Review by Gill-Marie Stewart
I chose to read this book after seeing the level of enthusiasm from teens for all things Cassandra Clare at YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention). I came to it ignorant of what she had written previously, even of the film tie-ins, so I was reading this for what it was in itself – a short YA fantasy book. And I have to say I wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped to be. Some of the dialogue was quite funny, some of the way the characters acted and reacted made you think, yes, spot on! But an awful lot of the story seemed to rest on you knowing all the things that had happened to Simon, the main character, before the book opened. This was marketed on Amazon as the start of a series. I didn’t realise I would need to have read the PREVIOUS series before I could understand this one! Perhaps I should have looked at the small print on the cover which says ‘Companion to the best-selling series …’ One of the problems with Kindle is that we don’t really look at covers.
This book isn’t not awful. In fact, it’s perfectly readable. If I were stuck in an airport and needed something to read I would happily read the 2nd and more in the series. But will I go out looking for them? I’m afraid the answer is not in the near future. I was pondering on giving this 3 and a half Piranhas, and then remembered we don’t do half piranhas. So I’m going to give it 4, because its good points do out-shine its bad ones. But a word of advice – try Series One (Mortal Instruments) first!