Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.
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.
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.
I saw this book on the Amazon bestsellers list and I had to try it. The cover is so enticing. This is one of those books where the story actually lives up to the cover. The plot was so intricate and the characters so fascinating. I loved Tessa as the heroine. I cried with her, loved with her, and laughed with her. Jem and Will add a very interesting dynamic to the whole love triangle charade. They are so different and yet so close. Will is mysterious and bitter while Jem is sweet and very ill. I fell in love with both of them.
I had only two complaints about this book. The first is that it is the first in a trilogy of prequels to the series "The Mortal Instruments". I did not know that before I started reading and I felt a little lost for the first few chapters. The second is that the characters were always covered in blood. I don't think it is humanly possible to lose that much blood all the time without passing out or dying. However, the characters in this book are not entirely human, so maybe my complaint is unwarranted.
I got so engrossed in the story that I could not read it before going to bed. If I did, I would lay awake, thinking of automatons and swearing that I could hear the whir, click of them coming to get me. It was a definite page turner full of action and romance. I can't wait to read the next one!
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books