Virginia Nelson's Reviews > The Mortal Instruments Boxed Set: City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass

The Mortal Instruments Boxed Set by Cassandra Clare
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Nov 30, 2011

it was amazing
I own a copy

City of Bones first caught my eye about a year ago but it got back-burnered due to time constraints. I loved the cover art and had read some good reviews on it.

And then we got the audiobook and I was hooked on the series.

Clary Frae is a pretty ordinary girl. I liked that she was an artist and that her best friend, Simon, had a huge crush on her that she was cheerfully oblivious to. Clary lives with her single mother and has Luke, her mom's friend, as a male influence.

(Also loved that Clary was growing up in a non-traditional household. Loved.)

Clary is at a club when she sees a blue haired boy get stabbed (I think he had blue hair... it has been a minute since I read book one...) but no one believes her. The stabber in the incident, a drop dead gorgeous boy named Jace, pops back up because Clary shouldn't have been able to 'see' him.

Okay, paranormal stuff begins.

Turns out there is a whole world that we don't know about that functions within ours. A world of Shadowhunters and Demons and other good stuff. But all of this is set in the middle of the city. Which I loved. Loved.

So we move on to book two of the series.
City of Ashes picks up where City of Bones leaves off.

Without giving away spoilers, I will say that Clary's life has not returned to normal in the least. She has discovered that she is far from a normal girl but she has been lied to her whole life.

By her mom. Who is now in a coma so she STILL isn't giving up any answers.

She is no longer oblivious to Simon's feelings for her and is even trying out dating him to try to distract her from... other things.

Clary has also learned that the biggest bad guy out there... Evil walking on two feet... Is her dad.

Talk about things that will send you into counseling.

But Clary is pretty badass. She is not willing to sit around crying because boo-hoo daddy is an evil overlord possibly killing kids. Or boo-hoo my mommy lied to me and I don't know who I am...

Not our girl. Nope, she is out there, on the streets of New York, fighting the bad guys and sticking her nose right in the thick of the magic and mayhem. Love this character...

Book Three: City of Glass
Again, we pick up where we left off. I liked that about this series... There was no long drawn out explaining of where we were or "In the last episode..." It was just-wham-back into the world.

Okay, so Clary is traveling back to her hometown but she has never been here in her entire memory so it is all really foreign to her. She knows she is a Shadowhunter but as to her culture, her people and their world... Yeah, she is just picking things up as she goes along.

Simon is thrown in prison and the good guys aren't acting like good guys. Jace and Clary are pinging off each other and feeling terrible for feelings they can't control... or stop. On top of that, both Jace and Clary are discovering all sorts of new powers that they never dreamed of having... But will these powers be enough to save them from Valentine?

This was meant to be the last book in the series. I am so happy to say that it wasn't. It isn't. There is more...

Book Four: City of Fallen Angels
The blurb given on the authors website told me NOTHING of what to expect on this one. I hoped, since I could see Clary and Simon on the cover, that the story would be about them.

I was happy to see that it was.

All was well when we left everyone at the end of City of Ashes. But like the last Harry Potter book, this seemed unbelievable to me. There was so much that these characters had dealt with... Are you seriously telling me that they went on and were fine? No PTSD? No other bad guys who are gonna pop up to try to balance out the good vs. evil thing since there are such obviously good guys out there?

Clare didn't leave me hanging. There are bad guys out there. They want to kick the asses of our good guys. Our good guys are still emotional wrecks because of the crap they got put through in the first three books. Yippee!!! Happy reader!!

All in all, here is my review of the series to date (because, yes, there are more books coming...Thank you Cassandra Clare. I thank you, my kids thank you. We all want to meet you, get your autograph and tell you how amazingly awesome you are...):

If you like paranormal books, you will love this. If you love snarky heroines who don't sit around and wait to be rescued, you will love this series. If you like hero's that act cocky but it is all to cover this super sweet core of niceness... You will love this series. If you like drama and sexy and scary all bundled in one book, you will love this series.

These books had the full package. We tried to read the Iron Fey series and were disappointed. (There was a lot of illogical stuff and it dropped us out of the world like a rock.) Our kids loved Jane True... and love snarky characters (they read the Twilight series but we were frustrated with Bella and her whining...simpering... and obsessiveness) who fall in love (but although it is young and somewhat obsessive love they are still DOING OTHER STUFF. They don't lay down and hope to die in a forest because the other one left... *ahem*) while there is adventure and plot twists at every turn...

These books delivered.

I cannot recommend this one enough (and if you follow me on facebook, you have probably heard me recommending them. At length. Repeatedly. To multiple people...) so I will leave you with...
Yes, Virg thinks these are good books. Sex is mentioned (So probably steer your six year old away...) but it isn't ever described and the main characters still haven't done anything (we are on page 325 of 424 of City of Fallen Angels so I guess they could rip their clothes off in the last few pages and have wild monkey sex with nipples flying and stuff... But I kind of doubt it.) major. So our tween and teen kids are happy (enough to keep them intrigued without being sex ed in a book... which we have encountered. *ahem* Wow. lol)

I figured I would mention sex since our eyes about popped out of our heads when we were listening to Marked in the house of night and -bam- someone is in the hallway doing something... *ahem* and I had recommended Marked for our girls... These books are less sex than that series, even. So if you were a fan of the House of Night series, yes. You will like this. If your kids were or if you steered clear of them because of the sex... This one is safe, no sex ed. Less explaining about what characters would be doing on their knees... (and let me tell you, PC and Kristen Cast, I gotta thank you. The dialogue that me and the kids had after that scene... Priceless. I could have waited a few years for it but... *ahem* priceless.)

Okay, longest review in history here. But it was a series, right? *sigh*

Happy reading!!
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