Thursday, January 1, 2009

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

So, uh, after reading this

"BUY THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS (City of Bones/City of Ashes) SERIES. BUY THEM. BUY THEEEEEEEEM.

They are AMAAAAAZING."

I kind of had no choice but to run around the GTA to find these books. There were surprisingly hard to find. I had to go to this old people's mall where I used to sell Girl Guide cookies (it's a real crappy mall in the middle of nowhereland) and found it in the tiniest bookstore ever.

Anyways.

Review time.

Total: Somewhere around Four Stars.

{Summary from Back Cover}

Their hidden world is about to be revealed...

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 tatoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it's hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.

(Note: That summary has been nicely sliced and diced by me. It's painful long. Walk over to your local bookstore and read the rest if you want to. Or take a bus. Or walk. Or carpool. Save the environment, people.)

Behind The Grade:

I was expecting this to be bad. Really, painfully, terribly, cringe-inducingly bad. On Amazon, most of the reviews of this book ripped it apart. I mean, I don't give out glowing reviews easily, but I know there's a line between reviewing a book and hating on it.

All the reviews noted that Clare got her start on fanfiction sites and that her work took from her experience there and yadda, yadda, yadda. I was staring, bleary-eyed, at my laptop screen going, "Why do I care?" I don't. I don't care where an author got their start. Really. I don't. All I care about is, with all their experience, what kind of lovely, terrifying, horrifying, beautiful story they managed to come up with.

So, I'll start the review saying that you should absolutely disregard all the negative reviews for this book (hell, even disregard the one I'm writing right now) and go read the excerpt on her official site and see what you think.

Continuing on.

Clary is verging on Mary Sue territory. For those of you who don't know, a Mary Sue (or in the case of a guy coughEDWARDCULLENcough - Gary Stu) is a character who is flawless, perfect, always beautiful, talent, and gets her way. Clary is kind of like this. She has guys falling for her, is modest about her looks, etc, etc, etc. So, yeah, that bugged me terribly.

The good points? The description, all the little details about fairies and werewolves and whatnot, was lovely. Spot-on. Sometimes it went off on a tangent, but it was great to peek into this magical world surrounding our own. Urban fantasy is just great in this way. It all seems so real, yet so... (uh, stupid word use here, I know) unreal.

On the cover, in fairly large font, Holly Black blurbs this as being "sexy." It wasn't sexy. When my mom read the cover quote, she was like, "'Sexy'? Are you sure you should be reading this?" And I was like, "There's no sex! Two hundred-plus pages and not even a kiss. It's as dry as Harry Potter." (The kisses did come. Eventually. There were two.)

So, it wasn't sexy. But it was funny (often times, I really did laugh out loud) and dark at times, too, as Miss Black said.

I quite liked it. Up until the very end.

I loathed the end. Why was the romance between Clary and gorgeous, cocky, (Inner Fangirl squeals: 'And wonderful!') demon-hunter, Jace, murdered so brutally? Why? I pray to the gods of urban fantasy this is cleared up in the next book. *fingers crossed* If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll drop a (probably spoiler-free) major geek reference for you:

Their romantic possibilities were ruined in the most Star Wars-ian of ways.

If you're interested in Scott Westerfeld, Stephenie Meyer, Libba Bray or Holly Black's stuff, you'll definitely be salivating over The Mortal Instruments series.

Until next time...

13 comments:

Carol(ina) said...

Just keep reading the whole series. Cuz something might be revealed on the Jace/Clary thing! ;)

Khy said...

I don't get the sexy thing either. I actually hate the adjective sexy because it often makes no sense to me, mostly because people often refer to celebrities I find ugly and gross as sexy.

And ack! Another Jace fangirl! xD Am I the only person who really doesn't like him?

The Book Obsession said...

You have no idea how much I want to read this series!!

Simply_Megan said...

I didn't realize there were bad reviews about this book, but I loved it! And hated the ending, too, like you did. haha. But the second one is good too. And I can't wait for the third one to come out in March!

Simply_Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabbi said...

Caro(lina): So... Do you mean... Are you saying... Gah, I'm going crazy at your comment, but I don't want to be spoiled like last time.

Khy: I like Jace and Clary together better, but I like Simon more as a person. He's awesomesaucer.

TBO: That I don't. Hope you like it though!

Megan: Just started on the second one - thanks for the comment!

To whoever deleted their comment - feel free to add it back, I'm dying to know what you said/wrote.

Gabbi said...

(A note on my terrible grammar above)

I meant 'awesomesauce,' but I guess awesomesaucer works, too.

;)

Until next time, folks!

Simply_Megan said...

Sorry Gabbi, I posted my comment twice by accident so I deleted the other one.

jocelyn said...

I thought the cover quote was kind of weird, too.

As for the end of Clary and Jace--I've only read book one, so hopefully this is cleared up, but I thought it was so weird and creepy and unnecessary.

vvb32 reads said...

I went out to get this book with all the hype going around for book 3. I can't wait to start reading it as your review has continued the hype.

malibu said...

city of glass was pretty amazing.

if you havent read that one, you truly have not gotten the whole picture, in my opinion.

but im on the verge of hating the ending

A and Z said...

I loved this book! I can't wait to get my hands on the others. This is a cool blog... my and my friend have a book review blog also if u want 2 check it out...

lct12 said...

It's actually a REALLY bold move for an author to make; if I hadn't already read the synopsises on Wikipedia (and DON'T do this; I wish I hadn't, believe me), I would've been shocked and disgusted. But I'm sure you now realize the truth about Clary and Jace, since it's now 2011 and you've probably read all three. I, personally, loved the books.