Series Review: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Happy Wednesday my friends! One of my goals for 2019 was to start posting book reviews again, and I could not be happier that I’m finally (finally) getting back in to writing them. Not only that, but this review I’ve written and am sharing today is over my all time favorite series, so I’m verrrry excited!

I’ve deemed The Infernal Devices the series of my heart because it is everything to me. Like, I know I rave about my love for a lot of series on here, but I’m telling you: this is the one. From my first read as a sophomore in high school (when I used to bother my friends at school by talking about Will Herondale excessively) to my most recent reread just a few weeks ago – I’ve come to the conclusion that this is my very favorite.

So, fair warning: this review is going to be full of endless love and praise and me being overly emotional… but I hope you enjoy!

***This review is spoiler free!


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➤Series Title: The Infernal Devices

➤Author: Cassandra Clare

➤Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

➤Publication: 2010-2013 by Walker Books

➤My overall rating: ★★★★★

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This series takes place in Victorian London (1878) and follows a teenager named Tessa after she unexpectedly gets swept up in a supernatural world she never knew she was a part of herself. It’s a unique blend of fantasy, romance, historical fiction, paranormal, steampunk – there’s lots of different elements going on here, and that’s something I love about this series. The combination of it all really makes for such a captivating and well-rounded storyline. And it’s very easy to get quickly invested in this plot.

Although I do like the main conflict involving the villain and some menacing clockwork creatures, my favorite part of the story is following the protagonists and the dynamics between them. I’m notorious for becoming overly invested in characters, so what I find myself getting the most absorbed in while reading this series is this: the love triangle. This is probably the only time I’m going to say that, ever, since I tend to avoid love triangles like the plague. But the one in this series is unlike any other – it’s genuinely beautiful. The entire dynamic between the three characters is indescribably powerful, and honestly what I’m most invested in plot-wise.

We also follow the individual character’s storylines, which are really emotional and make me cry, like, a lot. These characters go through way too much, but the way they face adversity and each have their own personal arcs is incredible. I absolutely love how the books become more and more character driven as this series goes along. It’s honestly perfect to me as a person who is all about character driven storylines.

There’s quite a bit that goes down in this story. There’s plenty of action and suspense, drama and humor, and overall lots to become captivated by. This plot is super engrossing and I feel like there’s something here for everyone to enjoy between the governmental conflicts, the villainous threats, the uniquely written relationships, individual character arcs, family dynamics, etc. But, of course, the characters are what make this as enjoyable as it is for me, which is what we’re going to get in to next!

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3af15394-8a0b-4fb6-8ac0-169c94067b8a➤Tessa – My role model as a teenager, and honestly, she still is. I admire Tessa’s independence, the way she stays true to herself, her ferocity, her bookishness, and basically everything about her. A true icon!

➤Jem – If I had to name the most selfless and kindest character in all of YA literature, my answer would without a doubt be James Carstairs. Jem is so completely good and wholesome. He truly deserves the entire world and more.

➤Will – You know those characters you love so much, so completely and wholeheartedly, that it’s difficult to even begin talking about them? Will Herondale is… literally my favorite character of anything ever, and I could scream about my love for him for the rest of eternity.

“He was Will, in all his perfect imperfection; Will, whose heart was as easy to break as it was carefully guarded; Will, who loved not wisely but entirely and with everything he had.”

➤Charlotte – My friend Arin, who loves Charlotte more than anyone else I know, can vouch for how underrated this character is. Charlotte is the true definition of a leader, and even though she has to endure so much, she remains kindhearted. And I love that about her.

➤Henry – Henry has a peculiar mind, and by that I mean he is an absolute genius. He’s also ridiculously fun and kind and he and Charlotte are the cutest. I adore him.

➤Sophie – Sophie is one of those characters I just want to hug forever and tell her she deserves every last ounce of happiness in the world. She’s fiercely loyal, a true friend, and there’s nothing I want more than the best for her honestly.

➤Gideon – The eldest of the two Lightwood brothers. I love how calm and collected Gideon is, but also how he won’t stand for anything that goes against his values.

➤Gabriel – The younger of the Lightwood brothers, and a bit more wilder, and also Will’s worst enemy. Gabriel’s character arc in this story is actually one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.

➤Cecily – An absolute legend and the most underrated Herondale. Cecily is one of my very favorites and also a complete and total badass.

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It never fails to amaze me how intricately created the Shadow World is. And although I’d say it was more thoroughly explored in The Mortal Instruments (I do recommend reading at least the first three books before TID), it’s still explained well enough in The Infernal Devices so you can read this series without prior knowledge.

What’s unique about this series, however, is that the world-building of Victorian London is there alongside the world-building of the Shadow World. This is by far one of my favorite aspects. I was already captivated by the Shadow World as it is, but I fell completely in love with being immersed in this historical era as well. It really is like being transported back in time. But… more supernatural.

I think Cassandra Clare did an excellent job with incorporating all these fantasy and historical elements together, and it truly did prove to me what a wonderful writer she is. The entire atmosphere she created in this series is so impressive. I know some people are reluctant to pick up this series because they weren’t fans of Clare’s writing in The Mortal Instruments (I understand that), but I can say with certainty that this series is written on a whole other level.

Like, I’m telling you – the epilogue of the last book, Clockwork Princess, is the most emotionally powerful thing I have ever read in my entire life. It makes me cry like nothing else honestly. And it’s all thanks to the way it was written!

Plus, there are so many lovely quotes in this series, such as this one (my favorite):

“It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

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I know it’s probably clear by now but… I just love this series, and I love it with everything that I am. Even though it breaks my heart a million times over (like, constant tears reading this), it also fills me with such happiness. My love for this is definitely partially fueled by nostalgia because this series really spoke to me as a teenager, but besides all of my emotional ties to it, I do think these books are genuinely incredible.

From the plot, the characters, the historical elements, the writing, the world-building, the themes, the love triangle (I promise it’s a good one) – all of it comes together to make one powerful and unique story. This series means the world to me and it really has become my favorite of all time. Honestly. I get emotional over it constantly and I really could not recommend it more.

So why should you read this series?

  • A love triangle that is actually incredibly written (a rare feat!)
  • Characters you’ll love with your entire heart and soul
  • Will Herondale. That’s it, that’s one of the reasons.
  • The London Institute is amazing
  • It’s very bookish! It’s even inspired by A Tale of Two Cities
  • Allllll the beautiful quotes
  • The atmosphere of Victorian London
  • Clockwork Princess is the sixth highest rated book on Goodreads
  • It’s just… it’s so good
  • You’ll be ready to read Chain of Gold! (more on that below)
“At last, the wheel comes full circle…”

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CHAIN OF GOLD! Friends, I’m still in disbelief that this is finally becoming a reality. The Infernal Devices has a sequel series, set in Edwardian London, and the first book is out this year on November 19th! This story follows the original characters and their children, and it’s literally everything I ever wanted.

AND don’t forget to check out these other 2019 Shadowhunters releases:

—The Tessa, Will, & Jem character art in this review is credited to the wonderful Cassandra Jean!


I’d love to know

Have you read The Infernal Devices? Have you read any of the other Shadowhunters series? Are you looking forward to Chain of Gold as much as I am?! Let me know all your Shadowhunters thoughts!

46 thoughts on “Series Review: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

    1. Aww thank you sm!! YES exactly, the character dynamics are truly what make this series such a masterpiece. And omg it makes me so happy that you love Tessa. I feel like she’s underrated and that she definitely deserves more of this praise!! 💕💞💕 lol thanks for your comment Elise!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Charlotte Fairchild, my underrated queen who deserves all of the praise!!!!
    This was such a great review!! I’m super proud and impressed that you managed to type out coherent thoughts about this series because if I tried it would probably just be “AHHH Charlotte, Henry, Gabriel, AHHHHH” followed by some more incoherent thoughts about how Divide by Ed Sheeran needs to be the background music for the entire series.
    I can’t wait for Chain of Gold, I needed it about yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHH YES ALL THE LOVE FOR CHARLOTTE. Honestly you should write a TID review but instead of a review it’s actually just endless screaming about why Charlotte Fairchild is underrated and deserves all the love in the world.

      But omg Arin thank you so much! I truly wouldn’t have been able to finish this review without having you to constantly rant at about how much I was struggling with it. AND if I didn’t have Divide playing in the background for inspiration. Nancy Mulligan is forever Wessa’s theme💞

      Like

  2. OMG YAAASSS ❤ I got so excited when I saw the title! I honestly had no idea that Clockwork Princess is the 6th highest rated book…and IT"S SO WELL DESERVED. I truly love how much care and thought you put into this review. Charlotte is definitely underrated, and Sophie is so huggable and Cecily is SO BADASS. The world building is absolutely fantastic, and the epilogue will bring anyone to tears T_T

    AHH This made me so nostalgic! Lovely review, Brianna!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg all your kind words make my HEART SO WARMMM😭 I 10000% agree that CP2 has earned that spot for sixth highest rated book on GR (even though that epilogue is kinda rude for emotionally ruining us!!!) And ahhh, I’m so glad you agree with what I said about the characters – they truly deserve all this love and hype💗💗💗 thank you so much Tiff!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you loved this series!!! I adore all of Cassie’s books and Infernal Devices is really amazing!
    Definitely agree with how well written the love triangle is! I’ve never come across such a good love triangle before! Great review 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh and I’m so glad YOU loved this series too! That makes me happy to hear you’re fan of it and the rest of Cassie’s books💞

      The love triangle truly is so beautiful, isn’t it?? I’ve never come across such a good before either, ahh I love it!

      Thank you very much!! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahhhhh don’t mind me, just getting ridiculously emotional over this series simply from reading your review 😂😭😂 (Also look at me! Actually commenting the day you posted! And not weeks later! lol)

    I just love this series SO MUCH. Jem is the sweetest, and Will is amazing, and ALL OF THEM ARE SO AMAZING AHHHHHH! Agreed Charlotte is SO underrated! She’s so badass and amazing and kind and I love her! She deserves more love.

    And AGH THE ENDING TO CLOCKWORKWORK PRINCESS (;P) IS HEARTBREAKING AND I AM SAD AND AHFGHJGGHGFHHGJHGFDGFFGJFFHDS.

    I can’t believe we’re getting Chain of Gold THIS YEAR. SO HYPED. IT’S GOING TO BE AMAZING. AHGFHGFGDFGGHFDMHGF. (Also I’m still sooooooo in love with that cover!!! 😍😍)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😭 I was struggling with writing this review because I kept getting so emotional over this series OMG. And hehe you’re fine, I appreciate your comments whenever you leave them!! 💞

      AGH YES THESE CHARACTERS ARE EVERYTHING. I’m so glad you also think Charlotte deserves more love because I never even thought about how under-appreciated she is until this most recent reread BUT SHE IS AMAZING.

      The Clockworkwork (LOL) Princess epilogue is TOO MUCH. I SOB EVERY TIMEEE. Ugh it absolutely destroys me but at the same time that ending is so perfect😭

      I just read the words “getting Chain of Gold this year” in your comment and smiled so much because every time I hear that I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE IT. EEEEEEEE. and same that cover is too beautiful! Wow I love Cordelia so much even though we barely know her lol. I cannot WAIT.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your enthusiasm, Brianna! 😍 This series has been on my TBR for a while now but I was worried it would be more like The Mortal Instruments than I’m comfortable with so I haven’t picked this up yet 😂 But your review makes me want to read it now!!! I’m also VERY intrigued about Will Herondale.. my Twitter friends rave abt him A LOT 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Angela this comment MAKES ME SO HAPPY. It honestly means so much to me that you’re more interested in reading this now because of my review😭 YES TID is very different than TMI – it’s a stronger series as a whole imo! I can’t wait for you to read this one… and for you to meet Will hehe! I adore him💗 happy reading!!

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  6. I’d love to start the Clare books but it’s a bit overwhelming at times?! 😬 Any suggestions on reading order? I’m still in a review funk (haven’t written one more than a sentence since November eek), so I’m happy that you’re back writing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I know what you mean, Ashley! There are SO many Cassie Clare books out that I can imagine it’s intimidating to start them now. But YES I can most definitely help you with reading order💞

      There’s actually a few different ways you can read the series, which you can see here: https://rivetedlit.com/2018/08/27/cassandra-clare-books-in-order/

      I think option 1 or 3 are the best way to go! However, option 2 works as well if you don’t want to split up the series. Just a fair warning though: you *will* be spoiled for the last TID book (Clockwork Princess) if you read the last TMI book (City of Heavenly Fire) before it.

      Ahh I apologize if all this info made you even more overwhelmed! If you have any more questions about reading order, or the books in general, just let me know☺️ hope you love these if you decide to read them!

      And ah thank youuu – I’m so glad to be reviewing again! I hope you’re able to get out of your funk soon. I know how frustrating that is😭 good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh WOW!!! Thank you SO MUCH, Brianna! 💗 This makes it a lot more approachable—yay!! Maybe I’ll do a background challenge with the link (probably do #1, and THANKS for the spoiler warning!) *I’m off to check my library!* 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No problem at all Ashley, I’m more than glad to help!! AND YAY🎉 I can’t wait to hear what you think of these books. Also if you don’t end up liking TMI (a lot of people don’t and I totally get it), I’d still recommend trying out TID☺️ happy reading!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahhh this is such a WONDERFUL review, Brianna!! This has totally convinced me (even more) to read this series and Cassie Clare’s other books, hehe 💗 I love that these books are so character-driven with great dynamics and relationships. And I adore that quote omg 💓 Again, great review! I can really feel the love you have for these books through this post 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DEZZY THANK YOUUU! I cannot wait for you to read these books one day💞 You’ll love how character driven they are (especially TID)! Hehe YES that quote is my all time faaave. And oh my gosh “I can really feel the love you have for these books through this post” – that warms my heart, thank you😭💕

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a great blog post!! ❤ I love "The Infernal Devices" so much and those characters and books are definitely my fave Cassandra Clare series too! Even though I've to admit that "The Dark Artifices" might share that place if "Queen of Air and Darkness" is as good as I hope it to be! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Virginia, thank you so much! Hehe I agree – TDA is truly, truly amazing but TID owns my heart! And I can’t WAIT for you to read QOAAD. I have a feeling you’re going to love it💞 happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much!! Aw I hope you get to do a reread soon – it’s so worth it💕 and YES you get me. Jem most certainly does deserve the world!

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  9. i read all of the mortal instruments but only clockwork prince in the infernal devices before i just kinda lost faith in CC. would you say TID is worth it even if i was disillusioned by TMI??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES I definitely think TID is worth a read, even if you didn’t enjoy TMI! I find that TID is higher in quality and a stronger series overall compared to TMI – the writing and character development improve immensely. The TID books also get better and better as the series progresses. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the series if you ever to decide to continue it! happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. wonderful review, brianna! i love the infernal devices so much, and am so glad that you reviewed it! the love triangle is so good and i actually like it (and i normally hate love triangles). the characters have my whole heart, and i absolutely cannot wait for chain of gold (in fact, i was thinking to buddy read it when i get my copy).

    also, @ cassie clare, you know what you did at the end of clockwork princess. like stop i have feelings and all of them are collapsing ahhhhh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Taasia!! You’re too kind, thank you💞 I agree 100% – love triangles are usually one of my least favorite tropes, but the one in this series?? A MASTERPIECE. Chain of Gold is going to be incredible and I can’t wait for it to be in our lives. And ahh I’d totally love to buddy read with you if you want!

      and I knowwww! I don’t know why Cassie thought it’d be okay to emotionally destroy us like that in the CP2 epilogue but I’ll honestly never fully recover from it😭 lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ooo yes for buddy reading! I’ll let you know if that’s feasible since accessibility to a physical copy may be difficult, but hopefully it’ll work out! Chain of Gold will definitely ruin our lives, haha, I’m simultaneously dying for it but also a little scared, ngl.

        I’m still so sad over CP2 epilogue, I can’t believe THAT happened! *cries a little* I’m fine, I swear.

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  11. I read the first two books ages ago (I ended up not finishing the trilogy after getting spoiled), and totally agree with everything you said! Will’s definitely one of my favorite YA heroes–he’s just so charismatic and charming gah why can’t he be real!? ♥ Cassie Clare’s an amazing writer–it’s so easy to connect to her books. That being said, I probably won’t read her other Shadowhunter books. I just find them a bit similar and am patiently waiting for her to write about a different topic. ♥

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t finish the trilogy after being spoiled. That’s always the worst! But YES same here, I completely adore Will💞 he’s my fave! And ah I can totally see where you’re coming from. I actually think Cassie does have a few projects in the works that aren’t Shadowhunters related – I’m looking forward to those a lot!

      Thank for your comment Aimee💗 hope you’ve been having a great 2019!

      Like

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