Tuesday, February 5, 2013

City of Bones review

I don't usually read YA books - I am not the target audience for those books and I usually find them irritating when I do read them. Having said that, a friend wanted me to read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and give her my take on it.

City of Bones is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series and features teenagers Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, and Alec along with a larger cast of characters that aren't necessarily human. I'll start by saying that the book was well written, with wonderful world building and lush detail and a lot of action.

Having said that, I didn't enjoy the main characters. I get that they're teenagers, I get that they aren't particularly aware of anything but themselves, etc but Clary was so divorced from emotional reality it was ridiculous. The "love triangle" or possibly quadrangle doesn't really work if only because Clary is completely oblivious. Jace was far too egotistical and arrogant for me to consider him a hero - though I suppose the fact that he is sixteen is the reason behind that. Alec was obnoxious and Simon was clueless and a doormat. Isabelle was the only one who I liked but she is featured less than the others.

I liked the idea behind the book, enjoyed meeting the Silent Brothers, Magnus Bane and the other Downworlders. However, without spoiling the book, there is a horrible twist at the end of the book and Clary and Jace's reaction to the twist is so unrealistic as to make them seem sociopathic.

If you enjoy YA and urban fantasy and don't mind teenage angst and idiocy, you may enjoy this book far more than I did. City of Bones is apparently being made into a movie and the second book in the series is City of Ashes.


When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, City of Bones. I liked this book very much for several of the reasons you pointed. The world building and unique cast of secondary characters totally sucked me in. However, I also agree with the warped emotional responses, which have kept me from cracking open book 2 even though I'm very curious to see what happens. This one is a conundrum indeed!