Saturday, May 26, 2012


If you like young adult books, fantasy with a hint of romance, and set in Victorian England, check out Cassandra Clare's series, The Infernal Devices.

Starting with the second series, The Infernal Devices, before reading The Mortal Instruments series, had me thinking this could have been a mistake. In my defense, I saw a review of Clockwork Angel not knowing about the first series, and liked the premise. Needing something in audio, I was delighted to see it was read by the wonderful Jennifer Ehle. She may be best known as the actress who was Elizabeth in the 1995 mini-series of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth (which I may be just a tad bit obsessed with). She also played Myrtle Logue, the speech therapist's wife in The King's Speech. Ehle is spot on with the different character's voices and I loved the book. Now I am onto the second one, Clockwork Prince. To say that I was duly disappointed that Ehle was not the narrator quickly turned into delight when I heard the amazing male voice of Ed Westwick.  Heather Lind is also good as the female counterparts.

This introduction to the series is taken from Cassandra Clare's website:

"Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own."

One of the things I love about this series, besides being set in England, is the author's obvious love of books, poetry, and reading. Each chapter starts with a quote from a book or a poem. Her main character, Tessa, constantly has a book in her hands. Will, the main male character, often spouts from books and poetry. It is this common interest that draws Tessa to Will, not to mention he's gorgeous and charming. But Will has a past and just when Tessa thinks he feels the same for her, he hurts her to the core. And then there is Jem, Will's best and closest friend. He's so unlike Will, but they are fiercely loyal to each other. These two Shadow Hunters' lives are fraught in mystery. Does Tessa dare get close enough to either of them to find out their secrets?  

The Mortal Instruments, Starting with City of Bones, takes place in modern time New York (and is being made into a movie). So that makes me feel a little bit better about reading them out of "order". Her newest series, The Dark Artifices, will come out in 2015. Los Angeles is the setting. I know I will be devouring the rest of these...will you?

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