“When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray arrives in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural fold stalk the gaslit streets. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by – and torn between – two best friends and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.”
This is the first in Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy, which are basically prequels to Mortal Instruments. Tessa arrives in London from New York to stay with her brother, Nate, after her aunt – her only guardian – passes away. When she arrives, however, she meets the sinister Dark Sisters who insist they have been sent by her brother; eventually, it turns out that they have some other ideas. They keep her prisoner and she learns that she has the ability to turn into anyone and access their memories as soon as she touches something that belongs to them – and this ability makes her one of the most hunted people in Downworld London, a place where vampires, warlocks and other creatures roam – as well as Shadowhunters, whom she eventually seeks refuge with.
I didn’t enjoy this nearly as much as I enjoyed City of Bones, sadly, because it was far too similar to Mortal Instruments – and I know people who dislike Mortal Instruments because of the similarity to Infernal Devices, depending on which series they read first. The Shadowhunters, Will and Jem, seemed irritatingly familiar throughout the book – although I adored Will. Essentially, this is because Will is a Jace who looks like Alec and Jem is an Alec who looks like Jace. (Alec and Jace being characters from Mortal Instruments.) There’s also another love triangle, as in Clare’s previous books – so essentially, the book failed to get me hooked. Clare’s writing is pretty good, but the lack of new ideas meant I didn’t really enjoy the book.
That said, though, I probably would’ve enjoyed the books more if I hadn’t read Mortal Instruments first. Overall, though, I recommend reading Mortal Instruments over these – I enjoyed those more.
The book’s aimed at teens – probably twelve-ish and above, really. It doesn’t matter much with these books. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t fantastic, either.
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