From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Cassandra Clare, author of the "Mortal Instruments" series (S & S), has gathered a collection of essays (Amart Pop, 2013) by fellow fantasy authors analyzing the characters, setting, and themes of her popular young adult novels. "Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl" by Kami Garcia, author of the "Beautiful Creatures" series, describes the relationship between main characters Simon and Clary, and compares the book with major films, such as Pretty in Pink, and The Outsiders. Kendare Blake takes on incest and discusses Jace and Clary's forbidden relationship and how it infuses the stories with dramatic tension. Sarah Rees Brennan's stream-of-consciousness essay, "What Does That Deviant Wench Think She's Doing?," is by far the most engaging of the chapters. She dishes the dirt, dealing with all of the deviant drama in the "Mortal Instruments" books. The recording is admirably performed by Emily Beresford, Luke Daniels, and Tanya Eby who alternate chapters. Although the essays are self-indulgent and uneven in quality, die-hard fans of the series will be interested in digging deeper into Clare's fantasy world, especially with the August 2013 release of the film, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Only for libraries with extensive fantasy collections.-Lisa Hubler, Charles F. Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OHα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Edited by Mortal Instruments helmer Clare, these 13 nonfiction essays are a companion volume rather than fan-fic extension of her popular series. Chapters range from an exploration of GLBTQ themes to the power of drawing, from (possible) incest to tattoos, and are written by an impressive array of YA authors, including Holly Black, Sara Ryan, and Kami Garcia. The introduction was unavailable at the time of review, so it is hard to know why or how the essays were selected, but Clare does preface each entry with a few adulatory comments. This may not be the book fans are expecting when they pick it up: the essays are literary-criticism-lite treatments of themes and memes, and readers will require familiarity with the Mortal Instruments titles to make heads or tails. On the other hand, the Mortal Instruments series is hugely popular, lending this book interesting potential as a nonfiction text for meeting Common Core standards. Grades 9-12. --Welch, Cindy