Be calm, my still-beating heart.
I think I have recovered enough to write this review. It has been a long, long time since I have cried myself sleep. I had forgotten what it was like, and it's not pleasant. I could barely sleep because as soon as I found myself in a semblance of REM, a new wave of sobs would attack and I'd be awake again, crying into my pillow.
But it was not complete sadness I was feeling. It was grief, sorrow, happiness, nostalgia and relief all mixed into this overwhelming package and I didn't know how to handle it. I also cried because the story was over. I can always go back and re-read it, but it will never be the same as the first moment my eyes landed on the pages.
I had reservations about reading this third book. I must admit that, while I loved the first book, the second book was a great disappointment for me. I found a lot of it over-the-top and annoying and I had originally had no plans to read the third. But then, when the third came out, I suddenly found myself dying to know: how does it end? Who does Tessa end up with? What is the big secret behind Mortmain? Perhaps I could have just read spoiler tags, but I wanted to find out for myself.
The thing is, Clare's writing has increased dramatically. There were times in this book that I thought could have been utterly stupid if she hadn't written them with grace and dignity. It takes a good writer to turn something ordinary into extraordinary and it takes an even better one to tread the line of ridiculous and still come out on top. This book felt amazingly organized and I loved every minute of it.
I wonder what people think of the ending. I've heard that some consider it to be a cop out, but here's why I don't: remember that there is still sadness to this story. Jem will eventually die, leaving Tessa all alone. I think that it was imperative she spend his days with him as well. Jem and Will were one soul split into two bodies. She has to love both of them to love that soul completely. Will had his time and it was beautiful and heart-breaking. Now it is Jem's turn. When Jem dies, his soul will go to that river Will talked about and they will cross it together.
The real love story here is Jem and Will.
I'm living abroad and had to experience this heartbreak on my own. I wrote about that here