Apparently I'm on a serious kick of YA books and have some kind of addiction to sci-fi/fantasy fiction. I never thought I'd find myself saying that. But, after I finished Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare and realized that not all of the books in her Infernal Devices series had been published yet, I decided to move on to her other series, The Mortal Instruments. i liked her storytelling and the premise had me curious. I'll admit it. I was skeptical at first, but it reeled me in.
City of Bones is the first book in the series. Clary Fray and her friend Simon are at the Pandemonium Club when Clary spots a strange looking boy in line. She notices him being followed and soon finds herself in a closet watching three other teens attack and slay the boy. She watches as his body folds in on itself and disappears.
The other three teens in the room are stunned to discover that Clary can see them and could see the boy...who was actually a demon. Unlike other mundanes (basically Clare's version of muggles), Clary can see through the glamours of the Shadowhunters and can see them for what they really are. She can see demons and creatures of the Downworld. This is obviously not normal and heightens the Shadowhunters' curiosity in Clary.
The next day she is at a coffee shop with Simon, when she notices Jace, one of the Shadowhunters from the nightclub. She follows him out only to get a panicked phone call from her mother telling her not to come home. Rushing back to her apartment in order to see what is wrong, Clary is met with a demon and soon realizes that her mother has disappeared.
I rated City of Bones 4 out of 5 stars. It is a little more "youthful" than books I typically read, but I would put it somewhere along the lines of a Harry Potter style read. This one is less appropriate for pre-teens though, as there is some sexual innuendo and language use that might be above their age level. I won't be allowing Darian to read it just yet.
Having read Clockwork Angel, I can tell you that the premise for the start of the two books is fairly similar. The most glaring difference? Clockwork Angel is set in the 1800s. City of Bones is set in present day. The main characters, however are very similar. Girls with special talents who thought themselves to be "normal" prior to their exposure to the Institute and the Downworld. I also found that City of Bones seemed to be slightly more juvenile. This doesn't mean that I didn't like it, but it was definitely less sophisticated than Clockwork Angel.
I have to say though, I like Clare's style of writing. She does well with detail and keeps the story moving with multiple plot lines and conflicts. Though the book leaves you somewhat hanging, it's not a painful cliffhanger. Do I want to read more? Yes. Would I be absolutely distraught if the next book were not immediately available? No. It's not an open ending that left me frustrated and angry like some others have done (I'm looking at you My Name is Memory). Even though there is no finite ending, there is a comfortable sense of resolution.
What it really comes down to is that if you enjoyed the Harry Potter or Percy Jackson books, you will most likely enjoy this one. It's a fairly quick read and certainly boring in no way. I am looking forward to moving on with the series and am now reading book 2, City of Ashes.
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...and don't forget to check my other reviews as well as the list of books on my "to read" shelf over at Goodreads!