The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass
These books are compelling. It's amazing how much trouble I had putting them down to... you know... live and stuff.
They're not skinny books, either, people. I was stuck in them for days! But now that I'm out, I want to say two things:
1) Kudos to Cassandra Clare for writing a nuanced, detailed, epic fantasy series that's also accessible to the average reader. As an aspiring writer, I am humbled and awed by the skill and planning this obviously took. I instantly fell in love with the two main characters, Clary and Jace, and was tortured along with them every step of the way. Meanwhile, the supporting characters, even down to the most minuscule, had a story arc and a dream, which made it even more fun. Speaking of fun, the voice is fantastic! It's a rich kind of parallel universe, the Shadowhunters' world, but there are modern pop references and both warm and wry humor to keep it from being too like a traditional epic fantasy (for people who aren't into that).
2) I gave each of these books four stars because while I loved them, there were things about the author's style that felt cumbersome to me. This is similar to my reaction to the Twilight series. LOVED the passion and the detail, but at the same time felt a little overwhelmed by the detail. :) When I come across paragraphs describing turrets or mountains, my brain locks and skims. If this isn't a problem for you, you'll likely love these books even more than I did.
I followed the advice of a few reviewers and stopped after the third Mortal Instruments book, waiting for the last three books to be completed (I hear book 4 isn't resolved as well as book 3 and I don't want to drive myself crazy until books 5 and 6 come out). I might have died at the end of Suzanne Collin's middle book, Catching Fire, had I not been able to pick Mockingjay up the very same day. Unresolved endings drive me nuts.
Overall, I'm delighted to have been introduced to another favorite author, Cassandra Clare, and look forward to reading Clockwork Angel, the first in a series of prequels to the Mortal Instruments series.
Have you read them? How did they make you feel?