City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is not my usual reading genre and there are those who would probably want to take away my man-card for reading it, but let me explain. I have this quirk about me, perhaps even a character flaw, in that I find it difficult to criticize a book without actually reading it. Yes, often, I can find the opinions of others from magazine and newspaper articles, blogs and even YOUtube videos and sometimes the opinions can be valuable; however, when it comes right down to what I think, I want to actually read the book. There are books that I will probably never read simply because they don’t interest me, but I’ll never say anything beyond that unless I read them. For example, you’ll probably never hear me say anything bad about a Danielle Steel novel – that’s not because I love her work.
So when Daughter, The Eldest decides that a series of books is absolutely wonderful and spends a considerable amount of time reading every book in the series, I want to know what’s going on. I would also like to talk to her about it intelligently – which I don’t feel I can do without reading the book (see above character flaw).
City of Bones is the first in a series called The Mortal Instruments and has been pegged as the next Twilight Saga (apparently one isn’t enough). Personally, I found this series much more along the style of Rick Riordian’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians. While that series was aimed at 11 year-old boys and uses Greek Mythology as a backdrop, this series is aimed at slightly older girls and loosely uses John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost as a backdrop. When Son, The One And Only, (who enjoyed the Percy Jackson series a couple of years ago along with a few other series like Harry Potter and Eragon) saw I was reading this book, he said “Let me guess, it’s about a kid who doesn’t know who he is and learns some secret about his parents.” My reply was: “Very observant”. I was tempted to end my reply with “grasshopper” but I didn’t. City of Bones starts out with a girl, Clary Fray, who doesn’t know who she is and learns some secret about her parents. This secret involves shadowhunters, demons, **huge sigh** vampires, and werewolves. Like Percy Jackson, in every chapter, she finds herself up against some kind of monster or evil creature. In Twilight fashion, she’s conflicted over her feelings between two boys, Jace and Simon. However, a wrench gets thrown into this little love triangle early on (in the series). I’ll be honest, it’s this wrench that makes me want to read the next book.
For those who prefer their teen-age heroines to be on the fast track to becoming CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you probably won’t like Clary any more than Bella in Twilight. I found Clary a little more intriguing due to the fact that, in a brilliant creative stroke, the author made her an artist – someone who doesn’t see the world the same way as others (both literally and figuratively) and sometimes feels out of place.
Just so my other kids don’t feel left out, Daughter, The Second has loved a series aimed at younger kids that Suzanne Collins wrote before The Hunger Games called The Underland Chronicles. I’ll read this series sometime, too. She’s probably the most like Dear Old Dad when it comes to voracious reading. Daughter, The Youngest still loves the American Girl books. Dear Old Dad has read a few of those, also.
While I’ve tired of book series in recent months, I will at least give the second Mortal Instruments book a chance, but it won’t be right away. If you still want to take my man-card, you’ll have to meet me in person, over pizza or chicken wings – you’re buying.