The Infernal Devices series
by Cassandra Clare
published first on 2010 by Walker Books, Ltd
YA / Romance / Fantasy / Paranormal / Steampunk
SPOILERS, SPOILERS EVERYWHERE. DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YE.
"Most people are lucky to have even one great love in their life. You have found two."
So. Let me get this all out first. I have (finally) read and finished this series since last month, but I just couldn't find a way to formulate a review that could prefectly describe what I feel and think about these three amazing books. Now I'm going to try anyway. The emotions are still fresh and though I can't recite all of what happened in the books anymore, I can still remember how purely shocked I am to find that this series was actually good, SO GOOD it hooked deeply into my heart and left me feeling raw after I read the last sentence. I couldn't even finish the first book of The Mortal Instrument, so I never thought Cassandra could write another series this excellent. The Infernal Devices, to me, is totally on a different level altogether than The Mortal Instruments, although not wihout some flaws.
First of all, I have to salute Cassandra Clare's skill on the worldbuilding of this series. The setting is England circa 1800-ish, which she describes beautifully to make a clear picture for the readers. Not to mention that she has to merge it with all the details of the Shadowhunters' world. It was just exquisite. All the way until book three, the atmosphere of the story is filled with these mysterious, quiet, but gorgeous aura that truly helps building the emotions and to see everything: The way the characters talk, the parties they attend, The Institute's dining room.... Even the air feels different somehow. Everytime I return to continue reading the series, I truly experience what it feels like to enter a totally different world.
Cassandra presents many characters through the series, but she can make every one of them shines in their own way. From our three main characters: William Herondale, James Castairs and Theresa Gray (love their names!). Then there's Charlotte, Sophie, Jessamine... Even I can't help but to sympathize with the passive Henry, and of course the Lightwood brothers. I quite like how each one of them end up with someone in the story, though some are easily predictable. Cassandra creates multidimensional characters that aren't completely black or white, they're all gray. Even Mortmain. These people have their own story, which shaped their personality as shown in the books. This aspect make the story such a page-turning one. I'm glad that Cassandra doesn't only focuses the whole story on our trinity, for it also follows other side characters whereabout. They're all entertaining. PS: Magnus Bane is awesomazing! I remember him from The Mortal Instrument, and here in Infernal Devices he's also an important part of the story. I can't help but to want to have a bestfriend like him. Oh, Magnus.
But what is so excellent about The Infernal Devices is of course, THE FEELS. Geez, ALL the emotional levels I experience (Read: ALL THE TEARS I SHED FOR THEM)! I seriously can't hold it all back in. In every book there is one certain part that make me bawl like a baby. That moment when Will finally confesses his feeling for Tessa only to find out that Tessa is engaged to Jem? Gosh I cried until my head hurts. That part where Will realizes the parabatai sign on his skin is fading? There are just NO words. It's just so strange that all the love between Will, Tessa, and Jem feels too real, too powerful—you can't help but to understand how tight the bond between Will and Jem is. They're not merely bestfriends nor soulmate, they're blood brothers, each of them is willing to sacrifice their feeling, their life even! For the other—Tessa sees Will as someone who attracts her from the beginning of all of this, their love goes beyond reasons (and I personally think it's the most beautiful thing) but she also can't help to feel for Jem whom she loves as a true bestfriend, one who's always been with her whenever she needs it. How Tessa and Will are willing to hide their feelings for the sake of Jem is amazeballs.
Every good books (hell, every book) are not good without the bad. At first, when I start reading The Infernal Devices, it feels... so Cassandra Clare, so Mortal Instrument. You know what I mean? The paragraphs are packed with details, too much details, too much informations thrown, too many characters, and too many things going on. Moreover because the pace is slow (except in the last book), it may sometimes make you feel confused and bored. You need to be extra patient to finally get a hold of it, then you'll enjoy the books better.
Every once in a while I also ask about the point of some things that were included in the plot—Cecily Herondale, for instance. What's the point of her appearance if she doesn't succeed on persuasing Will to go home? Is it just to pair her with Gabriel? I feel like even if she wasn't added up to the story, the whole thing won't get much difference, after all (If you have other opinion, please tell me!). And the whole thing about Jem being a silent brother? Eh. I should have known where it's headed (for a hundred and thirty years later....) I mean, moments before the death of Jem were built so intensely, Will saying goodbye to his parabatai and all that (another most heartbreaking moment) only for us to find out that Jem actually doesn't die. He changes into a silent brother. Errrr... Okaaaay *brows raised* Then at the end when it's said that the cure to make a silent brother become normal (as in, a mortal) again has been found. Eyyy. It seems like Cassandra just wants to make everybody happy.
THE EPILOGUE. UGH. I really can do without the epilogue! Just end it after the part where Will brings Tessa to his parents, please? I mean, it's totally okay to know Tessa and Will live a peaceful, lovely, happy married life with their big family for about thirty years until Will, who's clearly still a mortal, has to di—NO, really, can we just stop at that?! I even wished that somewhere along the way a vampire will bite him just to make him live forever like Tessa. *ugly creying*
Yes, if I have to be totally honest, eventhough the love triangle is great and powerful and beautiful and all, whatever, I'm TEAM WILL ALL THE WAY. I can't help but to truly love him, a boy with such a tortured soul who's been so wonderful from the start. Will meanly ignores and avoids his family, Tessa, well basically everyone at arm's length because of the 'curse', he respected Jem enough to hold all of his feelings because he loves his blood brother too much... He's snarky but also humorous, and he loves literature, not to mention his dashing looks and the 'bad boy' aura, what more could a fictional character ask for?! *ahem*
Someone who's just generous, kind and noblehearted like Jem doesn't make him that much interesting. I mean, he and Tessa will be a great couple too, but I think after a while the relationship will get boring. While Tessa is so much 'alive' with Will, it feels like through all three books Tessa only reciprocates Jem's love because she doesn't want to hurt him even more (DON'T KICK ME OKAY I'M JUST BEING HONEST LOL)
Oh well, whatever. End of rant. The epilogue was beautiful, by the way, if only Cassandra stop at the first two or three pages of it.
Read what others say about this series: Sam from Realm of Fiction | Neysa from Papier Revue | Zoe from The Splendiferous Book Blog
Now it's time for YOU! Have you read this series? What do you think of it? Are you Team Will, or Team Will? (Okay that's so highschool I know) If you haven't sterted this series because you're traumatized by The Mortal Instrument (beep beep personal experience beep beep), eh, don't let it get to you. Read the book!
Also, have fun and read some more, okay? ;)