City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)

City of Bones  - Cassandra Clare I think I'm slightly jaded reading this book on the heels of reading Melina Marchetta's "On the Jellicoe Road" and Laurie Halse Anderson's "Twisted" (which were both brilliantly written, wonderfully evocative books), but I figured I needed something light and in a fantastical realm to read to break from some of the heavy (read: tear-inducing) themes of those two novels. "City of Bones" has been a book that I've had on my extended reading list for some time, and having liked Clare's short stories enough in the compilations I've read, I thought I'd give her first major trilogy a fair shot. Considering I've heard the boys are worth reading about and are swoon worthy, I thought "guilty pleasure read, here I come."The guilty part is true, the pleasure never really came. Suffice to say, by the time I finished reading it, I felt like a tire punched through with nails, because it wasn't really the kind of read I was expecting, nor did it really appeal to me as much as it probably did with respect to other people. I'd say it struck me with the same kind of irritation I had with the "I Am Number Four" books. There's obviously a well crafted world built within the novel (that part of it, to me, was worth close to three stars), the characters seem like they're built in this rather grand conflict. There's most certainly a love triangle to be had, and the plot in itself has more than its fair share of twists.Only...they really weren't twists at all. I think part of the reason why I didn't enjoy "City of Bones" was because none of the major twists and turns in the plot ever really hit me as genuine - I knew they would happen probably a little bit before they actually happened, including the revelation at the end regarding Jace and Clary's relationship. I also never saw the characters as more than two dimensional. Some of the interactions were fun, but never enough to where it hooked me. Not even Jace, I'm sorry to say. And there were times when the pacing of the novel felt a bit sluggish, especially in the middle. In the beginning and toward the end, the pacing/action seemed fluid, but there was a very sagging middle that made me keep putting down the book. The POV isn't really consistent throughout the book either. For the vast majority, we're seeing through Clary's eyes, but there are a few points we shift to Jace's perspective and Luke's (when he's telling the warewolf tale) that seemed to divert a bit from the voice. Yeah, in sum, I'm a bit torn on how to rate "City of Bones", because while it kept me reading to the end, I can't say it's among one of the more memorable fantasy/urban fantasy works I've read in the past several years, and there were many points where I felt the prose and progression bugged the heck out of me. But you know what? I'm going to give the second book a shot, just for the heck of it. Because I read this straight through and I do want to see where it goes, not so much for the twist at the end, but just to see how Clare builds these characters beyond the point of this novel. And I usually give series two books to hook me.Overall score: 2/5