City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
(Simon Pulse, Paperback, 2007)
When Clary witnesses a murder and sees the body disappear before her eyes, she thinks she's going crazy. But then her mom is kidnapping under mysterious circumstances and Clary is suddenly confronted with an entire world that she didn't know existed. A world in which vampires, werewolves, and demons are fighting for dominance. Clary learns that she is the descendent of Shadowhunters, a group of humans that were blessed with angel blood and given the task to rid the world of demons. Will Clary be able to understand and accept her inheritance in time to save her mother?
This book, and the entire series, completely captivated me from beginning to end. Clary is a dynamic heroine, filled with equal parts confident control and shy hesitancy. Despite the fact that she knows nothing of the Shadowhunters and their history, she maintains her strong exterior and is equal to the task of fighting for her mother's life. Jace and Simon are definitely some of my favorite romantic leads. Simon is the happy-go-lucky best friend who sticks by Clary through thick and thin. Jace is the guy who challenges her at every step yet he has an unshakeable confidence in her abilities as a Shadowhunter. The action in this novel was well-balanced, not too much to detract from the interesting story but enough to keep me flipping the pages and guessing who would come out on top. One of the hardest things in writing a series is to conclude one book satisfactorily while leaving enough plot lines open to create the next book. City of Bones definitely delivers this. Clary's struggles weren't quite resolved but I was left feeling like this book had a good ending. Of course, I then immediately picked up the next book...
Stay tuned for my reviews of the next two novels in this series, City of Ashes and City of Glass.