I did it. I finally did it. I have been wanting to read the Mortal Instruments series for, forever now. Especially with Queen of Air and Darkness coming out on Tuesday, I wanted to slowly start picking my way through this series, The Infernal Devices, and The Dark Artifices.
With that being said, this book was.. not my favorite. But it was still good! I just think with the amount of hype this series has I went into it with very high expectations and I was slightly let down. I understand this is the very beginning of the series and everything has to be set up for later books, but parts of this book were so cringy to me.
Lets start with the fact that this book was published, oh my word, ELEVEN years ago. Guys I was in 10th grade high school when this book was released. Maybe if I had read it then I would have given it a higher rating, but I’m over the petty drama of 16 year olds ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”
I will say, this book surprised me. Having heard so much about this series I actually went into it knowing very little about the actual plot. Fifteen year old Clary stumbles across three teenagers covered in strange tattoos that just committed the murder of a demon in a back room of the local night club. Not your normal night huh? When Clary is attacked by another demon and her mother disappears she is thrown into the world of these ‘Shadowhunters’, warriors that help rid the Earth of demons. Clary begins to learn the ways of the Shadowhunters while trying to find her mother and uncover the truth of deep secrets that don’t want to see the light of day.
One of the Shadowhunters, Jace, is my absolute favorite. Can I have just a book about him? Clary, the main character, is okay at the best of times but her character arc just feels fairly flat to me compared to the magnificence that is Jace. He is witty, sassy, sarcastic, and clearly trying to cover up parts of his life that he never shows to anyone and I love him all the more for it.
“Is this the part where you start tearing off strips of your shirt to bind my wounds?”
“If you wanted me to rip my clothes off, you should have just asked.”
Okay lets get into some spoiler-y stuff, but is it really still a spoiler when this book has been out over a decade?
First, I have heard through the grapevine that a lot of people disliked this story because towards the end of the book we find out that Jace and Clary are actually brother and sister. Which is all fine and dandy until you remember that they kind of love each other and have made out several times. So I get where people are coming from, because incest and that’s not cool. Not to excuse it but I’m looking at it from the standpoint of this book was written over a decade ago when people were less sensitive toward others and that it was honestly a good plot point. You know why I think that? Because you don’t see it coming. It causes such a stir that people talk about it, which promotes the book, which gets people to read it and now it has a cult following.
Second, one thing that bothered me about the ending of this book is there is something I cannot figure out. We are told that Valentine is supposedly Clary and Jace’s father, which I still don’t believe. But, how did Jace not know Valentine was his father? We are told that Jace witnessed his ‘father’ Michael being murdered right in front of him, so in my mind he should have specific memories of this Michael guy right? But Michael was actually Valentine? And if that is the case then why does Jace not recognize Valentine and/or remember who he is? I feel as if I missed something vital here and that’s why I don’t understand.
The plot was good, from what I hear it was very original when it was published and I appreciate that. I’m all for a book about demons, werewolves, vampires, and faeries. The pacing was very well done, I never felt bored or like there was lulls in the story between action scenes. As I’m writing this I’m almost halfway through the second book and like this one I already have some feelings on it so expect another long review!