City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
by Cassandra Clare
Summary: When 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 odd markings. This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons-and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It's also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. 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 an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...
This is a tough book to review for me because of all the emotions I felt towards it while reading. It was recommended to me by a friend and I have to admit, I expected to like it, but also sort of expected it to be a typical YA fantasy with tons of romance thrown in. I was pleasantly surprised at how complex the plot was, how little romance there actually was, and how many different supernatural elements were thrown into the story. All in all, it was exceptionally done and it was definitely a story to take seriously.
I liked the way the story began- with Clary at a club with her best friend, Simon. She starts to notice something strange is going on and somehow, she’s the only one who can see what is happening. Even Simon is clueless. While the story becomes much more action packed from the beginning, it’s also slow at the same time. I thought everything was explained well and at the right time, while also being fast paced.
Figuring out Clary’s story was interesting. Being able to see all the strange things was the first step on an epic path of self discovery. I was able to watch Clary grow and learn more about herself as the story progressed. The reader also finds much more out about Clary’s family. I enjoyed every (well almost every) second of her adventure. I thought she was a great character.
The plot was so complex, it actually reminded me of Harry Potter in some ways -mixed with a ton of other elements, of course- but the feel of this complex world that regular people know nothing about was there, along with amazing world development by the author. I loved how the author wrote the story and how descriptive she was without giving away too much or being too boring but also not being too vague or fast paced and leaving the reader confused.
The plot involved so many different elements and there was so much Clary and the reader were discovering, it was extremely unpredictable. Just when I thought I was figured everything out, Clary would end up on a totally different path than the one I expected. Except for one time. The biggest twist in the book was something I figured out a few moments before it happened. I wouldn’t call that being predictable, though. My brain was sort of following along and then it thought, “I wonder if… no… oh my gosh, what if…. that sounds so much like.. oh no, the author would totally not do that… especially not now… oh my god!” I think my reaction to it was pretty awesome and I almost wanted to hate the book for this moment, but then I realized that I had the reaction the author wanted me have and I probably figured out what was about to happen just like the author wanted me to. People that have read this book will definitely know exactly which moment I’m talking about, but I think it’s incredibly important that a person go into this book without any knowledge of the giant twist thrown in. I think it would ruin the book, which is why I’m not even hinting at it!
I’m not sure how I feel about the way it ended and I am still a little angry at it, but I realize that it must have been a job well done if the author could make me react the way I did and care about the characters as much as I do. I will definitely continue the series and I’m glad I read it. I thought it was unique, complex, interesting, well written, and completely amazing. And also unfair!