Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Three Stars)


Book Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

Three Stars

“All the stories are true,” from a certain point of view.

Don’t read the foreword. It’s one big spoiler.

“The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me.”

A fresh approach to urban fantasy–based on magic, disease and genetics, not the supernatural. Lots of Bible allusions, but not related though there is a Paradise Lost vibe. Many mistaken identities; some intended, some not. Enough unrequited love and star-crossed couples to please a Shakespeare.

“To love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

Generally well written. Point of view and speakers shift within paragraphs making it hard for the reader to follow who is saying/doing what. Hokey story-driven plot and strategy points. Kept knocking the reader out of the spell of the story. Lost a star.

“You are young. The past is nothing to you, not even another country as it is to the old, or a nightmare as it is to the guilty.”

Quibbles: Why are teen heroines always emotion-driven idiots? How can Jace be so clueless to pop culture? Something seemed to happen only because they needed to for the story, but because they made any kind of sense.

“You cannot save others until you first save yourself.” “This fortune cookie stuff is getting really old.”

2 thoughts on “Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Three Stars)

  1. I never read forwards until after I’ve read the book. Her constant POV shifts were a problem at first, but as soon as I got the voices, it was fine. the structure is similar to TV, scene cuts that build tension. A technique that keeps the action going. Jace has always been in the shadowhunter world so of course he is not part of pop culture. Vol. 2 is more complex. I think she captures adolescents trying to problem solve in a chaotic world. Sorry you didn’t like it.

    I’m learning something I need to know, about writing.

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