Review | The Lost Book of the White
Author: Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu.
Length: 400 pages.
(Second book in The Eldest Curses Series)
From #1 New York Times bestselling authors Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu comes the second book in the Eldest Curses series and a thrilling new adventure for High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood, for whom a death-defying mission into the heart of evil is not just a job, it’s also a romantic getaway. The Lost Book of the White is a Shadowhunters novel.
Life is good for Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. They’re living together in a fabulous loft, their warlock son, Max, has started learning to walk, and the streets of New York are peaceful and quiet—as peaceful and quiet as they ever are, anyway.
Until the night that two old acquaintances break into Magnus’s apartment and steal the powerful Book of the White. Now Magnus and Alec will have to drop everything to get it back. They need to follow the thieves to Shanghai, they need to call some backup to accompany them, and they need a babysitter.
Also, someone has stabbed Magnus with a strange magical weapon and the wound is glowing, so they have that to worry about too.
Fortunately, their backup consists of Clary, Jace, Isabelle, and newly minted Shadowhunter Simon. In Shanghai, they learn that a much darker threat awaits them. Magnus’s magic is growing unstable, and if they can’t stop the demons flooding into the city, they might have to follow them all the way back to the source—to the very realm of the dead. Can they stop the threat to the world? Will they make it back home before their kid completely wears out Alec’s mom?
In all honesty, after finishing this book I really wanted to give it 3.5 stars rather than 3. However, I liked the first book better, so I had to concede.
“I don’t think he embarrasses easily,” Magnus said. “Have you seen his hat?”
If I had to describe this story in one word, it would be FUN.
In the first book of the series we got see Magnus and Alec figure each other out. It’s the first time they’re really a couple, which adds a very interesting dynamic. Similarly, I feel like we’re all used to reading epic stories from Cassandra Clare, just waiting for her to blow us away — be it with her characters or unbelievable plot twists. However, this series is not that and, with this idea in our minds, we might feel a little underwhelmed after finishing it.
This novel takes place after the events in The Mortal Instruments and before The Dark Artifices. If you’ve read the latter, you already know where Malec is at in their story. This also adds to the underwhelming element. Because you already know they will be fine, you won’t have that anxiety that makes you wonder whether something will happen to them or not.
How do you risk yourself and everyone you love, over and over again?
This story is a nice insight to how much these characters have grown and how much they’ve been through. I think it’s very interesting to see them as protagonists. Reading this series is not the same as reading about them in others. Here, they are the only POV’s, which means that we really get to understand how each of them are feeling and how the situation they’re going through affects them. We only know the story from their perspectives.
I loved seeing the whole gang too. Considering that The Dark Artifices isn’t really their story, we don’t get to see very much of them. But here they were around for almost the entire thing and it was so refreshing watching them all be happy (or at least kind of happy). Simon in particular.
Now, I’ve never been a Simon fan. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but throughout The Mortal Instruments I just thought he was bit annoying. He was never one of my favorites. However, the end of that series definitely earned him a soft spot in my heart. Seeing how much he has changed and everything he’s been through since that has also given him a new kind of strength that I really admire. I much prefer reading about this Simon, that the one we knew before. The way his character growth was portrayed throughout this book was exquisite.
I loved Sammael as well. He gave me major Percy Jackson vibes. I thought he was hilarious and I enjoyed every scene he was in.
Overall, the story didn’t really captivate me. It was interesting enough but I don’t think it was executed in the best way possible. Most of the time I had to make a conscious effort not to get distracted with something else and continue reading. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not boring, just not my favorite.
The ending was amazing though. After reading the final action scene and then the epilogue I was HYSTERICAL with laughter (in a good way). I was very surprised with everything that was happening and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t mean that there is an epic plot twist, cause there isn’t one. But I just particularly loved the resolution. I am excited to read the last book now.
Fighting alongside someone you love isn’t just about fighting more effectively. It’s also about supporting each other when things go wrong.
Do I even need to talk about Magnus and Alec? I think it is blatantly obvious that I adore both of them. They are in the list of my favorite characters ever and I love reading about them. Their relationship is so beautiful and it’s been a treat watching them grow together. In this book, they’re facing new challenges that definitely test their abilities, but at no point do they feel unsupported or alone. They’re an amazing team.
So, this book isn’t bad, but it isn’t amazing. You definitely don’t have to read it in order to read the other series that take place in this world. In fact, I believe that this is just for pure pleasure. If after reading The Dark Artifices you want to pick this up, go for it! But don’t expect to be thrown out of your seat with excitement and surprise. These books are pure cuteness and nostalgia.