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.
Okay... I may be a bit biased in this because I love Cassie Clare and I wish so badly that I could write like her. I think that she is awesome. But anyways, onto the actual book.
When I first heard Cassie Clare was writing a prequel series I was so excited I was jumping up and down with joy. seriously. I loved the Mortal Instruments and I couldn't wait to get back into the world of shadowhunters. I only had one worry that it would just be a carbon-copy of the Mortal Instruments, but then I saw other peoples reviews telling me that this was not the case. And it most certainly wasn't.
Tessa was an awesome character and I liked her. I liked her more than Clary and considering the time that she's living in she is kick-ass. I wish I could be like her, an awesome, ass-kicking, book reader with two amazing yet troubled guys after her, and a super cool downworlder power... Which brings me to Will and Jem. I am definitely teen Will, but I loved Jem too. Will was in the same vein as Jace, But at the same time completely different. He had the same cool, sarcastic demeanour about him, but they are related, and Will being the older of the two, clearly he is the one who started the whole 'I'm in pain, but I'll hide it by being a sarcastic, awesomely cool, sexy dude' thing. But I seriously love him, and I hope he can let Tessa love him too. Jem is so sweet as well. He is no Simon. (I do love Simon, but y'know they're just completely different people.) I would love to have Jem as a best friend. He's so nice and patient, and despite his circumstances he I still determined to live out his live as a shadowhunter.
The plot of the book is interesting too, and totally different form the Mortal Instruments. There's literally like two demons in it (though one is quite central) but there are no evil shadowhunters in this one. But there are lots of vampires (the awesome non sparkly kind), lots of automata (which is cool, I like robots, though I once read someone say that they were jerky and old and why aren't they all like robots now. Well it IS in the Victirian Era where they hadn't even invented half the technology to build highly advance androids like we have now.) and MAGNUS!!!! (which automatically gives this book at least 3 stars :P) Who doesn't love Magnus. I also think it's cool that she decided to set it in the Victorian Era and in London, because it made it easier to relate to the story as in where and what it looked like. For example, reading the chapter set on Blackfriar's Bridge, I could just imagine the setting perfectly, and not just because of the great descriptions, because I had been there myself. I'd seen the view, and it was nice because with every book I've read lately I've always had to conjour up an image from scrap, not that I mind doing that, it's just it adds to the story when you have an almost exact creation of the setting in my mind.
I give this book 5 stars. I really loved this book. I loved the time, I loved the characters (team Will and Henry, he's so cute how he makes all his inventions and how they all fail), I loved the place (I had literally been to the area of London where it was set a week before so the picture was incredibly vivid in my mind. Also London is and incredibly atmospheric place, the perfect setting for a paranormal book) and I loved the story. I cannot wait for Clockwork Prince to come out, and am so looking forward to City of Fallen Angels. (I can't believe she's writing another three Mortal Instruments books. Epic) And if you haven't read any of Cassie Clare's books, go out and buy them now. Seriously. Right now.