Book Review: City of Bones

Title: City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: YA fantasy/contemporary

City of Bones tells the story of Clary Fray, a fifteen-year-old girl who is about to awaken to a hidden magical world. One night, while dancing at a club with a friend, she sees something she shouldn’t have seen — couldn’t have seen. Before she has a chance to learn more, her mother is kidnapped, leaving Clarey alone but determined to discover the truth.

There are a lot of fantasy novels out there about an ordinary person discovering a hidden world, about magic and demons and dark creatures. There is something comfortingly familiar about all of them and yet there are a few things that set the good ones, such as City of Bones, apart.

At the top of the list is character. Clarey is a headstrong teenage girl, perhaps a little self-absorbed at times but not when it counts. When her friends and family are in danger, she will help them, no matter what, and this is what drives her. One of the things I like about Clarey, especially compared with some of the other heroes I’ve read of late, is that she’s real. She doesn’t go around poking at sleeping dragons for no apparent reason, trying to stir up more trouble than she already has, and she doesn’t take unnecessary risks. Believe me, there’s enough danger without doing any of that.

The supporting characters, especially Simon and Jace, were also well done. I found the love triangle intriguing, which is saying something because I’m not usually into love triangles. I really enjoyed spending time with all of these teens.

Some of the other things that set this novel apart are strong world building and an exciting plot. The ending left me scrambling desperately for the next book in the series.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Recommended to anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially young adult fantasy.

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