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City of Bones - Cassandra Clare

by freddie 

Posted: 01 August 2007
Word Count: 257
Summary: Review

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This fast-paced fantasy adventure for young adults positively rattles along. It begins in the New York teen club scene of the real world of humans, or ‘mundanes’, which through the eyes of the main character Clary Fray is unexpectedly and alarmingly intruded upon by the parallel world of the Shadowhunters. Nothing is what it seems.

The pace never slackens as Clary attempts to find her mother and at the same time unravel the mystery of her own background. The scenario of a likeable but naive teen on the threshold of adult life may be familiar, but Clary experiences awakenings in all sorts of ways – not least through being in the company of the exotic but highly unsettling Jace Wayland and his Shadowhunter friends – as well as her loyal and lifelong friend Simon.

City of Bones is Cassandra Clare’s debut novel and the first volume of her Mortal Instruments trilogy. The writing style is precise and straightforward while catching most enjoyably the ironic and at times cynical tone of teen banter. This strong streak of humour balances the undeniably vivid horrors of the story while not diluting the excitement of the battles and the blood, the underground tunnels and graveyards, the demons, vampires and werewolves, the secrets and runes.

In particular, the author manages very ably to capture the textures and colours of the worlds Clary encounters, interwoven with the setting of modern day New York. This gives the writing a highly visual, almost filmic dimension making City of Bones a very rewarding read.

Judy Sumner

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