Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review: "City of Bones"

"City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare
Book 1 of the Mortal Instruments series
485 pages
My rating: 3.5 out of 5

(image source)

Clary Fray is a normal 15-year-old New York City girl until several strange things happen at once and suddenly a whole new world is revealed to her -- the Shadow World. Hidden from humans under a powerful glamour, it's full of warlocks and witches, vampires and werewolves, demons and Shadowhunters, whose mission it is to kill demons and other evil monsters.

Clary meets a group of three teenage Shadowhunters when she attempts to stop them from committing what appears to be the murder of an innocent young man -- but whom Clary will soon come to learn was a demon in disguise. Later that night, after receiving a panicked phone call from her mother, Clary races home to her apartment to find her mother has vanished and a demon is waiting for her. The Shadowhunters -- Jace, Alec and Isabelle -- soon realize that Clary is no ordinary "mundane" and they agree to help Clary find her mother, whose past holds far more secrets than Clary could have imagined.

They all want to know why Clary can suddenly see the Shadow World, why the name of an evil Shadowhunter long thought to be dead is resurfacing in connection with Clary's mother -- whom they assumed was also a mundane human -- and why demons are after Clary. As they endeavor to locate Clary's mother, it becomes clear that a lot more than the fate of Jocelyn Fray rests on their shoulders; they may just be able to save the Shadow World from the brink of war.

"City of Bones" wasn't at all what I expected going in (I guess I didn't read the jacket blurb well enough!) and instead came over as a bit of a cross between the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series and the TV show "Grimm" (of which I sincerely hoped to become a devoted fan but just couldn't ever get into). There were plenty of demon-slaying action sequences, a bit of romance, and plenty of teenage angst mixed in. But I wasn't totally crazy about the plot; even as I turned the final page I still didn't feel like I full grasped the nuances of the Shadow World and felt vaguely confused. I think part of the issue lies with the pacing of the book, which seemed slightly off. Not enough information was revealed, then too much at one time.

Working at a library, I'm witness to the fast-growing trend of adults reading YA novels. But I've been disappointed in the few I've read besides the famous trio of Harry Potter, Twilight, and Percy Jackson. While "City of Bones" didn't convert me into a YA fan, I'll most likely pick up the second book in the series and try to keep an open mind about other books in the genre.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. Intersting plot. I guess I have a hard time reading YA. Except the Hunger Games series.


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