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Synopsis (from amazon.com): When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
 
 My Thoughts(no spoilers): I read City of Bones when it came out, and didn't care for it at alllll. My friend got me this book for my birthday, she lovingly tries to buy me book that will be the 'next big thing' in YA lit, plus my English degree is concentrated in Victorian literature...so I had to read it. I appreciate my friend's effort and I can say, this series will not be the next big thing. First of all, and I honestly hate doing this, the writing is noobish. I have no doctorate to judge writing, syntax and grammar, but I do read a lot of young adult, and Clare's writing is shoddy. When the plot comes to a head at the end of the book and secrets are finally revealed, the reader is painstakingly told over and over about how these circumstances came to be. After about 12 pages of choking the life out the "explanation", and characters stating their "motivations" about 7 times I was shaking my head. It was ridiculous. Plus, the book was exceptionally longer than it needed to be, as is the trend in YA paranormal. Also, it seems that the author just googled "victorian times" and skimmed, it was not authentic. A Great and Terrible Beauty, now that's how its done in the modern YA sphere.

Next...the male characters. Will and Jem. I have read Will's characters about 30 times in these paranormal stories...it was Jem who was the standout to me. (Though, he was said the right thing a little too much.) BUT, Jem is Asian. I read literary criticism a while ago and basically the thesis was...Asian male characters=nonsexual. And unfortunately Clare falls right into this. I was really reading against the grain to find Jem more attractive than Will. I really hope in the next book Clare turns this around because I did smell a love triangle brewing (how original!).
 
Okay, I really didn't hate this book. Each chapter has a 19th century poet/author's quote that sets up the action, which I loved. And steam-punk is growing on me, this book got that genre right I feel. I think I will actually read the second one this time.........maybe.
 

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
jawastew
Sep. 18th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
City of Bones didn't impress me either. I hate to admit this, but I purchased the book upon release (I remember her fanfiction days), read the first chapter and immediately went back and returned it. The writing was not good, not good at all. And the characterization was melodramatic at best.

I hoped I might feel differently for Clockwork Angel, Steampunk being a favorite subgenre of mine, but a taste of her writing in a short she did for Geektastic turned me away from this one.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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