My Thoughts On City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare

16 March 2015

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First things first, I just want to say that I don't think I will ever get over how beautiful Cassandra Clare's writing is. The way her words flow together page after page is astounding, and her ability to draw you in with gorgeous settings and interesting characters is unmatched. From start to finish, I was completely ensnared within her world, and I can't wait to revisit it as soon as possible. When it comes to the plot, I was hooked. Clare has no qualms about throwing hurdles in the path of her characters, and the twists and turns had me dizzy - in a very good way. 

City Of Bones sees Clary Fray's life turned upside down in just one night. As if witnessing a murder wasn't bad enough, Clary finds herself at the mercy of the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to killing demons. They want to know how she could see them. When it comes to light that Clary's kidnapped mother was a Shadowhunter, Clary must decide: should she embrace her true heritage, or trust the Shadowhunters to bring her mother back to her? With the help of Jace, Simon, and the Lightwoods, Clary finds herself drawn deeper into the Shadowhunter world than she ever thought she'd go. Tolerating cocky teenage boys is one thing, but dealing with warlocks and werewolves? That's a whole other story. When it's discovered that Valentine, an enemy of the Clave, is alive and hunting for the Mortal Cup - the legendary item that will turn select mundanes into Shadowhunters - Clary knows that he has something to do with her mother's kidnap. But what she finds out about Jocelyn's past will not only terrify her, but completely upset her life once more.

If there's one area that I believe this novel supersedes most other YA fiction, it's the characters. Despite Shadowhunters generally being much more mature and serious than their mundane counterparts, you can tell that these teenagers are, well, teenagers. So often in young adult novels do we find ourselves reading about characters that act so much older than they actually are, and while it doesn't bother me the majority of the time, it's nice to see a book that stays true to the audience it was meant for. Don't get me wrong, these teenagers are still pretty mature, but there are a large amount of (often very humorous) moments where their age truly shines through.

Clary was a character that grew into herself throughout the course of this novel, and despite her na├»vety at the beginning, I absolutely loved her. I thought she was a fantastic character that had the perfect balance of innocence and bravery to make her a truly formidable opponent in the future. Despite not liking Simon a whole lot, I did adore his relationship with Clary, and while I'm glad that she was completely oblivious to his feelings for a good chunk of this book, I smell something brewing. I don't want Clary to end up with Simon, but after the gut-wrenching twist pertaining Jace towards the end of this novel, I have a feeling that Clary and Simon will try and move things beyond friendship at some point. I'm not looking forward to it, and I genuinely hope it doesn't last. 

And then there's Jace. Despite his snarky comments and sarcastic humour, there's a side to this character that we haven't seen yet, of that I'm sure. His vulnerability is present from the beginning, though he hides behind a thick veil of cocky attitude. It's easy to see when he's talking about his father that he's still mourning his loss, pushing people away because he can't deal with anybody else leaving him. It's clear that Clary changed him in a way that nobody else has been able to, and I think that makes Cassandra Clare's unbelievable plot twist pertaining this duo even more of a heartbreaker. 

When it comes to the romance, Clare did a fantastic job at keeping it mellow and realistic. Clary and Jace didn't jump into a relationship, but there was a definite connection present from the beginning. Though Clary was determined to dislike him (and did a pretty good job of it, too), it wasn't long before cracks started to show through. She sensed that he was hiding a different side to him, and she drew it out of him over the course of the book. It was slow. It was realistic. An insane amount of flirting, a few passionate kisses and some intense conversational moments made up the romance in this novel and I loved it. It was such a nice change of pace from most other YA fiction.

The story itself is interesting, but you can tell that there is much more to come. This was definitely a setup novel, and I can't wait to see where Clare takes us next. Valentine's reappearance is going to cause problems for Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike, and I know things are going to get intense. I'm glad that the author incorporated some history of the Circle, and I feel like these novels will be more enjoyable with an arsenal of knowledge behind us. It's always easier to enjoy a story if you know a bit of the history, after all.

Overall, this was an absolutely astounding first book, and I'm so excited to carry on with this series. Cassandra Clare is a fantastic author that has the ability to keep you hooked in her world from cover to cover. With plenty of action and more than enough humour, this is an easy read that flows beautifully from the very beginning. Starting out with a bang, this book never slows down and I found myself completely ensnared.