Monday, June 28, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: March 27, 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Hardcover, 485 pgs
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....
I won't go into detail about this one, as technically I read it last summer, but I don't like reviewing another book in a series without having said something about the first. So, I will only say that I initially fell in love with the premise, picked it up at my local library, and devoured it. At the time, I couldn't get my hands on the second one; that being said , when I finally did get my hands on a copy of number two (a YEAR later) I jumped at the chance to read it. I was hooked. City of Bones was that good, and the characters very intriguing.
The characters and the story stayed with me all that time. I really liked the new twists on old lore Clare uses, and I especially like how she managed to combine so many different creatures into one book without it becoming crowded or too complex. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Clare's work.
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments Book #2) by Cassandra Clare
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: February 24, 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Paperback, 453 pgs
A murderer is loose in New York City ...
... and the victims are Downworlder children. Clary Fray and her fellow Shadowhunters have a strong suspicion that Valentine, Clary's father, may be behind the killings. But if he is the murderer, then what's his true motive? To make matters worse, the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, has been stolen, and the mysterious Inquisitor has arrived to investigate, with his eyes vigilantly targeted on Clary's brother, Jace.
Clary will need to face some terrifying demons and even more terrifying family decisions. No one said that the life of a Shadowhunter would be easy.
Cassandra Clare is brilliant in her world building and manipulation of so many paranormal/mythical creatures. I really connect with Clary, who has to go through some pretty trying things mentally, physically, and emotionally. But she's not the only character I care for. With most of the books I read I only care about the well being of one or two characters, if I care at all, but Clare has created deep characters that break my heart repeatedly while simultaneously helping me pick up the pieces.
Not only are her characters alive, but her world is, too. I was captivated from page one and could hardly be pulled away from the well crafted words and the beautiful imagery. Her creatures and places came alive before my eyes, and I was amazed by Clare's creative mind and her originality.
The plot is complex without being confusing, making it hard to predict anything, though not entirely impossible. I don't know what I love more about this book, the characters, their relationships, the lore, or the plot. But it's all absolutely wonderful.
If you haven't read these books yet, I highly recommend them. They're fun, they're fresh, and they're sizzling with all the pint up passion between the characters. All-in-all a perfect summer read.