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. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.
I’ve loved the Mortal Instruments from the beginning; the characters, the plot, the descriptions that Cassandra Clare uses...It gives the reader the sense that they’ve entered a whole new world that’s very real.
The plot revolves around Clarissa Fray, nicknamed “Clary”. She lives a normal life in a normal world, or so it seems. She is soon to discover a whole new world, which is what I loved: How Ms. Clare introduces Clary to the shadow world, how she depicts the shadowhunters and demons that live among us every day, under the effects of the glamor that hides them from the mundane, or mortal, sight. It’s interesting watching Clary develop under these new circumstances, being thrown into a life that she’s never even heard of or even thought to have existed. Her actions in the time depict her heart and courage, and the strength of a lion that she possesses. Occasionally, she acts impulsively and ends up endangering her friends and family, but she learns quickly how to adapt to the rules.
Jace, on the other hand, is probably one of my favorite characters in the books. His combination of annoying sarcasm and loyalty is something that I admire. As much as he makes fun of his friends, he’d give up his life for any of them. They say that humor can hide the pain: That’s Jace’s ego talking. You can see a bit of his character in the quote below:
“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?'
Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
..."At least," she said, "You don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."
"Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”
Simon is the awkward best friend of Clary, who shows the more human side to the whole story. He’s nice, caring, and nerdy, but he’s got a big heart and does everything that he can for Clary, whether she notices his actions or not.
“Simon looked like the sort of boy who'd come over to your house to pick you up for a date and be polite to your parents and nice to your pets. Jace, on the other hand, looked like the sort of boy who'd come over to your house and burn it down for kicks.”
Magnus Bane is my other favorite character, simply because he often provides comic relief to the storyline, even if he doesn’t notice. He can be dangerous, simply being the High Warlock of Brooklyn, but it wouldn’t be the same without him.
“Magnus, standing by the door, snapped his fingers impatiently.
‘Move it along, teenagers. The only person who gets to canoodle in my bedroom is my magnificent self.’
‘Canoodle?’ repeated Clary, never having heard the word before.
‘Magnificent?’ repeated Jace, who was just being nasty. Magnus growled. The growl sounded like ‘Get out.’”
Isabelle is strong, and sticks by her friends like glue. She’s caring and funny, but if any demon or evil downworlder tried to lay a finger on her close friends and family, she’d hunt it down and kill it. She has in her possession a gold whip that curls around her arm like a bracelet: Let me just say I’ve never wanted anything like that so badly before.
Alec, her brother, is the exact opposite. Where Isabelle likes to go out and socialize, Alec likes to stay hidden. He can come across as unfriendly and hostile, but he’s got a fierce devotion to Isabelle and Jace.
Because all of these amazing people are known as Nephilim: half angel, half human, they can use the angel’s marks (runes) on their skin to heal, to induce speed, strength, love, stamina, and others such as the wedlock rune, parabati rune, and angelic power rune, all using a simple tool known as a stele. (Ste-LAY)
Their sole purpose in life is to hunt and kill demons to keep the mundane world safe. Hidden under glamors most of the time, the shadowhunters bed in the Institute, their home, which houses many rooms, books, deadly weapons, and clothes, given to them by the Clave, the head of the shadow world.
Overall, it’s a great story. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves fiction, fantasy, action, and romance.