I love The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it is my favorite Young Adult series. In fact, I love it more than, gasp, Twilight. And without a doubt I love Jace Wayland more than…you guessed it, Edward Cullen. But really, if you take the time to read the book(s), you’ll understand why.
First in the series, City of Bones.
Clare has an amazing ability to weave together a world unlike many you’ve read about in the staggeringly increasing amounts of Urban Fantasy books on the shelves today. Though set in modern day New York City, the characters, both human and non, and the government (for lack of a better word) are so interesting it was, quite literally, impossible to put down. The book drew me in from the beginning, where sixteen year old Clary sees something unusual at a local club.
Which is where we meet Jace, resident bad boy with the cool arrogance, sharp remarks, and of course, devastatingly good looks. What sets Jace apart from other YA love interests, though, is the surprisingly sweet glimpses of vulnerability. It can probably be said for most of these boys/guys/men/whatever-you-call-them that you read about that this trait is merely a mask to cover up a darker side. And the same is here true. Yet, none of it feels contrived. As you read more of City of Bones (and consequently the other two, City of Ashes and City of Glass), you get more insight into Jace’s past and present day situations. I found myself aching over this boy, grown up too fast due to the world he lives in and the people he’s forced to interact with.
I should probably say more about Clary, huh? As far as heroines go, she’s pretty dang likable. Not only that, but despite the otherworldly aspect, relatable. She’s young, tiny (can I just interrupt myself to say how cute I think it is that she’s so short?), sweet, and yet still has that flair for dramatics so common in teenagers. She’s got her bff (a boy named Simon, more on him later) as well as a group of other friends, a mom who actually cares about her daughter (hello, Renee? Sorry, can’t help making the Twilight comparisons…), and seemingly normal teenage concerns. Even though she is thrust into this new, strange, and downright frightening new world, she is able to handle herself with a grace proportionate to her age. Who wouldn’t be scared? Who wouldn’t maybe fall for the boy?
Besides the two main players in this series, Clare’s supporting cast is amazing. Seriously. I don’t think I’ve read a series where I’ve been rooting for the other guys as much as this one. Simon, who you learn fairly on, may harbor some stronger-than-friends-feelings for Clary, is really sweet and truly adorkable. You almost want to root for the underdog (if it weren’t for how much you fall in love with Jace…). Then there are Jace’s friends: Alec and Isabelle. The, basically, adoptive brother and sister to Jace, have their own plot lines weaving throughout the story. Alec, especially, grabbed my attention and held it. Then of course, you get to meet Luke, Magnus, Hodge, etc etc. I can’t go into detail over them all. Otherwise not only would this be the longest review ever, but I’d also spoil everything.
So, even though I want to keep on gushing over how amazing this book (and series) is, I’ll end with this: Go and read. City of Bones has action, romance, and the good story telling needed to make a literary world truly come alive.