Friday, July 22, 2011

Three Books in Three Days: Mortal Instruments

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass 

These books are compelling. It's amazing how much trouble I had putting them down to... you know... live and stuff.

They're not skinny books, either, people. I was stuck in them for days! But now that I'm out, I want to say two things:

1) Kudos to Cassandra Clare for writing a nuanced, detailed, epic fantasy series that's also accessible to the average reader. As an aspiring writer, I am humbled and awed by the skill and planning this obviously took. I instantly fell in love with the two main characters, Clary and Jace, and was tortured along with them every step of the way. Meanwhile, the supporting characters, even down to the most minuscule, had a story arc and a dream, which made it even more fun. Speaking of fun, the voice is fantastic! It's a rich kind of parallel universe, the Shadowhunters' world, but there are modern pop references and both warm and wry humor to keep it from being too like a traditional epic fantasy (for people who aren't into that).

2) I gave each of these books four stars because while I loved them, there were things about the author's style that felt cumbersome to me. This is similar to my reaction to the Twilight series. LOVED the passion and the detail, but at the same time felt a little overwhelmed by the detail. :) When I come across paragraphs describing turrets or mountains, my brain locks and skims. If this isn't a problem for you, you'll likely love these books even more than I did.

I followed the advice of a few reviewers and stopped after the third Mortal Instruments book, waiting for the last three books to be completed (I hear book 4 isn't resolved as well as book 3 and I don't want to drive myself crazy until books 5 and 6 come out). I might have died at the end of Suzanne Collin's middle book, Catching Fire, had I not been able to pick Mockingjay up the very same day. Unresolved endings drive me nuts.

Overall, I'm delighted to have been introduced to another favorite author, Cassandra Clare, and look forward to reading Clockwork Angel, the first in a series of prequels to the Mortal Instruments series.

Have you read them? How did they make you feel?




  1. I haven't read them, but if they are as good as you say I will have to pick them up.


    So yeah. I'm sort of a fan :) Cassandra's books made me fall in love with urban fantasy SO MUCH. #TeamJace

    Awesome review, Katrina!

  3. They are indeed awesome books! You may want to hold off on the prequels as well until they're all published. She's writing the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy at the same time so the first book of the prequel came out, then the first of the sequel, the second of the prequels comes out at the end of the year, the second of the sequel next year, and so on. SO, it's going to be a while before they're all out and she really loves her cliffhangers!). I've been buying them and setting them on my shelf, once they're all out I'll have a reading party! :)

  4. Angie, I hope you like them, too! :)

    Amparo, thanks! I think you were one of the first people to recommend them. I tell you what, it's nice to know what #TeamJace means because I've been seeing it everywhere! And now that I've read them, I do think Jamie Campbell Bower will be awesome in the role. I only wish his fiancee could play opposite him b/c that would just be sweet!

    Anony, thanks for the heads up! Maybe I'll wait, too. I do have plenty of other books in my TBR list, including SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White! Squee! Coming out in days!

  5. Oh, my God, Katrina--I hadn't thought of Jamie and Bonnie in the films AT ALL, but it makes perfect sense! Bonnie is a great actress in my eyes, so yeah. It would've been EPIC.

    But I think Lily Collins will nail the role. *crosses fingers*

    And, OH MY GOD, how embarrassing is it that I still haven't read Paranormalcy? O_O

  6. No girl, you did NOT read them all in 3 days! GEEZ! I'd be so emotionally should afterglow them :)

    Unfortunately, the first was one of the books ruined for me by audiobook. And you're right about the description - it was super hard to follow when you're listening and driving at the same time, particularly if you're not totally gassed about the narrator. sigh
    I'll still want to see the films though.

  7. Amparo, I think you're right about Lily Collins. I'm just a hopeless romantic. *sigh* And not at all embarrassing that you haven't read Paranormalcy. Look how long it took me to read Mortal Instruments! :) But hey, if it encourages you to read it, Paranormalcy is a QUICK read. Its playful voice and medium size make reading it in a couple hours an easy, sweet treat.

    Sophia, I so DID! You should have seen my carpets at the end of it. *points at self* Not a great housekeeper. I decided not to Afterglow these books since I did have that caveat about the descriptiveness. If it's not five stars, it's not Afterglow, even though I definitely did have an emotional afterglow and can recommend them.

    I'm looking forward to the movie, too! (Although a little bit frightened to see all that blood and ichor on screen!) LOL

  8. I read the first one and loved it! I'm waiting on the library hold list to get the others. Glad to hear you enjoyed them!

  9. I've read and loved the first 2 - I really have to get the 3rd one! It's a really well developped world with fabulous characters. I enjoyed Clockwork Angel too :)


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