Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When 16-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
©2010 Cassandra Clare (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
A lesser version of her earlier works which were better. Worth reading if you really liked the first series but if you are looking for something new, don't bother.
Sure, in a pinch.
This is a good book that held my interest to the end. But I have no desire to read the sequels. It made me think of Twilight mixed with Terminator. Perhaps I have read too many books with the same premise as I found myself rolling my eyes listening to parts of this book. This may be better suited for teenagers.
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
I've gotten through a fair amount of YA, but this is one of the worst. The only people who I can think might like this are die hard Twilight fans.
The writing is very juvenile. The cadence of the sentences is very choppy and makes for a difficult listen. Her constant use of similes to describe things becomes quite annoying and apparent when at one point i counted around 10 of them in just a few minutes. There are plenty of other ways to describe people, places, things.
The love triangle is really dumb. It's been played out. It doesn't help that most of the characters are flawed beyond belief. Tessa is conceited and only concerned with appearance. "I don't know why you would want to live so long if you looked like that" Seriously that's what we want to teach our kids? Doesn't society do that enough, why should our fictional characters that girls should look up to. Most of the rest of the characters are pretty boring as well. Flawed characters are great, but these characters are despicable.
I don't get how people running the institute are in their early 20's at most? That just doesn't make sense. These people are barely out of their teens and running a super secret organization. It's right out of an anime plot. Her use of the setting and proper Victorian England and proper etiquette, only seems to matter when she wants it to, otherwise it just becomes a backdrop for accents and language.
I do not like the way she reads this story. Her accents and tonality do not fit the story and characters. She has a range of accents, but it doesn't fit this story and characters. It sounds as if it's my Grandmother is reading to me, and that doesn't fit the voices of these characters.
There's a great setting here, Steampunk, London, and Demon Hunting, but Ms. Clare doesn't bring it to life.
There was so much I disliked about this story that I doubt anything short of a complete rewrite would make me consider a 4 or 5 star rating.
No. I have long been a fan of the fantasy genre and will continue to be so.
The narration was mediocre, and often felt like I was being lulled to sleep with the same cadence and intensity being given to scenes of action and high tension as was given to polite dinner conversation. I could not tell if it was just because the narrator cared as little for the story as I did and was unable to keep it out of her performance, or if this simply her style of reading.
This was my first encounter with this author and I was greatly disappointed. It seems that the author has a well planned out vision of the world she wants to create, but the characters are painfully lacking in any depth and individuality making them forgettable and interchangeable.The overall plot felt like it was a distant after thought that was constantly being forgotten as the story was being told. Seemingly random scenes were being dropped in with little to no natural flow and at times an infuriating level of incongruity to them. This might not be so bad if the scenes between plot points were something more than inane attempts at melodrama.
I am surprised that this book has gotten so many good reviews. I can only assume that I was just the wrong target audience for this book. I can see it being a good selection for a young reader between the age of 11 and 14 that like melodrama and irrational characters.
I am the Director of Learning Centers and an English teacher, a mother of four, a fledgling writer, & an avid reader of almost every genre.
I began reading the first Mortal Instruments book to screen the series for my son (12) and enjoyed them enough to read them along with him. I wanted to listen to this spin-off series because it included my favorite character, Magnus, and promised to reveal the much alluded to Will Herondale.
The original series is YA - good reading, but definitely YA. This series is not. While appropriate for a young-ish audience, it is absolutely not juvenile. I have enjoyed this series twice as much as the Mortal Instruments novels, and they were very good for their specific genre.
Without giving any spoilers, I will say that the characters are very well developed, the story engaging and fun, yet rarely predictable or light...this is not a fairytale sort of series, and I do not anticipate a happy-go-lucky ending for all (if any).
The narration is very good - it gave me a moment's pause, the switch back and forth from male to female narrator (but not in a dramatized way, they take turns with chapters) but it works, and both narrators are very effective and captivating.
A highly recommended listen :-)
The smart banter between Will and Jem made the book truly enjoyable.
I was so disappointed that Jennifer gave Gabriel a lisp! I had to go back to the book to see if the character was supposed to have one and he wasn't. Did she run out of ways to do a male voice so she added the lisp to differentiate? Regardless, it was a bad move. I didn't notice that the other 2 books were narrated by others or I would have listened to them. Instead I read my daughter's nook versions.
The characters. The story line. The book as a whole drew me in right away and I was HOOKED! Downloading the second one now.
Will. His personality and wide cracks makes me giggle.
She puts life into the characters. I think we all have our own silent voices in our heads when we read each character but the voices she uses or the articulation of the language bring into vividly to life.
OMG yes. I have sat up til late at night struggling with red heavy eyes. I kept thinking "after this chapter I'll go to bed." LOL
I have recently got hooked on this new genre of stories. The Victorian Werewolf/ Vampire Syfy fantasy. I got hooked when I read Gail Carrigers (If I misspelled the name I am sorry) Parasol Protectorate Series. I am glad to have found another author cause they don't seem to be able to write as fest as we all read.
Listen Now Seriously!
Will for sure
good question, but I'd really love to see it as a movie, even a short series on TV would be awesome!
Happiness is a good book!
This book was so good I listened to it twice! The characters, the flow, the beautiful flow of the story really pulled me in. A time forgotten, ladies were ladies and men were gentleman, mix that with a little violence & mystery....success!!
I love the dynamics of the characters and the places these characters take you.
I did not think i would like the story because it is set in the 1800's but it was fantastic and like a breath of fresh air it hasnt been done to death.
I had never listened to Jennifer Ehle before on audio but i loved her and you could really tell which character she was speaking for. Great preformance
I dont want to given any spoilers away but there is a secret that is revealed and was very moving.
I am an avid reader/listener and usually i read a book a week and this is by far my favorite series to date! love it.
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