City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I bought this book a few months ago when it was on sale on Amazon, as I’d heard lots of good things about this series. I’m sorry to say that I was pretty disappointed by it, though knowing me I will still go on to read the rest of the series.  I can’t help wanting to know how it all turns out, especially after having invested in reading the first book.

Clary is a fifteen-year-old girl who has grown up as the daughter of a single mother, Jocelyn, an artist from whom Clary inherits both her talent at drawing and a genetic gift she doesn’t even know she has–that of being a shadowhunter.  Shadowhunters are demon slayers, and the world of magic they inhabit is populated with all kinds of mythical creatures.  Humans, of course, are the dupes in this scenario, being unable to see any non-humans and thus not even aware of their existence. Clary has been raised as a human by her mother, who attempts to protect her from her own violent past.

While out at a club with her best friend, Clary finally sees the shadowhunters for the first time, as the magic spell she has had placed upon her begins to wear off.  She meets Jace, Alec, and Isabelle, a trio of teenage shadowhunters with whom she quickly becomes involved as she starts to realize that the world is not the place she thought it was, and her own life and family aren’t what she thought, either.

As a premise, I could buy into the story up to a point.  Lots of the words that are used for elements of the magical world were very confusing, though, as sometimes that same thing has two or three different names.  Even by the end of the book, I didn’t really have them clear in my mind.  The characters of Clary and her new gang were likeable enough, if a bit stereotypical, but I felt that they came across as very young at the beginning of the story.  I kept wondering why children would be hanging out in a dance club in the first place?  They mature somewhat as the story goes on, but still seem too immature to be handling the situations in which they find themselves.

The middle part of the story was good, with some nice writing, and just as I started to settle into enjoying the book…it all went wrong.  I could see the ending coming from a mile away, and it fulfilled every expectation that I had up until the last.  Every “secret” that is revealed is so predictable, and it has all been done so many times before, that nothing about it felt fresh or creative. One particular twist towards the end of the book was not only predictable but also kind of gross, and it put me off the rest of the book entirely.

I honestly can’t understand what so many people have found to praise about this book.  I hate to give such a negative review, but I really felt disappointed by it and I feel like the author has enough talent to have written something more original.

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8 thoughts on “City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

  1. Pingback: WWW Wednesdays – September 5th | Too Fond

  2. Chinoiseries

    I suppose you were thinking of this book when you mentioned on Twitter continuing series even if you did not like the first book much? 🙂 It sounds like a not so well executed young adult paranormal fantasy… not my favourite genre by a long shot. But kudos to you, Beth, for trying it!

    1. Beth Post author

      Yep, this is the one I was talking about. I like to think I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to reading across different genres, but as this series has been held up as a good example of its kind, I’m not sure that says much for the rest. I’ve since decided that I won’t try to read the rest of the series. That is progress for me! 🙂

  3. NiinaC

    If I recall right, I read this after twilight while I was still in my YA mode – nice but nothing too memorable for me. I think younger kids would have found it better than me. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Sunday Salon: The September Wrap-Up | Too Fond

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