Vampires, Werewolves, and Hunters; Oh My!

Emily S.

Staff Writer

The Mortal Instruments series written by Cassandra Clare is a group of mystical and mysterious books that allows readers to connect with the main character, Clary Fray, and accompany her on the journey to becoming a shadow hunter and, more importantly, a journey in discovering who she really is. The books appear to be part of a genre already chewed over and spit out by adolescents for being predictable and over-worked; however, the mythical creatures and intense romance snag readers upon a second glance.

The books begin with Clary discovering she is a shadow hunter, a special species of human-like beings who are anatomically built to fight demons, and the story follows her through her life as a shadow hunter with her best friend, Simon, and later love interest, Jace.  Clary has many accomplices in becoming successful as a shadow hunter and as a person. This young adult science fiction novel puts a new unexpected spin on a story told one too many times.

Shadow hunters, wizards, demons, werewolves, and vampires are all present in Clare’s newest renditions of classic fantasy stories recreated throughout the centuries. By twisting a tale between fantasy and romance, Clare hMortal Instruments ES 2as created a breath-taking tale of triumphs and defeats. Clare also spins the fantasy element into an analogy for the relationship between everyday teenagers and their parents. The main character, Clary, battles with her evil dad, Valentine, several times throughout the Mortal Instruments series as Valentine tries to bring demons to the human world from the underworld in order to take over the shadow hunter world. The shadow hunter world is the community existing alongside humanity but remains unknown to the humans. Clare uses the struggle between shadow hunters and demons to symbolize teens’ everyday struggles with their parents, even incorporating the classic aspect of the dad keeping the daughter from being with her “true love,” as seen in Romeo and Juliet. However, in this series, it is done with a bit of a spin. Jace, Clary’s love interest, is later falsely advertised as her brother, making it impossible for the two to be together. Valentine also kills Jace later in the book series, only for Clary to bring him back to life and re-fall back in love with him. While these berserk experiences may make these books seem extraterrestrial, Clare makes it easy for teenagers to relate to the books and connect on a deeper level to the characters.

Why read a washed up romance, one might ask?  This novel offers an escape from everyday life and allows readers to read about real life issues on a larger, enhanced scale. “I love how the characters remind me of people I know; it really allows me to connect wMortal Instruments ESith them, and it makes me want to read the books more and more,” says sophomore Alyssa Hall. Clare creates characters, like Jace, Clary, and Simon, who are teenagers that go to high school and complete homework just like her readers. Jace is the supposed bad boy with a big heart, who is undeniably gorgeous. Clary is shy and awkward at first, as seen when she first starts getting close to Jace, just as many girls are when they start high school. Like other girls, she transforms into a beautiful, strong, and independent woman by the end of the fifth novel. Simon is everyone’s favorite video game super nerd, who just happens to be changed into a vampire as well. Simon is feeble and lacking bravery, but in more ways than one he transforms into an extremely heroic character. Also in the novels, Simon is in love with his best friend, Clary, who is crazy for Jace. This allows readers to connect on yet another level; honestly, what teenager has not been in love with his or her best friend at one point in time? This storyline contains all the cliché high school moments in one book series where high school is the least of their worries: the uber attractive boy, the nerd, the quiet girl, the popular girl, and the gay couple. It even has a couple adults who act as teachers, care givers, and parents to the variety of “students.”

A tale twisted into so many stories can only result in one astounding book series that allows for a sweet reprieve from everyday life for readers all around the world.  Cassandra Clare fashioned a series of novels that can attract boys and girls of all ages, also creating an ever-growing fan base already surpassing that of the Twilight Saga and possibly even The Hunger Games. Go out and grab the Mortal Instruments series before the first novel, City of Bones, hits the theaters on August 23rd, 2013!


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