by Cassandra Clare
Published December 6, 2011
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
Yes, I was right... I have found my favorite series of the year. Maybe I should wait until the third novel in this series comes out in November 2013, but thus far, I'm convinced.
Tessa, is still my favorite heroine, I absolutely love her. My opinion of her hasn't changed from the first novel to the second, I love the balance between the womanly charm of her time period and the strength and determination she portrays. She's witty, courageous, and fearless, also a little bit naughty, but in a good way. I'm sure passionately kissing boys (more than one) is not acceptable behavior for girls her age (again, remember it's the 1870's), but she does it anyway. I'm usually against female characters going back and forth between two boys, but with Tessa it's different and I can't explain why. Like I said, I feel it's naughty but in a good way -- curious almost, without trying to be hurtful, simply exploring new sensations she never knew she could feel. Because it is such a faux paus (and I'm a boundary pusher) I accept her behavior more than I would any other characters'.
Ah, the boys... Will and Jem. I know a lot of people hate Will, he is a jerk 95% of the time, but I love him. I think he is friggin' hysterical! I love witty sarcasm. Don't get me wrong, the things he says to Tessa at times infuriates me and I want to reach in and give him a quick backhand, but other times... hysterical. Would I date a Will? Probably not. Would I find him interesting? Absolutely. I would expect him to cross lines, that's what people who push boundaries do. Furthermore, in this second novel the explanations for his really malicious behavior is revealed -- I felt sad for him on more than one occasion. I hope he doesn't lose his wit in the next book, but I do hope everything works out for him.
Jem, I love Jem too! I love his calmness and true sincerity in all his actions and words. I found him amazing. The thing about him though, is that he might be that sensitive character, but I don't see it as a weakness. Sometimes the "sensitive guy" in books is a big baby, not Jem though. He's still strong, just honest and caring too. A great combination. Would I date a Jem? Abso-friggin-lutely! Though I love wit (which he has), there's an elegance in his silent strength that I love.
I focused more on the love triangle than the story line, sorry it sucked me in. I thought I was over them for the year, but Jem-- Tessa-- Will... how could I fight it? I loved them all and no matter what happens, my heart will break for one of them.
But, there is more to the story than kissing boys and breaking hearts: Will's secret is revealed, Jem actually loses his temper, the Institute being judged, an engagement, a baby, and a surprise at the end. Also, we don't find out what Tessa really is and it's driving me crazy. I keep trying to reread sections to see if there clues that I missed, or something to lead me at a guess, but I find nothing. It's killing me. I hope the third book is as great as the first two... but I've been disappointed before.