Wednesday, 29 January 2014

[Series Review] The Infernal Devices - Cassandra Clare


Plot:

Tessa Gray arrives in London expecting to reunite with her brother, Nate. Upon arrival Tessa is swept away and housed with the Dark Sisters who seem human enough yet, gives Tessa the chills. There, Tessa begins to learn of the Downworlders and that she somehow fits in amongst them. Her abilities are revealed when the Sisters train her and Tessa is left both mortified and confused.

Then Shadowhunters, Will and James, barge into the Sisters house and manage to rescue Tessa. Soon, she is consumed by a world that she never knew even existed and her existence is slowly unravelled as their adventures continue.

Review:

I feel like I can never write a plot that gives the book justice. It's even worse for a series review cause I have to pick and choose what to write so I don't reveal much. Moving on.

The Infernal Devices is a trilogy set in Victorian England, a long time and place away from The Mortal Instruments series. Clockwork Angel, the first book serves as an introduction to the world and the characters and sets the complication in which all three books revolves around. Clockwork Prince is a lot more focused on the relationships of the characters, and a little more lacking in the action field. Finally Clockwork Princess revisits the trouble that must be resolved and actually ties all loose ends very well.

I probably shouldn't, but it's hard to not compare this series to Clare's previous series. It's like the world of Shadowhunters belong to Clare and anything that comes from that world is instantly compared with The Mortal Instruments. I am going to admit that I enjoyed this series a lot more than TMI. Maybe it's because it's a shorter series but I'm just not interested in TMI anymore. It became irrelevant after Clare kept releasing new novels. It's not that The Infernal Devices series was extremely better, there were still bits I didn't like but if I look at it overall TID was a lot more enjoyable.



Plot wise I think it really hit the mark in the first and third novel. The second novel was a lot more slow and you really have to endure plodding through the relationships that become more complicated as the series goes on. It definitely covers a lot more issues in regards to humanity and the conscience. Does one right make two wrongs and things like that. Also equality, not just amongst genders but between the Downworlders and Shadowhunters - signifying different cultures I guess.

I was really engaged in Clockwork Angel, in terms of the mystery and how they were going to approach it. With Clockwork Prince I had a lot more feels but actually began to detach myself from Tessa. In Clockwork Princess I just really wanted to reach the ending so I zipped through it. I think I ruined my reading experience with the last novel though because with my impatience, I read a few spoilers and so I can't say I was shocked at what happened. I feel like if you read it like any normal person (not me) then you will be surprised and slightly heartbroken.

I enjoyed that I could recognise some characters from TMI that is in TID. Also, the families in TID connect with TMI, especially the Lightwoods and Waylands. Other than that though, I think TMI actually has the better characters than TID. I liked the characters, but not enough. I very much prefer Clary over Tessa any day. Tessa did not make for a great heroine. She's smart, witty and outspoken but she's not badass. I guess though, if you're a female in the Victorian era you can't be expected to be "badass". Still, it just seemed like Tessa didn't do much until the last part. And even then it felt like she was handed that glory moment.

I would have to say my favourite character is Will - no surprises there. Very much like Jace, although with a little backstory, I was forever Team Will. I think it was once I reached Clockwork Princess that I dropped the teams and just fell head over heels for Will and Jem's bromance. Yes, their bromance. I couldn't care less for the romance and in the end I just felt like both Jem and Will were cheated. That was the only relationship I was really invested in.

There were really great moments in the series, bits where I felt were really cute and tugged at my heart and those that nearly made me well up. I'm still not sure how to take in the ending. It was a little weird but I think Clare was trying to keep everyone happy, which is good but at the same time I felt not really realistic. All loose ends were tied up quite well though so you don't have to worry about unanswered questions. I've heard that everyone thought it was a great ending but I'm still conflicted.

In the end though, Clare managed to recreate a beautiful Shadowhunter world and a solid plot. Her characters were still impactful despite some frustrations and I just really enjoyed reading it. I'm just amazed I waited so long to read it. If you loved The Mortal Instruments definitely check out The Infernal Devices.

Rating: 4/5

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