An excellent, fufilling read for anyone who likes the Mortal Instruments trilogy seriesuniverse. First off, the prose, because I mentioned it in almost every status update I made. It is awesome. It is exactly what a Cassandra Clare book should read like. UnlikeClockwork Angel, which was written basically the same as a normal attempt with only a few attempts to sound like it was written for the era it was about, this prose makes you constantly aware of the era, and I mean that in a good way. It creates a mood that other books would kill for; it's elegant, to say the first word that comes to mind when I think about it. While it's not actually written in the language of the era (The Phantom of the Opera, written in 1910, is much less comprehensible than this language), it does associate itself with the 19th century. This created more enthusiasm for it than I've ever had for almost any prose I've ever read.
The characterization worked well, too. Will's Jaceness was entirely subverted, Jem became less Alec-like, and Sophie becomes less like Maia. Tessa remains the only carbon copy left in the series, and she's done a lot better here than in The Mortal Instruments. Charlotte and Henry also get some nice character development, the latter in particular. While the characterization was a bit of a mess in Clockwork Angel, it works quite well here.
My main stumbling point with this book was the plot. It sits in the background, much like it does in City of Lost Souls, but here, it feels like there should be more of a plot. The main reason for this is that the pace went very slow (until the end where it suddenly sped up.) If the characters weren't constantly talking about the plot, it would've worked, but they do make these references, even in scenes that are so obviously about character development alone that I wouldn't have been disappointed if they'd left out the plot altogether. Come to think of it, that's a lot of what made City of Lost Souls so successful.
But in a book like this, the plot is a minor thing, and in spite of the problems it may have, this book is still worth 5 stars. It's a huge improvement from Clockwork Angel. Fans who lost faith after City of Glass, I urge you, give this a try. You won't regret it.