“The Whitechapel Fiend” by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson.

imageAt present, I am reading a truly terrible novel called The Visitors. I can hear you asking me why I would bother with a terrible novel. The answer is quite simple: my mother lent it to me. And as such, I will endeavour to finish it. The underlying premise is rather interesting, though: the effects of the “mummy’s curse” from when Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened in the 1920s. The thing is, though, that I think the author assumed that because some of the characters were real people, she didn’t have to bother with actually differentiating them from one another. I keep getting Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon confused, which is ridiculous because they aren’t even remotely similar! But nonetheless, they’re essentially the same person to my reading mind!

My point is that The Whitechapel Fiend came at a marvellous time. I so needed a break from The Visitors and Clare and Johnson gave me that break. In this instalment of Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy, Simon gets two visitors: Jace Lightwood-Herondale and Tessa Gray. And through Tessa we got a glimpse of Will Herondale and Brother Zachariah/Jem. It was a big ol’ fangirl lovefest.

HOWEVER, by this point in the proceedings, all of the cameos from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices are feeling a little gratuitous. Would Clary, Isabelle, Jace, and Tessa really bother going all the way to Idris all the time? Tessa I kind of understand, because she was pretty much an academic for all of her post-Will life. But the rest of them? I mean, I get that they love Simon but really? Visiting Idris every single week? Come on. I know they have access to Portals and stuff, but I can’t imagine the Council allowing too much Portal activity after the whole Sebastian debacle. Clary could create the Portals I guess, but wouldn’t that mean she’s there every single time? No, I find it all to be ridiculous. No matter our TMI gang’s hero status, they’re still just kids. And we all remember how the Council treated kids, right? No way that they’d ask them to be lecturers for the next generation of Shadowhunters.

Just in case you can’t read the dialogue, it says: “His name is James.” Cue feels.

Niggling plot hole aside, I loved this story. The Herondales and the Lightwoods bringing down Jack the Ripper, who was actually a demon? Yes please! And we get our lovely Will/Tessa/Jem scenes that tug at the heart strings. Those three are my favourite love triangle, simply because they actually are a love triangle. They all love each other deeply. And that is rare.
I loved the use of Tessa’s shapeshifting power and seeing both her and Will as doting parents. I loved seeing Cecily and Gabriel together. It was just a wonderful story. BUT I didn’t really agree with its relevance. I feel like this story was written because everyone loves the characters. This story did not feel relevant to the whole Simon-trying-to-become-a-Shadowhunter-to-regain-his-memories plot. It felt like…fan fiction.

All in all, this story was wonderful, if illogical and indulgent. I give this story:

★★★ 1/2


About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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3 Responses to “The Whitechapel Fiend” by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson.

  1. kanahagino says:

    “It felt like…fan fiction.”
    I absolutely agree with that. Still a good read though for free-time, even if it had almost “nothing” to do with the story:)

  2. Pingback: “Nothing But Shadows” by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan | My Infernal Imagination

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