Soo...I've been meaning to write this for a while now. I've mentioned a few times on here that I read these books, The Mortal Instrument Series, and....it was amazing. Like, literally amazing. Like, sometimes I'll just be walking along, and something will remind me of the book, and I'll just smile and smile, even now, weeks after I finished the books. I loved them, there is no denying it. But, I thought today, I'd do an in-depth analysis of what it was I liked about them, partly just because I enjoy talking about things I like and partly because I'm hoping I'll inspire YOU to read them, and then we can obsess about them together. If you have already read them....get in touch.
Okay soo...where do I even begin? Well, I suppose first, a brief overview of the series would be helpful, just to give you a frame of reference. (Ooh...fancy English major terms. Forgive me, I just had my literature midterm yesterday, and I'm still recovering from English brain.) Okay, so, the story follows this girl, Clary, whose mother disappears one day. Clary eventually finds out that her mother was kidnapped by an evil man named Valentine, who is a shadowhunter. She also finds out that her mother and she too (Clary, that is) are both Shadowhunetrs, but Clary's mother wanted to keep her out of the Shadowhunter world. What is a Shadowhunter, you ask? Excellent question. A shadowhunter is someone who hunts demons. They are half-angel, half-human and they derive their strength from these tattoo-like things they draw on themselves before battle, called Runes. I know, it sounds really strange, but it's COOL, I SWEAR. Just go with it!! Okay, so Clary discovers that she's a Shadowhunter, and she gets swept into the whole secret Shadowhutner world, because she realizes she'll only ever be able to find her mother by doing so. And she needs the help of other Shadowhunters. Luckily, she meets some, and they just happen to be her age: Isabelle and Alec Lightwood, and their (super hot and brooding) adopted brother, Jace. So, she teams up with these guys to find her mother and...chaos ensues. Oh and meanwhile, her best friend, Simon, comes along sometimes, but he's just a regular guy and feels a little left out and...drama ensues. Oh, and Clary falls in love with (super hot and brooding) Jace. But he's so hot and brooding...how could she not? Also, he has lots of great one-liners. More on that later.
So, there you go. Now you sort of know what's going on.
|The second book|
First, it takes place in New York City. I really like that, the fantasy world mixed with the real. Like, the Shadowhunters go to take-out places, but they're special take out places, run by fairies. And they go to parties at lofts hosted by warlocks (the high warlock of Brooklyn, in fact). I mean, I just always like things set in New York to begin with, but the fantasy element makes it extra special. I like how it suggests that maybe there really is a whole other world going on, just beneath the surface, and we just can't see it...or maybe it's right around the corner, and we just have to go find it.
I also really like all the strong female characters in the book. Or, rather, girls and boys are equal, and the girls are just as awesome as the boys. Like, for example, the heroine Clary. She can really stand her own ground and has her own mind and all that. Oh, and the character, Isabelle, is So. Awesome. I think I want to be her for Halloween. She has killer fashion sense and is very witty and also kills demons like nobody's business.
Also, all the characters are just SO FUNNY and likeable, even the evil ones. They're complex. If they're evil, they have reasons for being evil. Plus, the characters all have like, a million funny one-liners, which I have now added to my favorite quotes on GoodReads because yes, I am a nerd. But seriously, they're SO funny. I'd give you an example, but I don't think any of them would make sense without the context.
|The third book|
Another thing I like - the books are filled with all sorts of fun quotes and poems and passages from poems. That's great if you, like me, enjoy writing down good quotes and reading the odd poem or two. I approve.
Oh, also - the book uses Latin! I mean, it is chock-full of phrases from my favorite dead language. Finally, a use for those latin classes I took in high school! But seriously, everything sounds more serious and bad-ass in Latin. Cassandra Clare knows this, and she uses this knowledge.
Finally, I love the love stories in the book. The main one, between Jace and Clary, is especially interesting. (You might remember that I put them on my list of favorite fictional couples.) I don't want to ruin it, but there is some speculation, by the end of the first book, as to whether Jace and Clary might be related, and that can make reading about their love story hard for a while. I did feel a bit weird about it. BUT, it is an interesting twist, you can't deny that. And I guarantee, no matter how grossed out you are, you'll still be rooting for them, because they're both interesting characters and Jace is, as John Green sometimes says, "a well-imagined, idealized romantic other...or, you know, hot." He is arrogant and cocky, but it never gets to be annoying. And it's softened because you find out he has, you know, a sensitive side. I know, it sounds like a cliche. And it is pretty common in YA, and in literature in general - the bad boy with a heart of gold. But Cassandra Clare (oh, she's the author...did I mention that) manages to do it in a way that feels original. It's so good that when you're reading it, you just forget about all those other stories that are similar - there is only This Story. And it is good.
Oh, speaking of Cassandra Clare, another thing I like about this series: The fun doesn't end when the books do. She has a TON of stuff online and seems to be very active. She has a Tumblr and a Twitter and is constantly posting photos (often made by fans) or lines from the books. She posts spoilers for the next books, deleted scenes, bonus scenes, like a scene from one book but told from another character's perspective. Oh, and one very very romantic love letter. Oh, and she also does these "interviews" as the characters, which are HILARIOUS. People send in questions to her online, and she answers as the character. It's so funny. And interesting - you learn something new about the characters! I also like this because it makes the wait for the next book (MAY 8TH!!!!) less painful. (PS. If you're interested, some very nice person has collected all the spoilers for the next book and put them together here. The rest of the stuff I mentioned is all over the place, but is fairly easy to find. I'll put links at the bottom of this post to all the stuff I can drum up.)
|The next (fifth) book in the series, out MAY 8th!!|
|The first book in the prequel series|
Also - they are, of course, making the books into movies. Er, well, it appears that there will be a movie. They're working on it, but I'm not sure it's a sure thing yet. They haven't started filming. BUT they have cast Jamie Campbell Bower (as Jace) and he is adorable. I didn't really know much about him prior to this, except that I was vaguely aware that he had a minor role in the Twilight movies. Well, after I found out, I looked him up of course, and found that he has a very hilarious Twitter account, which you can see here. Also, he is apparently engaged to the actress who plays Ginny Weasley. So that's cool I guess. A match made in YA franchise heaven. Oh, and he's super hot.
|Book-to-movie adaptation love|
Now, a bit about each of the books individually...
The first one is City of Bones , of course. It probably my favorite. Well, that or the fourth one (more about that later). I always like the first book in the series - It's exciting, you're finding out about the world and just discovering the characters.
The second and third are City of Ashes and City of Glass, respectively. I have to say, I read them so fast that they kind of blur together, honestly. And, if I'm being totally honest, sometimes I felt like there wasn't enough in them to warrant two books. I mean, it could've maybe been one book. Maybe. But overall, they still have everything I liked about the series: The funny one-liners, the romance, the fantastic characters, the interesting, secret world.
|The fourth book, my favorite|
Finally, a note on the audiobooks: I listened to them, which was nice because then I could listen to them at work and while walking to class. But, you'd probably get through the books a lot faster if you just read them on your own. But, overall, I really liked the audiobooks. The narrator on the first book is especially good, and I was disappointed that she didn't narrate the rest of them. Oh, and interestingly enough, Ed Westwick narrates the fourth book, along with a girl (they split it). But I have to say, as much as I love Ed Westwick, he was just not a very good narrator. Or, at least not for this book. Because, you see, it takes place in America, and all the characters are American, and Ed is British. And all his American accents came out sounding like thugs and/or Chuck Bass, which was hilarious but also kind of distracting. Jace had a very scary jersey accent. I was not happy about that. But, again, overall the audiobooks were fun. They'd be great for a roadtrip.
|It's a sad fact: Sometimes hot guys don't make for good narrators|
Here are links to some fun, TMI-related things, in no particular order(TMI is short for The Mortal Instruments. See that? You're learning the lingo.)
-An "interview" with Jace
-An extra scene from City of Bones, The Greenhouse scene from Jace's point-of-view
-An extra from City of Ashes, the Seelie Court Scene from Jace's point-of-view
-Another extra from City of Ashes, Magnus and Alec kiss
-A deleted scene from the end of City of Glass
-An extra-spicy scene from City of Glass, the manor house from Jace's point-of-view
-Cassandra Clare's playlists
-A very funny tumblr page, not run by Cassandra Clare
This is not all of the deleted scenes and extras out there, just the ones I like. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a place where all the character Q&A's were together, but they're out there, if you look. Tumblr is a good place to check. People love tumblr.