on August 19, 2010
1. Amazing Heroes. I don't think there are enough words in the English language to express my love for Jace. And Simon. But specifically Jace. As a matter of fact, a speechless stance is probably the best to take anyway. If I'm not talking I can concentrate more fully on wiping away the drool.
2. Strong Heroines. Isabelle is definitely a strong female character, and so is Clary, but Clary makes some mistakes. We get to watch her grow over the course of the books, make her way, come into her own. She makes good choices - she makes poor choices. She's relatable. She's feisty. I want her for a friend.
3. Secondary Characters. There's not one token character anywhere in this entire series. All are multi-dimensional, richly drawn, vital, and each one serves at least a dual purpose. Even the Church the Cat.
4. Setting/imagery/worldbuiling/kick ass writing. You can see the lights of the Manhattan skyline and smell the scent of crisp apples and night blooming flowers. You can feel the weight of the weapon in your hand, the bass thumping against the walls of the club, the pressure of the stele as it draws the rune on your skin, and the crack in your heart as it begins to break. Whether New York City or Idris, you are THERE.
5. The covers. Do you SEE THEM? Aren't they PRETTY?
6. The fans. Best fans ever. Because we LOVE IT.
7. Cassie. She's a doll. She is vigilant about interacting with fans. She answers questions frequently on Twitter, has a Google group that she's very actively involved in, and she blogs on Live Journal as well. You can get more information about how to connect with her on her website.
8. The graphic novels! TH3RD WORLD will be publishing The Mortal Instruments as comic books in monthly installments first, then bind them together as graphic novels - one for each book. Savvy fans were treated to a sampler on Free Comic Book Day.
9. The Prequel. The Infernal Devices kicks off with CLOCKWORK ANGEL on August 31, 2010.
10. THERE ARE MORE ON THE WAY! In addition to the already anticipated THE CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS, due out spring 2011, there will be two more books in The Mortal Instruments series, making the total six in all.
on July 12, 2011
I may be a little late to the game with this one. But that's OKAY. A good book still deserves a good mention. And with that mention, I would like to take a moment for the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass novels written by Cassandra Clare.
I believe it was shear fate that I read these books. You see, it started a few weeks ago while on vacation in Florida. Those pesky flights can be somewhat underwhelming. Waiting in airport terminals is boring. Airplane seats are very uncomfortable. And there is something just simply unnerving about being 32,000 feet in the air in a rocking tube. I'm not a bird. That scares me. So, I try my best to divert my attention. With my nifty smart phone in hand before take off, I reached out to the closest E-book store armed with Starbucks in hand. And thus the adventure began.
All three books are on all sorts of recommended reading lists. I've seen them before while browsing through Barnes and Noble. Certainly the covers all look great. I know, I know... You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But these really looked NEAT! None the less my interest was peeked, so I downloaded the first book.
What the Books Are About:
I don't want to give too much of the storyline away. It's hard not to. The plot line has been done before. Let's face it, nothing is original anymore. Boy meets girl. Boy has super powers. Girl has super powers. Insert struggle here. There are a few fights here and there. Good wins triumphantly. That's about the most I'm going to give away.
But what makes this series so interesting? What's so special? The little tweaks in the plot line are all sorts of fun. Every time something starts to go right, someone just has to go in and throw that monkey wrench in the works, fouling everything up again. The author has the story line suspense twisted in such a way that it draws the reader in, forcing them to want to keep going, to see what happens next. Her use of foreshadow and imagery keep the story alive and the imaginations running free. The details and emotions are done so well, I often felt like I was watching a soap opera produced by Stephen Spielberg mixed with a blockbuster action movie. That sounds like a weird combination, but it's true.
And then there is the content. This is considered a young adult book. The vocabulary isn't outstanding. But that's perfect for me. Reading all three books is more akin to sitting and watching a good movie. Everything flows naturally. It's a simple and entertaining read.
So far I've been a little vague. Like I said, I don't want to give too much of the story lines away. But let's use this example. If Harry Potter, Twilight, Underworld, and True Blood all got together and had a massive literary orgy, this series would be the result of that love fest. I mean really, these books have a little bit of everything. The characters consist of vampires, werewolves, warlocks, fairies, shadowhunters, demons, satin, god, heaven, hell, and angels. The scenery takes place in diverse places like New York City, grave yards, under-earth dungeons, to fairy palaces, and to mystical and whimsical cities. Mighty battles happens. Little personal struggles take place. A surprise gay twist is thrown in for good measure. That ever pesky love triangle exists. Some people die and some characters live. Sudden family ties are discovered and quickly regretted, in more than one dynamic way. And other family ties are broken. The stories are very enticing. And they do contain a little bit of everything. And by the time it's all done you will miss the characters.
Did I mention there is now a 4th book in the Mortal Instruments Series called City of Fallen Angels?! Guess who just purchased it through Amazon.com? Me!
Would I Recommend These Books?
Yes! Yes! Yes! By all means, please go out and buy this series. You won't be sorry. These are one of those few series I truly wish Hollywood would make a movie from. It's deserving of that. The entertainment value is high. The story line is thrilling. I found it so difficult to put these books down. And I would love to know what happened to that character at the end after that thing!? Ms. Clare, I do believe you owe me another book explaining that situation (oh that's right there IS another book!)
But none the less, please purchase this series. They are wonderful fantasy novels good for any age group from sixteen on up. I really do promise that this purchase will not be met with buyer's remorse.
on April 19, 2010
I've seen this book lying around and the sequels. finally picked it up and couldn't stop until after the third one. action packed, angels and demons, magic, and a reluctant love triangle. This makes Twilight just raw dough to this series, which is the icing on the cake. I'm 40+ something, and a reader of anything worthy. Wow! There is to be a forth book next year. I'm so looking forward to it. Bring it on...
on May 27, 2013
I started this series by reading the Infernal Devices. That may have been my mistake. TID drew me into the Shadowhunter World and would not let go. I loved it like I love chocolate. However, after having read The Mortal Instruments, I have to say that Ms. Clare's writing improved substantially between the two series. Or, it could very well be that I prefer my romances historical instead of contemporary. The dialogue in the Mortal Instruments seems so forced and unnatural. I couldn't take any of the characters seriously, and really don't care about any of them. Clary irritates me and Jace is just a cardboard romance cutout. He's certainly no Will (and Simon is no Jem).
BTW, every time she writes "[so and so] threw up [his/her] hands..." I picture the character vomiting up a pair of hands. Every. Single. Time. It's time to drop that turn of phrase. Ugh.
on April 14, 2013
First off, I wanted to start off by saying that when I saw the cover of the first book and it had Stephanie Meyer saying how much she liked the series, I nearly put the book down out of fear of what I might find inside. I was relieved therefore when I did open the book and found that though there is a love triangle involved, it's not written like Twilight. For me, that was a huge relief.
Now onto the books themselves, which I enjoyed even if I felt that they did have a few problems.
The first book, City of Bones, was definitely the weakest of the three. The plot revolves around a teenage girl named Clary Fray, who begins to see a world she never knew existed. After a series of events, she meets with the mysterious Shadowhunters, who are a group of demon hunters. Together, they try to figure out what is going on with Clary and why she can suddenly see their world.
The main problem I had with this book was that it was nothing I hadn't read before. A lot of the plot elements and big reveals are things that the reader has likely seen in other books, movies or TV shows. My other big problem with this book was the pacing of the story. I felt like this book could have shed about a hundred pages and would have been better for it. It took a long time for the book to get interesting for me.
The saving grace of this book was the characters and their interactions. Sometimes it did come off as the author trying too hard to be funny, but for the most part the conversations between the characters were pretty amusing. The characters themselves were all pretty well fleshed out. Magnus Bane was by far my favorite character and I wish there had been more of him in this book. Overall, I'd give this first book three stars. It was a decent introduction, but it did have its problems.
The second book was a lot better and my personal favorite of the three. With the introductions of the world and the characters out of the way, more attention could be given to the story and pacing. The problems with the pacing were fixed in this second book and the story felt much more focused, while being far less cliched. Without giving too much away, Clary is trying to adjust to her new life given the revelations of the last book, while attempting to return to a semblance of normalcy. When a few mysterious murders happen and her fellow Shadowhunter is thrown in jail, Clary begins to realize that returning to normal may not be as easy as she thought.
Easily the best part of this book was the character interactions. Most of the characters had more of a chance to breathe in this book and this leads to some very enjoyable conversations. The growing relationships between Magnus, Alec, Clary, Jace and Simon lead to some great funny scenes, along with a few very dramatic ones. Jace's problems in this book and the way that he deals with it seem realistic, making the reader feel some real sympathy for him (apart from the beginning). Overall, this book was a big step up from the first one that I couldn't put down. I'd give this book five stars easily.
The final book in the trilogy is the City of Glass, which I felt was better than the first book, was not as good as the second book. The story revolves around the Shadownhunters heading from New York to Idris, the Shadowhunter city, to prepare for the final showdown with their common enemy. Clary, not a trained Shadowhunter, wishes to go to Idris to seek help for one of her loved ones, but ends up being left behind due to circumstances beyond her control. The rest of the book revolves around Clary's journey to Idris and her role in what could be the final battle for the Shadowhunters.
There are some things I really like about this book. The pacing, aside from the ending, was pretty good and the story had a good mix of action and drama. The relationship issues that carried through the three books are solved in a satisfactory manner and characters like Simon, who previously annoyed me, began to grow on me by the book's end. Magnus and Alec's interactions in the book were by far some of the most entertaining parts to read.
On the downside, the book's climax and conclusion were really cliched. I went back to feeling like I had read this story before in several different books, such as Harry Potter. The pacing of the epilogue was really slow for me since it had a lot of set up in it for the next book. I knew what was going to happen in the epilogue and I found myself skimming a lot of pages towards the end as it took its sweet time to get there. My other problem involved the actions of the main character Clary, who I thought did some pretty selfish things in the book. Thankfully, the other characters called her out on it, but it still irked me sometimes.
Overall, the book was pretty exciting and well paced, up until the end where the pacing and story telling went down a notch. I'd give this book four stars.
I definitely enjoyed the trilogy more than I thought I would at first. After I got past the first book, I was very interested in the characters and the story. I would recommend sticking with it if you're having trouble getting past the first book. The second book and the vast majority of the third is worth it.
on April 2, 2013
This review is written after finishing all five books so far published in the universe of The Mortal Instruments.
The Mortal Instruments is a VERY well written "YA" urban fantasy/romance. As an adult reader (I am 33) I was surprised by how well written it was. I felt like it was one of those rare finds (like Harry Potter or Twilight) that can easily appeal to teens and adults alike. It has complex characters you can fall in love with, a fast-paced and action packed storyline that progresses naturally without feeling rushed, and a vivid world that comes alive in your mind as you read. What you will NOT find in this series is graphic adult themes such as descriptive sex and dark or disturbing types of violence. There will be blood, fighting, dying, "implied" sex (in later books) and underage drinking, and the descriptive romance doesn't make it past second base.
I am looking forward to reading more from this author and would recommend it highly to older teens and adults who enjoy engaging, well written YA fantasy/romance books that play on a literary level which surpasses what you may typically expect from the genre.
on January 6, 2013
This series came highly recommended to me, and with the movie on its way, I decided to pick it up.
The setting is fantastic, despite its use of a few tired fantasy tropes (such as the gleaming home of the Shadowhunters, or the fact that literally every major character is in some way distinct from ordinary humans). I would love to read more stories set in the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders, provided those stories were written by somebody else. Clare's writing is amateurish and dull, especially in the first book, occasionally devolving into pointless tangents about someone's friend's crappy band. The story, too, is predictable and trite. Most of the plot that isn't action is dominated by the most cliche love triangle I have ever read.
Overall, I don't think I'd say the books were bad. Not exactly. But they certainly aren't the paragons of urban fantasy that everyone seems to make them out to be, and I finished the trilogy with absolutely no desire to pick up another book by Cassandra Clare ever again.
on September 21, 2013
my friend tried getting me to read these years ago when the first one came out but it didn't sound appealing. then I had a student last year who tried to get me into them, but still no. then the movie comes out and i'm like...that actually looks kinda good! well, I can't watch a book-based movie without reading first so I got this set and started reading away. soooo good (although rather annoying in places because it is from a point of view of a younger generation). I thought the 3rd book ended perfectly and that there was no need for clare to even write and 4th or 5th but seeing as she did....i'll continue with the series and hopefully it will wrap up as nicely as book 3 did :)
on March 21, 2014
The Mortal Instruments Series are some of the most fun reading you'll find in Young Adult. Cassandra Clare tells a good story but you'll have to be forgiving about the heavy baggage of cliche her writing carries. Her tool box of descriptions could be emptied out and its contents put into a small envelope; everything smells or tastes like copper for example. That said their great reading for spring break or to take to the beach once the summer hits. Joe Taylor, Yaroos.com
on September 10, 2013
This is not a great series. The writing is okay, but not stellar. The story lines are simplistic and barely hold the reader's attention. There were multiple reviews here on Amazon that said, "This series is SO much better than the Twilight books!!" I'm not a big fan of Twilight, either, but no... this series is not better. The only improvement this series makes to the supernatural world is that the vampires in Mortal Instruments don't sparkle (thank goodness..how stupid is it to have sparkly vampires?).
I do not recommend the Mortal Instruments books to anyone over 15. Seriously.