I’ve always been unsure about Cassandra Clare’s books, so it took me a bit longer to pick this one up than I would have liked. I hated The Mortal Instruments, liked The Infernal Devices/The Dark Artifices and I was so scared that this series would ruin The Infernal Devices for me! Also, it kind of did feel like she was stretching out this entire Shadowhunters world, but it didn’t stop me from buying it off of Amazon and reading it during self-isolation. And I am so glad I did, because this book was really good. Long, but good.
I truly think that the characters in this book were what made it so good. The plot was okay, but the relationships made it such an amazing read. I do wish that there was a smaller cast of characters though. I feel like there were so many people to keep track of, and it just go confusing. I wish we did see more of Christopher and Thomas though, since they were kind of cast off to the side for the entire book. They were part of the “main gang”, but I wanted to learn more about them, since they did seem like interesting characters.
I absolutely loved Jesse in this book. I thought that he was such an interesting character, and I liked his backstory. I loved how the prologue connected him to Lucie and it was really interesting to see him throughout the novel. His link to necromancy was particularly interesting, and I think that it was definitely a nice plot point to be worked on in the future sequels. It was nice to get the background of why Tatiana was acting the way she was, and that her love for him caused the ruin throughout the book.
I know a lot of people didn’t like Grace, but I found her to be an interesting character. Yes, she could be considered a untrustworthy and a villain by some, but I found that her personality made her an interesting character. Her conflicting interests were interesting to read about, along with the relationship between herself and her mother. She’s willing to do so much to escape her mother (even forcing this onto James), and I think that it made the “love-triangle” between her, James, and Cordelia even more interesting.
James was also a favorite of mine, and I liked that he had the ability to jump across worlds (if that’s how you phrase it). It basically forwarded the entire plot of the story, in addition to his strange demon heritage. I found his entire discovery of who his grandfather really was to be kind of confusing, but it did serve as an interesting plot point, so I’m just going along with it. I also liked reading about his relationships with his friends and both Grace/Cordelia. I’m curious to see where the love-triangle goes, and honestly, that’s one of my top reasons for wanting to read the next book.
As for Cordelia, I liked her, but she was definitely not one of my favorite characters. I wish that there was more to her, and she just seemed like your average heroine to me. I did like her brother, Alistair a lot, and I wish that there was more of him too. I feel like he has such a complex backstory with him protecting his sister and being a bully just to protect himself. He’s such a flawed character, but he’s always doing it to protect those that he loved, and he’s kind of underrated. To add onto that, the LGBTQ representation was nice to read about too.
I did like the plot of the story, but the without the characters, I don’t think that it would have been able to stand on its own. Because of how it’s in the same Shadowhunters universe, I feel like there are some aspects of the plot that seem repetitive. Obviously, there are some differences, but the overall vibe of the story is similar to others in my opinion.
It’s also kind of annoying that you need so much backstory to really understand what’s happening. I read The Infernal Devices before this (about a year ago, so my memory probably wasn’t the freshest), and it was confusing, even though I had a vague idea of what was happening. There are so many short stories and novels (especially The Infernal Devices) that you need to read, and I wish that you could read this book with less context. If you want to read this book though, please read at least The Infernal Devices. In my experience, it probably gives you the bare minimum amount of knowledge to sort-of get you through this book.
Otherwise, I liked this book. It was a lot better than I had anticipated and I cannot believe that I won’t read the next book for nearly a year. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a longer fantasy read, and has read The Infernal Devices in the past. It is a really detail-oriented book, and it is not the type of book that you can skim through in a couple of hours when you’re on your book slump (which can be a good thing!)
Happy reading everyone!