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
Victorian steampunk fantasy
Set in the late 1800's in England, the author introduces (or expands on, for those who've read her mortal instruments series, which I have not) a vibrant world where there's vampires, demons, angels,and hybrids. I appreciated that this book explained a lot of the rules surrounding these creatures and the shadowhunters so that you don't have to be a MI reader to get what's going on. Very cool world she's created.
I saw that a number of others disliked her performance, but I can't imagine why. I thought her accents (American and British) were great and I had no problems telling voices apart. I did not love every single voice she used, but quite frankly, she's only one person and it seems a bit demanding to expect every voice to be perfect and just the way you'd imagine in your head! Heck, even Jim Dale (who is magnificent) messes up at times! I felt Jennifer Ehle conveyed emotions and tone wonderfully in this book and I'm quite disappointed to see she's not reading any of the others!
I nearly did! I probably finished this book in approximately 2 sittings on 2 consecutive days. Only that I had work stopped me!
I felt this was a creative, engaging, and enjoyable story. It kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what would happen and several of the twists did get me. For those who complain about the supposed love triangle, I didn't find that to be a problem in this book, but I am sure it's going to become more of an issue later. With Will, I do understand the criticisms of his character, but I didn't honestly find it bothersome. Yes, some of the things he says and does are appalling, but I feel that that is meant to give us a surface view and then explore deeper in the other two books.
Also, it may be worth noting for those who are very sensitive that there is killing, blood, torture, and non-explicit sexual references. I never felt these took away from the story or were done in poor taste, but I was a bit surprised with some of them as they seemed a bit darker than my personal idea of YA novels. That said, I would personally let an older teen read these, but I'd recommend caution for younger teens and children.
This book was pretty good and definitely left me wanting to find out more by the end. I thought the storyline was interesting and I liked the characters for the most part. The narrator did a good job with the different accents, however, I felt she sounded too old to be believable as some of the younger characters. I was glad they used other narrators for book 2. Overall, I liked this book and look forward to the rest of this series.
The narrataor did such a fantastic job. I enjoyed hearing her different pitch/tone for the characters and it is exactly how I would have thought they sounded.
I knew the reviews were good but after reading the first few pages I thought, eh... I'll save it. I am so glad I finally made the leap - the story is fantastic and the narration was wonderfully fitting for the characters and tone of the story. It's hard to mix these kinds of characters into a story that feels worthwhile but it's been done here. I cannot wait to finish the series.
I wouldn't listen again. Not only is Victorian/Steampunk genre fiction not my favorite and I have no real interest in reading the rest of the series, the performance of this book was so bad I was tempted to stop before it was over. For what limited range of British accent the narrator does have, she did not execute them well. It seems that she only has two to three accents, and used them inconsistently at best. Sometimes I had a difficult time recognizing the respective characters. That was enough to prevent me from checking out the rest.
Because it was the first of a series, I was expecting the end to be abrupt and incomplete. I was not surprised by it.
I honestly couldn't say. A different narrator.
I like Casandra Clare as an author, but I don't love her. This book, like her others, is a slow start. I understand that new characters require development, but she drags it out more than necessary and tries too hard to leave an air of mystery about them. There were a few moments in this book I was tempted to stop listening due to lulls in the story. I am glad I persisted, as the storyline is unique and was a good mystery on top of it. It does involve vampires and other immortal beings, but they aren't the main focus, rather the group of angel descendants responsible for guarding humans from all of those nasties are the focus. Overall worth the listen, but expect some slow spots. Hopefully the second one rolls more smoothly since most characters should be known.
No. I am having to force myself to finish this one. I just think that the "romance" is taking over the story. Mush Mush Mush. I want something to happen. I just don't care about Tessa or her feelings.
This was my first attempt to at listening to an audio book and it was a great one to start with. The story is intriguing and detailed. You fall in love with the characters and their stories. It was a great story to keep me entertained while doing other various activities, like house work, exercising, and course work.
Will was my favorite character. He's so mysterious and you can't tell if you should hate him or love him. He brings a nice twist to things and you never really know what he's going to do next. As you find out more about the character it makes you even more determined to find out what else motivates and drives his decisions.
No I think the great thing about this book is that you can take it a little at a time. I usually listened about an hour or two everyday. This gave me the opportunity to not only digest what was happening with the story but get excited about what was coming next. Although I must admit one particular night I listened to the book for about 4 1/2 hours and was perfectly content with life. However since it is such a long audio book I wouldn't not suggest attempting to go at it in one sitting.
I would highly recommend this book. I plan on getting the next in the series and starting the partner series as well. I think it's called Mortal Devices
I feel like the good outweighs the bad, here....there are definitely dark and creepy moments!
However, I looove the old-fashioned setting, and the characters were wonderful!
I also love how the focus was more on friendships, than love.
My favorite kind of book has a combination of romance or friendship (check), humor (check), a bit of suspense (check), and supernatural/imagination (check).
I really enjoyed this (other than the gross parts)....and the next books are even better, and not as creepy.:)
Excellent story. I would highly recommend it to anyone, old and young alike. Jennifer Ehle did an excellent job as the narrator. She brought Tessa to life for me. I had a hard time adjusting to the change in narrators for the second book. Ehle is definitely a great actress and can convey so much emotion with just her voice.
Cassandra Clare's characters are unique and the relationships between them are just as interesting as the underlying plot of this and the following two books in the series.. Once I started listening to this book, I had a hard time stopping. I found myself carrying my phone around with me so I could keep listening. I ended up reading the final book in the series, "The Clockwork Princess" because I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen.
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