When Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the rein of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folks stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark sisters, who are members of a secret organization called the Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by-and torn between-two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyes Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
So, I’m a fake fan. If you’ve read my reviews for The Mortal Instrument books then you know I’m doing a reread of all the books that take place in the Shadowhunter universe because it’s been a while since I’ve read the first two series and Queen of Air and Darkness just came out. So I’m reading in publication order. I am a fake fan because I remembered almost nothing about this book except for the identity of our villain. I was surprised about my feelings while listening to this audiobook.
First of all, I’m not sure why I remembered really liking Jessamine and thinking of her as similar to Isabelle Lightwood. She’s nothing like Isabelle. For one, I liked Isabelle. I did not like Jessamine in the least. She was annoying and I just wanted to shake her and hope that the screws loose in her head would right themselves so maybe she would get her shit together.
I also remembered almost nothing about Tessa’s brother, Nate. So for those of you that have read this know how surprised I was at the drama involving him.
Really that was about it for what I didn’t like.
I did like our female lead, Tessa. Tessa was entertaining and interesting and developed wonderfully. She’s had her whole world turned upside down and she tries to go with the flow as best as she can. Though she was raised a certain way and that’s obvious by how she reacts to how different societal expectations are in the Shadowhunter world. It was interesting to see her adapt to how the Shadowhunters behaved toward one another, slowly changing her behavior as well even though it went against everything she knew. I liked Tessa because even though she’d been beaten down and shaken to her core, she holds her head high and does her best not to be pushed around by anyone else. I just really liked Tessa.
Now, Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs. So many people love these characters so much. Please don’t come for me guys, but I didn’t love either of them. Will was kind of a jerk to Tessa. I hate the hot and cold game and Will plays it with Tessa. He’s full of secrets and rather than finding it interesting and suspenseful I just thought it was annoying. With Jem, we barely even see him. We learn more about his past than we do for Will. But Jem is kept hidden away for too much of the book. I didn’t really feel invested with either one of them. I’m sure this will change in the next books, but for now Tessa should stay away from both of them.
Overall, I liked the story. The clockwork creatures freaked me out. But I liked (some) of the characters. Like Charlotte and Henry. I thought the villain was super hate able and the story kept me interested. I’m excited to read the next one.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.