Book Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book 1) by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones HeaderI never thought I’d say it, but Twilight was better.

Yes, I am talking about the writing (the trailer for this film is already better than the film adaptation of Twilight).  Twilight (and it’s sequels) wasn’t the most eloquent work, far from the novels from wordsmiths who turn a phase like poets, but it was still an addicting page turner because of the pull of the melodramatic world of star crossed vampire/human love.  City of Bones tries to emulate this in it’s own way, pulling from Harry Potter and even Star Wars inspiration as well to mold a story of it’s own.  The pages turn slightly less frequently even though the story does have an interesting world surrounding the action, but there’s far too much working against it to really enjoy the story.

Inevitably I will see the film adaptation of City of Bones when it comes out this summer, and though I doubt it will compare to the levels reached by the juggernaut pulling in slavering devotion and box office numbers, it should do admirably, whether it is worthy of the numbers or not.  The trailer is promising, but there will have to be some changes made to make it less aggravating.  Starting with our eyes into the story, Clary.  I know asking to change that dumb nickname is too much, but I hope that Lily Collins and the people behind the camera are able to make her more sympathetic, as well as simply an honest representation of a person dealing with this unfathomable situation.  For starters, make Clary more overcome by the revelation that there is a whole new world living right on top of what she is used to.  It’s ok to freak out, a normal person would after witnessing a murder, yet she spends more time being upset about her mom’s unfair demands as she illogically chooses to go out for coffee with a friend instead of cowering in the depths of her closet, rocking back in forth while chanting, “it was only a dream.  It was only a dream.”

She may still be dealing with her upbringing as a lowly mundane (somehow being called a muggle never seemed this offensive) impeding on her willingness to accept the possibilities of what this new world has to offer and could mean to what she believes to be true, but she needs to calm down on her antagonistic retorts when someone says something she doesn’t want to hear.  Unless Collins adds another level to these moments in which she is so upset that she’s tearfully refusing to accept the truth even when she knows it is just that, Clary is going to become rather annoying, and quickly, with the repetition of “That’s impossible!” and “I don’t want to hear any more!”

Something the film might not be capable of doing since The Hunger Games also had trouble with this in its adaptation is showing Clary’s inner monologue about the love triangle she’s one point of.  Then again, Clary doesn’t seem to understand it herself in the book, not recognizing that her jealousy fueled by her best friend’s flirtation with another girl could actually mean she has feelings for him.  Instead she is too mesmerized by the golden hair of the bad boy with quite the aggravating attitude half the time.  I guess if I had to choose one I would go for this Han Solo, especially if they play up his character building moments, but I just don’t feel that any relationship was deserved as the story stands.

In the end, any inkling of positive feelings I had towards City of Bones were completely demolished thanks to confusing character motivation and a certain nauseating curveball during the final stages of the story.  A lot of fans are saying to power through the rest of the series because it gets better, but honestly that just sounds like a torturous task, like reading New Moon over and over again.  Even if Clary becomes less of a helpless little girl who falls down a lot and the vomit-inducing reveal turns out to be a lie, continuing on just doesn’t seem worth it.

Final Grade: 2 out of 5     

One thought on “Book Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book 1) by Cassandra Clare

  1. It Does, It Actually Gets A lot Better.. Some Of The Scenes In Books 3-5 Are Epic!
    I Really Loved The Series Because Of The Dark Background, Most Books Have A Darkness To It whether they show it or not. I Also Loved The Whole Jace And Clary Situation, Attracted to your ”Brother”
    While Your Actual Brother Is Right In Front of you? Anyways..The Funny Parts Are Also One Of The Reasons I Read Through The Series

    Though, I Would Not Repetitively Read This Series Like I Do With Divergent ( <3!)
    It Would Be A Waste Of Time, The Scenes Are Unforgettable -u-

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