Saturday, August 7, 2010

City of Bones

Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA Fiction / Fantasy
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Pages: 512

Clarissa "Clary" Fray is your average sixteen year old. She argues with her mother when she doesn't get her way, spends most of her time with her best friend Simon, is curious about the father she never knew... Oh, and she's part of a race called Nephilim that are trained to kill demons. Okay, so maybe she's not so average, but at the start of the novel she is. It's not until she witnesses a trio of young Shadowhunters kill a demon that she learns about the other world that's living right beneath her nose.

With no evidence of the murder of what she assumes to be just a young man - the demon, whom looked like a human, disappeared after he was killed - Clary tries to ignore what she saw. She returns home to find her house in disarray, her mother missing, and a vicious demon lurking in her mother's bedroom. With the help of one of the young Shadowhunters, Jace, she's brought back to the Institution - headquarters for the New York City based Shadowhunters - and stays with them while she searches for her kidnapped mother. Through those inhabiting the Institution, Clary learns of the world her mother so desperately tried to shield her from and uncovers secrets about her mother's past and her "dead" father. And she just may find love with a certain golden haired Shadowhunter...

Cassandra Clare creates an incredible world in the first novel from The Mortal Instruments series. The explainations of creatures and their mythology are simple to understand yet interesting, and the characters are vivid and likable. Characters like Simon Lewis - Clary's sarcastic best friend - and Magnus Bane - New York City's eccentric High Warlock - are characters you'll love right off the bat. And while Isabelle Lightwood - a beautiful and fiesty Shadowhunter - and her brother, Alec - a shy Shadowhunter in love with someone who will never love him back - may not be likable at first, you'll find yourself loving them by the novel's close.

I know that sometimes the length of novels can be intimidating, but don't let the page count of City of Bones turn you off. The length is neither too long nor too short; it was just enough to develop the characters and wrap up the storyline for the first novel. This is one of the few times where I've read a long book and didn't think to myself, "Well, that scene was kind of pointless. It could have done without it." Every scene feels important and will hold your interest. If you love action, suspense, romance, and a quality read then pick up City of Bones. You can trust me; I've read it three times.

City of Bones is the first in a series of three books and is succeeded by City of Ashes and City of Glass. Three more novels in the series - City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire - have been confirmed by Cassandra Clare.