City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

City of Bones Review

City of Bones is a thick chunk of high fantasy that involves myth and stories like demons, angels, warlocks, faeries, vampires, and werewolves. In fact, I found myself willing to read this series because of its resemblance to The X-files and Supernatural. And though it was Clare’s first book of the series, it wasn’t bad—just half.

Let me point out first how I loved Clare’s fantasy world. It takes a lot of mythological knowledge to create a world that she did, and some creativity too, since a lot her world’s factors are nearly original, like the Shadowhunters and the Mortal Instruments themselves. Clare’s type of fantasy is hard work, and that’s what I appreciate. I also liked how the storyline was steady-paced and well-constructed: a mix of modern fantasy with a historical and ancient essence.

As much as I want to say that I liked this book’s high-fantasy thrill and suspense, I disliked several others though. First was Clare’s writing style. This was my first status update:

Thrilling and fast-paced, but ironically I don’t like Clare’s writing style. Some of the scenes and dialogues seem unnatural, scripted, or lacking development, and a lot of character responses were lacking, such as when Clary wakes up in the Institute, she doesn’t bother to ask about her mother until a few pages since she was so keen on a boy she just met.

There are more unnatural scenes in the rest of the book too, especially coming from Clary. She just asks random questions out of nowhere without hints like a fish out of water. Another example is how Hodge doesn’t act his age. Sometimes, he just sounds like Jace or Alec. Next was the choice of words and dialogues, especially from Jace and Clary. What I noticed was how Jace uses a lot of peculiar words in one conversation like he is erudite, then he would switch to sounding like a regular teenager. Plus, the use of the word “don’t” so many times irritated me, as if everyone says “don’t” with one hand up all the time. In short, there is a need for character and dialogue development.

Another thing I really didn’t like was the unnecessary plot twists. Believe me, there could have been more than five. Not that plot twists aren’t bad, but sometimes the case is that the scenes don’t add up like the reader thought. Some plot twists are interconnected, which makes them good, but some are merely the revelation of lies, which makes them deceptive. Misleading, I should say; they could have been better.

All in all, City of Bones is a half-half for me; half for an intriguing world open of possibilities, suspense and intrigue, and half for the development of characters, wordplay, and plot I didn’t like. Other than that, it was an enjoyable read.


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