(The Mortal Instruments, Book #2)

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

The first book was a good introduction into Cassandra Claire’s unique world filled demons, vampires, shape shifters, magicians, and the magic circle. The second book ended up being a bit better than its predecessor, and while it’s not a book that I rave over, it was almost impossible to put down.

The story continues with focusing (a bit too much) on Clary and Jace being attracted to each other, despite the end of the last book and it’s “surprising revelation.” I didn’t feel the chemistry then and now it’s just growing old. Thankfully we’re not dulled with a love triangle for long as it’s resolved in this sequel. I’m much more excited about Magnus and Alec, seriously, it’s the best part of the book – but sadly takes up very little page time.

The villain ups his game and the story itself grows more interesting as the characters struggle with their relation to him, where he’s going and what this all means. He uses a frightening demon to help him, one that plays on people’s fears and opens with a creepy scene. The villain Valentine is bad news, but even he doesn’t irritate me as much as the obnoxious Inquisitor, who I wanted to reach through the book and slap. Hate unfair political internal powers that the good guys are supposed to belong to…At least with the bad guys, you’re expected to dislike them and their system, but when the people are involved with a system and fighting for something or someone annoying, it’s made worse somehow.

Unfortunately, while the story itself has progressed nicely and has all kinds of interesting things happen in the complex world with the supernatural, the author has upped the angst and emotional emphasis. It has now entered more into a traditional YA angst type level, which isn’t wanted. It’s not bad enough to turn me off from the book, but it is noticeable.

It’s not perfect, but there’s something about these books that make them hard to put down, and anxious to read more. Just give me more Magnus and Alec please, and I’ll be much happier!

   Book Quotes:

“I don't want to be a man," said Jace. "I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can't confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead."

“I've got a stele we can use. Who wants to do me?"
"A regrettable choice of words," muttered Magnus.

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