The Mortal Instruments 1-3 by Cassandra Clare

Summary from Goodreads:

In City of Bones, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world. And she's introduced with a vengeance, when Clary's mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster sent by the evil and powerful Shadowhunter, Valentine. How could a mere human survive such an attack. 

In the second novel, City of Ashes, Clary just wants her life to go back to normal--but that turns out to be impossible. For one thing, her mother is still in the hospital, in a mysterious coma. For another, she and her newfound brother Jace have fallen under a cloud of suspicion now that the Shadowhunter world knows that Valentine is still alive--and that Jace and Clary are his son and daughter. Then Clary's best friend Simon is turned into a vampire and kidnapped by Valentine, who intends to sacrifice him as part of a bloody ritual that will make the Mortal Instruments Valentine's forever. 

In book three, City of Glass, Clary has to use all her ingenuity and newfound magical skills to get herself to the Glass City in Idris, the secretive Shadowhunters' home country, where she is forbidden to go--for it is only there that she can find the cure to the enchanted sleeping sickness to which her mother has succumbed. When Valentine attacks the city and destroys the demon towers, Clary and her allies are all that stand between him and the total annihilation of all Shadowhunters. Love is a mortal sin and the past tangles inextricably with the present as Clary and Jace face down their father.

First, I would like to thank my friend for lending me her newly bought, still-in-plastic-cover Mortal Instruments 1-3 boxed set, I was practically the one ripped open the casing and baptized the said books. This friend of mine has a contagious enthusiasm for books. Her preferred genre though is paranormal YA as to opposed to mine which is fantasy YA. While I do love paranormal / supernatural themed tv shows like Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and even the now defunct Charmed, I haven't actually quite explored the genre much when it comes to books. I might have read only two in my whole reading life, that I can remember, at least. Seeing how my friend gushed about this series, I thought now is the time for me to get more into the said genre.

I liked the world Clare created. A world where every conceivable supernatural being exists, not generally in harmony as in tolerance. There's the Downworld where one can find the ff: Warlocks, Witches, Werewolves, Vampires, Fairies; A sort of otherworldly dimension where demons of every kind are born and die into; the Human World; and Idris, the home country / world of the so called Shadowhunters where everything is all about preserving and protecting the earth from demons. The Shadowhunters although part human, have their own fascinating civilization. Culture, Government, Codes and Laws are based on such a goal of ridding the world of demons.

The characters are just okay for me. Some have the tendency to be a bit predictable. (Hot, cocky, jerk of a guy, unassuming girl...etc.) Most seem to be exceedingly gorgeous. None of them seem compelling enough for me even up to book three. At least not yet. Perhaps some character development will happen in the succeeding installments.

What I liked most about the trilogy is Clare's writing. I found the dialogues witty and funny. Most especially since paranormal YA seem to have a reputation for being overly lathered with cheese. 

As to the story, there are predictable events in them but there were also enough unexpected twists and turns. The romance was not thrust into the forefront too much nor was it the bulk of the story which was what I was kind of worried about before starting the series because it is one of those paranormal YA cliches they say. Although it did have the love triangle and forbidden love cliche. But I think that it was did right. It did not bother as much as I though it would. The story stuck to the bigger picture that is keeping Valentine from ruling the Clave of Shadowhunters and ultimately the world. The whole thing is fast-paced and a very exciting and enjoyable read. It is an adventure with the right amount of personal drama from the characters thrown in from time to time.

All in all The Mortal Instruments Trilogy is a mixture of the supernatural and the fantastical. A couple of times, while reading, I couldn't help but think of it as a pot of stew of Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as a pinch of Harry Potter and a hint of Bartimaues Trilogy. But oddly enough, the stew seems to result into a delicious concoction.

Literary Awards received:

City of Bones: Abraham Lincoln Award (2010), Georgia Peach Honor Book Award (2009, South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Young Adult Book Award (2010), ALA Teens' Top Ten (2008), 

City of Ashes: Gaylactic Spectrum Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009), ALA Teens' Top Ten (2009)

City of Glass: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Favorite Book & Young Adult Series (2009), ALA Teens' Top Ten (2010), Children's Choice Book Award Nominee for Teen Choice Book of the Year (2010)

This is my 11th entry for the Award Winning Books Reading Challenge hosted by Gathering Books.


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