?
Skulduggery: Absolutely. I would never have tripped. I’m far too graceful

– Playing with Fire

Valkyrie: Have you killed anyone?
Scrapgrace: What? Did you miss what I said, about turning murder into
an art form?
Valkyrie: But you haven’t actually killed anyone yet, have you? I read
your file.
Scrapgrace: Technically, yeah, all right, maybe I haven’t

– Playing with Fire


Honesty is, honestly, the best policy. But when honesty doesn’t work, lie, and lie convincingly.

– Saracen Rue, The Dying of the Light


“Of course I want to kill you. I want to kill most people. But then where would I be? In a field of dead people with no one to talk to.”

– Skulduggery Pleasant, Kingdom of the Wicked


Stephanie: What was wrong with the door? You could have just come down the stairs and walked out the door. Why did you have to jump out of the window?
Skulduggery: You know why
Axle: Why did he do that? Why?
Stephanie: Because doors are for people with no imagination.

– The Dying of the Light


“It would be fun. I like kicking Wreath in the face. I haven’t had a chance to do it nearly as much as I’d like.”

– Skulduggery Pleasant, Mortal Coil


Nye: Clarabelle…Clarabelle… You worked as Kenspeckle Grouse’s assistant, did you not?’
Clarabelle: One of the. He fired all the others.
Nye: But not you?
Clarabelle: He fired me on the second day, but I kept coming in. I had nowhere else to go.
Nye: And then you killed him.
Clarabelle: Yes.
Nye: A Remnant squirmed inside you, and you killed Kenspeckle Grouse.
Clarabelle: Yes.
Nye: You’re hired. But I have warn you, if you try to kill me, I will dissect you and sing along to your screams.
Clarabelle: Can I have Mondays off?
Nye: You may.

– Death Bringer


Tanith: Serpine is used to the Elders taking forever to make their calm, thought-out decisions. So he won’t be expecting anything as amazingly rash and reckless as this.
Ghastly: That’ll teach him to underestimate stupid people.

– Skulduggery Pleasant


Serpine: No, my old enemy, I think for the moment anyway, we’re all alone. And you have something I want.
Skulduggery: A winning sense of style?

– Skulduggery Pleasant


Skulduggery: It would be a tad redudant to encourage you to hurry up, wouldn’t it? Whatever you do, do not fall over. Falling over, I think, would be the wrong move to make at this moment
Valkyrie: Hate…
Skulduggery: Yes?
Valkyrie: Hate… You…
Skulduggery: Breathe some more air, the lack of oxygen is making you delirious.

– Playing with Fire

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How to Get Out of a Reading Slump

Reading slumps are painful, you know you want to read (well maybe you don’t), you know there are books you can read but you just can’t read. So, here are my steps on how I get out of a reading slump.


Step 1: Stop

Stop, you need to stop. Your eyes are probably hurting as you’re trying to push through but what you need is a break. Go get something to drink, put the kettle on and have something to eat. Go do something that lets your eyes rest…. have a nap.

Step 2: Go to your bookshelf(s)

My first step is always my bookshelves. Put down the book you were struggling on, you can go back to that later. All you might need is to reread something easy; something small, not too over complicated. Go for a book that is less than 300 pages, after all a shorter book means you can get through it faster and will make you feel like not giving up all hope on books. If this doesn’t work move on step 3.

Step 3: Go to the library or a charity/thrift shop

All you need may be a fresh book, but some of us are broke (by some of us I mainly mean me). An easy way to get around this is to go to the library and borrow books. Or get books cheaper at charity/thrift shops. Some of my favourite books came from charity shops. It wasn’t in immaculate condition but I got a copy of Percy Jackson and the lightning thief for 50p.

Step 4: Read

Just have a go, take it slow or take it fast it doesn’t matter. Don’t push yourself into a corner where reading becomes a chore. If it’s your hobby, don’t beat yourself up about it.

Step 5: Have fun

I don’t think this step needs an explanation…


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Ten Things I loved about Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant

1. Skulduggery is a magical skeleton detective.

Just stop and think about that for a second. So many children’s authors would expect their young readers to simply suspend their disbelief and accept that, in the world of this novel, magical skeleton detectives are just part of how things roll. Not so Derek Landy. Instead, Skulduggery’s past and his current status as animate skeleton are explained so matter-of-factly that the reader is able to place complete trust in the potential of this world to exist. Skulduggery is witty, droll, powerful, loyal and just a little bit shifty. Few titular characters are as likable as the skeleton detective.


2. The meta-fictional sense of humour

Skulduggery Pleasant is a book that is constantly aware of its genre, and of the reader’s scepticism. Rather than trying to overcome this with detailed descriptions and overwhelming world-building, Landy instead turns this into a basis for humour.  Skulduggery Pleasant literally made me laugh out loud so often that I repeatedly garnered odd looks from my fellow passengers on public transport.

“China is the same age as I am, and even I have to admit that she wears it better!” He laughed, then stopped and peered at her. “Because I’m a skeleton” he explained.”

“A living skeleton isn’t enough for you, is it? What does it take to impress young people these days?”

“Doesn’t sunlight kill them? Doesn’t it turn them to dust, or make them burst into flames or something?”
“Nope. Vampires tan, just like you and me. Well, just like you. I tend to bleach.”


3. The character’s names are excellent.

The magic system in the world of Skulduggery Pleasant is based upon names. Individuals are given three names – their given name, the name they choose, and their true name. Some of the names that characters choose for themselves are simply wonderful:  Skulduggery Pleasant, for one, but also: Mevolent, the evil sorcerer; Meritorious, one of the wise Elders; Ghastly, the scarred but kindly tailor; and China Sorrows, dangerously beautiful librarian.


4. Stephanie’s inquisitive and enjoyably bossy personality

I’m so tired of reading reviews that praise “strong female characters.” It’s a concept I can no longer be bothered engaging with, because I think I believe it is more detrimental than it is helpful to depictions of female characters. What fiction, especially children’s fiction, needs more of are characters like Stephanie. Through a combination of inheritance and conscious choice, Stephanie finds herself fully immersed in the magical world of Skulduggery and his companions. Certain that she is now on the path to realising her life’s goals, she pesters, annoys and frustrates Skulduggery into taking her on as an apprentice. Stephanie is whip-smart, insolent and determined. In other words, she’s an actual twelve-year-old girl, and not an idealised “role model” coming to us from the top of an unrealistically high pedestal.


5. The book does not speak down to its readers

This is not a book dumbed down for its young readers. Now, it should be noted that the narration, content and language used are all age-appropriate, but in no way is it lowered in either quality or context for the younger reader. This means that Skulduggery Pleasant is just as enjoyable for the adult readers as it is for the kids!


6. The cleverly revealed layers of the plot

In addition to the highly entertaining dialogue, the plot of the first novel is fast-paced, action-packed and character-driven. All the things that you need to make a compulsive read. The author pays homage to the noir tradition, but also splices in all manner of pop-culture references (not the least of which is Lovecraftian!).


7. The relationship between Skulduggery and Stephanie (later Valkyrie)

Skulduggery is Stephanie’s teacher, mentor and protector. In turn, she is his loyal protégée. At times, they act like bickering siblings, and they’re certainly not afraid of being open with one another, but it’s quite clear that they are fiercely protective friends. It is refreshing and endearing to read about a genuinely caring relationship which is not based on romance. Skulduggery and Stephanie are simply in this together because they want to be, and that’s lovely.

“…what I was going to say is there’s something about you that is really annoying, and you never do what you’re told, and sometimes I question your intelligence—but even so, I’m going to train you, because I like having someone follow me around like a little puppy. It makes me feel good about myself.”
She rolled her eyes. “You are such a moron.”
“Don’t be jealous of my genius.”
“Can you get over yourself for just a moment?”
“If only that were possible.”
“For a guy with no internal organs, you’ve got quite the ego.”
“And for a girl who can’t stand up without falling over, you’re quite the critic.”
“My leg will be fine.”
“And my ego will flourish. What a pair we are.”


8. The fact that Skulduggery Pleasant is not yet a movie franchise

This is surprising, because it’s a series bound for the silver screen. I’m delighted to have found these books before they get to movie-stage, because it could be done so very badly. Derek Landy’s novels are eccentric, quintessentially Irish and highly imaginative, and I worry that they would not translate effectively through the lens of a Hollywood camera. Read them before a film comes out, so you can make up your own mind.


9. The darkness that counterbalances the humour

Many children’s novels lean toward the saccharine in order to avoid frightening young readers. Few authors manage to walk the line between humour and darkness, but Landy carries it off without a hitch. There are scenes of surprising darkness in Skulduggery Pleasant, but the characters balance this out with unexpected quips and flippant commentary. Indeed, when Skulduggery is faced with somewhat graphic torture, he lightens the mood considerably by  simply laughing at his captor.


10. The fact that this is a whole series I get to discover

These are the kind of books I look forward to reading during my breaks, on the bus and before bed – an escape into a world with vivid characters, a multi-faceted magic system and an endless font of humour.

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Popular Books I Haven’t Read YET!

I’ve seen a few posts like this recently and it was nice to see that I’m not the only one who hasn’t yet read popular reads. So I thought, I’d share mine to not only to relate to others but hopefully to encourage me to read them soon! The reason I haven’t read them isn’t because I don’t like the book or other books in the series instead it’s probably because I’ve been so busy or the fact that they’re a bit daunting size wise! Anyway, let’s begin with a few of my shameful confessions….

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – I know, I know I’m terrible! I really don’t have a reason why I haven’t read this yet as I adore Sarah J Maas and her new series and from what I’ve seen from the fan art etc. this book looks bloody amazing! This book is definitely on the top of my TBR and will certainly be read in June when I finish Uni and can have some me time!
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – Another book I plan to read when I have more free time because I am in love with its characters and storyline; Leigh Bardugo has a gift!
  3. The Last Star by Rick Yancy – I enjoyed the first book in the series but the second one was so disappointing so I think that’s why I keep putting off reading it because I don’t think it will be able to redeem itself! If you have read it let me know what you thought of it!
  4. Kings Cage by Victoria Aveyard – I kind of forgot about this series and didn’t realise that the third book had been released! Unlike others I’ve really enjoyed this series and can’t wait to finally read this one because we were left on a serious cliffhanger at the end of book two!
  5. The Crown by Keira Cass – This one is down to my bank account and how empty it is! I have enjoyed this series and found them really easy to read but the only reason I haven’t yet bought it is because I’m very poor!
  6. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan –  I first read Paper Towns on my Kindle and it became one of my favourite books. In 2011, I purchased physical copies of all of John Green’s books to date. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is the only book I haven’t yet read. I’m slightly afraid, if I’m honest, for once I read it, I shall have no John Green books left to look forward to!

‘Shadowhunters’ Season 2A Review: An Improvement That Still Needs Some Work

When Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer took over former showrunner Ed Decter, there was this renewed sense of optimism for Shadowhunters following a freshman season that was anything but impressive. The new showrunners promised a more character-focused story while alluding to some stronger book representation.

While Shadowhunters second season has been a significant improvement from its first season, it still needs some work if it’s going to be worthy of its source material. While there was an increased sense of awareness regarding these characters and their relationships, there were still moments in the show that had us flashing back to season 1.

With a full season under Shadowhunters belt – and the new ownership – there seemed to be more familiarity and a sense of comfort for all involved. Even the actors have stepped up their game, which has only added to the improvement of this second season.

But old habits die hard, even when new management is involved.

With the second half of Shadowhunters’ second season set to debut in June, we’re taking a look back at the first half of the season – what worked, what didn’t work, what we wanted to see more of, what we wanted to see less of, and more.

Overall Impression

When you compare this second season to season 1, there have been significant improvements on multiple accounts, ranging from cinematography to dialogue to performances. While some of that has to do with being more familiar with the world and the characters, a big part of that has been the new ownership. But at the same time, there have been some questionable storylines that have left us scratching our heads and wondering if these producers have read these books. There are so many storylines left on the table in that regard. This is, after all, a television show based on The Mortal Instruments.

Look, I’m not asking for the television show to be a carbon copy of the books. But when you have pre-established storylines at your disposal, use them. That was something that we were promised when Slavkin and Swimmer took over showrunner duties. While there have definitely been more references to the books than in season 1, this season has felt more like a mix of the first several books than focusing on a single book like season 1 did for the most part.

One of the better parts of this season has been the focus on the characters and their relationships, ranging from romance to friendship. At the heart of this story – both in the books and the show – are the characters. They’re the reason why we hurt when we watch them suffer. They’re the reason we cheer when we watch them triumph. They’re the reason we care. Season 2 has brought us more developments with Malec – a couple we didn’t get a lot of screen time with last season – and more developments with Clace – a couple that we got a lot of screen time with last season. Even when there were relationships that we weren’t fond of, like Isabelle and Raphael, it was still a character-driven focus.

What Worked

Jace & Alec’s Parabatai Bond | While there was a focus on Jace and Alec being Parabatai last season, we never got to feel the significance of it. The show spent most of the time prancing the idea of Parabatai around, but they never really explained why the bond was important. This season we got an entire episode devoted to exploring and explaining that Parabatai bond with Jace and Alec in what was one of the best episodes of the season and the series, “TITLE.” We saw the concern, the connection, the pain, the relief, the emotion. It was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time, which is exactly what I’ve been waiting to see.

Progression of Alec & Magnus | The thing that didn’t work with Malec last season is exactly what’s working with Malec this season. Shadowhunters is taking the time to explore this relationship as Alec and Magnus get to know each other, which we forget they haven’t really had a lot of screen time to do that. We’re getting to see them confronted with obstacles; we’re getting to see them face those issues together instead of running away. While it hasn’t been perfect, there’s no denying that right now Alec and Magnus have been one of the more satisfying parts of this second season.

Beginnings of Clary & Simon’s Romance | When Shadowhunters was first optioned, the intent was to focus on one book per season, which makes sense from a storytelling point of view. With season 2 being the season where Clary and Jace grapple with the revelation that they’re brother and sister, this was the year that Clary and Simon finally decided to see if there was something more to their friendship. And the build-up was fantastic. There’s such a beautiful and natural chemistry between Katherine McNamara and Alberto Rosende that made this beautiful friendship leap off the screen. The pacing of it was nice, as well, which provided some opportunities of jealousy for Jace and exploring that three-way dynamic.

Killing Jocelyn | I haven’t been a fan of how Shadowhunters has treated Jocelyn. Jocelyn is a character that has a greater impact down the line in this series than in the beginning of it. And there was nothing wrong with that until Shadowhunters decided to wake her up in the season 1 finale. Sure, we got the good Clary/Jocelyn scenes where Jocelyn struggled to accept that Clary wasn’t the daughter she’d seen last. But after that, there really wasn’t anything for Jocelyn to do. So killing Jocelyn early in season 2 – and providing a good emotional catalyst for Clary – was probably the best thing that Shadowhunters could’ve done at this point with her character. Honestly, it felt like they had no choice but to kill her.

The Performances | One of the strongest aspects of Shadowhunters even in season 1 were the actors bringing these characters to life. It was frustrating last year because it felt like they weren’t given the material needed to really drive home those emotional elements. Season 2 definitely improved in that regard. These actors were given more gritty scripts to sink their teeth into (pun not intended.) Dominic Sherwood and Alberto Rosende especially brought it to another level on the emotional level, which only makes us yearn for these continued emotional arcs where these actors can dig deep.

What Didn’t Work

Isabelle’s Addiction to Yin Fen | This was one of those storylines that felt like it was more about the Yin Fen of it all (considering it’s alluding to The Infernal Devices) and grasping for a storyline for Isabelle rather than delivering an addiction storyline. It might’ve been better had they not tried to drive this Infernal Devices connection, but it also might not have. But regardless, the show has squandered its opportunity with the addiction storyline. There’s been a whole lot of spiraling and a whole lot of absence of awareness on Isabelle’s part. Isabelle is a character who deserves a worthy storyline of her own. There was the perfect opportunity to give Isabelle a storyline with substance, i.e. learning that her father had cheated on her mother per the books (which is something that was instead given to Alec.)

Isabelle and Raphael | While I like both Isabelle and Raphael as individuals, I did not like the romantic pairing that this show forced on us. Part of that reason has to do with Isabelle as an individual. She’s someone who hasn’t allowed herself to be vulnerable, which is why the relationship with Meliorn made sense because it wasn’t about substance at all. But with this addiction storyline, they’re trying to use Raphael in the role that Simon played in terms of getting Isabelle to open up and finally be vulnerable. It’s one of the many reasons that Sizzy is as strong and beloved as it is. Now, I could’ve done with a nice friendship between the two, which is what I’m hoping inevitably happens between the two.

Continuation of Clary & Simon’s Romance | To be upfront, this wasn’t about the actual continuation of the Clary and Simon from a romantic standpoint so much as it was about how the two took the steps to be in that relationship. While Simon’s confession was lovely (and the almost confession in the premiere), it was Clary’s reaction that didn’t feel natural. For someone who hadn’t thought of Simon as anything other than a friend, she as pretty confident about wanting to try out the romance. We didn’t get to see the reflection or the pondering. It’s one of the reasons that the events in City of Bones and City of Ashes flow so wonderfully together. We get to see Simon’s confession and Clary’s shock. We get to see Clary consider the possibility of romance with Simon. We get to see her reaction when Simon “dies” and becomes a vampire. It’s those kind of emotional moments that force you to confront your feelings. We didn’t see Clay have anything like that in Shadowhunters.

That Brother/Sister Resolution | One of the things that has irked me since season 1 has been the inconsistency of storylines and plots from multiple books. One of those storylines was Clary and Jace being brother and sister and that struggle. Sure, we got to see a little bit of that struggle, but we didn’t get to see the really emotional gritty scenes, ala the Seely Court. Clary and Jace really did some personal exploration in that second book due to this revelation, which we didn’t get to see enough of before in Shadowhunters Jace learned that he and Clary weren’t actually brother and sister – and that he wasn’t Valentine’s son. Moving this revelation ahead an entire book also potentially affects certain events, including that huge moment at the end of City of Glass that changes everything.

What We Wanted More Of

Book Storylines & Consistency | I understand and respect that Shadowhunters is a show based on the books. I understand and respect that Shadowhunters is a different medium than the books. But when you have a plethora of knowledge and storylines at your disposal – ones that your intended audience has read, loved, and embraced – why aren’t you using that to your advantage? While the second season has resembled the books more than the first season, it could’ve done a lot better. Most notably, the storylines involving Clary and Jace’s brother/sister struggle and Clary and Simon’s blossoming romance. The resolution was too quick and didn’t give the characters the time to explore their feelings on these matters. There was a constant struggle of conscious that allowed these characters to make mistakes, learn from them, and move forward. I feel like we’ve been denied that.

Clary & Jace | In Shadowhunters’ first season, the story seemed to slack when it came to Clary and Jace, even though there was extensive time spent on the two’s budding relationship. There was something missing that wasn’t evident in the writing. Because when given the opportunity to play with real emotional storylines, we’ve finally seen that chemistry that we’ve been missing between the two. Granted, it was something that we would’ve liked to see much more of (and are hoping to see more of in 2B). But it’s a relief to see that this show is capable of bringing us that epic Clace romance that the books have so eloquently delivered.

What We Wanted Less Of

Victor Aldertree | Seriously, his character was a complete waste of space and television air time. They took a storyline that should’ve gone to Maryse and gave it to a new character that came off as jarring more than intriguing. He’s not the antagonist we deserve.

Isabelle and Raphael | Shocking, one of the things that hasn’t worked this season is something that we definitely wanted to see less of. Isabelle and Raphael’s forced romance is something has felt so awkward an infuriating, which is a shame because as individuals they’re great characters. I like the idea behind Raphael becoming a more pronounced character in the show, but there are other ways to do that than to force a romance that most of the fans despised just in order to keep Simon and Isabelle apart.

Favorite Episode

Parabatai Lost (2×03) | This was one of those episodes that had all of the emotions I’ve come to expect from the books so beautifully woven into an hour of television. Getting that focus on Jace and Alec’s parabatai bond and that relationship in general was so important and was the emotional catalyst for the episode.

Least Favorite Episode

Dust and Shadows (2×05) | I wish I could wipe this episode from my brain – minus the Simon coming out to his mother part. That whole demon impregnation storyline with Iris and how Clary was almost raped. This was just terrible and disgraceful.

Midseason Finale Impression

As an episode of television, “By the Light of Dawn” was an action packed hour that delivered some big moments and set the stage for season 2B. There were moments that made your jaw drop and moments that left you asking questions about: What next?

But there were definitely some missed opportunities at paying homage to the book that this episode missed out on. For example, I’m more than thrilled that we’re going to be exploring Simon as a Daylighter, but there was a missed opportunity to make this an even more emotional scene. Alberto Rosende brings the emotion in every scene he’s in, but it could’ve been even better if Clary had been with him and there was a viable reaction to the possibility of Simon dying. That’s what made the moment so impactful in the books.

But “By the Light of Dawn” did what a midseason finale should do: It delivered big moments, teased what’s to come, and left the audience asking questions about what comes next.

Season 2B Speculation

The midseason finale certainly left us with more questions than answers, even though it provided us some answers. And that’s exactly what it’s supposed to do.

With Jace learning that he and Clary are in fact not brother and sister, what happens next? Will we see Jace tell Clary immediately? What happens when he tells her the truth, now that she’s dating Simon? But also, Jace isn’t Valentine’s son, so who is he? Books fans know the answer to this – and they’d better stay faithful to that. But how is the show going to answer that question without Inquisitor Herondale present?

Simon is now a Daylighter, which we know is something that puts a literal target on his back. How are the vampires going to react to that? How is this show going to present the significance of this storyline?

We also know that Sebastian is coming to the show in the back half of season 2, which leaves us with more questions than answers. Who is Sebastian going to be? Is he going to be Sebastian Velac per City of Glass? Where are we going to meet him? Alicante? New York City? How does he actually play into this second season? Are we going to see interactions between him and Valentine? Sebastian’s arrival brings all the questions and none of the answers.

What were your thoughts on Shadowhunters season 2A? What did you love? What did you hate? What do you want to see more of? Less of? Sound off in the comments!

Shadowhunters returns for season 2B on Monday, June 5 at 8/7c on Freeform.

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