BOOK REVIEW: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

city_of_bonesReview of: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (#1 in the Mortal Instruments series)

Genre: YA, Fantasy

The last thing Clary Fray expects to see when she heads out to the Pandemonium Club is somebody getting stabbed, but when the body vanishes into thin air and no trace of blood is left for witnesses? That’s when Clary’s life begins to take a distinct turn towards ‘strange’. To start off with, nobody else can see the murderers. How can she prove a murder happened when there is literally nothing to prove? The murderers are invisible, the body vanished, and there’s no blood to be seen–but she knows it happened. As it turns out, the murderers are actually Shadowhunters–a group of people charged with ridding the earth of demons. Still, she expects life to be back to normal when she heads home, but within a day her mother disappears, she has been attacked by a demon, rescued by the Shadowhunter named Jace, and under questioning to find out why exactly a demon was even interested in her and why she can see through their disguises. With the help of Jace and the other Shadowhunters, Clary begins to try to unravel the past. Who was her mother, why was she taken, and most importantly, how can she get her back?

First of all, I know, this series has been out for quite a while. I’ve heard about it, seen it in the library, but for one reason or another just never really thought I’d be that into it. About a month ago, I had picked up the first one, finally determined to give it a try. Then we went on vacation and I couldn’t take it with me BUT one of my best friends told me I should definitely go ahead and give it a try. So I did. Oh my gosh. This series was an instant addiction for me.

I saw a lot of people on goodreads or other book forums saying that they thought it was a rip-off of a bunch of other famous series, and so of course, I tried to see that in it–but y’all, I couldn’t. I tried, I failed. I was just completely swept up in this story. It did remind me of Harry Potter, but only in how I felt like I was instantly transported to a world of magic and strange new things. It takes a great cast of characters and a great story to sweep me off my feet like that.

Here’s the thing: the basic premise of a few good guys fighting an evil overlord is pretty typical, but what makes each story unique is how that dynamic struggle is presented, and by whom. Clary was a stubborn, strong character in this book, and there was definitely a defusing element of humor in the repartee between her and the main supporting characters.

Basically, this book has everything you want in a YA fantasy book. Good vs. evil, great characters, entertaining dialogue, and a unique idea that give it some real impetus. If you enjoyed Harry Potter, you should definitely give this book a try.

I absolutely loved it: 5 out of 5 stars

(P.S. If you’re a parent looking at this book for your preteen or young teen, I would recommend at least skimming this one. There are some subjects addressed that I would want to discuss personally with my child.)