Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review: City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

City of Bones
Cassandra Clare
March 27, 2007
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
485 pages
Reviewed: Paperback, gift
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When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know... 

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

My Review

My best friend has been raving to me about this series for the longest time. I started to read this book once, but it was during one of my "ain't-nobody-got-time-for-anything" phases when, as you might guess, I did not have time to do anything remotely enjoyable. So here I was, in December, wondering what I should ask for for Christmas, and it dawned on me: The Mortal Instruments series! Thanks to my wonderful, amazing parents, I now own the first four books. 

It's taken me a little longer than usual to read this book, because at the same time I've been reading Tamar with my dad, and preparing for my school's production of Thoroughly Modern Millie (it was amazing!). I can usually handle multitasking, but this week it was just...gahh. Whenever I had the time and energy, though, you could find me with my nose in this book. 

I am thoroughly in love with Jace (and apparently every time I hear the word "thoroughly," music starts playing in my head. This is going to be a long week). Jace is my new book crush. I was constantly battling with myself in my head as to whether I shipped Clary with him or Simon, and honestly, I still can't decide. Jace is so beautiful and Simon is so adorable and I just can't. Overwhelming character love here. And that's before I even mention Alec and Isabelle. I just adore them all. Don't ask me to pick a favorite because I would give up the Mortal Cup before I could answer that :)

I was entertained for the entire book. There was not a moment when I found myself bored with the plot. There was tons of action, and a backstory I could actually keep up with. It wasn't one of those books with trivial battles and unnecessary violence; everything felt well thought out, and I could feel the characters' emotions behind their actions. If the story needed to pause for a moment and catch its breath, it did just that. The pacing was just 
how it needed to be for the situation.

Normally, I don't read these types of books. Vampires and werewolves and mythical creatures aren't usually my thing. But I liked the set up of this book, how magical beings could be right under our noses, and maybe even look just like us. It was set in present day New York, so there was still familiarity in the fantasy world. I find that a must in a fantasy book; there has to be at least some element of reality for me to hang onto. 

I think this book was perfectly balanced, and it always gave me something to look forward to when I crawled into bed (or when I went to Chinese class and had nothing else to be doing). I am so looking forward to reading the next one!

4.5 stars

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