I realize I will have to format this review a bit differently, otherwise it would go on forever! I’m not going to be giving a synopsis for each of the short stories but I will give you a brief glimpse of my feelings for each. Overall, I didn’t love this as much as I was hoping to. Everyone on the internet seems to the think that it is extremely important to read these stories before starting Lady Midnight and while there were a couple of plot points that are definitely important, I didn’t really think it added much to the story overall. Although I am curious if my opinion will change after I read Lady Midnight so stay tuned! I like the overall story arc (SPOILERS FOR THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS SERIES AHEAD SO BEWARE): and that it follows Simon during his time at the Shadowhunter Academy leading up to his Ascension. Like most short story collections, there were some that were great and others that were okay. If I can give you one piece of advice, it’s to avoid the Goodreads synopses for each story because they basically tell you exactly what you’ll be reading. Here’s my breakdown:
Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #1) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
This story serves as an introduction to the Academy and Simon’s new life training to be a Shadowhunter. I was a bit disappointed with this first story because while I felt that there was some foundation laid, it was a bit boring overall. Upon finishing, I found myself hoping that the next 600 pages in this book would be more action-packed.
The Lost Herondale (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #2) by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
This second tale held a lot of promise for me because of the title alone (I love those Herondales)! This one ended up being a bit heartbreaking. It’s a prime example of the Shadowhunter motto of “the law is hard, but it is the law.” I liked this one overall, especially Catarina Loss’s portion but it was not my favorite of the bunch.
The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #3) Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
I definitely liked the stories that Maureen Johnson co-wrote more than any of the other co-author’s works. This story actually is my favorite for several reasons. 1) We get another Infernal Devices tale which just warms my heart and 2) it involved Jack the Ripper! I’ve read the first two books in Maureen Johnson’s Jack the Ripper series as well and I love that she got to revisit the famous murderer and come up with yet another outcome of the story. I’m assuming this was fun for her to co-write since she already had done so much research on the backstory.
Nothing But Shadows (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #4) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Again, this story was okay. I didn’t feel that it added much to the Shadowhunter mythos despite the Will Herondale cameo. It focused primarily on Will’s son and how he met his parabati. I imagine this was included since Cassandra Clare seems to be exploring parabati more in depth than she did in the original series. I do love the concept and I’m glad this relationship will play a bigger part in Lady Midnight but I didn’t really need this story. I also enjoyed Simon’s character development as he decides what type of Shadowhunter he wants to be.
The Evil We Love (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #5) by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
This story also seemed unnecessary to me. I enjoyed the present day antics between Isabelle and Simon but the history of Valentine’s circle was something I enjoyed reading about less than I had expected. I suppose I wouldn’t mind reading Jocelyn’s take on everything since her perspective changed much earlier than other Circle members, but I didn’t find that Robert’s tale made me feel any type of sympathy toward him for the way he treated Alec.
Pale Kings and Princes (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #6) by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
This one didn’t do much for me. I liked the twist at the end and the look into the lives of Helen Blackthorn’s parents, but I didn’t think it was enough to warrant an entire story.
Bitter of Tongue (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #7) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
My favorite part of this story was getting to see more about Andrew Blackthorn. He played a small but majorly significant role in City of Heavenly Fire and I’ve definitely been curious about his fate. My heart hurts for him and I really hope that Lady Midnight could offer some type of resolution for his situation. He is truly awesome. Again, didn’t add much overall, but I did enjoy this one at least!
The Fiery Trial (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #8) by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
This one is another favorite of the bunch which I’m sure you can guess judging by the co-writer! I think this is the most important story within the whole novella collection because it addresses the ending of City of Heavenly Fire and it sets up the Lady Midnight protagonists (Emma and Julian) as parabati. I think Simon’s revelations during the ceremony are going to play a huge role in the Dark Artifices series and I love the outcome of his and Clary’s meeting with Magnus Bane. This story made me so happy!
Born to Endless Night (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #9) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
This story is completely outlandish. Obviously I love seeing more Magnus and Alec and oh the feels because they are perfect but nope, this just came out of left field. Why? WHY?!
Angels Twice Descending (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #10) by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
This is the only story that I read the Goodreads synopsis for and boy am I upset that I made that choice! Once I knew the premise and exactly what was going to happen minus the actual character names I knew exactly what would be happening to who. It was still sad and it broke my heart but I found this to be quite predictable.