Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader

Shadowhunters and Downworlders

“If you’ve been reading the Mortal Instruments for any length of time, you know that only two things are certain: Dead doesn’t necessarily mean dead, and you never know whose blood is going to wind up running through your veins.”

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, epic urban fantasy set in a richly imagined world of shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, fairies, and more, has captured the imaginations and loyalty of hundreds of thousands of YA readers. Originally a trilogy (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass), the series has extended to six titles, plus a prequel trilogy, the Infernal Devices, and a planned sequel series, the Dark Artifices. A feature film is planned for 2013.

Shadowhunters and Downworlders, edited by Clare (who provides an introduction to the book and to each piece), is a collection of YA authors writing about the series and its world.

Authors Who Contributed:
Holly Black / Kendare Blake / Gwenda Bond / Sarah Rees Brennan / Rachel Caine / Sarah Cross / Kami Garcia / Michelle Hodkin / Kelly Link / Kate Milford / Diana Peterfreund / Sara Ryan / Scott Tracey / Robin Wasserman

Personal Thoughts:

I’ve only read a few essays collections that discuss a book or fiction written by someone else. The last one is The Girl Who Was on Fire which discuss one of my favorite YA dystopian series, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’m not sure if there are more anthology books out there with this kind of format, but if there is I won’t hesitate reading them since I find this kind of book insightful as a whole.

Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader is a collection of essay pieces by YA authors about Cassandra Clare’s fantasy series, The Mortal Instruments and its world.

The essays in this book discuss different topics from The Mortal Instruments world, characters, story themes, and more TMI related topics. Some of the essays are well thought and rigorous researched. They certainly give me more ideas and point of views about the fiction I already love & enjoy. It is like rediscovering the whole Mortal Instruments series once again.

There are essays too that are fun to read with all the witty opinions or thoughts of the contributing author(s) about Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument series. Sometimes reading the contributor’s essay is like discussing The Mortal Instruments world with a friend – dissecting every angle, scenes, characters and ideas presented by Cassandra Clare from the first book, City of Bones up to the last book released so far, City of Lost Souls. There are some essays too that makes me appreciate more the last two books that is already out than I did when I read them for the first time. They makes me want to go back and reread the whole series once again with a better understanding and views of the characters and their world. It is like I am a mundane who finally see things around the Shadow world without its glamour.

Though not all of the essays in this material are good or really important. Some topics are just repetition of things that readers of the series like me already know. Not that I don’t want to be reminded of those things, I just wish that they dwelved unto them deeper, explaining more of the why and not how, giving more reasons and deeper explanations than telling how things are presented or happened. Because for someone who have read and reread The Mortal Instruments and even The Infernal Devices like me, I’m pretty familiar with the in and outs of the Shadowhunters & Downworlders world.

Here are the list of essays in this book with there corresponding author:

  • “Unhomely Places” by Kate Milford
  • “The Art of War” by Sarah Cross
  • “Sharper Than a Seraph Blade” by Diana Peterfreund
  • “When 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 Kendare Blake
  • “Asking for a Friend” by Gwenda Bond
  • “(Not) For Illustration Purposes Only” by Rachel Caine
  • “The Importance of Being Malec” by Sarah Ryan“Villains, Valentine and Virtue” by Scott Tracey
  • “Immortality and Its Discontents” by Kelly Link and Holly Black
  • “What Does That Deviant Wench Think She’s Doing? Or, Shadowhunters Gone Wild” by Sarah Rees Brennan

If I have to choose one topic from the above list that I think really stand out, I’ll pick Michelle Hodkin’s essay about Simon Lewis. Michelle obviously do her research well, providing not only facts, but also deeper explanations and reasons about Simon, his role, religion and his character as a vampire.

This book is clearly for fans of The Mortal Instruments series but I think you don’t need to be a fan to enjoy this book. But a little warning, this book should be read only if you read at least one book of The Mortal Instruments world so you’ll get a better grasp of what every author is talking about. There are some spoilers too for The Mortal Instruments books, so be warned.

* This review is based on an electronic book I received courtesy of the publisher, Smart Pop Books / BenBella Books, Inc. via NetGalley.

Book to Movie: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Movie Teaser Trailer)

I’m writing this just after seeing the teaser trailer, which means I am still high right now with all the excitement and goosebumps. So forgive me, If I ramble a bit or much.

As you all know, I love Cassandra Clare‘s The Mortal Instruments series novels. I’m in love with Cassandra Clare‘s writing and the Shadowhunters world she magically created in The Mortal Instruments. The moment that Cassie announced online that there will be a film adaptation coming I squeal with glee. Just imagining seeing those characters that I love, moving live on screen, quoting some of my favorite lines from the book makes me super excited. But when the final casting was announced, I admit I didn’t much like the list. I am one of those who can’t see Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace. Even I approved of his acting & fighting skills, having watched him as the young King Arthur from the Camelot series, I still can’t picture him as the perfect Jace Wayland. Ok. Maybe Jace isn’t perfect, in fact he got real flaws but for me he is always the perfect & the best Shadowhunters in Cassie’s world. It took awhile before I finally accepted the fact that I have no choice but to accept it and just wait and see what will happen.

So now that the teaser trailer is up online, probably spreading fast at the moment I finally see what Cassie means when she say that there is something in Jamie that is so Jace. In that short teaser trailer I see now that Jamie can be Jace. I can’t get enough of his freaking accent alone. He sounded so Jace in my head delivering those lines. You can’t here it on the trailer below but you can watch it from the trailer commentary with Cassandra Clare, posted in

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Film Teaser Trailer

More than the stunts and effects that all looks pretty amazing, what really gives me a high is seeing my favorite characters live, moving and in action. This is only a teaser trailer but it already looks so much promising. I can’t wait to see the final trailer, hoping to see Magnus and more of Alec and of course the movie in August next year. It will be a long wait but after seeing this teaser I know I can handle the waiting because it looks so worth it.

What do you think of the teaser trailer?! Are you as excited as me right now for the movie? Have you read the book, what did you think of it? If you haven’t and you are interested in watching the movie, I suggest pick the book first.

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare

“Lies and secrets, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.”

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Personal Thoughts:

Clockwork Prince is the second installment of Cassandra Clare‘s The Infernal Devices series. This series is the prequel of The Mortal Instruments series that introduced the world of Shadowhunters. Clockwork Prince continues immediately where Clockwork Angel end. After the incident with the Magister, Charlotte and Henry’s leadership is challenged by Benedict Lightwood. They were given two weeks to find the Magister and uncover his plans, if not they will be force to turn-over the London institute to the Lightwoods. If this happens Tessa will lose a place and will be an easy prey to the Magister.

I think one of the best part of Clockwork Prince is the way Cassandra Clare developed her characters. Everyone step-up on a new level, from the main characters to the minor roles.

Tessa is much better heroine in here than the first book, Clockwork Angel. She still annoyed me sometimes but she definitely grows compare from the last time I encounter her. Her smart and witty side emerge as well as her tough and strong-willed personality. She is still well versed and well read. Her interactions with Will and Jem give chance to Cassandra Clare to scatter different quotations throughout out the book.

“It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

Will finally redeem himself in this book. I always believe that there is a reason why he keeps everyone at a distance. And I like that Cassandra Clare didn’t stretch the revelation too long. She revealed the other side of Will in this book at the right pace for the reader, but unfortunately a bit too late for Will because the ending doesn’t side in his favor. But for me, this book is Will’s shining moment. The complexity of his character is more vivid in here. He is such a tortured soul doing what he think is right to protect his love ones even though it also means personally loosing them. You will simply sympathize in him when you found out about his past and the reasons for all his actions.

Jem is still as sweet as always. In this book we got a little more information about his family and his sickness. He also show more emotions and personality especially when he is with Tessa. He becomes more hopeful and vibrant. I love the bond between him and Will but the romance between him and Tessa feels force for me. I can’t see any chemistry between them. Not because they are not match for each other but because it’s obvious who Tessa really loves.

I’m not picking any side between Jem and Will for Tessa. Jem and Will are two different individual who shines in their own way. I love them both so who ever ends up with Tessa is deserving. But I’m not sure if Tessa deserves any of them. She is still great but I don’t like the way she treat Jem and Will. Going back and forth between these two guys where in fact she’s just too in denial about her feelings. Reading from her perspective gives her true feelings to both guys and I don’t understand why she’s making it sound that she is confused where in fact it is too clear from her voice who she really loves. And the worst part is she choose the opposite side in the end. I understand that she don’t want to hurt Jem in any way, even I don’t want to see Jem getting hurt but I wish Tessa is more honest to herself.

Henry and Charlotte also offers more in the story besides being the leaders of London institute and guardians to Will, Jem and Jessamine. They are now getting their own side story which certainly gives a little sweet touch to the plot. I love the little discoveries from these two, really sweet and really lovely.

Sophie also got more role and own story. I think she’s the most surprising character for me. I didn’t expect more character development from her but she certainly did well in this installment. Being pair to another Shadownhunter gives her shining moment but what I really admire about Sophie is how she managed to get over Jem. And the way she handle Jessamine in the end is really surprising. Never in my imagination I see that coming.

If I remember it right, in Clockwork Angel Gideon Lightwood was described by Will as being worse than his brother, Gabriel but upon meeting him in here, I don’t see how he gain that reputation. The sub-plot he brings in the story has a lot of potential. I can already imagine how he can be at use and his relationship into a stronger plot.

I suspected that there is something going on with Jessamine but the turn out still surprise me. Mainly because I didn’t expect that Nathaniel would be back in the story. I really thought that his part is already concluded from the first book, Clockwork Angel. So seeing Nathaniel here once again is also a surprise.

And there’s Magnus Bane. If you have read my reviews for all the Shadowhunters books of Cassandra Clare you all know how I adore Magnus Bane, from the present world of Shadowhunters in The Mortal Instruments to this prequel series of The Infernal Devices. So I am delighted to see Magnus Bane once again in the story. Magnus Bane alone can convince me to read all the books of Shadowhunters world. And I’m so much glad that there’s more of him in this book compare to Clockwork Angel. It’s nice to know how Will and Magnus Bane become close and how they help each other once in a while, though Will was not aware that he actually do something for Magnus Bane which is one of the funny scene in this book. We also got to know more of Magnus Bane’s past relationship with Camille and how it ended.

Aside from character development, the world building of Clockwork Prince is also top notch. I really love how Cassandra Clare crafted the magical world of Shadowhunters in Victorian England. Her rich descriptions of surroundings and time were very vivid. The words always lost in front of me as the images flow easily in my imagination.

As for the plot there were just so much happening in this book but the puzzle behind the Magister and his ultimate plan is still a mystery. He is not actually present in this book compare to the Clockwork Angel. He is more working now in the background which just leaves more questions about his plans and motives. For sure the next book will reveal more of him and his schemes as well as Tessa’s connection to all of these.

With excellent character development, seemless flow of writing and unexpected surprises Clockwork Prince is an enthralling good read. It has actions, romance and mysteries. With all that, I am excited to read the series finale, Clockwork Princess.

City Of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

“Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.”

Sysnopsis From Book Jacket:

The Mortal War is over, Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love her life, Downworldsers and Shadowhutners are all at peace at last. And most important of all Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out that he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side along with the power of the curse that’s wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls, neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve iont the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself haas set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. BLood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels (quoted from the book’s jacket).

Personal Thoughts:

I got this latest addition to The Mortal Instruments series last Thursday night but as much as I want to read it as soon as it landed on my hand, I need to wait till my spare time allow me. Trying to do work instead of picking up the book was extremely hard. When I started reading it, I was hooked into it. First few pages of the book and I found my self smiling and laughing already. It’s always a treat to read about the world of shadowhunters and those lovely characters inside this world.

As expected there are more of Simon Lewis in the story. I never felt attached to Simon before but in this book he has certainly begun to grow on me. City Of Fallen Angels give so much more dept and emotion to his character. Reading more of him is like discovering an old friend and becoming more close to him. Same thing goes with Iz, she doesn’t have much exposure like Simon but you’ll definitely feel her presence. She’s one of the surprising revelations of this book. It’s nice to see the different side of her. I’m beginning to like her more. The development of Simon & Iz’s relationships is nicely built.

More of Simon doesn’t actually mean less of Jace. For awhile it bothers me that Simon is getting the spotlight from Jace. But after few chapters more of reading I begun to understand the need of it. Jace in here is different. He is more vulnerable and worried. It’s so disturbing to see him in despair and tormented. But as usual Clare knows best how to handle her characters. She’s definitely aiming for something bigger because Jace torture has a huge role in the plot. A bit cruel for Jace but worth journey for readers. Magnus Bane is also back together with Alec. It’s nice to see the new side of Alec. I love him with Magnus and it so sad that they don’t have much part in the story. I miss Magnus witty commentary so much, hopefully to get more of those in the coming books.

I’m still amazed with the author’s world building skills. She’s definitely has talent in writing. Honestly, after reading the three books I don’t know if Clare can manage to deliver more for the series. But she did a great job in this one. City of Fallen Angels is intense. Everything has been taken to a new level. It makes the series becomes more darker and more engaging. Somehow it feels like I’m starting a new series again. Except for the fact that I already discover the shadowhunters world and already connected with the characters.

I like that Cassandra Clare doesn’t focus on couple relationships alone. It’s not about just Jace and Clary or Simon and Iz and Maia. Every characters has their own part in the story. I also like the idea of balance between good and evil. How every actions have its own consequences. The side story with the Sellie Queen, I was surprised that it didn’t use much as part of the plot, obviously it’s something that need to be reveal in the next books.

The ending is beautifully painful and heart-breaking, which makes me want the next book so much. I hate it when it just end like that. What will happen to Jace now? Isn’t it enough that he was tortured the whole time in this book? And now Clare is also torturing the readers! I don’t know how I will manage waiting for the next book that will be release thirteen months from now. I’m just thankful that a least there is Clockwork Prince in the middle of waiting.

With all that, City of Fallen Angels is a nice addition to The Mortal Instruments series. It was as well-written as the previous books. With a growing characters, wrapping world and unpredictable plot filled with darkness, pain and mysteries, City Of Fallen Angels is definitely worth the wait.

In My Mailbox: April 07

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. This meme is about books that you received or bought during the week.

City Of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments Book #4)

by Cassandra Clare

Yes! I got a hardbound copy of Cassandra Clare’s City of Fallen Angels. This is posted as my my want books last month, not exactly the same copy since I really want the signed exclusive edition but still the same book. Though I’m still hoping to get my own copy of the signed exclusive edition. I’m really interested with the enclosed letter from  Jace in that edition and of-course the bonus signature of Cassandra Clare. But I’m really happy now with what I have. I didn’t expect to get a copy two days after its international released. And the best part is, I didn’t even wait long from Fully Booked reservations.  Isn’t it nice? I guess all my other books in my TBR will need to give way for this book. Sorry but I play favouritism ^__^ . Can’t wait to start reading, so I won’t wait till weekend, I’ll be reading this as soon as I’m done covering, which will be few minutes from now.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

“If no one in the entire world cared about you, did you really exist at all?”

For book description or synopsis check it from Goodreads:

I adore Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series and going back to the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders is something I surely enjoy. Clockwork Angel is the first novel in The Mortal Instruments prequel series, Infernal Devices. This book is set in the same unseen world of Shadowhunters which took place in London Victorian era, hundred years before The Mortal Instruments series.

The first half of the book involves a lot of world-building and plot setting. Having read the three books of The Mortal Instruments, world building is unnecessary for me, which makes this part a slow read. But I understand that Clare need to include those introductions not just for those who haven’t read The Mortal Instruments but also to visibly show the world and time she is creating. At some point I wish I haven’t read the The Mortal Instruments first before this prequel series. Nevertheless, I love how Cassandra Clare create this magical world of Shadowhunters. Each description is carefully crafted. The visuals are still strong like in The Mortal Instruments. It’s easy to picture yourself inside the walls of Dark Sisters’ home and the Shadowhunters’ haven. London in eighteen hundred is interesting and Clare’s version is good, quite different from what I expected but still good enough to present the old world.

I was honestly more swept away by the story and the characters of The Mortal Instruments series, but that does make Clockwork Angel so much inferior. The characters are still complex like in The Mortal Instruments. Two interesting characters for me are Henry Branwell and James Carstairs. Henry inspite of being a minor character is an interesting character to meet. He’s such a sweet, crazy inventor usually absent minded but brilliant. James is sensible and genuine but somewhat mysterious. As Will parabatai, he is perfect or let me just say Will and James are perfect pair of warriors. Even totally different from each other they share an undeniable bond. They bring out the best in each other despite of their disagreements, and their friendship is really admirable.

As for the two major characters, Tessa Gray and Will Herondale, Tessa is a bit off as a heroine. I don’t understand her much nor do I care. Other than her passion for literature and her shifting ability I don’t see much of her personality. Compare to Clary she is a bit inferior as a heroine. She’s whining too much about her brother. I hope to see more development in her character in the next book.

Will is somehow looks like a repeat performance of Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments. They are both arrogant, rude and inappropriate with a dark past. The resemblance in attitude is clearly there, no wonder they are related to each other. As for the degree of relation, it is not stated clearly but if you have read The Mortal Instruments you know what I’m saying. I would love to see the family tree of Shadowhunters after all these books are finished.

Magnus Bane is also here. I love him from The Mortal Instruments series and having him here is awesome. I loved reading how he blended into the story. It was like coming across an old friend and learning even more about him. He adds a feeling of connection. And he never fails to makes me smile or laugh with his witty dialogues. I wish there had been more of him.

As for the plot, the whole situation with The Magister, his identity is not shocking. Actually, he is my prime suspect from the start, the misleading doesn’t draw me to other possibilities. But with Tessa’s brother Nate, thats a different story. Since he is absent in most part of the book, only knowing him from Tessa’s side story, I didn’t expect how things worked out with him in the end. I was too caught in my reading that I didn’t even expect that turn out on his character. I have to say, Cassandra Clare is good in devising a story. She isn’t giving the whole story in one setting, but rather eased back into this world and offered a different path to follow. I am interested to find out more about Will’s and Jem’s pasts as well as Tessa’s origins and her parents story which will surely reveal more about her character. Also, I hope to see more of Magnus Bane and more about Jessie Lovelace who seems has her own interesting story to tell.

On the whole Clockwork Angel is a good read. While the characterisation is not as good as The Mortal Instruments, the story is still fun, and entertaining. It got the perfect balance of mystery, adventure and the fascinating world of Shadowhunters.