SERIES REVIEW ~ THE INFERNAL DEVICES BY CASSANDRA CLARE

Step back in time with the Shadowhunters with this eBook collection of the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment. The Shadowhunters of the Victorian Age delve into all of these in addition to darkness and danger in the Infernal Devices trilogy, packaged in an eBook collection that includes Clockwork AngelClockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess.

Series rating: 6 stars!!
No matter how much I thought I was emotionally prepared to take on this series, I wasn’t. My puny heart just wasn’t made to process a story so epic and grand such as this one. It is both a blessing and a curse to have read these books for I will always have this eternal ache in my heart that can never be soothed, names such as Tessa, Will, and Jem will immediately remind me of these characters and the tears will well fast. Yet it’s not a reading experience I would ever change. It’s true these books broke my heart, but in the best way possible: not by wearing it down but by filling it with so much love for these characters it bursts. After such an emotional reading journey, how can I possibly pick up another book and expect to move on? I can’t, and there is no book that can save me from this book hangover.
Though this is a series review, I don’t plan on talking much about the plot for a few reasons. First one being these are not standalone books and they tell a full, continuous story so talking about some details would spoil the books. But the main reason is that the plot alone won’t be what compels you to continue with the series. Don’t get me wrong, the rich historical setting and the pulse-pounding action and suspense is top notch but the elaborate plot from The Mortal Instruments definitely trumps it. What makes this trilogy stand out in the most glorious way is its focus on relationships and the depth of the feelings you’ll have for ALL of these characters, particularly Tessa, Will, and Jem.
Tessa Gray is one of my favorite literary heroines to date. It all began with her traveling to London to search for her lost brother and unknowingly stumbles into a parallel world that she later finds out she has ties to. Possessing great skills unknown to any warlock, Tessa is pursued by the power-hungry Magister and has only the protection of Shadowhunters – half angel, half human warriors sworn to slay demons – to keep her safe. It is in one of these Shadowhunter institutes she becomes acquaintances with Will Herondale and his parabatai (oath-sworn partner to protect each other at all costs) Jem Carstairs and a friendship so strong and so enduring is born.
Will Herondale. The boy who will forever have my heart. The tortured boy who is outwardly arrogant and prickly but has one of the brightest and loving souls possible. A childhood ordeal and the horrific aftermath he must keep secret makes him distance himself from others aside from Jem, that is until he meets Tessa and she shakes his world upside down. He uses sarcasm and crude humor to hide his inner vulnerability and aside from Jem, Tessa is the only one to see through it. Without a shadow of a doubt, Will loves her. Fiercely. Protectively. And quietly, for his parabatai, his brother in heart and soul Jem loves Tessa as well.
Jem Carstairs is perhaps one of the sweetest, thoughtful, and giving guys out there. The complete opposite of his parabatai Will, Jem has a health condition that makes him weaker than other Shadowhunters his age and as a result, Will defends him at every turn and always considers his needs first before his own. His camaraderie with Will and others and his gentle, patient nature is seen and loved by all. There are no secrets behind his guileless face and he, too, loves Tessa with an intensity that matches Will’s love for her.
You’re probably thinking, oh another love triangle? But before you completely write this trilogy off for this reason alone, I am imploring you to give it a try. This is the very first and only love triangle I’ve read where the author upholds character integrity and approaches it in such a respectful, loving manner. This love triangle marks the high point and the ultimate reason why this trilogy evokes such deep feelings from its readers. Though this is technically a love triangle, I never saw it that way. I saw it as two equally wonderful boys in love with an amazing girl. They never competed against each other nor did they question Tessa’s love. There was no jealousy. There was no sabotage. There was only trust, and all I felt for the three of them was an overwhelming love that stemmed from an admiration of their mutual love and respect for each other. Can you imagine that kind of selfless and unconditional love? I never thought it existed until I read this trilogy.
I’ve been asked multiple times to compare The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices and how they range and this is my answer: both are my favorite. Both series have their strengths and weaknesses but put together and they complement each other perfectly. It does not matter which series you decide to read first unless you’re concerned about reading in chronological order which in that case, I would say read The Infernal Devices first. There is a great overlap between the two and enough backstory so you will never be lost. IMO, the Mortal Instruments has much better villains and an intricate plot that even without the romance, it would still be an engaging series. The Infernal Devices, though lacking in a rich plot, is better written and the romance is more heartwrenching and emotional than in TMI. I highly recommend BOTH.
Cassandra Clare has catapulted herself into my auto-buy and forever trustworthy list of authors. Her magnificent storytelling ability, to-die-for characters, and addictive, captivating writing style only encourages and inspires me to check out more books in a genre that I’m quickly finding to be fascinating.
“With hope at last,”
P.S. I love Jem and Will equally, but I will always be in love with that boy with the blue eyes.