A collection of Shadowhunter short stories proves a good read between series’

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So well have I done with all the Shadowhunter world books this year that the only 2 I have left to read are the collections of novella’s in Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy and The Bane Chronicles. Keen to try and reach my achievement of reading them all by the end of 2017 I decided to push on and read Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy, the book that would ultimately complete my Good Reads 2017 challenge of reading 52 books this year.

This book picks up with Simon after the end of City of Heavenly Fire so if you haven’t read the mortal instruments series it’s probably best you do that first to avoid any spoilers as this collection is full of references to both The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. It also looks forward into the books that came after this one, The Dark Artifices and offers a brief glimpse at some of the new characters who Clare is going to be building her new adventures around in the Shadowhunter world so we meet Emma and Julian and Mark & Helen Blackthorn.

Set inside the school for Shadowhunters we follow Simon as he trains to become a Shadowhunter himself and the different people he meets during his journey and the friends he makes and trials he faces. Popping in and out of the school we find lots of familiar faces who are either just dropping by to see Simon such as Isabelle, Clary and Jace or we have some guest teachers who drop by to share their stories from the Shadowhunter world in the case of Magnus Bane, Tessa Grey and Robert Lightwood.

There are lots of cautionary tales in here for new Shadowhunters that give us extra glimpses into the world we’ve learned about through the previous series’ and it’s nice to revisit stories that have been touched on but never fully explored in the past. They are also great at highlighting the political and social inequalities in the Shadowhunter world, the prejudices they inflict on others and their harsh rules that they often live by and hide behind. As we have moved into The Dark Artifices this has become more important to Clare’s storytelling and so this book was another great chance to explore stories that make you think about whether at its core there is something corrupt in the whole world.

I am not a lover of short stories which is effectively what this book is, all be it strung together cohesively into a sort of story. I sometimes find myself losing focus with them but I didn’t find this an issue with this book. It was because of the way the stories were drawn together and fed on from each other that I think helped with this. It didn’t feel so much like jumping from one time period to another without reason or hearing about tales individually from each other, they were all linked with clever storytelling and strong moral teachings from each one.

I have given this a 4 out of 5, but honestly, I’d probably lean more towards a 3.5 however this is because held up against the other Shadowhunter novels it is one that you really could take or leave and not impact your understanding of the others. It was a good read but it was really a filler book to get us from The Mortal Instruments to The Dark Artifice through the use of the short stories that had been written about the world.

A collection of set in the balmy heat of summer featuring some of Young Adult Fictions hottest authors

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have never been a fan of short stories or short story collections, I tend to want to get behind characters and stay with them for the long haul, I’ve never really loved the short snappy stories where you are just getting used to all the different people when it suddenly is at an end. I’d heard really good things though about Summer Days and Summer Nights, a collection of 12 Love Stories by some of today’s best Young Adult authors and all themed around Summer that I felt I had to give it a try.

This book contains stories by such well known authors as Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo and Jennifer E. Smith. Some of these authors I’ve read books by recently and other’s I have plans to delve into their books in the very near future and so I felt that the calibre of writing was high enough that we could anticipate some great stories along the way.

All of the stories are generally in a contemporary setting but some have a more paranormal or fantastical setting to them than others. Some are very much just a contemporary short love story with the theme of summer central to them whereas others are more clever in their twist on the theme of love. Along the way we meet some great characters and as I sit here reflecting back on this book, as I finished it just over a week ago, I find them coming back to me piece by piece and I’m smiling fondly as I remember the stories.

I don’t think I’m a convert to the short story genre, I still find them harder to invest in but what I did enjoy was the ability to read lots of different themes and characters over the period of a few days and to keep feeling I was trying something new each time I started a new story.

I gave this 3 stars but I think fans of the short story may find it deserves more than that but for me it was a little bit of a filler between two books to give me something different but I’m not sure if in a year I’ll remember any of the stories specifically.