City of Bones is the first book in the series, which is filled with vampires, werewolves, fairies and demons. When Clary Fray witnesses three tattoo-covered teenagers murder another teen, she is bewildered because the victim disappears and no one else can see the killers. Then she learns that the teens are Shadowhunters, humans who hunt and kill demons, and she can see them because she is a shadowhunter whose skills are just emerging. Shortly after this her mother is kidnapped, and Clary finds out that her mother is also a Shadowhunter and the only one who knows the location of The Mortal Cup, a dangerous magical item that turns humans into Shadowhunters. Clary and her friend Simon are drawn into a world filled with danger and intrigue, where renegade Shadowhunters led by the evil Valentine are trying to kill all non humans. Romantic tension is created when Simon declares his love for Clary, only to find out Clary is in love with one of the Shadowhunters named Jace. However, as the first book draws to a close, Clary finds out that not only is she Valentine's daughter but Jace is supposedly Valentine's son.
The sequel City of Ashes finds Clary’s mother in a magically induced coma. Clary’s only hope of helping her mother is to hunt down her father, the evil Valentine. To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering vampire, werewolf and faerie 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 suspects Clary’s brother Jace. Clary wonders if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
In City of Glass, the book which was originally advertised as the final installment of the Mortal Instrument series, Clary goes to the City of Glass in search of a remedy for her dying mother. There she gets involved in a battle between the Shadow hunters and Valentine’s army of demons in a last ditch effort to save the world. Romantic issues are resolved and surprising relationships are revealed in what was supposed to be a satisfying ending to the popular series.
After beginning a prequel series with the book Clockwork Angel (see 10/26/10 blog) , the author then announced she would write three more installments of the Mortal instruments series. In the fourth book, City of Fallen Angels which was released in April, the mortal war is over and Clary is training to be a shadow hunter. However, the peace between the shadow hunters and the downworlders is broken when someone begins murdering shadow hunters. Simon, who is attempting to adjust to life as a vampire, seems to be at the center of the conflict. Jace and Clary once again are pulled apart when Jace begins having dreams about killing Clary.
Personally, I thought this terrific series should have ended with City of Glass, which tied up all loose ends and brought the lovers together. As I was reading City of Fallen Angels, I found myself annoyed with the story line, and not really caring about the characters any more. However, fans of the series may be thrilled to have three more books, which I consider to be a retread of the original story.