Summary - When Clary Fray witnesses three tattoo-covered teenagers murder another teen, she is unable to prove the crime because the victim disappears right in front of her eyes, and no one else can see the killers. She learns that the teens are Shadowhunters (humans who hunt and kill demons), and Clary, a mundie (i.e., mundane human), should not be able to see them either. Shortly after this discovery, her mother, Jocelyn, an erstwhile Shadowhunter, is kidnapped. Jocelyn is the only person who knows the whereabouts of The Mortal Cup, a dangerous magical item that turns humans into Shadowhunters. Clary must find the cup and keep it from a renegade sector of Shadowhunters bent on eliminating all nonhumans, including benevolent werewolves and friendly vampires.
Review - I wrote Cassandra Clare an email immediately after finishing this novel. Why? To tell her how monumentally peeved I was that I had to wait another eighteen hours to get my hands on the sequel novel, City of Ashes. That's right, I needed to express to her how frustrating it is to rabidly read a novel and then find yourself reading the last page with bookstores only open for another five minutes. So I am filling the time, until 11am tomorrow (Australia's crap business hours), to find out what is going to happen next.
I liked all the characters here; particularly the non-cliched, strong, independent protagonist, Clary, and the lovable and dorktastic, Simon. There is no bones about it people, I am a Team Simon member and was from about page four. Sure some of the story points remind me of Harry Potter and Star Wars but this novel is exceptionally well written, action packed with a strong narrative thread. Some events I could see coming, one smacked me on the back of the head as it passed me, leaving me gasping with a mix of bewilderment and genuinely aghast. Every character possesses their own voice and is well rounded, I particularly loved Luke as I have a tendency to zero in one character's suffering with the doldrums that is unrequited love (another reason I love Simon too.)
There are some great relationship parallels everywhere you turn from familial, to romantic to doomed crushdom. The periphery creatures are squee worthy, I particularly loved the Ziggy Stardust-esque, Magnus Bane (a fantastic name if there ever were one). I didn't think I would like this book, previously I declared myself a fantasy snob but I think a transformation is a brewing people. If I am lucky Cassie won't be offended by my email and I might get to have a chat with her, fingers crossed!
Format: Paperback, 446 pages
Publisher: Walker Books
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Mortal Instruments Official Website
Cassandra Clare's Website