Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

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Clary is just a normal girl from New York City when she runs into a group of mysterious so-called shadowhunters on a mission to kill a demon. As her life becomes intertwined with theirs, Clary is forced to question her own life. She sees what dangers lurk in the shadows of New York City, and what some are willing to do for power.

I picked this book up at the thrift store, years after having seen the show Shadowhunters on Netflix. I enjoyed the show. I remember it being a pretty inoffensive, typical YA urban fantasy. I’ll be honest, not much about the show really stuck with me, apart from perhaps what the characters vaguely looked like. I also remember discourse about how these books (or at least the character of Jace) apparently started out as Harry Potter fanfiction. It’s quite an interesting rabbit hole to go down, especially if we add the plagiarism accusations that have been leveled at Cassandra Clare in the past. I really enjoy exploring the context of a book and it’s author, and I think this context is probably the most interesting thing about City of Bones.

City of Bones felt incredibly empty to me. While I remembered the characters most from the TV-show, they are incredibly flat in the novel. Jace is just a vessel for the kind of quips that were funny when Buffy the Vampire Slayer did it, but are so awfully overused on the screen today that I can’t help but roll my eyes. Clary is uninteresting. Everyone else is just sort of there. I actually forgot about Simon, who had absolutely no place in this story. I don’t understand why he’s there all the time, when he does absolutely nothing to further the plot. I hated Simon. I hated him.

The story is also not particularly interesting. There is one twist near the end of the book that I find incredibly funny, but most of the story fails to keep me hooked. I could have thrown this book in a river at any point, and I wouldn’t have been remotely upset about not finding out how it ends.

There are five more books in this series, though it could probably have been cut down to three if Jace didn’t have to say something sassy every second sentence. Overall, I don’t know if there’s anyone I would recommend this book to. I guess it was an incredibly easy read, so at least it has that going for it.

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