City of Bones is the first book in Cassandra Clare’s acclaimed Mortal Instruments series. Set in current time New York City, Clare creates a paranorma...moreCity of Bones is the first book in Cassandra Clare’s acclaimed Mortal Instruments series. Set in current time New York City, Clare creates a paranormal world where an elite group of warriors called ‘Shadow Hunters’ exist to protect the ‘mundane’ humans, from the perils of demonic creatures that are invisible to the common human. Riddled with action, humor, and romance, Cassandra Clare tells the captivating story of Clary Fray, who discovers there is more to her seemingly ordinary life during a night out in NYC with her best friend, Simon. Told in third person narrative, what started as a fun night landed Clary in a closet room witnessing the killing of a ‘downworlder’ by a trio of ‘Shadow Hunters’ starting a chain reaction of events that merges the character’s lives together.
Clare managed to make her characters real and intriguing by taking me on nerve-wrecking adventures and touching moments, allowing me to further connect with the story’s main character. Clary is a refreshing character in a genre filled with damsels in distress waiting for a hero with her inquisitive nature and independence. Jace Wayland, one of Clary’s romantic interests, is an interesting character with fluid wit and an often brutally sarcastic nature; however, I felt that his careless behavior became obnoxious throughout the course of the book and overshadowed Jace’s likeability. Luckily, Clare gave us another equally witty but friendlier romantic interest for Clary in the form of Simon, her best friend, whose typical teenager personality was a welcome breath of fresh air.
At times the story bogged down with too much exposition in the form of Human Information Desk, Jace Wayland. I thought this could have easily been achieved through other means by using other knowledgeable characters like Alec or Isabelle. Although it wouldn’t have made my feeling of being spoon fed information any less annoying at least it would have cut back on the monotony of Commander Jace Wayland of St. Exposition. I found the twist in the story not only predictable but clichéd. It is easy to see JK Rowling’s influence in Cassandra Clare’s writing in how similar Valentine’s ‘purist’ ideals and secret organization for rebellion in order to ‘cleanse’ the world they live in is to Rowling’s Voldemort and his affinity to rid the Wizarding world of ‘mudbloods’. It isn’t to say it is a bad thing, after all, it is said imitation is the greatest form of flattery. They aren’t the first writers to play on the reader’s emotions by making characters choose between friends and what may be deemed morally correct in the eyes of society.
In the end, the plot of Cassandra Clare’s debut novel was a strong one and well thought out. It had a dark and sinister undertone which appealed to the mature reader within me; enough for me to look past the minor flaws the book contained and enjoy the ride.(less)
At first I was worried it was going to focus entirely on a one sided romance with a distant cousin and while I understood the author's choice in the w...moreAt first I was worried it was going to focus entirely on a one sided romance with a distant cousin and while I understood the author's choice in the way it told the story at first, in pieces, keeping the readers as clueless as the MC about what was happening to her and around her, it was just really infuriating at one point and confusing, especially because I was 1/3 of the way through the book and still very clueless as to what the Della Torre family was about, and all these secrets they seem to keep. Halfway through the book, though, the pace of the book fell into place and the MC was given a more proactive role in her conflict which was greatly appreciated. I enjoyed the family dynamics and how their bonds grew, I had to say though, I was a little bothered by how flat Emilio's girlfriend was and how she was made to seem as a pretty girl with a nasty personality without really giving us a chance to understand her further. It could have been much better but I enjoyed it after my initial worries dissipated. It's a fresh take on demons in YA and I would recommend it to those who are wanting to try something new and have the time to have an experimental read.(less)
I'm honestly unable to comprehend that I started this book almost a year ago, read about five pages and put it on hold because I couldn't get into it....moreI'm honestly unable to comprehend that I started this book almost a year ago, read about five pages and put it on hold because I couldn't get into it. Ever since I picked it up again, I haven't been able to take my mind off of it. First off, although this is marketed as a steampunk romance, it's really neither. I'd label it as more of a historical fiction with intrigue, suspense, and some romance. It's been a while that I really enjoyed a main character in YA and I find it incredibly surprising that I found it in this book because it is written in first person and I tend to be slightly put off by those. Katharine is an incredibly realistic, and maybe not always likable but always logical character. The assembling cast is full of interesting characters with consistent development. The plot can be, at times, predictable, but this doesn't take away from the enjoyment.
I think what I liked most about this book was the way the relationships between characters developed naturally. I'm fond of family dynamics and friendships and this book has plenty of that. I also have to admit it helps that Lane Moreau, makes a compelling stand alone character and a love interest. I give the book some points for actually addressing the fact that Lane is a man of color, and not skirting away from it, turning him into a racially ambiguous character; however, I do find some of the descriptors of the color of his skin to be irksome. Still, seeing as it is a book written from the perspective of Katharine, a young white woman who has seen very little from London much less the world, her views in life are crippled and small minded. I don't want to write a very long review because there's so much I can't say without bringing up spoilers but I do recommend this read for those who are looking for something new and fresh to get into in the YA spectrum.
It has a little bit for everyone, suspense, horror, humor, intrigue, and romance.(less)
I would have given it four stars if the romance hadn't actually, in my opinion, hindered not only the story's progress but kind of made a mockery of t...moreI would have given it four stars if the romance hadn't actually, in my opinion, hindered not only the story's progress but kind of made a mockery of this book's mood in several scenes. I still think Clare's greatest accomplishment in these series is her plots. I could do without all the angst and romance. (less)
I was an emotional wreck near the end of this. Dammit, Eoin Colfer, even if your writing has faltered since the first book of this series, you do stil...moreI was an emotional wreck near the end of this. Dammit, Eoin Colfer, even if your writing has faltered since the first book of this series, you do still manage to do great things with compelling characters.(less)
I hate everyone, which is to say I loved this stupid book. God help me. This is the most unhelpful review in the history of reviews. I'll come back to...moreI hate everyone, which is to say I loved this stupid book. God help me. This is the most unhelpful review in the history of reviews. I'll come back to it someday.(less)