Book Review–The Mortal Instruments Books 1-3

I was inspired recently, mostly due to the awful TV show, to re-read the Mortal Instruments novels and because I did not blog back when I first read them, to do a review for the books.  I figured the best way to do this was to group the books together and do one big review and so I sort of decided to do that.  Cassandra Clare had said a while ago that she always intended books 1-3 to be one series and books 4-6 to be another series, so that’s how I’ve decided to read them and review them.  This review will be of City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass.  THERE WILL BE SOME SPOILERS, though nothing too major, but in order to do a brief synopsis of each novel, I’m going to have to let a few cats out of the bag, so if you have not read the books yet and don’t want anything spoiled, this review would not be for you.

City of Bones


At the beginning of City of Bones, we meet Clary, a seemingly normal high school girl, and her best friend Simon.  While the two are at a club, Clary sees something that she can’t explain, especially when she realizes Simon can’t see what she’s talking about, so she writes it off.  That is until her mother is kidnapped and she meets a boy named Jace, who introduces her to the world of Shadowhunters, a type of people who’s blood is mixed with that of the angels and who fight to protect the world from demons.  Together, along with other Jace’s adoptive sister and brother, Isabelle and Alec, the group work to find out what happened to Clary’s mother and get her back.

So this book is a great start to the series.  We are introduced to the world of shadowhunting and things are explained well.  Cassandra Clare does a great job of painting a picture of the world for us.  Things are exciting and some sort of action is always going on to keep us enthralled.  You also have a decent introduction to all of the characters that really gives you an insight into their behaviors and personality.  You’re also introduced to a couple of characters who make a big impact throughout the entire series like Magnus Bane, a warlock, who is both in the Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices, as well as having his own collection of short stories (which are hilarious and a must read!); Luke, a werewolf, who is also basically Clary’s adoptive father; and Raphael, a vampire, who is basically the head of the New York vampires, since the current head of the clan is said to be out of town.

The book is full of action, love, a little romance, and magic.  If you have not yet read this, I do highly recommend it; although I’m not in love with each of the books individually, as you will see towards the end of this review, the series as a whole is actually quite good and takes place within a fantasy world unlike any other.

City of Ashes


City of Ashes takes off right where City of Bones left off.  Clary has her mother back but she’s in  a coma-like state that nobody can seem to get her out of.  She’s conflicted because of what she found out about her and Jace.  And Valentine, Clary’s father and a homicidal monster of sorts, is free with an object known as the Mortal Cup, a cup with the ability to turn people into shadowhunters.

This book is full of struggle.  At the beginning, Clary is dealing with her forbidden feelings for Jace while trying to mask them with a romance with someone else.  Jace is hardly talking to her and trying to leave her out of everything that is going on.  Her mother is basically in a coma in a hospital and she can’t do anything to save her, and she still barely knows anything about herself and what she really is and what she’s capable of.  A lot of stuff happens in this book that leads to further conflict and the book ends with some secrets revealed and a pretty neat battle.

All-in-all, I really like this one.  It is, in a way, kind of a filler novel, but it was well done enough that it doesn’t really feel like one.  You get to see more sides of each of the characters and start to understand who some of them are just a little bit more.  You also get to see more of what Valentine is capable of and what he kind of has in plan in the future, which can pose some serious risk to the shadowhunters, especially Jace.  Also something kind of bad happens to Simon that will change him forever.

Again this book is full of action, magic, romance, and a slightly different love story.

City of Glass


Again this book starts off where the last one left off.  Clary’s mother is still in a coma-like state, but now she knows how she can save her.  Of course it involves her going to Idris, the shadowhunters home city, which could put her at risk if the Clave, a group of leaders, ask too many questions.  Clary ends up going there however, unbeknownst to anyone except Luke, and against the wishes of Jace, who is afraid, not only for Clary to go to Idris, but to be around Clary.  He ends up getting over it eventually, though, and the two go off in hopes of saving Clary’s mother.  But then Idris is attacked, in what seems like an impossible scenario, and somehow demons enter what is supposed to be a protected city.  Which leads to decisions that have to be made, and the revealing of some secrets that could expose both Clary and Jace.

I feel very iffy about this book.  For the most part, I really enjoy it.  I love the ending, the book is kind of leading up to this big battle and I felt like in that respect the story really did not disappoint.  But Clary and Jace are quite annoying in this book.  They have a forbidden romance thing going on, which would normally be interesting if they both weren’t so whiny about the whole thing, especially Jace.  Jace is led to believe something about himself and because of that he starts to act differently, as if he is trying to act like how he thinks he should based on what he thinks he is and it’s annoying.  He is purposefully rude and pushes Clary away, but then tries to pull her back towards him and you’re left with this yo-yo effect that’s kind of frustrating.

We do find out a lot more about Valentine’s past as well as Clary’s mother’s past and what led her to falling in love with Valentine and marrying him in the first place.  We also find out a little bit about what led him to becoming what he is and led him to his belief in purifying the world of demons, including those that are only part demons, i.e. the downworlders (the name used to group vampires, werewolves, faeries, and warlocks together).  We also learn of sick experiments that he was doing not only on downworlders and demons but on a couple of other people that I won’t say so as to not spoil it.

All-in-all I do really like the book for the most part.  My biggest complaints would be that the forbidden romance thing becomes annoying and Clary and Jace just aren’t my favorite in this book.  There is one majorly heartbreaking moment in the story that leads me to sobbing every time I read the book.  Other then that though, this book has a lot of cool background information that is brought to light as well as an interesting battle at the end.


So that is my opinion on the first three Mortal Instruments books.  Like I said up top, for the most part I do enjoy the series.  Sure there are things that I have problems with throughout the books, I know my review of the next three will not be as nice, but I really do enjoy the series and characters as a whole.  I have not yet re-read the last three but when I do, I will have that review up.


About MindyGrimmBlogs

I'm a 20 something enthusiast of all things geek. I live in Pittsburgh, PA and work as a banker during the day. At night I geek out in a variety of different ways whether it be playing board games, video games, seeing movies, reading books, buying comics and collectibles, or anything else that strikes my fancy. This space is going to be a place for me to share my views and reviews and hopefully connect with others who enjoy such things as well. If you would like to contact me for anything regarding reviewing a book or anything like that, my email is
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