Oh, Cassandra Clare.
Do you know how to create your own original material?
This is the first book I've read by Clare, and having read a few reviews on GoodReads, I was hesitant about even picking it up. But after reading A Game of Thrones, I thought I would read something a little less intense.
A fifteen year old girl named Clary Fray suddenly realises she can see the Shadow World, which is essentially all magical creatures and their lairs. She is thrown into a fight because her mother disappears; surprise, her mother hasn't been telling her anything. Clary meets up with a group of teenage Shadowhunters and begins to forget about her best friend Simon. Conveniently (and I don't consider this a spoiler because it is painfully obvious), Simon has been desperately in love with Clary forever.
The love triangle here is pretty pathetic, because Clary immediately starts to fall for Jace (one of the Shadowhunters), who is all hard-hearted because of the horrible things in his past. Simon tries to make Clary jealous by flirting with the beautiful and perfect Isabelle, but that doesn't work either. And so on.
Also, the character of Hodge Starkweather was so much like Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I couldn't help but see Giles in my head every time Hodge was talking.
And naming the bad guy Valentine??? That's not original at all. And besides, he's just Lord Voldemort.
Oh, and did I mention the constant and absolutely awful use of similes? Once in awhile they are okay, but if you're comparing something in your story to something completely and utterly unrelated ("like an iceberg off the bow of Titanic" I mean WHAT.), just stop writing. Right now.
Having said all this, I can really only give the book two stars. Maybe two and a half for the sheer hilarity of the bad writing. I didn't hate the book; in fact, I will read the rest of the series because I can always do with a good laugh.
And a lesson in how not to write fantasy.