Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series was brought to my attention by the recent film released based on the books. As usual, I decided to read the books first, not wanting to have them ruined by an adaptation.
City of Bones is the first in the series. Set in New York, Clary finds her life is far from what she thought – and far from ordinary – when a chance encounter reveals to her that she can see beings… beings that no one else knows exist. As the world she knows unravels around her when her mother goes missing, Clary soon comes to learn that there is a whole new world existing around hers – the world of demons and otherworld creatures that people believe to be nothing more than a story.
Finding new friends and enemies alike, Clary must come to understand her past and accept who she truly is if she is going to survive and stop those she cares about being lost to a power stronger than this world is used to seeing. While uncovering her past, Clary learns things are not always what they seem and matters of the heart can be more dangerous than any power that walks this world – or the demon world.
Clare knows how to draw her reader into a magical realistic world- just enough of the norm to keep the reader grounded in the here and now, but enough mystical and magical elements present in order to keep them guessing what is going to happen next. Knowing that it was the first in a series, I knew the book wouldn’t necessarily come to a close at the end but instead open up new doors. However, it was still a page turner from beginning to end and I found that I couldn’t put it down.
There lie the problem.
For a five hundred page book, I managed to read it in less than a week. Considering there were other things going on in reality at the same time, I honestly can’t remember the last time that happened and it wasn’t entirely due to the strength of the plot. It could potentially be due to it being aimed at a younger audience, yet there are elements in it that wouldn’t be appropriate for those too much younger. It contains the strange dilemma of being gripping and yet easy to read, meaning that it was slightly disappointing. Having been recommended the series by more than one friend the same age as me, I was expecting something a little more challenging than what I got.
That doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t continue the rest of the series. There is no doubt that Clare knows how to blend her worlds together and her use of magic and interweaving demons and other mythical creatures into our everyday life is handled with a masterful stroke of genius. Now I know what sort of genre I seem to be reading, I am looking forward to the next in the series despite knowing that it might not take me too long to read.