Going into it, there were many things I anticipated. Different scenarios in which I’d have to prepare myself for, of course the main part being who I would mourn for. And still, Cassie managed to surprise me, and I hope that she managed to surprise many of her other fans in the same way, because, this being the sixth book of the series, the storytelling can go either into the “mundane” territory, or half of it be just “filler” because it needs to be the biggest book in the series. Luckily, I did not feel this book went into either of those territories.
I don’t know if I could say that this was a fast read, but there was just so much to enjoy about it that it made it a fast read for me. Not including my sleep and nap breaks (which couldn’t be helped), I think I read the book in about 18 hours. And there was a lot to take in. So much that I had to skim through it a second time, which took another few hours.
All in all I’m satisfied with how everything went. I got to spend a lot of time with the main characters and see how they’ve changed from the beginning of the series to the end, and they’ve opened up a lot more since then, revealing themselves honestly, admitting their faults and their vulnerabilities, and showing their courage in new ways as well.
We all know that Cassie does a bloody brilliant job in tying up loose ends when it comes to the epilogue, but she also does a fantastic job in setting up the rest of the book in the prologue. In the short amount that is given in the prologue, I could really imagine in my mind who these characters are, and the setting their in, and the emotions they evoke, much the same way that I did in the prologue of Clockwork Princess from The Infernal Devices trilogy.
Cassie knows how to build up the tension without letting it drag too long, but just long enough where you just start getting a bit jumpy. It’s understandable. I, too, was excited, but scared at the same time. I know that at least one character that I care about will not make it through to the end.
Now that I’ve read it and know, I feel all the more better for having read the series, for getting to know the characters and watching them struggle and struggle even more in this one. Cassie did a great job in taking us on a journey. This one book is one big journey and a truly ensemble piece, that may have started with main Jace and Clary, but it has expanded to include Alec, Izzy, Simon, Magnus, forming into a masterpiece.
And it’s not a rushed process. I certainly can’t complain about anything being rushed in this book. Reading the character interactions, the action sequences, and the drama all unfold quite well. You see how much they rely on each other, each person relying and interacting differently from one to the next. It’s like a well thought-out composition piece that ties in all the “instruments” together nicely.
Of course, from the beginning, you read this learning more about yourself as well. Learning how to deal with other people who are different from you, and how you are different from them, and maybe even figure out ways in which to improve upon yourself as you see certain prejudices or flaws in yourself similar to the characters you are reading. I found that more prominent in these books than many others. And that’s something to really find strength in with this series, especially this book.
For the most part, I didn’t feel tired of knowing any one character because each of them had something to give and I either empathized with them or related to them, at least in part, and for some of them, I was really sad to see go. Most of the character deaths were heartfelt, and not unnecessary to the overall story, although I will say that I wasn’t too thrilled about the reaction and side story’s conclusion of one specific character’s death (more to that in the spoiler section below).
The introduction of new characters in this book didn’t interfere with my desire to spend as much time as I could with the main characters. In fact, it helped me understand the main characters more as well as learn to appreciate what the new characters brought to the fold. I can’t wait to read more about the new characters as they move from this journey to their own (which we will start reading about next year, hopefully).
At one point, I even felt so much sympathy for a character that you know only by name, who was never in the series at all until he was only mentioned, that I cried for him. And that’s what a good author can bring out of his/her readers.
Cassie also allows us time to get reacquainted with previous characters that haven’t been around in this series, and that was definitely appreciated. I realized also, that the author has a very unique and amazing talent for tying one series to another and giving us an idea of how these characters correlate, and in a wonderful way. In the epilogue especially, this is where Cassie’s talent for it really shines.
This book is quite epic. The battles are crazy. The journey is long, but not boring, and Cassie makes sure to surprise us quite often, even if one of those surprises happens to disappoint me. Aside from The Hunger Games trilogy, this series is one that I feel I could re-read, because it’s filled with so many different but realistic emotions from that I wouldn’t mind crying and/or laughing through it again, with characters that I really enjoyed.
Ave atque vale, The Mortal Instruments!
To read my spoiler section of this review, go to my Goodreads review and click on the spoiler link!
Until next time, Shadowhunters! Lady Midnight, I await you!