Warning: very angry and critical review ahead.
Lord of Shadows
Rating: 1 star
Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?
A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.
Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?
Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.
When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.
It is official. The Shadowhunter world is not the world for me. I read the first book in the Mortal Instruments back in 2013 and absolutely hated it and did not read anymore of that series. Then I read The Infernal Devices series. And I enjoyed that series. It's endeared to my heart in some ways because I really thought that after I had my baby that I would never be able to read ever again. And instead I binge read that series while I was nursing in the middle of the night. I finished reading the first book when my son was a week old. I mean, how special is that! I'll always remember Tessa and Will and Jem while I was rocking my newborn to sleep!
The Dark Artifices is NOT The Internal Devices. I loathe this modern time period, these characters, the plot, the whole thing. I kept asking myself while I was reading this book, "How did I get here? How did I even decide to pick up this stupid thing?"
THE. HYPE. That's why I picked up this stupid thing! Everyone and their mom loves this series and I just DO NOT GET IT! I watched the first season of the Shadowhunters show on Hulu a few months ago, because I thought MAYBE I was being too harsh on the shadowhunter world and I needed to give it another chance. I watched this show all the while thinking, "Why am I watching this garbage?" It's seriously laughable how over dramatized that show is. BUT STILL THE HYPE. I had to believe that if everyone loved this series so much that I had to keep giving it another try. I was thinking…maybe the books will be better? Maybe I can read this OTHER series in Los Angeles and it'll be good.
NO. NO. NO. NO.
- WHY IS THERE SO MUCH ROMANCE?! WHY!!! Seriously, every character and every scene is filled with sexual tension and some romantic story. Cristina and Perfect Diego. Perfect Diego and someone else. Cristina and Mark. Mark and Kieran. Mark and Emma. Emma and Jules. Some other characters that I don't remember their names and are you freaking serious? This was a complete mess of a story. Seriously? Why so much romance! Can't the plot itself be good enough? Can't the big cast of characters supplement this plot and be part of it rather than having to indulge in all this weird romantic nonsense? Every scene is so painful to read because everyone is falling in love with everyone!!
- I hate all the characters. Literally, all of the characters. Every character that was in a scene I would just think, "Gah you're so annoying and I hate you and I hope the institute blows up and takes you all out." They are all terrible to me. Who has redeeming qualities in this book? Maybe Cristina. Emma and Jules aren't even real characters. They are nothing without each other. And I get that they have this parabatai bond, but I wanted to know about Emma. But I can't know about Emma when every five seconds she's staring at Julian and dying to be with him. Seriously? Aren't you a shadowhunter? Don't you have more important things to do with your life than be obsessed with Jules? And also you're a liar and stupid and the worst. Julian isn't any better. I don't even want to talk about these characters anymore. I disliked them that much. Maybe I like Kit because he thinks all the shadowhunter stuff is stupid too.
- What is this plot? This book was 700 pages of boring and long drawn out scenes. I was missing the entire underlying and big picture plot here because people were trying to taking over the institute and there was a random trip to Faerie in there. This book could have easily been half the size that it was. There was no need for it to be as long as it was.
- Emma and Julian. I know I've addressed them already, but they need to be addressed again. Why in the hell did these two become parabatai?! I don't understand this world where kids are trained up and are able to make decisions like this when they are so young. Apparently the parabatai bond is stronger than marriage, so why are 16 year olds choosing who is gonna be their parabatai?!?!?!? I was 23 when I got married and I think back and I'm like, "omg, I was just a baby when I got married!" AND THAT WAS TWENTY THREE NOT SIXTEEN!! It just seems very irresponsible of whoever is orchestrating this world to allow this to happen. There should be more regulations so you know, they don't fall in love and apparently destroy the world by being together. Honestly, I like forbidden romance in stories. I know it's a trope and whatever, but I like it…when it makes sense. This does not make sense to me. It's just stupid. And it's annoying.
I feel like my age and that mom part of me really came out in this review haha. It's like when you're a kid and you watch the Little Mermaid and Ariel is like, "I'm 16 daddy! I'm not a child!" And you're like, "Yeah! 16 is an adult!" And then you're older and you watch the Little Mermaid and you're like, "16!?!?!? You're not a child, you're an infant!!! You don't know anything about anything!" I felt that way reading this book. Why are these young kids policing these demons and making these life long commitments that are just screwing them over? It's unfair to them and I hate it!
GAH. Overall, I hated this book because romance was the driving force of this story and everything else was confusing and made no sense to me. Everyone, stop being so crazy in love and calm the eff down!! I'm so mad writing this review. What a waste of my life. I found myself skimming the last portion of the book because I was over it. OVER IT.
I know a lot of people really love Cassandra Clare and the modern shadowhunter world. You probably read this story way differently than me and know way more stuff about Shadowhunters and really care about these characters. I could not make the connection to these characters or this story. It's not for me. I am off of that train and refuse to read any more of these books. Cassandra, if you wanna write another Tessa and Will story from the 1800s, I'm down. Count me in to read that. I love Tessa and Will and Jem. It will always be the best love triangle story of all time.
Anything else? I'm out.
Sorry not sorry for this ranting review.
What did you guys think of it? Did I say anything valid in this review? I just saw red the whole time I was typing so I'm not sure a coherent sentence was formed in the making of this review. Let me know your thoughts!