It’s sometimes hard to write the review of a book in a series, but I’m going to do my best to stay focused on this as an individual book, as I will with any book I review. Maybe not a disclaimer that is essential, but one I felt the need to add; I love reviewing books, and I feel the need to be as honest with you, my readers, as I do with myself.
With A Court of Thorns and Roses hangover, a friend suggested that I might enjoy The Shadow Hunters series from Cassandra Clare. She recommended it partly because of the realistic fantasy style, but also I think because of just how many books there are in the series. Maybe she’s hopeful I’ll manage to go a few weeks without reading about Feyre and Rhysand? Who knows!
One of the really interesting things about this series is there multiple ways to read them. There’s a fantastic piece here that I read before deciding which way – and if at all – to enter The Shadow Hunter world, personally opting for the recommendation from the author regarding to the order.
Clary Fray has never known her father, and she wonders sometimes if she knows her mother. When a disco turns into a demon hunt that she can see but her friend can’t, she has endless questions and no one to ask. Before she can even start to consider what is really going on, her mother goes missing, and she is drawn, half willingly, half by necessity, into a secret world of demons and vampires and warlocks. As things escalate, she starts to get answers to some of those questions – but they’re not quite the ones she wanted.
First things first: it took me almost the entire book to read ‘Clary’ correctly. I was mentally calling her ‘Cary / Carrie’, and think we should just all do that from now on so I don’t feel foolish. Thanks.
This part of The Shadow Hunters collection – The Mortal Instruments – is set in modern day New York, with the subway and fast food and mobile phones. It’s a bit of a change, just like These Witches Don’t Burn was, from the historical fiction style of the previous fantasy books. I found this in itself super interesting, and really intriguing to see how a secret world could slip into the ‘normal’ world around us; haven’t we all wondered at times if there’s something going on we’re not a part of? This book just confirms it.
Despite getting her name wrong mentally every time, I found the character of Clary easy to like, and also found her well rounded yet realistic for a teenager. Often when teenagers are written, it’s forgotten that being a teenager is a struggle in itself, and when authors keep it realistic – even in a fantasy book – it makes me far more inclined to read more.
I bought the books as a series as I found a bargain on ebay – when you can’t shop second hand in person, turn to the internet – so I was somewhat relieved that I wanted to read the following books. I’ve already got the second book waiting for me, but this first book packs a punch by itself, and leaves you wanting the endless books that come next.
From animal transformations to forbidden love, this book was a rollercoaster of beautiful writing and painful experiences, all of which kept me stuck to the pages without hesitation. The universe development has been intense and well considered, and it’s always wonderful to see a whole world stretching out ahead of you to read.