Sunday 22 September 2013

Book Review - City of Bones

City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 27th March 2007
Publishers: Walker Children's
No. Pages: 485
Source: Gifted
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..

To start with, the cover, I wasn't and am still not a huge fan of it. I don't like too many greens and yellows all mushed together, and I don't think that it really want with the book. The nice looking fellow on the front though really gave me a feel for Jace. It helped me imagine him, and having already seen pictures of the characters set for the film, I felt like I already had a fully formed picture in my head of him. Coverwise, I really liked it.

Character wise, I think my favorite is between Simon, as is many peoples, and Jocelyn. Now hear me out, I understand that really, the only times she's mentioned in greater detail are when different versions of events are being told, when she's attacked quite earlier on, and whenever Clary is having a typical mother/daughter tiff with her, otherwise, she's almost a forgotten character, but I feel she is quite possibly one the most important in this book, and quite possibly, later in the series. It was Jocelyn who helped create the circle with Valentine, and it was Jocelyn who helped destroy it with Luke. It was Jocelyn who fell in love with the wrong man, a hidden monster, and it was Jocelyn who left him, or planned to leave him. In the real world, many women suffer at the hands of men who hurt, distress and physically make them feel as though their lives are not worth living, and Jocelyn not only had the bravery to become stronger than that, and leave him, but also plotted against him to bring him and his plan down. That is one brave women. And then further, she escaped him entirely, running away in order to protect her unborn baby from a life of pain, and suffering, and from a destructive family. I truly believe that Jocelyn was a vital character in this book, and will continue to be. She is the driving force behind Clary's goals, she has fought her life to keep her daughter safe, and she more than likely will try to continue so further into the series. She is a mother that Cassandra Clare should be proud of creating.

When it comes to Simon, I can't help but repeat what others who have reviewed this have said. Simon is a charismatic and charming character, with humour to boot. He cares so much for Clary and even during their rough time in this book, he still continued to be there for her, like a true friend would. He took on board that she wasn't like him, that she had other things in her life now, and through the pain that showed, he was still faithful to her, and her other friends in the book. I also feel that Simon had some of the best character development within this book too. Unlike Clary's, which I felt was quite rushed and unclearly thought about, almost like Clare had decided to add more and more as it came along, it felt like she had a line of growth for Simon. Whether he was a human or a rat, he grew to believe in himself, and believe that he was greater than others gave him credit for. I really hope that Clare continues Simons growth as a character and look forward to more humour and emotions with him.

Plot wise, I constantly felt baffled and a little confused, so much so, I had to do some research into some of the characters and read a little on some of the further storylines, merely to steady my brain. Sometimes, I felt like not enough was happening in the story, almost like Clare had to fill a gap, and other times, I felt like she was trying to cram way too much into a small amount of space. I especially thought that the last few chapters were rushed and quickened, and made to include as much information as possible. I would have much rather have found out some details further into the series, for example, the connection between Clary and Valentine, although it was quite obvious to me close to the beginning, and others such as Hodge leaving so early into the series. I can't help but feel he may be another important character later on, and so I was quite disappointed on that front. On the other hand, the actions scenes were so full of excitement and energy, I'm sure I skimmed past non-vital words such as 'a' and 'the' just to feel the excitement pouring through the words and the lines. Of course, the plot twist at the end completely threw me off the ball. I wasn't completely feeling the whole 'Clace' or whatever it's called, but I also didn't expect that. I also wasn't put off by the twist though, which I was surprised about. Having read snippets of the next few books in the series, I do know otherwise, but while reading, I was taken. Well done Clare.

Although I did have some problems with this book to start with, I fell into the story so easily and recognised a number of names due to having read The Infernal Devices first. I don't think it makes a difference what series is read first, but I feel from my point of view, starting in the past and working my way into the future was much easier for me. Seeing names I recognised, and features that were similar to characters in The Infernal Devices was lovely, and the fact that so many characters had bloodlines directly to past ones was brilliant, I really loved that little touch. In the end, I loved this book, so much so, I intend on buying the next two tomorrow so I can start them as soon as possible.

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