When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .
So, that's the back cover synopsis for The City of Bones, the first book in the series.
WAIT! Don't kill me yet, Cassandra Clare fans. I simply mean that when this came out in 2007, it was like, all the rage or something (was it? I dunno), but I was thoroughly meh about it. Never read it because it didn't really catch my interest. Disclaimer–the only book series about magic that does anything for me is Harry Potter. Yep.
BUT the movie is coming out (Jamie Campbell Bower's got one hell of a jawline on him, eh?) and I like to be somewhat well-informed... so I read the book! In a day. On a PDF file. Instead of writing college essays.
You know, I actually liked this book. It was well-paced, fairly well-written, and decently captivating. Yeah, yeah, that sounds like a pretty wishy-washy, half-assed assessment (see what I did there?).
Jace Wayland is hilarious. Personally, I think he's a riot. Some quotes to exemplify:
“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?' Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself." ..."At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland." "Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”
Clary turned instant traitor against her gender. "Those girls on the other side of the car are staring at you." Jace assumed an air of mellow gratification. "Of course they are," he said, "I am stunningly attractive.”
The arrogant sarcasm doesn't really float some people's boats, but I love it. For me, he made the whole book interesting. I love Jace Wayland, guys. I do, I weally do.
So, besides for Jace, the other characters are sympathetic and likable, which is a must for me. Clary was a pretty solid protagonist, and her best friend Simon is cute and humorous as well. The whole book was a thumbs up for me, albeit one accompanied by shrugs and 'eh, okay then's, until...
DUNDUNDUN SPOILER ALERT!! (But not really, because almost every trailer highlights this plot point and let's be honest, who wasn't expecting this?)
The love triangle. A. Freaking. Love. Triangle. Why? Why? And one more time, why?!
Ohmygiddygod the love triangle is so overdone. I am sick and tired of the love triangle. And worst of all, it's one of those 'wait... you're in love with me?!" love triangles! Like, come on, it's painfully obvious! You can't pretend that you didn't have at least the slightest inkling that the poor dude had a major crush on you!
Let's just take a look at some love triangles in history, shall we?
- Romeo, Juliet, Paris
- Cook, Effy Stonem, Freddie McClair (plus JJ if you count him)
- Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Ares
- Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones, Daniel Cleaver
- Lancelot, Guinevere, Arthur
- Tristan, Isolde, King Mark
- Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Captain Jack
- Paris, Helen, Menelaus
- Vronsky, Anna, Karenin
- Erik, Christine, Raoul
- Eponine, Marius, Cosette (but this one is okay, because it's, well, Les Mis!!)
- Peeta, Katniss, Liam Hemsw–oops, I mean Gale
- Hera, Zeus, the world of females
Okay, obviously the last one is a joke, but see what I mean? If I tried to list all the love triangles in popular culture, books, TV shows, movies, etc etc, we'd be here allllllll through eternity.
I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES. Modern ones, anyway... the classic ones you can't really do anything about because it was probably original back then. And everything is very well-written so it's all right.
In case you didn't notice, I don't particularly like love triangles.
SO, I was thoroughly disillusioned after that little revelation (leading up to that, I was like "Please don't do it, no, please please please no, please no," etc). But I'll be fair.
Overall, City of Bones is a pleasant, fast read that tickles the mind and soothes the palate for a bit. Besides the love triangle. Although hopefully, y'all aren't as irked by it as I am.
But I'll definitely see the movie (maybe online...).
P.S. Man, am I glad I did not check out a physical copy of this book! On the front cover, there's a quote from Stephenie Meyer advocating the novel!! If I'd seen that before reading City of Bones... well... I probably would... not have read it. (My reaction: "Meyer can read?!") Okay sorry, that was mean. But seriously.