02 May 2011

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Cover of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare Title: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: 19 February 2008
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Library
Summery (courtesy of goodreads.com):

When fifteen-year-old 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 strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. 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 ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

I have to admit something.  I refused to read this book for a very long time because of the Stephanie Meyer blurb on the front cover.  Because seriously, if Stephanie Meyer thinks it's good, like she thinks her own books are good, it can't possibly actually be, you know, good.  Then I somehow ended up on the quotes page for the book on Goodreads, and the hilarity of them made me decide I had to read it.

Luckily for Cassandra Clare, her writing isn't anywhere near as horrendous as Stephanie Meyer's.  In fact, she's not all that bad of a writer at all.  Unfortunately, she's a boring writer.  Not the story.  The story was brilliant.  But the writing?  Snooze.

Reading this book felt like reading a peer-reviewed journal article on demons and vampires and incest, oh my.  I was frequently torn between wanting to know what happened next and not wanting to have to strain to get through another (obnoxiously long) chapter.  This book suffers the same problem that my junior-year-summer-reading arch nemesis Touching the Void did.  Great story to tell, told in the most mundane (ha!) way possible.  It wasn't until the last chapter that the book truly made me feel anything other than curiosity (and that feeling, by the way, was "eww, gross!").

Will I keep reading The Mortal Instruments series?  Umm, yes.  Because I do want to know what happens, and the final chapter of City of Bones gives me hope that Clare has some sort of fire up her sleeve than can bring some life into these novels.


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