Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2010-08-31
Length: 481 pages
Reviewing Hardcover from My Book Shelf
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...
Ooh, my heart. This review is going to take a bit of work on my part to come up exactly with how I feel about it. I absolutely love this series in the Shadowhunters world. It’s my favorite series by a LONG shot. What I love about the first book in a series, is the characters we meet. There’s nothing quite like that first introduction to a character that you’re on this journey with. Tessa Gray is no exception to this rule.
When we meet Tessa, she is in transition between loss and adventure. Her brother, Nathaniel, is far off across the sea in London while she has been in New York, where she has just lost her only other relative, her aunt. Grieved, poor, and lonely, she makes her way to England, and there is greeted by two creatures, The Dark Sisters, claiming to know her brother. She’s taken away from there, in the dark, cold, dirty carriage to what becomes her torture chamber for months. There she learns she has special transformative powers, and is instructed (none too kindly, or without violence) on how to use her powers by The Dark Sisters. She only complies because the Dark Sisters threaten her with her brother’s life, claiming they have him trapped and will kill him if she resists.
Tessa is rescued from her situation by Will Herondale, completely by chance, as he was investigating some related case. She describes him as having “the most beautiful face [she’d] ever seen”. He and the rest of the Shadowhunters of the Institute destroy the Dark house and bring Tessa back the Institute. Once she’s there, she and the Shadowhunters put together the clues to the mystery of who Tessa is, what she can do, where Nate is, and who the mysterious Magister is and what he wants.
My Favorite Part
I have a LOT of favorite scenes in the book. A lot. There’s something about the first book in a series – everything has that new story smell. I love Tessa’s introductions to both Will and Jem. Her introduction to Will is bombastic and a sweeping adventure. Her introduction to Jem has a gentle and sweet tone to it. For me, the most outstanding moment…well I’m not sure I want to spoil anything for you – but if you’ve read it you will know. The utter betrayal that happens on the steps of the Institute shocked me to my core, and still gives me chills when I think of it.
Characters and Setting
I adore this story. I adore Tessa. I am irrevocably in LOVE with Will and Jem. Jem Carstairs is Will’s parabatai (fighting partner/blood brother), and is beautifully written as well. The whole swirling storyline is well-paced and intriguing. I am engaged in this book the entire time I’m reading it. There are LOTS of amazing side characters as well. And of course, the setting is perfect – grey and grimy supernatural Victorian England. Most of all, I love Tessa’s character. She is inquisitive, kind, a bookworm (hey girl hey), naive, and gets her ideas of romance and how the world works from novels. Same girl. Same.
Over all this book (this whole series) gets a HUGE 5 stars from me. I feel like the Shadowhunter world should be on every YA fantasy fiction fan’s bookshelf. Clare has developed this world into something special, and I’m totally here for it.