Friday, September 24, 2010

the big spankin' 3-in-1 MORTAL INSTRUMENTS review!

Note: I read all 3 of these books from August-September, 2009. They 3 individual reviews on Goodreads are some of my first ever reviews. What I mean is - they're probably going to sound somewhat stinky :)
Also: this review reflects the opinions of someone who, while considering herself a fan of the MI series, was nonetheless "less than impressed" with Clare's previous fanfiction work, and is not really thinking that 3 more books an originally-planned trilogy is the best idea... Keeping these mentioned things in mind, proceed with caution!

The ongoing story of The Mortal Instruments was definitely interesting/entertaining but still only somewhat original, with many obvious similarities to other works. It's really hard to write "truly original" stories nowadays that don't seem too borrowed, but the fact that Clare wrote very public fanfiction for Harry Potter is a big no-no: the bad thing about fanfiction (from what I've seen on MANY other people's reviews) is it will no doubt be weighted against anything you write in the future... as it is here. The concepts of 'Shadowhunters' and 'Downworlders' I found very interesting, but truly, it could have been so much better if Clare had just skipped the whole 'Nephilim' thing. I'm not really sold on the whole 'Nephilim' idea, even though it is (thankfully) very different from what I've seen other authors do. Plus the word is used incorrectly in dialogue segments, which was amusing, but not really in a good way :)

Technical Writing: Clare's writing style seems a little inconsistent. Sometimes I'd read a passage and think, "Wow, that sounds really cool!" and then a few paragraphs later her sentence structure would just be "off". Also, her characters are a little weird: as in, sometimes their dialogue sounded really muddled. Jace and Alec especially would sometimes speak as if from another time, then a few paragraphs later they'd sound just like average, ordinary teenage boys. Amusing and entertaining story aside, the writing left a lot to be desired.

Characters: not very memorable, but not overtly bad, either. It's funny, because most people I've noticed really like the characters of the MI series, and for me, the best part of the series is the overall story world. That said, I believe that this whole series revolves around Jace Wayland. And no, not because he's a sexypants (I really didn't find him all that "sexy," actually - his attitude a lot of the times was slap-worthy) but because he is by far the most well-rounded character. What I love about Jace is that he undergoes a major character change: the Jace at the beginning of City of Bones (cocky, slap-worthy Jace) transforms to the caring, mature and very lovable Jace at the end of City of Glass. I really hope Clare keeps Jace that way in COFA, but I guess I'll have to wait and see. Other than Jace, the rest of the characters were enjoyable, but they didn't really stand out to me. Clary was so incredibly annoying, and I'm glad that the story wasn't told in her perspective. Especially in City of Ashes and City of Glass, a lot of characters seemed thrown in that didn't need to be there. I've never been an Isabelle fan, and I wasn't really sold on Alec, but he goes along with Magnus, and Magnus Bane is the #2 best character in the series. YA THINK SO?! Authors like JK Rowling and Michael Grant are very skilled at balancing a large ensemble cast of characters, but in this series, which revolves so closely around Clary and Jace, they just seemed unnecessary (I still am wondering what purpose Aline served in Glass, except to tantalize/infuriate Clary-Jace fans like me)
Here is a passage from my original "uncut" review, and I'll post it because I've been told it's funny...
Clary was incredibly annoying and Mary-Sueish. Just because she cusses does not disqualify her from being a Mary-Sue: she's just a Mary-Sue in need of a bar of soap. Simon is the designated Third Wheel character of the series: between Jace and Simon, who would Clary pick?! REALLY?! It's not even a contest. The boy love interest with the most chemistry ALWAYS wins. Always. If it's a CHEMISTRY vs. LOYAL FRIEND scenario, CHEMISTRY always wins.
And there will be 3 more books, apparently. That surprised me, because I figured the story was wrapped up nicely in City of Glass. It always makes me wonder when a series just keeps continuing, because as a "fan," I do wonder about whether or not there's enough meat to continue at all, or if there's even a purpose besides "$$$$$." But I guess, like everyone else, I'll just wait and see.

The Mortal Instruments series is definitely one of the hottest series in current YA fiction, and I definitely consider myself a fan. For enjoyment and entertainment, I would say definitely try this series. It isn't the "best" series out there, in my opinion, nor is it the most cleverly written or the most original, but if you are looking for an entertaining, light series with lots of action (and Ms. Clare KNOWS how to write fight scenes - I always love it when gals can write fight scenes, too!) then check these out! City of Fallen Angels releases this March.

3 shout-outs!:

Anonymous said...

I loved that post and all of your honesty. I do get what your saying and after re-reading theses book, I feel the same way--that aside, I actually did love this series and I do hope she keeps her characters consistent!

Natalie said...

I really love this series, though I can see the flaws with the parts that you pointed out. Glad to hear you at least enjoyed it though! Have you read Clockwork Angel? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that one. Personally, though I liked Clary, I thought Tessa was a much better main character.

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I quite loved this series, but I definitely see what you mean in regards to Clary. I really quite preferred this series to Clockwork Angel, but I will admit that Tessa was a lot less...whiny than Clary (though Jace > Will) haha Great review, Amelia :)

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