Saturday, December 5, 2015

[Review] City of Bones (TMI #1) - Cassandra Clare

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In CITY OF BONES, human girl Clary Fray accidentally gets mingled up in a paranormal demon hunt.

What intrigued me: Especially among bloggers, Clare receives a lot of criticism for her alleged plagiarism. I haven't read any of her fan fiction, bur it's very obvious that most characters in this are inspired by Harry Potter.

I mean... the racist leader Voldemort Valentine who wants to purify the wizard world shadowhunter world by starting an unnecessary war against muggle-born wizards downworlders? Well.

I'm probably the last person to read this, but I don't regret it. This is book is definitely a roller coaster.

Welcome to the City of Cringe

However, Clare did her best to disguise this by building a very elaborate and unnecessary complicated world around her Shadowhunters, the guys who rid the world of icky demons. It took me 300 pages to even remote understand all the character dynamics and even after finishing the book, I don't get all the lingo. There is definitely too much content for the size of this book and there are too many parallels to Harry Potter characters to even pretend you don't see it. It's all been said before, and everyone is right with their criticism.

Her metaphors are really just as omnipresent as all reviewers say. And they're just as bad.


"[his facade] was as hard and shiny as the coat of lacquer on one of her mother's Japanese boxes" (pp.138/139, Margaret McElderry Edition)

I have a distinct dislike against flowery prose and having one of these every 250 words doesn't improve the quality of her writing. On the contrary actually. I have never read about this much voices described as combinations of colors and some kind of liquid before.

Which even makes it all worse is that her characters talk more like adults than actual adults. I have NEVER cringed this hard. This worst thing is that this comes out of nowhere, one second they're talking about everyday stuff the next second one of them says something like this:

"simple ontological reductionism is clearly a fallacious argument"
(Jace Wayland, pp. 307)

I mean, it would work if Clare had a pretentious character that's notorious for saying weird things like this, but she doesn't. It feels like whenever she thought of a pretentious line, she just inserted it into the novel right away. All her characters do this.

Next stop: The City of Acknowledgement

As much as there is to hate and cringe, CITY OF BONES is by no means a bad book. Not even close. Her writing captivated me from the start and I couldn't put it down. I've spent nights awake because I had to continue reading. I don't know how she does it, how she managed to put so many clich├ęs and cringe-worthy prose into one book and somehow created an interesting book. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate that I like this. I really do.

Jace and Clary have no chemistry whatsoever (!!!!!), honestly, they hardly interact because the plot is too dense for them to even share a single conversation that's genuine. All their conversations are info-dumps with unnecessary back story. Don't get me started on the side characters. Clare basically just dumped them somewhere in the background and then let them return having madly fallen in love with each other. Yikes.

Regardless, I respect Clare insanely for pulling it off to turn a fan fiction into this and produce a mediocre book that's so, so, so captivating. It's a like a bad soap opera that you can't force yourself to turn off.


Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

I guess. You just have to read it yourself to understand my utter confusion and sort of positive dislike for this? I don't know, I have never read a book like this.



Additional Info

Published: March 27th 2007
Pages: 485
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: YA / Fantasy / Urban
ISBN: 9781416914280

Synopsis:
"When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know... "(Source: Goodreads)


Have you read CITY OF BONES? 
I'd love for you to link your reviews in the comments!


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