First Lines: The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts. William Herondale jerked back the dagger he was holding, but it was too late.
In The Mortal Instruments heyday, I was a pretty big fan (though not as big a fan as I was of HP, but nothing tops Potter). Of course, I objected to a 4th book in that series, but a prequel sounded cool enough. Plus, one of my friends (who reads the same books I do) told me in no uncertain terms that I HAD to read this book. So here you go, Steph, I read it.
The year is 1878. The place is London, England. In an attempt to find her missing brother, Tessa Gray heads to England, only to be kidnapped by sisters who call themselves “The Dark Sisters”. Tessa has a rare power: shape shifting. But not only does she just change shape, she becomes that person. After being told she must marry a man known as “the Magister” or her brother will die, Tessa attempts to make a break for it. Lucky for her, there are Shadow hunters nearby to help her. She’s taken to the Institute, where she meets Will and Jem, two best friends. Tessa needs their help to find her brother and figure out who this “Magister” is.
I liked it enough, but I didn’t love it like I had the other Mortal Instrument books. I was psyched that this was a historical fiction overlaid with Shadow hunter lore and action. But I just didn’t think it was amazing.
Tessa’s a great female hero. She’s not Clary, for sure, but she is strong and willing to do what she needs to. And Jem was a total sweetheart. I fell for him the moment I met him. Will…Will needs a serious attitude adjustment. I found him to be utterly rude and caustic. I thought his sarcasm was going to be like Jace’s, funny but not necessarily mean, but it wasn’t. I don’t think Will always intended to be hurtful, but he usually said something spiteful that made everyone cringe. I know he’s hiding something, so whatever it is had better be an extremely good reason for why he’s being so awful.
It was actually more of a sci-fi than a Mortal Instruments book. I remember when Clary was learning all about Shadow hunters and their different weapons from Jace. That was cool. This didn’t have that at all. This was about tinkering with inventions and contraptions known as “automatons”. So it was decidedly less cool than I’d thought it would be.
Will I read the next one? Yes. I’m interested to see more of what happens between Tessa, Jem, and Will. Did I love this one? No. It was good, but I think Will’s bad attitude just made certain scenes unbearable.