At least 12 books in a year, one book a month. That’s the personal reading challenge for 2019 and I’m off to a good start! I turned the last page of book number one, the third and final instalment of Cassandra Clare’s The Dark Artifices, right before the end of January and am dying to share my thoughts on it with you. Spoiler-free! Let’s dive right in to my very first book review in a long long while.
And that was rather nice of me, considering how much I struggled with a large part of this book. I started reading Clare’s work not long after her first Shadowhunter novel appeared so I’m guessing about ten years ago, and I still absolutely love the fantasy world she created (except in its cringe-worthy, annoyingly-full-of-perfectly-pretty-teenagers-and-adults Netflix form. Ew ew ew). However, with this last one, I couldn’t help but wonder at times if I’d really just outgrown the whole YA thing, or if it was something else. I’m guessing option number two, because the original characters still made me smile whenever they appeared in this book, and - well - saved a lot of it for me, personally.
Let’s start with a thing I liked, for good measure: the nods and hints to society and politics these days were smartly done. Too bad the rest of it was a bit of a mess and just didn’t seem coherent at all most of the time. Some plot twists (especially right near the end of the book, when we finally find out what that over-hyped parabatai curse actually is) are beyond ridiculous, chapters were too long and had me losing interest in some of the characters’ story lines, and don’t even get me started on what Clare did - or didn’t do - to a potentially good villain. And then there’s that long - SO. VERY. LONG. - part in this book that’s solely followed from Emma and Julian’s POVs. Which brings me to this next part:
Emma and Julian are the worst. Period. The whole forbidden-romance-thing was cute and I kind of felt for them during the first two (rather good) books, I guess, but this was just too much. They truly got on my nerves, the both of them, with Julian taking the crown without a single doubt. It’s generally not a good sign if you’re relieved whenever you switch from the main characters to just about every one else, isn’t it? I mean, even re-reading that synopsis just now had me rolling my eyes all over again.
I absolutely LOVED Drusilla’s character development, though, the rest of this series’ characters were quite awesome, as well, and as previously mentioned; I was happiest with this book whenever the older characters made an appearance. Which, thankfully, happens a lot. Some might say that that’s exactly what might take away from all the new characters, but, well… Thank heavens they were there.
TO READ OR NOT TO READ?
If you’re a fan of the Shadowhunter world, like me, by all means do - if only simply to find out how it ends - and perhaps you’ll even join the many readers that DID love this final (again: hallelujah) Emma/Julian instalment. If you’re not familiar with the stories and love YA novels, I do urge you to try The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. They’re brilliant. However, if romantic drama makes you cringe, then forget about these series altogether. Although you will miss out on some A-level side characters when you do. 🤷🏻♀️
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
FI-NA-LLY! I’ve read the first couple of chapters and this one’s going to go a lot faster, I can already tell. I just love Gaiman’s writing and can’t wait to find out what his spin is on Odin, Thor, Loki and consorts.
Q || Thoughts on Clare’s latest book and/or the Shadowhunter Chronicles in general? What are you reading right now?