Soon after Clary, fifteen, is the only witnesses to a “murder” in a nightclub she begins seeing more and more of a world that no one else can see, no one else except Shadowhunters, demons and other supernatural beings; warlocks, vampires, werewolves, and the forsaken. Her struggle to find out how she belongs to such a world, a world where bloodline, family and the Clave are of the greatest importance, begins with her mother, Jocelyn. Jocelyn never told Clary what/who she really was, but before anything can be sorted out Clary’s mother is kidnapped by a feared Shadowhunter that many believed died years before. Now, Clary must find her mother, while piecing together her own history and the world of Shadowhunters.
I rated this book on goodreads with 2 stars and amended it in the comments that it would really be 2.5 stars out of 5. It seemed that I either hated or loved certain parts of the story.
I will begin with the characters. I could not attach myself to Clary and since she is the main character that’s kind of important. I thought she was passive when she needed to be aggressive and assertive when she needed to relax just a moment. However, since there are so many books in the series there is a lot of room for a character arch, I hope that’s the point. Also, it kind of got on my nerves that her name was Clary when the authors name is Cassandra Clare. Also Clary Fray as a name itself was awkward. Every time her full name was used I wanted to invert it and say Fary Clay, i don’t know why, but i think that’s a issue. As an author you need to be conscious of the different little things that may make a name awkward. (I realize I could be 1 out of 100 readers who feel its awkward and that’s a good average, or the author could have intended the awkward name as a symbol or a signifier of the characters personality).
Most of the other characters I like, especially Lucian, except by the end of the book, I felt like I could trust none of them. By the end you hear about 4 peoples version of the same events and nothing is really adding up. You can take this two ways. Either you like it because it causes you to feel like the main character, you’re confused just as much as she is and it’s all intended, or, you feel it’s too much and start to loose author-reader trust as a whole. The strongest parts of the story is when a character tells their story of the past. It really makes them stronger characters and builds up the world Clary has just entered. I feel cheated because as the strongest part of the story I also feel like they are lies.
As for the story, I won’t give away anything, but there were some choices that made me mad, made me feel like it was almost a cop-out. However, because by the time these events were happening my faith in almost every character was out the window, I really don’t think I can trust what happened. I’m pretty sure one thing in particular is completely false.
Now, I don’t know whether it’s intended confusion, intended falsifications from so many in the story, or if its just a terrible story.
I have hopes it all plays out the way I think it will, but I certainly will not reach for the second book with the same anticipation as I did for the first, though I still will be reaching.
Also, side note, I was discussing this book with a friend who has read the entire series. She compared the series to how Harry Potter started off and ended up. This comparison gave me even more hope for The Mortal Instruments because, and you all will surely find me crazy, but, I hated the first Harry Potter… but the as the series continued the story and characters grew and became much more interesting.