Book Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (#1-10) by Cassandra Clare

22428828Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pub Date: November 15, 2016
Format: Kobo eBook
Pages: 672
Source: Purchased
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: ★★★
Goodreads || Buy on Amazon


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. The events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. At least Simon’s trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. Written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman, these moving and hilarious short stories are perfect for the fan who just can’t get enough of the Shadowhunters.


My review:

This book is a compilation of novellas that take place after The Mortal Instruments series. Do not read this book if you have not read The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices. You’ll find it really difficult to care about any of these characters if you don’t know their background stories.

I feel like this book was supposed to act as a smooth transition between the ending of The Mortal Instruments and the beginning of The Dark Artifices. Because of this (and the numerous folks who told me to), I decided that I could not start reading Lady Midnight until I finished Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. I guess you could say it was a waste of time, but I’m not sure. It wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t great. There were bits and pieces that I loved because some of my favourite characters made minor appearances (Jem, Tessa, the lost Herondale himself, etc.) but the rest of the stories seemed very unnecessary. Granted, there were some scenes that made a lot more sense once I read Lady Midnight.

I waited to review this book until after completing Lady Midnight so I could honestly tell you if the novellas are a necessary prerequisite. My final answer? Meh. For the amount of time and money this book took from me, it did not substantially affect my reading experience in the first instalment of The Dark Artifices. We’re already introduced to most, if not all of the new characters in City of Heavenly Fire, so the rest is just a stack of filler chapters. This is not a “make or break” transition read. It’s really up to you. I purchased the entirety of the novellas before I read a single one, so I felt like I had to finish them. Maybe you can save yourself a few bucks.

If you’re one of those people who just wants more of the Shadowhunters and their world, then by all means pick up this book. I know you’ll probably take whatever you can get to hold you over until the TV show gets better.

You can find my thoughts on each individual novella on Goodreads. Go to goodreads.com/babygotpaperback if you’re dying to know what my immediate reactions to each story were.

Here are the individual ratings:

  • Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy (#1): ★★
  • The Lost Herondale (#2): ★★★
  • The Whitechapel Fiend (#3): ★★★
  • Nothing but Shadows (#4): ★★★
  • The Evil We Love (#5): ★★★★
  • Pale Kings and Princes (#6): ★★★
  • Bitter of Tongue (#7): ★★
  • The Fiery Trial (#8): ★★★
  • Born to Endless Night (#9): ★★★
  • Angels Twice Descending (#10): ★★★

I apologize for how odd this review might be. I just didn’t know how else to do it.

 

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