What is it about?
Vampires and demons and robots, oh my! No, seriously. This mammoth of a young adult novel has just about every scary creature you’ve ever had nightmares about. It is the first in a trilogy of novels set in Victorian London, in a Star Wars-esque set of prequel novels to the best-selling The Mortal Instruments series. This time around we’re following Tessa Gray – a feisty American teen with the ability to shape-shift – as she falls into the hands of a group of Shadowhunters (Cassandra Clare’s own brand of demon hunters) who introduce her to the supernatural goodies and baddies of London and endeavour to find out just who ‘The Magister’ is, and what he wants with Tessa (hint: it’s nothing good).
Is it any good?
Cassandra Clare’s novels are sort of like crystal meth. You know you probably shouldn’t touch it with a ten-metre barge pole, but it’s oh-so-addictive. Her writing style makes me want to claw out my own eyes. Cliches are abound. She does way more telling than showing. Her attempt at a Victorian London dialect made me want to scream. All her characters are carbon copies of those she used in The Mortal Instruments which, in turn, were carbon copies of Harry Potter characters. The male characters (save, perhaps, for Jem who was his very own brand of annoying) were all dickheads. The girls were all insipid little waifs in need of being shown how awesome they really were by the men. All characters – literally, every single one – had a tragic back story bleak enough to rival any X-Factor contestant. And yet, will I buy the next book in the series? Undoubtedly.
How long did it take to read: five days
For fans of: Twilight, Supernatural, steampunk, crippling disappointment
This book tastes like: stale bread with not quite enough butter