I just got myself back into the Shadowhunter world! I’ve read this book a few years ago when it came out and didn’t finish the prequel series. I guess I wasn’t as invested back then or I wanted something different… That period is over now!! I just finished the second book in the Dark Artifices series and wanted to be back into the universe of demons and angels.
I remembered that I loved this series but I was a little weary getting myself back into it again. I knew that the plot had a huge love triangle and I despised those with all of my being! This was not as bad as I thought! The love triangle is not strong in this one (maybe it will be bigger in the next book…) Anyway, I found myself liking it as much as I did back then.
Following the death of her loving aunt, Tessa Gray travels from New York to London to live with her wayward brother. Once she arrives, however, she finds herself drawn into London’s dark side, a world where an uneasy truce between an ancient race of warriors known as Shadowhunters and supernatural creatures called Downworlders allows for the former to hunt down the demons that threaten everyone. Tessa soon finds that she herself is a Downworlder, but no one ever seems to have known one quite like her. Taken in by a group of Shadowhunters residing at the Institute, she meets gorgeous Will, whose snarky humor hides a dark secret, and equally gorgeous (but in a different way) Jem, whose sweetness hides a different dark secret. Chaos ensues after Tessa agrees to use her ability to help the Institute in exchange for them finding her brother.
While reading this one right after Lord of Shadows, I can see that nowadays Cassandra Clare works her character a little better. While Will, Jem, Tessa and the rest were not bad characters at all, I enjoyed their personalities and interactions, the characters of The Dark Artifices do have deeper development as well as a better understanding of their actions. I can see that Miss Clare evolved in her writing over the years. But like I said, the characters here were far from being bad, just different.
I love the steampunk style that she gave to this Victorian London! I love London and England, and I was glad that the story took place somewhere else than America. We can finally see something different than what we are used too. Also, since the story is a prequel it’s interesting to see how the Shadowhunters worked back then. How Tessa reacts to women fighting and bossing around in a period of time where women were suppose to please the husband and keep quiet. Here, they are as strong as the men and take command when time calls.
The story unfolded quite well! It was well written as always and the romance did not overtake the initial story. It was just a nice addition to the plot. The only thing I thought was that the book is too short… I wanted more!
In general, if you like The Mortal Instruments or just the book by Cassandra Clare in general, this one will not disappoint. The love triangle doesn’t bother for now…