Well…I have an accomplishment to counteract the stressful things that I encountered today.
I mean…as entertaining as it was to think about, we restrained ourselves from skipping arm-in-arm through the lobby, but I bought us Skittles and he bought us pizza, and through this food-sharing ritual, I feel like I have successfully secured a work friend on my level.
Any day I can say that is a good one, I think.
And now here is a book review so I can go to bed.
The Mortal Instruments Book One: City of Bones
Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is an ordinary girl. She likes to draw, wishes she were taller and less freckly, and spends her time hanging out with her nerdy best friend, Simon. But Clary’s ordinary world is shattered when she and Simon go out to a dance club and she sees a girl and a boy with neon blue hair sneak into a side room, followed by two older boys with knives.
Simon goes for help while Clary follows the others—just in time to see the blue-haired boy grow demon talons and, with super-human strength, attack the girl and the two boys. While he’s no match for the three Shadowhunters, the demon boy’s claim that one of the most evil Shadowhunters in history has returned from the dead is definitely disturbing…
And so is the idea that ordinary-girl Clary can not only see the secret world of demons and Shadowhunters—a race of people that hunts demonic forces—but that she herself is being drawn into the schemes of one of their worst criminals.
I really liked this book. I didn’t mean to like it when I first read it, since my sisters pushed it on me right around when Twilight started gaining popularity, and I was desperately afraid that this would turn out to be another version of Twilight…but it wasn’t. It was much better, as far as teen supernatural series go.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Constantine, with Keanu Reeves, this book reminded me very much of a teen version of that world. There are vampires and werewolves and angels and demons and demon hunters and part-demons and all sorts of supernatural creatures…and by way of interesting characters and decent dialogue, Clare’s story managed to hold my interest much better than Meyers books did. This is one of the few teen series I’ve read where I think the author successfully managed to get a lot of sarcasm into her characters. Reeser approves.
(Although…I will note that one character in the books still irritates me a little. The reason my sisters were so insistent that I read the books was because there’s a super-flamboyant, glittery warlock character that they decided was “me” in the series—they have a thing about designating characters for all of us in books or shows that we all read—and the only way they could really use it to get on my nerves was if I read the book and knew what they were talking about…
I’ve mostly gotten over it though. Mostly.)
The idea that the story is about a race of demon hunters is also interesting…I mean, most books like this are about standard vampires and werewolves or witches and wizards, with the odd fey or ifrit or mythological deity here and there…but demon hunters? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like them in another book.
I also liked that the storyline wasn’t overtly a love story. That was one of the things that always annoyed me with teen supernatural stories…and sure, there is a little bit of a love theme in the book, but it’s not overpowering to the point where I wanted to un-hinge my skull and scrape out all the words I’d just read.
This is definitely a good book for anyone who wants a good story about a supernatural world that’s maybe not as magical as Harry Potter—they do still take the subway and order Chinese takeout—but not as British as Gaiman’s Neverwhere, or as annoying and romance-centered as Twilight.
I’d say there’s very little to be offended by, too…the few “serious” swear words used are designated by amusing phrases that they’d rhyme with, and there’s no overt sensuality. There is, however, quite a bit of violence, and a few instances of what seems like child abuse. There’s also the continual insistence that while demons in this world are real, and Shadowhunters live in churches and are constantly invoking the name of the angel who supposedly blessed them with their demon-hunting powers, nobody knows or really even believes if angels are real, and God isn’t really worth bothering about.
Those are the only things that might count as somehow offensive. I’ve read worse though.
This is definitely a book worth checking out.