When I first joined the Bookstagram community, these books were all I ever saw anything about aside from Fangirl. The other members seemed to love them with the kind of passion that I loved Harry Potter with when I was growing up, so I knew I had to check them out. All I can say is, I’m so very glad I did. Getting completely lost in the world of the Shadowhunters has been so much fun. I love the world that Clare built and I truly want to be BFFs with the characters she created.
I was so sad to come to the end of this series, but lucky for me, there are several more books that she has written, and even more to come about these characters. I’ve added every single one of them to my TBR wishlist, and my birthday is just a few weeks away. (Are you reading this babe? Hint hint… BUY ALL OF THE CASSANDRA CLARE BOOKS FOR MY BIRTHDAY.)
I rated each of these individually, but the overall average for the series was 4.3 crowns.
I’m going to go into some details about each one after the jump, so please read on at your discretion. There WILL be spoilers.
From the jacket:
When fifteen 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. And she’s more than a little startled when the body disappears into thin air. Soon Clary is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. And Clary is introduced with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster. How could a mere human survive such an attack and kill a demon? The Shadowhunters would like to know.
I was really not super impressed with City of Bones, and it was only because of the enthusiasm of the other fans, that I continued on to book two. I was entertained, and I found the plot and characters to be enjoyable, but that was about as far as the good stuff went. I felt like the world building in the first book was incredibly shallow, and Clare spent most of her time describing the different demons that were attacking the characters. I’m sure a lot of people are into those sorts of gruesome details, but this kid is just not one of them. I DID enjoy the weapons that the Shadowhunters use, Isabelle’s whip in particular. She’s a badass lady.
Final Thoughts: The plot felt overly familiar, and was completely predicatable. Reading City of Bones was sort of like watching compelling reality TV. It’s a total guilty pleasure, that feels staged even though its entertaining, and you can’t stop watching even though you know you probably should. I did enjoy the characters, despite feeling as though I only grazed the surface of their development. They had great chemistry and the dialogue was funny and delightfully sarcastic.
Favorite Characters: Isabelle, Magnus, Clary & Jace
Jace: Do you remember back at the hotel when you promised that if we lived, you’d get dressed up in a nurse’s outfit and give me a sponge bath?
Clary: It was Simon who promised you the sponge bath.
Simon: As soon as I’m back on my feet, handsome.
Jace: I knew we should have left you a rat.
Half of your attention is better than all of anyone else’s.
Every teenager in the world feels like that, feels broken or out of place, different somehow, royalty mistakenly born into a family of peasants. The difference in your case is that it’s true
From the jacket:
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.
To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
I liked this one better. I was not even a little bit ok with the fact that at this point in the series we are to believe that Clary and Jace are brother and sister. I was so completely shipping them from book one and I just wasn’t having it. I’m also a super optimistic person, and when I want something to be true, I just refuse to believe it’s not…¯\_(ツ)_/¯ So despite Clare wanting me to think it, I never believed they were related, and read the books with the full intention of uncovering the plot twist that would prove me right.
Simon really irritated me in this book too, but I think that’s just because I didn’t want to see Clary having sexy romantic times with anyone but Jace. The world building improved in City of Ashes, and Clare gave us more of each of the characters. I really enjoy reading book series because one of my favorite parts is watching the characters grow and evolve with each new installment.
I’m also not digging the way that faeries are portrayed in this series. I am good with the werewolves, warlocks, and vampires, but the faeries get no love. I’ve got four young children, so we watch a lot of Tinkerbell movies at our house. Faeries are supposed to be kind creatures who help sick animals and make flowers grow. Those faeries are NOT the faeries portrayed in Clare’s world. Not even a little bit. TMI’s faeries are borderline sadistic, pathologically truth evading, bitches.
Final Thoughts: In my book journal, I literally wrote one word for this one; “better”. I think that sums it up. I was not totally hooked yet at this point, but definitely enjoying it more, and did not hesitate to immediately pick up book three when I finished it.
Favorite Characters: Clary, Jace, Luke, Isabelle, Magnus
Jace: I don’t want to be a man. I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.
Luke: Well, you’re doing a fantastic job.
Clary: We came to see Jace. Is he alright?
Magnus: I don’t know, does he normally just lie on the floor like that without moving?
As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?
From the jacket:
To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters—never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City—whatever the cost?
At this point in the series, I’m not ALL IN yet, but I’m pretty damn close. I haven’t completely abandoned all other responsibilities yet, but I can feel it coming soon.
Also, was it completely obvious to anyone but me that Sebastian was the big bad? Anyone?
I enjoyed being in Idris and felt like Clare did a much more convincing job creating a vivid parallel world. I also fell even more deeply in love with Magnus in this book and he is quickly becoming my most favorite character of them all. It’s so wonderful and so so important to be able to read mainstream stories that have queer love portrayed in them. Thank you for that Mrs. Clare.
Final Thoughts: It’s been a few weeks since I finished these, so I keep referring back to my reading journal. For this one, I quickly jotted down, “Starting to really enjoy these. Totally attached to the characters now”. I think that’s a pretty spot on representation.
Favorite Characters: Magnus, Simon, Clary, Jace & Luke
Jace: Is this the part where you say if I hurt her, you’ll kill me?
Simon: No. If you hurt Clary she’s quite capable of killing you herself. Possibly with a variety of weapons.
I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there’s a life after that, I’ll love you then.
You said you were going for a walk!? What kind of walk takes six hours?
A long one?
From the jacket:
The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
This is the book that hooked me on the series. I’m ALL IN now. The kind of all in that means I’m neglecting everything just to keep reading. Sorry kids, Mommy will be back soon. I finished this one in less than 24 hours. And at the end of that 24 hours, bleary eyed and exhausted, I picked up the next book rather than getting some much needed sleep.
Despite the fact that I KNEW that Jace and Clary weren’t related, it’s much less creepy to read about their deep unending love now that I know for sure. Also, I know this is a YA series, but if the two of them don’t get it on soon I’m legit going to lose my mind. Cassandra Clare is the effing Queen of the slow burn – sweet Jesus.
Fun Fact: This is the most liked picture I’ve ever posted on my Bookstagram feed.
Final Thoughts: The book journal says, “TOTALLY HOOKED. Unputdownable. If C&J don’t bang soon, I’m going to lose my mind.” Have I mentioned in the “About Me” section what a classy lady I am?
Favorite Characters: Jace, Clary, Magnus, Simon & Jordan
But I watch my brothers give their hearts away and I think, Don’t you know better? Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.
Still I pictured having you for fifty, sixty more years. I thought I might be ready then to let you go. But it’s you, and I realize now that I won’t be anymore ready to lose you then than I am right now. Which is not at all.
Dudes do not follow other dudes to the bathroom.
Isabelle sighed. Latent homosexual panic will do you in every time.
From the jacket:
When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
I think it was after reading this book (again in less than 24 hours) that I went onto Amazon and added every other Shadowhunter related book to my wishlist. Every. Other. One. Even the Codex. That’s right, The Codex. How else will I get to learn how to be a Shadowhunter?
This book felt uniquely different from all the others, and I really enjoyed the way it was written. The dichotomy between everyone back at home trying to figure out how to help Clary and Jace versus the time spent in the Twilight Zone with Sebastian, Clary, and Jace was fascinating, compelling & fun. City of Lost Souls was so well paced, and I loved zipping back and forth between the story arcs.
As I raced through the story, I found myself sympathizing with Sebastian more often than not. He’s so very desperate for love and family, and I wondered on more than one occasion what would have happened to him if Clary had been able to use the sword on him instead of Jace. Would there have been enough good left over that he wouldn’t have died?
I also completely geeked out about the faerie rings that Clary and Simon use to communicate with each other while she’s in the realm with Jace and Sebastian. That was a cool concept and I would like to get myself a set of those.
Final Thoughts: Book journal says, “5 crowns. OMG. Read this in less than 24 hours. So. Good.” I’m clearly becoming more eloquent with my notes as my excitement level rises.
Favorite Characters: Brother Zachariah, Jace, Clary, Magnus, Simon & Isabelle
Simon: Basia coquet. Or whatever their motto is.
Alec: It’s ‘Descensus Averno facilis est.’The descent into hell is easy. You just said “Kiss the cook.
Simon: Dammit. I knew Jace was screwing with me.
Magnus: I think of myself as a freewheeling bisexual.
Alec: Please never say those words in front of my parents. Especially my father.
How was the Seelie Queen?
Same as usual.
Raging bitch, then?
From the jacket:
Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…
Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?
This. Book. This book made me feel all the feels. I read this one a lot slower than the last two, because as much as I wanted to know what was going to happen, I also didn’t want it to be over.
Clare introduces us to a new family of Shadowhunters from the LA institute, and my understanding is that these are the characters that make up the new Dark Artifices series. After meeting Emma and Julian and the rest, I can honestly say I’m even more stoked to start them. It took all of my will power not to drive out that night and buy Lady Midnight.
This was such a kick ass conclusion and I loved every minute of it. Clare seamlessly wove the new characters into the story, and despite knowing them for only one book versus six, I am one hundred percent vested in them. The Endarkened ones completely shattered my heart, and I was really hoping they would be able to find a cure for them.
Jace and Clary finally get it on, and it is so perfect, and so tastefully written. It was all about their love for each other, and it was incredibly sweet and romantic, and so so hot. No gratuitous details whatsoever, and she still managed to make it the steamiest love scene possibly ever. Jace and Clary just may be my OTP. But also Magnus and Alec. Can one have more than one OTP? I’m not sure about the rules here.
I’ve only just started to realize how many pictures I post of books paired with coffee and donuts.
Final Thoughts: Book journal notes, “5 crowns! I am so in love with this series! This book made me feel ALL (underlined twice) the feels. I laughed. I cried. I just love it. I cannot wait to read the rest!” There you have it folks. If you were on the fence before, I can whole heartedly recommend this series despite the rocky start. It is a kick ass urban fantasy novel full of superb world building, memorable characters, and laugh out loud dialogue. Read it! And if you’ve already read it, tell me in the comments what you thought. I’ve had zero luck convincing my wife to read it so… help a sister out.
Favorite Characters: Emma, Julian, Brother Zachariah, Magnus, Alec, Isabelle, Simon, Clary, Jace & Maia
Did Brother Zachariah just steal our cat?
We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss.
Isabelle: Brother Zachariah. Months January through December of the Hot Silent Brothers Calendar. Alec: There’s a Hot Silent Brothers Calendar? Do they sell it?
There are a hundred trillion cells in the human body, and every single one of the cells of my body loves you. We shed cells, and grow new ones, and my new cells love you more than the old ones, which is why I love you more every day than I did the day before. It’s science. And when I die and they burn my body and I become ashes that mix with the air, and part of the ground and the trees and the stars, everyone who breathes that air or sees the flowers that grow out of the ground or looks up at the stars will remember you and love you, because I love you that much.