Tuesday, June 14, 2011

City of Bones

Clary Fray likes to frequent an all ages club, Pandemonium, with her friend (who emphatically does not) named Simon. On a night like any other, Clary witnesses three teens gang up on a fourth in a storage room. She tries to save the bullied boy, but he is killed and then disappears. Clary is understandably shocked. The boy is a demon and the other three are Shadowhunters, educated and trained to kill demons from a young age using magical weapons and runes. Shortly after this event, Clary's mother, Jocelyn, is kidnapped by a rouge Shadowhunter, Valentine. He seems to think that Jocelyn can lead him to the Mortal cup, a powerful artifact that can create more Shadowhunters, so he can wage war against all demons and half-demons to keep the human race pure. The goal is to make all humans Shadowhunters, but only about 20% of all of them would survive the change. Clary, along with Jace, Alec, and Isabelle, must find the cup before Valentine does and then rescue her mother. Can they succeed before Valentine finds the cup?

I have heard lots of good things about the Mortal Instruments series, so I just had to read what all the fuss is about. City of Bones didn't quite live up to it, but I definitely wasn't disappointed. I really liked the characters. Clary is plucky and brave despite being largely defenseless compared to the trained and prepared Shadowhunters. Not only that, but she's also pretty clever and quick to get used to the strange lives that Shadowhunters live. Of course she makes some mistakes and acts kind of annoying sometimes, mostly when acting rashly and not thinking of others. But that's to be expected with any character. I know there are a lot of Jace fangirls and Jace haters. I'm somewhere in the middle. At first I thought Jace was pretty horrible, but as the book went on, he revealed more and more of the person underneath that hardened outer shell. I felt sympathetic toward shim, but I was still annoyed by some of his over the top bad boy behavior. With what I had heard before, I was expecting Patch (from Hush, Hush) levels of bad behavior. I'm glad that he was far from that and actually likeable instead of just being a complete tool.

The story is pretty predictable and basic for the genre. The characters seem to be especially thick headed in figuring out the mysteries that are pretty obvious much earlier. A lot of the book was dedicated to explaining their world to Clary and by extension the reader: the rules, the runes, the demons, the half demons, etc. It's a little tedious to get through, but admittedly necessary to understanding the story. Hopefully the second book won't have so much of this since the reader would be more familiar with the world and characters.

I enjoyed all the adventure and secrets that City of Bones had to offer. It's like a cross between Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The action was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. The twist at the end is a little unexpected. I suspected it earlier, but dismissed it as being to weird for a teen book. I would recommend this book to fans of urban fantasy and similar teen books.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

1 comment:

vvb32 reads said...

i enjoyed this one too. but haven't read the 3rd one yet to see if the twist twists again.