I was very excited to read this series of books by Cassandra Clare because I knew of her before she was ever published. Back in the day she wrote Harry Potter fan fiction back on Schnoogle.com. I had nothing better to do in high school so I read about every piece of fan fiction was written between the release of Harry Potter book 3 and book 4. Cassandra Clare’s story was my favorite out of all other fan fictions.
When I heard she had her own series published, I was very excited. As soon as a heard about it I purchased the first book.
Author: Cassandra Clare
Year Published: 2008
Genre: Modern action fantasy
Morality Rating: PG
Readability Rating: 3 stars
In this series, seemingly ordinary 15 year-old Clary finds out she can see things that no one else can. It turns out, she is of the hidden and mysterious race of Shadowhunters, destined to find off evil in the world. Through it all, she learns about love, adventure, heartache, and growing up.
After reading the series I was a little disappointed with the results. The characters seemed shallow and the plot was vague. The elements of firm character development and detailed descriptions and story lines that were present in her fan fiction were notably absent in her published series.
Plot: I thought the plot was OK. Somewhat predictable, but what can you expect from a YA fantasy novel?
Characters: I haven’t read the last book in the series, so I’m not sure, but the characters seemed under-developed in the first 3 books. I thought she tried to infuse too much drama into the series too quickly.
Setting: I liked the setting. It was one of my favorite parts about the entire series. I liked the contrast between the normal world and the hidden Shadowhunter world.
Writing Style: As I mentioned before, I thought the book seemed rushed. However, the characters were funny enough, and I generally enjoyed the writing.
I wonder who was responsible for the difference in the style between her fan fiction and her published work. I wonder if it was the editor who cut out the descriptions, or if Clare was trying to keep her story under a certain number of pages, or if there was some other reason for the change. Whatever the reason, the story is hollow without any firm characters. However, despite the shallow writing style, the series still manages to be somewhat entertaining and fun. Perhaps I am just a little too old to enjoy stories about fifteen year old girls anymore.
I have confidence in Cassandra Clare as a writer. I believe that over time she will create a story that has firm characters and a strong plot line. I look forward to reading all of her future works.