cassie clare: why she makes me tired
(a spoilery criticism of some of the reasons i am losing interest)
Okay so I planned to write this post a few days ago, but then midterms and assignments claimed my soul I am living the dream life, people. Every day is a dream.
Anyways, I was inspired to write this particular topic when I was scrolling through tumblr the other day and I saw Cassie Clare had released another snippet of QoAD (which I didn’t read because your girl doesn’t need any spoilers tyvm ). I’m pretty sure I saw the name ‘Alec Lightwood’ as I noped the hell out of there which, for some reason, incited such a visceral reaction in me that I had to come here and say something. Because apparently I think I know a lot. Feel free to disagree.
This post is essentially a criticism of Cassie Clare and the Shadowhunter Chronicles. I know a lot of people don’t read her stuff because they disagree with her behaviour and her past actions. However, I was already invested in TDA by the time I fully looked into it, so I kind of really want to see how it ends? That doesn’t mean I don’t have my criticisms, of course. It’s been a while since I’ve read any of the books in the entire Shadowhunter series and I have to reiterate that I do enjoy them a lot. I think Cassie Clare is a great writer, if a little too heavy on exposition and describing every-little-thing, and her characters really hold up her stories.
That being said…
1. She really needs to learn to let go of her characters.
I get it. It’s hard to let go of your characters, especially when you’ve poured so much into them. I’ve been there myself actually with the Dormitory 2.6A series because it was so significant to my development as a writer and I had so many ideas about them that didn’t make it into the original story. Writers get attached.
Regardless, my girl needs to learn to let them go. "Them" meaning the cast of The Mortal Instruments.
When she wrote TMI, she had a bit of overlap with The Infernal Devices, the biggest being Brother Zachariah (my one true love ), but most of it was quite subtle. A passage here about Magnus remembering “the gas-lit streets of London”, or a mention of a book with a faded note from a Will Herondale there. It was very organic.
This is not the case with TDA. At every chance she gets, Cassie Clare mentions TMI characters in TDA and quite frankly, it doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand why Clary, Jace, Alec and so on have such an invested interest in Emma or Julian and the rest of the Blackthorns when they were just some of many children who were left distraught by the Dark War. Actually, I do know why – because Cassie Clare doesn’t know how to let them go. Their contributions to the TDA storyline are so bizarre and out of place. At least Jem has a viable reason to turn up in Lady Midnight – he and Emma are both the last living Carstairs – but Clary? Not so much.
Like. I don’t understand why she would tell Emma out of all people a secret she can’t reveal to anyone else. Like. A seventeen year old kid. None of it makes sense. It just frustrates me because it bogs down an otherwise really good book.
2. Speaking of bogging down… she has so many unnecessary scenes in her books.
Look, I love TDA. Mostly because of the characters, yes, but I still really enjoyed reading Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows (more so the first). But there’s a reason why each book keeps getting bigger and it’s because she doesn’t cut the unnecessary scenes. You can really tell with LoS because it takes like five chapters for one event in the Seelie Realm to occur and I’m just like,,, pls. We know you can do better.
It just takes away from the book in the end, I feel? Because it just means that the subplots are going at a pace slower than what I would usually be hooked by since there’s so much to cut through. I don’t understand why her editors aren’t telling her to trim down the unnecessary bits. It’s not even about characterisation because her characterisation is amazing without all of these extras.
3. Love triangles.
I’m not really a fan of love triangles, but Cassie Clare apparently is. Throughout the entire Shadowhunter Chronicles, she has had:
- TID: Jem, Will and Tessa (the only love triangle I’ve actually been okay with)
- TMI: Simon, Clary and Jace (a v boring and unnecessary one)
- TMI: Maia, Simon and Izzy (…just… why)
- TDA: Emma, Julian and Mark (I’m really glad this didn’t go the direction I thought she’d take it)
- TDA: Kieran, Mark and Christina (probably going to be a polyamorous relationship tbh)
- TDA: Kit, Livvy and Ty (again: why. just why.)
There are probably more that I’ve missed out, but you get the point I don’t understand why there always needs to be a love triangle, even when the two protagonists have been in love with each other for years (like Emma and Jules). It’s not a very interesting or original way to make their relationship turbulent, especially if you’ve done it so many times within one world.
4. She’s… never going to stop
I’ve decided that I’m probably going to stop reading after QoAD As in, I won’t be buying new installments because my girl is not finishing with TDA. She has plans to write a trilogy set after TID called The Last Hours and another one set after TDA with the younger Blackthorns called The Wicked Powers.
And that doesn’t include all of the special releases such as The Bane Chronicles, Ghosts of the Shadow Market or The Tales of Shadowhunter Academy.
I personally believe that we don’t need to know everything about the world of Shadowhunters. We don’t need to know if and how everything gets resolved with the Clave’s corruption and the dated views of Nephilim society. It’s nice to leave a few things unresolved! I actually really like it!
Idk everyone, I just feel like a lot of it might be a money grab? Don't get me wrong, I do think Cassie Clare clearly enjoys writing in this world, but I also think she manages to conveniently include a lot of fan favourites in series that should otherwise not feature them and that loyal fans buy them for that. For example, Jem has turned up in TDA and his involvement in GOTSM was really pushed. Will, Tessa and Jem all featured in TOTSA as did the story about Malec adopting a warlock baby. TLH will naturally include Will, Tessa and Jem/Brother Zachariah since the main characters are their children. TWP will probably include Jem and Tessa again. And probably Malec. You see what I mean?
Anyways, I know I’ve just ranted for a long time, but I guess I’m just tired of it all? Sometimes, writers just need to learn to let go. I guess that's what I'm trying to say ultimately. Another shining example would be JKR. The HP series doesn't need any more additions imho, we have it all sorted