Friday, 16 January 2015

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments, #1) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

Far back inside his skull, the shackled boy's second set of teeth began to grind.

"Shadowhunter," he hissed.

The other boy grinned all over his face. "Got you," he said.

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 442
Chapters: 23 (Plus an epilogue.)
Publisher: Walker Books

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


The Mortal Instruments has been a series that's been on my radar for as long as I can remember. I've had the first two books for a couple years now, and I hate myself for not starting sooner. That was, in a word, awesome. I've heard a majority of people say the first book is the weakest in the series and that it gets better as it progresses. Well, if this is the bottom of the barrel, and it's only up from here, I am more than excited. City of Bones, for me, is a roaring success; a mighty start to a nicely painted world and a story to rival a lot of the Fantasy genre.

Clary Fray has always felt a little disjointed; someone who exists in the world, but doesn't really belong in it.
At least not the one she can see.
More and more, Clary is beginning to glimpse deeper into reality, at things she would have never before believed existed: Vampires, werewolves, shadowhunters...
When she witnesses the death of a demon, and her mother disappears, Clary tumbles down the rabbit hole into a darker reality.
Forced to hide from the things that reside there...

City of Bones has one of the best worlds I've read. Its history and workings are so well oiled and imagined, that it's hard not to be enamoured. It's full to the brim with mythology; some of our own, and some of the author's making. The plot moves forward steadily, with action and suspense adding in the spice moments to keep everything fresh and entertaining. City of Bones has the massive task of setting up an even bigger world, and Ms Clare does a fantastic job of evening out how much she tells us. It never feels too much, we're never given more than we can handle or process at the one time. Such an interesting world that is brimming with possibilities.

I'm also shocked at how likable each and every character is, especially our main Clary. More due to the series being on my TBR for as long as I can remember, I'd picked up a few things here and there, and the general consensus was that Clary is nothing special. I must have stumbled on the more critical reviews, because for all intents and purposes, I love her. In fact, thirty pages in, and with one simple sentence, I was crippled with laughter.

'The only time people turned to watch her go by was when she hurtled past them as she fell downstairs.'

Clary strikes me as a bright, creative and inquisitive teenager, who manages to exude an older attitude, without the reader forgetting her age. Every other character, Jace, Alec, Simon; all of them are surprisingly well-developed. I could clearly picture their distinct voices in my mind, and this is always fantastic.

Add in the author's prose and you're hooked. Cassandra's writing is gorgeous, creating scenes in your mind that are complete, without ever overdoing it. Descriptions are short, but powerful, and, well, descriptive.

There are five more books in the series, but there's a prequel series, and a sequel one in the works. It looks like I'm gonna be loving this world for a long time.

I honestly can't wait.

Next Instalment: City of Ashes

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