The clock is ticking down to the August 21 release of one of the most eagerly anticipated YA novel-to-screen adaptations this side of Panem. City of Bones (S&S/McElderry, 2007), the first book in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, is an urban gothic adventure that takes place within an invisible, paranormal realm of New York City. The novel follows 16-year-old Clary Fray who, after witnessing a murder committed by three tattoo-adorned teenagers, learns that she is descended from Shadowhunters, beings who battle vampires, werewolves, and demons. From Unique Features and Constantin Film, the movie stars Lily Collins as Clary and James Campbell Bower as Shadowhunter and love interest Jace Wayland; Harald Zwart directs.
Clare has a total of 12 million books in print domestically and 24 million worldwide, including installments in the Mortal Instruments, the companion Infernal Devices series, and related books. Paul Crichton, v-p and director of publicity at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, said that as anticipation for the film has intensified, there has been a “nice spike” in sales across the Mortal Instruments titles both in print and e-book formats. Clare’s book sales this year are up “150% over the same period last year,” he said, adding that “much of this is coming from the movie exposure.”
New Avenues for an Expanding Franchise
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a film inspired a style fad.. Hot Topic is carrying a line of Shadowhunters-style clothing, jewelry, makeup, and – in the spirit of the demon fighters – temporary tattoos. Readers can also enhance the filmgoing experience by doing some advance reading. In addition to a movie tie-in edition of the original novel, McElderry is releasing City of Bones: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion, with cast interviews and behind-the-scenes photographs from the film, as well as Shadowhunter’s Guide to characters, objects, and places of note within the Shadowhunter’s world.
On the eve of the film’s premiere and with production beginning for the second Mortal Instruments book, City of Ashes (due in 2014), it’s a pivotal moment for Clare – but she’s not resting on her laurels. Not only is she completing the final book in the series, Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire (out May 2014), but she is also developing two new enterprises: the Dark Artifices trilogy, and a second series that is not yet officially titled, although online rumors suggest that it might be called The Wicked Powers. Both spin-off series will center on new casts of Shadowhunters, but according to Clare’s editor, Karen Wojtyla, the series will likely also see the return of a few familiar faces – a move sure to keep the new series from hiding in the shadows.