“Why is it, little Shadowhunter, that your angels are so cold and without mercy? Why do they break that which will not obey them?”
Okay, I’m going to start this review off by saying that I am reading this for the first time in 2018. I know this is almost a decade old. And I know so many of my friends hold this series close to their hearts and have a lot of nostalgia for it. But friends, this was a damn mess. Easily the worst book I’ve read from Cassandra Clare, and the themes were hella harmful and disgusting to read.
So, I’m not going to say any major spoilers, but this review is going to talk about my thoughts and feelings, which will talk about some things that have already happened in the story, and themes that have happened in this book. So, please use caution while reading this review if you are not up to date with this series.
Okay, I don’t really know how to do this review. And I’ll be honest, I’m a little scared because I know how beloved this series is. But these are the five things really made me dislike this book:
ONE: What have I complained about in every TMI book so far? Jace. I mean, I guess this book made the most sense on why he was acting the way he was, so I’ll cut him a little slack. But the dude wants to be Clary’s brother so bad, and just wants to live in pain so desperately, that it makes for a really unenjoyable reading experience.
TWO: Alec’s behavior in this book killed me. I know most of my friends love this character, but I honestly have disliked him from the start. Not only was he shitty to Clary about something she couldn’t control, but now he’s going to be shitty about Magnus and his past? I mean, he’s like 800 years old, you expect him to be a virgin? I don’t understand. And if you all want to be like, “Well Alec is still young!” Then maybe he shouldn’t be dating someone that’s so much older and more experienced than him. I mean, he obviously can’t handle it. And I also feel like there were some “stereotypical gay dude” things in this, that made my skin crawl, honestly. And how he treated an abused person at the end of this book because he’s a petty little fuck? *throws up forever*
THREE: Cheating is not okay, even if you’re young, grieving, and learning what you want from a relationship. Simon is one of my favorite characters. If I was Clary, I would have easily wanted to be with him over Jace. But I’ll never be here to make excuses for people’s shitty actions. And Simon acted really shitty in this book. And not to be too much here, but who the fuck would cheat on Isabelle Lightwood anyway? Like, what a dumbass.
FOUR: Abuse apologists’ storylines need to be canceled, and they are never okay; not in 2018 and not back in 2010. And the fact that I’ve never even seen this mentioned makes me honestly sick to my stomach. Comparing Simon’s need to eat from blood will NEVER be the same as a freshly turned werewolf physically assaulting and turning someone they “care” about into a werewolf against their wishes. There should be no redemption arc here, ever. It’s disgusting and was honestly the biggest contributing factor as to why I hated this book.
FIVE: Like, nothing happened in this book until the last four chapters. And then the “twists” felt so over the top that I couldn’t even stop the side eye if I tried. Especially the closing like of this book. Lord, help me.
And, like with all my reviews of this series, I’m going to break down my thoughts briefly on each of the main characters:
➽ Jace – Wants to live his life in pain and annoy me forever.
➽ Clary – Such a bland character. Like, she is supposed to be the star, true? But she’s so forgettable.
➽ Simon – My dude fucked up.
➽ Isabelle – My queen. Deserves the entire universe and all the stars within it. Way too fucking good for Simon at this point.
➽ Magnus – My king. Deserves the entire universe and all the stars within it. Way too fucking good for Alec at this point.
➽ Alec – I honestly feel like I just disliked him more and more each book. When am I finally going to see this character that you all love so much?
➽ Luke – Planning a wedding, therefore, not in this book as much. But I still love him.
➽ Jocelyn – Planning a wedding, therefore, not in this book as much. She’s alright.
➽ Maia – I wish, more than anything else in this series, that she would see her worth and realize that it’s okay to be alone and it’s okay to not accept an apology from your abuser.
➽ Jordan – The scum of this book. I have so much hatred in my heart for him. I’m going to buy Maia a “dump him” shirt. Boy, bye.
➽ Seelie Queen – Still one of my favorites, but Clary still playing with fire. I’m hyped.
➽ Camille – I liked her in TID and I liked her in this one. Give me all the morally grey characters, please. Especially one that gets under Alec’s skin so much.
➽ Lilith – Like, this book was dark as fuck. All the stuff with the babies? I was honestly feeling disturbed. But she was a pretty good villain, if I’m being honest. Just a little too over the top.
Overall, I hope this is the only book I’ll give one star to in the Shadowhunter world. And I’ll be really honest, I am really starting to regret that I didn’t just start my Cassie Clare experience with Lady Midnight, because I’m truly thinking that these books don’t hold up well while I read them as an adult in 2018. I feel like this fanbase is really fueled by nostalgia and not actual substance, because this book was honestly awful. But I’m so ready to dip back into TID with Clockwork Prince! Wish me luck.
Content and trigger warnings for medical experimentation, a lot of talk of children’s deaths, a lot of blood depiction, misogynistic comments, death, murder, cheating, abandonment, self-harm, talk of suicide, and war themes.