Wednesday, July 4, 2012

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 496
Series or Stand Alone: Book One in the Mortal Instruments series
Summary: 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....
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end

RE-READ ALERT! I read the original Mortal Instruments trilogy in the summer of 2009, so it’s been awhile. I wanted to revisit the books in order to truly enjoy City of Lost Souls after it came out. I remembered bits and pieces, but not any overarching story, which made reading City of Fallen Angels kind of lackluster. Now that I have more free time to read, I decided to avoid a repeat of that experience with a re-read!
When Clary Fray encounters tattooed teenage fighters attacking someone at the Pandemonium Club, she throws herself directly into the situation without too much concern for her safety. She was previously unaware of their world--the three teenagers, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle, are Shadowhunters, warriors charged with keeping the world safe from demons and rogue Downworlders. A demon attack and her mother’s magically comatose status make it impossible for Clary not to be drawn into the world she was apparently born for.
City of Bones is a great introduction into the young adult urban fantasy genre. Clare is a clever worldbuilder, exploring the traditions, knowledge, and places of the Shadowhunters within New York City. I really enjoy the paranormal lore that provides the structure for these stories. Since Clary is new to the world, the reader is able to see it revealed through her eyes, with her questions as a guide. Clare does a wonderful job setting up the wide variety of vibrant characters in this first installment, my favorites including Alec and Isabelle Lightwood and the High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane.
Clary Fray, despite her abominably cutesy name, is a fine protagonist. She’s fierce and does not take the slightly condescending crap (which they unfortunately tend to dole out to “mundanes” or humans) from the young Shadowhunters she meets. One of my favorite moments is when she finds out that Jace did something that had a 90% chance of saving her and a 10% chance of turning her into a soulless Foresaken, she slaps him and explains that it’s for “the other ten percent.” You go, girl. Your life should not be used in a guessing game and I’m glad you knew that. Basically, I like that the girl’s got rage and a fighting concern for her comatose mother.
For anyone who hasn’t read these books (except my sister, who was unfortunately around the first time I read them, sorry for spoiling it for you by loudly complaining!), there’s a pretty big twist at the end of this one. I give props to Cassandra Clare for having the guts to pull that one, yikes. Talk about uncomfortable.
If you haven’t read them yet, Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series is a fun, drama-filled urban fantasy read. City of Bones serves as a brilliant introduction into the world of the Shadowhunters.

Rating: 4.5 - awesome!

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