The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
movie trailer for the upcoming City of Bones film, based on the first book. In many ways, it follows normative supernatural young adult fiction tropes: young girl meets mysterious (overly gorgeous) boy who is not what he appears; love triangle; vampires, werewolves, fairies, warlocks; mustache-twirling, black hat wearing-type bad guy. The series follows Clarissa (Clary) Fray as she encounters and then becomes a Shadowhunter. Now here's where my interest was first peaked: Shadowhunter's are the Nephilim of the Hebrew Bible (and external legends/texts). Part human, part angel, Shadowhunters protect mundanes (us) from the Downworlders (the supernatural typical baddies) who break the Accords and kill humans. The overarching plot of the first three books finds Clary, her obvious love interest (and potential brother) Jace, her best friend Simon (and third side of the triangle), and fellow Shadowhunter's Isabel and Alec fighting to preserve the Shadowhunter way of life while the devious Valentine plots to end the Accords and subsequently destroy all the Downworlders. Along the way there are revelations and battles and demons and lots of teenage coming of age angst before the second half of the series (books 4-6) changes direction ever so slightly. Besides the interesting religious aspect, what makes this series well worth the read is the way Clare wrote her hero, Jace. While Jace is typical leading man material (beautiful, talented, and special) he is far from polite or courteous or respectful. Most the books best bits of dialogue come from Jace making inappropriate comments which are sarcastic and caustic at the same time. Jace recognizes that he is incredibly special and plays that up but at the same time he is a very troubled soul, rushing into battle faster than his comrades. Jace has what would amount to a death wish based very heavily on how he grew up, who raised him, and the guilt he feels over his feelings for Clary (which is very hard to read until the third book). Overall, Clare is a very good writer and she keeps my interest for the entire series.
Grade (overall): A-
The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie
Grade (overall): B-
The Diviners by Libba Bray