I caught a few episodes of the TV series Shadow Hunters, not realizing at first that it was based on the Mortal Instruments book series. While the TV series couldn’t hold my attention, I remembered I had the manga series based on the prequel, The Infernal Devices, and I had liked what I read of its serialization in Yen Plus, so I decided to finally read the whole series.
The Infernal Devices Trilogy: Clockwork Angel; Clockwork Prince; Clockwork Princess
Story by Cassandra Clare; Art by HyeKyung Baek
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Media Tie-in
Price: $13.00 USD
For the most part, I did enjoy what I read. The characters were well done and realized. Tessa was a good lead, not willing to sit back let other fight her battles. She starts out rather naive, but doesn’t stay that way for long. Once she learns to use her powers, she doesn’t hesitate to use them to further the Shadow Hunters cause. She is quick to give herself up when those she cares about are in danger, and can be the damsel at times, but she doesn’t always wait for her knights to come to her rescue.
She’s got two knights vieing (sort of) for her attention. Will Herondale comes off as cold and cruel, not letting anyone get close to him, except for James “Jem” Carstairs, his Parabatti, or brother of his soul. Both take an interest in Tessa, but because of Will’s tortured past, he doesn’t think he can pursue Tessa, and once he finds he can, it’s too late, as Jem has already won her heart.
There is a lot of melodrama, not just in the Will-Tessa-Jem triangle, but all three have their own personal tragedies that keep them angsting. While it does all get resolved in the final volume, I can’t say I was satisfied with it. It was too convenient of a resolution, especially in the last pages. It felt like something a fan would write to appease their interest than really settle the triangle.
While the ending didn’t set well with me, I still mostly enjoyed the series. My favorite characters were Charlotte and Henry Branwell. Charlotte was a great leader of the London Institute, while Henry was the typical absent-minded professor type. I thought they made a good couple, and didn’t care for the attempt to put a wedge between them.
The series felt rushed as it tried to cram in three novel into three graphic novels. The appearance of Cecily, Will’s sister, and the romances of side characters felt sudden and shallow. The series could have used one more volume to flesh out some of these characters a little more.
I liked the artwork by HyeKyung Baek. The character designs were nicely varied, though there were a lot of bishojo and bishonen. The period clothing was well done, with the dresses looking as heavy as they must have felt. The designs of the Clockwork creatures was the right amount of creepy, while the demons were just plain evil.
The Infernal Devices Trilogy is a series anyone can read without knowing anything about the main series. The world building is subtle enough to not overwhelm. Fans of period romance and the Mortal Instruments series will get more out of the series than a more casual reader like me. I enjoyed it, just not enough to want to read again.