*Book 1 of The Infernal Devices Series
- Reading Level: Young Adult
- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: McElderry Books
- ISBN-10: 1416975861
- ISBN-13: 978-1416975861
- Received From: Checked out from my library.
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.
This book is fantastic!! When I first read the synopsis of this book I thought it sounded like it would be similar to her Mortal Instruments series, but it is very different. There are some themes that are similar but if they were they had their major differences.
For example there are the three teenage shadowhunters, two boys and one girl, but the characters couldn't be different from each other. Isabella and Jessamine couldn't be different; Jessamine wants nothing more than to get out of the shadowhunter life and get married, while Isabelle seems to thrive in it. Alec and Jem are very different as well; Jem is welcome and inviting but holds just enough back to be mysterious, while Alec is cold and closed off to anyone but his family or Jace. Jace and Will have more traits in common than any of the other characters, they both keep people at a distance but for different reasons (though Will's isn't revealed yet). Finally the main characters Clary and Tessa; Tessa lives her world according to the books that she has read and proper etiquette, while Clary is more defiant and obviously more current.
Another thing that I liked about Tessa is that she was a little less damsel-in-distress than Clary was in the first book.She seemed to handle herself better with the new world that she was thrust into. Henry is by far my favorite character that Clare has thought up so far. He's a little ditzy and clueless but when it really counts he makes it work. It is also very endearing how Tessa's knowledge of the world comes from books. Jessamine's character is very fascinating. She's fighting her heritage of being a shadowhunter with everything that she has, she would rather go shopping than even go near a weapon. But there has been a few situations when she's pushed to it she will kick some ass. Oh and Charlotte's fantastic, much better than Hodge!
This book also has a very dark feel to it; that the Mortal Instruments series doesn't have. The book is more intense and has less humor but it has a few quotes that have you laughing to break up the tension. I also like how she sticks with the etiquette of the time period and doesn't make them go completely against it. The shadowhunters are a little more relaxed but they still use it. And holy crap does it have a twist at the end!! Another plus is that it wraps up one of the main problems of the book but it nicely lays out another problem for the second book. It's not some; BOOM! cliffhanger ending.
All in all I think I like this book a little more than I like City of Bones. The characters seem to have more layers to them than IMS' do and I can't wait to see the direction that Clare takes them in! I give this book 5 Quills!!