Since the beginning of time, similar things have always been compared to each other: Pepsi or Coke? Lemon or Lime? Boxers or Briefs? And books are no exception!
Throwdown Thursdays: On the first Thursday of every month I play the ultimate game of “Would You Rather” with books that are inevitably compared to each other. After 3 rounds, I pick my winner. Feel free to join in by commenting, making your own response (just link back) or vote in my poll! Here is this month’s match:
Boy, did I procrastinate on this one! Pitting two of my favourite series against each other was harder than I expected! I had no idea where to start and definitely changed the Rounds a few times before I finally settle on what you see before you. I also want to be clear that is has been YEARS since I read any of these books, so this post is really based on my lasting impressions of each series. Hope you enjoy!
Round 1: The World
Steampunk Victorian vs Modern Day
Mechanical robots and corsets or hidden worlds and leather?
It was the whole Shadowhunter world that first prompted me to pick up the Mortal Instruments Trilogy (it was a “trilogy” when I first read it, not 6 books long). I loved the idea of a parallel world that sat on top of ours with creatures that regular humans couldn’t see. Creatures like demons, warlocks, vampires and werewolves. Then there are the Shadowhunters themselves. Kick-ass fighters who have swords with special names and have runes covering their bodies. I was just as enamoured with the world and all its parts as I was with Jace 😉 (joking/notjoking)
But when I found out that there was going to be a prequel series set in a Victorian times that would explain how the modern world came to be? I didn’t need very much convincing. And when I further discovered it was going to be a STEAMPUNK world–I stalked the release date for Clockwork Angel like it was my sole purpose in life! I love Steampunk novels: I love the grittiness, the science and the action. It’s one of my favourite genres to read but one I rarely get to do. So I knew if Cassandra Clare could create a kickass modern world rich with history; I knew the prequel novel of said history was going to be fantastic–and it was.
Winner: The Infernal Devices gets this one but probably because it has a bias. Reading about a world is great, but reading how the world that you love actually comes together is fantastic. Also, steampunk!
The Infernal Devices : 1 | The Mortal Instruments: 0
Round 2: The Plot
Learning About the Downworlders vs Saving the World from Impending Doom
Book-by-book Plot vs Overarching Plotline
I’m going to be honest, sometimes I get the plot for the Infernal Devices mixed up with another steampunk YA series: The Steampunk Chronicles. And that is probably because the main action plot really doesn’t happen until the end of the book. This series–at least to me–seems to focus more on the characters and their interactions than it does on an action packed plotline. Which I expect in a prequel series. Considering most of these characters are the ancestors to the characters we read about later in the Mortal Instruments, it’s important to see those relationships unfold. The romances are featured more as are the politics of the Shadowhunter world. I enjoyed reading about this because it fuelled my love for the world we see in The Mortal Instruments and I loved seeing all the connections.
I can still remember my reaction to the HUGE twist in the City of Bones (ie who Jace’s father is). That twist rocked my world and had me rushing to the library to get the next book. This series always kept me on the edge of my seat. Whether it was the romances (Alex and Magnus, I’m looking at you) or the bromances (Alex and Jace I’m looking at you) or the actual action, I was so enthralled by it all. Never before had I become so attached to characters and their lives in a book series. I loved reading about these characters as much as I enjoyed reading about the plot. And the plot, I know it gets a lot of flack for being like “other series out there” but I think it shows the talent of an author to be able to weave together a story with so many different elements and twists. I still felt like I was reading a fresh story every time I picked up a Mortal Instruments novel–even when I was reading the last 3 which weren’t of the same calibre as the first three.
Winner: The Mortal Instruments! I loved the plot as much as I loved the drama of these characters’ lives!
The Infernal Devices : 1 | The Mortal Instruments: 1
Round 3: The Heroines
One of a Kind Warlock vs Unknown Shadowhunter Prodigy
Girl searching for her lost brother or girl searching for her abducted mother?
It took me a while to warm up to Tessa Gray because she was such a timid character at the start of Clockwork Angel. But that made it great to watch her progression throughout the series. Did I agree with every action she did–HELLS NO! (I’m looking at the engagement obviously) but, I enjoyed her character growth and eventually liked the person she became.
As for Clary, I never really got on her support train. She is one of those leads that I just tolerated for the sake of the story (and for the sake of reading about the other characters I actually liked **winkwinkAlex&Magnus**). I found her to be really wish-washy in her convictions and a bit of a whiner. Though she does get some sympathy from me because, HELLO, her whole world as she knows it is completely uprooted among other things (like paternity) but at the same time, I didn’t like her character growth as much. After 6 books, I did like the character she became but she doesn’t top any of my favourite heroine lists…though neither does Tessa.
Winner: Tessa gets this one. While I might not support her romantic choices, I did appreciate her attitude when it came to getting things done.
The Infernal Devices : 2 | The Mortal Instruments: 1
Ultimate Winner: The Infernal Devices
Final Comments: It’s really a tough call but the steampunk’d prequel takes the cake! I always rank the Infernal Devices above The Mortal Instruments when I pick my favourite series. I just loved Tessa’s journey and how this series adds to the Mortal Instruments. And did I forget to mention…STEAMPUNK!
What are your thoughts: which one would you rather read? Leave a comment below!