Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Copper Gauntlet by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

The Copper Gauntlet by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
Release Date - September 1, 2015
Publisher Website - Scholastic
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for review**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium -- but things only intensify there. The Alkahest -- a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic -- has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes -- and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.

As the mysteries of the Magisterium deepen and widen, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take readers on an extraordinary journey through one boy’s conflict -- and a whole world’s fate. 
After a stunning first book I was eager to continue the spellbinding story Holly Black and Cassandra Clare started in The Iron Trial. The first book offered up one of the best twists I've read and the sequel continues to not hold back. The authors once and more complex as the story continues and they are not afraid to take the plot into unexpected places.

After the twist of the first book I did not think the second book could pack the same punch. There are still plenty of tricks up the sleeves of these authors, and it is a delight to see them twist and flip the typical tropes that go into a story of this nature. The shock waves of the twist regarding the status of Callum's soul are something that reverberates throughout this entire book. Callum's entire journey is one of choosing what defines him. He struggles with who he is and is constantly weighing if his decisions tip the scale towards good or evil. With this it teases whether it is our decisions that make us who we are, or whether we are slaves to fate. I hope the overall story continues to play with how complex people are. That there is perhaps no good or evil, and that people can make both good and bad decisions sometimes. This storyline, as Callum continues to struggle with his identity and who he actually is, will be felt throughout the entire series, and is such a perfect basis to form the story around.

The friendship between Callum, Aaron and Tamara continues to solidify. We see them grow and change together. There is quite a bit of character development to be found within these pages. Callum, in particular, is poised to have what could be an incredible story arc if they continue down the path that is set out so far. Aaron is moulded and shaped by the weight of being the Makar. He and Cal's futures are entwined and seeing them become friends is an exquisite torture. You want the complexity that storyline creates even as it has the potential to lead to devastating heartbreak.

The stand out of the story is Havoc. The chaos-riden dog steals the spotlight and becomes a beloved character in his own right. The dog is used as not just a sidekick for the group but furthers the story as well as checking off the magical creature box for stories like this. You'll wish for some magic that will keep him safe as the danger steadily progresses and that makes all the difference. The stakes are becoming real just as these characters are working their way into your heart.

A middle grade series that continues to surprise me with both the ability to twist popular tropes, and keep me completely engaged in the story. This is one series that I am going to enjoy seeing progress as the characters age and develop and it's also one that will be joining my nieces book collection as they get a little older. Those who love middle grade will not want to miss this darkly magical series.

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