Literary Friday: City of Bones

Synopsis according to GoodReads:
"When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

I picked up City of Bones (actually, all 3 books in the series) because I'd heard so much about it. Also, this first book is being made into a movie, released in August of this year. Also, two of my favorite YA authors (Libba Bray and Holly Black) sung its praises on the back cover. 

So, OK, consider me part of the Cassandra Clare fan club now.

This book did everything right: the suspense was active, but not exhausting; the romances were believable and complicated; the characters (oh my gods, the characters) were real and fleshed-out with their own strengths and weaknesses and adaptability (if it's one thing I hate, in any genre of book, it's when characters are used as tools instead of treated as changeable, flawed, believable people); the world is colorful and fun; the wit abounds; the twists actually did surprise me.

I got about halfway through before I reached the "I can't put this book down" parts, so stick with it. Clary, the main character, is fantastic. She's a little naive, but not unrealistically so, and her blind spots come into question not as plot device tools, but in self-analytical moments where she questions and grows. 

I am starting the second book on the heels of this one, because there's still so much to find and do. And if I can't be wielding seraph blades (well, I'd choose the bow and arrows, obviously) alongside Isabelle and Alec and Jace and Clary and Simon (oh, Simon), at least I can read about their adventures.

I recommend this book for fans of well-written YA, adventure and action fans, folks who enjoy a dash of fantasy and mythology in their modern-day fiction, those who enjoy great characterization, fans of kick-butt heroines, those who enjoy romance that doesn't fall into the typical overdone book tropes, and pretty much everyone. 

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