City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
In Cassandra Clare’s novel City of Bones, Clary Fray is just an average girl living in New York city until she witnesses a boy getting murdered by three teenagers covered with intricate tattoos and carrying bizarre weapons. Clary wants to go to someone about the murder, but the body mysteriously disappears out of thin air and she is the only person who can see the strange teenagers. What Clary soon finds out is that these teenagers are Shadow Hunters, warriors whose job is to hunt down and kill demons, and to keep a watchful eye on the other creatures that go bump in the night. Soon events take a turn for the worst when Clary herself is attacked by a demon and her mother is kidnapped and placed into a magically induced coma.
Clary can’t understand why any of this is happening -- she is just a normal girl with an average life, and nothing strange had ever happened until she met the Shadow Hunters. But, what she soon finds out is that there are secrets about her past and events that have been wiped from her memory. Now, she needs the Shadow Hunters to remember her past and rescue her mother just as much as they strangely need her to defeat the malicious Valentine, a powerful Shadow Hunter who has turned against his own kind.
This book is part of a series with four other books written and two more planned, and it is my favorite series of books out there. The author Cassandra Clare has done an amazing job capturing the mindsets and spirit of young adults without making them sound too immature or brooding. The characters are deep and complex, each unique in his or her own way and each with something for everyone to love. Although at first Clary may seem like the average damsel in distress lead role that fills so many other series in this genre, as the books progress she becomes a force to be reckoned with. Clare has created a wonderfully twisted and dark world full of new demonic creatures as well as a few classic supernatural creatures like vampires, werewolves, fairies and warlocks. This book has something for everyone: heart-pounding action, compelling storytelling, supernatural creatures, secrets, and for all those romantics at heart out there, even some romance, and a twist at the end that no one will see coming.
Now, I will admit that the twist at the end of the novel has turned some off of the series, but take it as someone who has read all the books: they get better. In fact, each book is better than the last with this series, and with the newest book arriving this May, I can’t wait to join the Shadow Hunters once again and save the world from some new threat. Do yourself a favor: if you are a fan of the genre, pick up this book -- you won’t be able to put it back down.