Review: City of Bones - Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)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.... 

City of Bones is a book I bought last year, and has been on my TBR shelf for quite a while. After hearing all of the hype I finally gave in, pulled it off the shelf and shoved my nose in it. I’m still reeling from that book now.
As a Fanfiction reader, Cassandra Clare’s name is one I already know well, though I never read much of her story. Of course, anybody who has researched into the author will know about the ‘plagiary accusations’ against her, I was so worried that all I would find in this book would be cheap knock-offs from other fantasy titles. I realise that no author can come up with a completely original story, but Clare borrows liberally from other titles, without it being straight up plagiarising. The idea of the Shadowhunters comes up as a glamourised version of the vampire hunters in Buffy, and the Clave/Circle comes as the Ministry of Magic/Death Eaters from Harry Potter.

I would like to note that, despite the critics comparing the Mortal Instruments to the Deathly Hallows, the first book in this series WAS released two months before J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
But despite the unoriginality of some of the ideas, the plot itself is original, the idea of these elite demon hunters keeping the order in the real world is original and Clare creates a fantastic world where normal humans (mundanes) live amongst the supernatural without even knowing it.

Clare’s Fanfiction past does become obvious at some points, with each character having witty comebacks and extremely cheesy jokes that will either have the closing the book and throwing it across your room or laughing. I was the latter though I know some people who found it a little unconvincing that every character was so sarcastic and witty.

The romance is also unoriginal, with Clary and Jace’s relationship developing quite fast in a youn adult cliché way, but it is convincing and I found myself falling in love with Jace. There is also the obligatory love triangle (best friend- protagonist-shiny hero) that I was expecting from the first chapter. Clare stops the romance storyline from being too convincing by adding a *TWIST AT THE END* that had me staring at the page like “OMG WHAT?!?!” (I’d advise you NOT to read any Goodreads reviews though, most of the time you’ll find spoilers for this twist).

Cassandra Clare creates a unique blend of characters, each of which have their own unique charm, calling the reader to read on. I personally love the character of Magnus Bane, who comes up a little bit more in the next two books in the series, I find myself fangirling over this hot wizard!

The writing is good... not great.... but not bad. Clare (thankfully) doesn’t describe every little thing like a lot of fantasy writers opt to, and that is good, as I hate that, it is all in all an easy and fun book for the urban fantasy lovers to get through in a day. The plot is fast paced and page turning and fantastic.

In the end, this book is definitely a read again, even though it is unoriginal and most of the time you know what is coming, definitely worth a read for anyone who likes Holly Black’s Modern Faerie and well recommended by me.

Overall rating: B+

Stand alone/series: First in the Mortal Instruments series
Released: July 2nd 2007 (Paperback)
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 445
Book obtained via: Bought

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