Welcome everyone to my second book review! This is going to be an extended version of the review I posted earlier today on Goodreads. Add me on there if you’d like.
I bought a copy of the City of Bones on my iPhone in the summer because I was only able to find it in Virgin store and for 80 LE (about 16$). And I wasn’t willing to put that much money into a book I wasn’t entirely sure I’d like and was a bit different from what I’d usually go for. But anyway… I read all the way to its middle in a matter of days but then lost interest and forgot about it. Yet, for some reason, I picked it up again a few days ago and I finally finished the City of Bones.
Sadly, I didn’t like it as much as the hype about it made me think I would. I’ll have to admit that how much background information I know about Cassandra Clare may be affecting my judgment of the book, and I know it shouldn’t, but it does.
I could see how she tried to make her own little world, with all its absurdities and special items and creatures; she invented objects and named them accordingly; she based a few ideas off mythology and religion and so on. But maybe, and that’s just my opinion, she tried a little too hard? You don’t have to Rowlin-ise your novel in order to make it good, Cassandra. I mean, aren’t ‘the Mortal Instruments’ sort of synonymous to ‘the Deathly Hallows’? Or was I the only one who got that feeling? Also, the main character with magical powers and parents with honourable history, the character who has been lied to in the name of ‘protection’? It’s too… Harry. Not as nearly well-developed but I just felt as though she was trying to imitate J.K. Rowling’s literary move. The big fantasy/supernatural series with magic, creatures, and elements of its own.
I really, really don’t mean to sound harsh, but that’s what I felt. Nonetheless, I did give this book 3 stars and that means I liked something about it!
I’ll admit that Cassandra has a nice way with words, and that she described the gory, action-packed scenes really well and in a way that gave those scenes the perfect pace. She also seemed to really understand her characters and described their emotions adequately, making it easy to sympathise with or hate the characters accordingly. Another good thing about the novel was that her characters seemed to act their age –they weren’t overly mature or, oppositely, overly silly. What I’m trying to say is that I liked the characters more than the plot!
And I really, really like Simon! The fandom seems to really admire Jace, but I prefer Simon. He’s Clary’s rock, no matter what, and he’s the kind of guy who did things because he wanted to not because he wanted something (say, Clary’s affection) in return. He wanted to help because he thought that was cool. And though he lacked the abilities that all the other characters have, he managed to save them! If that isn’t cool and attractive, then I don’t know what is! Also, Robert Sheenan!
What really made this book dreadful for me was how many plot twists the author tried to throw in. It reached a point that it was more confusing than surprising and intriguing. Perhaps some people enjoyed the feeling of not knowing what’s true and what isn’t, and honestly I enjoy that sometimes too when it’s executed well, but I didn’t really feel that it was done well here. Maybe this has to do with how I left it for a while before I got to the important bit, but still. It was the final plot twist, the one regarding Jace and Clary that really, really bothered me. I can understand that she was aiming for something that would throw her readers off, something that wouldn’t have crossed their minds, but this was just… -shudders- It weirded me out more than anything. And it’s the safe method of kicking Jace out of the love triangle and sending Clary in Simon’s way without causing too much pain. Not that I mind Clary having feelings for Simon; I really think he deserves some love.
Despite all of that, I feel that she ended the book in a nice way, a way that would make even those who didn’t really like the book want to read the next one just to see where it’d go. I don’t understand the trend of ending books with cliffhangers because I’m the kind of reader who likes a proper ending (or an open-ended one), but it does work well business-wise apparently.
Yes, that means I’ll be giving the City of Ashes a shot when I manage to come by it.
What I heard was that, regarding this serious, it’s either you despised it or you LOVED it. I seem to be an odd-one-out because I kind of like it and kind of hate it at the same time. I mean, to me, it was alright.
What did you think of this book? Are you an odd-one-out like me? And who’s your favourite character and why?
Thank you for reading and tune in for more book reviews soon!