Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Book Review: City of Bones

Goodreads Synopsis 
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....

Why is it that I did not know about The Mortal Instruments series before!? Within reading the first few pages I was instantly hooked on Cassandra Clare's paranormal novel City of Bones, which focuses on the life of fifteen year old Clary after she comes into contact with a group of demon killers called the Shadowhunters. Over the period of 48 hours I found it extremely difficult to tear myself away from the pages (and even snuck some reading time in at work)!  City of Bones is  well paced and hauntingly good. The characters were both dark and humorous, and I soon found myself becoming pulled into the complex love triangle (or perhaps love pentagon?) of the story. 

While I'll admit that elements of the story are very familiar to other popular narratives (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Buffy), I don't think that these similarities necessarily took away from the plot. As I've come to learn through studying English literature in university, there is no such thing as a original story to begin with. Everything that is written in the world is inspired or influenced through a series of intertexts or cultural objects. Instead, I found that the incorporation of elements taken from other series and mixed with Cassandra Clare's own creativity made me enjoy  City of Bones even more! 

Overall there was only one thing that bothered me about this text, and that was how things occurred in the end. That isn't to say that the ending of City of Bones was horrible, it was actually quite excellent! It was more the fact that it didn't conform to my idea of a happily ever after (and those of you who have read the book already may have an idea of what I am referring to). I know that this is only the first book in the series, so I'm sure that the problems which occurred at the end of City of Bones will eventually be resolved. Despite this significantly small and minor vexation on my part, I really did love this novel and would recommend it for those who also like reading paranormal and young adult fiction! I will definitely be getting my hands on the second book ASAP as I am desperate to know what happens next! Happy reading :)

Rating: 4.5 Stars


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