Unsurprisingly, I am gravely behind on everything associated with 12 and up kids. That is one thing about my job that is limiting…plenty of picturebooks, plenty of early chapter books, but very little teen melodrama, dystopias, or good old-fashioned battle scenes. And now that I have paid my debt to society in the sum of $25.00 to the Brooklyn Public Library, I can check books out again and catch up on some over due teenage shenanigans. Which, hopefully, I will not return overdue. First stop; the City of Bones.
Cassandra Clare’s series, “The Mortal Instruments” has been creating buzz for a while now. In fact, she just released her prequel series called “The Infernal Devices.” But since I am so far behind, I just now picked up the book first released, “City of Bones.” It will be interesting to see if I pick up the others.
Simon & Schuster is obviously selling to a specific demographic with its shiny city sprawl and shirtless, faceless boy cover art. And what could be more perfectly placed across the boy’s chest but a glowing review by Stephenie Meyer! At least once you open the book the female heroine, Clary, is slightly less of a wimp than Twilight’s Bella. Alas, she does show some pretty lame similarities, socially awkward, uncoordinated, and consistently relying on male power figures. In fact the only other female characters in this book are either comatose, shell-like vessels for male controlled demons, or a hyper sexualized teenager who distributes no power despite her position as a warrior…oh yeah…and she also cooks for everybody. But Clary does defy some male commands based on her own needs and not “in the name of love” so that’s a step in the right direction…an itty-bitty baby step but at least a step.
Clare (so weird how close the author’s last name is to that main character’s name…eh? Freud would have had a field day with this one) does create some interesting lore for the now common characters of vampires, werewolves, and the like. She creates a whole world within our own, just beyond “mundane” sight. Golly mundane sounds a lot like muggles, don’t it?
Where I really get heated is in regards to the twisty plot that, I’m guessing, is supposed to keep you guessing but was completely and ridiculously predictable no matter how outrageous the next development was. (Spoiler!) For Christ sake, stealing a major plot point from STAR WARS is not creative in the least! I actually had a moment where I thought…I am way to smart to be reading this book. And the only other book that I have read in the last ten years that made me feel that way was written by the glowing reviewer herself. Needless to say, I should have listened to all of the signs Simon & Schuster was shoving in my consumerist face and moved on to the next one.