Thursday, November 11, 2010

City of Bones: Cassandra Clare

A friend of mine recommended "The Mortal Instruments" series to me, claiming that it was her new favorite series of books. As an avid reader of anything that makes my friends squeal, I got a copy of book one, City of Bones, and delved in.

If you're anything like me, you enjoyed Harry Potter, you maybe even mildly enjoyed Twilight, but you haven't been able to get into any of the bazillion ensuing series about wizards or vampires or other "underworld" type creatures. City of Bones is the answer. Clary is a pretty chill girl who has this geeky friend Simon. They go to a punk/goth club one night and Clary meets some very interesting people. Alec, Isabelle, and Jace are not like anyone Clary has ever met. There are some unnerving events and Clary discovers that she's not the normal girl she always hoped she was. Her life is turned upside down when Clary learns that she is the child of a Shadowhunter and that she has it within her power to fight demons. While she's crushing on Jace, Clary is also learning how to master her skills as a Shadowhunter. This story has everything--magic, romance, battles, drama, family, and a queer character or two. City of Bones takes place in current times, on the perceived plane of perception (for the most part). There's no time warp or separate universe to contend with, which I think is part of the reason I was able to get so involved so quickly. I wasn't forced to wrap my brain around a whole new world as well as a whole new cast of characters.

Cassandra Clare has garnered much success from her mold-breaking series, but I'm not convinced she's the best writer. Her talent is good and her storytelling ability is phenomenal, but her writing technique is just good. She gives a solid performance, and I'm hooked by her story. Her characters are engaging, though they're not all fully developed. The most important character is Clary and she is a believable young woman with all of her quirks and total misunderstanding of teenage boys.

I enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. City of Bones is addictive and the new ideas it presents are exciting and enticing. I've heard that Clare will be adding more to this series, and I've no doubt she will be met with continued success.

Rating: $$

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