As I have said before I love a book that captures me with the characters. I love to get close to characters and feel as if they were people I could meet on the street or in the store somewhere. I like to feel attached to them; want them to succeed, cry with them and feel their joy. I started reading this series after the third book came out (I believe) and though I picked up the first one initially for the fantasy elements (shadowhunters, demons and angels) it was the characters that kept me coming back for each sequential book.
This last book in the series is the end to the battle between Clary, her friends, her family and Sebastian, her brother, who is kinda part demon. It is their struggle to save their way of life and the lives of those they love. This story line is wrapped up well and all our characters get resolution to their own story lines.
I was invested in each characters story from the beginning of the series but what I loved most about this book was how the prequel series and the sequel series were incorporated so seamlessly.
I love series that have sequels and prequels. Any book that lets me delve deeper into how the story came about and how it moved on from the main battle or conflict is always entertaining. It always makes me feel like I am apart of the stories world more. A lot of the times though the sequels and prequels are only incorporated in the other parts in a very basic way. We might get a quick word from the characters we know or we see them or they are mentioned but rarely do they play any significant part in the story. They are there to remind us they exist but it isn’t their story so they are placed in the background. I know as writer that this is done a lot of the time to keep them from overtaking the story and to keep us in the current problem and not end up just following them around like some reality show. But this series found a way to incorporate everyone in a very satisfactory way.
This book opened with us meeting Emma and Julian and his family. We got to see firsthand how their world deteriorates around them. Instead of just getting the backstory through flashbacks and retellings we actually get to see what happened. We get to watch Emma breakdown and we get to see her become determined to avenge her parents. Emma and Julian don’t even have their own books yet and I am invested in their story. I am rooting for them, even though I don’t actually know what is going to happen to them. But I like them and I want to read the next books just to see them grow.
Clare also incorporated Tessa and Jem from the Infernal Devices series. I know they were mentioned earlier but we didn’t have their full story yet and didn’t quiet understand them but we got to see in this book how Jem was cured and we go to see where he and Tessa are now in their lives. They didn’t just fade away like so many other prequel characters tend to do. They are there as more as support characters but they still play a significant part. It will also seem that they will be around for the sequels as well. They are an intricate part of this world and instead of finding a way to shove them to the side Clare uses them. She uses who she created previously and creates a world where all the pieces interconnect.
You don’t have to have read the Infernal Devices to understand Mortal Instruments series but I highly suggest reading them. If you read for the plot and the action, then you will be fine reading these series alone. But if you connect to characters and love to read as they become real breathing people in your mind then I suggest reading the prequel series before this last book.
The ending of this book was very much like Lord of the Rings; Return of the King. movies where you think it has ended but you are wrong. There are multiple times this book seems to end and the Epilogue is extensive but it ties up all the strings and sets up the next series nicely. We get a resolution to Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, Alec and Magnus’s stories. You are left wondering about what will be coming in the sequels but if you stopped reading here you would feel satisfied with this ending as well. I am eager for Emma and Julian’s story as well as to see how our favorite characters play a part.