Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Mortal Instruments Series


Every book has to have a setting, characters and plot... Sorry, but having a daughter in 7th grade doing book reports has to rub off on me a little... So let's start there.  Setting: New York.  Characters: Nephilium, Angels, vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and even the Fairy people (with a few "mundanes" thrown in here and there).  Plot: Shadowhunters/Nephium hunt demons and keep the peace between “Downworlders”, like vampires and werewolves, with lots and lots of battles thrown in (obviously I'm WAY over simplifying, but you get the idea).

So now that we've checked all the boxes let's get down to what this story is really about, shall we?  Love.  There may be all different kinds of creatures in this series, but the theme is love.  There is paternal love, sibling love, romantic love, but to this point (I have finished 2 books out of 6) none of them are happy.

At several points in book 1, City of Bones, it is mentioned that Jace's father (the evil villain, who is ironically named Valentine) taught him that love hurts... Not just you but the one you love as well (maybe his name is not as ironic as I first thought).  Every one of these pictures of love, is one of sadness... A parent who has lost their child, a child who realizes that their parent has been lying to them or doesn't have their best interest at heart, siblings who just can't seem to feel what they should for each other, and in all instances the romantic love is unrequited.  Sounds pretty sad, huh?  At this point, yes... But I believe there will redemption in the end.

See the question I believe the author is asking with these books is:  is it worth it?  Is love worth the hurt?  I think it's a question not for paranormal creatures but for people everywhere... If love hurts, is it worth it?   If people die, if they leave, if they just flat out don't love you back, then why love?

The author hasn't answered the question yet, but I think what's more important is that she brought the question to light.  It's a question that every person must at some point ask themselves and I think that the people who choose not love because it might hurt are, at heart, cowards.  That's why the question is posed not in the form of an introspective self-help-type book but in fiction, with the backdrop of danger and risk and excitement.  See if a heroine or hero in any story ran away from the battle scene we would all say they were a coward... But if they run away from the pain of heart break what do we say then?  I think that's why these books are so genius... They pose the same question I am posing here - who is the real coward?

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