The Mortal Instruments are surrounded by an incredible hype, almost equivalent to that of the Harry Potter books, or the Percy Jackson series. Unlike these books, however, Mortal Instruments failed to live up to the hype. Here’s why:
- Protagonist Problems:Clary, the main character, is apparently unable to stand the sight of a pretty girls. She gets jealous every time she sees Alec’s sister, Isabelle. At nearly every other page, Clary glowers at how impossibly stunning Isabelle is. Take for example, her first thought after being woken up by Isabella In City of Bones:“She looked like a moon goddess. Clary hated her.”
This sentiment is repeated a minimum of twenty times throughout the book, and a minimum of fifty throughout the series. While no one can blame Clary for noticing Isabelle’s reportedly remarkable beauty, it is irritating to see her constantly measure herself up against Isabella. The amount of emphasis she puts on physical appearance is disturbing to say the least. She repeats it so many times though, that one begins to feel vaguely violent towards her.
Clary is also more or less useless in fights, even halfway through the series. Just thought I’d put that in there.
- Pretty Boy/Girl Problems:Spoiler (NOT): They’re all gorgeous. And none of them can seem to get over it.“They are pretty to look at”, said Jace, hopping back on the pavement. “You have to admit that.” “So am I,” said Isabelle, who didn’t look inclined to admit anything.
This sort of thing as an occasional, tongue-in-cheek remark would be cute, but it is anything but occasional:
“Your boyfriend’s crazy,” he (Jordan) said to Clary.
“Yeah, but he’s hot,” said Clary.
-City of Heavenly Fire
“It means ‘Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234’.” -Jace, City of Bones
“One of the Silent Brothers is here to see you. Hodge sent me to wake you up. Actually he offered to wake you himself, but since it’s 5 a.m., I figured you’d be less cranky if you had something nice to look at.”
-Jace, City of Bones.
(Yawns discreetly). There really are too many to list them all. Main characters who are shallow, two-dimensional, and conceited really gets rather boring.
- The Most Irritating Cliches Ever:#1: Clary, just like every girl in every romantic comedy ever, is stunningly beautiful but doesn’t know it. Really? Does the mirror on the wall lie to you, Clary?#2: Again, just like a typical romcom movie, she is really insecure, despite being really beautiful, so the perfect-looking guy has to tell her she has nothing to be insecure about.
“But she’s so beautiful.” (Clary)
“So are you,” said Jace, “and very different from how she is, and she can’t help but notice that. She’s always wanted to be small and delicate, you know. She hates being taller than most boys.”
#3: Nice guys finish last. Every. Single. Time. “The answer was as simple as it was awful: She had forgotten about Simon completely.”
- Really Strong Foreshadowing:Right from the start, it’s painfully obvious that Simon has fallen for Clary, but Clary only realises it halfway through the book. So you pretty much have to sit through very obvious instances of Simon trying to “tell her something” (gee, I wonder what?) and Jace smirking knowingly as Clary remains oblivious.
- Two-dimensional Characters:Jace, especially, was pretty much a cardboard cutout. And he says some pretty stupid things. Like this:“I don’t want to be a man,” said Jace. “I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.”
“Well,” said Luke, “you’re doing a fantastic job.”
Way to point out a cliché and then incorporate it into the story. Oh, the irony.
This is one of those books that can go pretty much either way. The bad outweighed the good and I quit.
Image Source: indulgy.com