It’s Spooky Season – October TBR

I love fall.

Being from the east coast, I grew up with seasons. There’s lots of snow in the winter, spring brings flowers and allergies, and summer is hot and humid. And there’s bugs. I hate bugs more than anything. Since we had the hottest summer on record in the last few years, I am more than ready for sweaters and candles and much, much cooler weather.

This also means I’m ready for fall and Halloween themed books! I like Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween as much as the next person, with Hocus Pocus being one of my all time favorite movies, but there’s something about a book set against a backdrop of colorful leaves and pumpkins that gives me a thrill.

I’ve been compiling a list of books I’m planning to read this October and thought I’d share it here.

The Ex Hex, formally (Hocus Pocus but they F)

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling, who is also former YA author Rachel Hawkins. Releasing September 28th, I don’t know much about this book other than I made a promise to read every book the author puts out. Rachel Hawkins is my spirit animal. And truly, she had me at Hocus Pocus but they F. (A/N – I scheduled this post before winning a giveaway copy of this book. If you want to read my review, check it out here!)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Previously reviewed here, this is an interesting gothic novel involving murder, magic, and two sisters willing to take their secrets to the grave. Fun fact, I live near a preschool called Merricat’s Castle, which is both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

Hell House by Richard Matheson

Another reread, and one that will likely be saved for Halloween night, is one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read. A physicist and two mediums are paid handsomely to spend time in a sealed Maine mansion in order to figure out what comes after death. Together, they find out the secrets the abandoned Belasco manor holds, and why the townsfolk call it Hell House.

The Blackwood Bay Witches Mystery series by Misty Bane

This might be an overly ambitious amount to try and get through in October, but a challenge I’m willing to take on.

I pose a question to anyone who reads this: what are your favorite fall/Halloween books? What are you hoping to read this October?

Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT PITY.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT REGRET.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT NUMBER.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING.

Hidden in the mountains of Wales, rows of tin soldiers, automatons, are waiting. The Magister’s great creation is finally ready, with the unwilling help of Tessa Gray, to slaughter the Shadowhunters. An army is coming, metal on metal with the souls of demons, ready to battle without feelings or emotion. The Infernal Devices have consciousness now, and are set to destroy.

Benedict Lightwood is a worm. I’d forgotten this part. A great, serpent-like thing, his dalliances with demons have take away his humanity and transformed him into a monster. The Lightwood brothers are disturbed, disgusted, and horrified by what’s become of their father and take refuge in the London Institute, under the care of Charlotte Branwell.

Jem Carstairs is dying. He’s been dying, but his addiction has accelerated due to wanting to live – and love. After taking a year’s worth of yin fen in eight week’s time, his life force is quickly draining and there’s no more of the drug to be found. It’s heartbreak for his loved ones.

Tessa Gray is finally in The Magister’s possession. She learns of her true parentage and how she fits into his grand scheme. With only her Clockwork Angel to protect her, she must fight for her life, and everyone else she loves, in this final installment of The Infernal Devices.

One thing that bothers me is Consul Wayland’s hatred of Charlotte being head of the Institute, as well as the new Consul when Wayland steps down. Can a man be so blinded by thinking women are inferior that he’d risk his entire people because someone with ovaries is making sense? Possibly, and it keeps with the time, but I wish that had been further explained instead of being stopped with a blade.

I am glad I decided to reread this series. The non-stop pace, engaging stories, and lovable, albeit heartrending characters made quick reads throughout otherwise gloomy days. I hope one day Cassandra Clare writes more about Tessa and Will as adults. While they are involved in her most current series, The Last Hours, which was a wonderful surprise, I’m definitely craving more of their love story. Clockwork Princess’ ending had me bawling like it was 2013 all over again.

While I want to pick up the other books in this world and reread those as well, I definitely need a break. And just in time for some fall reads, which I’m also excited about. Until next time, nephilim.

Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would I reread it again? Yes!

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare

In 2011, when Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare was first released, I left a blurb on Goodreads saying “oh holy hell, this book.” I believe it was meant for the ending, but it’s been ten years, so one really doesn’t know.

Tessa Gray is coming to terms with her life in London. She’s living in the Institute with the Shadowhunters, beginning a training regimen under the Lightwoods, and closer to finding the truth about who – or what – she is. But things aren’t looking good for the London Institute, directed by Charlotte and Henry Branwell, they’ve come under fire for being neglectful of how it’s run, or perhaps the Clave just needs a guise to uproot a female leader. It is Victorian London, after all.

The Magister still seeks Tessa to be his own. She, along with the increasingly confusing and moody Will Herondale and the ever faithful Jem Carstairs, begin to unravel plots within plots as they race to uncover the mystery of his Clockwork Army, his true parentage, and the lifelong vendetta he holds against the Shadowhunters. And what does Benedict Lightwood have against them? Why is he suddenly so forceful in the removal of Charlotte from her position?

Cassandra Clare tells this book from shifting narratives, weaving Tessa’s story into Will’s with surprising outcomes. The ending is a shocker, but not so much if you’ve been paying attention.

All in all I’m glad to have picked this series up again. I’ll finish it out, but I wish I had thought to read this prior to reading The Last Hours series. While I recognized names and places, it would have been helpful to have the backstories fresh in my mind.

Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? Sure, it’s a regular reread!

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

I originally read Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare when it debuted in 2010. My Goodreads blurb about the book was as follows:

This reminded me a little bit of A Great and Terrible Beauty, and the main characters all have some semblance to the TMI characters, and Cassandra Clare is entirely too fond of cliffhangers, but this is otherwise one of my favorite books read this year.

While I still have issues using a comma appropriately and don’t really remember A Great and Terrible Beauty all that well, the rest remains true. Cassandra Clare knows how to tell a story, and while she does recycle plot lines and characters, her ability to hold your attention from the start is refreshing, especially in the YA world.

Tessa Gray is more than what she seems. An orphaned girl from New York, she lives with her Aunt and brother after the death of her parents. But Nate soon takes a job in London, and when Aunt Harriet dies, he sends for her to join him. Disembarking from the steamboat, her world is flipped upside down as she’s taken prisoner by the Dark Sisters, a pair of Downworlders charged with teaching Tessa to Change. Tessa’s not actually human, and her scalawag of a brother has traded her person for a handful of silver. Her ability has caught the attention of The Magister, who wants the shape shifting girl for his own.

Breaking free of the Dark Sisters, Tessa meets Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs, Shadowhunters who are sworn to protect and fight against those who seek to destroy. Together they begin seeking out Tessa’s missing brother, making their way through the dangerous underworld of warlocks, demons, and other supernatural beings. But what they find is much more than a missing sibling and vampire games.

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) by Cassandra Clare

Months after the Shadowhunter attacks of the summer, old fears return as a murderer walks loose in dawn hours. Patrols are set up, and Cordelia and her friends take personal interest in the deaths as James finds himself in a waking nightmare. Who is killing their own in the early hours? And why are the bodies located in such places? Why are they missing ruins?

For Cordelia Carstairs and the Merry Thieves, life in London continues on in Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare. Cordelia is married now, and only those closest to her know the truth behind her sham marriage vows. While she loves her husband desperately, she’s unnerved by the fact that he loves another. Together they brave increasingly romantic moments while trying to remind themselves of promises made.

Lucie Herondale discovers a strange new power. She’s always been able to see ghosts as it’s a Herondale family trait, but now she finds she’s able to command them to her will. Together with Grace Blackthorn, the unlikely pair begin to dive into necromancy and illegal magic in effort to raise Grace’s brother Jesse from the dead. Neither trusts the other, but their mutual love for Jesse brings them together in fantastical escapades.

Matthew Fairchild is determined to live his life in an obliterated state. Golden, charismatic, with a cheshire smile – he should have the world at his feet. But between harboring secrets and drowning himself in alcohol, and his friends and family become increasingly worried that he’ll be his own ruin.

While I’ve grown out of Cassandra Clare’s overwhelming descriptions of young love and beauty, I really enjoyed Chain of Iron and was sad to realize there’s no release date for the third installment of The Last Hours series. Clare churns books out like clockwork, but world events have put a damper even on publishing, I imagine. She’s got multiple books in this universe and they have a special place in my heart. I haven’t read all of her side stories, but I do think I’ll revisit the prequel series to The Last Hours, Infernal Devices. It’s been awhile.