The Mortal Instruments is a series by Cassandra Clare which contains the story of Clary Fray and the secrets of her childhood. As far as Clary knows, she is an ordinary girl who loves to draw, hang out with her friend Simon and who reads the occasional manga title. Clary soon finds out, however, that she is anything but ordinary. She is in fact the latest in the line of Shadowhunters, warriors who fight against the demons of the world. That is only one of the many surprises that lay in store for Clary in this series.
I LOVE this series. It is filled with action, the paranormal/fantastical, and romance. However, just like a wonderful storyteller should, Clare is able to add her accent of uniqueness to each of these areas so that it never feels stale or cliché. Clary is a strong, but naive character. I found this portrayal of a young girl to be very realistic. Each character has their own set of insecurities and strengths and I enjoyed being able to care about all the characters and not just the "main" ones.
A powerful aspect of these books is the fact that the protagonist, Clary, finds out that her mother, the person whom she trusts most in the world, is not who she pretends to be. Although the story is definitely one of action and suspense, it is also one of coming-of-age. Clary not only learns about the people she loves, but she also finds out who she is in these books.
One of the features I especially love about the series is the connection it has to faith, belief and sometimes religion. It is not "religious" by any means, but because there is talk of demons and angels, it has that aspect. It provides another perspective of the mythology of these elements.
This story contains some aspects that may not be good for all readers. I am not a fan of censorship and believe we should trust that teenagers/young adults be able to read the material they are interested in. That said, I also believe that there are some elements in what we read that are triggers for some readers. This book contains violence, and incestuous concepts. These concepts are not treated in a "carefree" fashion and, unless the reader is especially sensitive to the topic, it does not deter from the fantastic story.