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City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, Book 1)

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare I'm really glad that I started out with Clare's other series (The Infernal devices) because this one would have turned me off. It's a first novel, and it reads like one.

Clare famously got her start as a Harry Potter fanfiction writer, and I remember reading and enjoying her stories back in the day. Unfortunately, that is coloring my perception of this book. Why, you ask? Because Jace basically is Fanfic Draco Malfoy. The voice is the same, and the background is similar. The story about his father giving him a Falcon feels like something straight from some sort of story about poor Draco's sad childhood. Because of this issue, Jace never gels for me as a character. He's snarky and funny, but his motivations don't always make sense.

The plot is pretty standard. In this book, as in the first of her other series, it seems that we spend most of our time wading through acres of exposition. I'd rather learn about the world through the main character's eyes - not read a long lecture given to her by another character.

The main character is a bit of a Mary Sue. She doesn't know anything about her mysterious past or powers, but she still manages to cause every man in a ten mile radius to fall in love with her. Still, she's not unsympathetic, so I don't have a problem with her.

I am torn on recommending this book. I honestly don't think it's very good, but I love her other series (which can be read as a standalone easily.) I'm going to continue this series, as I suspect they will get better. I'd suggest reading the other series first if you are new to Clare, and then coming to this book with the understanding that it's a first novel.