Wednesday 15 August 2012

Review: City of Bones - Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments (1)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: 27 March 2007
Date Read: August 2012

This review contains an extensive amount of spoilers. Only those who have read the book are immune and to others, this intense dosage of spoilers can be fatal to the system. There is no cure. Beware.

Now, I'd heard a lot of this book, this series, the prequel trilogy, the author. Lots of people seemed to really like the book and I don't mind trying out new reads. I really hoped to like it, as well, since I'd heard that Cassandra Clare used to be very popular in the fan fiction world, going around with the name Cassandra Clair. She wrote the Draco Trilogy and people loved it. I haven't read it myself, being a late bloomer in the HP fandom, but because she had affiliations with the HP world, I really wanted to like her own series and give her support and whatnot.

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. . . .
(from Goodreads)

Clary is one of the most pathetic heroines I've ever had the displeasure to meet. Clary is useless and stupid. She overhears Luke telling a couple of creepy looking men- who is probably working for the enemy- that he doesn't give a damn about Clary and her mother, that he's just going away to some country until this debacle with Valentine is over because it's not really his problem. Clary immediately believes his words, doesn't even think about the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Luke is lying. Maybe Luke is just protecting Clary and his mother and the flipping Cup. Maybe he's not actually going to go off into hiding, instead, he's looking for the Cup or Clary's abandoned mother himself, or gathering allies or whatever. Maybe Luke is lying to these creepy looking men are obviously the enemy, trying to keep whatever advantage he has. Did any of these thoughts enter Clary's mind? No. Why? Because she's thick. And Clary is so mean to her best friend, Simon who, of course, is in love with her and it's so obvious with everyone apart from Clary. I'll overlook the fact that Clary was so unrealistically blind, but even after she found out Simon's true feelings, she still treated him like crap. Clary just used Simon for things she wanted and the second she got it, she'd forget about him until she needed something from him again. Clary is so incapable doing anything badass. She doesn't even do anything. In a world where all sorts of demons are attacking you, you'd at least think that she'd be able to defend herself. But no. She only successfully killed a demon once, and the author did that to impress the Shadowhunters about her potential or whatever. After that, every time they encountered some evil being, Jace or Luke or Simon or whoever was always there to stand in front of her and fight while she does nothing. People keep telling Clary to stay at a place where she's safe because they know she won't be able to defend herself and she'll just end up being a burden. So what does Clary do? She goes straight to the trouble anyways. That wouldn't normally be a problem but Clary JUST STANDS THERE. SHE DOESN'T FIGHT. SHE COWERS IN A CORNER AND LOOKS SCARED, WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO ATTACK HER SO SHE CAN YELL FOR JACE TO SAVE HER.

And Jace. He was okay, I guess. Charming, handsome, 'funny', and he knows it. I put funny in quotations because he only made me chuckle once or twice. I'd expect a lot more witty comebacks from his kind of personality. I liked him until the end when he was being a dumbass in that whole episode with Valentine. Ugh.

The writing felt really off, as well. I was hoping that it was the first couple of chapters that I didn't favour, or that those chapters just sucked. But, no. It was the writing and it was not good.

Normally, I don't compare books to other books, but I couldn't help it with this one. As I was reading it, I kept thinking about how City of Bones felt to similar to Harry Potter. Valentine- the main antagonist- was suspected dead after a battle between the Shadowhunters and co, and Valentine and the Circle. Valentine wanted to stop the Accord from being passed, an agreement with the Downworlders that ensures peace and harmony between them and the Shadowhunters and humans. Valentine claimed that Downworlders weren't pure and inhuman. They do not deserve to walk this earth and the world has to be rid of this abomination. He's had this idea since he was in school, and he managed to convince fellow students of this belief. These students basically worshiped Valentine. Why wouldn't they? Valentine was smart, funny, charming, handsome, popular, highly skilled and he paid attention to them, to these unimportant little people. Soon enough, Valentine and his followers called themselves the Circle and continued pursuing this belief. It came time to battle to enforce the Accord and the Circle lost. Many were killed but the remaining few cooperated enough to give names and other information regarding the Circle.

Does that not sound like Voldemort and the Death Eaters? Doesn't it? I know J.K. Rowling wasn't the first to write about prejudism and group oppressors, but seriously. It sounds a lot like Harry Potter. It doesn't help the fact that Cassandra Clare wrote a fan fiction on HP and all these similarities just smell fishy to me. I said that I haven't read the fan fiction so I won't comment on it. I don't know what it's about. I'm just going to leave it here.

I don't know if I'm going to keep reading this. Probably not. I think I'll try the prequel trilogy, though. I heard it's way better that this one.

Clary is such a stupid name. I hate having to say it. It feels so weird in my mouth- so slippery and unnatural. It reminds me of a fish.


  1. I read that one a few days ago. While it kept me entertained, I did feel the HP similarities, too (and I didn't even know at that time that Cassandra Clare had written HP fanfiction). I'll probably read the second book nonetheless, but I'll see; if the characters don't improve, I may not feel like going on.

    1. I still can't decide whether or not I'm reading the next installment. I was entertained enough, I suppose, and I'd heard lots of people say that they love the series. Maybe everything will improve on the next one...

  2. Darn it, I started reading the book and didn't like it so I abandoned it. Now, after watching the trailer for the movie, I want to get to the book again because the trailer looks good.

    1. I know what you mean! The trailer looks so good! But I didn't really think the had a good casting. I'll see the movie then maybe I'll continue the series...


Comment away!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...