Genre: YA fantasy
Blurb: (goodreads) In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
What I didn’t like: There were two things I wasn’t too thrilled with but they were both minor. One was the odd ending. It actually confused me. Very close to the end Clare, after the big dramatic fight scene, seems to end the book when someone special shows up at the Institute’s doorstep – I won’t say who. I don’t want to give anything away for those who want to read it. Then she adds a bit that I would guess will be clarified in the next book, but it’s just confusing to me. The interesting bit for book III is the person who shows up. She should have left it at that. The second was in the audio version, two different people did the reading, one male, one female (sorry, I forgot to write down their names). They both did a wonderful job, I just wished they would have stuck to one person. It is kind of disconcerting to switch back and forth.
What I did like: The book has the usual good dialogue, good character and plot development, but what I have to give her kudos for is a scene about 3/4 of the way through that allows Tess and Will (the two main love interests) to let their feeling go when they shouldn’t have. It was brilliant! It is a wonderfully seductive scene as well, for teens and non-teens alike. I really like how Clare makes a scene steamy without being raunchy. Very important for a YA audience and I appreciate it myself. The woman (Clare) knows how to build sexual tension.