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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. And she’s more than a little startled when the body disappears into thin air. Soon Clary is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. And Clary is introduced with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster. How could a mere human survive such an attack and kill a demon? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book 1)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reissue edition (September 1, 2015)
Page Count: 544 pages
Years ago, I watched the City of Bones movie and now I've finally gotten to reading the book. I've heard so many good things about it I had to give it a read.
The Plot: This is a long book and the plot sometimes moves a bit slow, but near the end it definitely picks up as secrets are revealed and plot twists rain down. There are many intense action sequences that kept me on my toes. It was definitely a fun ride.
The Characters: Clary was a unique main character. She was obviously an introvert and loved art, but she also liked clubs to drown out her thoughts. She was brave and not whiny. Jace was a cool character. I loved the usage of tattoos as a signature mark for shadowhunters it immediately made all of them memorable.
The Setting: Most of the book is set in New York which was a treat for me since I've just recently been there. The descriptions felt really accurate, especially about the mugginess of summer, but it was also cool seeing some of the New York countryside as well and old buildings.
Epic Things: This is a book about shadowhunters so there is much epicness haha. I loved all of the different beasties and the sight was a neat element. I like all of the mention of magic in an urban setting. I just love books with unseen worlds. I also really enjoyed the shadow hunter restaurant and the party. It was so quirky and fun!
The Theme: I think there are many themes to this book, but one quote really stood out to me:
Not everything that's true needs to be said ~ Clary
A lot of characters say a lot of biting things to each other that are the truth but that hurt the other person. And I know I've one this in real life. Sometimes the truth needs to be revealed at other times it doesn't.
Content Cautions: The biggest caution I'd say is there is prevalent usage of language which consists of ten usages of h***, ten usages of a**, six usages of d***, five uses of ba****d, four usages of bi**h, one usage of d**k, and one usage of godd***. There is a mention of a character using an obscene gesture and as you can imagine since this is a book about demon hunters there is some gore, especially concerning the werewolves, and there is some playing around mythology. Alec is also mentioned to be gay and there is some heterosexual kissing. Jace mentions that though he believes in the supernatual, he's not religious. This seems a bit counteracting to me considering that their abilities are supposed to come from angels.
What We Can Take Away For Our Writing:
1.) Countering Personality Traits - As I mentioned before, Clary has some pretty counteractive personality traits yet they still work for her character. Why? Because that's how people are in real life.
How this can be applied to writing: Have you thought of writing characters with counteracting traits?
Conclusion: Overall, I enjoyed this book and I will be reading the sequels!
About the Author:
is the author of the #1 New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices trilogy, and coauthor of the Bane Chronicles with Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. She also wrote The Shadowhunter’s Codex with her husband, Joshua Lewis. Her books have more than 36 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Cassandra lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at CassandraClare.com. Learn more about the world of the Shadowhunters at Shadowhunters.com.