I am not a happy camper right now. I’m going to write about Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, and I’m warning you: spoilers will be abundant. As well as the special kind of rage I save for when a book or book series doesn’t end the way I want it to. Which is basically the only type of rage I’m capable of feeling, I really don’t get angry. But that isn’t relevant.
Before I get in to my feelings towards The Mortal Instruments, I’d just like to quickly to express my anger that The Book Thief movie is out in theatres everywhere, except my city apparently. Infuriating. If anyone has seen it, is also dealing with not being able to see it, or knows where I can see it, let me know!
Alright, The Mortal Instruments. I read these books based on a recommendation from my sister. Knowing she has pretty great taste in books (she gets it from me) I decided to give them a go. After the first few chapters of City of Bones, I was hooked. Clary’s determination, compassion, her love for her family, for Simon, I loved everything about her. And poor Simon, the boy next door, love him as a brother best friend. My heart hurt for him; I’ve been there, bro. (If you’re wondering where the out of character bro came from, I’ve been spending a lot of time with the little sister today. She thinks she’s a thug, and says things like YOLO. Ironically, of course. (She’s also a bit of a hipster, and really likes flannel and my dad’s old shirts.))
Anyway, I was really invested in this series. And then it all came crashing down at the end. I mean, realistically the story could have been wrapped up quite nicely after the third book, but apparently Clare was offered more money to write more books, and she took it. Which really irritates me, because in my opinion, and in my sister’s opinion, the fourth and fifth books just weren’t worth reading. And yet, read them I did. It was a laborious task, and yet I was still invested somehow. I think we can all guess by now that by the end, I was seriously disappointed. There was no closure, no big ending (okay there kind of was, but it didn’t fix everything). Maybe it’s unreasonable to expect that by the end of a series that spanned five books, everything would work out nicely and all of the characters would be semi-happy and the bad guy(s) would be dead or jailed or otherwise incapacitated. Unreasonable or not, none of that happened. This is where the spoilers come in. I don’t want to incur the wrath of the internet, so bear with me while I deal with the nut bars for a second…
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Good. Okay so by the end, Jace has been separated from Sebastien, but his insides are being consumed by angel fire. Yes that’s right. There is a fire inside of him that makes his skin glow and burns the people he touches. WHAT?! You can not end a book like this. He and Clary can’t really touch each other and if they kiss she receives an electric shock. There needs to be some resolution to this.
Next we look at the relationship between Alec and Magnus. Magnus breaks up with Alec for looking in to making Magnus mortal. Understandable, your boyfriend tried to find a way for you to die. I get it. But then Alec goes to kill Camille the vampire, and instead finds crazy little Maureen the vampire, who has killed Camille. Now, I have this sneaking suspicion that Maureen is going to try to harm and/or kill Alec, but who knows? Clare cuts Alec’s story off at this point. I will never find out if he lives or dies, or if he gets back together with Magnus, or if his father and the Clave and the rest of the Shadowhunter society accept his gayness. Unacceptable.
Simon and Isabelle’s relationship is also left unresolved. They love each other, that much is clear. And Clary has told Isabelle that if she wants a relationship with Simon, she has to go to him. But that’s all we know and it’s making me crazy.
Jordan and Maia are good, so that’s fine. As well as Luke and Jocelyn. These two couples make me really happy, because both of their relationships are based on forgiveness and love that lasts through heartbreak and despair. Which is beautiful. I’d also like to mention Luke’s love for Clary, no matter her blood she is his daughter. I especially loved that one of his first concerns when he woke up after being stabbed by Sebastien was her. Even though he had almost died, and was pretty much incapable of getting out of bed, he was determined to save her. Even if it cost him his own life. A very common theme runs throughout this series, that family doesn’t have to be blood. That’s something I’ve embraced my whole life, so I really loved it’s presence in these books. As Magnus says at some point, “blood isn’t love.”
My remaining anger is being directed at Sebastien escaping. I don’t need him to die in the end, jail or massive injury would do just fine. As long as the plot line is wrapped up some how. Don’t just let him go, and then reveal that he’s left a message at the institute stating something along the lines of “I’ll be back”. The series is over, the story should be over too. Finished. Concluded. Closed. Completed. Finalized. Some other synonym for finished. I don’t want to close the book and not know if the characters I’ve come to love are safe and happy or if the villain got away. It’s like when a movie ends with a cliffhanger, and you know it’s been set up for a sequel. Except this series is supposed to be over, so I’ll never know.
I understand that there is something to be said for allowing the reader to imagine the ending they would like for the story, how they want the characters to live and who they want them to be with, etc. I’m not asking for a full biography, I don’t need to know how many kids Jordan and Maia have or if Alec and Magnus have an over the top wedding complete with purple and blue fireworks. I just want Sebastien to be stopped. And the relationships to be solidified. And all of the characters to be safe. That’s not too much to ask, right? …Don’t answer that.
Alright, let’s wrap this up. I enjoyed The Mortal Instruments. I didn’t love the series, it won’t be a favourite, but they are worth reading. The first three, at least. I did enjoy the new take on the Nephilim concept. If you’ve read Hush, Hush be Becca Fitzpatrick, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, go read it. And then the other books in the series, they’re great. Anyway, I’m going to go make some Rolo hot chocolate and steam over the ending of The Mortal Instruments (see what I did there? Steam? Like hot liquid? Never mind.) Till next time, keep reading and TTFN!