Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Shadowhunters' Codex: Mini Review


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.

Do not let it be said that the Clave is outdated or, as the younger Shadowhunters say, “uncool”: this new edition of the Codex will be available not only in the usual magically-sealed demonskin binding, but also in a smart, modern edition using all of today’s most exciting printing techniques, including such new features as a sturdy clothbound cover, a protective dust jacket, and information about title, author, publisher, and so on conveniently available right on the cover. You’ll be pleased to know that it fits neatly into most satchels, and unlike previous editions, it rarely sets off alarm wards.

The old woodcuts and engravings have been replaced as well: instead, you’ll find lavish modern illustrations by some of the brightest luminaries of the fantastic. Creatures, weapons, people, and places have been carefully and accurately rendered by the likes of Rebecca Guay, Charles Vess, Jim Nelson, Theo Black, Elisabeth Alba, and Cassandra Jean. Chapters are beautifully introduced by the drawings of Michael Kaluta, and along with our condensation of the classic 2,450-page tome, A History of the Nephilim, you will find a selection of the best of the lovely illustrations of that volume by John Dollar.

This edition of the Codex will be available in Institute libraries and what mundanes sometimes call “book stores” in [OCTOBER], 2013.


I will keep this short. Though the synopsis itself can very well be longer than the actual review.

Here's the Codex. The once-mysterious book of Shadowhunters. It's more like a guide. And it's very detailed. There are things that interests me since I started reading City of Bones and I get some of the answers there. There are things that I want to know but aren't covered (at least not as much as I thought). For some reason I think this is a deliberate act. After all it suits what Jace says in City of Heavenly Fire (in one of the very first snippets):

"The Clave has the collective intelligence of a pineapple."

That fits well. :)

And who knows the Codex can be amusing? It's a guide and it's supposed to be a formal and serious thing. But with Clary handling the whatever-th-version of the Codex, with Jace being the tutor, and with Simon messing around playfully, it's a combination doomed to be humorous. I burst out laughing in the middle of a reading class at school when I read the first, um, conversation between the three of them. This has "witty" written all over the Codex.

Oh and I wish I can read more stories about Jonathan Shadowhunter. He seems to be a cool guy with great stories.

I get that some might not like the idea of a guide when there are 8 books out there. But I think The Codex helps us know better and deeper about the Shadow World. And the wittiness is kept well. That's a huge positive aspect. And I love Cassandra Jean's artwork. They are awesome.

Rating: 8/10

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