Urban Fantasy Spotlight: The Mortal Instruments

by Kimberly P. 

Big City Life with a Side of the Supernatural.

Have you ever been curious about urban fantasy? Exactly what is it? In general, urban fantasy novels are set in contemporary times, and contain supernatural elements. One Friday out of each month, I’ll highlight an urban fantasy book for the interested.

Welcome back to U/F/S. We’ve been living it up on an extended vacation in Melbourne, Australia, but now we’re back stateside and have just touched down at JFK International airport. We’ve abandoned the hot summer days and are exchanging them for the Big Apple’s frigid winter. As the holiday season winds down, what better way to ring in the new year than with a high-octane, quick read packed with angels, demons, and teenage drama?

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare starts with a nightclub, an execution, and an abduction. When Clary Fray witnesses an impossible murder, she confronts the killers and discovers that the New York she’s used to is much, much darker.

And it has special plans for her.

The Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite teen urban fantasy series. It reminds me of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer with its neo-Gothic atmosphere, slices of horror, and family secrets. I love its diverse characters–my fav is “Malec”–and that the plot is complex but not overly complicated. City of Bones hit fast and hard, and left me craving more. I’ve watched the movie and spinoff television series, Shadowhunters, and still can’t get enough!

Interested in this fun adrenaline rush? Browse a few sample chapters.

And for my historical fiction lovers, Cassandra Clare’s follow-up urban fantasy series, the Infernal Devices, is just up your alley. Set during Victorian-era England, the first book, The Clockwork Angel, follows orphan Tess Fell as she searches for her missing brother. Her journey thrusts her into an underworld of infernal magic, Shadowhunters, and demonic mechanical creatures.

What Tess uncovers about her heritage and her family will forever alter her world.

Eager for an enchanted carriage ride through 19th century London? Or just want to read it before it becomes a television series? Try a sample chapter.

Also, if you love beautiful illustrations, flip through the manga adaptation. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

As always, stay tuned for the next installment of U/F/S where we’ll join the hunt alongside a pair of brothers whose family business is chasing down monsters. . . .

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