Originally posted here: [...]
I am a HUGE fan of The Mortal Instrument saga, created by that genius called Cassadra Clare, so I just couldn't resist this collection of essays written by different authors. I admit I was a little bit afraid; see, I'm not such an essay-lover and plus, I've heard people complaining about the fact that we are getting too much on TMI. I wasn't sure this book was for me. But I'm glad I read them: there is no such thing as too much TMI.
I always like being wrong about books. This collection is really good, with tons of insights about characters, setting and issues that are approached in the five books. Every author takes a unique approach towards an issue and analyzes it from different points of view and in the context of the novel.
I'd love to quote each and every essay but alas, I'll end up boring you to death, especially if you haven't read the series. I'll just try to give you a quick idea.
The first essay deals with New York and the hidden side of the city, a thing we clearly see in TMI. I loved how the central theme of the uncanny was explored. I found very interesting the essay on Clary, seen as a 'normal' heroine who loves art and uses it as a weapon and the one on Jace as a sarcastic hero. My favourite is without any doubt the one on Clary; it perfectly expresses how I feel about her: she's a girl like me, like every other girl, she's not a warrior or a trained fighter, but thanks to her art and her love she is as strong and as any other Shadowhunter, even if they don't recognize it. A great message.
The other essays deal with many issues that fans of TMI will immediately recognize: why the bestfriend never gets the girl of his dreams (sorry, Simon), a critical analysis of Simon's religion and even an essay on incest and taboo and on tattoos/runes. There are essays more readable than others, some are quite complex, but they all give us another way to look at our favorite characters. Also, I like many of the writers involved in this collection and their style clearly show in the essays, too.
Special mention to Sarah Rees Brennan's essay: sit down and get ready to laugh because it's HILARIOUS and freaking awesome.
I can honestly say that these essays were a great way to dig into this saga and have another point of view on many issues. I appreciate it even more the complexity and the different layers that the author has created. This is a book only for hardcore fans of the saga and for those who like to see what's hidden behind a story.
My favourite quote:
You are never alone. You are surrounded by disembodied voices and whispers, many of them speaking in languages you can't identify with certainty. Familiar, but unknown.
Not every girl can be Isabelle Lightwood or Katniss Everdeen. I think the true measure of a hero is what a person does with what they have, how hard they're willing to fight, and how far they are willing to go to set things right.
Clary is what I think a lot of us hope we could be, if we found ourselves in her situation: someone who becomes a hero out of necessity, who is not on an even playing field with the rest of the players - but who, out of sheer determination, finds a way to turn her natural talents into a tools of her survival.