Lady Midnight: The Dark Artifices Book One by Cassandra Clare
I thought this series was called ‘The Dark Artefacts’ until I was 1/3 of the way through it. The overall name of this saga has changed from ‘The Mortal Instruments’ to ‘Shadowhunters’. In LA, a gang of teen shadowhunters deal with horrendous calamities, evil deviant fairies, a notoriously convoluted love story and the social poison of a mad murderer.
People are blighted by misfortune and self-silencing. This book is inordinately long and cliché infested as teen shadowhunters chance upon the inexplicable. People have an apparent inability to be sensible. There are folk beliefs, grim truths, sadness and urgency, misguided revelations and corrosive arguments. Clare does not handle the multiple plot arcs with any degree of equanimity. There is no intense drama.
Man-boys are intrusively creepy. The plot is rambling and confusing. The super couple are woebegone and permanently moody and obsessed with their own shortcomings. I did not care for any of the couples or any of the plot arcs. Stars of past books make cameos but everyone is so whiny and unpleasant and full of repressed fury and intense anger that you just don’t care. This was mediocre and dull.
“I behaved ill.”
“You’re ruining the ambiance.”
“This place has ambiance?”
“No understanding, no sympathy, and no tolerance.”
Jinty Annual 1981
This is a collection of dated advice (fat shaming, con-tact paper) and ludicrous stories. This was not artistically credible; it just showed the cultural practices of a bygone age.
“It was supposed to represent the four seasons of the year, but all of them looked like a foggy day in Scunthorpe.”
The Private Lives Of The Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain’s Greatest Dynasty by Tracy Borman
The Tudors created a mystique of monarchy. This book shows how from Henry VII to Elizabeth I - they cultivated public and private personas. Borman shows how every act was calculated from their toilet use, to their underwear (or lack thereof), their carpets and how they washed themselves and their hair. This is a fascinating tale of people lived in a bygone age.
“How swiftly his favour could be lost.”
“He does not trust anyone alive.”
“The King’s notoriously fickle goodwill.”
“I never did see such lack of good order, discretion, and sobriety, as I have now done.”