I love coming to a series a bit late - I don’t have to wait so long for the next book! Given that the library isn’t open at 11:30 on a Sunday night, I do have to wait a few hours to get the second book in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series.
I just finished City of Bones, in which 15-year-old Clary Fray learns that there is much more to the world, and in fact to her own history, than she ever realized. This is an extremely difficult book to describe because of its many surprises and plot twists. Clary discovers the existence of a variety of supernatural folk in the world--demons, vampires, werewolves, etc.--along with humans with special abilities to see and fight these creatures when necessary. A terrifying call from her mother pulls Clary into the hidden reality of these Downworlders and Shadow Hunters.
In Clary’s search to find her mother, she faces danger, romance, lies, and disturbing truths about the family she never knew. It is that mix of adventure, flirtation, and shocking revelations, along with a healthy dose of snarky adolescent humor that makes this book so much fun to read.
Generally understood to be a “young adult” book and therefore marketed to teenagers, I think mature sixth-graders would enjoy it. There is a sprinkling of expletives, mild sensuality, and considerable amounts of violence and gore. The quality of the story-telling and values of the main character outweigh those factors, in my opinion.