I never say that Cassie Clare is a favorite author of mine but I also can’t deny that I’m one of those who has read all the Shadowhunter universe books, and even reread a few of them. I may not have grown up with them like many bloggers I know, but I did start reading them almost a decade ago and they helped me get through some rough times, so this world will always be associated with some great nostalgia. And that’s probably why I know I’ll keep reading any new thing CC writes. And that was the same here.
Cassie’s books are so easy to read and that’s probably one of the reasons why they are so popular. So it was obvious that once I started reading this, I couldn’t put it down and hence another night of no sleep. I also liked that this book goes back to its original roots, concentrating more on demon attacks and it’s mysteries rather than Clave/Downworld politics, which made for some very cool and elaborate action sequences. There is also an air of mystery surrounding the motivations of multiple characters which keeps the suspense going, and I really enjoyed that. After having read so many books in this universe, I do agree that the plot can feel a bit predictable at times and I can see things happening a certain way before they do, but that’s not a bad thing for me - I think this predictability is a comfort especially during these uncertain times in our real world.
My one complaint would probably be that I was so damn confused and found it very difficult to keep track of all the Shadowhunters and their families and their relationships - they really were too many of them and I had to give up after a while and concentrate only on the group of main characters. I still can’t tell much of who is related to who and I don’t think it’ll get better in the future books either. I’ll probably just have to look at the family tree thoroughly the next time before I start a new Shadowhunter book. Another small gripe I have is that some of the potential relationships in this book are hinting as going in similar directions as those in some of the previous books, and while I like some predictability, I don’t want the relationships to get repetitive and I hope Cassie proves me wrong in the sequel.
Cassie writes some of the best ensemble casts and the most beautiful relationships (platonic and romantic) and that’s my top reason why I keep coming back for more and this book is no different. Will and Tessa’s kids Lucie and James are the main ones here and I was so happy to see my favorite family again. We have an excellent supporting cast in the Lightwoods Christopher, Thomas and Anna who are amazing and James’s parabatai Matthew Fairchild who has very tragic air about him and I just wanted him to find his happiness.
And then there’s Cordelia Carstairs who outright steals the show. She is brave, loyal, wants to be a hero and protect everyone she loves. I loved knowing that she is half Persian and the use of endearments in her language and her love for the classic Layla-Majnun really made me love her even more. Tessa has always been my favorite heroine in this world but Cordelia may just steal that spot.
We have a lot of side characters whom I couldn’t keep a track of but seeing old favorites brought a big smile on my face. I will always live for more Will, Tessa, Jem and Magnus sightings. The two new additions who are most mysterious and whom I would love to know more about are Grace and Jesse Blackthorn and I’m sure they are gonna play very important roles in the upcoming books.
The friendships between the main cast are an absolute delight to read about and it’s just beautiful to see a group of youngsters who would do anything for each other. There is usually a lot of pining in Cassie’s books and while there was some here as well, I felt like this book was more of a setup and that’s why the angst factor was a little toned down. And I like the prospective couples but I’m hoping that it doesn’t go down the love triangle route which was hinted at towards the end because I don’t want another Will/Jem/Tessa.
In the end, this book had all the elements I love in a Shadowhunter book - great characters, wonderful friendships, a suspenseful plot and some cool action. I loved being back in this world and it was such a comfort when I was feeling all anxious. If you are a fan of this universe, you have probably already read this book or you will be, and I don’t need to convince you. However, if you are new to the Shadowhunter world or have only read some books, then I think you’ll enjoy this one. You only have to read the Infernal Devices trilogy and a few short stories before you get started. I’m already excited for the sequel but the wait is long and there’s no way to avoid it.