Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – Cassandra Clare.

city of bonesCutting to the chase: I saw the film adaption at the cinema and thought it was one of the worst films I’ve seen in a long time. The problem is, I felt that the book would have to have a higher calibre to be considered for a film adaption, so I thought I’d give it a try.

And, eh. It’s alright. I gave it two stars. So, really, better than the film.

The plot circles 15 year old Clarissa Fray, who falls into an intricate plot in the Shadow World, a place she had no idea of until witnessing a demon murdered in a club. It then follows her unravelling her past, unblocking many memories and discovering life was not how she knew it. Vampires, warlocks, werewolves, demons – they’re all there. But her main allies come from the Shadow Hunters.

And, having read it. I give some more credit to the film. The film’s plot is, for the most part, fluid. Sure, most of it goes unexplained and ‘it just is’, but the book’s order is so jumbled in comparison. It doesn’t flow very well at all.

When it comes to the actual characters and their relationships, I’m starting to think it’s a miracle the film only made them come off a little badly. It’s got the typical alternative girl vibe, disliking prep girls. It’s just a fleeting instance, but the whole book kind of reeks of it. Then there’s the obviously friend-zoned Simon, Clary being inexplicably jealous and infuriated by any female who seems to like him, and Jace, who she witnessed murder a man (at the time not knowing he was a demon) and kind of rolled with him far too easily. Murder? Nah, he’s fit.

The girls pick at each other for no reason. The boys pick at each other because they are (as with all teen-lit) perfectly in love with the leading lady, regardless of how little she deserves it. Then, to top it all off, it’s mirrored in her parents. Jocelyn, Valentine and Luke replicate the love triangle feat. friendzoned guy perfectly, and it’s really rubbish.

Like, I get it. I’m 20+, I’m not really the target for a book so obviously targeting teenage girls. But, The Hunger Games series springs to mind as a book I read following the film and really enjoyed, and I’m told I’m too old for it (whoever says that, however, is just wrong).

There is just so much going on in here. I felt that while watching the film, and now I see it’s even more packed in the book. There’s so little fluidity to the multitude of plots, although there is a far bigger attempt at explaining it. There just comes a point when reading where you’d like the writer to go beyond the typical links: average girl, friendzoned male, shifty but attractive male. It gets boring after a while, and it’s very childishly done here. Every petty jab between them was another reminder of how typical and childlike it is.

It’s better than the film, certainly, but it has far too many things going on that I dislike, be it style, characters or abundance of plotlines that don’t really matter. Not sure whether I’ll read more in the series, but we’ll see.


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