Monday, June 17, 2013

Why "City of Bones" may not be worth your time

I have a weakness when it comes to teen paranormal romance...or at least I thought I did. I LOVED Harry Potter, I liked the Twilight books (don't look at me like that), Vampire Academy, Maximum Ride, Beautiful Creatures, etc. I think I've always been drawn to exceptional circumstances, and the possibility that there are people who have powers and abilities such as those written about in the above books.

I don't think interesting worlds and creatures are enough anymore. The YA market has been saturated with books that appear to rely on  vampires, witches, and werewolves to make the story interesting. Again, this is no longer enough.

City of Bones, by Casandra Clare, has an incredibly interesting premise that I felt could have, and should have, been further developed. Instead, it felt like the story was built from a standard template that many YA paranormal romance books are following.

The main character is a girl. There is nothing especially special about her, she's self deprecating, unhappy with her physical appearance, doesn't see what others see, etc. Speaking of which, don't forget the love triangle between a best friend and rude and elusive bad boy who kicks ass, no book is complete without it anymore. The girl is on a journey to save someone close to her and is willing to throw her life away to do so, seemingly unfazed by the dangers in her path. There is one evil superpower that wants to keep the human world "pure," does this all sound familiar? It should...

What this book DOES have going for it, is that it didn't stick with the "popular" version of these creatures (and even has a few new ones I've not heard of), the vampires aren't romantic hunks, there are demons being hunted, and the main characters are shadow hunters (half human, half angel basically).

The writing style itself was a little lacking as well. I wanted story development, instead I got a book full of action, with very few moments to let me catch my breath and collect my thoughts. It felt like a sprint instead of a walk in which I could enjoy all of my surroundings and appreciate the moment.

Again, I do like the premise of the story, there are shadow hunters who banish demons to their own worlds in the hope of preserving the human world. The weapons and powers used are incredibly interesting, but the characters and plot seemed a I give it a 5.5 out of 10.

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