Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Review - TMI series by Cassandra Clare

When I come across a fiction series I absolutely love, I simply can’t help fussing over it. At thirteen, it was Harry Potter. At fourteen, the Twilight saga – Edward this, Edward that. Bella this, Bella that. Then I was into Princess Diaries. *a dramatic sigh* “I can’t believe my school doesn’t even have a proper washroom. Gross!” I mean, seriously. I was in Sarpang High school, for the sake of everything that’s holy. Then it was the Hunger Games trilogy. I remember narrating the entire story to dad who after some time went, “Wait, who’s Peeta again?” Followed by the Divergent trilogy – “Wait, what the hell just happened to Tris?” *re-read the paragraph* “No. This can’t be.” *cry* “I’m going to call my boyfriend.” Oh baby, don’t bother. He’s at the moment conspiring to dump you.

So now that I’ve found another series I’m completely fascinated by, no way am I not going to write an exclusive review on it. And it is none other than The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. (Published by Walker Books Ltd 87 Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5HJ)

I remember seeing the first two books in my college library. On the front cover of the first book was a picture of a shirtless guy with a hot bod. *drool drool* But the tittles ‘City of Bones’ and ‘City of Ashes’ made me picture a horror sci-fi in which a million years later humans are burnt down to bones and ashes by an alien invasion. I’d had enough sci-fis for the moment as I was still healing from what’d happened to Tris. Plus I was kinda into George R. R Martin’s fiction epic ‘The song of Ice and Fire’. But I gave that one up halfway through Book I ‘Game of Thrones’. The books were SO thick and font size so tiny they reminded me of Biology textbooks from senior year in high school. They terribly hurt my eyes. Maybe one day when I have my own apartment and a dog, I’ll pick ‘em up again.

Coming back, I hadn’t read The Mortal Instruments series until this winter. And am I not glad I did! 

Book One

First published in 2007
ISBN 978-1-4063-5485-0
No. of pages: 506

Clary Fray– 16-year old – and her best friend Simon go on another night out to their favorite club Pandemonium where Clary encounters three shadowhunters killing a demon. Shadowhunters or Nephilim are a group of secret warriors who rid the world of demons. On the same night her mother, Jocelyn gets kidnapped and suddenly Clary finds herself entangled in the dark magical side of New York City. She gets romantically drawn to a blonde shadowhunter, Jace Wayland who has eyes like gold, gaze like blades, hair like a halo, and smells like sunlight. In the midst of repeatedly getting attacked by demons and trying to find her mother, Clary comes to know about a ruthless shadowhunter villain, Valentine Morgenstern who’d been married to her mother. It makes her wonder just what her mother had hidden from her and why? As if the revelation that her mother’s so-called boyfriend, Luke is a downworlder werewolf (an Alpha leader of the largest pack in New York, while we’re at that) isn’t a surprise enough. When she finally does find her mother, Clary also finds out something that binds her to Valentine and tears her apart from Jace.

 My favorite line from the book is something Clary says to Jace at Renwick’s.

She put the shard down and took his hand, closing his fingers over the injured palm. “Honestly, Jace,” she said, as gently as she’d touched him, “don’t you know better than to play with broken glass?”

This single line entails all the danger, hurt and delicacy they’re dealing with in their lives.

My favorite scene from the book is when Clary tells Simon about the shadowhunter world and his reaction to it.

For a moment Simon merely sat and stared down at his feet. Clary wondered if burdening him with this kind of information had been the wrong this to do. He had a stronger practical streak than almost anyone else she knew; he might hate knowing something like this, something for which there was no logical explanation. She leaned forward anxiously, just as Simon lifted his head. “That is so awesome,” he said.
Jace looked as startled as Clary felt. “Awesome?”
Simon nodded enthusiastically enough to make the dark curls bounce on his forehead. “Totally. It’s like Dungeons and Dragons, but real.”

I loved this reaction of Simon’s because I would have done pretty much the same thing had I been in his place. Except, I’d have gone, “Totally. It’s like Twilight and the Mortal Instruments series, but real.”

Book Two
City of Ashes

First published in 2008
ISBN 978-1-4063-5486-7
No. of pages: 411

Clary is dazed at the revelation about her and Jace’s relationship. Suddenly it becomes painfully plain that she can never have him the way she wants. Meanwhile in the city, someone’s killing downworlder children – something only Valentine would do. After finding out that Valentine’s his father, Jace is devastatingly confused as he simply can’t bring himself to sever the bond. Valentine tries to get Jace to join him against the Clave. It’s all up to Jace to decide who he wants to fight with as war seems almost inevitable. Then Clary’s best friend Simon gets bitten by vampires. Clary’s heart breaks when Valentine captures Simon and kills him for a demon-raising ritual. Then Jace puts his own life on the line to rescue Simon, unknowingly bestowing upon Simon a strange power.

It was sorta weird to find out that Clary and Jace are siblings. The fact that they’d already kissed in Book One did not help. I was hoping against hope to have it proven wrong. That didn’t happen. They were still brother and sister.

The best thing about this book was getting Simon turned into a vampire. When in the first book Simon was carelessly getting drawn into the shadowhunter and downworlder’s world, I had some doubt if he’d be able to make it till the end. He’s one of my favorite characters so I definitely did not want him to die. So when Valentine killed him… my heart stopped. But then Jace brought him back to life and I remember shouting words of relief. Bottom line: I loved this book. 

Book Three
City of Glass

First published in 2009
ISBN 978-1-4063-5488-1
No. of pages: 508

Clary must travel to Alicante – City of Glass – to save her mother. When she and Luke break the law to enter the city, Jace is not impressed. Simon is thrown in prison by the Clave for being able to walk in daylight and Clary finds friend in a mysterious new guy, Sebastian. But maybe there’s more to Sebastian than meets the eye. When Valentine summons Angel Raziel and wages a war against the Clave, it’s up to Clary to get things right.

My favorite scene from the book is definitely when Alec kisses Magnus Bane in front of everyone right before the Mortal War. My heart exploded and I died for a moment there. 

Book Four
City of Fallen Angels

First published in 2011
ISBN 978-1-4063-5487-4
No. of pages: 435

The Mortal War is over and Clary Fray is back to New York where she’s training to be a proper shadowhunter. Now that Jace is finally her boyfriend and her mother is engaged to Luke, things sound almost normal, until there are strange children getting abandoned in the city. Then Jace inexplicably starts avoiding her and once more she finds herself in the middle of a heart-wrenching tragedy. Maybe Sebastian’s not as dead as they thought he was.

My favorite scene from the book again includes Alec and Magnus – When a powerful vampire, Camille, also Magnus’ ex-girlfriend reminds him of their time together:

He (Magnus) touched her cheek. It was colder than the floor had been. “You could give me the past,” he said a little sadly. “But Alec is my future.”

Needless to say, my heart burst one more time and I died again. 

Those are all the books in the series I’ve read till now. I’ve got e-book version of the last two books but dad will kill me if he finds out I’m reading straight outa laptop without glasses. So I might have to wait till I get to college.

If you love Fantasy Fiction, I really, really recommend this series to you. And especially if you’re a girl, damn there are LOADS of pretty guys in the series. So what if two of them are gay and irrevocably in love with each other? You’ll fall in love with their love – I promise! 

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It's one of those hot, sky-blue days that taste of vanilla ice cream and summer and future, when your heart beats faster for no apparent reason, and when you're prepared to swear any oath that friendships never end.

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