Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

This book has been suggested reading to me for ages. The book covers were flashy and interesting if not typically YA and they sold well at the bookstore back in the day that I worked there. Praise, utter praise by nearly all for this book and it made me think that, yes, I would have to read this book at some point in time.

Now let me begin this with a little history of myself and author Cassandra Clare. Back when I was a mere High School student and the Lord of the Rings were just being released into theatres I was happily in love with some of her early work, namely The Very Secret Diaries of all of my beloved LotR characters. I loved the parody of the books and found her writing to be pretty hilarious so I went into these books not only with the praise of my reader friends on my mind but also with the expectation to find as much entertainment as I had ten years ago in High School.

No better time to read it than before the movie adaptation of it comes out, right? So I picked up the book and sat down to read it, prepared for a really awesome storyline as so many people I know had mentioned there will be and I was.... extremely disappointed. 

The set up was decent enough: a girl and her best friend who is obviously head over heels in love with her go out for a night on the town in NYC and she sees something she isn't meant to see. Great. Excellent. You have my full attention. But, unfortunately, things begin to deteriorate from that point on.

The love interest, Jace, is extremely obnoxious, rude and disrespectful. I could not stand him through each page that he was on in this book and simply wanted him to go away. He was one of those characters that made my blood boil. But the other characters weren't all that interesting either. You didn't really get to learn anything about them unless other characters were pointing out the details. Nothing was shown, everything was told. I don't want that, I want character development and to see how characters are and figure out their mannerisms on my own. I don't want it told to me. What I could tell is that Clary is judgmental and often times fickle. Clary and Jace are constantly at odds with each other and their "intense" make out scene seems completely out of the blue and to have a complete lack of any real passion. The other characters, no matter their level of "importance" are only offered a little bit of attention here and there and certainly not enough to develop any true character-traits. All in all, each character in the book heavily reminded me of Harry Potter. Someone who can be trusted is, gasp, a werewolf! One of the kids is, gasp, tied to the bad guy! Mundanes -- those silly humans who know not of power and the creatures of the world -- are looked down upon like Muggles.

I understand getting ideas from other works. Sometimes a book will inspire you and just be the key to opening up your own imagination. I love that people do fan fiction and can gain creativity through reading and studying other pieces of literature. However there is a point where you can take that inspiration and move forward as a writer and a point where you're obviously copying over someone else and it's best to stick to writing your fan fictions on tumblr or what have you.

What possibly angered me the most was the horrible editing job this book had. Someone needed to proofread this book, edit this book, and, you know, generally just read this book over maybe even ONCE before publication. There are so many spelling and grammar mistakes in the book that I eventually just let my eyes pass over the mistakes because there was no point in angering myself further. The characters are all over the place with misspelling of names, different articles of clothing, and people being in one place but suddenly being somewhere else. Characters were repeating themselves and giving out information that had already been covered before. The Shadowhunters are apparently extremely smart and live on earth, in New York City no less, but they are completely clueless when it comes to regular Muggle Mundane entertainment from classic tv shows to music. And yet Isabelle is on top of fashion and apparently must shop somewhere so they must have some dealings with the Mundane world.

I couldn't wait to be finished with this book. I had plenty of other books worth reading over this but I was determined to finish it so that at least then I could give a better opinionated review. I will likely see the film when it comes out because I am still interested in it and how they handle the storyline but I highly doubt I'll ever pick up the other books. 

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