Charlotte and Henry are on the verge of losing the Institute, and so Tessa, Will, and Jem, embark on a journey to try and find Mortmain, while discovering how many secrets lay hidden behind his plans.
Throughout this journey, Tessa still struggles to figure out who she is, Downworlder or warlock, and what role she has to play in Mortmain’s plans, while also struggling to understand who has a hold on her heart- Will or Jem?
Despite my complicated feelings over Cassandra Clare’s writing and allegations of plagiarism, I still really enjoyed this novel.
Unlike Clockwork Angel, this one has a very clear sequence of events: find Mortmain and save the Institute. Of course, along the way, a lot more stuff happens, such as the requisite love triangle, a lot more hinting at Tessa’s roots, and several betrayals of people you thought were on the ‘good’ side of things.
Tessa continues to be a bit boring for me. Other than her undying love of books and words, I don’t feel like I know her. Some might say that this is because of the third person omniscient point of view of the story, but I disagree. There’s no way that I connect with her, and as usual, she falls into the devastatingly beautiful category of girls who have not one, but two, boys after her.
I know people are sick of love triangles, but I don’t mind them, when they’re done right. But this one is so obvious that going through the motions is kind of silly. It’s very obvious who Tessa is going to end up with, and honestly, pretending otherwise is just going to bring a lot of pain to everyone.
Despite my previous misgivings about Will’s character, I found myself falling for him in this novel. We spend a lot more time with him, seeing what he does when he’s out at night and finding out what makes him tick underneath that prickly exterior. And yes, it’s a bit of a cliche that the bad boy is really vulnerable and hurt under all that, but I could really feel for him and his struggles.
Jem, as well, was one of my favourite characters. Despite his outward vulnerability and sickness, he’s actually very strong and determined, and he shows us that in this novel, which again, I didn’t get in the first one. I loved reading about Will and Jem’s complicated friendship and relationship, and figuring out the way they were almost inverted mirror images of one another. I found their relationship a lot more interesting than the relationship that Tessa had with either boy.
So while the plot isn’t the most exciting, there’s lots of character development, which I’m a big fan of.
The cliffhanger was kind of lame in my opinion, since it wasn’t that surprising or dramatic (in my opinion), but I’m still eager to pick up the last instalment of this series, which I’ve enjoyed more than Clare’s Mortal Instruments series.
Thanks for reading,