Sunday, June 9, 2013

Review: City of Bones

Title: City of Bones (Book #1 in The Mortal Instruments series)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: 2007
Publisher: McEldery Books
Number of Pages: 485
Where I Got It: Work Library (SMS)
Dates I Read It: May 17 - June 3, 2013
Number of Stars: 3.5/5
Read it For: Just for fun!

Clary Fray is our main female protagonist in the series and one night while out at the Pandemonium club with her BFF Simon she witnesses an altercation that leads to a stabbing between a group of Shadowhunters (Nephilim (1/2 angel, 1/2 human entities)) and a demon. As a human, Clary shouldn't be able to see these beings since all humans are under the influence of glamour which keeps them blind to the magic world that these beings live in. Clary's mom is then kidnapped by the bad guy demon so naturally Clary has to hook up with the Shadowhunters to fight demons, vampires, werewolves, fairies, and each other in order to rescue Mom and to obtain the Mrotal Cup and discover why Clary is immune to the glamour.

I was drawn to this series because of the covers. The covers are beautiful and colorful.I kept shelving these books and each time the books circulated I would think to myself how awesome the covers look. Finally towards the end of school I checked out City of Bones and started reading the series. Good timing too since the movie is coming out in August!

One of my favorite things about this book was the characters. Each character is fully fleshed out and serves his/her/its purpose perfectly- almost, at times, to a fault (unfortunately, sometimes I found the characters a little too predictable). I didn't have a character that I did not like and that I could not relate to, which is rare for me in books, especially lately for some reason. I liked each character for who they were and I connected to each character. Each character is believable and each character has their strengths and weaknesses which definitely added to their believable-ness (not a word). Clary is so immature at times, I get infuriated with some of the decisions Jace makes and I was sympathetic towards Simon and Alec. I am hoping for some extreme development and growth throughout the series, especially in regards to Clary's character.

This book revived my enjoyment of YA books. The dialogue can get a bit odd at times and sometimes it was not very true to nature. At times the book became too lengthy and the 485 pages might scare off some readers, especially younger teen readers. I am more excited for the Infernal Devices series but with the City of Bones movie coming out soon I decided to read this series first. After finishing this book I turned to the BookTube community for reviews and most people recommend readers to read this one first as it addresses and explains several elements of the downworld that the characters inhabit. 

I enjoyed the story, overall. However, I have to say that I am so over the whole paranormal love triangle bit that is plaguing YA literature lately. I am getting a little bit tired of the werewolves and vampires, etc. I did enjoy the fast-pace of the story and I liked how the characters got themselves into some funny, sticky, tricky situations. There was an air of mystery to the novel as we were never really sure what was going on or where Clary's mom really was. The series was only supposed to be a trilogy, but now there are six books. I wonder if this will make the story get messy in books 3-6? One super plus with regards to the story was that it was not confusing and was well explained which doesn't always happen with paranormal fiction. 

The story is set in NYC which was neat as it allowed us to get away from the dystopian setting for a bit. I liked that there was a paranormal story happening in a real life place while the real world spun on. As someone who works with teens I kept getting distracted by wondering how Clary and Simon were able to literally just disappear for days on end? Was this book supposed to be set in the summer when no one would notice that the characters were gone for days at a time? Did they not have to check in to school? I guess I just need to let the teacher in me suspend her disbelief for a bit and flow with the go!

Overall I really did enjoy this book and I am very excited for the next installment in the series, The City of Ashes. I am also pretty excited to see the movie, even though it is coming out in August right when school starts back up- ugh!

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