Wednesday, May 13, 2009

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare

Summary: 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. . . . (Picture from BooksOnBoard and summary from the back of the book)

My review: Okay, let me know when you are done oogling the cover art......................................done yet? Maybe I need to make it smaller so you'll pay attention. Okay, here we go. This book was recommended by Stephenie Meyer on her website (as part of the Mortal Instruments Series) so I thought I'd give it a try.

City of Bones is laced with a magical dark-side of vampires, werewolves, demons, faeries, and Shadowhunters but set in a time that could be our own. It has a heroine who is coming into her own, the possibility for a little romance (which I always like), and of course the big SM’s stamp of approval. Consequently, I really expected that I would like this book more than I did. It started out well—fast paced, descriptive, and mysterious in all the right places but after a while I found it had a hard time maintaining my interest in that I-cannot-put-this-book-down way. I enjoyed the novelty of the interaction between the different “species” but as the story moved on it got progressively more violent, so much so, that I felt it took away from the story and just left me kind of grossed out (though at least I can say that Ms. Clare does not lack descriptive talent).

I felt that the characters were varied, though a bit reminiscent of a few other sci-fi/fantasy cult classics which shall remain nameless so as not to hint at the ending. There is some mild sexual tension between Clary and Jace that keeps things interesting, but my favorite part of the whole book was the jealousy-induced hostility between Simon and Jace in regards to Clary. It was fun to “watch" and I kept looking forward to the next confrontation. Unfortunately, there was a disturbing twist at the end that I saw coming but kept hoping wouldn’t actually arrive. Arrive it did, and for me, it knocked off a whole star. I might be saying too much here—but there was definitely an EEWWWWW factor.

I wish I had more to say about it, but I don’t. In the end, it was an okay read, but I really couldn’t see what all the hype was about. It just didn’t sit well. While I didn’t get terribly bored with it, I wasn’t particularly engaged either. It was something to read and, I could read the next one, or not, and be just fine (which, I guess, says alot).

My Rating: 3 stars. There were instances of language (ya know, high school parking lot kind of stuff) and lots of hack and slash descriptors that were TMI. I'd put this at a 15+ YA read.

Sum it up: Starts out strong and finishes, well, oddly.

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