Queen of Air and Darkness Left Me Stumbling In the Dark

*Spoiler review*

queen of air and darkness book

Do you ever feel like a book is such a hot mess that you have no idea how to review it? Well, this was my first book of the year and I’ve been at a loss how to express all that frustration/angst/gosh-darn-whys I’ve been feeling about it for a month now- which is why I’ve decided to recruit some help for this post! *Give it up for the lovely Monkey Baby who’s gonna hold my hand through this review!*

monkey baby final

Bonjourno mon belles bonbons 

Would you guys believe she’s actually much better at French than me? 😉 Now, as you might remember, neither of us were especially happy with the last instalment– nonetheless both of us had high hopes that this one would redeem the series. Fortunately when I cracked this open, it had tumultuous, emotional opening that I was certain I was in for a wild ride. Buuut it all went downhill from there.

Honestly the beginning bored me so bad I was loathe to even continue.

Yeah it was a pity you didn’t even like the opening- especially when it’s such a behemoth of a book. Seeing it in person, you can tell it’s too long. My mum took one look at it and said “they’ve not edited that”. Frankly, I’m not sure it was. Interesting storylines were relegated to needless drama; the best ideas were downplayed and disappointing. There was more than enough fluff here to make a monstrous, gigantic teddy. Thanks to this, the pacing was simply way off. The story stalled at every turn; I realllly struggled to get through it. It took you a while to read too didn’t it monkey baby?

It felt like an eternity on a long disused rickety, lame ghost train to get through. Every time a chapter finished I thought “gosh darn it there’s still so much left to get through of this drivel. Why am I still reading this? For the love of goodness sake someone put a stop to this madness!” I was secretly hoping you’d tell me what happens so I wouldn’t have to continue with that pathetic monster book. 

Well you could have told me that and I’d have spared you it! Okay so we’ve covered the length- let’s talk about the actual meat on these big bones 😉 While the parabatai mystery was fascinating, it unravelled as the plot went on and for me wasn’t resolved in a remotely satisfying way. Nor did I like the Unseelie Queen plot, since it was written more as setup for future series. Even if I enjoyed it in part, I didn’t like that this entire book was a pitch for another series- especially when this was supposed to be a grand finale in its own right. This level of delayed gratification is just. not. cool. Worse than that, it felt like fanfic of itself at this point. There were some goodish twists (and since this started out as fanfic, it’s kinda fanfic of fanfic…). Don’t get me wrong, aspects like the inclusion of Sebastian’s son and their detour into Thule (/what-could-have-been land) were entertaining up until a point. But even that they took wayyy too long with it. Now, I remember you had different thoughts about some of the plot- and what I liked you hated and vice versa- eh sis?

The shadowhunters definitely fell off their high horses- or should I say motorbikes- in this book. The plot was all over the place in the cauldron of characters she created. There were glimpses of interesting moments like the giant angels but for the most part it was so all over the place and please I don’t want to read mortal instruments from how it could have happened perspective. 

Ach- I didn’t even like the oversized angels (even writing that phrase makes me feel silly). One thing we did agree on was this: even the usually-well-done relationships left a lot to be desired. Unfortunately, this was partly due to shadowhunters being a shadow of their former selves. Especially Christina- who left a lot to be desired in the personality department- though apparently not in the desirability one 😉 She literally had NO FLAWS- except that apparently she was simply too lovable. Make of that what you will.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH CHRISTINA!!!!!!!!!! SHE IS MY LEAST FAVOURITE CHARACTER OF ALL TIME!!!! She is the most boring individual to ever grace paper! It felt like she was interloper of the whole story everytime she popped up I just thought oh here we go again. And why was Julian’s character ruined!!! In the first book and even in the second he was such a cute, adorable strong character. I wanted to shmush him:) But blocking part of his emotions was ridiculous!!! It meant that for most of the book he had no character!!! And was almost as dull as Christina! 

I seem to recall you dubbed her “perfect Christina” 😉 The cohort also sucked and not in the good-they’re-scary-villains way- in the *there’s no tension* these-people-are-a-joke kind of way. Now I don’t see why I should have to talk politics, cos this is not what I signed up for with paranormal YA, but it’s kind of impossible not to say anything when they’re caricatures of *EVIL* right wingers (with a definite slant towards the “all conservatives are eeeevil” view) (nice and counter-productive to discourse). It would be bad enough if the preachy levels were though the roof (which they are) or if their being annoying whiners merely took the sting out of how scary they’re supposed to be (which it does) BUT they’re not even consistent in their viewpoints. If Clare wanted to strawman arguments, she could have done better than having the staunchly right wing Zara Dearborn resort to left wing talking points like unearned privileges- I guess they’re staying true to the socialist part of the national socialists? Let’s be real though- the parallel with Nazis is insulting to the realities of history and does a disservice to those that actually suffered at the hands of that regime. Ultimately it’s simply lazy, poorly developed characterisation that fails to reflect the complexity of human thought.

AH the cohort!! HAHAHAHAHA! Please when you’re writing a villain make them actually I don’t know be more villainous!! Every 2 seconds you’ve got Zara pouting or Horace speaking drivel!! And the whole book was self righteous talk that quite frankly I never opt to read and felt like pulling teeth for the sheer hammering it did on my poor brain.And the worst offender of this book is the dreadful names!!! Horace and Zara could these names be any more ridiculous for villains!! just saying them makes me laugh at the thought that they could even be portrayed as so called villains! 

I forgot about the name thing LOL! As much as it used to bug me that all villains were called THE DARK OVERLORD I think it’s worse now that a lot of them end up called Bob or Horace- not exactly intimidating or enigmatic. And that ploy they did at the end was so pointless! Worst. Baddies. Ever. However, like I said earlier in this review, I didn’t entirely hate this book (surprising given the amount of salt here, I know 😉 ). There were some good aspects, I’m simply suffering from more than a little fatigue when it comes to these stories. For me, this was particularly noticeable in the epilogue, where Clare does her typical trick of trying to keep you hooked with new characters and cliffhangers. Sorry, but I’m officially done buying it. This is where I part ways with the shadowhunter world. What about you baby face? I know you said you might continue…

The only mildly redeemable part was Kit, Ty and Ash’s Characters! The stories were pathetic but very promising for a new book! Although I am beyond loathe to touch another of her stories if she persists with this Mary Sue characterisation and political blah blah! I am very torn whether to touch another of her books as I really loved the mortal instruments and clockwork series but this book and series just felt like a landslide of rotten bananas that led to a whirlwind of peels thrown in my face! 

So, I’ve been really indecisive about my rating on this cos it left me pretty conflicted, but in the end I went with:

Rating: 2½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

And gallons and gallons of SALT!


How about you Monkey Baby?

I think for this book it exhausted me so much all I can rate it is a broken heart! 


broken heart0007

Hope you enjoyed that! And *lots of love* to the Monkey Baby for her insight here! So have you read this? Were you as salty as Monkey Baby and I were? And do you have any series you’ve fallen out of love with? Let me know in the comments!

36 thoughts on “Queen of Air and Darkness Left Me Stumbling In the Dark

  1. Ha! I’m sorry I enjoyed your misery a bit here. I had no plans to read this before but since I definitely don’t do well with so much angst, seems like a good call


  2. I can’t comment on the series because I haven’t read it, but sounds like a dud to me. Christina sounds horribly annoying. Loved your review though…and Monkey Baby’s of course! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I gave up – officially, not in a “Oh, I give up!” then still read the next book way – on Shadowhunters about a year and a half ago. I was on page 1876 of the first in this trilogy – huh? more like p. 345? really?! – and anyway, I just could not bear to slog through anymore. No regrets. I realized a while back the author was probably going to make her career out of placing every single thing she writes in this world – like Anne Rice – and sure enough, here are ads for all these graphic novel adaptations of books *she’s already written* and more novellas or anthologies that just compile even more long-winded tales of her characters sitting around whinging about their relationships and enemies and using their swords to slice toast. Not my cup of tea, and I have no problem with admitting that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe I think that was a good call. I definitely wanted to give up (but I knew my sister would read it regardless, so thought resistance was futile for this one 😉 ) also I really hoped this one would redeem itself… it didn’t. Not even close. Yeah I really wish she would do something beyond this world… then again, I probably wouldn’t read it at this stage anyway. I just don’t need to read another bout of virtue signalling dressed up as paranormal fantasy. It’s not my jam. Honestly, all the repetitive characters and (by this stage boring) relationships would be *enough already*- even without that- but with it I’m completely done. Not my cup of tea either- I think you made a great call giving it up sooner rather than later 😉


  4. I’ve never understood the appeal of Cassandra Clare’s books. I have attempted two of them, and DNF’D them both about halfway through. The characters (Jace and Clary, Will and Tessa) got on my nerves at every turn, and there just wasn’t enough elsewhere in the books to keep me reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally understand that. I did used to enjoy them for the pure drama and fun word building- but I get that they’re not for everyone (and half of those characters also got on my nerves tbh 😉 ) so I totally hear you! (and they’re not for me anymore anyway 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe well it probably deserved it (my sister thought so anyway, and she’s usually kinder with ratings than me 😉 ) but I was genuinely enjoying parts of it for all its trashy awfulness, even considering giving it upwards of 3* at points. also I’ve read worse lately 😉 I may look back this and hate it more though 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amazing how other books we’re currently reading affect what we’re reading at the moment isn’t it?
        when the books are good, they can drag upward even mediocre books but when the books are bad, oh my. For me, it is a spiral effect. Too many bad books back to back and EVERYTHING looks bad :-/

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful review!!!! After waiting a year to read this book, I still haven’t read it haha. I’m still eager to get to it. But boy, I am so done with this series. It’s dragging on forever, and waiting for the next books in the series takes just as long. It’s annoying, and I’m over it. I think after this one, I’ll just stick to reading the short story anthologies.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I felt the most NaCl when it seemed as though the author was setting up another series for Jace and Clary… again, I don’t know if I can handle more of that teenage angst. I mean come on leave them alone already. Also, I’m getting sick of the bad guy almost always being the Clave in some way… it can’t always be them. Eventually people are going to get wise and stop just following this mess lol. Eventually.


  7. Great post! I fell out of love with Shadowhunters a while ago. I used to love many things about it: the magic, different groups of people possessing different powers… but then I started getting tired of the series around Lady Midnight. Not soon after, another trilogy (The Darkest Hours) was announced and I lost interest completely. I feel it’s becoming more and more complex, but not in a good intellectual way. It’s getting more complex in a repetitive and overlapping way. By the way, I’m sending lots of love to Monkey Baby ❤


  8. I managed I think 3 Cassandra Clare books and then I was forced to admit to myself I just couldn’t do it any more. I think the problem is she’s been cashing in on the same story (that really wasn’t that great in the first place) for years now. Perhaps the Shadowhunters have done all they can do. Perhaps its time to move on!

    I’m assuming she isn’t and there is YET ANOTHER series planned.


  9. I enjoyed shadow hunters and clockwork chronicles 3 years back but I haven’t read this series yet. your review is scaring me to try it but as I like Cassandra and have read all previous books, I will complete the chronicle anyway. I planning to reread her books to write review on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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