Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader

Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader

3.9 36
by Cassandra Clare

View All Available Formats & Editions

Explore the world of the Mortal Instruments with Cassandra Clare and more

Join Cassandra Clare and a Circle of more than a dozen top YA writers, including New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Rachel Caine, and Kami Garcia, as they write about the Mortal Instruments series, its characters, and its world.

Inside you’ll

…  See more details below


Explore the world of the Mortal Instruments with Cassandra Clare and more

Join Cassandra Clare and a Circle of more than a dozen top YA writers, including New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Rachel Caine, and Kami Garcia, as they write about the Mortal Instruments series, its characters, and its world.

Inside you’ll read:

• A cinematic tutorial on why the best friend (Simon) always loses out to the bad boy (Jace)
• The unexpected benefits of the incest taboo
• What we can read between the lines of Alec and Magnus’ European vacation
• The importance of friendship, art, humor, and rebellion
• And more, from the virtues of Downworlders to the naughty side of Shadowhunting

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A selection of essays about the Mortal Instruments series edited by the series' author offers a couple of gems and a lot that's not. Amid the mostly shallow veneration, a few entries stand out. Kate Milford's "Unhomely Places" is not so much about the Mortal Instruments series as it is a love song to New York as seen through the uncanny lens of the books. Michelle Hodkin, in "Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero," examines both the parallels and the contradictions of Judaism and vampirism, closely reading Simon to see the heroism in his complex combination of the two. Other essays miss the mark. Kami Garcia's "Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl," for example, uses John Hughes movies to explain why Simon would never date Clary; are there no recent appropriate cultural touchstones? Multiple entries heap praise upon the series for its incorporation of queer relationships and mixed-race characters, though none of those essays point out that these queer and mixed-race characters are never the protagonists. Most of the entries focus on the series' romantic aspects: incestuous tensions, one-sided crushes, brotherly love. Textual analysis sits side by side with "Malec" as a portmanteau describing the Magnus/Alec relationship, "OTP" to refer to the idea of a fan's one true pairing and Facebook relationship statuses to explain character interactions. Self-serving, but enjoyable for committed fans. (Nonfiction 15-18)

Product Details

BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Mortal Instruments Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog I would recommend this reader to fans who want to see The Mortal Instruments in a different light. There are quite a few in-depth explorations that are interesting and make for a nice read. ~ Under the Covers I would consider myself a pretty big Mortal Instruments fan. I used to read a lot of YA before submerging myself into the Romance genre, but TMI still remains as one of my favorite YA series. It’s very well-written, very well-executed and has very lovable characters. Naturally, when I saw this reader, I wanted a little bit more of this awesome world. But it actually turned out to be much different than I initially anticipated. This book is a compilation of various essays by some amazing authors such as Holly Black, Sarah Rees Breenan, Rachel Caine, Kami Garcia and more. I’ve also read and loved these authors too so I figured this would be right up my alley. The major thing here is just my expectations going into this book and what how it differed from what this book really is. As I said earlier, it’s a bunch of essays that various authors have written about Clare’s world. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this. It was enjoyable, but unless you’re a major fan who would like to see the world in a different light, through the lens of other authors and what the series means to them, then this might interest you. However, if you are expecting an insider’s guide so to speak, than this isn’t exactly it. That being said, after my initial confusion, I found myself liking a lot of the essays. There’s also a nice introduction by Cassandra Clare herself as she talks about the genesis of the series. I would recommend this reader to fans who want to see The Mortal Instruments in a different light. There are quite a few in-depth explorations that are interesting and make for a nice read. But do keep in mind that this isn’t like reading other authors writing blog posts on another author’s work. These are critical essays, not merely casual observations and raving about how awesome the series/author is. *ARC provided by Netgalley
Grapeapril75 More than 1 year ago
 I went into this book not sure what to expect. In my mind I thought it might be like fan-fiction  which I hate. But I like many of the authors who contributed and thought "It can't be that bad". And I was right!! First it is not fan-fiction  It is a series of essays written by different popular YA authors about elements of the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices. It is rather like having a discussion with my teens who read the series. Well, better because these authors bring up interesting and valid points my teens never thought of! I love talking books and this is very much like a great conversation with somebody who really knows the material. I was very impressed with all the essays! And I found a few new authors to check out! I will admit to only skimming two essays because they had some info about books I am waiting to read. I did not wish for spoilers so moved on to the next essay. That being said what I read was interesting and insightful! Two of my favorites were Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl by Kami Garcia and What Does That Deviant Wench Think She's Doing? Or, Shadowhunters Gone Wild by Sarah Rees Brennan. Kami Garcia brilliantly outlines why Simon never had a chance using John Hughes films from the 80's as research case studies! It was very entertaining and dead on in the Duckie effect! Sarah Rees Brennan had me LMAO at her thoughts on the Clary/Jace brother sister debacle. my favorite bit "Their Facebook relationship statuses say IT'S COMPLICATED!!!!!!" I have not read Sarah' books but I am going to look into them because I really enjoyed her writing style here. In addition I really enjoyed Sarah Cross and her essay The art of War. I never though of Clarey using art as a weapon but yeah that makes sense. It is how she fights and it is her true strength! Kudos on this great book. I will now be more open minded and try other books like it. I think it gives great insight to a series I really enjoy. It is also great to hear other points of view and points you may have missed just enjoying the reading! Cover Art - Beautiful! I would definitely pick this up to see what it was about! *ARC courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Think_Think More than 1 year ago
Although all the essays were extraordinary, there were two essays that stood out for me. Here is some more of my opinion of them… The first essay by Kate Milford, Unhomely Places, truly captured my attention. She spoke of the “uncanny” which is usually associated with the occult. She used Freud’s work as an explanation almost as to how Clary must adjust from being “mundane” to realizing she can see the world in a whole new way. I also loved Milford’s view of New York City and how she intertwined the work of Freud into her own to get her point across. Sometimes things are scary and what you think you know is not true. The beauty is in accepting the “uncanny” that Milford speaks of so much. Her own story of adaptation from Maryland to New York is fantastic as well. Second, Kami Garcia's article comparing Simon to the "Duckie effect" was absolutely hilarious! By far my favorite chapter, Garcia uses several 80s movies to showcase how the best friend guy always gets the shaft for the bad guy that the girl falls in love with. One of these movies is Pretty In Pink, where Duckie is so in love with Andie and she never loves him back. As Garcia puts it, "Until then, like crop circles, UFO's, the Bermuda Triangle, and ESP, the Duckie effect is an unexplained phenomenon. Only one thing is certain: Even if he's an adorable Jewish vampire, the best friend never gets the girl." There are several references to the fact that Simon is a Jewish vampire throughout many of the essays. I thought it was interesting how the only symbols that would harm him were Jewish symbols. Also, I wondered why such a fascination with Jewish vampires. Overall, this is an excellent Reader companion to The Mortal Instruments series. After reading it, I want to go back and re-read The Mortal Instruments series and look at it in a whole new way. Knowing more about the characters and the setting and the emotions that drives the action is going to make going back into this series amazing. Excellent companion to the Mortal Instruments series. 5 stars.
cubicleblindnessKM More than 1 year ago
Cassandra Clare opens up with a very detailed and information section answering almost every question a fan might have of how the idea came about, her love for her characters and this world. Yes there are spoilers for those that have not read up to The City of Fallen Angels. Some of these names of the contributors may sound familiar to you because they are all authors themselves. There were some stories/essays that I enjoyed much more than others, but feel that overall they really add depth and a little philosophy behind the characters and this world. I think any fan, and for sure die-hard fans of this series will highly enjoy these stories as well. The complicated relationships that the characters not only have with each other, but the struggles that they endure inside themselves is eye opening. I have read all the books, and never really acknowledged or recognized some of the issues brought up. It's going to make me look at the characters in a whole new way, and I already want to read the series over again from the beginning to see these reveleations take place with more understanding. The book not only talkes about the characters individually, but how they interact with each other and especially the world/worlds that they live in. From family, friends, romance, sex and hate. All of the human emotions are brought out in a different way to the readers that will have you looking at them in a whole new way. 4 snitches
BookGeekConfesses More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of "The Mortal Instruments." I ate up all the books, root for Jace and Clary till the end and am obsessed with all things Simon, but I have to say I wasn't enlightened, thrilled or really that entertained. The issue with "Shadowhunters and Downworlders" is that while "The Mortal Instruments" is a completely entertaining and interesting series, it is not deep. There is no real depth and so a series of essays about it as if it's the caliber of classic literature like "The Great Gatsby," "Pride & Prejudice" or "Romeo & Juliet" seems out of place. This book is just a ploy by the author and the publisher to make more money off of their fans. Honestly, who is this book for? "The Mortal Instruments" is a Young Adult novel. Sure many adults read the books, but lets face it this is Paranormal/Urban Fantasy and it's for teenagers. It's entertainment, but there isn't much to really look deep into. Taking apart Clare's master vision or discussing the incest storyline of "City of Bones" is really not needed. Do we really need Kendare Blake to explain to us that incest was a major obstacle in the Jace/Clary love story or for Kami Garcia to explain to us why the Best friend never wins the girl? No, we've read the series and we all have our own opinions. The bottom line is that this book is not going to give you a deeper look into the Shadowhunter world. It is not going to help you understand Jace, Clary, Simon, Alec or Magnus better. You know these characters, you know what drives them and you know what makes you continue reading the series. If you are a huge fan of "The Mortal Instruments" and like reading useless, but interesting essays about your fave books, then absolutely pick up this book. If you are looking for a TMI fix, just wait for "City of Heavenly Fire" and the movie that will be released later this year.
InkandPage More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4 This is the definitive guide to the ins and outs of the Shadowhunter world told through individual essays written by a variety of Young Adult authors. Here’s a list of the topic and their creators: Introduction by Cassandra Clare Unhomely Places by Kate Milford The Art of War by Sarah Cross Sharper Than a Seraph Blade by Diana Peterfreund When Laws Are Made to Be Broken by Robin Wasserman Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero by Michelle Hodkin Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl by Kami Garcia Brotherly Love by Kendare Blake Asking for a Friend by Gwenda Bond (Not) for Illustration Purposes Only by Rachel Caine The Importance of Being Malec by Sara Ryan Villains, Valentine, and Virtue by Scott Tracey Immortality and Its Discontents by Kelly Link and Holly Black What Does That Deviant Wench Think She’s Doing? Or, Shadowhunters Gone Wild by Sarah Rees Brennan Remember in school where you read some kind of educational tome about something you really were interested in? How it not only interested you but it gave a legitimacy to your (possible) obsession? This is that book if you love Ms. Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. It is so engrossing and erudite. It’s like a masters thesis on all things Shadowhunter. Shadowhunters and Downworlders edited by Cassandra Clare was published today by Smart Pop Books. A free copy of this book was graciously given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Genre: Young Adult Non-Fiction Reference Ages: 12 and up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im an older sibling too. I dont think its innapropriot, Im pretty sure its a bunch of essays by other authors about the book. It should be fine, but I dont think she'd like it.
MyndiL More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. I mean, I'm a fan of Clare's series about Shadowhunters and Downworlders, but I've never read a collection of essays analyzing a series I'm into like this before. I was pleasantly surprised. I have even made a note to myself of a few of the authors from this collection to check out their books, based on the way the essays impressed me. My favorites were the final two in the book. The conversational style of the essay by Holly Black and Kelly Link was very entertaining. And don't even get me started on how much Sarah Rees Brennan made me laugh. It's nice to see how much other authors enjoy a particular work or series like this. I'm glad I picked it up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not fun to read like TMI or TID it was like an essay and didn't catch my attension also just to let you know I could not make it past 10 pages :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
arbjamesAJ More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting from this book. I just know that I was a bit disappointed. I think I was hoping that it would be more entertaining, less serious. However, this was a lot like reading essays for a literature class. The essays were very well-written, it's just that I think the authors were looking WAY too deeply into the world that Clare created. For example, there is an entire essay devoted to Simon and his being a Jewish vampire. Well, having only read the first volume in the series, perhaps I'm not as involved in it as other readers, but quite frankly, I didn't even remember that Simon was Jewish, much less did I give it any deep philosophical contemplation. The essays appealed to my intellectual side, but the side that was really wanting some attention was my "I really don't want to think too hard, I just want to read something entertaining" side.
dsubsits More than 1 year ago
Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader by Cassandra Clare This is a very well written book that is comprised of essays by participating authors that discussed their take on the Mortal Instrument Series.  It was interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on this Blockbuster series. Contributing Authors Include:  Holly Black, Kate Milford, Diana Peterfreund, Sara Ryan, Scott Tracey, Robin Wasserman, Kendare Blake,  Gwenda Bond, Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Caine, Sarah Cross, Kami Garcia, Michelle Hodkin, Kelly Link\ One of my favorite parts of the book was hearing how Cassandra Clare came up with the ideas of using ruins.  Shadowhunters and Downworlders would be an enjoyable read for any fan of the Mortal Instrument Series.  ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  
mysticrosetiger More than 1 year ago
This book is a way to see how the characters came about and how she came up with this Amazing series of books. Very informational
terferj More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this I was like "oh this will be cool," I thought it was a bunch of great authors getting together writing stories of the Shadowhunter world. Nope, I was wrong. It's like essays. I imagine Mrs. Clare being the teacher and telling the "class" that they get these subjects and have to write something about it. I mean I did like reading this. Most of the authors I thought did a good job with the subjects they wrote on. Cassandra Clare did the introduction, which I liked how she told what made her think of writing her stories about. Kate Milford - Unhomely Places -It's her talking about NY (I kinda skipped this one) Sarah Cross - The Art of War - It was about Clary and how she used art through her journey that benefited her. Diana Peterfreund - Sharper Than a Seraph Blade - This one was about Jace...just Jace being Jace. And when we know he isn't because he's not arrogant, funny, and very sarcastic. Robin Wasserman - When Laws Are Made to be Broken - About the Clave and their laws. Michelle Hodkin - Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero - A lot about the Jewish history and about how Simon never gave up faith. Kami Garcia - Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl - Comparing poor Simon's unlucky in love with Clary to 80's movies. Kendare Blake - Brotherly Love - Of course about the taboo-ness of Jace and Clary's relationship when they thought they were siblings. And about stepping out of the box love story and how it works (not me, it still grosses me out). Gwenda Bond - Asking for a Friend - This is about BFF's (Simon & Clary) to becoming friends because a mutual party (Simon & Jace). Rachel Caine - (Not) for Illustration Purposes Only - Comparing runes to tattoos. A little tattoo history and the different cultures that uses them. Sara Ryan - The Importance of Being Malec - Of course the relationship of Alec and Magnus. Maybe why the reason Magnus took Alec on their vacation was because of the gay culture in each country. Scott Tracey - Villains, Valentine, and Virtue - Great villains = great stories Kelly Link & Holly Black - Immortality and Its Discontents - Just their conversation about different immortals (I skimmed through this one). Sarah Rees Brennan - What Does That Deviant Wench Think She's Doing? Or Shadowhunters Gone Wild - Mainly about not normal relationships and family ties. While I did like reading this, I don't think many people would just because they were expecting stories. But I think they should try it. *I received this through NetGalley*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this inappropriate, because does this describe alec and magnus being gay, @nd is it innapropriate because of the taboo? My younger sis ( i am 16) wjo is 10 wants to read this and it is like bad for her too read? Cuz my mom and dad will kill me if it is inappropriate, and being grounded sux. Thx people, and plz put the subject as replyrootdersib. Thx people! P.s. i have the sample so like how do i know?
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Shadowhunters and Downworlders is a deeply insightful collection of essays by various authors reviewing the Immortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. Cassandra Clare edited this collection as well as does the introduction. Each author takes a character or aspect of the book(s) and breaks it down to it core essence then rebuilds it to become part of the whole. I believe this book would best be described as a companion to the Immortal Instruments Series. Although you could read this separately, I would not recommend it. It contains many quotes and series information that would spoil revelations discovered through out the series.  I am a huge fan of the Immortal Instrument Series and found the insights enlightening and very enjoyable. Comparing my comprehension, of a series that I’ve read repeatedly, to other opinions was extremely fun and exciting. When I re-read a series it is always exciting to discover something new I missed. with Shadowhunters and Downworlders, you are given a fresh view point that may or may not agree with what you’ve discovered…but wonderful to visualize in your imagination just the same. This ARC copy of Shadowhunters and Downworlders was given to me by Netgalley and BenBella Books, Inc. - Smart Pop in exchange for an honest review. Publish Date January 29, 2013.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Shyly sits with a group of birds at the edge of the clearing.*