Just a few things:
I expected to like this book better than I did, if only because I adore
Cassandra Clare. Adore her and her sharp-tongued heroes and surprisingly resilient heroines. Perhaps it's got something to do with the setting - I can't ever stand this kind of Victorian stuff, honestly, too many manners and whatnot and I miss people slipping and saying oh my fucking god
and so - but the point is, it disappointed me? Something like that.
A) Tessa's ability is fascinating and I think, was explored too little. She only Changed a few times and whenever she did she didn't think too deeply about her. Personally, I would've poked around everyone's heads while I wore their skins, but okay, maybe that's just morbid-me.
(A.1)By the by, her brother was a complete asshole. I mean, Big League asshole. I disliked him. I like villains just like the next girl, but filial villains have to be treated with kid gloves and oh my gosh he was so freaking petty. Also the reason I disliked Jessamine except when she stopped pretending she didn't have Badass Steel Ovaries and wasn't afraid to dirty her hands. Her little freak out at the park was simply delightful).
B) I guessed who the baddie was about halfway, but I read Agatha Christie when I was ten years old so I suppose it can be forgiven. It was actually pretty clever and all that. The brother was a surprise, but as soon as I heard about the vices I didn't like him anyway. Honestly, gambling. Ugh.
C) Okay, maybe this is repetitive but my point is really that Victorian settings really limit how rude you can be. All that properness
Now to the good things:
A) CAMILLE OH LORD. Now that was quite the lady, if I do say so myself. And of course, Magnus was adorable! I've read only the first of the Mortal Instruments series (lack of time, laziness and others can be offered as excuses, which... whatever), and I liked Magnus so much! But Camille stole the movie, that's what I'm saying. She was all passion and I loved him and now you shall suffer! Bitchslap
. Boy, she was the coolest.
A.1) Also the fact that whenever Tessa went Camille
I practically had an orgasm. I love weird powers.
B) Jem. Oh, but Jem
. Now how to put this? I'm sure I'm not the first to think this, but his intense gentleness was actually kind of hot. Plus he had the whole illness
thing going on DEMON DRUGS OMG that was something alright
. It's weird because I usually go for outspoken morons like Will but Jem stole the cake, the movie and the girl (in my head). He was so effortlessly cool and so kind and gushgushgush, you know what I want to say. B.1) When Tessa rejects him in favor of Will I will be so very pissed off. God, I can feel the disappointed ranted to come. Sigh. Perhaps if I pray hard Miss Clare will switch leading heroes? C'mon, I mean really, this:
"A sort of good-bye without saying good-bye," he said. "It is a reference to a passage in the Bible. ' And Mizpah, for he said, the Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from another.'"
...isn't nothing, alright. It is not, and I had to hold my panties very carefully when he said that. So, yeah. TEAM JEM.
C) Okay, so this may seem weird, but actually the moment I liked Will the best - apart from the start, before we saw how psycho he was (WHY DO GIRLS ALWAYS LIKE THE CRAZY ONES) was at the end. Cruelty happens so rarely in YA novels, and that kind of stab in the back was so delightful, I mean really. I loved it. I especially liked the details of the sea in Tessa's mind and Will's bruises, and when he started to talk about arrangements I was ON FIRE because I knew it was COMING. One thing you can't fault Miss Clare about: her heroes are alternatively wonderful and awful, just like real teenage boys.
I know this firsthand because I happen to be a teenage girl.
Anyway. My pet peeve: the setting (which, okay, it's kind of understable as it's a prequel but whatever (why can't there be some fantasy novel set in the 40s in New Orleans? Now that would be something). What I liked best: characterization -as always-, witty verbal sparring, the fights. The fourth star is given solely because the last ten pages of the book had me in ecstasy.