We pause from The Mortal Instruments and begin the prequel trilogy, as recommended by the author and many readers. This first book starts the reach back into the past of the Shadowhunters & Downworlders.
The year is 1878 as we step back in time from The Mortal Instruments. This prequel trilogy begins with 16-year old Tessa Gray landing in London to meet her brother, Nate, who sent for her from America following her guardian aunt’s death. She’s met by the Dark sisters and their strange coachman on Nate’s behalf, or so she thought. This begins Tessa’s introduction to the world of Shadowhunters, Downworlders, demons and mechanical creatures, as well as to her own gifts.
While I struggled getting into The Mortal Instruments, I LOVED this story from the first page! Fantasy isn’t my strong suit but when it works, I’m fully engaged as I was here. Tessa’s abduction, later rescue and search for her missing brother sets off an unusual adventure that turns her world upside down. The London Institute of the Shadowhunters becomes her refuge and the mystery ensues. I was off balance for most of the story as I attempted to untangle the web of lies, deceit and struggle for power by an unknown force. The mechanical creatures were an enigma and interesting element. And, of course, there’s sort of a romance brewing between Tessa and two broody and mysterious Shadowhunters, Will Herondale and his close friend Jem Carstairs. It’s subtle and doesn’t overpower the story, just as it should be for this time, place and ages.
This was exciting, intriguing and full of twists and turns. The world is familiar as it was introduced in the main series but here we seek its origins. I’m already identifying connections and there are some character crossovers. There’s a LOT going on but the storytelling is tightly woven and fast paced. I really didn’t want to put it down. And, the narrator is fantastic! She’s mastered the cadence, personalities and rhythm of the story. I was told this was a great prequel and it’s definitely off to a wonderful start. I’m dying to begin the next book!
- Release Date: August 31, 2010
- Series: The Infernal Devices #1
- Narrator: Jennifer Ehle
- Audio Length: 14 hours, 36 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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