Book: City of Bones, Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #1
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: March 27th, 2007
Rating: 4 stars
People have such mixed opinions about this book! They either hate it or love it. When I read the first 4 books in this series about 5 years ago, I honestly wasn’t that impressed by them. Not enough to finish the series, anyway. But then, after reading and loving Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy, I decided to give this series another go to see if I’d like it as I’d matured over the years and become and out-and-proud book nerd. (And also to see the descendants and similarities of Tessa, Will, Cecily and Charlotte!)
Now, I can see how Clare’s writing has matured over the years. This was her debut novel, and you can tell between this book and Clockwork Angel. The plot isn’t as even, and the characters are kinda… clunky. She also introduced way too many characters really get a feel for most of them. It was still a really enjoyable book though! Clare has created a really interesting world and I can’t wait to see how she develops it, and her characters, in the coming books.
Clary, unfortunately, isn’t as endearing as Tessa as a heroine. Jace says something which I think really describes Clary as a character; she’s sarcastic, but often borders on outright hostility. I think she crosses this line a lot, too much for my liking, and it made her come out as rude and unlikable in my opinion. She had her moments, and it was obvious she cared for her mother, Simon and her fellow Shadowhunters, but she seemed to hit them/snap at them more often than was needed. I just hope Clare uses Clary’s quick temper and stubbornness to her advantage and tries to develop her character into a more understanding one who isn’t so quick to snap at everyone.
We also meet many characters in the Institute, such as Jace, your good-looking, good-humoured, quick-retort-thinker with a traumatic past as the love interest. I loved him, and loved how his normally rock solid exterior crumbled around Clary. Despite that shock ending, I'm looking forward to seeing more of him in the future and how his relationship with Clary develops. We also have Simon, Clary’s best friend with a secret crush. He’s the dorky one whose social anxiety makes him stand out from the crowd, (as well as the fact that he’s the only mundane) but he’s always helping Clary out, even if Clary abuses it a bit. There are so many characters introduced, such as Alec, Isabelle, Luke, Hodge and Magnus Bane. I could write pages about I felt about all of them, but they’re minor characters. I did say Clare gave us too many character for the first book. I just hope we get to see development from these characters in the coming books.
If I had one major complaint, it’s Valentine. As a villain, he’s fairly weak. His name is after Valentine’s Day, for God’s sake! The villain in The Infernal Devices had an actual dastardly plan to destroy everything, but Valentine? He sounds like a wizard in Harry Potter who only think pure-blood wizards should be respected. Valentine wants to make Shadowhunters the superior species, and he’ll do whatever he can to ensure every other species, including werewolves, vampires, warlocks and faeries know this. He still seemed more like a politician than an evil mastermind when executing his plan. Still, it’s only book 1 of 6, so let’s see how he does.
While most people love or hate this series, I would still try it if you’re one who loves paranormal worlds. It’s a very intriguing place.