Cassandra Clare’s first novel in the Mortal Instrument series is a great way to start things off. We get enough back story and set up to carry throughout the rest of the series. We learn about each other characters, but not in a boring drawnout way. Clare introduces the information as characters find out things.
Clary thinks she is an ordinary teenage girl with a nerdy best friend and a mom who gets on her nerves. After witnessing three kids her age kill a demon her life begins to change dramatically. She tries to ignore what she seen, but then after a fight with her mom everything changes. When Clary’s mom calls and leaves her a message to not come home, Clary gets scared and worried that something terrible has happened. Clary, along with one of the teenagers she met (Jace) rush to her house to find her mother. But her mom isn’t there and the house looks like a tornado hit it. As Clary opens the door she is attacked by a demon, she struggles to survive and ends up winning the battle, earning her the respect of Jace. He takes her back to a place he calls the Institute where she learns about a group called the Shadowhunters who protect the world and others from demons.
Throughout the novel Clary learns new things about herself and the world around her, which is not as she thought. She learns not only was her mom a Shadowhunter, but she is one as well along with a family friend Luke, who also is a werewolf. A lot to remember huh? As the story progresses Clary and her friends search for the Mortal Cup to protect it from Valentine who wants to use it to turn human children into Shadowhunter, something that could kill the children. At the same time she tries to find and save her mother from Valentine who has kidnapped her.
As the story progresses the elements within the story get more complexed. Clare weaves a beautiful tale with vivid descriptions and captivating characters. She draws readers in making them wonder where exactly is she taking this story; only to leave them wanting more thus reading the next edition of the series. I found the character of Clary a little annoying at times. She whines a lot and expects the other three Shadowhunters to protect her. She doesn’t really do much in this book to protect herself or her friends. She doesn’t really think before acting. I would have liked for her to do something more even if it was learn how to use a weapon to fight against the demons they faced. I wanted her be a stronger female lead in this, maybe the next edition in the series she will become stronger.
The love triangle between Clary, Jace and Simon is interesting, though Simon is made out to be the “lost little puppy” sort, following Clary around and getting angry when she shows another guy affection. On the other hand is Jace who comes off as being possessive and arrogant with Simon. And Clay just lets them both bicker with each other without really standing up for one or the other even though Simon is her best friend. She does speak up only when the bickering goes to far and Simon walks off or Jace walks off, only then does she speak up and say something cryptic to one of the boys. Then again that is most likely typical of teenage girls whose life has just been turned upside down. There are various different twists and turns throughout the story making it easy to stay interested.
While this novel is no J.K Rowling or Hunger Games, it is still breathtaking and captivating. A great addition to any book shelf, not just young adults. It is one of those novels that adults could enjoy as well, and I know this because I’ve been told I am an adult. I look forward to reading the next two novels and seeing where the story leads and what will happen to characters I have come to love.