Whoops- I read another Shadowhunter book. Yes, I know I said ages ago this was getting samey for me… but I went right ahead and read this anyway (yeah I know I’m a completionist, but I swear I was gonna give this a miss… probably 😉 ). Yet since I owe the fact that I did read this to my younger sister, I thought it might be fun to have her come along for this review too- SURPRISE! Introducing the Monkey Baby… Bonjourno – Je suis le monkeybaby
Well evidently she’s not bilingual- but let’s do this thing.
Right off the bat, I’m going to say that if you’re not already into the whole Shadowhunter world this book is not going to convert you. I’d say if you are into Clare’s work, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy it… and a good chance you won’t. I’m going to come clean straight away and say I did not see this as Clare’s strongest book. Not by a long shot, not even a little bit.
Monkey Baby: I agree I don’t think it’s her strongest work, I think the first one was much better. But I think due to the romance of this book being the best one, it kind of makes up for it a little…
Ahh what we’re all here for: the romance. Now this is a minor spoiler, but I will say that I liked how Clare dealt with the Mark/Emma/Julian love triangle, getting it out the way pretty quickly. That was a massive relief for me… but the second we were over that love triangle hurdle, another, totally unnecessary love triangle got shoehorned in. I couldn’t stand the Kieran/Mark/Christina love triangle- it was just so jgfsldgesnbarmj (translation: utterly pointless and frustrating)
Monkey Baby: MMMMMMM I’m not so sure I agree. I think it was a tad confusing but not irritating. Although this is probably the only love triangle that has no correct answer EVER!!! I have no ship for it…
Let’s talk about some of the things I did like then. When it came to the characters, I found that a lot of them were seriously growing on me. I definitely am finding Ty and Kit well-developed, intriguing and a great duo. I do think the younger characters are beginning to steal the limelight quite effectively from their older siblings- which is a good thing.
Monkey Baby: J’adore Ty and Kit. Ils sont THE BEST!!!
(I have no idea why she’s speaking franglais) Okay, moving on, I honestly don’t know how she keeps writing action packed stories and that’s one of my favourite parts about these books. No matter what, they can keep you on your toes. Plus while the writing isn’t flashy, it did have its moments of beauty and was genuinely funny and sweet at times.
Monkey Baby: No comment. I agree.
That said, when it came to the plot, I felt like it was initially bogged down by recapping. This could be just a personal thing (as I’ll always opt out of the “in the last book so-and-so did this and the other-so-and-so did that”). Still I also felt like this book offered nothing different. When it came to the ending (don’t worry no spoilers) I did feel like it was dramatic BUT it’s not like we haven’t had *more* dramatic things happen in the past and consequences that are equally dire. As ghastly and gut-wrenching as the ending was, we all know at this point that Clare is willing to take us to some pretty dark places. But when it comes to taking us to said dark places, I did think there were some places where this fell down. And while this book made me feel things, *a lot* of those things were irritation. And the main source of that irritation was the villains.
Monkey Baby: I felt like this book didn’t have any real villains. Where is Voldemort???
Wrong book babyface, but *brace yourself for a rant of epic proportions* cos these were lousy villains for me. They came across as loutish losers and were easily dismissed as “bigots” and “fascists”- and as effective as name-calling is in defeating your enemies, I did not think the book effectively dealt with their arguments. Predominantly, this was because it didn’t give them any arguments- there were no reasons for their behaviour except that they’re nasty bigots who don’t like fair folk and call everyone names. There were times when the story actually devolved into a juvenile cussing match. Don’t get me wrong I want people to defeat these arguments- that’s why, if you’re gonna bring this shit up, you actually have to put up a fight. Don’t bring a feather duster to a boxing match. And for goodness sake, don’t invoke serious issues for the sake of some naff point scoring (unless you want an angry ape writing a ranty review). What frustrated me more than anything is that here is a series that always dealt in complexity and created villains we can actually fear (remember Valentine anyone?) and now we have a cohort who are just mean because they’re big meanies (wah!) Plus, we were even given a blueprint for a fantastic baddie with the Unseelie King, but were left to focus on Zara-blooming-Dearheart who was about as ominous as a gnat.
Monkey Baby: SERIOUSLY WHERE IS VOLDEMORT????????????????????????????????????????????????
Oh alright, since you asked…
Rating: 2½/5 bananas
So have you read this? What did you think about it? And do say hello to the Monkey Baby!