Ever since I was a young girl, I have been enthralled by fairy tales. This love of the fantastic and the make-believe is still very much alive in me today. City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare, published by Simon Pulse in 2007,easily fed my addiction for the fanciful with its fictional and fantasy based plot. The characters were mysterious and yet well-developed. I had heard a lot of hype about this book series, and I decided I wanted to judge the book for myself. I have to say it is a great book.
The story begins with a teenage girl named Clary (short for Clarissa) Fray. She and her friend Simon go out to a dance club. At this dance club, Clary becomes a witness to what she thinks is an attack on an innocent bystander. She soon learns that not all is what it seems, as the victim transforms into a demon. The whole story is about demons, demon-hunting, and the creation of Shadowhunters, who hunt the demons. A big focus of the plot goes about Clary trying to find her kidnapped mother and the Shadowhunters trying to find the chalice, which is used to make more Shadowhunters.
The story also adds a lot of romance, which I liked. The main character finds herself falling in love with a stubborn, arrogant, but kind Shadowhunter by the name of Jace. The reader sees Jace develop feelings for Clary as the story progresses. He starts off the story being rather rude and mean to Clary, but by the middle of the book you can see his gentle and caring side. Unfortunately, in the end of this book you learn that Jace and Clary could be brother and sister.
This story really reminded me of another series I read called Uglies. I think it has to do with their similar writing styles and both of their characters modify their bodies to make them more powerful. I enjoyed City of Bones almost more than I did Uglies, but not quite. I wish there would have been a little more closure at the end. I’m not one for cliff-hanger endings.
I would greatly recommend this book to many people. It was written quite well and fits perfectly in the fantasy genre. I would, however, not recommend it to those readers with small vocabularies and those who don’t have the time to look up words. I often found myself checking Google multiple times while I read because Clare loves to use big words few people know. I liked this about the book though. I feel it added to the story, but it could get annoying checking Google all the time.
If I had a chance to re-choose the book I read for first quarter, I would not change my decision. This book has a great way of capturing the heart and attention of the reader through use of dialogue, description, and a captivating story line. There were times when I had to look up some of the vocabulary she used, but it was well worth my time to do so.
My favorite part of the story occurs toward the beginning of the book. Clary has had a fight with her mother and leaves to go hear a friend recite poetry. She then gets a call from her mother, telling her she loves Clary and that she shouldn’t come home. The phone line then goes silent. Of course, she disobeys her mother and goes home, only to enter a house in shambles and a snake like creature looking for a meal. I liked this part of the book because it was very intense and a lot scarier than I expected.
This book could very easily be interpreted as controversial, especially in the church community. It mentions angels and demons quite often. The church may find it offensive that the Shadowhunters were created by angels mixing their blood with humans. I did not find the book offensive in any way. It contained less swearing than most contemporary books and I thought it was a refreshing change from the norm.
City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare, was a wonderful book full of fantasy, twists, and romance. This genre of book is very popular right now, but I foresee this book becoming a cult classic even more than it already is. This book is worth a try.