Hearing Logan Quinn's perspective on the horrific moments when Loki possessed him and used him to almost murder Gwen Frost, the girl he loves, enriche...moreHearing Logan Quinn's perspective on the horrific moments when Loki possessed him and used him to almost murder Gwen Frost, the girl he loves, enriches the series more than the other shorts Estep has written. Still, like the others it does not quite satisfy because nothing is ever resolved outside of the main novels. Logan's trauma is wrenching, but not enough to make me entirely sympathetic with his choice to abandon Gwen out of a fear they'd already faced in their relationship when she was afraid she'd accidentally kill him the way she'd killed Prescott, especially when her fear has a greater factual basis. Trauma is never reasonable, especially with a dose of teen angst thrown in, but Logan keeps responding the same way. He leaves. Gwen's letter stating that staying apart gives the victory to Loki and his Reapers is true, but he refuses to allow for the fact that this trauma happened to her, too, and she deserves more than his silence. On the plus side, it was good to see the first tentative but hopeful steps in healing the relationship between father Linus and Logan. (less)
Estep seems to adhere to the common wisdom of many series novelists and TV series developers: Keep the romantic hero and heroine apart to keep the dra...moreEstep seems to adhere to the common wisdom of many series novelists and TV series developers: Keep the romantic hero and heroine apart to keep the dramatic tension high. I'm not sure I buy into that, but it wasn't my choice. Gwen Frost has to face life without Logan Quinn, and it is pure pain and nightmare. Regardless, Gwen perseveres because it is what Champions do. When someone she cares about gets poisoned instead of her, she leads the charge to get the cure, though everyone knows it is a Reaper trap. Yes, Logan's absence makes her stronger in some ways, it more often makes her more heedless and reckless. In a departure from the usual hero journey script, she is actually better and stronger with Logan than she is without him. After the ratcheted up tension and pure malice of much of the previous novels, this one was an enjoyable break. It had its fair share of Reaper attacks and people being mean to each other, but it had more emphasis on relationship and moments of kindness and mercy. I didn't fall asleep after reading with knots in my stomach. The ending felt a little too easy and abrupt, but otherwise I enjoyed the novel.(less)
Gwen Frost continues on her classic hero's journey. Like Harry Potter and hundreds of heroes before her this novel is the point at which everyone but...moreGwen Frost continues on her classic hero's journey. Like Harry Potter and hundreds of heroes before her this novel is the point at which everyone but those most loyal turn against her and do so viciously and with maximum humiliation. No one is nastier than a group of teenagers, especially those with smart phones. Led by Linus Quinn, Logan's father and head of the Protectorate, Gwen is arrested for all the things her nemesis Vivian Hollan did to free Loki. The noose tightens and seems that Gwen cannot possibly escape, and then things get worse. Gwen discovers that Logan is the true target of the Reapers latest evil designs.
This novel was hard to read because mean people are never good company, especially when their victim is not only innocent but the reason they are alive to be vindictive. Still, this is the best novel of the series so far. It was well-paced, tightly plotted with no loose ends but the ones necessary to lead the series forward, and because so much is at stake the characters are more vivid and complex.(less)
Gotta say I was so drawn into this view of Tessa and Will Herondale as parents and this view of their tempestuous son James through Magnus' eyes, but...moreGotta say I was so drawn into this view of Tessa and Will Herondale as parents and this view of their tempestuous son James through Magnus' eyes, but I really felt like the ending left me hanging with only half a story that really deserved a novel. Glad I'd just finished Clockwork Princess and caught a view of an older James, or I'd have been much more frustrated.(less)
I can't help thinking Clare's monsters and villains are very Dr. Who, but Tessa, Will and Jem and their supporting cast of characters are so powerful...moreI can't help thinking Clare's monsters and villains are very Dr. Who, but Tessa, Will and Jem and their supporting cast of characters are so powerful that what could so easily fall into pure camp never does. Because I chose to read Infernal Devices and Mortal Instruments in chronological order rather than the order in which Clare wrote them, I am finding myself disappointed in the latter. I had to keep reminding myself of how young the characters were because they were so rich, and their struggles and love for each other was so deep, generous and extraordinary, though believable. I was very sad to leave them.
Plotwise, for the most part it was satisfying and surprising except for Jem. His choices near the end just did not ring true for me based upon his convictions through two and a half novels. And while I could understand it intellectually and it allowed for a prettier ending, it just didn't feel right.
The literary accents continued to complement the emotional resonance of the ongoing actions and interactions. This trilogy definitely goes on my reread list.(less)
The terrible revenge of Axel Mortain unfolds with the spider largely offstage, but the Shadowhunters finally glimpse how much wider and more complex t...moreThe terrible revenge of Axel Mortain unfolds with the spider largely offstage, but the Shadowhunters finally glimpse how much wider and more complex the web he's been spinning has grown, drawing victim after victim to their downfall. Still, it is the unfolding relationships among Will, Tessa and Jem that lie at the heart of this novel, and make it so compelling. As more and more of their backstory is revealed, so too does the love grow and the heartbreak. As Will races to save himself and grasp his hope for a future, Jem and Tessa's friendship grows into something more.
It's been a while since I've come across so satisfying a read and characters who so powerfully leap off the page. Can't wait to finish the series.(less)