Cassandra Clare’s: City of Bones

Must Read IconThe masses of teen readers are often lacking in quality content directed at their age group, so I decided to check out a book I have heard good reviews for, in order to direct teens towards some reads that they may find more enjoyable. Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones is the first entry in her Immortal Instruments series, and manages to weave together some surprisingly enjoyable plotlines involving most things cool and supernatural: demons, werewolves, hunters, you name it. Think of it as a much darker Percy Jackson novel (in that much of it is modernized) that is designed for teens and features European folkloric creatures. The story follows Clary Fray, a girl who is out with her friends for a simple night of fun when she witnesses someone being killed: an act that she should even be able to witness in the first place. Clary has the Sight, a power that is not supposed to be found in normal humans, and which lets one see all manner of supernatural forces. Of course, Clary’s life is dramatically changed by this event, and she soon finds herself in a world within a world. A world that was not meant for humans. And, sure enough, Clary will find that those she cares about are in incredible danger, all because she is aware of the danger in the first place.

I am pleased to say that City of Bones was an enjoyable experience. The action is solid, the plot is as developed and interesting as you can really hope for in a dark teen novel, and the characters are realistic in their motives and reactions. The novel does have a slight hiccup. Apparently, every author of teen novels believes there has to be a romantic subplot. Now, this novel didn’t suffer in that regard, so much as it tried to make everything seem darkly alluring. The setting and idea of the novel could lead to some disturbingly twisted characters and events, which would have been a far more interesting addition to the genre of teen/supernatural. Put simply, Clare spread her writing skills too thin on this front. A less “enticing” feel would have made the book more unique in the ocean of supernatural and vampire teen novels. That being said, a majority of teen readers seem to find the feel interesting (or else it would be used so much), so I can’t speak for other readers here. My only other issue would be how predictable some events are. I can’t say too much about this and the progression of the series, but there won’t be too many plot twists that you won’t see coming. The writing quality is nothing to blow you away, but it works, and delivers in the needed areas of pacing and illustration. If your teenager (or you, yourself) is interested in the gothic-styled folkloric creatures like werewolves or vampires, and wants a modern approach to the subject, point them towards Clarissa Clare’s City of Bones.

Source: Jake Depew, Assistant Editor