City of ashes by Cassandra Clare
Walker Books 2008.
(Ages 14+) Fans of the Twilight series will eat up The Mortal Instruments books. City of ashes is the second novel in the series following City of Bones, with a third to be published in March. The books need to be read in order. In City of ashes, Clary Fray is having problems. She has discovered that she is a demon-slaying Shadowhunter and that her father Valentine, is determined to destroy the world. Her mother is still in a magic induced coma and her world is inhabited with werewolves and demons. She had thought that she was in love with Jace, but it looks as if he might be her brother and she has to control her feelings for him. Moreover, the dependable Simon, who has been in love with her forever, has changed and somehow she has to track down her father and save the world!
For fans of urban fantasy, this is a suspenseful and engrossing read. Clary is a strong character, who isn't afraid to take the initiative. There is lots of action and some quite scary moments, in particular an episode when Clary meets the Queen of the Underworld. The wicked Valentine also keeps the conflict and emotional tension rolling along at a cracking pace.
The love interests are quite compelling: not just the triangle of Clary, Jace and Simon but the relationship developing between Alec and Magnus Bane. The adult characters are also charismatic and the reader becomes quite involved with the unrequited love that Luke has for Clary's mother.
I enjoyed the first two books in this series as they were exciting and well written, and it was compelling following Clary's growth in strength and independence. I'm looking forward to the third book.