|I like Tessa. She is interesting. She is afraid of others and afraid of herself. She has experienced a lot of hardship, even before her kidnapping. Even though she's had such a difficult life, and a terrifying few weeks, Tessa still loves deeply and easily.
I really don't like Will Herondel very much. I know he's a lot of people's book crush, but he's very like Jace, and I didn't like Jace that much either. Arrogant, selfish characters usually irritate me to no end, and, while Jace had a tragic backstory and Will appears to have one as well, it's rare for the backstory to make me like an irritating character enough to make me forgive their irritating or cruel behavior. Will and Tessa's relationship felt unnatural. It seemed normal for Will, who seems to be a player, to be attracted to pretty Tessa, and it seems normal for Tessa to be attracted to handsome Will. What seemed odd was how quickly Will decided that he actually loved her, instead of just wanting to use her. The other odd thing is that Tessa is a smart girl who has read lots of books. You'd think she'd have known--or at the very least taken Sophie's words under advisement--that Will was not a good person to love. From what I could tell, Tessa had stayed at the Institute of about a week. That seems far to soon for she and Will to have grown to love each other, especially since their personalities don't seem like they would mesh well. That said, I did like the epilogue, since it seemed to show some character growth (finally) on Will's part.
I really like Gem. We don't get to know him as well as Tessa and Will, but he is a very good man. I like that about him. What I don't like is that it seemed like the author was setting up a potential love triangle (or square, maybe) between Will, Tessa, Gem (and Sophie.)
Charlotte, Henry and Jessamyn were interesting characters as well. I liked Charlotte's brave, no-nonsense attitude, especially because of her obvious affection for Henry. I really liked Henry. He's the typical bumbling, but brilliant genius who isn't always aware of the affect his words and actions might have. Jessamyn isn't meant to be likeable. I hated her at first. She is somewhat like Will in her arrogance and selfishness, but, though, like Will we only got a small glimpse of her tragic backstory, the glimpse made me understand her desire to get away from the Shadow World, and it made me think that she may be suffering from some psychological problems. I also liked her more than Will because she showed incredible bravery when she had to, where as, mostly lacking fear, Will was merely reckless.
I'm still not sure how I felt about the villain. He was sinister and his ability to manipulate so many people is downright terrifying, but we have so few answers about his motives, that I still can't tell whether he's going to be a strong or weak character.
Overall the plot went very well. There are some interesting new tidbits on the Shadow World, and the tension in the plot kept me reading past midnight, but most of the questions we had were not resolved at the end of the story. I understand that this is a trilogy and the author has to keep us engaged enough to want to continue the series, but I wished that we would have gotten some answers, so that the book would have felt somewhat satisfying at the end.