City of Bones by Cassandra Clare | Review

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Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: March 27th, 2007

Pages: 485

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


R E V I E W

I think I’ve made it pretty clear in my reading career that I am trash for the Shadowhunter Chronicles. This doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge the fact they are trash. However, the nostalgia is so raw that I can’t help but feel like I’m coming home when I pick up this book. I get taken back to when I felt uncomfortable picking it up in the library as a 13-year-old because of the half-naked guy on the front. Now, here I am holding the 10th-anniversary edition which is stunning.

My point is, I know City of Bones is highkey a bad book. Trust me, it became so clear in this re-read that I was cringing at every other interaction and how much I hated Clary. But, I can’t help but be sucked into the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. It’s a problem. Cassandra Clare’s writing has improved so much, though, so I feel no shame for this being one of my favourite series ever.

City of Bones begins with Clary Fray. A firey red-headed artist (basically her description, oh the cliche) who is simply trying to get through high school with her best friend, Simon, and stop fighting with her mum. Her mum has hidden a whole world from her though, a world that Clary is born to be a part of. Strange, right? I’m pretty sure she’s sixteen too? I’m not even sure, honestly. Anyway, this all changes after she is an underage club one night with Simon and sees something that no one else can see. She’s thrown into a world where she discovers the lies her mothers told to protect her and who she is. Also along the way, she makes some new enemies and even finds out who her father is, which is something I would rather die than do.

Clary Fray may possibly be one of the most annoying female leads. She seems to forget her mum is missing and remember at times convenient to her. She’s much happier to fantasise over the male love interest, Jace Wayland. Who is annoyingly arrogant. I keep picturing him as the actor from the film City of Bones and it has ruined my 12-year-old picture of him, honestly. I’m not a fan of the actor. Nor am I a fan of Dom Sherwood. That’s neither here nor now though. Clary is happy to live her normal mundane life until she discovers the Shadow World. The only problem is she isn’t content to just take herself down. She drags her completely human best friend with her.

I hated Simon when I first read these. I was a big Jace fan and Simon came in as a love interest and I gagged. However, during every re-read, I love Simon more. He is an adorable nerd who is simply just in love with his best friend. It’s kind of tragic and definitely cliche, but the growth of his character over the series is one of my favourites. Alongside Isabelle. That is in the other books though, not City of Bones.

There is some hardcore girl competition too. Neither Isabelle or Clary like each other in this book and it makes me sad since I am such an advocate for girl friendships in books. It gets better later, but I feel if Cassie Clare had had the friendship grow from the book once it would have been a lot better.

This book is also pretty messy. The writing style is all over the place and my friend who’s studying nursing says all of the medical terminologies throughout this series is wrong. Which, are only little things but they amuse me so I feel you should be aware. I do love the humour throughout City of Bones but I’ve heard it’s been ripped off from Buffy The Vampire Slayer? I’m not sure, just covering my bases so no one yells at me for being naive.

The plot line and plot twist in this book make me gag though, every time. I feel like everyone knows what the twist is but if not skip this part because of spoilers. The fact that Jace and Clary are portrayed as siblings (which gets proven wrong in book three) but remain romantically involved or have been romantically involved makes me want to throw up. Honestly, what the heck was Cassie thinking? Possibly the most disturbing storyline ever, especially for me considering I had step-brothers when I read this book and thought of them as bio brothers and could never imagine what Jace and Clary do.

I also just want to say I hate Magnus. I’m not sure what it is but I’ve never meshed well with his character. This is an irrelevant part of my review but I do like his growth with Alec and I felt I should mention this, if not briefly.

Ultimately, is City of Bones a good book? No. Will I still give it five stars for nostalgia? Yes. This is definitely a great series to use to transition into the fantasy world when you just start reading. It’s what I used it as. It is also just a great series for me when I don’t look in analytically. It’s like a big warm hug and coming home.


Happy reading everyone!

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Queen of Air and Darkness Cover | Discussion

Hi everyone! I just wanted to quickly discuss the new Shadowhunters cover briefly. This is my first post like this, so I’m sorry if it is incredibly messy!

I’m not sure when I’ll post this but I’m writing this on the day the Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare cover has been released at YallFest. I have a lot of feelings about it and I feel that as my self-acclaimed Shadowhunter Trash self I have to be very vocal about this cover. Mainly the fact that I hate it.

For those who haven’t see the cover here you go: 13541056.jpg

I have a few big problems with this cover. Now, I am in no way an art student or design student or have any knowledge of how a cover should look. I am simply speaking on what I think of the cover.

So, I hate the red on the cover. The first two books are such deep and cool tones that I feel allude to the what is inside the novel. The red makes me think of blood, straight up. Which, maybe the point considering how Lord of Shadows ended. However, I just don’t think it fits. Objectively, it would have been fine for a series by itself but being the final book in a trilogy I feel it really should match the two books. Is that just me? Am I being too passionate about this red bit?

My other major problem, which I think is even larger than the red (I know, I’m dramatic about this, sorry) is the who on the cover. Now, this section may include spoilers (I’m not sure, really) so I would advise getting out of this post if you’re hoping to avoid them. The who is the antagonist of the series. The character who basically, for lack of better terminology, fucked shit up hard in Lord of Shadows. Why do they get a cover? Why not Cristina, our beautiful woman of colour? Why not Ty? Hell, why not Mark, who I despise? Anyone would have been a better character on the cover. Bloody hell, you could have put Clary and Jace on the cover and it would have made more sense. I just really can’t grasp the concept of putting the antagonist on the cover of a book, especially since I would say this particular one is worse than all previous antagonist in the Shadowhunter world combined.

On minor notes, there are little things that annoy me like why is her face so white? What do the broken runes she’s standing on symbolise? Why did the designers choose this trash cover? Just the little things.

Since this is just a post about me complaining, I also want to briefly mention how frustrating that the release date changed. I was pretty resigned to waiting until 2019 and getting The Last Hours next year. I was ready. But, they switched the release dates and you bet I sat in my room screaming for an hour. However, the new release date for Queen of Air and Darkness is bloody 4th of December 2018. I can’t finish a 700+ page book in December because it’s my busiest month of the year. Not only that but what was the point in changing the release date? Putting it at the end of the year basically means it comes out in 2018. Sure, sales may be better because it’s released at Christmas time but it’s just such a pain in the ass and I am way too passionate about this, I’m realising.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on the cover? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you even care? Tell me what you think in the comments!

My name is Amber & I am Shadowhunter Trash

The title is pretty self-explanatory. I am a complete and utter lover of all of Cassandra Clare’s work in the Shadowhunter worlds. This has been going on for the past seven years.

I picked up City of Bones on a whim at my school library, wondering if maybe other books could be as good as my absolute favourite series at the time, Twilight. It is slightly possible the shirtless man on the original cover helped drive my urge to pick up the book, being fresh into high school I thought I was mature.

That is a definite lie, but I did think I was super cool for reading when most of my peers didn’t.

Despite that irrelevant information, I didn’t expect too much going into City of Bones. It’s not as if it could be any good, at least not like Twilight, right?

Wrong.

My small pre-pubescent self actually loved it even more than Twilight. It quickly skyrocketed to my favourite series and I basically lived in the first three books. It was a time when The Mortal Instruments was only a trilogy and I lived in a world that lacked any form of Internet or technology to see if the author was writing anything else.

know. Dark times.

So, over the next two years, I fell out of love with reading because my best friends bullied me about it (dweebs). I also moved around four times, changing schools twice. So, as my mum took me into K-mart to get school things for my new school I asked if I could check out the books.

My mum has always been a big reader, pushing my sister and me to read from a young age. She obviously said yes.

As I walked down the aisle I saw the familiar rune covered chest…but wait, there was more? By this stage, The Infernal Devices had started being released and two more books had been added to The Mortal Instruments.What a blessing?

Basically, over the course of eight weeks, my mum would buy me a new book from the series. This means my TMI and TID collections are the oldest books I own – crazy.

Now, this may seem like a pointless blog post, I understand. I just have so much love for this series. It helped me out of my darkest times, several times. Through break ups, shitty home life and terrible friends I always knew I could find myself in this world. I related to almost every character while reading the books – even in the most recent series, I can still find myself in Emma and Julian.

It’s just so important to me and when people say that Cassie should find a new world I want to scream why? It’s not as if the stories are similar in any way, I never know what to expect when diving into one of the books.

I also want to briefly mention I am not a fan of the show. I tried for a season and a half to get into the show, but it just got messy and I couldn’t give up on the fact it was so different from the books. But, I’m glad there are so many people who do enjoy the series.

I think the overall point of this post is I am Shadowhunters trash and will read the Shadowhunters books even if I’m 55 with grandchildren.

Lord of Shadows| Rambly Review

Rating: 5/5 STARS

Pages: 720 pages

Release Date: 23rd May 2017

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads Blurb:

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

 

Have you ever read a book that basically ripped your heart and soul out of your body? A book that left you gasping for breath through the salt that is indeed your tears? I honestly felt like I was drowning reading Lord of Shadows, in the best kind of way.

I’m truly not sure if I can tell you that I breathed throughout the book. From the moment the ebook blessed my phone at 12 am on the dot I felt my heart caving in.

That may not make much sense if you don’t know me; but, hi, my name is Amber and I am Shadowhunters trash. By that I mean I have read every book in the chronicles and will continue to read whatever Cassandra Clare continues to release in this world. I read Lady Midnight last year on release day (also my first day at university) have been waiting since March 3rd for the end of the damn cliffhanger that plagued my life for over a year.

I can’t say much about this book – I haven’t fully grasped what happened. My heart is still racing and I have been crying profusely (not sure if I’ll stop). Two years waiting for the next book? I think not. I will be selling my kidneys in order to get Queen of Air and Darkness before that or I will die. 

This series is a gift to the world. I can’t wait for my limited editions to arrive so my life can be blessed by those completely and fully.