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Shadowhunters and Downworlders; an analysis into Cassandra Clare's world

Saturday, September 26, 2015 Geraldine Lee 0 Comments

Having been a fan of Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter and Downworlders' universe for a very long time, I grabbed the opportunity to read this book. Although it is only a book discussing aspects of the Mortal Instruments, I jumped at the opportunity. The introduction didn't really excite me much, in fact, it made me cringe.

'Explore the world of the Mortal Instruments with Cassandra Clare and more.
Join Cassandra Clare and a Circle of more than a dozen top YA writers, including New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Rachel Caine, and Kami Garcia, as they write about the Mortal Instruments series, its characters, and its world.
Inside you’ll read:

-A cinematic tutorial on why the best friend (Simon) always loses out to the bad boy (Jace)
-The benefits (no, really!) of incest . . . at least in literature
-What we can read between the lines of Alec and Magnus’ European vacation
-The importance of friendship, art, humor, and rebellion
-And more, from the virtues of Downworlders to the naughty side of Shadowhunting'

However, when I got right down to reading it, it soon became clear that this was a book that would take me a while. A whole collection of essays by a myriad of people is quite hard to get through, having to reorient yourself each new topic at hand when reading a new essay.

  • 'Unhomely Places' by Kate Milford
  • 'The Art of War' by Sarah Cross
  • 'Sharper Than a Seraph Blade' by Diana Peterfreund
  • 'Laws are Made to Be Broken' by Robin Wasserman
  • 'Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero' by Michelle Hodkin
  • 'Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl' by Kami Garcia
  • 'Brotherly Love' by Kendrare Blake
  • 'Asking for a Friend' by Gwenda Bond
  • '(Not) For Illustration Purposes Only' by Rachel Caine
  • 'The Importance of Being Malec" by Sara Ryan
  • "Villains, Valentine and Virtue' by Scott Tracey
  • 'Immortality and its Discontents' by Kelly Link and Holly Black.
  • 'What Does Thar Deviant Wench Think She's Doing? Or Shadowhunters Gone Wild' by Sarah Rees Brennan

  • Some of these essays were interesting and others completely boring, due to the author's writing style. However, all of these essays had one thing in common; they all made me learn something new, from what the inspiration for Magnus Bane was (read 'Immortality and Discontents'), to more real-world matters, such as the Jewish faith.

    An iratze (healing rune)
    After reading all these essays after a while, I realised that some did not focus primarily on the Mortal Instruments series. Quite a lot of essays were about real-world situations that are incorporated in the Mortal Instruments. These essays go on and elaborate about how these scenarios are presented in the real world. For example, 'Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl' by Kami Garcia uses Simon's situation in The Mortal Instruments as context to discuss, as the title says, why the best friend never gets the girl. However, Garcia uses quite a lot of examples that have nothing to do with The Mortal Instruments to explain this. I don't really have a problem with this, it's just that I wish that the essay was more oriented towards The Mortal Instruments. Garcia is not the only author to do this, there are quite a lot of other authors who followed this procedure.

    Apart from the writing, I really liked how the runes were scattered throughout the book. They gave me a chance to see the runes. However, I would have liked it better if Clare had given us the name of the rune seen. I would've liked to see what the name of the rune I was looking at was.

    In conclusion, I'd rate this book 3 stars out of 5. I'd only recommend this book to friends who are more interested in learning or analysing the real-world aspects of the Mortal Instruments or interested reading deconstructions of the characters in the series. I was hoping for a more TMI oriented novel.

    Keep reading and loving books,

    (I got an ARC of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review)

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