When sixteen-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.
My Review: I really can't believe I'm going to say this...but I think I've found a series I think is more ridiculous and poorly written then the Twilight saga. I know I'm totally going against the grain when I say this, and I'm perfectly okay if every Clare fan hates me for it. Maybe I exaggerate, it really is on the same level as Twilight. :P Ah Where to begin, where to begin...well I guess I'll begin with what I liked about the book: the clockwork creatures. They were nicely introduced, and the dark way in which they were created was quite chilling. So I enjoyed that aspect of the book. There, I'm done with praising it.
In the beginning we meet Tessa Gray (Tessa is short for Theresa) who's going off to London, not to visit the Queen, but her brother Nate. Upon arrival in this overcast city she is instantly kidnapped by the ridiculously named Mrs. Dark, and Mrs. Black. There they force her into using a power she never knew she had: turning into any person as long as she has an object that once belonged to them. Just as she's about to meet an ominous person ominously named "The Magister", who should serendipitously burst into her room but a beautiful, wise cracking boy who she instantly falls in lust with. Personally I'm positive there's no such person as Will Herondale and Jace just time traveled back in time, dyed his hair, wore contacts, and put on a British accent because that's how much these two characters are alike. Apparently bad attitudes are hereditary in the Herondale family as well because Jace and Will both win the "The jerky book character of the year" award. Will isn't the only carbon copy character from Clare's "Mortal Instrument" series. Tessa is Clary through and through, but more hypocritical, stuck up, and whiny. There's also a Victorian era Isabelle, and what book would be complete without the nice boy who will never get the girl because girls don't like nice boys. I feel bad for Jem, and quite liked him, as well as Victorian era Isabelle, they we're far more interesting than the two mains. Sadly, interesting doesn't take you far in these books.
Plot wise, it was fairly good, but there wasn't enough pizazz to keep me going. I was never really scared for the characters, they seemed to be able to protect themselves quite nicely with umbrella's and a plethora of magic runes. It was also far too long, I feel a lot of things could have been wrapped up much faster if Clare hadn't been busy describing every different kind of blue in Will's eyes. I also never thought it was possible to use so many similes. Every time someone did something it was compared to something else, just so we had a deep understanding of how each character looked at things and talked. I guess that should've warned me to stop reading. Well actually I did, I couldn't finish the book. I looked the ending up on wikipedia.
Content: Violence and disturbing violent descriptions, mild language.
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Recommend: If you like this sort of thing.