Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Mortal Instruments

First off Happy Mother's Day to Every Mother Out there!

This week's Sunday Series Recommendation is The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

I first picked up this series while I was working as a stage manager's assistant in Boston and at the Barnes & Noble in Hyannis. One of my coworkers at the bookstore recommended the series to me after we had a discussion about good young adult fiction. This book series easily falls into that category.

The first installment of the series, whose final book came out last spring, is the book City of Bone. The series follows heroine Clary Fray. A seemingly normal teen living in New York. One night she heads out to a club called Pandemonium with her friend Simon and while there she hardly expects to witness three teens covered in strange tattoos commit a murder. Nor does she expect to be unable to call the cops when the body disappears. Shaken Clary leaves the club unsure of what exactly she witnessed. It gets even stranger when she sees one of the teens again outside her staple coffee destination. His name is Jace, a boy who looks like Adonis and acts like Narcissus.

He wants to know how she was able to see him and his fellow Shadowhunters. Within twenty four hours of this meeting Clary returns home to find her mother has disappeared and a demonic creature waiting for her. She manages to fend of the creature until Jace, who had been following her, arrives to dispatch the creature. But Clary has been bitten and she can feel the demon's poison working its way through her body. Jace decides to try something. Taking his stele, a magic weapon named for an angel, he draws a mark on her skin. Clary's world fades to black and when she wakes she find that she has been dragged into the middle of war that she didn't know existed.

While I will say there are a few moments where this novel toes the line of the Twilight series which I will say I am not a fan of, the story is well written. Clary is a heroine who is strong of character for the most part and she certainly embraces the changes thrown at her. As the novels continue she does grow stronger, both physically and mentally, although she does have moments of teen angst that can sometimes be a little hard to swallow. But, for each of those moments Clare balances it with her other characters. There are several relationships that are more adult in nature and handle themselves as such. This is not to say that Clary isn't a mature character. Clare expertly handles the balance between adulthood and adolescence.

One of the major reasons to read this series is also for the world that Clare has built. Its intricacies are fascinating and you'll find yourself wondering about the lore of the Shadowhunters and its real world inspirations. Clare also presents the world in a believable manner by weaving it within the fabric of the real world. There are also lovely book epitaphs at the beginning of each chapter proving that Clare herself is very well read. It actually inspired me to pick up some of the classics that I had neglected in my own reading. Its definitely worth a read! Make sure to read it before the premiere of ABC Family's Shadowhunters t.v series. Oh, and honestly you can skip the movie that they made. There are parts that are fun but its not a very good adaptation. The series however looks promising.

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