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Shadowhunters and Downworlders

Official Stuff –

Author – Edited by Cassandra Clare. Various authors.

Pages – 256

Publisher – Smart Pop

Expected Release Date – January 29th, 2013

Summary –

Join Cassandra Clare and a Circle of more than a dozen top YA writers, including New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Rachel Caine, and Kami Garcia, as they write about the Mortal Instruments series, its characters, and its world.

Inside you’ll read:

A cinematic tutorial on why the best friend (Simon) always loses out to the bad boy (Jace)
The benefits (no, really!) of incest . . . at least in literature
What we can read between the lines of Alec and Magnus’ European vacation
The importance of friendship, art, humor, and rebellion
And more, from the virtues of Downworlders to the naughty side of Shadowhunting

My Rating – 3 Stars

*I received a digital ARC of this novel from Netgalley on behalf of Smart Pop*

Okay, hmmm. Where to start. When I requested this ARC, actually when I first heard about it, I wasn’t quite sure what it was. A reader involving various authors. I knew there was a reader for Hunger Games but I never read it. So I decided what the hell, I’ll try it.
And well…I’m not sure what to review or really how to review this. If you are unclear what a reader is; it’s basically authors analyzing a book and explaining the hows and whys and getting all philosophical about fictional characters. But here’s the thing, I hate analyzing books. Especially fiction. I feel like tearing apart a character or a plot down to the bare bones ruins part of the magic. It is a possibility that maybe I am totally the wrong person to review this book because I am a bit biased against analyzing fictional stories but I’m going to try to be fair.

The essays (by authors like Holly Black, Kami Garcia, and Rachael Caine) go beneath the surface of the Mortal Instruments series. They analyze why NYC is such a great backdrop for a story like this. Why Simon will never get the girl (he suffers from the “Duckie Effect”. That reference alone brought up my rating of this book.), why Simon’s Judaism is crucial to his life as a vampire, why Jace’s snark is a weapon and a window into his emotions, why Clave law is LAW and important, etc. There is also an essay on the importance of LGBT characters, the history of tattoos, and why incest is such a good plot twist.

The essays can be clever and full of pop culture references, and a bit snarky and that is what kept me trying to read but honestly about 100 pages in, I was bored and I skimmed the rest of the book. Let’s just say Freud and teenage demon hunters don’t really belong together. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mortal Instruments and Cassie but let’s be real, the series has its flaws; accept it as a fun story. Using Freud quotes to explain its deeper meaning is pretentious as hell.

My final thoughts, if you are into reader type books, and looking in to the deeper meaning of fictional stories and its characters then this book is definitely for you. Seriously, I think you’ll love it. However if you don’t dig that type of thing, then you will probably be just as bored as I was.

Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader