This review was originally posted on http://threecatsandabook.blogspot.com
This is a review of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I tried my best to keep this review spoiler-free. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
I had seen this book pop up on my updates-feed on goodreads so many times, that when I came across it at my library, I had to take it home with me. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to reading this book, but I wanted to find out what the fuss was about. It seems that people either hate or love this book. And I ended up kind of loving it.
City of Bones is the first instalment in the Mortal Instruments series. What I really liked about this book from the start is that it is set in modern times in New York City. Of course, many books are set in New York City (the Princess Diaries for example, a series I absolutely love, by the way) but this is fantasy. I had never read fantasy before that’s set in NYC, but maybe that's just me.
Anyway, City of Bones is about a teenage girl named Clary Fray whose mother is super overprotective and whose father died before she was even born. When she goes out clubbin’ with her homie Simon - who’s like a brother to her – she sees three teenagers kill this creepy dude. These three killers turn out to be Shadowhunters. “What are Shadowhunters?” you ask? If you really want to find out, I suggest you read this book, but in short: Shadowhunters are part angel, part demon fighting warriors. They're pretty badass and they basically protect us humans – or mundanes, as they like to call us – from demons. Which is pretty nice of them, isn’t it?
Clary is pretty freaked out after witnessing a murder. Unfortunately, this isn't the last time Clary encounters Shadowhunters, because soon her mother disappears and she gets attacked by a demon herself.
This book is filled with hilarious dialogues and fast-paced action sequences. Perhaps it’s just me, but I thought the action scenes were rather bloody. I didn’t mind it, but I guess I’m not used to it. What I also really liked about this book were the characters. I must admit that not all of them were very original, but more on that later. I really liked the fact that so many characters dropped by in the storyline. You’ve got your five main characters: Clary, Simon, Jace, Isabelle and Alec. But there are also many characters that are only present for like a chapter or two, like Magnus Bane and Raphael. And I hope that, if those characters survived the first book, they’ll reappear in one of the others books in the series as well.
Those who hate on this book say, amongst many other things, that this book is very predictable. Now I did feel for the first half of the book, that I knew exactly what was going to happen. And I did predict several developments of the plot correctly. But the last 100 pages or so completely made up for that, because it contained one big plot twist and a couple of small ones. My mind was pretty blown after that plot twist. And I really enjoyed that.
Another thing the haters argue is that many elements of City of Bones were copied and slightly altered from the Harry Potter-series. I did read somewhere on the interwebs – and we all know how reliable that information is – that Clare originally started writing Harry Potter fan fiction. And that some paragraphs from those works were altered and used in City of Bones. Furthermore, I am able to recognize elements from Harry Potter in this book if I pay close attention to it. But I don’t really want to. And I recommend you to not do so either, if you just want to get a good read out of this book.
I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m definitely going to read the other ones in the series. I love reading about fantasy worlds that exist in our “real” world and the world of the Shadowhunters is a good example of that, although it might resemble the world of Harry Potter a little. Maybe that is exactly why I liked this book so much. After all I love the Harry Potter-books with all my heart and more!