Thursday, 24 November 2016

Book Review - An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld

I am a bit behind on my Shadowhunters reading. I have, on my current TBR; City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and Lady Midnight (though, when I do get my rear in gear to read these, I won't be reading these in order. I sense I might read Shadowhunter Academy and Lady Midnight before I read City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls. And let's not get me start of the upcoming Last Hours trilogy coming soon...).

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. 

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