The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare is definitely one of my favorite series of all time. Although I personally still prefer the Mortal Instruments books to this prequel series, I still enjoy it immensely, and love the way that Cassie can suck you in to a past time with an amazingly thought of supernatural world added in and still make you feel as if you are actually there.
Warning! There will be spoilers!
Published August 31st, 2010
Page Count: 479
“In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Timesbestselling Mortal Instruments series.
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…”
Tessa Grey is a young girl who has been kidnapped and tortured, both emotionally and physically and has been abused for her mystical powers that she has before never even known about. All that is keeping her alive and fighting is the knowledge that somewhere her brother is being kept and they will murder him if she does not comply. Her love and devotion to her family is one of her strongest features and that is exactly why it is also the reason why her entire world gets torn apart when ultimately she finds out that her brother has been lying to her and is behind the entire scheme. The betrayal probably hits her the hardest and is even more unbearable for her to carry with her than her introduction into the Shadow world.
The biggest theme throughout this book is definitely family and relationships. Slowly, as readers, we see that Tessa’s loyalty and family has shifted from Nathaniel and the world she left behind in the States to the people at the Institute. They have taken her in, and kept her safe and at the end of the book there is no question to where her allegiance lies. Despite there being a lot of mystery that still surrounds some of the Shadowhunters
Will Herondale. Ahh, my beautiful and mystical Will. This young man definitely has a lot of issues going on. We can see his loyalty and love towards Jem, but other than that he is closed off and doesn’t want anyone else into his thoughts. One of the biggest reasons why Jem is the person he trusts most is precisely because Jem doesn’t try and dig that deep but respects his privacy. Will’s feelings for Tessa are a bit confusing. She feels as if he wants her and loves her but his actions and words speak otherwise. There are moments, just barely there, when his armor slightly weakens and she can see through this perfectly crafted mask that he has made for himself.
Jem Carstairs is the perfect gentleman. He is sweet, gentle and caring for Tessa. We can see he adores her and Tessa’s feelings are mutual. We hear about the tragedy that surrounds his illness and just what he must sacrifice to keep himself going and capable as a Shadowhunters. He is strong and brave and Tessa sees this in him just as much as the others.
Jessamine hates being a Shadowhunter. She despises what she is and has to become as she grows up. All she wants is a normal, human life and she will fight for it. (She kind of reminds me of Rosalie from the Twilight Saga, actually!). I think since she despises the Shadow world so much, she hates herself just as much (though she usually claims that she is above them all) and that is why she takes out all her hatred on the people surrounding her, which makes her a rather unpleasant person to be around).
Charlotte and Henry are just so adorable together! You can tell that Charlotte clearly loves him but that she doesn’t want to get too close to Henry, since she’s afraid he doesn’t want that with her, despite them both being married. You can tell that Charlotte struggles a lot being the one who mostly runs the Institute and that her decisions are questioned a lot since she is a woman.
A lot of intrigue still surrounds Tessa’s past. So far we know that her father is a demon but she still doesn’t know very much about her mother, although she still strongly believes that she was a human. And there is still a lot of mystery with that clockwork angel that Tessa has.
“Alas,” he went on, “no one has ever actually referred to me as ‘the master,’ or ‘the magister,’ either. More’s the pity…”
“Let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome young fellow who’s trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs.”
“It’s bad form to bite,” he informed her. “Rude, you know. Hasn’t anyone ever told you that?”
“Henry,” said Charlotte, who appeared to have recovered from her shock, “if you set yourself on fire deliberately, I will institute divorce proceedings. Now sit down and eat your supper. And say hello to our guest.”
“Beauty fades, but cooking is eternal.”
“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.”
“Inanimate objects are harmless indeed, Mr. Mortmain. But one cannot always say the same of the men who use them.”
“Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy–all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.”
“Must you go? I was rather hoping you’d stay and be a ministering angel, but if you must go, you must.”
“I’ll stay,” Will said a bit crossly, and threw himself down in the armchair Tessa had just vacated. “I can minister angelically.”
“None too convincingly. And you’re not as pretty to look at as Tessa is,” Jem said, closing his eyes as he leaned back against the pillow.
“How rude. Many who have gazed upon me have compared the experience to gazing at the radiance of the sun.”
Jem still had his eyes closed. “If they mean it gives you a headache, they aren’t wrong.”
“That was enterprising,” Will sounded nearly impressed.
Nate smiled. Tess shot him a furious look. “Don’t look pleased with yourself. When Will says ‘enterprising’ he means ‘morally deficient.'”
“No, I mean enterprising,” said Will. “When I mean morally deficient, I say, ‘Now, that’s something I would have done’.”
“Sleep then, good and faithful servant of the Nephilim.”
“There’s plenty of sense in nonsense sometimes, if you wish to look for it.”
“It’s all right to love someone who doesn’t love you back, as long as they’re worth you loving them. As long as they deserve it.”