Hi Everyone! It’s Becky, again. I am a big fan of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter universe and I was thrilled to get her latest book through Overdrive. Here are my thoughts:
Title: Chain of Gold (1) (The Last Hours)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Note: I listened to the audiobook.
Summary: In Edwardian England, a new generation of Shadowhunters is coming of age. James Herondale is trying to navigate a complicate romance while also protecting his friends and family, James’s sister Lucie has uncovered a dark secret about her family’s nemesis and she must decide where her alliances lie, the Fairchilds have many secrets weighing them down and the Carstairs must do whatever it takes to save their family’s reputation. Can these new warriors resolve their personal issues and destroy the demonic threat in London before their loved ones are hurt?
Review: First, can we talk about that cover? It’s gorgeous, so gorgeous in fact, that I want a printout of it to hang on my wall. As for the actual text of the book, I have to admit that I just really enjoyed it. In fact, I usually enjoy Cassandra Clare’s books and (if I counted correctly) I have read 16 of her books. As I finished her latest multi-hundred page novel I kept trying to decide why I enjoy her books so much and I have come up with a few reasons. To begin with, I really enjoy the characters. Ever since I first read City of Bones almost a decade ago I have enjoyed Clare’s characters. Chain of Gold was a double whammy in the character department because I got to revisit my favorite characters from The Infernal Devices series (I totally heart Will!) but I also got to meet a whole cast of new characters. Lucie and Cordelia were wonderfully strong female leads, James is a perfect blend of sweetheart and warrior and Matthew Fairchild may be my new favorite Clare character. But my desire to keep reading this series is based on more than just the characters. I was a big soap opera watcher when I was in college and I feel like there is a little soap opera in Clare’s world that makes her books incredibly readable. The books are filled with drama, backstabbing, lost loves and stolen kisses which is basically kind of awesome. I would happily read an entire book with flirty interations between Cordelia and James or longing looks from Lucie and Jesse. Plus, I adore trying to figure out how all the characters will eventually fit together in the bigger Shadowhunter world (is Mangus interacting with great-great-great-great future father in law?). This also leads me to my one issue with this book. There are just too many characters. I had a terrible time trying to keep all the Lightwood’s in order and I have read over a dozen of these books which means new readers may find themselves really lost. (Note to the publisher: a family tree somewhere in the book would have made my life a lot easier.) Also, there were really great secondary characters that barely got a storyline because of the overabundance of main characters. I would have loved more about Anna or (my before mentioned) Matthew but there wasn’t any room in the book for them to do more. Yet, even with my small complaint, Chain of Gold is a heavy tome based on an intricate network of characters with overlapping backstories and over a dozen books of world-building that is the perfect book for Clare’s fans that left desperate for the next novel in the series.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5
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