Thursday, 25 April 2013

GoodRead - What Really Happened In Peru

When news was revealed that Cassandra Clare was writing a collection of tales of fan favourite, Magnus Bane, with two of her writer friends (aka Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson), the Shadowhunter fandom explode. Plus how the stories will be released to the fan was interesting (if you are a book publishing nerd): the stories would be released through the course of the year (sometimes, two stories per month) as an eNovella and, at the end of it, the stories would be put together in one volume and released as an actual book (well... that's the rumour. Am pretty certain this is the plan for the US. Not sure of Walker Books [the UK Publishers] plans as of yet.)

So, What Really Happened in Peru. The first in these eNovella, co-authored by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan, tells us of Magnus's adventures in Peru. It also hints at why he's banned from Peru.

Now, I need to talk honestly about this so, be warned dear readers, spoilers will fly in this. If you don't want to know spoilers, then stop reading this review.

It was a fast fun read. We got a slight insight into Magnus's life before the Infernal Devices and Mortal Instruments series. We see him playful, at his most drunk (which gives us readers the best lines - "Magnus, you were flirting with your own plate.") and him enjoying life. Very much a summer read, fun and fluffy while you're lying by the pool or at the beach.

Which, brings me to this part of the review where most of you guys will hate if you're fans of Cassandra's world. Sorry, but I have issues. Well, three, mainly.

1. Writing - I know this is co-authored. I get that, but I found the writing slightly off. It was cheeky and fun, like Magnus. But as someone who has recently read Clockwork Princess, the writing felt different. As if Sarah wrote most of the story and Cassandra read it over, added a few details and that was it. This is my problem. It felt odd for me to read a character created by one author and yet written by another.

2. The story. It felt glossed-over. Which is odd for me to say that as there are times when reading I wish for more glossy read but this felt too slick, too rushed. We saw Magnus in Peru 4 times and these took place at different times and over last different lengths - one story was one mortal summer and it lasted only five minutes reading time and a second took several months/year and it took most of the eNovella. Why couldn't we have 4 eNovellas, each going more in-depth over his adventures? 

3. The ending. Right, this is why I warned you of spoilers. This point, and here is where my main issue is. The title of this eNovella is What Really Happened In Peru, which means fans should be be getting an answer to a question that has been bugging them for months/years: "Why is Magnus Bane banned from Peru?" The eNovella didn't answer this question. It gave a paragraph at the end, saying Magnus was banned for "crimes unspeakable" and he didn't know what these crimes were. So, the reason why he is banned is a mystery to himself and to us. Sorry, but... no. No, I am not happy about this. I feel... kinda lied to. And I hate it when authors LIE to their readers. Authors, do not lie to your readers!

So, with this, I kinda tempted to say avoid. But I won't. I am going to say this instead: if you want to read this, go for it. Here's something light and fun. However, if you are going into this expecting answers, don't hold your breath. If you are expecting answers, then hold onto your money for the time being.


  1. This is such a well written post. I've bought a copy of WRHIP because I've loved all of the Shadowhunter books but I was concerned that it might not work. I like both authors but have wondered if this is more of a vanity project (y'know, like when they all made Ocean's 13 and it was more about them hanging out having fun than making a decent movie). I'm sure that if Patrick Ness or someone was my bessie mate then I'd be suggesting we co-wrote bits and pieces ALL THE TIME (by which I mean, he'd write them and put my name on the front) but perhaps Clare and Rees Brennan were concentrating more on having fun/trading on their joint popularity than writing fully formed stories. Either way, I'll still be reading it as it sounds like fun but you raise some really interesting points.

    1. And I felt that I wrote this in a rush so you to say this was well-written is lovely. Thank you!

      Yeah, I get that. It was fun to read and I think that both Sarah and Cassie were having fun with it, but it was the final point - the ending and the lack of one certain answer - that bothered me the most. But I would love to read your thoughts on this story when you read it