City of Bones
By Cassandra Clare
*Warning! Major Spoilers!*
THIS BOOK IS A CHORE. The writing is clunky, and the characters are flawless and can do no wrong.
In City of Bones, Clary and her friend Simon sneak into a New York night club and notice some suspicious tattooed kids drag someone into a back room. Clary goes to help, and discovers that the baddies are actually the good guys—Shadow Hunters, who have in fact taken a demon prisoner. She is particularly drawn to the tall, blond-haired, and sarcastic Jace because he is hawt.
Since Clary can see the demons, she discovers her destiny as a Shadow Hunter to face the villainous Valentine and learns about a whole magical world with werewolves, vampires, and demons in NYC.
If you are going to read any of the books in this series, then this one is probably the most entertaining. I tried to read the other books and couldn’t. There was so much telling instead of showing. The villains grow even more predictable, if that is possible, and the angst slowly killed me as the world shrank to revolve entirely around Clary and Jace’s lustfest.
In City of Bones, there is still an aura of mystery, and the introduction to the Shadow Hunter world is fun. Of course, the power-hungry villain Valentine is nothing original. Clary is a generic placeholder for any female in America who has super-special abilities. However, she is topped by Jace, who is worshipped by every organism dead or alive because he is ultra-powerful and cool.
I’ve heard the stories that the character of Jace was inspired by Draco Malfoy from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series. Now, I like that Clare recognized, “Hey, what would happen if I were to make a little sh**head like Malfoy into the main love interest?” It’s an interesting question. Malfoy was so riveting in Harry Potter because he was so wrapped up in his family’s pretentious snobbery. His moments of redemption were few and far between. We liked him because Rowling never tried to excuse his actions. He was a brat and there were moments throughout Harry Potter when he paid for it.
Clare always makes excuses for Jace. He’s an a**hole but he is always forgiven by everyone because of his amazing-ness. Clary falls for him instantly because he is so undeniably irresistible.
I found him very, very resistible because all of this is told to us but never shown. A huge part of the letdown of these books is the writing style. It is clunky with irrelevant details that create passages unimportant to the plot or chapters that are just plain boring. Simon is a nerdy cliché. Alex had the potential to be an interesting quiet and thoughtful type, but his romance with the 800-year-old warlock Magnus Bane felt creepy and very lust-driven. Isabelle was the most interesting character to me, yet she was often reduced to being the jealous female opposing Clary for the guys’ attention.
In summary, I did try and continue The Mortal Instruments series to see if it improved, but I couldn’t get into the other books. The feeling that this series was a pale imitation of Harry Potter and Star Wars just wouldn’t go away.
Recommended for fans of: Stephanie Meyer, Christopher Paolini, and Lauren Kate
Upcoming Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas