Cassy's Reviews > City of Bones

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
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Jan 04, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy-sci-fi, ya-lit, books-in-2010
Read from January 21 to 30, 2010 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** When I picked this book up I wasn't really sure what to expect. However, Cassandra Clare was more than a little disappointing. The only thing that I really knew about her before was that she wrote Harry Potter fan fiction. However, Clare failed to make the transition from fan fiction writing to novel writing.

Clare really kept using phrases that I wouldn't mind so much if I was reading fan fiction but that I'd rather not see in the novels that I read. She kept using cliche phrases and the purple prose got ridiculous. At one point, she compared someone's eyes to anti-freeze and spring grass, two colors which are nothing alike. Also, by the time you write a novel I feel like you should stop comparing eye colors to inanimate objects. What's wrong with green, brown and blue? Why do they have to be strange colors?

The main character comes off as very Mary-Sue to me. Clary (our heroine) just screams self-insert. The girl seems to get almost everything she wants in the first book. Her life seemed just terrible before her whole life changes. The fact that her name is so similar to Clare's name also is a big indication.

I really don't feel like Clare had much of an original idea. The story read like a mix between Supernatural, Twilight and Harry Potter. Clary finds out she's part of a magical world she never knew about (Harry Potter), that her friends and mother were all Shadowhunters, people who hunt demons and other supernatural things (sounds very much like the Winchesters) and she becomes good friends with Vampires and werewolves, not to mention Shadowhunters, and there isn't a single person who seems to dislike her (you might as well call her Bella Swan.) It was entirely unoriginal and her writing wasn't good enough to counteract the redundancy. I'd heard that a lot of her fan fiction had been plagiarized and, while she might not have taken things word for word and put them in her book, she certainly took all of the premise of other books.

Everything wrapped up too neatly. It's the first book in a series and just about everything wrapped up into a pretty little bow. Not to mention it's unbelievably predictable. For example, I knew about two chapters in that Clary's father was the bad guy. It didn't take me much longer to figure out that Clary and Jace (the first Shadowhunter she meets) are siblings. There were no surprises. I even knew that Jace and she would get together AFTER I figured out they were going to end up being siblings (which also made me feel like I was reading Star Wars.)

Overall, I wasn't at all impressed with the books. There was nothing unique or interesting about it and nothing that makes it stand out among it's genre. If I had actually paid full price for the book, I would have been really angry that I did so.
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Reading Progress

01/22/2010 page 99
20.41%
01/27/2010 page 389
80.21% "It's fan fiction in book form!" 2 comments
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message 1: by Amber (new)

Amber I was thinking about reading this after seeing the ads for the movie, but now I'm glad I didn't - eep. Though I think purple prose is sometimes really subjective - I love some authors who others think are heinously flowery - her work definitely doesn't sound like something I want to read. Thanks for posting this!


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