The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (book 1) by Cassandra Clare

When Clary goes to a club with her best friend, she witnesses three strangely marked teens murder another teen whose body then disappears without anyone touching it. They are Shadowhunters and the teen they killed is actually a demon. They fight to rid the earth of demons but it is a difficult battle and not all Shadowhunters feel the same way about who should and shouldn’t be left alone of the supernatural folk. When her mother disappears, Clary learns that there is a good deal about herself and her mother that she never knew. And she is more connected to the world of Shadowhunters and demons than she ever knew.

There is something about this series that reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I mean the Buffy of season one who had just found out she could not just be a normal teen but had to fight vampires. The Buffy who fell in love with someone dangerous (Angel) who had secrets that would play an important role in her future. While I don’t find Clary as endearing as Buffy, she was still the perfect person to be the center of the story. As the newbie to the dark world, she is the perfect window to let us, the readers, learn how the world works.

There are a lot of complaints about the book and though I agree that this isn’t the most unique of stories, I didn’t find it to be as weak as some people say. It’s fun and full of dramatic teen angst and a slightly icky realization at the end that is anything but surprising to everyone but the actually characters. (It hold true with my general rule: if you don’t actually see people die or completely see the body, they are not dead! And even then sometimes not.)

The characters could use more development, but then, it’s a trilogy, so you can’t reveal everything all at once. I hope we get more on Isabelle because right now she’s sort of just “there” which is never appealing for a character. Perhaps the best character in the book is Luke who is much more complex than you can initially guess.

In the end, I will pick up books two and three. They won’t be the best books I’ve ever read but they are fun, quick reads and I’m curious to know what is going to happen. There is news that they will be turning this into a movie, which makes me wonder if it would be better or worse off for that. I could actually see this making a good TV show.

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