Thursday, March 10, 2011

City of Bones

The first book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare shows us a world of Shadowhunters, specially bred humans. These Nephilim are warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons, demons most humans can't even see. We meet Clary Fray and friend Simon as they head out for a night on the town. Clary witnesses a demon slaying and Jace, head Shadowhunter, knows she must be special.

When Clary's mom's life is threatened, Clary is thrown into the Shadowhunter world and discovers everything her mom has been hiding about her true lineage. Jace believes himself to be father-less, thinking he saw his father murdered in cold blood. The bond between Clary and Jace is immediately evident but not as it initially appears.

I loved the twists and turns. Every time I thought I had a grasp of a character, the plot threw me a curveball. Some of these deviations I enjoyed, some I didn't. Cassandra Clare weaves an intricate tale and leaves you wanting Book Two. Although the story is fast-paced and rewarding, the characters are thinly developed. Will I feel that way after Books Two and Three? I'm not sure, but I shouldn't have to read three books to feel an understanding for the characters.

Although Clary and Jace propel story, I was more intrigued by more minor characters like Simon, Luke and Jocelyn (Clary's mom). I'm not sure this was the Author's intent. Normally, I want the main characters to drive me from page to page. I hope the next two books bring some special powers to Simon and a full understand of what motivates Jocelyn. Let's hope anyway.

Listed on Amazon as appropriate for grades 8 and up. I would agree, and might go younger. For lovers of demon romance, there's very little and hints of it prove discouraging. At least in Book One, this series is more about the action and resolution than romance and deep thought.

As I always say, an Author's ultimate goal is to get you to buy their next book. Book Two is already bought.