Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices, Book 2)

June is Summer Sequels
I'm playing catchup to all the series I never get to read! Here are some great follow up titles, including some much anticipated sequels. I've got fantasy, romance, mythology, action, and more!

SPOILER ALERT: This is the second book in a series!

Tessa, Jem and Will are back. After their narrow escape from the clockwork army of the Magister, whom they now know is Mortmain, they hope for some recognition, and maybe some rest. But the Clave wants to strip Charlotte of her position as Head of the London Institute for her role in the disaster.

After tireless efforts to locate him, Mortmain is no where to be found. The Clave is backed into a corner by Benedict Lightwood's influence. They give her two weeks to locate him, before they remove her from her post. This is especially troubling to Tessa, as she has no where to go. Her family is dead, except for Nate, and they all know him to have been essential in Mortmain's plan. If the Institute were to be handed over to the Lightwoods' there is little chance that she would either want to, or be able to, stay.

In hot pursuit of any leads, they make their way down to Mormain's childhood home. They find more than they bargained for, as Will's family seems to be staying there. They are met by a mechanical man who warns them that his family's safety is in peril, especially if Will tries to contact them or warn them in any way. Furious and beside himself, Will flees to Magnus. His desperation is apparent, and Magnus is finally able to get the story of why finding this demon is so important.

Meanwhile, Jem and Tessa grow ever more intimate, even sharing a moment Tessa considers highly improper for a lady. Confused at her own feelings, she throws herself into their next assignment. She and Will undertake crashing a party at the Lightwoods'. It is there that they learn the true level of involvment Benedict and his family have with the darker elements. It is an eye opening experience to be sure, as even Nate Grey (Tessa's brother) is there. Having unknowingly drunk spiked punch, Tessa and Will share their own inappropriate moment. Her feelings toward Will are still in a very confused place, but he has made it clear in the past that there can be nothing between them. It was only the drink that influenced them...right?

In the middle of both a love triangle, and a deadly plot, Tessa hardly knows which way is up. As they uncover more and more of the endlessly tangled web of Mortmain, they begin to despair that the Institute is lost. His plans are rooted in revenge. Their research uncovers the origin of his anger: his adoptive parents were killed by the Clave for illegal magic. The exact circumstances seem suspect, and (despite his actions being heinous in every way) may actually point to abuses by the Clave.

What is to become of Will, Tessa, and Jem? Can they find the Magister and put a stop to his plans before he destroys the Clave? Can Tessa chose between the two boys that she loves? A compelling story, and one that will have readers desperate for more. Personally, the romance got a little ridiculous. Call me cold hearted. Fans of the Mortal Instruments series will enjoy this as well.
“Will’s voice dropped. “Everyone makes mistakes, Jem.”
“Yes,” said Jem. “You just make more of them than most people.”
“I —”
“You hurt everyone,” said Jem. “Everyone whose life you touch.”
“Not you,” Will whispered. “I hurt everyone but you. I never meant to
hurt you.”
Jem put his hands up, pressing his palms against his eyes. “Will —”
“You can’t never forgive me,” Will said in disbelief, hearing the
panic tinging his own voice. “I’d be —”
“Alone?” Jem lowered his hand, but he was smiling now, crookedly. “And
whose fault is that?” (Clare, 2012).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices, Book 3) March 2013
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments, Book 1)
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade

Clare, Cassandra. (2012). Clockwork Prince. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson (100 Cupboards, Book 2)

SPOILER ALERT: This is the second book in a series.

Henry thought that everything was getting back to normal. No more witch, no more monsters, and his uncle is threatening to patch the wall that holds all the cupboards. His parents are on their way back from their trip, and he'll have to return to his old life: over-protected and under-loved. That is, until he gets struck by some crazy lightning that blinds him!

Henrietta has finally admitted to hiding the key, and had only just returned it when Henry is struck down. It is she who notices that the lightning never actually touches him. There is something more going on. When Henry is visited by the evil wizard Darius, he learns a little about his past. He is a seventh son who possesses the sight - second sight which allows him to see the true nature of people. It is this that confronts him as his sight comes back. After a narrow escape from Darius, Henry is faced with another daunting task: finding his way back to his own world.

Meanwhile, Henrietta has gone into the cupboards, thinking she has followed Henry and Richard (who had planned to do just that before they were kidnapped!). She encounters the Queen of the Fitzfaeren, and learns that her grandfather was responsible for taking several powerful objects which led to the downfall of the faeren all those years ago.

Finding both Henry and Henrietta gone, Frank and Dotty are dismayed. Nothing prepares them, however, for the return of Darius! He is back looking for Henry, and calling him his "son"?! Darius does leave, but not before throwing the house in Kansas...well...out of Kansas. Opening the door, they find none of their neighbors or friends, only endless prairie. Faced with few other options, the rest of the family goes into the cupboards looking for them.

Henry's adventures are fraught with danger and peril, but he manages to find his way to Badon Hill. It is here he learns of his father: Mordecai. He is the one who saved them from the evil Queen of Endor, and locked her away. Will Henry and the others be able to stop the Queen from destroying everything in her quest for life and power? Will their family ever be reunited? This is an imaginative, adventurous sequel, one not to be read too late at night. Recommended.
"He could feel a warm tingling on his head, sprouting off his palm. Henry lowered his arm and looked at it. This time he watched it grow and swirl.
The world was dangerous. He could be strong, or he could be weak. In Kansas or Byzanthamum. A dandelion had burned him behind a barn, had made him something else. Or he had already been something else, and the dandelion made him notice. There was no place he could go to escape the questions he had," (Wilson, 2009).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
The Chesnut King by N.D. Wilson (100 Cupboards, Book 3)
Beyond the Deepwoods by Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart (Edge Chronicles, Book 1)
Mister Monday by Garth Nix (Keys to the Kingdom, Book 1)

Wilson, N. D. (2009). Dandelion Fire. New York: Random House.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (Graceling, Book 3)

SPOILER ALERT: This is the third book in a series!

Katsa and Po have killed Leck, the former king of Monsea, who was Graced with the horrible ability to influence people's minds. They all suffered horribly from his cruelty and tyranny. He killed Bitterblue's mother when they tried to escape, and did untold damage to his court and staff.

Bitterblue has taken the throne. In the eight years that have passed since, she and her advisors have tried to pick up the pieces of a broken kingdom. Bitterblue has no idea what kinds of horrible deeds were perpetrated under Leck's terrible Grace, and her own advisors seem haunted by the memories. Unable to ofter comfort, or ask them what truly happened during that time, she is frustrated.

She feels stifled by the tasks of being a ruler, stuck all day in her office signing documents. It becomes too much to bear, and she decides to sneak away from the castle. She encounters a story room, where a storyteller recounts a tale for the crowd, and is surprised to hear that they are still telling tales of Leck's arrival in Monsea, how he charmed the court and easily made his way onto the throne. While this is something she has heard before, she is captivated by the story. It holds more truth than her own memory it seems.

Part of the horror of Leck's Grace was his ability to cloud memory and judgment. Bitterblue struggles with wanting to know the past, but also wanting to put it all behind her and move on. Her advisors have encouraged her to put out a blanket pardon for all crimes committed under Leck, as there is no way to tell what was done at Leck's bidding or not. This nettles her, leaving a feeling of dissatisfaction.

On one of her increasingly common ventures into the city, Bitterblue befriends an unlikely pair: Saf and Teddy. The two are printers, but they also admit to being "treasure hunters." They attempt to locate items stolen under Leck's rule, and return them to their rightful owners. This spurs Bitterblue to examine her own policy on reparations, and an attempt on her life cements her unease. There is something going on, and her advisors aren't being completely honest with her.

She stumbles upon a few things that may help her discover the truth behind Leck's reign. Her mother embroidered a code onto her sheets and blankets that she must painstakingly decode. A secret room containing Leck's diaries is also uncovered, and the librarian is entreated to help reveal the secret. They are written in a wholely different language, one that hints at another undiscovered land.

Katsa and Po are on hand to help along the way, but they have their own issues with which to deal. Being in charge of the Council and dethroning unworthy Kings has been their work of late. Bitterblue is glad of their help countless times, and her growing friendship, especially with Saf is threatened by her lie.

Is she more like her father than she realizes? This is her biggest fear, and the challenge she must face to become a good Queen. Can she unwrap all the mystery without falling apart herself? The past threatens to swallow them all. An intricate wrap-up of the Graceling world, Cashore does a masterful job of weaving a fantasy mystery with plenty of horrors entertwined. Fans of the first book will no doubt love Bitterblue in a new setting. Highly anticipated, it may disappoint fans who expected another action story.
   Teddy's words. Who are my 'first men'? What did he mean by cutting and stitching? Am I in danger? Whose prey am I?
   Danshol's worlds. What did he SEE? Was he complicit with Leck in some way? What was he trying to say?'
   Teddy and Saf's actions. Why did they steal a gargoyle, and other things too? What does it mean to steal what's already been stolen?
   Darby's records. Was he lying to me about the gargoyles never having been there?
   General mysteries. Who attacked Teddy?
   Things I've seen with my own eyes. Why is the east city falling apart but decorated anyway? Why was Leck so peculiar about decorating the castle?
   What did Leck DO?" (Cashore pg. 100, 2012).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Fire by Kristin Cashore (Graceling series, Book 2)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices, Book 1)

Cashore, Kristin, Schoenherr, I., Kelly, J., & Dial Books. (2012). Bitterblue. New York, NY: Dial Books.

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures, Book 3)

SPOILER ALERT: This is the third book in a series!

Ethan and Lena are back. After claiming herself at the 17th moon, Lena has thrown off the balance of the entire world, and there are consequences. All the Casters are struggling with their powers. They have become unpredictable and unruly, and in some cases, are virtually useless.

There are troubles for the lovebirds too. Lena can hardly touch without Ethan getting painfully shocked, and with her powers out of control there's not telling what damage she could do. Ridley is trying to adjust to being mortal, while Link attempts to balance his new Incubus powers. The two seem linked in a love-hate orbit.
The normal world is also affected: swarms of locusts, record heat waves, and other natural phenomena are occurring. It is causing some stir with the locals claiming that the end of days is near.

 Everyone is on the lookout for John Breed, who may be the key to solving the whole mystery. It seems clear that Abraham wants him for some reason, and will stop at nothing to get it. He causes havok that destroys half the town, including Marian's library. The Aunts' house is affected, and Aunt Prue gets hurt.

Meanwhile, something is going on with Amma. Link and Ethan follow her to a voodoo magician in New Orleans, where she makes some dark bargain. There is something she knows that she's not sharing.

Ethan gets a message from his mother in the form of his Shadowing Song. He also hears another voice, this one hides at the edges of his mind, lurking. It says, "I'm Waiting." Lena is struggling with the abandonment of her mother, and new visions of the past hint that maybe going dark isn't a choice at all. Is Sarafine actually good?

With the end of the world imminent, what's a kid to do? When Ethan's English teacher transforms into a creature calling herself The Lilum they get a clue. There is no escaping the wheel of fate. Whatever is coming will restore the balance, and create a new order...but who is the song talking about?

Great for high school readers, this is a series with twists and turns that keeps you guessing. The fantasy elements never overwhelm the story, but rather enhance them nicely. The romance is sweet and realistic. Recommended.
"Eighteen Moons, eighteen fears,
The cries of Mortals fade, appear,
Those unknown and those unseen
Crushed in the hands of the Demon Queen...

The Demon Queen? Seriously? After the literal translation of the Vex verse, I didn't want to imagine what a run-in with a Demon Queen could mean. I hoped my mom had confused it with homecoming queen.
But the songs were never wrong," (Stohl and Garcia pg. 206, 2011).
*Library Link*

If  you liked this, check out:
Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures, Book 4) October 2012
Marked by P.C. Cast (House of Night, Book 1)
Shiver by Maggie Stievater (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 1)

Garcia, Kami, & Stohl, Margaret (2011). Beautiful Chaos. Boston: Little, Brown.

The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan (The Kane Chronicles: Book 3)

SPOILER ALERT: This is the 3rd book in a series.

Sadie and Carter are back again, trying to stop the end of the world...again. The Chaos snake Apophis has awoken, and plans to arise out of the Duat (spirit world) on the equinox. Before he gets that far, he's making sure to cause lots of havoc. Different Nomes (magician temples) are being destroyed, and all the magicians killed. Apophis wants to guarantee his success, he's not leaving anything to chance. He has hunted down and incinerated all copies of the spell which might imprison him again.

Sadie and Carter are running out of ideas. Sadie gets a hint from a ghost she starts calling Uncle Vinnie. They save a shadow box from one of the Nomes before it is leveled, and discover is literally holds the sheut, or soul shadow, of its owner. From this, a plan is born. They will capture Apophis' shadow, and execrate that instead of trying to vanquish Apophis himself (which is most likely to end in them burning to a crisp anyway).

Along the way, they get some help from their friends. Walt is at death's door, literally, but he refuses to give up the fight. Anubis crashes the school dance to talk to Sadie, and gives her some distressing news: they have been forbidden to see each other anymore. Apparently the gods don't look kindly on human/god romance. The other bad news is that the only person who can help them with the shadow is being tried in her father/Osiris' court. As if they didn't have enough to do already!

They go to visit Osiris at the Hall of Judgment, and stop along the way to learn a little from Thoth, the god of wisdom. After that, they split up. Carter and Zia take Setne to find the shadow. Sadie and Walt head off to find Bes's shadow, they think they can restore him to his former self and practice the spell for Apophis in one go.

Of course nothing goes quite according to plan. Several more of their friends have been following the path of the gods, and surprises abound. Bloodstained Blade makes an appearance, as does Set. The final showdown against Apophis and his minions is coming, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Can the Kanes find a way to defeat the chaos snake without sacrificing everything they love? Great for middle school and high school, and any interested in Egyptian mythology.
"'Shadows,' I said. 'This bloke Setne...he found a way to use shadows for an execration spell. if the sheut is a backup copy of the soul, and if Setne's magic could be used in reverse...'
Tawaret's eyes widened. 'You believe you could use Bes's shadow to bring him back?'
'Yes.' I knew it sounded made, but I had to believe. Saying it aloud to Tawaret, who cared about Bes even more than I did...well, I simply couldn't let her down. Besides, if we could do this for Bes, then who knew? Perhaps we could use the same magic to get the sun god Ra back into fighting shape," (Riordan pg 166, 2012).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan Kane Chronicles, Book 1
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers
Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner

Riordan, Rick. (2012). The Serpent's Shadow. New York: Disney/Hyperion.