Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Series? Yes, #1 in The Mortal Instruments
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (2008)
Rating: 5/6 – I loved it!
Synopsis from cover: When 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 odd markings. This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons – and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It’s also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. 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 an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: So I decided to re-read this one for two reasons: 1) It seemed like everyone on my twitter feed was reading it, and I felt left out, and 2) I just saw the movie and wanted to see how similar it was. I reviewed this one ages ago on this blog here, but I felt like writing a new one now that I have a different review format. Surprisingly, though, I still feel the same way about this book as I did the first time I read it. Possible Spoilers Ahead.
What did I think about the characters? I’m still not so sure about Clary, since I felt she was a bit immature and needy at times, but I guess she has five more books for character development, right? Sometimes I just wanted to yell at her and say “Pick up the damn knife and stab a demon! Stop freezing in place and putting everyone else in danger while they save you!” But then…
JACE WAYLAND. GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY. He’s a sarcastic asshole, and I love it. He’s unapologetic, and snarky as hell. Plus, he’s all that, and more. I thought he was the most well-rounded character out of the entire cast. I ship Jayla – Jace and Kayla. Hear that Clary? Hands off my man!
The Lightwood siblings were great secondary characters – I prefer Alec over Isabelle, but not by much. Isabelle was just a bit too bubbly for my taste, but that’s more of a personal thing rather than how she was written. I really hope Alec’s role is expanded later on in the series – I want to see where his character goes!
And lastly is Simon, who provided one of my favorite lines, after Jace’s one-liners: “The nod means, ‘I am a badass, and I recognize that you, too, are a badass,’ but they don’t say anything because they’re Wolverine and Magneto and it would mess up their vibe to explain.” I think he has potential for the later books, but right now he’s acting more as a placeholder for the love triangle.
And the concept and plot? Angels angels ANGELS ANGELS. I love angels, if you haven’t gotten that already by my constant pushing of Angelfall on you guys. Reading fantasy, loving angels, the bookish business. Of course, the Shadowhunters are half-angel, or Nephilim, but it’s good enough for me! And CoB may or may not have exacerbated my tattoo fetish with those rune marks. Just sayin’.
The plot was solid, but not stunning. At times I felt like it meandered a bit, especially the part close to the end with Luke and Clary. Otherwise, I enjoyed the rest! And – guys – are they or aren’t they?? I’M SO CONFUSED. (I won’t get any more specific since spoilers but if you’ve read the book – reassure me please?!)
What about the writing style? At times I felt like it was a bit immature, but overall Clare’s writing was really engaging: she really knows how to tell a story! It won’t win any awards, but ultimately I was entertained thoroughly for several hours, and that’s what matters in the end.
Anything else you’d like to add? I stick by what I said about the movie: Jamie is the perfect Jace, but I really hate the casting for Alec. And I actually liked Isabelle better in the movie: she was a bit more level-headed and less… bouncy? Also, I’ve decided to alternate my books: one ARC, then one of my own pick. I’m finishing my next ARC now, and then I’ll start City of Ashes!
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