2017 Reading Challenge, Book 19 – City of Bones

Hi, Hey, Hello!

Final book review of the week, and also final book review for a while…for reasons that will be apparent in the next few days. And well I am almost at 20 books (which to be honest I will hit this week most likely) which means that even though we are reaching past a quarter of the way through the year I am almost halfway through the damn challenge. Just 5 books to go to get there…

But back to the present, Book 19 is:

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 19, City of Bones
2017 Reading Challenge, Book 19, City of Bones

I’m gonna be perfectly honest, I read the first 3 books of this series and then reached the end of my wick with them and stopped reading them (I’m gonna say this was in 2013, it might have been 2012, either way it’s been a while). There were many reasons that I stopped reading them, the main reason being that they drove me fucking mad. And not in a good way.

But then I was on eBay one day and I saw this series of books and the spines did a pretty thing and I was tired and weak and it was late at night and then I was getting told that my package had been left in the recycling bin. And now here we are, because I cannot just buy books for aesthetic purposes (if i haven’t read them already…always weak for a pretty book cover) and not read them. So I dived back in. There is a part of me that thinks I’m gonna read all 9 books (including The Infernal Devices) back to back but I don’t know if that is actually gonna happen and that’s mainly because these books are already driving me up the wall…there is a reason that I stopped reading them (by the way I was very aware going into this that these books are problematic as hell, but I’ve never waded into that because I couldn’t say anything about it without having a knowledge of the texts in question). It’s also totally coincidental that I happened to pick this series back up again on the 10 year anniversary of this book being published.

I am surprised that my eyes didn’t just roll all the way to the back of my head and stay there by the time I finished this book to be brutally honest (and that hasn’t changed with the second book either, if anything it has gotten worse). So, my main issue is the fact that almost all the characters were still two dimensional by the time the book closed. There appeared to be no growth in any way, shape or form. These characters just sort of continued to exist on a plain of nothingness even though a whole 400 or so pages passed. It was frustrating more than anything, because they all have the potential to be incredible characters but they just aren’t. You can sum them all up with one word each and even that would be a struggle for some of them.

Plot wise it’s fine I guess. Just fine. Fortunately it didn’t necessarily feel like the reader was just getting information dumped on them, it was dripped into the plot where it was necessary and I appreciated that. However I will say that it seems a tad bizarre the level on unawareness they all had about the Downworlders and who was what (it honestly baffled me that they did not who Magnus was in any capacity, that just seems like the kind of information they should know) and that was frustrating…it kind of made every one seem as unaware as Clary which made no sense.

The pacing of the story felt a bit all over the place to be honest. I can’t even pinpoint what it was exactly that felt off but something did and it meant that I couldn’t really get fully immersed in the world that was being built. Some of the dialogue made me physically cringe, as did some of the descriptions of both character and locations. Basically some of the language used made stilted it as well which most likely contributed to the pacing issue I had. Yeah something just felt…off.

There are a couple of positives I guess, on some level I like that Clary isn’t necessarily all that likeable a character at the moment (which may not be the intention, but is what I got from it) because it still remains refreshing when a female character is flawed (which is a sorry state of affairs let’s be real) but then on the other hand she is the only female character that is actually even remotely fleshed out (and I use that phrase loosely, my earlier paragraph still stands) so that’s not great. Also it’s a pretty easy book to read. I mean I flew through it pretty fast (I think it took about 4/5 hours in total) and I always like it when I can read a book quickly and there are some passages which are beautifully written in amongst it all. So it’s not all bad.

But it’s not my fave. I don’t even know where I stand on recommending it because some other people might like it… I just didn’t. And I have 7 and a half more books by Clare left to read…

2/5 stars

(Total side note, although they are connected, I watch Shadowhunters and I’d call it a guilty pleasure but I don’t believe in denying myself things that I really enjoy and love, so it’s not that. It fills in a lot of holes and annoys me less because they are actual characters and not just placeholders, and also it’s aesthetically pleasing.)

Parentheses count: 9. See you tomorrow!

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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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