Cassandra Clare's City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments Book 1 is brilliantly plotted and the writing is meticulous and detailed, enabling you to get into the minds of the characters. Clare's descriptions are minute, making the action of the book come alive and exploring the feelings of the characters. The protagonist, Clary's, vulnerability is endearing; she discovers new things about herself as the book goes on. And then, there's Jace, who is a man of few words, but when he does express himself, he's really intense. So it's easy to see how a romance between these two is inevitable.
Clary comes across the Shadowhunters while is at a nightclub with her friend Simon. She doesn't know that they are Shadowhunters or even what Shadowhunters are, but she sees three of them kill a fourth person who she later discovers was a demon. The funny thing is that no one else can see them and the body is disposed off so that no traces are left behind. While Clary is discovering this strange ability to see Shadowhunters, her mother is attacked by a Ravener demon. Clary gets in the middle of this encounter and herself suffers injuries which one of the Shadowhunters, Jace, is able to heal.
Clary's abilities are surprising because only Shadowhunters or Nephilim—a half angel, half human species—are supposed to be able to see each other. So how can Clary see them when she is a "mundane" i.e., a human? The Shadowhunters take her to an underground place called the City of Bones where she realizes that her mother has been wiping her memories since childhood. Clary is, in fact, a Shadowhunter too.
At this point, a romance starts developing between Clary and Jace, which makes Alec, Jace's gay Shadowhunter friend, and Simon, Clary's best friend, jealous. But the romance is destined not to last, at least not in this installment of the series, as further investigation reveals that Clary and Jace are brother and sister, their father being Valentine, a man who tried to "cleanse" the Nephilim population many years ago in an effort to get rid of Downworlders—those who are descended from demons. Even though Downworlders are not always evil, Valentine had it in for them. He was unsuccessful in his efforts all those years ago and it is up to Clary, Simon and the Shadowhunters to prevent him from making a comeback.
Cassandra Clare's real name is Judith Rumelt and she was born in Iran to American parents. Her family traveled a lot when she was young, so she lived in France, England and Switzerland before the age of ten. Since they were never in one place for too long, young Judith turned to books and always carried one under her arm. As an adult, she worked for various tabloids, writing celebrity gossip, but in 2006, she started writing fiction full time and playfully jokes that she never wants to write about Paris Hilton again. She is friends with Holly Black, also a fantasy writer and the two often refer to characters in each others' books within their own work.
When 15-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 24 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.
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride they will never want to end. Download and start listening now!