Sunday, April 12, 2009

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: review

Technically speaking, I don't think this was on my list for Once Upon a Time III, or my own catch-up challenge, but I'm totally counting it anyway.
I have a terrible feeling I shouldn't have started reading Gene Wolfe straight after this one, because I keep comparing them in my mind, and it's like comparing apples and Clydesdales.
It's not that City of Bones is bad, it's just that I suspect that Mr Wolfe is Made of Awesome.

I read books one and two of The Book of the New Sun, many years back, and indeed still have my brother's copies of said books. Now I'm reading Soldier of the Mist; part of an omnibus edition of that book and Soldier of Arete. It's a little slow, but the writing is …. mmmm.... writing ….

Whoops. Um. This is a review of City of Bones. Swearz.
Spoilers may follow, if you haven't read the book … You Have Been Warned

Here's the thing. And it may be a little spoilerific, but it's also pretty much telegraphed early on: It's Star Wars goes to Hogwarts.

There's this girl, Clary Fray, who sees something weird in a club, and suddenly finds out about this whole other world, of demons, and Shadowhunters and vampires, oh my. And her mother goes missing, and Clary finds out that she's actually a Shadowhunter and her father is _ well, never mind (but you can totally see it coming. Seriously.)

And she meets this guy Jace and _ can I just say? Making a guy an arrogant jerk does not make him cool and sexy. It just makes him an arrogant jerk that you want to smack upside the head.
Or I'm too old for this kind of thing, one or the other.

The Star Warsey bit doesn't really happen until the end, but when it did, I started humming Darth Vader's theme music and saying, in my terrible Darth Vader voice … “Luuuuuuke … I am your faaaaaaather ...”.

Also, Ms Clare has never met a simile she didn't like. It's almost as if she's worried one of them is going to feel bad if it's left out, so she's put them all in, which can make the reading a little wearing.

Having said all of that; it is quite pacy, and page turnery and if I were 20 years younger, I'm SURE I wouldn't think Jace was just an annoying dropkick.

I really need a ratings system. This book seems to be asking for one.


Ana S. said...

"It's almost as if she's worried one of them is going to feel bad if it's left out, so she's put them all in"


I suspect Gene Wolfe is Made of Awesome too.

Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

Haha! I made the Star Wars connection too. Nevertheless, it was a good read and I've moved on to book 2.

Is it weird that I haven't heard of Gene Wolfe? Hmmm I probably shouldn't but since you point out that he's made of awesome I may as well see what the library has of his :)

Maree said...

Nymeth: thanks :)
Joanne: Start with Shadow of the Torturer; the first book of the New Sun series. :)