Haven't read The Mortal Instruments?Once More with Geekery Says that You MUST...

Tracey Bealer, blogger at Once More With Geekery, has a fantastic guest post this week to let you know why you MUST read The Mortal Instruments Series. I for one, have only read Clockwork Prince. (I started a bit backwards but was completely seduced by the steampunk cover:) Here are Tracey's thoughts on the series... The Mortal Instruments will scratch that Twilight itch

It’s going to be a long wait for me and my fellow Twihards until November 16th brings the further adventures of red-eyed Bella, proud papa Edward, and, well, I’m not sure how to describe Jacob. But if you’re a YA supernatural romance fan looking for some novelistic methodone to ease the withdrawal until Breaking Dawn Part 2 drops this fall, there are worlds aplenty beyond Forks. One of my favorites is the deliciously (and pretentiously) titled Mortal Instruments series. The first, City of Bones, came out in 2007, and the latest, City of Fallen Angels, was just published last April, with one more slated for release in 2012. The first book was recently optioned for a film adaptation and casting is happening right now, so you’re going to want to get in on the ground floor of the latest pretender to the Twilight Saga throne. Here’s a brief, spoiler-free introduction to the Mortal Instruments universe.

The Deal: Vampires, demons, warlocks, werewolves, and the fae live and walk amongst mere mortals, undetected. But we all knew that. Mortal Instruments tells us that there are also wicked ninja warriors called Shadowhunters, born to battle the demonic Downworlders. They’re based in a New York City cathedral, they gain power from drawing runes on their (spectacular) bodies, and though they’re not supposed to be seen by humans, a girl named Clary just made one. Let the games begin.

The Heroine: The aforementioned Clary Fray. This protagonist doesn’t read so much Bella as Katniss Everdeen. She’s resourceful and strong, and there’s a lot she doesn’t know about her single mom’s past . . .

The Boys: Jace would be the Edward, but rather than masochistic and tormented, this Shadowhunter is cocky, cynical, and intimately aware of his magnificent good looks. As much as he tries to dismiss Clary, he can’t seem to get her off his mind. Simon Lewis is Clary’s hopelessly besotted best friend. He’s funny, a little bit nerdy, and utterly committed to never leaving her side as she ventures further into the world of the Shadowhunters.

The Others: Jace has been adopted by the Shadowhunting Lightwood clan (for reasons I won’t go into), which includes sexy Izzy and awesome Alec, who has a hopeless crush on his adopted brother. There are also various warlocks, vampires, fairies, and werewolves who distinguish themselves for good or ill throughout the series.

The Takeaway: If you like arcane mythologies, scandalous family secrets, and tattooed warriors, I highly recommend Mortal Instruments. It’s eminently readable, legitimately surprising, and makes a ballsy move in the second volume that I can’t wait to see translated onto the big screen. If you devour the four volumes before May (when City of Lost Souls is due for publication), give the prequel Infernal Devices series a try, beginning with Clockwork Angel.