Review: The Mortal Instruments – City of Bones Movie

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It’s been a while since I wrote anything after trying to do a (unfinished) recap of a movie that I sent a friend. I haven’t forgiven myself for not finishing that recap, but it wouldn’t be fair if I missed writing this review.

First things first. The Cast. Is. Perfect. Everybody did a great job.  Jaime Bower is Jace, whether it is on or off camera. Cassie (Cassandra Clare) even said so herself. Lily Collins made Clary look better. As I have stated before, I am not such a big fan of Clary’s character but Lily made her look stronger, braver and less whiny so that is a big plus in my book. Kevin Zeger (Alec Lightwood) , Jemima West (Isabelle Lightwood), Robert Sheehan (Simon Lewis), Aidan Turner (Luke Garroway/ Lucian Graymark), Jonathan Rhys Meyes (Valentine Morgenstern)  and Godfrey Gao (Magnus Bane) completes the rest of the cast perfectly. I couldn’t and wouldn’t imagine replacing anyone of them. Godfrey should have been given more airtime though. How they managed to cast such beautiful people all in one movie didn’t hurt one bit.

Second; the pacing. Yes, it was a bit fast on the first part of the movie but I have no complaints there. I did find myself saying “Wow. That was fast!” during the first part of the movie but I was able to shrug it off and just enjoyed the movie. I think the way they paced the first part of the movie was necessary to give way for the more important details towards the end.

There were changes in the movie as expected like who killed the demon who attacked Clary’s mom. Why? Well, Clary killing the demon in the book was the ONLY thing she has done aside from whine and blame everybody around her and be basically what Alec said: dead weight. I think Lily deserves an award for making Clary actually bearable if not likable. What I wished they haven’t changed is Simon should have turned into a rat.  Yes he was bitten but was not turned into a vampire (yet). I don’t know how they would explain that in the next movie but I’m hoping it does get explained well. Rants and negative reviews on this part, I do get. I did wish they didn’t show that Simon will eventually turn into a vampire this early. That should have come later.

But I love that my favorite lines from the book was included in the movie which all came from Simon.

The latter part of the movie was a whirlwind for me (given that I have read the book). Maybe it was because it has been a while since I have read the book and couldn’t remember much but I think some scenes were incorporated in the movie that should have happened in the next part of the series. Then I remembered watching an interview with Lily where she admits that there were scenes that were incorporated in the movie to make it work and I agree on some points. Clary’s ability should have been revealed in the next installment but it worked fine for me. At least it showed why Clary was an important part of the story. And what she is really capable of. When I was reading the books I couldn’t help thinking why Clary was important in the series aside from the fact that Jace needs a girlfriend to keep it interesting. Clary drawing new runes this early was a big improvement for me.

Revealing some details from City of Ashes and City of Glass did get a lot of negative reactions from the fans (simply because it was NOT a part of the City of Bones book and it ruined it for them) but I do get where the director is coming from and why he decided to show some parts of the next books in the first movie. Imagine the movie NOT giving a hint that Clary and Jace were NOT siblings. It will totally ruin the series for non-readers. I know this because I almost stopped reading the series if I weren’t able to ignore that uncomfortable detail. As I have stated previously, Alec, Magnus, Simon, Isabelle, and Luke helped me through until I reached the third book and being able to  confirm that fact that they were really not related. It was a bit dragging for me while reading and was glad that hints were dropped this early in the series.

What made the movie confusing for non-readers was not being able to explain some things like how the silent brothers were able to speak with their mouths sewn shut among other things.

My advice: Go watch the movie and if you haven’t read the book, read it AFTER watching the movie to help you through some questions you might have. It will definitely  be easier that way. Cassie created a wonderful world for us and it would be a waste not to give it a shot. The movie wasn’t perfect and as loyal to the book as the fans would wish but it was a good one. It made one bitter medicine (aka incest) go down smoother. Please don’t let the negative reviews stop you from entering the amazing world of Shadowhunters.

Cassie is a great writer and has earned my love, trust and respect for being brave enough to confront issues that may raise a lot of eyebrows. I would classify her style as an acquired taste. A style I definitely “get” and love.

Review: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

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I waited for the series to be finished simply because I am just bad at waiting and chances are I would have forgotten what I have read when the next book comes out. So instead of the individual books, I’d like to focus more on the three main characters as I see and understand them them and some concepts that became much more clearer to me in this series than The Mortal Instruments.

Will Herondale. The startling resemblance to Jace Wayland/Herondale’s character is not very hard to notice (plus Alec Lightwood’s good looks). The good guy pretending so hard to be the bad one not to look cool but to protect the ones he love. I never liked these type of character before because I find them so hard to sympathize with. These characters could be frustrating at best that I start to root for other characters in the story. But not Will. With Clare’s magic at creating very real characters that it’s so easy to believe and understand him that you wanted to hug him tight until the bad dreams go away. He was described as noble and a complete gentleman. Again, Will being noble and holding his feelings back to make others happy would not have the same effect if it weren’t for the situation he, Jem and Tessa were in.

James “Jem”  Carstairs. A sick and dying drug addict who is also Will’s parabatai (more in this later). Yes, he is dying and I have accepted then that this sweet boy will make me cry for so many reasons and I was right. It was very difficult for me to read the several parts of the series because the tears wouldn’t stop falling. Anyway, given the situation he was in, I never looked at him as weak and incapable of protecting the people he loves. Neither did I think that Will or Tessa or anyone around him loved him out of pity. Between Will and Jem, Jem is so much easier to love since the other one kept pushing people away while Jem welcomes everything with a bright attitude. If I ever felt pity for anyone, it wasn’t for Jem. My heart went out to Will and Tessa, seeing how much they both love Jem and is willing to do anything (like reaching into the fire for the much valued drug making him live or voluntarily giving yourself up to the enemy to save his life). Only during rare moments did we see him sulk and wish to have a longer life, but that didn’t last long. On the moments that count, he was the smart one making sound decisions and accepting his faith as a given not because he has lost hope, rather, he reminded me how precious each moment in life is. When he was twelve, he was told he’d live for only a year if he’s lucky but as things turned out, he lived longer than that and that much was enough for him. Well, until Tessa came into his life…

Tessa Gray. A girl who had exceptional talent in shape-shifting because of the blood that runs in her veins. Because of her talent, she is wanted by the enemy to make the Nephilim disappear. Like Clary, I didn’t feel much for her but I were to chose, I’d choose Tessa over Clary any day just because she could kick ass better than Clary. What’s interesting for me is her love for Jem AND Will. Even before I read Clare’s post on why or how come one person could have more than one great love, Tessa never appeared like a bitch to me even if she claimed to love both boys equally. For some weird reason, Clare convinced me it was possible though no other story I have read, watched or heard was able to do otherwise. I understood how much she loved both. I didn’t join Team Will or Team Jem, as I would have done in any other books with love triangles involved. I was pretty much contented with the way things turned out in the end. I believe Tessa is one lucky girl to have found two great loves, though I believe she’d have more loves and heartbreaks, like Magnus Bane, being immortal and all…

The concept of Parabatai. An oath taken by two Shadowhunter warriors, binding them to each other as blood brothers and promising to protect each other. That didn’t mean much to me while I was reading The Mortal Instruments. During that time, it was a given for me to protect your blood brother during any situation, putting the your parabatai‘s welfare before yours. An old concept given a new name. That was it. But in The Infernal Devices, I have learned that there is no greater love than the one your parabatai gives you. It will be difficult to understand how three people could love each other equally. The love Will and Jem will never be matched “because he loved him as his soul”. Watching two boys who are both willing to give up anything for each other could be very very very heartbreaking. I couldn’t help thinking how these boys loved each other so much and not fall in love with each other. Haha. No wonder there are alot of fanarts going around, even on Clare’s tumblr (scan Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs tags and you should see more fanarts).  Even the parabatai oath sounded like wedding vows to me, though I know that having a relationship with your parabatai is forbidden, still…

The ending of the series was very reassuring for me. I had high hopes for The Mortal Instruments last installment and the start of the third series, The Dark Artifices and, of course, The Bane Chronicles.

As another fan of the series put it, “The Infernal Devices is not about ‘who’ to love, it is about  deciding ‘to love’.” And that pretty much tells it all.

Mortal Instruments Book Five: City of Lost Souls

I finally finished reading the 5th book of the series. I have done a short review of the previous books here.

As you may already know, I am not a huge fan of the main couple of the series. I like Jace, I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s just… Clary. I have nothing against her but I think she is forgettable. Not someone you’d love or hate. While reading the parts when it was about her and Jace, It gets a little plain for me. I would stop and forget about her the minute I put my phone down (reading ebooks on my phone).

This book made it a bit hard to read. I literally needed to stop for a few minutes and compose myself (and not cry) before continuing to read. Good ting I read the last part of the book at home because I couldn’t help but cry at the break up of my favorite couple. Yes, I did cry reading a book before but this one is different. I didn’t cry as hard, but I felt the pain. It was the kind of pain wherein you understand the reasons behind the actions. I was whispering “Please… come back… change your mind… Don’t do this to him and yourself.” over and over again even though I know chances of that happening was slim (at least on this part of the story). My tears were not because of pity or frustration, but just pain.

The end was another cliff hanger but I wasn’t able to completely get over the break up that I wasn’t as excited to read the next book as I was during the last part of City of Fallen Angels.

Clare, you have more  than a year to fix this break up. If there was any love in this series it was because of this couple. I’m hoping begging you to make them get over this and get back together. There were moments when you made me go “Oh no, you didn’t!” or “That was just a cruel joke. ” But this break up hurts so bad. I seriously could not image any continuation of this series without them. Please, not them… Do anything you like and I promise not to complain. Just not this. Not them. Please. Please… PLEASE… *sniff sniff*

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments Series

I just finished reading the fourth book of the series Mortal Instruments. And before I started writing a review, I found out it will be released as a movie August next year, which is not really surprising since that seems to be the trend these days.

I bought these series last year but I never got around to actually reading it, until a few weeks ago and I was glad I did. So here goes my take on the series that started to grow on me (don’t worry, no spoilers here).

Book One: City of Bones

The book was okay. Nothing particularly new to me. Clare was good in creating pretty interesting characters but there was a twist towards the end that I wasn’t particularly fond of. It just wasn’t my thing and it took me a few days before I convinced myself to open the second book, hoping it was just like Twilight wherein I liked the second book than the first, and I was right.

Like Twilight, the first book didn’t do much for me but I was intrigued by the individuality of rest of the characters, and not really the love story of the main couple. I wanted to see how Alec would get over his issues. What would make the perfect Isabelle loose her composure? How far Simon would go for the person he loves even though she doesn’t really need his protection? The humor Magnus Bane injects in the serious cast. Lastly, Luke who has provided protection and radiates wisdom with his every move.

These interesting characters and the promise that Jace and Clary might not be who they think they are made me open the second book:

Book Two: City of Ashes

And the war with Valentine begins. Jace struggles with himself as he faces the man who raced him to be the warrior that he is.

Things are starting to heat up as more of Jace’s past has been revealed, and questions were answered.I enjoyed this book more than the first one but there was still something missing for me. I guess there were a little too much secrets hidden with Jace’s past that I didn’t think were necessary for the story to work, but hey, that’s just me.

I know it was just me, but even though the twist in the first book was hinted to be untrue, I still had a hard time getting over it. So I started rooting for another couple that I am loving with every page I read. Their few and short moments made the book worth reading. Plus, I love the way Simon handled himself throughout the book.

Looks like Clare takes her time, I’m thinking it may start a little slow for my taste but I must admit, Mortal Instruments is starting to grow on me. But I’m not getting my hopes very high up just yet.

Book Three: City of Glass

The war against Valentine all out in the open, this book has more action the the first two books and if the first book didn’t really get me hooked, this definitely did it! With death lurking in the corner, people started being honest with their feelings.

Questions were answered and even more secrets were revealed. To be honest, the first two books were all a blur to me and could be compressed into one instead. But this book is still clear as glass in my memory and I wouldn’t dare change a single word from it. The kick I was looking for finally came through. Heart clenching and I almost cried at some parts. Almost.

Clare, we are finally getting somewhere after the long wait. The first two were a fun ride, but this one? This is it!

Book Four: City of Fallen Angels

Actually, I was surprised to know that the Mortal Instruments wasn’t a trilogy and, in fact, has six books. I was pretty satisfied with the way the third book ended, but I was more than glad that I would be spending more time with Magnus and Alec and Simon. The end was a cliff hanger but a good one.

Dear Clare, we have come a long way and I was glad I bought your books that year. I am so sorry I waited this long before actually reading them. But we’re here now. There’s no going back.

Now I can’t wait to get my hands on:

Book Five: City of Lost Souls

This was released last May in the US but I still haven’t seen this book at any of our stores yet, I can’t wait to get a copy.

I found an ebook off the net. A separate review here.

Book Six: City of Heavenly Fire

Scheduled for released on March 2014.

Wow. That is a pretty long wait there, Clare. But that’s fine. take all the time you need. I know you like to keep up the suspense and leave us wanting more, end this series with a bang, but a good one I hope. I have had disappointing endings with a number of series I have read. I sincerely hope this series isn’t one of those. I would really hate to see a rushed ending. Go for it!

I guess I need to read the prequel of Mortal Instruments – Inferal Devices while while waiting….