Update 06/10/10: changed star rating and added a little addendum/explanation at the end of the original review.
Loved this book, though it isn't anything particularly special; it isn't a life-changing read. But it's not a "check your brain at the door" book either. It's just a fun fantasy/adventure-type book.
Clary is your regular fifteen-year old girl growing up in New York - nothing particularly special about her or her upbringing, though her father passed away before she was born and she knows little about him. Her mother is a gifted artist who, for unknown reasons, has never allowed Clary to believe in magic, fairy tales or other such nonsense.
Clary spends most of her time with her closest friend, Simon. One night Clary witnesses a crime (murder) that, as far as she can tell, no one else can see - not even Simon. The three teenagers that committed the murder are surprised that Clary can see them. Thus begins our story.
In this book we find out that Clary is special and there is quite a lot that her mother never told her about herself. Though, we don't find out exactly what it all means because Clary's mother disappears the night after Clary witnesses the strange murder. Around the same time Clary's mother disappears Clary is approached by one of the teenagers that committed the murder - a cocky guy named Jace Wayland. Through Jace and his friends, Clary learns a little about who she is and why she can see things other people can't.
Anywho, the major romantic relationship in this series is...weird (not sure if that's the right word but 'taboo' seems a bit strong. Perhaps it can be classified as somewhere in-between, considering the circumstances? You have to read the whole series to get what I'm talking about), though I can't say I didn't see it coming.
I know, not a strong review, but I really do like this book and the rest of the series (City of Ashes & City of Glass). Seriously, the series is totally worth reading. Check it out.
I didn't know about any of the controversy surrounding the author, nor had I heard of the Draco Trilogy when I read this series. So I actually liked--okay, loved--the Mortal Instruments series when I first read it.
Before you strike me down, let me explain.
First off, at that time fantasy was a fairly new genre for me. The Twilight saga had just wrapped up, and though I found Breaking Dawn to be incredibly disappointing I still liked the paranormal/fantasy aspect the whole series. And so I started devouring every fantasy/paranormal novel I could get my hands on. It wasn't long before I came across this series.
At the time, City of Glass had just been published, and word on the internet was that it was a good series. I was too much of a noob to know better then to believe the vast majority of book bloggers. I didn't know they tend to sugarcoat their reviews. Or just plain lie. So. Yeah...
Anyway, I read City of Bones and I liked (loved) it. I finished reading the trilogy in less then a week.
Because this series was a breath of fresh air--my salvation, if you will--when I was drowning in a sea of horribly written YA vampire novels, I ignored the similarities to Harry Potter and Star Wars.
When it came to the Buffy universe, I was unable to make the connection, that Cassandra Clare had borrowed, liberally, from the Buffy universe. It was all new to me. (Just so you know, I've never watched an entire episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm a special effects snob, always have been, and the cheesy special effects on that series made me cringe.)
Even after I found out that she was an unoriginal hack and everyone seemed to hate her, I didn't think less of her. I was like, "so she borrowed liberally from several places and
from her own (not actually published) work. Who cares? James Cameron did the same thing and nobody ever called him out on it. I mean, ever hear of Disney's Pocahontas Avatar?"
I even went so far as to read all the allegations against her, of which there are several, and I thought people needed to get over it, move on. So she made a (bunch of)(huge) mistake(s) years ago. I'm sure she's learned her lesson. People need to forgive and forget. It's not like she's Hitler. Besides there are far more important things to worry about in this world.And that is where I stood on this matter for about a year.
Funny thing is, I tried rereading this series last month. You know what, I couldn't even finish City of Bones. I don't like it anymore. Now that my eyes have been opened, the series totally sucks and it's incredibly unoriginal. I know, it's strange that I didn't think this way about the Mortal Instruments series, and Cassandra Clare, until I tried reading it again. *shrugs* I don't know what to tell you--it is what it is, I guess...
Anyway, I (finally) understand where all you Cassandra Clare haters are coming from. She sucks, her books suck, and her work doesn't deserve to be published.
(*whispers* That said, I think I'm still going to read the two books she has coming out relatively soon. You're allowed to judge me. I don't mind. I'm already disgusted with myself, but clearly not enough to NOT read anymore books written by Cassandra Clare.
P.S. I'll be borrowing the books if that's any consolation.)