Spoiler Warning

Book reviews and discussions may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Markie's review of The Mortal Instruments Series

**Spoiler Alert** I am reviewing the entire series. If you only read the first book you may want hold off reading this until you have finished the other two.

Move over Stephenie Meyer! I thoroughly enjoyed The Mortal Instruments series; much more in fact than the Twilight series. Cassandra Clare saw Stephenie’s vampires and werewolves, and raised her angels, demons, fairies, and a new creation all her own -- Shadowhunters. Not only that, but the epic battles that were painfully missing in Twilight, were plentiful and action packed in the MI series.

I also think that Clare trumped Meyer in the romance department. There were some nice steamy and intense almost love scenes - without any sappy pillow biting or broken headboards. The forbidden love thing between Clary and Jace was hot, even though we knew all along that they really couldn't be brother and sister - right? I'm anxious to find out how Jace stacks up against Edward to the girl readers. If I were a girl I'd pick Jace over Edward no contest. Jace has the angel-glow thing going for him, and also the rune-tattoo look. I think I have a man crush on him.

At first I pictured Clary as looking like Lindsay Lohan because of the red hair and freckles, and it was very off-putting. But there is a link on MI's WEBSITE to this FAN BLOG with her picks for actors/actresses to play the parts in the books, and I love her pick for Clary. In fact I like all her picks. I liked Clary's character and by the end of the book had a clear picture in my minds eye of her as a real demon slaying hottie.

I have very little criticism for this series. I thought it was well written, well developed, and captivating throughout. I liked all the characters, both good and evil. Valentine and Sebastian were great villains in the tradition of Lord Voldemort and Draco Malfoy. I liked the back story of the Circle and the Clave and how, like in the Harry Potter series, the story unfolds through the kid’s eyes; and they are the ones who clean up the mess that the adults created when they were youngsters.

I liked the twists in the story; Simon turning into a vampire – then a “special” vampire; Luke turning out to be a werewolf; Sebastian turning out to be the real Jonathan; and Jace and Clary discovering their special powers. I knew that at some point we’d learn that Clary and Jace were not really brother and sister, but still couldn’t wait to find out how it would all be explained. In the end I felt completely satisfied with how it all turned out.

Like J.K. Rowling, C.C. combined a great story with interesting and endearing characters, and kept it all exciting with some very tense situations, and gritty good vs. evil battle scenes. Some of my favorite moments:

* Returning to Clare’s apartment to discover what happened to her mother – knowing there were probably demons there.
* Clare and Jace going into the vampire’s lair to rescue Simon
* Jace trapped in a cell while the Silent Brothers are being slaughtered by Valentine and his pet demon.
* The Scooby gang going to Valentine’s ship, and the ensuing battle
* The demon invasion into Idris
* The final showdown between Jace, Sebastian, and Valentine

The scenes were appropriately graphic, but without any creepy boob-biting babies.

I only have a couple minor complaints. I guess it’s my age and my fatherly instincts, but why did Clary have to be only 15? I had the same feelings about Katniss in Hunger Games. I have a hard time picturing girls so young doing the things these girls are doing – fighting to the death, and getting a little too romantically involved for their age. I’m sure the 15 year old girls reading this stuff eat it up, but as a dad I wish the heroines were a little older. Also I want to picture Clary as a demon slaying hottie, but at 15 years old – creepy.

The other minor thing has to do with biting lips and tasting blood in your mouth. Weren’t they always doing that in the Twilight series as well? It seems like in many of the books we have read lately that the proper way to deal with any kind of stressful situation is to bite your lip until you taste blood in your mouth. I’ve never done it – maybe I’m missing out. They do it several times in this series. At least there were no single tears rolling down faces.

Oh, one more thing. If they ever make a full length major motion picture out of these books I hope they leave out the full on the mouth kiss between Alec and a 300 year-old glittery gay warlock. I don’t need to see that.

All in all The Mortal Instruments was extremely entertaining reading. I look forward to Cassandra Clare’s next series that is set to take place about 150 years before The Mortal Instruments and will include at least one familiar character - Magnus Bane. The series will be called The Infernal Devices. Thanks to Memzy for a great selection!