Review: City of Bones

City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

Clary thinks she’s a normal girl living in a normal world until she starts seeing violent people and things that don’t make any sense.  It also doesn’t make much sense to anyone else in this urban fairytale because normal humans, “mundanes,” shouldn’t be able to see the fey or the demons that move through the world.  But it doesn’t take long for Clary and the demon hunting “Shadowhunters” she falls in with to realize that Clary isn’t a normal girl and everything she thought she knew about her family was a lie.  So obviously the group of teens decides it’s up to them to go up against the ultimate big-bad and retrieve their society’s most sacred object.  And of course things go wrong at every turn because their plan is stupid and misguided.  But if they’d actually talked to any adults, they might have realized that.

Lots of teens here love this series and the hints I’d heard of sexy incest made me want to give it a chance. I was sort of underwhelmed. I think it’s for a younger audience than it looks like and definitely not the 14+ that I’ve seen in reviews.  Sexy incest or no, ’cause it’s not that sexy.  There’s romance and action, but also a lot of stupid plotting and too much telling with not enough showing.  And maybe if I was 11 I wouldn’t have figured out all of the “surprising” plot elements well before the characters, sometimes hundreds of pages before the characters.  The bad guy is a little bit of Voldemort a lot a bit of Darth Vader, and he’s not the only thing that feels derivative.  Despite myself, I kind of want to know what happens in the rest of the series.

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