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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I went into this book expecting not to enjoy it as there is so much hype around this series, and I think everyone I know adores the books, but I am so happy to say that City of Bones exceeded my expectations, by a mile. I have officially fallen in love with this world and am dying to read book two... which I immediately bought as soon as I had finished.
After a slow but still brilliant start, I was completely absorbed into the world of Shadow Hunters and Demons. Every time I put this book down, I had a empty, hollow feeling which could only be filled by continuing reading, and so I did. At first I thought 500+ pages would take me a long time to read, but as I neared the ending of the book - it wasn't long enough, I needed more.
The writing style, the world building, the storyline and the characters were all so brilliant and believable - they were much more than just words on page, they were alive and real.
This book had the perfect amount of action, humour and romance which was gripping and thrilling, and I am so excited to carry on with the rest of the series.
This book is something that was being raved about on Booktube. Emmabooks loves this series and thought that I should give it a go. First impressions were good. The opening of the novel was gripping and I enjoyed the different POV that it had in the start, but this did not continue on. This book is a fantasy novel that involves vampires, demons, faeries, werewolves etc. It has them all.
The writing was enjoyable to read but often sometimes juvenile. As this is the first book in the series, I can understand maybe a lack of perfected skill in the writing process and I've heard the other books show a great improvement on this. I, however, still felt it didn't take away from the novel and I enjoyed it. The MC is also a teenager and so the language and storytelling were appropriate for the age of the MC and target audience.
There is a lot of action happening in this book. It's very adventurous and has lots of "missions" involved in it. I felt it had maybe one too many missions in it as it was getting a little bit drawn out. The storyline of Clary's best friend becoming a rat and being stolen by vampires wasn't entirely necessary in my opinion, but nevertheless, the action was good. That is just an example of a part where I felt it was just added in for length and more action. Whilst there is action and fantasy there is also a little romance between Clary and Jace. Jace is such an arrogant character he made me laugh out loud for most of his dialogue. He was my favorite character just for being a bit of a jerk. I was really reading to see the romance subplot between them and I was so happy... and then so, so disappointed. There is a further storyline between these two that I honestly felt was unnecessary and annoyed me that it was added. It leads you into the second book, which is great to entice readers, but I just did not like the idea of that storyline. Especially when you know deep down it's going to unravel in the next or coming book anyway because it obviously will. It was kind of like a filler subplot - and it bugged me. It actually put me off reading the second one.
I did buy the second and the third novels when I was halfway through this book as I was enjoying it. I don't read a lot of YA but felt this was a good series. That twist at the end between Jace and Clary did happen to put me off. I have started the second book a few weeks ago and I'm not further than 50 pages in. I think it might be because that twist at the end of this book detracts from the second and so causes the MC become all mopey etc. But, that was my biggest issue with the plot of this novel. I do love a romance, it's my primary fiction genre to read, and with that under my belt it did crush my love for this book.
I think if you love twilight and things like that then you will enjoy this book. It has lots of creepy things going on. The characters are loveable. I'm still laughing at Jace's sarcastic comments, and I did like Clary as a female MC. She's headstrong and not a Mary Sue in my opinion. I also loved the "silent brothers". Damn... those guys are creepy. Just picturing them makes me shudder. The descriptions were in-depth and enjoyable to read. There is also a map in the cover of my book which I also found to be a nice touch.
Overall, I would recommend this book to someone who likes Twilight and likes to read in the fantasy YA genre. I also bought this as a "good like new" book from the Amazon marketplace and it was pristine. There wasn't a broken spine or any dogeared pages. That thrilled me and my inner book nerd to its maximum. I felt the plot was sometimes a little too much, and that ending wasn't quite up my street, which in turn has put me off the second. But, I do still have the second and third books and will be reading them anyway out of enjoyment for the characters - and I know, I will put money on that ending being false.
I agree with those who point out that they aren't just for 'young adults'. They're for everyone who enjoys fantasy, or just a good read with a brilliant love story running through. Yes, there is nothing 'new' in these books. This is unimportant. There was nothing really new in Tolkein's 'Lord of the Rings', as many commentators, starting with Naomi Mitcheson on the cover 'blurb' of the first edition, have pointed out. Also, as Mitcheson went on to say, this doesn't matter. What you want is a compelling read that you really enjoy.
I studied Children's Literature with the Open University. This included young adult fiction. An important aspect of such literature should be to instruct and delight. Delight from Clare's writing in obvious. Instruction is less so, but it is there. The relationships between Alex and Magnus and Helen and Aline are beautifully treated, without 'shoving same sex relationships in your face'. You accept them. Tolkein, Donaldson, Eddings, Rowling and most other members of the gang of fantasy writers don't write such relationships; Clare does so beautifully. She also treats unfairness and reactions to it (and at the same time prejudice). I could cry over the treatment of Helen at the end.
One little point. Is Clare a closet feminist? All the way through 'The Shadowhunter Codex' she always uses 'she' rather than the more common 'he' to refer to both sexes. And, for me, Clary and Izzy are much more 'rounded' characters than their male counterparts!
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