Magic is dangerous–but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk 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, 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-eyed 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 that 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.
(Excerpt from GoodRead)
I wasn’t a fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument. I tried and failed to like Clary, and what you hear about Will being so much like Jace, I agree, it’s true, and as much as I liked Jace, he just wasn’t enough to hold the story for me.
The book begins with Tessa arriving to London from New York (no worries, no spoilers). She’s waiting for her brother, Nate, to pick her up from the docks. The story picks up from there, and let me tell you, if I was confronted by the Night Sisters and their bug-eyed coachman, trust me, I would be SO gone. But then we wouldn’t have a story, so…
In Ms. Clare’s Infernal Devices, I fell in love with Will straight off the bat. I loved his sarcasm, his wit, his cocky domineer and how he got Tessa all riled up (the girl seriously needed to loosen up!). Okay, let’s not pretend like I was blind to his asshole-y-ness, because it was glaring. He was a jerk. Not so much in the beginning, but towards the end, especially the end, I wanted to beat him with Jessamine’s parasol. Tessa, at times frustrating, headstrong at the wrong times and a bit of a stiff, was still fairly interesting with her special abilities. She was a bit prudish at times, lacking in sense of humor when I know I would have been laughing myself stupid or at least cracking a smile. She was too serious, which was probably Ms. Clare’s intentions, to have her the opposite to Will’s carefree personality.
Then there was the rest of the ‘clan’, Charlotte, Henry, Jem, Jessamine, Sophie & Thomas. Interesting characters. Each with their own personalities and quirks. I have to say Henry was my favorite, though I didn’t like how the other characters treated him, like he was stupid, a child who didn’t know any better. Sophie, not sure why, just annoyed me. I didn’t like her at all, which is strange because she never did anything horrible. She was actually very sweet, if not a little blind (I also have a feeling she’s going to be evil in the next book… just a feeling. I haven’t read Clockwork Prince yet, but I’m almost convinced!).
All right so I really want to face this whole love triangle thing. I’m going to come at this from two different angles.
The first, Will. Despite everything I liked about him, which was substantial given how much I love my naughty boys, but really. If Tessa was a heroine that I liked and wanted to see be happy, I wouldn’t pick Will. A lot of fan-girls are going to kill me for saying that, but hear me out.
When a guy goes out of his way, I don’t care what his reasons are, to be an ass to you, odds are, it’s not an act or something you can fix, (keep in mind that I haven’t yet read book 2 so… we’ll see. This thought may still change). But no, I would not pick Will for Tessa.
Second, Jem. He’s sweet. He’s kind, funny, generous and so… pure with an undertone of darkness, of power and strength that is impossible to conceal, even with his sickness. He’s the sort that will give his all for the person he cares about. He’s patient and understanding and when Tessa needed lifting, support and comfort, he didn’t mock her and take off. He stayed with her, gave her a shoulder and an ear.
And finally, the moral of my rambling is: Jem would be a better choice. But since Tessa is so face-palmingly uptight (I kid you not, the girl rarely laughed or smiled or made a single joke), maybe Will would be a better choice, if for no other reason than to bring about more than the three emotions she seemed to possess: impatience, fear, cluelessness.
It might seem like I’m beating on Tessa, and really, I’m trying not to, but the girl was just so Aunt uppity-high-collar. I get that she was in a strange place, alone, and her brother was missing and she was surrounded by danger and really hot boys, but really, the girl needed to relax, even a little.
Will I read the next book? Yes.
Will I tell my friends about this book? Yes.
Did I enjoy it? Yes.