the mortal instruments 4 & 5; a review

 

The City of Fallen Angels

The City of Fallen Angels, By Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls, By Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls, By Cassandra Clare

Books 16/50 & 17/50

The Mortal Instruments series follows a teenage mundane (a human with no magical powers) named Clary Fray living in New York City. The first novel begins with a bang, as Clary and her best friend Simon stumble into a night club where a murder takes place. Clary witnesses the entire execution, but to her disbelief, no one else saw it happen. In fact, no one believes her. Clary soon finds out that the world in which she lives is full of fantastical monsters and myths that she’d never dreamed existed. She meets the guy of her dreams and learns about her past in the first novel, and the fast-paced, Y/A demographic writing leaves readers on the edge of their seats. The series continues with its action-packed story lines, trailing the adventures of Clary and friends as she discovers the truth about herself in this new, frightening world.

***

I read the first three The Mortal Instruments books last summer in the time span of a week. I stayed up late on work nights to read the Y/A novels, cover to cover. When asked what it was about the stories that kept me from putting them down, I had to stop and think about it. The writing isn’t literary by any means, and the story is made up of many fantastical creatures that I’ve read about for years and years, yet there was just something about these books. Maybe it’s my undeniable love of teenage love and angst that keeps me hooked, or maybe it’s my inescapable draw to dystopian, fantastical worlds. Whatever it is, I know one thing: the characters stay with me long after I put each book in the series down.

But the novels didn’t stop after three. Cassandra Clare originally wrote the books as a trilogy, but then decided to write three more. The sixth and final instalment in the series comes out at the end of May (twenty eight days to be exact). So I told myself (well, more like I harshly warned myself, knowing the repercussions of my obsessive personality), that I wouldn’t be reading books four and five until this year…and here I am. I read The Mortal Instruments book four (The City of Fallen Angels) and book five (City of Lost Souls) in a quick four days and I find myself awaiting the final book in the series with bated breath.

So, if you have never heard of this series, try it out. It isn’t a hidden gem by any means. With over 30 million copies of Clare’s work in print worldwide, The Mortal Instruments has also inspired a major motion picture based on the first novel City of Bones (see the trailer here), and a sequel is currently in preproduction. While the City of Bones film was said to have been targeted to a younger demo and was considered relatively unsuccessful, hopefully the production team will learn from their mistakes and tackle the next one beautifully. After all, when books come to life so vividly in millions of fans heads, shouldn’t it be easier to translate onto the big screen? I guess that’s the million dollar question.

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