Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review: City of Bones

City of Bones
 (The Mortal Instruments #1)
By:  Cassandra Clare
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 27, 2007
Page Count: 496
Source:  Purchased by Reviewer
  Audience:  Young Adult - Fantasy
 
 Granted, City of Bones has been out for a while and reviewed thousands upon thousands of times, but as each new installment in this series is released, it becomes relevant once again.

I couldn't wait to dive into this series once more as I wanted to refresh my memories of what has transpired thus far, and each time I read these wonderful books, I am just as captivated with the story as the first time I read them.

Cassandra's world building is just beyond comprehension.  She has a real talent for creating a world so intricate and yet nothing is superfluous.  I always catch more tidbits on each rereading of these books that did not occur to me as significant when I first read them and as we are already much further ahead in the story.  
 
The characters of The Mortal Instruments are so rich, you get a real sense of each of their selves -- their individualness -- each character is distinct and integral to the story.  I truly ended up caring about all of them in one way or another.  I even wanted to find redeeming qualities in Valentine.

However, when I first tried to read City of Bones, I have to admit that I almost gave up a few pages in as I did not relate to the heroine of this series, Clary.... I don't know why, but I just couldn't.  Perhaps it was because she seemed so young and a tad immature when the story first began.  But at the urging of one of my bestest book friends to give this series another try, and as I really began to appreciate this world, I found her to become a strong yet vulnerable protagonist, and I loved her as I got to know her.  Like many teenage girls who truly do not see themselves as beautiful, her insecurities did not weigh her down.  And being new to the Shadowhunter lifestyle, and coming to the realization that this whole other world even existed all along and was thrown into it head-first, showed us what she was capable of and she continues to amaze me as the story unfolds.

And what can I say about Jace.  He is such a complex character and worthy of sharing the spotlight as one of the main characters in these books.  His cockiness is tempered by his thoughtfulness much of the time.  He IS gorgeous, of course, and he knows it.  I wanted to NOT like him (for his arrogance), but I just couldn't.  He seems much older than beyond his years, but at the same time, he is still like a child.  I definitely feel that he and Clary share the stage in this story equally.

Clary's and Jace's families and friends wonderfully enrich this story, too.  Simon is just simply awesome.  He's so vulnerable where Clary is concerned, and growing up together with the thought that they could go in perhaps another direction keeps us wondering what it would be like between them.  Isabelle, Alec, Luke, Hodge, Magnus, Jocelyn... all integral to the story without cluttering it.  Valentine, one of the most evil villains in YA lit that I've come across, is just that... evil, with not a lot of redeeming qualities, as he will sacrifice his own flesh and blood to further his cause.  He's not above using anyone he 'loves'.

Each time I read this story, I am still crushed when 'that something' is discovered between Clary and Jace close to the end of City of Bones.  It still had me saying NOOOOOOOOO... even though I know how it all turns out. 

While, I know what is to come in the subsequent books that have been released already, I still get anxious and totally invested in this amazing series.  This world that Cassandra has created is unique and super-intriguing!  An excellent story... and definitely one of my all-time favourites! 


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. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.
 
 

11 comments:

  1. I get crushed when I even think about the ending with Jace and Clary. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

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    1. Lisa, no... you're not the only one!! It was super-heart-breaking!! At the time when I read it the first time, I couldn't believe that Cassandra would GO THERE! But she did! What drama, right?!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I love sinking into the world Cassandra created for us. Every time a new book comes out it's like slipping on my favorite sweater. I just nuzzle myself right in.

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    1. Perfectly put, Kriston! That's exactly how I feel, too! :D

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  3. Awesome review! I've been dying to start this series. I feel like everyone else I know in the blogging community has read and loves these books. I'm a little worried about not connecting with Clary, but perhaps she's just a character that needs to grow on you.

    -Lauren @ Slaying Books

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    1. Hey Lauren... that's how I felt when I read The Hunger Games back in the winter... like the last person on the planet to get into them! :P As for worrying about connecting with Clary, she QUICKLY becomes a heroine to love! Stick with it if you don't like her in the beginning. I promise she gets better!!

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  4. This is one of the very few series that I could easily reread and not ever get bored with. Especially City of Bones but I think that has to do with the fact it's the first book of the whole series. I will be sad when CoHF comes out and we have to say goodbye to these amazing characters but I am definitely excited for Lady Midnight.

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    1. Ditto to everything you said Caitlin! I feel the very same way... and I'm also looking forward to The Dark Artifices trilogy in a couple more years. I'm hoping we get updates of Clary & Jace and the other TMI characters through that series too! ;)

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  5. I really like this series, but sometimes, I find myself thinking it's a bit overrated.

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  6. Still love it and the intricate world Cassie created but can understand that feeling.

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