Audiobook Review: ‘What Really Happened in Peru’ by Cassandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan

what really happened in peru coverIn collaboration with authors Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken) and Maureen Johnson (Shades of London), Cassandra Clare is releasing a ten part series of novellas about different adventures in Magnus Bane’s long and quite interesting immortal life. The first of The Bane Chronicles released this week, titled What Really Happened in Peru. Magnus Bane is one of the most loved and popular characters in all of Clare’s Shadowhunters books; he’s definitely a favorite of mine. So, of course I was excited to hear about some of Bane’s adventures, in addition to the fact that Grey’s Anatomy star, Jesse Williams, was narrating the audiobook for What Really Happened in Peru.

What Really Happened in Peru takes about 20 minutes to get into, but after that point, you’ll find yourself wanting to hang out with Magnus for many more adventures.

Ever since Magnus quipped about being banned from Peru, readers were not surprised, but curious to hear how our favorite warlock got himself banned from an entire country. Well, the story isn’t as simple as you’d think it would be. Together, Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan weaved several little tales of Magnus’s multiple hijinks in Peru throughout the centuries. For the most part, he’s accompanied by warlock friends, Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss. They indulge Bane’s eccentric tendencies and ridiculous—and at parts downright hilarious—actions. This 1 hour and 13 minute novella gives us a fun account of Bane’s times in Peru and some insight into the person he is.


what really happened in peru audioI immediately expected What Really Happened in Peru to be hilarious, and when it exactly wasn’t right away, I will admit I was put off. It felt like this was just a caricature of the Magnus Bane we had gotten to know through The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices trilogies. He seemed more over-the-top than usual. However, as the story continued, Magnus’ beaming bravado was still ever-present, but the story started to find its way. It became both funny and thoughtful. While Bane may seem ridiculous on the surface, he is a deep person and has years to gather knowledge and insight on life and love. I really enjoyed the emotional moments as much as the funny ones. Jesse Williams did a fine job of both playing up Magnus Bane and toning him down at the right moments.

I did get to understand and appreciate Magnus Bane as character more with this new bit of his story, and in turn, I’m looking forward to learning more about him in the following novellas. I’m not really much of a fan of novellas, usually they leave me feeling even more dissatisfied with a story or character. But in the case of The Bane Chronicles, this works for me, especially the audiobook. For less than $4, you can listen to Bane tell his stories, which I honestly think are more meant to be listened to than read.

Rating: 7.5/10

What Really Happened in Peru is available wherever ebooks or Digital Audio are sold. Click here to purchase the book in either format.

Book Info:

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Audio (April 16, 2013)
Length: 1 hour, 13 minutes
Series: The Bane Chronicles – Novella 1 of 10
Source: Unabridged Audio Download (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
Completed: April 2013

Gabrielle is 27 years old and lives in Chicago. She enjoys writing about film, TV, and books, but occasionally writes about music as well. In addition to writing for, she also the editor-in-chief and a co-founder. In her spare time, she’s either watching more movies and shows or reading more books, while continuously checking Twitter, which she may or may not be addicted to… Feel free to email her your thoughts, ideas and questions.