Title: Shadow Hunters and Downworlder: A Mortal Instruments Reader
Authors: Cassandra Clare, Kate Milford, Sarah Cross, Diana Peterfreund, Robin Wasserman, Michelle Hodkin, Kami Garcia, Kendare Blake, Gwenda Bond, Rachel Caine, Sarah Ryan, Scott Tracey, Kelly Link & Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan.
Published: January 29th 2013
By: BenBella books Inc.
Well here’s something a little bit different to the books that we normally review here on Midnight Reads. Anyone who follows my twitter page will know that I am a fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series although in fairness I would pick Infernal Devices if asked to choose one. To that end it would only be fair to warn readers at this point that anyone staking an interest in Jem would need to back off now. Seriously. He’s taken ladies. Move on.
Ahem...Anyhoo, I was utterly delighted to get my hands on a preview copy of the Mortal Instruments reader. This book has been edited by Cassandra Clare who provides a brief introduction to each chapter. Each chapter is written by one of the above authors and provides an amazingly in-depth insight into the world in which the Mortal Instruments is set as well as into the psyche of the major players.
There are some wonderfully detailed interpretations in here. Kate Milford opens the series of essays by taking us further into the unseen New York that exists in Jace and Clary’s world. Michelle Hodkin has provided an essay on Simon, both on terms of his Jewish ancestry and the new vampire world that he now resides in. This is no lightweight read and as Clare herself says, Hodkin has done her research, referring back to ancient Jewish law, the Torah and tales of blood libelling which took place in the 13th century. She relates these to the world that Simon exists in and offers an insight into how Simon has become the character that he is. Kami Garcia’s offering is more light-hearted. Garcia details how the best friend never gets the girl and provides evidence of such by comparing the characters in the Mortal Instruments series to those in the major films produced by John Hughes (e.g. Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles. Am a child of the eighties – these were my films!). Gwenda Bond talks about the friendships that are carried through the series and there are many many examples of those relationships that just make you squidge up a little inside. Another fab chapter discusses the runes that play such a central part in TMI. Rachel Caine offers the reader insight into the runes, the history of tattoos and body art across the globe and the relationship between the Shadowhunters and the runes they wear. Finally but by no means least there is a brilliant chapter on the force of nature that is Malec. Just brilliant and that’s all I’m saying!
There are many other amazing chapters in this book. I have just picked the ones that stood out for me specifically. As I said above, this is not a fluffy book. If offers an intricately detailed exploration into the people, the places, their relationships and the social and global politics behind all of those things. That in itself I think only goes to make the characters richer than they ever were. If you’re a fan of Clare’s work I think you’ll find this to be an excellent companion to the Mortal Instruments series.
4/5 Fab! I was great to read something that took characters I know and love to another level. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who loves TMI.