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Friday, 20 September 2013

Book Talk: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments Book 1)

Ah, City of Bones. This book sat on my bedroom floor for so long before I got around to actually reading it, but then again, most of my books do. The final push that got me going was wanting to read it before seeing the film, but now I realise that if I do want to see the film, I have to go all the way to Bradford (uh, no, not gonna happen, thank you very much) or wherever because they're not showing it in ANY of my locals cinemas any more :( So wait till the DVD it is.

On a night out with her best friend Simon, Clary Fray witnesses a violent murder. Or so she thinks. (This club isn't called Pandemonium for nothing. PanDEMONium...) In reality, the three "thugs" she sees are Shadowhunters, hunters and killers of demons...which she shouldn't be able to see, unless, of course, she's a Shadowhunter herself. (Thanks, Mom, for telling me this sooner...) Drawn to the sexy, mysterious group -- in particular, a certain Jace Wayland -- like a moth to a flame, Clary finds herself thrown head-first into a whirlwind of action, as she tries to save her kidnapped mother from the evil Valentine, loving and losing along the way.

My friend Jenny had been trying to get me to read this book for ages before I finally did, and she was right -- it is awesome. However, it was, for lack of a better word, a strange read. Not the plot -- well, no stranger than the other books I've read -- it was strange because I seemed to develop bipolar disorder as I read it. I liked it, then I loved it, then I didn't like to so much, then I liked it again, and so on.

But even when I didn't like it, I had to keep reading. I was glued to the pages. There was a point where Simon was THE ONLY character I liked -- I was furious with Clary, and still I had to keep reading. I needed to know how it ended even if I disliked half the cast for the majority of the book. By the end, I liked many people I'd initially disliked and vice versa. Come to think of it, Simon was the only character for whom my feelings stayed almost stagnant, the only change being my love for him growing... ;)

So plot, I really liked towards the end of the book, but in the beginning it felt like Cassandra Clare was just leading us in circles, and it got a little frustrating, but not enough to spoil the book. I also predicted much of the ending before I was even a third in, but as far as I know, this isn't typical. Jenny was surprised, at least. I'd be interested to hear in the comments if you guys were also shouting "I knew it all along!!!"

Setting was also very cool -- I mean, who doesn't adore New York? I have and always will be a city girl through and through, and the night-time scenes where Jace and Clary were flying through skyscrapers on a demon bike were awesome.

My only nitpick with this story was the character cast. I'm just going to come right out and say it: I got sick of Clary. There is one point where I really didn't like that girl. To be fair though, for the most part she was okay. Not amazing. But not awful. Just okay. There were many cryptic and equivocal people to attempt to figure out, which I did really like. You're never quite sure whose side some people are on...but as I said earlier, there was still that point where Simon was the only character I cared about, and that bugs me. You're supposed to like the characters, or if not, understand and forgive them for being un-likeable  because of their twisted pasts or whatever.

So because of that, I'm giving City of Bones a star rating of 4/5

If you've read and liked City of Bones, I really recommend that you check out Lili St Crow's Strange Angels series. It has all the fast-paced supernatural thrilleriness (faster paced, I'd say) with the same fantastic range of creatures, an evil supervillain, a geeky character you adore, and a hot but annoying character that I never like but everyone else always seems to. If you're viewing this from a computer/laptop (as opposed to a smart phone), you will see a search bar in the top left-hand corner of the window. Search there to search my blog. If you liked this, you'll like Strange Angels, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, and Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble. I have "book talks" about all three, if you want to know what they're about and how highly I rated them.

So right now I've taken a break from this series to read a book I've been waiting since March, but I cannot wait to read City of Ashes (book 2). Hopefully I'll hate less people this time. And hopefully there won't be another scene that just breaks my poor little heart like there was here. Clue: It involves Simon. That said, Jenny has been tormenting me with threats of scenes to come...oh dear. I'm scared for you, Simon :(

See you back here for Music Monday. Until next time, my pretties. :)