My personal opinion is that this is the superior of all the series in the Shadowhunter world. It has all the things to love in The Mortal Instruments but throws it into Victorian Era London and adds a dash (or a gallon) more steampunk!
Tessa Gray is a formidable heroine, giving a fresh perspective on the shadow world while literally taking chaos and tragedy in her stride while also rattling off quotes from many of classic English literature's greatest writers and poets. This series is also like a love letter to the UK. The descriptions of industrial-revolution London are so potent you could probably smell the haze
This is the series that introduces the Shadowhunters, going on to become four series; thirteen books currently (with at least four more coming), three short story collections and an array of accompanying books (like the illustrated character guide).
All starting with Clary Fray, in The City of Bones, discovering the shadow world. I started this series when I was sixteen and am still reading it now, It just has everything a teen could want, adventure, danger, action, forbidden love, badass ladies, empathetic men, vampires, werewolves, faeries and a breaking down of backwards and prejudicial governments!
Please don't judge this series (or any of this interconnecting sequels or prequels) by its adaptations. While neither the 2013 movie or recently cancelled Netflix series was a huge success, the Shadowhunter is much more than the guilty pleasures viewing that they were.
This book was something completely unique it took one of my friends basically throwing it at me for me to finally pick it up and I'm glad I did, it starts off a little slow and I sometimes found it hard to keep track of all the characters between the first names, titles and call signs it was a lot. Still it was a little bit like teen red coats running around causing havoc on the star ship enterprise (star trek reference)
This is my current FAVOURITE, and I seriously don't say that lightly, I have had a 100% success rate when I've recommended this to friends and colleagues which is partially because I am goooood at recommendations and partially because these books are just that goooood.
Important things to note are the first book is good (maybe just ok) but the second A Court of Mist and Fury is extraordinary and the third A Court of Wings and Ruin is great! so definitely push on to the second once you've read this, basically just read this so you can read the second one!!
The perfect young adult novel for nerds but it could probably be enjoyed by non-nerds (I really wouldn't know). This book really spoke to my own experience of university and I think prepared me for my year studying abroad. Cath is, at the start of the book, a fan-fiction writing, co-dependant, anxious mess - her character development is honest and beautiful.
What makes this book even better is you can read the entirety of Cath's fan-fiction in its own novel called Carry On - there is an especially cool edition with fan art in it.