0.5 out of 5 stars
Ugh, whyyyyyy? I really enjoyed The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series, so I was certainly interested in Cassandra Clare’s co-writing more tales from that world. Unfortunately, these fall far – very far, short of the series that inspired them. There are a 10 stories in the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy canon; I only made it through two: “The Lost Herondale” and “The Whitechapel Fiend.” Each short story about an hour and a half long on audiobook.
Goodreads: The Lost Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Rebecca Wasserman (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #2)
Goodreads: The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)
The premise of the Shadowhunter Academy is this: Simon was the nervous, bumbling, best friend from The Mortal Instruments series, who was least likely to become a hero so instead accidentally became a vampire and finally saved the day only after the interesting characters had been dragging his dead/undead weight around for five books. Not a promising place to start your spin-off. He was stripped of his vampire-ness and memory at the end of the series, but his part in the events left him famous in the Shadow world. So he decides to become a Shadowhunter.
Simon aside, this is a pretty contrived jumping off point. His memory was wiped, then they tell him anyway. His powers are gone, but it sure would be nice to be good at gym class. Shadowhunters are suddenly letting just anyone train to join their ranks. Meh. This just sounds like a cash register ringing.
True to form, Simon is neurotic and largely useless from page one. Most characters in The Mortal Instruments want to punch Simon upon meeting him. I wanted to punch him upon reintroduction. He’s turned to 11 here, and far more annoying than I remember him being in the series.
“The Lost Herondale” is a two-star backstory about the long-lost ancestors Jace didn’t know where his. Without much to it, the story resorts to beating you over the head with reminders that Jace is dreamy. In case you forgot all billion pages of The Mortal Instruments.
In “The Whitechapel Fiend,” we’re back in the world of The Infernal Devices. (Not before Simon’s anxiety sends you screaming from present day, of course.) Tessa shows up to rescue us back to Victorian England. Her life with Will, Cecily, Gideon and their kids is barely colored in, other than to say they all lived happily ever… until they died and Tessa stayed immortal. Still they are very likable, especially Tessa, who always was. In the story, Jack the Ripper turns out to be a demon and because humans don’t know demons are real, the Mundanes never solve the case. Ta da! Except not, because it’s a throwaway idea that should never have been written – and is barely written here.
I stopped after that. It’s impossible to tell how much Cassandra Clare actually ‘wrote’ the stories I read, as co-writers are credited, but I’ll have to hope it wasn’t much at all. They’re inferior to her other work in every way. need to get my hands on Lady Midnight, first in Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, to get this weak drivel out of my mind.