City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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....

The Mortal Instruments seemed to be all the rage at one point. They were everywhere and everybody apparently loved them. Well, I don't. Having read the first one now, I have no desire or need to read the next in the series. The characters didn't appeal to me, nor did the story. The whole thing seemed bloated and though I can't put a finger on it, I feel like I've seen it all before.

A few hundreds pages in I discovered that Clare started out writing Harry Potter fan fiction and suddenly it all made sense. The mundanes (the muggles), the Steele (wands) and Clarissa (Cassandra)'s centre role as oblivious to everything magical till the day she's revealed to be special. I don't mind fan fiction at all, but in my eyes, City of Bones, seems very much like a piece of fanfic rather than a truly original piece of fiction. And it's not that all good.

Bottom line is, I don't understand all the hype about the book, it didn't appeal to me and it was too full of clichés and things you've seen in films since the 90's. 2 stars for all that, but an extra 3rd star for at least being somewhat well written.

442 pages / published in 2007
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


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