All seems well now that the Mortal Wars are over. Everyone is back in New York going forward with their lives in harmony…until they don’t. Clary is training to be a Shadowhunter and is now openly in a relationship with Jace. Her mother, Jocelyn, is preparing to wed Luke. Alex and Magnus Bane are doing well. Simon, however, is in a dilemma. He’s dating both Isabelle and Maia but they don’t know about the other. And, he’s got problems at home with his mother (who kicks him out) as well as being in the middle of a tug-of-war between Rafael and Camille. Jace suffers awful nightmares and inexplicably begins to pull way from Clary. Meanwhile, Shadowhunters are being killed and no one knows by whom or why. There are other troublesome things happening that don’t seem related but…
The bones of this story are really, really good. It’s the execution of it that left me struggling. It’s tough going through dialogue between 16-year olds that feels endless and pointless until they reach the heart of the matter. It was if the action was mired in the midst of all of this as a secondary element instead of the reverse. When the story finally shifts focus to more substantive matters, I had a hard time leaving the book.
I also had some issues with the narrators. Ed Westwick tends to mumble, which works for Jace’s taciturn personality but was terrible for Simon’s more optimistic disposition. He just never fit. Molly Quinn just sounded too young to manage all of the female voices. She even made Clary sound like she was thirteen. I still prefer the audio format but this combination was problematic for me.
It’s a really good story that took too long to tell. Too much unnecessary dialogue and details when an inspired tale waited in the wings. I also liked seeing some connections to The Infernal Devices series! The ending was spectacular with all sorts of implications for the future. Despite my issues, I’m looking forward to what’s next.
- Release Date: April 5, 2011
- Series: The Mortal Instruments #4
- Narrators: Ed Westwick, Molly C. Quick
- Audio Length: 12 hours, 39 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio