**I’ll start with the non-spoilery stuff, then I’ll give you sufficient warning before the spoiler-filled conversation begins!
“When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re in everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins…And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them. “
Synopsis from Goodreads – just click the link to read it!
Spoiler-Free Feelings: I was on vacation when all 720 pages of this beautiful hardcover landed at my door. I decided that I would re-read the last few chapters of City of Heavenly Fire on the plane ride home, so that I’d be ready for this trip back to the Shadow World. I’m glad I did. It was like warming up in preparation for a marathon. I’d also highly recommend that you read Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy before you begin this new trilogy. There are a few things that either won’t make total sense or that you’ll just straight up miss if you haven’t read those novellas…ESPECIALLY when you read the extra Jace & Clary story at the end!
I honestly didn’t LOVE Jace and Clary when I was reading The Mortal Instruments series. I just couldn’t connect with either of them. The reason I finished that series was because I loved everyone else – Magnus, Alec, Simon, and Isabelle – and I was desperate to know how things turned out for them. I also love that while their series has wrapped up, they keep popping up in her other books and novellas, so their story doesn’t end!
This new trilogy follows Emma Carstairs and the slew of Blackthorns in Los Angeles, who were highly involved in the last Mortal Instruments book. We saw a couple of the Blackthorns in the Shadowhunter Academy novellas, but I love that we now have a whole trilogy about them. I love how the younger Blackthorns have grown up and their awareness of pop culture, unlike our friends at the NY Institute. Because they live in LA, they’re just around it more. There were little quirks throughout that were so different from TMI and I liked that. It didn’t feel like the same old Shadowhunter story.
Emma is the perfect combination of Clary and Jace. I don’t love either of those characters, but I did like Emma! She’s the best of both of them and yet is still her own individual person. And Julian…JULIANmarryme.
In this book, we learn a lot about the Fair Folk and their customs, history, and ways. We know a lot about werewolves and vampires from the previous books, but the Fae have had a bit of mystery around them. The insight from Mark and Co. was really intriguing!
The plotline made so much sense. Everything kept building and building, and it all just clicked into place. I didn’t have any moments of wait…that makes no sense. She’s built such a complete, dense world and yet doesn’t double dip or contradict what she’s written before. That surprises me every time I read one of her books. This book had twists and turns and I enjoyed every second of it.
STOP READING HERE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GET SPOILED
No seriously…trust me, you don’t want to keep going with this review if you haven’t read this book yet.
Spoiler-Filled Feelings: YOU GUYS I’M FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW
I literally just finished reading it as I sit here typing. That ending was out of control, friends. OUT OF CONTROL. I did not see the whole Kit thing coming. He did not feel important whatsoever (even thought the beginning was from his perspective) and I never would have made the connection between him and the Herondale baby that Catarina raised. Where is this going?? These family trees…also out of control. I feel like I need to print one out as a reference.
You know what else is out of control? The sexual tension. Sweet Jesus, the sexual tension. I need synonyms for “out of control.”
So, I understand why Emma is pushing Julian away and I’m SO GLAD we finally have some kind of explanation for why the Law forbids parabatai from falling in love. I get it…I get it. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t rip my heart in two. We saw how their parabatai power increased as Emma and Julian got closer, but I feel like they’ll be able to control it or get around it somehow. Clare always has some kind of loophole in placed (enter Jem Carstairs/Brother Zachariah). But also…what happened when Malcom was all fire-balling her arm? Did that rune seriously endure warlock fire?
But now MARK? Uggghhhh I feel like I’m going to hate where that’s going. It’s kind of creepy and also a terrible idea. Julian and Mark were juuussstttt starting to get back to bro status. Consider bro status destroyed if this continues.
I have high hopes that the next 2 books in this series focus around Kit and his Herondale-ness with a bit of Mark figuring out his place in the world. And more Jem. And more Jem and Tessa. I really hope it doesn’t turn into Emma and Julian, Emma and Mark, and God forbid…Emma and Kit.
I’ll be honest…when Christina first saw Kieran and Mark together, I thought, OF COURSE, Cassandra Clare…OF COURSE. I just have learned to always expect a secret love affair out of nowhere in her books. I had high hopes for Mark and Christina, and now that he feels so betrayed by Kieran…I’m curious about what’s going to happen now. But with the whole “secret” between him and Emma now…ugh what is happening?
Okay, the whole Lady Midnight part was really interesting. But what the heck? She’s totally going to come back now…I mean…she’s AWAKE. I’m not convinced that Malcom is dead…he’s a freaking warlock! Emma survived the ocean porthole thing, why can’t Malcom? And what’s going to be ye olde Blackthorn’s end game when she comes back to life like Frankenstein’s monster? Is she going to get revenge on the Blackthorn family for her death? And for Malcom’s demise?
Final thoughts: I liked The Mortal Instruments. I LOVED The Infernal Devices. This book fell somewhere in the middle…but closer on the spectrum to TID than TMI, if you catch my drift. I have a lot of hopes for this trilogy. I seriously read this 720 page whopper in a little more than a day. Cassandra Clare’s writing is so engaging and enthralling, as she’s proven time and time again.
The more I think about reasons to dock my rating down from a perfect 5, I can’t really find any. It had everything I love in a story…plus I’m so invested in this world due to all of the books that I’ve read multiple times, so I’m a little bit biased. It was just so dang enjoyable.
Pick this up if you liked:
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare
Goodreads rating: 4.52/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.8/5
My rating: 5/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn