As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Alexander Lightwood is hands down my favourite character in the entire Shadowhunter world and watching him grow up throughout the series has given me the warm fuzzy feelings. While people seem to love Magnus for his flash and witty comments, it's Alec's compassion, loyalty, and steadfast love that has me swooning. So of course I was thrilled to find out there was a Malec specific book coming out, but I was disappointed to realize that it takes place in the past during a trip they took in City of Fallen Warriors. Anyways, here are some of my thoughts on this book...
Loved Meeting Characters That Plays Roles in the Future
The biggest happiness I got from this book was getting to meet characters that would later play a royal in Alec and Magnus' life. I'm a huge fan of Lily, so having Alec meet her at a party in Venice was incredibly appropriate and made me so happy. Likewise with his introduction to Juliette, who we know will go on to become the Queen of the Buenos Aires Shadow Market and who we'll meet again in The Land I Lost novella, I loved getting the background to why Alec is the only Shadowhunter she trusts. It's a nice way to bridge characters from past to present.
Underwhelmed by the Plot
Sadly, while I love spending any time with Alec, I was really disappointed that we were so far back in the Shadowhunter world timeline. Don't get me wrong, this is a fun story, but it didn't feel like it added anything to my understanding of that point in Shadowhunter history or in Alec and Magnus's relationship. Although it's funny that of course Magnus accidentally started a cult and of course its gone completely bat-shit crazy in trying to raise demons, I really didn't feel like this needed to be the lengthy, massive tome that it became. Also, I would be incredibly happy if this was almost entirely written from Alec's perspective, but that's definitely just my bias for all things Alec Lightwood.
Not Interested in This Jump In Time
This series feel very pointless to me. We know that soon after their trip, Magnus and Alec are going to break up for a while. And we know that they'll get back together and eventually adopt two children. And honestly, that's the story that I want to know. I love seeing Alec and Magnus as parents and we get almost NO time with them in that role. I've reread The Land I Lost novella from The Ghosts of Shadow Market so many times because I love seeing them in these roles (and Max and Rafael have stolen my heart). Alec is literally leading the Alliance and is the most trusted Shadowhunter in history...so why are we jumping back to the awkward, shy, Alec? It's sweet, but it seems like it's being given to us too late.
Overall, this book seems like it's coming out 3 years too late. Alec and Magnus have been through so much, and grown so much, over the years that it feels pointless to go back to this time when they are still figuring out their relationship. We've been on this journey with them, so the length and timing of this book feel unnecessary. I love what Clare wrote in her acknowledgements about wanting to finally tell this LGBTQ story, but I think learning about Alec and Magnus in the present - juggling life, work, and parenthood - would be more meaningful for where they are now. Maybe there will be a time jump and we'll be closer to the present in the next book in this trilogy? But for now, I guess I'll just have to hope for more novellas about them in present day...
FINAL RATING: 2.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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