City of Bones, the first volume of Clare’s young-adult supernatural series Mortal Instruments melds tropes and themes from sources such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars, Meyer’s Twilight books and Rowling’s Harry Potter in a way that sometimes felt a little calculated, but still kept me flipping pages.
Three little gripes:
- The author’s name is Cassandra Clare. The main character’s name is Clary (short for Clarissa). The similarity contributes to my sense of calculation; seems too much like a brand identification ploy.
- The blocking of several of the fight scenes was unconvincing. I often had no clear sense of exactly how close the protagonists and antagonists were, and worse, I feel like Clare didn’t either.
- Mostly the novel is limited third-person omniscient from Clary’s point-of-view. I found the handful of omniscient from other point of view segments distracting.
On the bright side, there’s more moral ambiguity than one often gets in these stories, I was genuinely surprised by at least one plot twist, and the set up for the further volumes is promising. I’ll read at least one more.
needs more demons? mmmaybe.