Review: The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare and Jonathan Lewis

Sunday, February 2, 2014

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The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare and Jonathan Lewis

Release Date: October 29th, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 274
Source: Christmas Present

Summary ( The Clave is pleased to announce the newest edition of the Nephilim’s oldest and most famous training manual: the Shadowhunter’s Codex. Since the thirteenth century, the Codex has been the young Shadowhunter’s best friend. When you’re being swarmed by demons it can be easy to forget the finer points of obscure demon languages or the fastest way to stop an attack of Raum demons. With the Codex by your side, you never have to worry.

Now in its twenty-seventh edition, the Codex covers it all: the history and the laws of our world; how to identify, interact with, and if necessary, kill that world’s many colorful denizens; which end of the stele is the end you write with. No more will your attempt to fight off rogue vampires and warlocks be slowed by the need to answer endless questions from your new recruits: What is a Pyxis? Why don’t we use guns? If I can’t see a warlock’s mark, is there a polite way to ask him where it is? Where do we get all our holy water? Geography, History, Magic, and Zoology textbook all rolled into one, the Codex is here to help new Shadowhunters navigate the beautiful, often brutal world that we inhabit.

My Review:
This is a fantastic book for hardcore fans of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter World. This book reminded me of Harry Potter’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them because it is a book that the characters of the novel read and actually annotate. The annotations are actually the best part of the Codex because they bring in the characters that we all love and we get to read their feelings on what the Codex says. I was worried that the annotations would seem forced or out of characters for Clary, Jace, and Simon but they were all spot on! From what I can tell Clary read the Codex during the 6 or so months between City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels because it alludes to what happened in COG but not so much what has happened in the books after. I liked the inside jokes between Clary and Simon, the flirting between and Clary and Jace, and the bickering between Simon and Jace. The annotations really had everything that I love about the characters relationships throughout the series which made the whole book very enjoyable. There was also quite a bit of art work scattered throughout the Codex as well. Some of it is done by Clary’s character; you can tell it’s her by her style and the people, animals, and things she draws because they are all allusions to the action of the first 3 books of The Mortal Instruments. I enjoyed trying to figure out who Clary was drawing. There are also countless other drawings which are a part of the Codex itself which are all extremely fascinating to me.

To casual fans of the Shadowhunter World this book may seem unnecessary because a lot of what the Codex says is alluded to in the series but to other fans it offers a unique insight into the complex world that Clare created. My favorite parts were the things that were alluded to but not fully explained in the series such as the Iron Sisters, the location of Idris, and the history of the Nephilim. I also liked how the Codex alludes to Clare’s other series, The Infernal Devices, such as the creation of the Sensor and the Portal by some of that series’ characters! There is just so much about the World that I didn’t even think of but Clare obviously did. I am amazed at how in-depth she thought her world through.

If you really love the Shadowhunter World and wish to know more, or want to complete your Cassandra Clare collection I strongly suggest you buy this book. However, if you don’t and still wish to read it I suggest borrowing it from your local Library (if your library doesn't have it I’m sure you could suggest they purchase it)!