So, yet again, I embark on a Fantasy series.
Unlike previous efforts though, when I stopped at just 1 (think A Discovery of Witches), I actually managed to rush through 4 of these books back to back.
- I was on vacation for part of last week.
- These books though flawed are addictive as hell. As soon as one was finished, I found myself picking up the next book and racing through. Something that rarely happens.
Note: Not that these books are perfect, nowhere close. There is just an addictive quality to it, and enough cliff-hangers, and teenage-y angst to keep me rolling my eyes and LOL’ing but still reading on.
So what’s the series about?
The series so far is set in New York but in an alterna-reality where New York (and the rest of the world actually) is populated by werewolves, vampires, demons, and fae. There is also a mysterious group of people who maintain the peace between all the different races called Shadowhunters.
One day while Clary and her best friend Simon are chilling out, they run into a group of Shadowhunters and their lives are changed for ever.
Soon, they are pulled into the most extraordinary adventures. Romance and danger stalk them everywhere they go, and quite a bit of it is from people close to them.
City of Bones
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.
~ Synopsis from goodreads
This book is a pretty strong start to the series. It does a good job of establishing the main characters – Clary, Jace, and Simon and their other friends.
Pretty quickly a love triangle is formed along with a fair bit of teenage drama and angst. But amidst all this there is a mystery to be solved. What happened to Clary’s mother?
The book takes a while to get started and it inevitably ends on a cliff-hanger (which book doesn’t these days?), but I still liked it.
For one, I loved the two male leads, and I seriously did not know who I was rooting for Clary to end up with, Simon the archetypal boy next door, or Jace the myserious and dangerous Shadowhunter, as fast with his quips as he is with his weapons.
Clary herself is a bit of a bland one, but because this is a multi-character story (very similar in style to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series), her blandness doesn’t bring down the high-octane energy and fun of the book.
Because the book ends in a cliff-hanger, and the mother of all revelations, I immediately dived into the next one.
City of Ashes
I am not going to tell you too much about this book and I am certainly not going to paste the extremely spoilery synopsis from goodreads here.
Instead I”ll tell you that this book ups the pace quite a bit and just straight up builds from the firecracker of an ending of the first book.
I loved the adventure, the fast pace, the fun, pretty much everything. The book takes some interesting twists, and I quite enjoyed the focus of this book shifting to Simon – a character I really enjoy. A few other interesting secondary characters enter the picture, and I quite enjoyed the focus shifting a bit from Jace and Clary who were starting to bore me with their angst and general mopey-ness. And this just gets worse in the later books in the series. So be warned about that.
That said, for all the fast pace and adventure, this felt more like an in-between book where the chess pieces are being put into place for the big finale, which of course happens in the third book – City of Glass.
City of Glass
Aah, the Clary and Jace teenage-y angst continues. But as new secrets from the past tumble out of the closet, it becomes increasingly clear that there is a war out to happen. And whether they like it or not Clary and her Shadowhunters are right at the heart of the conflict.
Soon the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters is invaded by demons and in the middle of a full-blown war Clary and Jace must work together to destroy the power of the demons for good.
But is Clary willing to make the ultimate sacrifice required?
I thought this was a strong book, again full of action and adventure. However, I was a little disappointed by the ending. Instead of going the bold route, the author Cassandra Clare wimped out of a powerful ending right at the last minute. This series could have been so much more powerful if certain people who were supposed to be dead had remained dead. Instead they come back to life, and the series continues for another 3 books.
Not really warranted, I thought.
Have you read these books? What did you think about the ending, and the series in general?
In spite of my complaints about the ending, I did go on to read books 4 and 5, and I have every intention of completing the series. So, I guess I got over the poor ending to City of Glass quickly enough.