Vanessa's Reviews > City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare (Goodreads Author)
I really didn’t enjoy it.
It starts out strong enough, gradually introducing us to the world of magical creatures, children of the night, witches, warlocks, demons, and those who slay them. Clary, our main character, goes to a nightclub with her friend but stumbles across something she shouldn’t see: kids her age slaying a demon and talking in a snippy manner to each other. And she also shouldn’t even be able to see them, considering they use ‘glamours’ and various runic markings to make sure that regular humans (or Mundies/Mundanes/Muggles/Mortie-Muds/whatever the fuck you want to call them, it’s a massiveHarry Potter rip-off either way) can’t see them.
So Clary goes home, then goes out again, then comes back, only to find that her apartment has been ransacked. And since it’s a YA novel, this happens right after a tiff with her mother. While she’s trying to find mummy dearest, a low-level demon attacks her, and she’s rescued by one of the people she saw that night: Jace Wayland. His kind are called Shadowhunters, and they’re descendants of the Nephilim, or something like that.
What follows on from that is Clary trying to uncover the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance, learning about the creatures of the otherworld who co-exist with us in secret, and discovering that she, le gasp, is the daughter of a Shadowhunter! And still needs to look out for her mum, so away we go on more demon-slaying adventures that seem to take place in night clubs, alleyways, and industrial lofts!
Also, because this is a YA novel that likes to go off on a tangent, there are a few times where the overarching plot is sacrificed so we can, you know, have Jace dump his backstory on us. Or have them sit in a greenhouse together. Or we can have a werewolf explain his life story and his relation to Clary in an entire, boring as hell chapter. It’s a load of ideas cobbled badly together.
The characters really got on my nerves, unfortunately.
Clary just didn’t do it for me as a heroine. I don’t quite understand why, because even though she’s pretty much a blank slate character the reader is supposed to project onto, we have a few things in common: short temper, we both like reading, we both like watching anime, what have you… But having her as the narrator just really got on my nerves. Maybe it was the fact that her thoughts were like a pinball machine at times. There’s one scene where there’s a massive flock of vampires crowded around them, but Clary and Jace had the good thinking to take a hostage. She looks around at the vampires and takes a paragraph to ponder about whether or not there are ugly or fat vampires in the world, because they’re all so beautiful. What the hell? And the first time she sets foot in a church, it makes her hark back to an anime she saw that had an evil vampire priest, which doesn’t give her much confidence about the church’s safety? Yes, just like that: PING PING PING “Anime vampires in churches!” PING PING PING “Do vampires turn people based on their looks?” PING PING PING“Manga!” PING PING PING “Warlocks and witches are sterile?” PING PING PING “Jace looks so cool right now!” PING PING PING “I wonder if all Shadowhunters are beautiful, because I’m most certainly not!” Eurgh.
Alec and Isabel got such little time to be developed I hardly noticed that they were there sometimes. One thing that really did bother me, though, was Clary asking Isabel if Alec was gay. Isabel asks Clary how she knew, and then forbids her from telling Jace or anyone else, because being gay is apparently frowned upon in Shadowhunter society. Just like that. Is there any reason…? Is it some kind of religious quagmire to Shadowhunters? Would Alec be cast out of society? Would he be forced to stop being demon-slaying bros with Jace? No? You’re never going to mention it again? Oh, okay, then.
Jace was an arrogant arsehole, and I just found him completely unbearable to read. All of his snarky comments didn’t make me laugh, they just made me roll my eyes in how obvious Ms. Clare was being in trying to create a sarcastic, cold-hearted bad boy brat.
The villains just… really didn’t do anything for me either. Valentine wasn’t scary, and the reveal near the end that a certain character really was selling information to the other side felt really rushed. It was just like in Clockwork Angel, where we had to suffer through a rather slow third act and were then thrown into a hurried explanation about the main villain and his motives in the last fifty or so pages. I was so bored that I was skim-reading it. And I rarely do that. It became more of an obligation rather than something I enjoyed reading. I just wanted to plough through it and put the whole sorry mess behind me.
I apologise, fans of Ms. Clare’s work, I just don’t enjoy it. She’s just another Holly Black to me. I do have Clockwork Prince on my reading list, yes, but I didn’t enjoy the first book of the original series, but quite liked the spin-off, so I guess you could call it my guilty pleasure. 1/5.
||6.0%||"I've already run into one clanger... Jace (I think) is described as having 'cat-lion eyes'. Yeah... just like how I have jackal dog eyes."|
"I love how like, Clary tries to tell Simon, in all seriousness, about what she saw in the club the other day. Simon just looks at her earnestly and goes: "Clary, you're an artist. You're bound to see things differently."
||9.0%||"Legasp. A girl, reading Shonen Jump? Unthinkable!"|
||13.0%||"It isn't too atrocious so far... just your typical blank slate projection character being introduced to a secret society."|
"Clary: Is he [Jace] always really rude, or does he save it for mundanes?
Isabelle: Oh yes, that's what makes him so damn sexy.
..." 1 comment
||14.0%||"Clary just said there was nothing between France and Germany except for Switzerland. What about Luxembourg and Belgium, dumb-ass?"|
"Clary: Mum hated all that fantasy stuff. She didn't even like me reading manga. She said it was too childish.
I understand like, Naruto can be seen to be childish, but most of the manga I have are pretty dark and twisted and feature really quite horrifying stories. See my review of volume 8 of Black Butler. e_e;" 16 comments
"Clary let out a breath she hadn't realised she'd been holding.
...How do you do that?" 2 comments
""What would demons," she [Clary] said, "want with our microwave?"
I don't know, Clary. Maybe they like ready meals."
"Okay, so Jace and Clary are having tea with Madame Dorothea. Madame Dorothea drops the bombshell that she's the daughter of a witch, and Jace goes: "No, that isn't possible, witches and warlocks are sterile," and Clary goes: "Like mules!" And then they have a massive
"Madame Dorothea is now reading their tea leaves. Since this was once a piece of Harry Potter fan-fiction, is it safe to assume this was once a scene with Professor Trelawney?
" 3 comments
||24.0%||"Clary, you dipshit, now you've gone and gotten yourself pulled into an extra-dimensional door. Fucking moron." 1 comment|
||31.0%||"So Valentine's name isn't spoken of in Shadowhunter circles and... okay you're bloody Voldemort, I get it."|
||34.0%||"Gods, this is actually rather boring..."|
"Clary lay on her bed in the Institute, shoes kicked off, willing herself to sleep, but sleep wouldn't come. The caffeine in her veins fizzed like carbonated water.
Caffeine makes your bloodstream fizzy? What!?"
"So Clary's just walked into a church, and she's never been into a church at all. She immediately thinks about the churches she's seen in anime, and how in one anime (that's totally not Hellsing) there was an evil vampire priest.
So... by that logic, she could go to Japan and look at a Buddhist temple and be like:
Ugh." 2 comments
||54.0%||"Ms. Clare, making Jace tell us a story about how he's all woobie and angsty because his father killed his pet falcon does not a good backstory make." 1 comment|
"Clary had only two years of French, but it was enough to get the joke. "Du mort," she said. "Of death."
Oh STFU Clary I don't like you"
||56.0%||"Just met Raphael. He's a horribly written Hispanic character who cries: "Dios mio!" and knows how to navigate the bad neighbourhoods and is spiritually aware because he's so religious. Oh for the love of..."|
"Like puppets with their heads attached to strings, Clary and Raphael both looked up at the same time.
Okay, well... That's a really stupid description of two people looking up in unison..."
"Clary wondered if there were any ugly vampires, or maybe any fat ones. Maybe they just didn't make vampires out of ugly people. Or maybe ugly people didn't want to live forever.
Fuck you, Cassandra Clare.
Did I also mention that Clary takes a moment to ponder on this stupid fucking thought right while she's holding a hostage and there's a tonne of vampires on her case?" 1 comment
||58.0%||"The vampires just hissed in pain 'like scalded cats'. What the fuck!?" 1 comment|
"I REALLY HATE HOW CAPITALS ARE USED ALL THE TIME TO DEPICT A CHARACTER SHOUTING.
For fuck's sake, you don't need all-caps to show that a character is bellowing their lungs out. There's such thing as exclamation points or bold language or the general speech patterns people adopt when they're angry..." 4 comments
"The steps creaked and groaned as they ascended, like an old woman complaining about her aches and pains.
That is a terrible simile."
"Jace pressed the backs of his hands against his eyes. ..."Think, Wayland, think."
I just tried to press my hands, palm facing outwards, into my eyes. You don't look like you're concentrating, you just look like a right twat."
"Also, this novel has vampires on motorcycles.
That reminds me...
"Jace and Clary have just taken a magical demonic vampire flying motorcycle on a skyward trip around New York whilst trying to run away from a group of vampires who accidentally picked up Clary's friend Simon (in the form of a rat) when all of a sudden a load of werewolves burst in and so they had to make a hasty exit.
||63.0%||"Fuck yes, Alec. Well done you for shutting Clary the fuck up. You get to wear my favourite character badge for now." 1 comment|
||64.0%||"Rather than have Jace and Clary take a lovely picnic in the greenhouse, why the fuck can't we go back to the actual plot? You know... that fucking Shadowhunter Valentine who's defected and is trying to destroy the world or some shit?"|
"Clary wanted a tattoo of Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to cover up a scar when she was younger.
Fuck you, Clary. Stay away from my favourite Ninja Turtle."
||78.0%||"So fucking bored right now omg."|
"So Clary's just discovered that Valentine is actually her father.
I TOTALLY NEVER EVER SAW THAT COMING."
||89.0%||"So Jace is apparently Valentine's son too, thus making him Clary's half-brother. How come, looking at the Mortal Instruments page on FanFiction.net, it seems to be the dominant ship...?"|
||91.0%||"So Jace is a nickname for Jonathan. What the fuck?" 1 comment|
""Yes!" Shouted Valentine. "I burned them."
Jace made a strangled noise. "My grandparents-"
"You never knew them," said Valentine. "Don't pretend to a grief you do not feel."
I'm sorry, but is that last sentence garbled English to anyone else?"
||97.0%||"So what the fuck happened to Clary's mother?" 2 comments|