Here it is! My first review, and I can happily say that this series is a great first review!
I will be ranking each of my book reviews by five things: story, characters, writing, details, and world building. Oh, and I’ll include pros and cons.
Summary (no summary available for the whole series, so here it is for Clockwork Angel): When 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 a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform 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 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.
Story: 5/5: This was really unique! As someone who loves modern books that take place in Victorian times or steampunk era, I was a little worried that I would find this to be less unique than others. But it proved me wrong! I haven’t read The Mortal Instruments, so I can’t exactly compare them, but I’ll be surprised if TMI’s story is better.
Characters: 5/5: If I could, I would do an 11/5. They were the best part of the entire series, and I can only think of a few characters I disliked throughout the whole series. Tessa is an admirable heroine; kind and brave and hopeful. She is one of the few characters I can think of who have a decent amount of strength physically, emotionally, and mentally, yet doesn’t seem overpowered. Will is another character who, despite initially falling into the “bad boy” trope, as in, sarcastic and rude, was endearing, and proved to have much more depth than he appeared. He has some of the best development throughout the books. Jem is just a sweet person. He’s probably one of the kindest and most caring characters I’ve ever read, and yet he’s never annoyingly kind, and like Will, also has a lot of depth. The supporting characters, like Charlotte, Henry, Sophie, Jessamine, Gideon, Gabriel, and Cecily are all amazing in turn. I could make a whole post just talking about the characters, but due to spoilers, I can’t write much here.
Writing: 3.5/5: I can say, that as much as I love the story and characters, Cassandra Clare’s writing style isn’t exactly my favorite. But I found myself liking it more and more as the story progressed. I feel as though her best writing is through the dialogue. But I give her major props for being able to write one of two love triangles I actually like.
Details: 4/5: On occasion, I found myself wanting to know more about the clothes the characters wore, a few places of scenery, and the food they ate. But these are tiny complaints; overall, I found her writing just detailed enough to picture the setting and characters perfectly well, especially her settings! The buildings and furniture were detailed. Same with her characters. While I feel some parts (mainly clothing design) weren’t detailed enough, I think it’s good she never went overboard.
World Building: 5/5: The world of Shadowhunters, monsters, and Downworlders was perfectly described. While some things like the Accord and the Law went over my head, I’m currently reading TMI, and I’m understanding more. However, I have to say that in some ways, TID’s world building is much better, but it may just be my liking for steampunk and Victorian era settings coming out.
- The characters: they were all well written, even the supporting ones. Everyone had depth, and no character seemed shallow or an afterthought.
- World building: loved it. It was so creative!
- The relationships: this may be one of the few serie where I actually liked each of the pairings. And I loved how friendships were treated; although Will and Jem’s friendship is my favorite, the minor friendships, like Charlotte and Sophie, were beautifully written too.
- The plot twists: there weren’t too many, and there weren’t too few. It was a perfect balance.
- The villain: I may get some flack for this, but I felt as though the villain could’ve been more memorable. His reasons for doing the things he did were well developed, but his character just didn’t leave an impact.
- Their reactions to a traitor in Clockwork Prince: it may just be me and my loathing for backstabbers, but I feel as though they were a little too lenient and calm when there was a traitor in their midst in CP.
- a little slow: probably my mildest complaint, but I felt as if some parts dragged on a bit. These were few and far between, but noticeable.
Overall grade: 4.5/5
I loved this trilogy. I never expected to like it as much as I did. The characters and world building and plot were all exceptional! I liked it so much, I decided to try out TMI, which I never expected to read. I hope to enjoy it.