Monday, 3 February 2014

Book of the Week: City Of Bones (The Mortal Instruments)

"Humans were so stupid. They had something so precious, and they barely safeguarded it at all. They threw away their lives for money, for packets of powder, for a stranger's charming smile."

The past week or so, my bloglovin' feed has been packed full of bloggers doing the TMI tag. It seems like everybody who's anybody is having a go, and I did toy with the idea of getting involved myself. I decided against it, however, and instead chose to focus my attention on a different TMI - The Mortal Instruments.

I think it's fair to state that the series by Cassandra Clare is a somewhat guilty pleasure of mine. One of a plethora of young adult franchises capturing the attention of teens the world over, it boasts a movie translation, along with some rather entertaining spin offs and prequels (one of which I review here) and holds it's own amongst heavyweights like The Hunger Games and Twilight. At the grand old age of 23, I probably should have started to outgrow these sorts of books by now but, if I'm honest, I'm not sure I ever will. I recently devoured the latest published novel - City of Lost Souls - and was really keen to review it, but I realise that it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to those who aren't familiar with the stories at all. So I decided to start from the beginning, sharing with you my thoughts on the first of the series; City of Bones

I'll set the scene for you - Clary Fray is your typical teen living in New York. She spends her time sketching, hanging out with her best friend Simon, and constantly begrudges her mother for stifling her. That is until one day when she accidentally stumbles on another world; a world full of demons and downworlders, where a race of half angel, half humans known as Shadowhunters protect 'mundanes' from evils they aren't even aware exist. When Clary's mother goes missing, she finds herself more and more involved with these demon hunters, and has a lot more in common with them than she could have ever imagined.

Th first thing that caught me about the book, and the stories that followed, was the rather complicated relationship between Clary and Jace, the Shadowhunter who introduces her to her new reality. With so many teen love stories doing the rounds at the moment, it's imperative to have that little something to make a pair stand out, and these two have definitely got that something. Apart from their clashing personalities, and the fact that they really wouldn't suit each other in ordinary circumstances, makes for some really compelling chapters, and the obstacles they face are a lot more interesting (even controversial) than other iconic romances within their genre. Jace very nearly gets my vote for favourite character too. He has such an arrogant humour, so snarky and wry,  at the same time as being a total badass. Anything slightly more exaggerated, and he would be a very unlikable character, but Clare has written him absolutely perfectly. 

Jace is pipped to the post, however, by Clary's best friend, Simon. A bit on the geeky side, and an absolute hoot in my opinion, I just love him. With his ironic slogan t-shirts, and his band that don't actually play music but spend their time sitting around thinking of absurd names (I think Sea Vegetable Conspiracy is a personal favourite), he never has any idea what's going on, and being so out of the loop is actually really endearing.

Like most writers, Clare's style has definitely matured with each book, the later being a lot richer and steeped with little nuances and finer details. But I, for one, always prefer the beginnings. When everything is an exciting discovery and nothing has become jaded or overcomplicated yet. I loved learning all about the Shadowhunter world alongside Clary, and I have loved the journey that these books have taken me on. The Mortal Instruments is a must read for those who are fans of the genre, and I cannot wait for Clare to publish the sixth and last in the series, City of Heavenly Fire

Have you read the series? Which is your favourite book? Let me know!


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