This first book in Clare's Infernal Device series, a prequel to her bestselling Mortal Instruments books, opens as Tessa's pleasant life in 1878 New York is coming to an end when her guardian aunt dies. Upon her arrival in London, where her brother lives, Tessa is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters, who force her to learn to use a rare power—shape-shifting—she didn't know she had. Her rescue by a young man named Will leads her to the Shadowhunters—Nephilim descended from humans and angels—who enforce the magical Accords against demons and other creatures. Tessa gets caught between the various players seeking to use her amid a plot to conquer Britain. The events often read as bleakly as the Victorian London weather, punctuated by Clare's trademark humor, empathy, and authentic characters, who fight their own flaws and tragic pasts as often as they do evil. Mysteries, misdirection, and riddles abound, and while there are some gruesome moments, they never feel gratuitous. Fans of the Mortal Instruments series and newcomers alike won't be disappointed. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010 Release date: 08/01/2010 Genre: Children's
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