Shadowhunters and Downworlders

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Shadowhunters and Downworlders edited by Clarissa Clare

Published by: Ben Bella Books

2 out 5 stars

Format egally (available on paperback, kindle and audiobook from 17th January 2013 here)

***This review doesn’t contain spoilers as such, however there is reference to happenings in the books, so if you’ve not read them, best not read this review*** Like many others I was expecting a book full of doodles and brainstorms and a guide to the inner workings of Cassandra Clare. Thats what I wanted. I want to know how she came up with such a magical world, right under our noses. How she created the demons, shadow hunters, valentine. WHY she did that to poor simon. But…..thats not what we got. What this reader actually is, is a collection of essays (something I expect to find written on a literature degree, not in a book about a book) by some very well known authors about different aspects of the stories. But they are then edited by Clare, so if anyone actually said anything bad about the books, then we wouldn’t know because its all nice, nice, nice.  I struggled with this, I REALLY did. I wanted to get through it as when I’m given an ARC or galley I don’t want to give up, I feel that my pain is expected in exchange for the free book. This was painful. Some essays more than others.  Michelle Hodkin stole the show, her essay about Simon and his Jewish faith was brilliant, I learnt a lot about jewish history, the links to vampirism and it just FLOWED. But it was the only one that was worth noting. None of the others really stood out for good reasons, Blake’s Brotherly Love section was justifying Clare’s Incest storyline, saying it was ok because they didn’t grow up together. Now I don’t object to the storyline, I think its a good twist, but its NOT OK. Its incest -its illegal in most countries for a reason. Milford’s ramblings about New York lost me completely. I could go on, but they were all a little self-indulgent (or at least clare-indulgent), and they add nothing to the story world for the reader.  Its a shame because a good reader can be great fun, but this just isn’t hitting the mark for me.

ARC/eGalley kindly provided by NetGalley.

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