Book Reviews

The Mortal Instruments Series * Cassandra Clare

Capture

A thousand years ago, the Angel Raziel mixed his blood with the blood of men and created the race of the Nephilim. Human-angel hybrids, they walk among us, unseen but ever-present, our invisible protectors. They call themselves Shadowhunters. The Shadowhunters obey the laws set down in the Gray Book, given to them by the angel: their mandate is to protect our world from the interdimensional parasites they call demons, who travel from world to world, razing and destroying everything in their path. Theirs is also the task of keeping the peace among the warring Downworlders: the human-demon crossbreeds we know as warlocks, vampires, werewolves, and faeries. In their duties they are aided by the mysterious Silent Brothers. Their lips and eyes sewn shut, the Silent Brothers rule over the City of Bones, the necropolis below the streets of Manhattan that holds the dead bodies of slain Shadowhunters. The Silent Brothers keep the archival records of ever Shadowhunter ever born. They also watch over the Mortal Instruments, the three divine objects the Angel Raziel gave to his children. One is a sword. One is a mirror. And the last is a cup. For a thousand years, the Nephilim have protected the Mortal Instruments. But that was before the Uprising, the civil war that almost tore the Shadowhunters’ secret world apart. Though Valentine Morgenstern, the Shadowhunter who started the war, is long dead, the wounds it left behind have never healed. Fifteen years have passed since the Uprising. It’s August in New York; the streets blistering with heat. Rumors run rampant through Downworld that Valentine is back, at the head of an army of Forsaken warriors. And the Mortal Cup has gone missing…

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When 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 people like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

“This urban fantasy series opener spices its fight against evil with sexual tension. Fifteen-year-old geek hipster Clary thought she was just a normal kid, but normal kids don’t see invisible people, and normal kids’ mothers don’t suddenly disappear, seemingly captured by horrific monsters. But like many fantasy heroines, Clary isn’t normal, and she’s got all the secret parentage, dramatic revelations, and amazing magic powers to prove it….The story’s sensual flavor comes from the wealth of detail: demons with facial piercings, diners serving locusts and honey, pretty gay warlocks, and cameo appearances from other urban fantasies’ characters….Lush and fun.”

– Kirkus Reviews

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