Even Stevens’s #CBRV review #5: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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15-year-old Clary Fray lives in New York City with her artist mother, and does just about everything with her best friend Simon. She has a normal life, or so she thinks. One night while out a club with Simon, Clary discovers the existence of shadow hunters, aka demon hunters, as well as the wide world of demons, downworlders (part demons), witches, warlocks and everything else she always thought was make believe. She is drawn into the shadow hunter world when her mother disappears and Clary finds the apartment torn to shreds and simultaneously comes face to face with a nasty demon. Jace, one of the shadow hunters, comes to her rescue and with the aid of Alec and Isabelle, a brother-sister shadow hunter duo, they attempt to hunt down Clary’s mother, while also investigating the rumor that Valentine, possibly the greatest villain the shadow hunter world, is not only alive, but trying to return to power and dominate the supernatural world once again.

This is a series that I had been resisting reading for awhile, mainly for two reasons: 1) That atrocious cover up there reminded me of a Twilight rip off and 2) it got endless comparisons to Twilight, which didn’t help dispel reason #1. I’m a big fan of YA literature, and just because it’s aimed at teens, doesn’t mean it has to be dumbed down. However, its continued popularity kept my attention, and when I saw it was being made into a movie my curiosity finally got the best of me.

On the whole, I would say that I enjoyed this book. Clare is good at writing action packed scenes and despite having a supernatural theme she kept it pretty grounded and believable.  It was a very quick read and kept my attention. However, I did have a few issues. First of all, Clary is a bit of a Mary Sue. Clary discovers this whole new world and at the beginning she is strong and sarcastic, which I loved, but as the book progresses she kind of fades into the background and basically becomes a mechanism for telling the story of the other characters. She wasn’t obnoxious or annoying, just sort of unremarkable for much of the book. It’s a shame too, because there’s glimpses of where she could be useful but then someone else saves the day (for those who have read it, I’m thinking of the roof scene and the last scene with Dorothea).  My other big issue with the book is that there’s a big reveal near the end of the book, one which I actually liked and found refreshingly different, that results in certain characters acting against the personas Clare has crafted for them throughout the book.

I liked the book well enough and hope that the series will build on itself and become stronger. I will give a little cheat and say that I’m already into book two and it is much more interesting thus far, so that’s a positive sign. If you’re a big supernatural/YA fan I say give it a go if you’re curious – it’s great for a light, enjoyable read.

One thought on “Even Stevens’s #CBRV review #5: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

  1. Great review, I felt the same way! The series as a whole is no Harry Potter (she wrote fan-fiction for that first I think so you’d definitely see some influences there as well), but it’s far superior to Twilight.

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