Thursday, February 7, 2013

Review: Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader

  • Publisher: SmartPop Books
  • Publication date: 1/29/2013
  • Series: Mortal Instruments Series 
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository 

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

My Thoughts

I'm not really sure how to review a book like this. I honestly never even thought I would ever be interested in reading a book filled with essay type entries, but I am a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments series and was interested to see what authors had to say about certain characters or events. I was pleasantly surprised by how this kept my attention and gave me some new insight into some of the characters that I wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

One pieces I really enjoyed were Sarah Cross's piece about Clary and how her art makes her who she is. She didn't really have to change herself to be a shadowhunter since her greatest weapon is something that she has had all along. Everything about her world has changed, except for that, and it saves them time and time again. That is her strength. I loved how Sarah Cross explained it and went into detail about how it really shapes Clary in this new to her world. She doesn't have to be a strong and tough herione physically, her power is very much inside of her and it's not something that they can train her in. 

Diana Peterfrund wrote a fabulous piece about Jace and how he turns to humor as a weapon. How he will constantly throw his enemies off with his wit and sarcasm. He is no doubt a strong and experienced shadowhunter, but his greatest weapon not only in battle but in life, is his sense of humor. It is his wall to hide behind and also something that can be so infuriating to others that it distracts them from the situation at hand. As we go through the series and he changes you see the fluctuation in his humor and at times it is just gone, and that is when you know he has hit bottom and needs help. This was a great piece and I loved how Diana really made us see the difference in Jace and his defining weapon through the series.

I could talk about all of the essays, but I won't. I will let you know what other ones were among my favorites, though all of them were great!! I really like Michelle Hodkin's essay about Simon and how his Jewish background and being a Vampire affect him. Kami Garcia wrote a fabulous one about how the best friend never gets the girl, with some great references to awesome 80's movies! Kendare Blake talks about the incest topic and how it is and isn't. Rachel Caine goes into tattoos and how different cultures use them and about the runes used in this series. And I loved Sara Ryan's piece about Malec!! And my last favorite is Holly Black and Kelly Link discussing immortality. I loved reading that one. It was so fun!

If you are a fan of this series you should pick this up. The beauty of it is, since it's essays about different topics that the series touches on, you can page through and read one that you are in the mood for. They were so well written and dissected each topic they talked about so well, I think I could go back and read them over and over again and still get something new out of them. A must have in your collection if you are a TMI fan!!


  1. Great review Amy! I really enjoy reading these types of books but I always struggle with how to review them. I loved this one though because I'm a big TMI fan. I definitely agree that Sarah Cross' essay was one of my favorites.

    1. This was hard to review. I really had no clue how to do it lol!! I just went for it and hope it gives people an idea of what the book is about.

  2. Someday I hope to get to Cassandra Clare's books. They look so good. Nice review hun.

  3. I just finished this book, but I didn't read it cover to cover, I actually read the first few pages of each and then if they were good, I continued. My favs was Kami's and her reference to John Hughes films and Rachel Cain's was really good too. Oh, and Holly's was fun I loved the back and forth between her and Kelly!

  4. I have this one to read and I'll admit that I've kinda put it off. I'm glad to hear you liked it. Moving it up the list.

  5. I'm a huge fan of TMI, but I was t sure I wanted to read other author's take on the series. I don't know that I would make this a priority read, but I might give it a shot. Thanks!

  6. Wow, I didn't realize so many famous names wrote essays for this book. I definitely can't wait to check it out. Great review hun!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  7. Oh I guess I didn't realize what this was exactly or something. But you make it sound much more interesting! I'll have to keep my eye out for it to add to my shelf.

  8. As much as I love the series, I don't think I will be reading this.


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