Review: City of Bones

December 31, 2010


Read the review and more after the break.

Clare, C. (2007). City of bones. New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry.

Clary Fray is just a normal teenager, until she encounters a murder that no one else could see.  Then a monster breaks into her house and kidnaps her mother.  As if things couldn’t get any stranger, Clary discovers she is an integral part of an underground world.  A world that includes demons and the Shadowhunters that kill them.  Fans of Buffy or Supernatural will love this urban fantasy.  City of Bones is snarky and dark, building an interesting new world for Clary and her new Shadowhunting friends to play and slay in.  Overall, the writing is a little too cute and clever, and the story is familiar.  But the characters are strong and the jokes are funny, making for a good read. (Grades 8+ for some mild language and sexuality.)

Other thoughts:

DON’T listen to the audiobook.  Ari Graynor is a great actress, she is great in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, but she misses the mark her.  She just doesn’t have the spark to really make this a great audiobook.

The bad audiobook also points out the bigger flaws of the book book.  That is . . . it is adverb city.  Seriously.  A hospital is aggressively air-conditioned.  A character makes a fantastically illegal u-turn (or something like that).  Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed this if I’d been reading the book and I would have been more into the demon killing.  However, the audiobook seemed to drag on forever, and at some point I stopped caring about the story, and the characters.  So all I heard were all the aggravatingly annoying adverbs.

I’m sure fans of this series are aware of its derivativeness, but c’mon.  Why not just watch Buffy or Supernatural and read Harry Potter (or any other fantasy series for that matter).  It’ll have the same effect.

So, I feel like I am trashing this book quite a bit, when it wasn’t really that bad.  Clare does a great job of building the mythology for the series and she has a great foundation for a world.  It isn’t her fault that the same thing has been done before, and that could be why she was so interested in building her world.  The book certainly isn’t sloppy, and the humor is quite effective.

Similar Titles (Read-A-Likes):

Buffy Books, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray

Also try:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV Series), Angel (TV Series), Vampire Diaries (TV Series), and Supernatural (TV Series)


One Response to “Review: City of Bones”

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