Goodreads Book Blurb: 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…
My Opinion: OK. I have put off writing this review for long enough. My mom bought these books for herself a while ago, and then she passed them on to me. I had heard mixed things, and so I didn’t really prioritize them until my book club decided to read it for the fantasy selection.
I am just going to come right out and say it. I pretty much hated this book. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I did.
It could be that the characters were entirely one-dimensional. Clary was obviously a failed attempt at the strong female main character. But unfortunately, a strong female character is not made by having her act like a brat. She didn’t treat anyone with respect, herself and her supposed best friend included. She slapped people a lot (which, by the way, doesn’t make you tough) and she just grated on my nerves. I think the name also put me off. The author’s last name is Clare, the main character is Clary. Coincidence? I think not. Other character-based transgressions included talking about everything the character was thinking without regard for if it was realistic, being jealous for no reason, everyone being in love with Clary, etc.
The plot is not original. The world is not original. Clare has taken aspects of many different stories and mashed them all together to make City of Bones. But, as with paint, add too many things and all you get is a muddy mess.
For those who don’t know, there is a very large claim against Cassandra Clare on grounds of plagiarism. She used to write fanfiction, which is of course a derivative work in itself. However, Clare was cited as taking entire chunks of text from other works. TV shows, literature, etc. She just, copied and pasted it. And there are chunks of her fanfiction used in her published works. So where does the plagiarism stop?
There is no such thing as an “original” idea anymore, but that doesn’t mean that plagiarizing someone else’s words verbatim is in any way OK. Though it is also worth noting that I personally don’t know of any straight cases of plagiarism in City of Bones, the whole situation makes me upset as an aspiring author.
The whole tone of City of Bones grated on my nerves. I almost felt like someone was reading the book to me. A very big fan of the book. It exuded a sense of “Check out how clever this is!” and “Isn’t this neat?”… and I just wanted to be able to form my own opinions without being bludgeoned over the head with that of the narrative voice. Also, Clare repeats herself. A lot.
Bottom Line: While I didn’t completely hate the book, I definitely didn’t enjoy it. I own most of them, but I don’t know if I will be reading the rest.