What really happened in Peru – The Bane Chronicles part 1 – Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan.
Nothing apparently. Unlike everyone else seemingly who’s read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, Magnus Bane isn’t my favourite character (that honour goes to Simon) but I was still a little excited when I heard that this was going to be a thing. Magnus after all is immortal, so he must have a whole plethora of stories to tell. Well, when I say excited, a third of me was excited. Another third of me wished that the set of novellas could have been about Tessa Gray post Clockwork Princess and the rest of me wants Cassandra Clare to let the whole shadow hunters thing go and move on.
Anyway, this is the first of a short series of stories about Magnus and some of his adventures, for these Cassandra Clare has teamed up with some of her writing friends and for the first one, we get her collaborating with Sarah Rees Brennan (of Unspoken fame), here’s the blurb to tell you what this is all about:
There are good reasons Peru is off-limits to Magnus Bane. Follow Magnus’s Peruvian escapades as he drags his fellow warlocks Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss into trouble, learns several instruments (which he plays shockingly), dances (which he does shockingly), and disgraces his host nation by doing something unspeakable to the Nazca Lines.
I’ll be honest, this review could be done in one word: disappointed.
Here’s a list of reasons why.
1) this is fairly expensive for a short, stand alone e book.
2) at the end of every little adventure Magnus embarks on whilst in Peru it ends with some variation of the sentence: that’s not how Magnus got banned from Peru. Well, why are you telling me about it then? Just write a story about a really long holiday that he took there with the thing he did at the end. That would have been much less annoying.
3) The writing. The two different writing styles did not blend well at all, it was glaringly obvious who wrote what which disrupted the flow, some of the narration was ridiculously simplistic as well which really gets my goat. Just write it in the style of the previous series! Why is that so hard?!
4) It felt a little like Cassandra Clare was just writing fan fiction of her own work.
I’m not saying it was awful, I’m just saying that I expected it to be much better than it actually was. Bits of the book were great, I laughed out loud at the bit with the guinea pigs, I enjoyed the insight into the life of Ragnor Fell, I enjoyed the interaction between him and Magnus and I enjoyed reading about their adventures in Peru. I just would have rather they had one long adventure that ended in the reason why he can never return there than several adventures most of which end with the aforementioned irritating sentence. It just made those tales a little bit pointless. Magnus wasn’t quite as sassy in this as he is in the actual Mortal Instruments/ Infernal Devices books either. Which is a shame. So… Not bad, but not especially good either. Also, the cover design has incorporated Godfrey Gao who’ll be playing Magnus in the film version of City of Bones, but that’s not how Magnus looks in my head so that kind of irritated it for me too, because they’re never going to be separate any more.