Review: Nothing But Shadows (novella) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #4)Nothing but Shadows by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m going to try to make this short.

We get to find out more about James Herondale in his very early teen years, as he goes to Shadowhunter Academy and tries to make friends with fellow Shadowhunter students, including Christopher Lightwood, Thomas Lightwood, and a very charming young Matthew Fairchild, who seems to have everyone’s favor, except for James.

I think this is the first real insight into the mind of James Herondale, and although I already adored him before, I love this kid. Which probably means I’m ready for my heart to be shattered all over again. Blah!

Seriously, Jamie, as Matthew calls him, is all kinds of vulnerable and we get a first hand look at it when he first arrives at the Academy and is made fun of, by someone I didn’t think I’d be disappointed with. Well, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, though.

That’s pretty much part of the lesson that can be learned by reading this tale – that not everyone is what they make themselves out to be… or not everyone deserves the name they own. At least, not when their teenagers.

With that said, we find James not quite fitting in at the school and it seems that no one is helping, not even him. But things happen, and with an amazing heart-to-heart scene with “Uncle Jem”, as James so affectionately calls Brother Z, we find that there is hope for Jamie. And Matthew. And I couldn’t be happier for these two!

Plus, spoilers ahead…
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By the angel! We finally see what makes James Herondale his mother’s son.  He can turn into a Shadow (into dark air or something)!!!  I had forgotten that he’s basically part warlock, and thus is Marked with warlock magic. Of course, this didn’t really help him keep some of his new-found friends, but it made him find those who are capable of being true friends.

Having Will act in a way we haven’t seen him act much like before in The Infernal Devices was really awesome, I have to say. He has become the confident, and still handsome, honorable Shadowhunter he was meant to be.

And I love how James talks about the TID trio, with such admiration and love for them. It just shows how much they love him.

I’m looking forward to reading more about James, while at the same time dreading the sorrow that will most definitely come along with his story.

And at the same time, I’m hopeful that Simon will finally rectify the relationships he’s been so unsure about.

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