Friday, September 24, 2010

to read or to write

What do you like more...

I'm trying to remember what I liked to do most of those two when I was growing up, but I can't remember ever picking one over the other.
This year especially, my writing has been somewhat neglected, and I wonder:
Can reading distract you from writing?

What do you all think? How many of you are prospective authors, too, and do you ever worry about how long it will take you to 'finish that story'?
Never mind 3rd or 4th drafts - I'm just talking 1sts, here!
What do you like best about reading, and what do you like best about writing?

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.

it's gonna get a little CRAY-ZAY!

Way before I started my blog (in December '09) I was firing away reviews on Goodreads. As I checked my 'Reviews' tab, I noticed that several reviews link to Goodreads, instead of this blog. So what I'm going to do is try to transfer reviews from Goodreads to this blog over the next week or so... if you see a LOT of reviews popping up at a crazy-weird pace, that's why! I hope you read them (if you want), but they may be a little long, because they were written during my ramble days and I may or may not have the time to edit them :P

Now I'm off to go find more blogs to follow, because it's FRIDAY!

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