Review: The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare created a whole new world and race of people in this stunning trilogy. I was recently introduced to these books by a Twitter Friend, xbellaxmiax, she told me to pick up the trilogy and read it and I am glad I took her advice. I had seen the books around on Amazon even in my recommendations of products I might like to purchase, I think it was the titles that put me off a bit at first because the cover art is very stimulating, while not taking away from your imagination as you read.

The first book follows Clary through the discovery that not all things in her life is as they seem. Clary was born and raised in New York, life as she knows it with her Mother Jocelyn is pretty calm. Jocelyn is an artist, Clary dreams of becoming as good as her mother in lots of ways. Art, beauty, and the way Jocelyn is always calm and in control. They live in a beautiful victorian loft in the city. She has her best friend Simon, and her father figure Luke, all in all Clary is a pretty happy teen. She does tend to wonder why her Mom freaks out so much when she is a bit late, or when she goes to the club Pandemonium in the city.

Things start to change for Clary when she is in line to gain entrance to Pandemonium, she sees this handsome guy with blue hair gain entrance to the club carrying a weapon, fascinated by his looks and cunning, Clary is distracted by him through-out the night. She is terminally shy around boys except for Simon and finally talks herself into walking up to the guy and asking him to dance, but that is exactly when she sees him flirting with this amazing girl. She is tall, gorgeous with flowing black hair and perfect skin. She sees the girl and they boy disappear into a back room. Just as the boy steps in Clary sees two shadows with knives step in behind him. Flustered she tells Simon to find security while she stalks off into the room to see what is going on. She witnesses a murder happened. The two shadows have materialized and are killing her beautiful blue haired boy. She screams, the gorgeous girl and the two shadow boys turn around. This is when Clary is told she can see things that no ‘mundane’ should be able to see, she finds out the blue haired boy was a demon and the girl and boys killing him are shadow hunters.

The book then spells out with Clary falling for one of the shadow hunters named Jace, Jocelyn being abducted by an evil hunter, Clary finding out about who she really is and how her and Jace band together to give the hunters a bit more time before a huge war. Clary with the help of Jace finds Jocelyn but all is not well. Clary finds out her father is the evil hunter Valentine, and that Jace is her brother Jonathan, the incestuous plot didn’t bother me in this trilogy. It wasn’t anything like some slash fan fiction quality stuff, but how it would actually be if you found out you had a brother and was completely mad for him.

The second book begins with Clary dating Simon, he has been in love with her for years. She really isn’t into it because she is still in love with her brother Jace, but she is trying to make it all work. Jocelyn is still in the hospital asleep and no one seems to be able to wake her up. Jace and Clary are still confused and weird around each other and then their Father begins to attack everywhere he can looking for the Mortal Instruments. If he retrieves all three then no one will be able to oppose him and the fate of regular humans with demon blood along with shadow hunters being enslaved by Valentine is in the hands of Clary, who has never had training and is still learning what all this shadow hunting business is all about. The book follows the two through saving the Mortal Cup, and trying to stop their incestuous feelings for one another. The couple are betrayed at the center of their group of friends and Valentine wins the battle for the cup in the end.

Book three, Valentine has the sword and the cup. Clary has a special shadow hunter power and Jace realizes he has physical abilities beyond the norm. Jace and his adopted family return to the city of glass and Jace leaves Clary behind. So she draws a new rune makes a portal and follows after them. This book was more faced paced than the other, I love them all three equally and believe they should be read in order, but City of Glass had me on pins and needles. I was even reading the book in my class and missed out on some stuff the instructor was going over. I can’t really give you much more of a plot here, I don’t want to ruin the story with spoilers. I guess I can say Clary found the key for waking up Jocelyn, Valentine wages war on the city of glass, just as the clave leaders are going to submit to Valentines rule, Clary discovers a way they can fight. It doesn’t mean they will win though.

I thought the writing style for these books was amazing. The detail Clare put into these books is astounding. You got to see, feel, and almost touch every person and every aspect of this story. There are no open endings, no plots left unturned no matter how small. was sewn up into a detail abundant package. This quickly became one of my favorite trilogies. I am sad the story is over, I will always miss the city of glass.

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Review: The Summoning (Darkest Powers Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong

I discovered Kelley Armstrong about two years ago. I picked up a copy of a book from her “Women of the Otherworld” series and really enjoyed it. So when I heard Kelley was working on a new trilogy well I had to pick up “The Summoning”. This book was quite a lot different from what I have previously read from Armstrong. It was meant more for a teen audience, when I am used to reading her adult series. It was a bit over simplified even for a teen plot. The book took a while to get going, the main character was a bit too self conscious and not confident to the point you got annoyed and if Chloe Saunders was in front of you, you would probably slap her and scream at her to stop being such a baby. The character whines a lot for a character who is constantly showing how tough, and out of the box thinking she is supposed to be.

The plot was super slow through two thirds of the book and it gave me the feeling the ending was rushed, the plot unties itself in the last small bit of the book and I felt it moved too fast after the first part of the book dragged on so slowly. I felt the book ended in a weird way. Like ending in the middle of a chapter, not ending a story. I understand the first book of a trilogy needs to end open, but this was like WAY OUT IN LEFT FIELD open. Like middle of a conversation open. I was really disappointed in the ending. When something ends like that, I really don’t want to read the second book, its apparently really not worth my time if it is going to upset me and if I don’t like the writing style.

All that being said, the book does have three stars for a reason. The book flowed together well. Armstrong understands the supernatural world like no one else. When she fits several genres of supernatural together it doesn’t ever feel meshed or complicated. It just fits. The Lyle House where the supernaturals are being held on the pretense of mental illness was described well. You feel like you are also inside the walls of the house while you are reading.

If you are a fan of Armstrong or really like teen supernatural books, like Meyers or Bray have written then I suggest you pick up a copy of The Summoning. You may really like the character of Chloe and her friends. I did think the supporting characters of the book were awesome. Simon and his foster brother Derek are especially well developed and also are supernaturals. So yeah go ahead and read it. I am hoping on my personal feelings of Armstrong’s previous works that the second book coming soon is going to tie all this together for me and not end in such an open way. I think the Darkest Powers series is worth a chance.

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