Friday, March 25, 2011

The Mortal Instruments

"The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he'd learned: That to love is to destroy, and that to be loved, is to be the one destroyed."
-Jace Wayland.

About a year ago, I started hearing things about the Mortal Instruments trilogy. I didn't hear anything specifically good or bad, I was just hearing things. I decided to check them out, and after reading a couple reviews, I decided to not read them. They seemed like a waste of time, and they didn't cross my mind again. That is, until they came up in conversation with one of my friends about a month ago. She had asked me if I had heard about them and/or read them, and I told her that I had heard of them but never bothered to get them from the library. She urged me to read them, and two weeks ago, I found myself sitting on my bed and staring at my bookshelf, which held all three books, shiny in their plastic library covers. I had three weeks to read them, and I hadn't even decided if I really wanted to yet or not.

I read a couple of different teen and parent reviews at this awesome site and ultimately came to the decision that if I really just wasn't interested in them or if they were terrible, I could just put them down and return them to the library early.

But I opened City of Bones, and instantly, I was in love.

The Mortal Instruments trilogy introduces you to a world hidden to mundane eyes; a world with faeries and warlocks, vampires and werewolves, angels and Shadowhunters; a world under humans' very noses. The entire concept of a society underneath ours is so intriguing, it kept me reading. And reading. And reading.

The story follows three main characters: Clary Fray, Jace Wayland, and Simon Lewis, as well as a host of supporting characters.

The characters are really what made the story for me; they are all increasingly witty and loveable. I rarely laugh out loud when I read a book, and this series had my parents staring at me worriedly while I howled with laughter at the sarcastic words of Jace or the nerdiness of Simon or the dry, caustic humor of Magnus Bane.

I will say this, though, one of the biggest weaknesses in these books was, coincidentally, the main character, Clary Fray. Why, you might be asking?

Can anyone say, "Mary Sue"?

Now, you might wonder, "what is a Mary Sue?" Urban Dictionary defines it as, "A female fiction character who is so perfect as to be annoying. She is your whiny, wimpy, pathetic female character who can't seem to do much of anything except cry and get herself into trouble that the romantic interest of the fic has to rescue her from."

Mmhmm. Basically. That was really one of the only things that annoyed me, though.

This series, like the Hunger Games, but maybe even more so, is extremely, extremely gory and violent. The only things I had ever heard about this series were about the romantic storyline, so I was somewhat unprepared for all the blood and gore that was woven deeply into the books. There are plenty of long, drawn-out action scenes, which are balanced by the heavy romantic theme throughout the entire series.

Overall, these books were a very nice read. I don't believe they were as well written as some other young-adult series that I've read, but they were interesting, and they kept me busy for a while. The series was strangely addictive, and I found myself unable to put the books down, which hasn't happened for me in a long while.

I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment, City of Fallen Angels, which comes out April 5.

Bravo, Cassandra Clare. I applaud you.

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