Author(s): Cassandra Clare
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Publisher/Date: Margaret K. McElderry Books / March 27, 2007
Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book 1)
"She sighed. 'Seeing through the glamour is easy. It's the people that are hard.' 'We all see what we want to see,' he said quietly."
The Game's AfootOkay, so I realize I'm a little late to the game on this book but since I'm fairly new to the YA genre I'm giving myself a free pass. Plus, the way I see it, my review is so much more relevant now thanks to its upcoming theatrical release, so I've got that going for me. I really didn't think much about The Mortal Instruments series, despite all of its accolades, until I saw the movie trailer. Wow. Demons? Bad ass hot guys? A supernatural realm hidden within ours? Bad ass hot guys? Just... wow. There is sooooo much potential! So naturally, I did what any self-respecting, mature adult would do---I immediately went out and bought the book and squealed like a hormone-addled teen. Yes, folks. I've learned that Ms. Cassandra Clare has the ability to render me into a giggly, wide-eyed mess. For the most part, the book lives up to its praise.
I think the thing that really grabbed me with City of Bones was its rich world-building. I love the idea of a darker, separate realm hidden beneath the everyday mundane one that we all see. Clare didn't go overboard with superfluous details and nonsensical explanations. The supernatural universe was woven deeply into our own in a very natural way, making the suspension of belief quite easy. She also touched on a little bit of everything--- demons, vampires, angels and werewolves, which I thought was really entertaining. I also really appreciated the complexity of the main characters. Each one of them was bold and strong yet still vulnerable in their own way and it's that vulnerability that makes you want to delve deeper. We really only scratch the surface in this book, especially with regard to Clary and Jace. I can't wait to learn more about them as the series continues. And there's another thing. At the risk of somewhat spoiling something, the italicized portion is meant for those of you who've already read the book:
Can we PLEASE just talk a minute about that WTF-induced Clary/Jace revelation!? Seriously!? Did Clare really just go there!? Sick, man! Totally sick! Personally, the Simon enthusiast in me was kind of secretly doing a happy dance and simultaneously laughing maniacally at that part because Clary really needs to be with a nice guy. I mean, really. Poor, poor under-appreciated Simon. What's YA's beef with the nice guys anyway? I suppose that's a topic for another day.
Okay, bookish rant over. Anyway, another reason to check this book out--- the previously italicized twist and holy-mother-of-god action filled ending. So unexpectedly good! But despite how much I thoroughly enjoyed City of Bones, it did have its share of faults. For one, the pacing was all over the place. Much of the action occurs throughout the beginning and at the end. Honestly, there were several scenes in the middle that felt like they were thrown in there for the sake of having something happen. They didn't quite jive with flow of the rest of the book. And another thing that really got me was that it was a YA book that, at times, felt very YA. Sometimes Clare sucked me in and sometimes it was a little too teenage angsty for my liking. Regardless, I was engaged enough to want to continue on with the series and will definitely be waiting in line for the movie on opening night.
Summary PrognosisThe Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is an incredibly imaginative story with enigmatic characters and rich atmosphere. I guess my only reservations with this one are the uneven pacing and somewhat youthful writing style. It's clearly evident who the target audience should be (teens), enjoyable as it was. I do look forward to catching the movie adaptation with hopes that it'll be a bit more edgy than its bookish counterpart.
Read It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Discuss It: Goodreads | Author's Website