In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them….
I liked how Cassandra Clare did another series in the same world as her first one as a prequel, because there’s someone else I always hoped in vain would do this (I’m looking at you, J.K. Rowling). Anyway, I thought that was a good idea for all her fans. But, I read City of Bones, and I wasn’t in love with it, and I’m not planning on reading any more in that series, or this one.
First of all, I found many parallels to City of Bones in this one. A timid female protagonist who first learns about the Shadowhunter world to save someone she loves paired with a snarky and beautiful male supporting character with a deep, dark hidden past. But, plot twist, it’s also a love triangle! Honestly, I felt like I was reading the same book, but I did like this one a bit better.
The characters didn’t bother me as much. I don’t like Will (the attractive mysterious one), but Tessa is relatable and realistic. Luckily, I wasn’t rolling my eyes at everything she says, and her spunk and charisma shines through during the hard times.
The plot moves quickly and does have many twists and turns. Nothing Clare writes is ever predictable, which is quite a feat, because fantasy is hard to write well and keep the reader interested in the world and the story.
I’m not a fan of fantasy, so it’s hard to get myself pumped up to read one. That being said, I’ve never had a problem with Clare’s world. She reexplains all the implications of the Shadowhunters without being redundant. The whole setup is plausible and intricate without being confusing. She really creates a whole world the read can dive into and dig deeper and deeper without finding any holes or networks that don’t match up.
In addition to the fantasy world, she also adds in the historical points of 1800s London very well. It’s one thing to mold a fantasy world in with modern day, but it’s a whole other animal to do so in a historical setting because its two different worlds the author isn’t accustomed to.
The book is interesting and quick-moving, and I liked it more than City of Bones purely because of the characters (and probably a little bit because of the 1800s London setting). The plot is unpredictable, but the characters are not and fantasy is still not my favorite despite my efforts to make myself like it more!