So, imagine my surprise when, out of nowhere, Simon and Schuster sent me a copy of (brace yourselves for long title to say in one breath) An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld. And with my weird reading slump, I decide to blitz this tiny gift.
In this anthology, we see characters from all of Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter world - The Infernal Devices, The Mortal Instruments, Tales from the Shadowhunters Academy, The Dark Artifices and the upcoming The Last Hours - with never before known titbits of information on each character and with illustrations from Cassandra Jean - creator of the Shadowhunter Tarot that we've seen on Clare's website.
I am a bit torn over this book. On one hand, I think true fans of this series will love this christmas stocking filler. Cassandra Jean's art is beautiful and is the real selling point for this book, in my opinion (and I love reading art books and spent quite a bit of time looking at illustrations in the books I read).
Like I said, true fans of the series - all of the Shadowhunters series - will love this. But for someone who isn't up to speed (aka myself), the information given is a bit of a problem. While new information (and fans will be reading these and going "oh, that makes sense with so-and-so"), it doesn't feel entirely important to the world. For example, why is it important to tell us that, when younger, this one character had a brief spell at stamp collecting?
There were times that I looked at this and thought "Is this a cash cow moment?".
This is a die-hard fan book. But if you are a casual fan, I would say get a copy from your library. But go enjoy the art.