Description: The Moral Instruments series consists of, currently three books – CITY OF BONES, CITY OF ASHES AND CITY OF GLASS – but it was announced last year that there will actually be three further books – CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS, CITY OF LOST SOULS AND CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE. They are based around a group of teenagers that have to save the world. Has a bit of a paranormal twist. Characters in the books are what they call Shadowhunters (basically your standard vampire hunters pumped up) and they keep the world at peace by pushing back Downworlders (which are your standard vamps, weres, demons and other badies with magic).
The first book (CITY OF BONES) follows Clary (Clarissa Fray) finding out about herself and who she is. She meets a group of Shadowhunters (Jace Wayland, Alec Lightwood and Isabelle Lightwood) in a club while they are fighting off some demons. She enters their world and must get used to the difference between the world that she knew and the world that was hiding under her nose. Because of the cast of characters she is constantly in conflict between the world of the Mundanes (those who do not know of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders) and that of those who are Shadowhunters. Her best friend is Simon, a regular mortal and his humanity causes a constant conflict for her. The story itself follows Clary on the journey to discover what happened to her mother who has disappeared and find out what role she plays in this world she has been thrown into. The bad guy is Valentine, a man who is anti-Downworlder and is aiming to destroy them all. Including those Shadowhunters that wish to keep downworlders alive as long as they follow the rules. Through the first book, we get introduced to a lot of key characters that will continue through the story.
The second book (CITY OF ASHES) continues shortly after the end of book one. Valentine has escaped with one of the mortal instruments. The Inquisitor has arrived and is questioning Jace’s loyalties. Valentine continues to search for the remaining two mortal instruments to continue his plan in the destruction of the downworlders. Simon is getting sicker and sicker and Clary has discovered he is calling her his girlfriend. We begin to get introduced to other characters that will play big parts. There is a mysterious killer going around killing different downworlders and draining their blood. We find out that Valentine had experimented on children (including his own) and that because of that both Clary and Jace have special abilities. The story ends with a major fight at where Valentine is hiding out, leading to many people to become very hurt and/or dead.
The third installment (CITY OF GLASS) takes place around a week after the events in the second book. Our group of heroes has decided the need to get to Alicante (the city for the Shadowhunters) to continue to stop bad things from happening from Valentine. They take portals made by Magnus (and Clary) and get there. At one point Clary gets sick from ingesting some bad water. This book is a round up of a lot of information that was hidden from us in the first two books. We get a lot more information on Clary and her family and her past. We get the development of different relationships. We get introduced to new characters both bad and good. Its action packed and I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll just say it gets you where you need to go and very well.
According to Clare’s websites and Twitters, the next three books are going to follow the characters that are in the first three books but will follow a different story line since the other was resolved in book three. I’m looking forward to reading the next ones!
Review: I loved these books! Not only does Clare have an ability to pull you into the characters and her world, she has a way of making you have love/hate relationships with all of it.
I love being in Clary’s eyes and seeing her struggle with the realization that her world is not the one she thought it always was. She has to deal with all the hardships in the revelation of who her family is and the lies her life has been centered on for a majority of her life. It’s fun to watch her grow into the person she is destined to become. Her relationships with different characters range from “aww how sweet” to “what the hell is going on” and it’s exciting to see where they go.
Simon, who is human through a majority of the book, is an interesting character to follow. Because of his love for Clary, he is like a puppy dog on her heels, following and helping whenever he can. When he turns into a vampire, his whole life is turned upside down. Watching his relationships with the different characters fluctuate through the book is an interesting one. I really had a love hate relationship with Simon’s character and at times even feel guilty for what he goes through.
Jace is a character you have to love and you have to hate. He is your standard bad boy character that you fall in love with. He acts tough which makes it so much more endearing to see him weak and vulnerable. His tale is a hard one, his story revolves around Valentine, Clary, Lightwoods and the Waylands and it’s a very difficult journey for him. One of discovery and one of power.
Alec is a fun one as well. His is a journey of self discovery. Of learning to be himself. He must live with his decisions to be gay in a world where homosexuality is forbidden or at least look down upon. And Magnus, who is his “boyfriend” must help him learn to deal with and the possible repercussions. I love that Clare put in this story line, though homosexuality in stories for young adult is becoming, slowly, more common it still seems to have a forbidden taint to it and its fun to see how it is written.
Most of the other characters have fun journeys as well, but I think I’ll shorten this up by just saying you should read it! Clare has a wonderful talent of making you love each of the cast of characters and each of them has their own stories to tell. I was excited to here about additional books because I wanted more of it when I had first finished reading CITY OF GLASS. Now I am rereading them in preparation for the next book to come out in April.
Rating: 5 out of 5 for each book!
Cara Mia Amore