Cassandra Clare missed her calling as a soap opera writer. I’ve read the first three Mortal Instruments books and the entire Infernal Devices series and still the soap opera twists keep coming – “I love you, but we’re brother and sister;” “You’re my best friend, but we’re in love with the same person;” “I can only trust two people in this wor…oh my god, one of them betrayed me!” I sometimes get the feeling the plot points dictate the ending of the stories rather than character arcs. And how many love triangles do I have to sit through? HOW MANY?
While I’m not crazy about the plot, the characters and world-building are nuanced. Most of the characters had clear motivations and drive. I really did enjoy all of the characters, especially Emma and the Blackthorn siblings. The romance between Julian and Emma felt believable and passionate, but I felt most of the drama between the two was artificially created to keep them separated. As for the other love stories, I felt most of them were pretty meh. I’m not a fan of characters from the original series making an appearance in spin-off books, but it was not over done in this novel.
Overall, I suspect fans of her other series will enjoy this book too. She does improve as a writer the longer she writes, and you can tell she has spent a lot of time creating this unique, complex world. However, I’m just not invested in these dramatic, angst filled plot lines. I will not be continuing this series.
tl;dr Complex characters and intricate world building didn’t save me from enjoying the soap opera “oh my god” plot.