6 November 2011
Review: City of Bones
City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments, book 1 of 6
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Supernatural
Published: March 2007
In all honesty I was interrupted for several periods of time while reading this book (amongst which was a hospital stay due to surgery, during and after which I could not concentrate on anything), so I'm not sure whether I am to blame for my lack of being able to be swept away by the story, or too many things in the story itself kept me from being drawn in.
But, since I have read ‘Clockwork Angel’ by Cassandra Clare which I thoroughly enjoyed (the Victorian Setting appealed to me more than the setting of the ‘Mortal Instruments’ though) I blame me for this temporarily state of insanity. Upon finishing 'Clockwork Angel', the book left me empty-hearted and longing for more of it. I loved Cassandra’s writing, characters, setting, action. So despite the different setting, I decided to order the ‘Mortal Instruments’ anyway.
I had prepared myself that this series would be less good than ‘Clockwork Angel’ because it was written earlier. But Cassandra’s writing is of the same high standard then as it is now, she treats her readers like adults instead of tweenies. She takes us seriously for a change. From page 1 the book is action-packed and introduces us into a different world not far from ours, without losing sight of the plot. Nothing happening drags on too long or seems senseless.
The action just keeps coming, Cassandra doesn’t waste words on jibber jabber. Everything happens for a reason but is still descriptive enough and pleasant to read without being rambled on like a story that has to be told without paying attention to use of words.
However I do find Cassandra uses the same sentences/words a lot. The werewolve's 'lolling' tong for example, and the 'breathing like he/she had just run'. Not much variation, whereas most sentences read like beautiful poetry.
The terms are explained in this book, the gadgets and history about Shadowhunters and their powers and weapons. I love the original ideas of the rune marks, and how this whole world works. I find there's nothing weird about it, like it has always been like this. Totally believable.
I like how the plot comes together piece by piece. It’s not childish or immature, it’s a very well thought through story/plot (of which I wish I'd thought it up).
Like in ‘Clockwork Angel’ I do find that all the excitement and action keeps Cassandra from writing ‘too deep’. I’m still having trouble with feeling Clary. I know what she looks like, but I don’t know anything about her insides. With everything that’s going on in her life, she seems to be taking things rather well, rather superficial. I would like to get a bit deeper inside her head. It’s hard to identify yourself totally with one of the main characters that way.
I’m getting kind of annoyed with the fact that whenever something major happens (Clary finds out her mom was a Shadowhunter, married to the bad guy Valentine, stayed on the ‘wrong’ side too long) some kind of action thing happens and we don’t get to read any of her thoughts. I actually longed for some peaceful times, some slow times in the book, to catch my breath. The book felt like a never-ending rollercoaster ride, and no matter how fun rollercoaster rides are, if you're being forced to stay on them while getting more and more nauseous, it's not fun anymore...
Those are my only points of criticism, Cassandra needs to slow down sometimes, and I want to read more about everyone's feelings in between the action. Or at least Clary's feelings, because she's the main character.
And I hope that Clary and Jace aren't really brother and sister. (I think I read a spoiler about that somewhere, ignoring it for now...) Cassandra wrote the story very plausible, no soap-opera-like-surprises, but believable, and leading to something more. Not just a twist to keep it exciting or fill the pages, no, some devious sidetrack to the plot.
So, I got sucked into the story finally, but I'm gonna do some light reading first, before I continue this series. I can easily let go of the 'Mortal Instruments' world, whereas I had more trouble letting go of the 'Infernal Devices' reality. Not a very good sign I guess...
However, this would really make for a heck of a movie!!!
Have a good day! :)