Top critical review
The show was better
Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2019
Alright yall, I feel like I’m gonna be blasphemous here, but this just didn’t do it for me. When Shadowhunters (the tv show) first came out, I watched the first season. And I loved it. So, I figured I outta check out the books. I read the first three a while ago, but honestly couldn’t remember anything.
I decided to delve back in now that the full series in on Hulu. And yall, I just couldn’t get into it. I rarely like a show (or movie) more than I do the book, but in this case it was absolutely the case. I think my three biggest reasons on why I like the show more are Clary, Jace, and Alec.
In the show, Clary is just such a strong character. She isn't passive or just sitting around. But I feel like in the book she's just constantly waiting for someone to tell her what to do. There are a few moments where she sort of acts of her own accord, but it seemed rare. A lot of the time I was just screaming at her to do something. And like, listen, I get that she has ZERO training and all that. But there’s a direct scene where Jace is holding her and I just was like “GIRL HOW HAVE YOU NOT JUST NUT-CHECKED HIM YET?!” It was so frustrating to me. I love how quickly she wants to fight and get trained in the show. It was so much more interesting to me for her character.
As for Jace, holy hell I forget how much I hate him in the book. He's completely arrogant and I don't understand how anyone thought he had any redeemable qualities in the book. Like, literally he is the biggest dick I have read in a book in a long time. And come on with this whole, “We’ve always known Valentine was evil, but he says he’s my dad so now I’m blindly loyal” bullcrap. Like what even is that? In the show he at least seems to act kindly towards Clary, and I do think part of that is because of how Clary comes into her own a lot faster. He still definitely bugged me a little in the show, mostly because I hate arrogance in general, but he definitely seems like he’s a friendly person, just a little cocky.
But above all, it's about Alec for me. I love him (and Magnus Bane of course) and he doesn't get enough book time at ALL. And I get it, the books are from Clary’s point of view really. But overall, he’s my favorite character, and I love the whole group dynamic, and this just didn’t really get played into at all in the book. We barely see him and we barely see him with Magnus. I just really would’ve loved more Alec and more queerness in general.
Overall, I’m not sure I’ll even try rereading the rest of the series. I think I’m just gonna call this one a day and finish binging the show.