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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. 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?
When Clary discovers the secret world of the Shadowhunters her life changes rapidly, and she starts to question everything she's been told by her mother. Only things get difficult when her mother is disappears and Clary finds herself being attacked by demons. In her journey to find out just what is happening she meets Jace, a seemingly idiotic, egotistical boy, the feisty Isabelle and her brother Alec, and discovers the Institute, a place of refuge for Shadowhunters.
My first impressions when I read this book were that I would need to read it again, something I haven't yet managed with it being a library book! There's a lot of terminology regarding the Shadowhunters that gets thrown at you but stick with it, because once you've got your head around this fictional universe you'll be totally engrossed in it. As Clary learns more about the world, so does the reader and she's just as confused about what's happening at the start, but it's worth it in the end. If you love magic, stories with supernatural elements or just books with lots of action then this is absolutely the series for you!
Ultimately the characters in this book are what really made me love it.I liked the mix of personalities and their senses of humour, and thought the ensemble worked well together. Clary is a fantastic lead female, with her artistic flare and her relationship with her best friend Simon completely warming you to her.
Some of the twists and plot points I could see coming from early on, which maybe ruined the reveal a little but there were enough surprises along the way to keep you hooked and I really enjoyed reading it. A fantastic start to The Mortal Instruments series.
What to read next: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, the second instalment of The Mortal Instruments series.
Books like this: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K Rowling, The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong.