Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 27, 2007
Genre: YA Paranormal/ Urban Fantasy
Pages: 544
Buy it on Amazon
This first book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument Series, was pretty interesting. I really enjoyed the cast of characters, particularly the side characters like Simon, Isabelle, Alec, Luke, and Hodge. I thought this was a great start to the series because of its wildly addicting nature. Once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. And Clare's use of mythological creatures is pretty interesting and unique. It's quite different from other paranormal and urban fantasies that I have read.

"To love is to destroy, to be loved is to be that one destroyed." -City of Bones           

Clary Fray is a normal 15 year old living in NYC. Until one day she witnesses a boy murdered in a club, and then her mother disappears. While looking for her mother, she is attacked by a demon and then rescued by the boy who murdered the other boy. Jace is a shadowhunter and Clary witnessed him killing a demon, which means that Clary must have some shadowhunter blood. Clary and her friend Simon join Jace and the shadowhunters as they look for her mother and try find the Mortal Cup she is hiding before her kidnappers or the downworlders (vampires, werewolves, warlocks, etc.) or the demons do.

"The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me." -City of Bones

So, this book is pretty entertaining with a lot of witty and funny observations about the way we humans, or mundanes, live. Jace and Clary, and Jace and Simon also have a ton of funny back and forth banter that really brings them to life. I also did enjoy the world building once I was able to decipher what the rules were for their magic system and for the hierarchy of creatures. Clare's mixture of Christian mythology, classical mythology and fairytale creatures is quite interesting as most stories tend to stick to one mythology set, while Clare just throws them all in just to stir the pot. I quite like this unique world as it doesn't adhere to any one mythology and makes up its own rules. Plus it makes the cast of characters new and you never know what a fairy or vampire is going to do because their rules are much different than we are used to. Clare certainly keeps you guessing in this book!

As much as I enjoyed the world, I was so confused for the first half of the book! There are just so many characters and rules to learn, that it really is hard to follow. I didn't get attached to Clary right away and Jace is an arrogant jerk. So, I actually put it down and didn't intend to continue until I saw the movie. The movie clarified a lot for me and made me pick it back up to finish. The other aspect that I seriously disliked was the implication that Clary and Jace are siblings. I mean, that is just gross. The reader gets seriously invested in their relationship only to get slapped in the face and made to feel dispicable for even wanting that relationship to work out. Not cool. I don't think that twist was necessary and used solely to create extra relationship tension when it was clear the love triangle between Clary, Jace, and Simon was coming to an end. It kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, but I still will be continuing on with the series!

All in all, I did enjoy the addictive nature and fast pace of the story. I also really did enjoy Clare's world building and I am excited about continuing The Mortal Instrument Series and the spin off series, Infernal Devices. 3.5 stars!

Series Order:   

City of Bones

City of Ashes

City of Glass 

City of Fallen Angels 

City of Lost Souls 

City of Heavenly Fire