Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: The Shadowhunter's Codex by Cassandra Clare & Joshua Lewis

The Shadowhunter's Codex by Cassandra Clare & Joshua Lewis
The Shadowhunter’s Codex
By Cassandra Clare & Joshua Lewis
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Review: I usually write a summary to go along with every review, but The Shadowhunter’s Codex is a bit unique to describe, so I figured I’d include a quick synopsis here instead. It’s basically a reference book for Shadowhunters, the demon fighting warriors from Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series. The Codex covers a range of topics about the Nephilim: their origin and some key moments in their history, their laws, types of demons they might encounter, and just about every other Shadowhunter-related topic you can think of.

I had this book lying around on my shelves since its release, and my motivation for buying it at the time was its pretty sweet price. Had it not been discounted, I probably would have eventually sought out a copy at the library. I admit to being a tad skeptical about whether or not this was essential reading. With the exception of Tahereh Mafi’s Destroy Me, series novellas don’t exactly set my pulse racing in anticipation, so what could I expect from a book that’s . . . a fictional guide to the world of two fictional series?

Two factors really worked to the benefit of The Shadowhunter’s Codex. One, I absolutely love the world. Two, I’d just finished reading City of Heavenly Fire and needed to read more, more, more about the Shadowhunters. Anything. Everything. So here was the perfect time to dust off my copy of this book!

The Shadowhunter’s Codex is supposed to read like a textbook of sorts, and indeed, it even sports discussion questions at the end of each chapter. It manages to simultaneously sound like a serious academic work yet not take itself too seriously. There are some tongue-in-cheek moments, like when the Codex encourages you to try introducing yourself to a Silent Brother. Adding to the lighter side are annotations in the margins by TMI’s Clary, Simon, and Jace. You’re actually supposed to be reading Clary’s copy of the Codex, which Simon and Jace keep seizing so they can contribute their “expertise” to it.

Besides the surprise humor, I enjoyed learning more about Jonathan, the legendary first Shadowhunter created by the angel Raziel. The section on parabatai was short, but I still found it really interesting. Some parts did drag; those were the ones that read most like a textbook. On the whole, I liked this more than I thought I would, although if you’re only a casual TMI/TID fan, you can probably pass on this.

All in All: Recommended for diehard Shadowhunter fans, not as much for everybody else.


  1. Well, I definitely think I need to catch up on my Mortal Instruments series having left the third book half finished at home when I moved to Uni because I forgot about it and had then no space to pack. Unfortunate, but a series I definitely want to continue. This certainly sounds interesting and I think I might hold off adding it to my wishlist until I have decided if I am a die-hard fan or not! I like the sound of tongue and cheekiness to it though.

    1. This was the type of book where I was glad I read it, but if I hadn't, I wouldn't have missed out on anything, either. I hope you get the chance to catch up on TMI! The series is absolutely worth seeing through to the end! :)

  2. Ooh. Sounds like an interesting read. I'm a diehard Shadowhunter fan, but I am a fan. :) Great review!

    Cindy @ In This World of Books..

    1. If you're looking for more insight into the Shadowhunters' world, then this might be something to check out. I especially liked reading about their history!

  3. I almost always found novellas to be very average at best too, with a few notable exceptions (Throne of Glass especially and Daughter of Smoke & Bone) so I understand your feelings for this one ^^ I also get the NEED to just continue on with a beloved series after it being over. I dealt with my HP withdrawls be re-reading the series over and over...and over.

    Anyways, I still think I'd check this one out, even if I had to skim over the slower parts, it would be cool to learn insider information on Jonathan and the parabatai...not to mention those margin notes by Jace and Simon :)

    1. The notes are really funny, especially when Jace and Simon write to each other, lol. I had horrible HP withdrawal after DH; it was like I couldn't process that the series was truly over, and that book ... I immediately started rereading it when I was done, the only time I've ever done that with a book in my life. Clockwork Princess left me with a pretty bad hangover, too, as did Crown of Midnight. I've seen lots of bloggers saying they're massively hung over from Heir of Fire, so I'm steeling myself now for the feels!

  4. I need to get my ass in gear with these series enders! I don't think I will read this but I will most def read the last MI book.

    1. City of Heavenly Fire is totally worth the 700 page time investment, and even more so because you've also read Infernal Devices. Trust me on this. :)


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