As a quick read between one book and another, I decided to read four short stories on one night. In total, one hundred and sixty pages, which is acceptable to count as a book. Three of the chosen stories are all sequels to a collection of ten short stories centered around Magnus Bane, The Bane Chronicles. I've had ups and downs with this series and my opinion is individual to all previous short stories, and these three were no exception. The fourth short story is an extra scene to the sixth and final book in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series: Homecoming. I needed to read this as a mental withdrawal to this fantastic series.

Title: Saving Raphael Santiago
Series: The Bane Chronicles, #6
Author: Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
"I have never told you anything more true than this. Believe this, if you believe nothing else. Raphael saved himself." 
- Magnus Bane, Saving Raphael Santiago 
A Manhattan teen - Raphael Santiago - is missing, and Magnus bane must track him down before it's too late. In 1950s New York City, a distraught mother hires Magnus to find her missing son, Raphael. But even if he can be found, is Raphael beyond saving? 

To my surprise, I discovered to find that Raphael Santiago has been compelling in The Mortal Instruments series, as in addicting but bad. He's a character you have a love-hate relationship with from the very start of the series. I enjoyed learning about the character's past because honestly: what do you even know about the guy? Dark and mysterious, a few kills now and then. I don't know wether to feel pity for him, to see what he's been through and his relationship with his mother. To finish this short review: that Herondale reference was hilarious.

Title: The Fall of the Hotel Dumort
Series: The Bane Chronicles, #7
Author: Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
"What do you do?" the woman asked.
"This and that," Magnus said.
"Are you in fashion? You look like you're in fashion."
"No", he said. "I am fashion." 
- Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson, The Fall of Hotel Dumort
Magnus Bane watches the once-glamorous Hotel Dumort become something else altogether in 1970s New York City.
Fifty years after the Jazz Age rise of the Hotel Dumort, immortal warlock Magnus Bane knows the Manhatten landmark is on the decline. The once-beautiful Hotel Dumort has fallen into a decayed thing, a ruin, as dead as a place can be. But the vampires don't mind...

This book gave the impression that the seventies were all about drugs and a rather stereotypical description of it. I can understand Magnus opinion on this topic and it's clear he wasn't born for disco and wild patterns. After reading two short stories about vampires, I'm quite sick of the constant vampires and long for a bit of variety. The Fall of Hotel Dumort seems to be the last one in the trilogy, which I'm not sad about. To talk about the story itself, it was lovely to see Magnus taking care of Camille after being affected by the drugs, how he still cared for her (and her health). The rest, rather boring actually.

Title: What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything
Series: The Bane Chronicles, #8
Author: Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Against his will, Magnus found a smile curving his lips as he rummaged around for his big blue coffee cup that said BETTER THAN GANDALF across the front is sparkly letters. He was besotted; he was offically revolted by himself
- Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan, What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything 
Set in the time between City of Ashes and City of Glass, warlock Magnus Bane is determined to find the best birthday present possible for Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhuntr he may or may not be dating. And he's also got to deal with the demon he's conjured up for a very irritating client...

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Yes yes yes! Finally a story that seems to be written from Cassandra Clare herself instead of her co-writers. I was like being in the world of The Mortal Instruments again. I recognized her way of writing and the humour she uses in her primary works. The typical Magnus Bane were back and I couldn't help myself but to enjoy it very much. The conversation with the demon was hilarious. The way he introduced himself and the awkward moment between the two was well done, and so was Bill Herondale (yes, I said it right). I couldn't stop smiling throughout the entire story.

I loved the romance between Magnus and Alec in The Mortal Instruments. I was very glad to get a look behind the scenes of their relationship. I'm so sad to say I'm a little dissappointed with this part of the story. The fact that I wanted it to be longer had nothing to do with it. What did, was the lack of live Malec romance. I wasn't statisfied with a flashback and an ending. Besides this little problem, this is definitely a story to give you a warm and romantic feeling. Ideal for the holidays!

Title: Homecoming
Series: Vampire Academy, #6.5
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction)
Dimitri smiled and put his arm around me. "Don't you believe in fate, Roza?""Sure", I said. "Just not in your grandmother's crazy vague predictions.""Doesn't sound that crazy to me," he teased."You're as crazy as her."He kissed the top of my head. "I had a feeling you'd say that."
- Rose Hathaway, Homecoming
Homecoming is about Rose and Dimitri, the couple from Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. They are going back to Russia to see Dimitri's family, something that both of them sorely need. Dimitri had finally been restored into a dhampir, after being forcibly changed into Strigoi. His family needs to see him for themselves, and Rose needs to go back to Russia and face her trauma from the trip she made before.
source: and

I can finally leave the Vampire Academy series in peace after reading this wonderful short story. It contains everything a fan of this series needs to be fully statisfied: action, romance and a prediction from Dimitri's grandmother Yeva. Even if you don't ship Rosa and Dimitri as a couple, you can't not smile at the way this story wrapped up. Starting the novel, you expect it to be full of happy faces and kisses and one big reunion. We get that, but after a while you start to notice that Rose and Dimitri's vacation quickly turns out into another journey. To hunt down a mysterious Strigoi called The Blood King. I hoped him to be an old character of the series, but then came the realisation that there was no old guy to use. So besides it not turning out as I hoped it would be, Homecoming is still an actionpacked short story with a heart-warming scene in both beginning and the end.

Aurélie Cremers is an eighteen-year-old living in Belgium. As an active member on Goodreads, Edelweiss and Amazon, she's always spreading her reviews to express her opinion and influences her followers to read the books she fairly enjoyed. When she's not writing, you can find her at her local bookstore or in a classroom. With her blog, "Exploring Pages", Aurélie hopes to gain a larger public in the near future and to continue that what she'll always love doing: writing.

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