Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Number of Pages: 485
Plot Overview: At New York’s Pandemonium Club, Clary Fray – and only Clary Fray – witnesses a brutal murder. That’s the first problem. The second problem: golden-haired, arrogant, not-quite-human Jace, who helps to commit the murder and catches Clary watching. Soon, Clary is sucked into a labyrinthine underworld replete with demons, angels, vampires, and werewolves, where nothing is as it seems and no-one can be trusted.
What I Liked: Jace, as a character, was occasionally entertaining, and the story featured characters with nonstandard sexual orientations, which was excellent.
What I Disliked: Cue the rant… Clary as a leading female character is a royal pain. Due to her unique situation as a mundane (more on that terminology later) who can see the supernatural, she’s often put in a position of weakness and confusion, causing extreme reliance on Jace and the other Shadowhunters (the not-particularly-clever moniker for the supernatural-hunting teenagers). This creates an awkward dynamic – one wants to root for Clary but is stuck wishing that she could be self-reliant for once. Jace fits the arrogant, talented, attractive love interest stereotype to a T. Also, the world that Clary operates in reads like a completely boring cross between the Bible, Harry Potter, and Twilight. Supernatural teenagers? Crack open any one of the Twilight books. Werewolves and vampires that hate each other? Perhaps the only plot device in the entire saga. Lucifer and the descendants of angels? Pure Christian lore. Normal, non-magical humans, the term for which starts M-U-…? Straight out of Harry Potter. A twist that’s decently imagined but poorly executed? Looking at you, Breaking Dawn. The writing style did little to distinguish itself from other novels in the same genre.
Other Notes: Cassandra Clare has expanded this world into many sequels, so perhaps they aren’t all this disappointing.
Other Reviews: The Guardian reviews this book here.
Final Verdict: Exceedingly unimpressive. Don’t read.