I know. It’s hard to believe we’re done with the Stone Age. Unfortunately, we have to move on to something else, and this is it. Don’t sigh, it’ll be fun. Promise.
Cassandra Clare used to spell her last name ‘Claire’ and was a huge name in the world of Harry Potter fanfic. There were allegations of plagiarism and getting people to buy her new computers…all of the stuff that generally happens in fandoms, but multiplied times a billion.
Anyway, when Em asked me to read the second one so she knew whether to continue with the series, I jumped on it. “THAT’S JUST WHAT I NEED FOR THE NEXT TRASHY TUESDAY,” I said. I didn’t care that the covers were gross or that I knew they’d be horrible. I looked forward to it. This is what I love the most, talking trash about…trash.
So. This book. Take Harry Potter, Buffy, X-Men, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars (and a bunch of other things I’m probably forgetting right now) and put them in a blender with internetisms and leather pants. You’ll have this book.
Excuse me. You’ll have this series, because somehow she’s managed to put out FOUR BOOKS already, with more on the way.
Everything is perfectly normal for perfectly normal Clary before the night she witnesses a group of tattooed hooligans murder another teen at a dance club…until she realizes she’s the only one who can see both the hooligans and the kid that was killed. The next day she gets into an argument with her mother about leaving town for the rest of the summer and storms off.
She heads out for coffee with her BFF Simon, and while there, runs into one of the tattooed kids from the night before…but he no longer has any tattoos. Oh, and she thinks he’s super cute and agrees to leave the coffee shop to talk to him. Smart girl, Clary. Super smart.
While she’s talking to him outside, her mom calls and there’s a ruckus in the background. Her mom tells her she needs to call Luuuuuuuuuuuuke because he’s the only one she can trust, then the line dies. Instead of thinking and calling the cops or anything a normal person would do, Clary takes off running for home. She gets there to find that their house is trashed and she can’t find her mom anywhere. When she enters her room, she’s attacked by some kind of demon that she manages to kill all by herself, but not before it stings her.
Newly non-tattooed Jace shows up with his magic stele (think wand, tattoo gun and sonic screwdriver all combined into one) and rescues her from the demons disguised as cops – that show up to clean up the mess – and he takes her back to the Institute.
Mutant Academy The Institute is a kind of safe-house and school for travelling Shadowhunters and their children. Shadowhunters are actually nephilim, a group of people that’ve pledged to rid the world of demons. They got their powers by drinking the blood of an angel from the Mortal Cup. After that, anyone who drank from the cup became a Shadowhunter, but the Cup has been missing for the last 15 years (conveniently, that’s how old Clary is). 13 Grimmauld Place The Institute is also hidden in plain sight. Mere mortals (called Muggles Mundies) can not even sense its presence, you have to be a Shadowhunter, vampire, werewolf or warlock to know it’s there. Oh, but vampires can’t enter because it was once a church and the ground is still sanctified.
While there, she meets the other two teens (Alec and Isabelle, brother and sister, their family has essentially adopted Jace since his parents died) that were with
Draco Jace the night she witnessed the murder (but they were actually killing a demon, so everything’s cool there) and Professor Xavier Barty Crouch Jr Hodge. Hodge was once part of a group of rogue Shadowhunters that called themselves Deatheaters The Circle. Their leader was a man named Voldemort Valentine, and their purpose was to rid the world of all demons and Mudbloods Downworlders (this list includes all vampires, warlocks and werewolves). When Valentine was destroyed/went into hiding (no one is really sure which), the Circle was disbanded and all of its members were caught and punished. Hodge’s punishment was rather severe. He’s forced to spend the rest of his days inside the Institute. If he steps outside, he’ll die. Choosing life over death, he’s become tutor to the kids that live there.
Everyone wonders how Clary is able to see all of these things she shouldn’t be able to.
Muggles Mundies can’t see magic Shadowhunters if they don’t want to be seen, nor are they able to see Grimmauld Place the Institute. Hodge calls on Jeremiah, one of an order of magical monks known as the Silent Brothers, to delve into her mind to see what’s up with the what’s up. He discovers a mental block that he can’t get past, so takes Clary and Jace to the home of the Silent Brothers – the City of Bones. They do all of their mystical mumbojumbo to try to get past the block, but all that comes up is a name. MAGNUS BANE
No, really. That’s his name. And guess what? Isabelle just happens to have an invite to a rager he’s having at his place that very night! Alec, Isabelle, Jace, Clary and Simon (for some reason) all head to the party. Jace stops outside to check out the sweet flying motorcycles driven by
Sirius Black vampires, and pulls a prank on the bloodsucking fiends by putting holy water in the gas tank. Since the motorcycles are fueled by demons, this is supposed to completely dissolve the engine or something…I don’t know, the explanation was pretty sucky. (HA! Punintentional.)
Anyway, at the party they discover that Magnus is the High Warlock of Brooklyn and he has been erasing Clary’s memories since she was two, but only her mom can put things right. (Remember Clary’s mom? The one that was kidnapped at the beginning? Yeah, I’d forgotten too.) Magnus flirts with Alec (Alec swears he’s not gay, but is constantly casting longing glances in Jace’s direction), Simon tries to impress Isabelle by drinking some faerie drink and gets turned into a rat.
The vampires get pissed about the holy water prank, try to start a brawl and Magnus kicks everyone out. Clary realizes that
Peter Pettigrew Simon is missing and they all come to the conclusion that he must be with the vampires, who thought the rat was one of their own. Jace and Clary head to a vampire nest downtown to get Simon back and are helped by a kid they meet in the alley outside. They get in and it turns out the kid is a vampire, the acting leader of the Vamps Take Manhattan or whatever they called themselves.
Rat Simon takes a bite out of the vamp that’s holding him and they try to make their escape as some werewolves come out of nowhere. They steal a flying motorcycle, and crash it as the sun comes up (demon bikes only run at night). Once back at the Institute, Simon goes off to sleep to recover from his injuries while Clary and Jace make out in the greenhouse. Clary figures out where the Mortal Cup is and all the kids go to get it. It’s being held (unknowingly) by the fake witch that lived downstairs from Clary her whole life. Mommy hid the Cup in a tarot card she drew for the neighbour, and Clary’s developing powers will enable her to remove it.
While there, they’re betrayed by the fake witch and a greater demon comes to destroy them all. Luckily, Simon thinks to shoot out the skylight with an arrow and the demon dies in the sunlight.
They hightail it out of there, and take the Cup to Hodge, cos he’s the only adult left in this story. Hodge betrays them, he’s still working for
Voldemort Valentine. He touches his Dark Mark uses a magic mirror to call him and Valentine appears to remove Hodge’s curse and abscond with both Jace and the Cup. Clary tries to follow Hodge, but gets snatched by a bunch of werewolves. Those werewolves are led by Luke, her mom’s best friend. Luke has some bad news for Clary, namely that Valentine is her father, not some soldier that was killed before she was born.
They make the super smart decision of going after Valentine, Jace and Jocelyn (Clary’s mom) and the werewolves launch a full scale assault on their hiding place. Clary, Luke and a few of his pack members make it inside. They find Jocelyn knocked out and hooked up to an IV, bound with silver chains. While Luke is distracted by that, Clary sneaks off and finds Valentine and Jace.
There is much monologuing. During the speech talking about how brilliantly evil he is, he reveals that not only is he Clary’s father BUT JACE’S AS WELL. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, girlfriend, you made out with your brother. Grooooooooooooss!
Luke shows up, he and Jace fight Valentine. Valentine escapes through a portal to the Shadowhunter Home Country, where he’s hidden the cup. He implores Jace to join him so together they can rule the galaxy as father and son, but Jace refuses.
Clary takes her mom to the hospital because she’s in a coma and heads back to the Institute. There she finds Magnus flirting with Alec (the warlock is a great healer and ‘hey, I healed you!’ is a fantastic pickup line) and Jace. They get all weepy about how they can’t be together because they’re related.
REALLY?! Your mother is in a coma, you’ve just learned about werewolves, vampires and magic…and the thing you’re most worried about is that YOU CAN’T MAKE OUT WITH YOUR BROTHER?!