Disclaimer: I read all three books together; and so I wrote all three reviews at the same time with each review becoming more fed up with this series.
“Sometimes,” Jem said, “our lives can change so fast that the change outpaces our minds and hearts. It’s those times, I think, when our lives have altered but we still long for the time before everything was altered– that is when we feel the greatest pain. I can tell you, though, from experience, you grow accustomed to it. You learn to live your new life, and you can’t imagine, or even really remember, how things were before.”
The year is 1875 and Tessa Grey is arrives in London from New York in search of her brother. She is subsequently kidnapped, beaten, forced to do magic, and rescued by a shady group of individuals known as Shadowhunters. The Shadowhunters’ task is to police the other worldly creatures and prevent harm from being done to humans.
Rescuing Tessa lead the Shadowhunters to a vampire who is breaking the rules and torturing humans, a secret club that fronts as a mystic club for gambling morals but is really the financier of a plot to destroy the Shadowhuners, and questions to what exactly it means to be considered “family.”
Tessa and the Shadowhunters have to figure out just what she is and how strong their relationships are with each other in order to find Tessa’s brother and prevent some mysterious happenings.
Upsides to this tale are the continued literary references,
““One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
the delightful banter between characters (particularly our underage heroes Jem and Will,)
“Must you go? I was rather hoping you’d stay and be a ministering angel, but if you must go, you must.”
“I’ll stay,” Will said a bit crossly, and threw himself down in the armchair Tessa had just vacated. “I can minister angelically.”
“None too convincingly. And you’re not as pretty to look at as Tessa is,” Jem said, closing his eyes as he leaned back against the pillow.
“How rude. Many who have gazed upon me have compared the experience to gazing at the radiance of the sun.”
Jem still had his eyes closed. “If they mean it gives you a headache, they aren’t wrong.”
and the every changing mystery of exactly who the baddest of the bad guys are.
“That you were so easily fooled proves you have no idea who the Magister is– or what you’re facing. You’re dead, little Shadowhunters.”
The major downsides are the penchant for the author to contradict herself with details not matching up to previous statements and occurrences, a rather predictable plot (yes, even with the trading of bad guys constantly,) and the feeling that I have read this book somewhere already in the steampunk universe. I feel like Mrs. Clare went on the internet and downloaded “standard steampunk for dummies” and then simply added demons. This was not a new world, folks.
I am hoping for a bit more editing in the next novel (really one should pay attention to what one wrote six chapters ago,) less predictability, and some creativity in the next book.