Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (#1-10) by Cassandra Clare (and others)
Published Year: 2016
Genre: YA // Urban Fantasy
Subtitle: Good but not Great (3.5 stars)
Compilation of Novellas #1-10
(Pro Tip: Read after The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices Series)
#1: Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy
#2: The Lost Herondale
#3: The Whitechapel Fiend
#4: Nothing but Shadows
#5: The Evil We Love
#6: Pale Kings and Princes
#7: Bitter of Tongue
#8: The Fiery Trial
#9: Born to Endless Night
#10: Angles Twice Descending
This is not a drill. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL. So I thought I'd pick this up as a bit of fluff as I was waiting around for Lady Midnight to come out, and I'm a fan of Simon/Izzy. (Big fan of Izzy). But this is WAY MORE than Simon's story, we get SO MUCH MORE with each of these novellas. Cassandra Clare has tucked GOLD FREAKING NUGGETS of information into each story. This is not one to skip. I honestly can't believe this is considered a standalone or an add-on. There is vital information here guys, vital information!
Each novella gives a flashback into some select character's history (each is different and wonderful and I was so excited about each of them!), and I was just so shocked when I realized what was happening. I did have to power through the first novella a bit, it was pretty poorly written and did not set the tone of the rest of them at all, so beware and just keep going. It's worth it.
Each flashback/historical anecdote is essentially being dramatized or told to Simon in some way. This is largely for the benefit of the reader to see how and why Simon is such an unusual/uncommon/revolutionary Shadowhunter. To the reader we wouldn't necessarily recognize that his feelings or opinions are unorthodox, but they're earth shattering to the shattering to the Shadowhunter world. Cassandra Clare illustrates each aspect of this with anecdotes of other characters' backstories that we of course have all been dying to know. I don't hate it one little bit.
It is co-written by multiple authors, and at times does drag a bit (notably at the beginning). So it isn't quite as page-turning as your typical Cassandra Clare novel! However, you can really tell the parts that are all Cassie!
3.5 out of 5 stars.