City of Bones
(Book 1 The Mortal Instruments)
By Cassandra Clare
Paperback, 485 pages
Urban fantasy where all the stories are true
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released March 27, 2007
Clary Fray is an average teenager – or that’s what she thinks, until she sees people others can’t and her mother disappears. That’s when she finds out she’s Nephillim, and she’ll have to get the help of others like her to save her mother. But when push comes to shove, she won’t know who to trust… or who to believe.
Overall this story is entertaining. It’s fast paced and doesn’t lead you down idle paths – a good thing in a first that is this long. The main character is self aware to a point, and she’s not a whimpering little thing that needs someone to save her – though on several occasions, she does need a rescue, she’s not a victim.
I think when it comes down to it, this book had an equal number of things that I guessed correctly, and things I didn’t guess, but was not surprised by. I guess you could call that a win. There are things that seemed tragically obvious, but as I think back over it, I wonder if they weren’t meant to be.
There is something terribly fun about this book. I think it’s the fact that you’re thrown into a world that is familiar, yet utterly alien… and the people in that world aren’t so different from our own. Sure they have magical powers, or turn into werewolves, but they’ve got a similar set of problems as we do.
As a complete aside: Cassandra Clare likes the letter C. If it’s not obvious from her choice of a pen name, then the constant appearance of it (Clary, Clave, Covenant, Circle…etc) in this book will clue you in.
The only two problems I have are that this book forces you to read the next to get closure on the story and that always bothers me. And the twist at the end felt contrived (not necessarily in the writing, but as if it’s just another lie piled on top of all the rest) I don’t trust it, and I don’t believe it. Also, what the heck is with the bad guy winning? Think about it, aside from the fact that no one died, Valentine wins. This is one of the ways this book forces you to read the next.
I’ll be interested to see where this series goes…
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