Sunday, May 23, 2010
I added City of Bones by Cassandra Clare to my reading list, because my reading history is woefully lacking in popular books. I tend to avoid them, actually. Maybe it's the hype that turns me off. Maybe I'm the kind of gal who enjoys swimming in the opposite direction, or maybe it's just that I enjoy a deeper, more character-driven plot. I don't know.
Still, I mostly enjoyed City of Bones. It was fast-paced and interesting. Clare did a great job building the world of shadow hunters, vampires and werewolves into her hometown of New York City. What I liked about it most was the plot line. I learned what it means to create higher and higher stakes. Some of her plot twists, too, I thought were great. (For instance, when Clary's best friend Simon turned into a rat. Very imaginative!)
Main character, Clary, is a kick-butt kind of girl, the perfect protagonist for this type of adventure. She's willing to do anything and go anywhere. Nothing scares her, whether it's flying vampire motorcycles, crashing warlock parties, or fighting giant man-eating caterpillar demons. Her character works. Her main motivation is that she's trying to rescue her mother from the clutches of a very evil man, an excommunicated Shadow Hunter with a world-domination-type plan. She has to join forces with Jace, a teenage Shadow Hunter, in order to find her way around an alternate New York City filled with these other-world beings that have never been visible to her before when she had only human eyes.
What I didn't like so much about the book was the ending. I thought the plot wilted. And some of the characters did, too, in my opinion. Maybe it was because there were big plans to make this into a series, so they couldn't find complete victory at the end of only the first book, even though it was completely within the characters' reach to end it all. I still felt let down, though. Not to mention that I thought some of the big surprise twists were too heavily foreshadowed to be surprises.
There was also a review on the book jacket describing the book as "funny." I guess the constant sparring/flirting between main characters Clary and Jace was sometimes amusing, but after awhile I got bored. Especially when their lives and the lives of everyone they loved were in danger and they were still spouting off smart alec comments, I was tempted to reach into the book, slap them, and tell them to get on with it. I guess maybe it showed their fearlessness, but to me it seemed like they didn't care enough about what they were fighting for. I truly love humor in books, but this particular brand got old after awhile.
Overall, I liked City of Bones. I'm not planning to read any more in the series, but I did appreciate it for its entertainment value, and there were moments when I was delighted with the description and the language. Thanks, Cassandra Clare, for a fun read!