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A Moonlight Sonata

The UHQ Nasanta reporting for duty, GR buddies! Transitioning slowly, one review at a time.

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Hope the Film Is Better

City of Bones  - Cassandra Clare

Hope the Film Is Better Review


2.5 stars

My first literary exposure to this author's work was Clockwork Angel. I borrowed it from the library, and after multiple renewals and late fees, I read about 2-3 pages and returned it. The following year or so I read of the opposition to the casting of Godfrey Gao for the popular minor character, Magnus Bane, for the film version of City of Bones on my GR feed, accompanied by a really hot picture of him. I fell in love (j/k). The author's stalwart defense of an ASIAN actor for a character of Asian descent impressed me enough to decide that I was going to see the movie when it came out, which meant that I ought to read the book before I saw the film, right?

Long story short, I hope that the movie is better than the book.


The book was okay but I just wasn't feeling it. There may have been a time in my life when I would have really liked it. Alas, times change and so do tastes. I have grown nit-picky.

I found the first part of the book rather boring. I had to work a bit to suspend my disbelief. I felt that the characters behaved in a way that didn't make sense to me; for example, Clary took to the "Other World" too easily; she fell in with Jace, Isabella and Alec's group so smoothly that it was as if she had known them all her life; and she hardly seemed to spare a thought for her abducted mother. I found the writing rather juvenile and repetitive, and the characters hard to love. My favorite character was probably the poor falcon in Jace's story; I was stricken by the ending of that tale. There was a particular chapter that I had a problem with - Chapter 21 - where Luke tells Clary the story of his history with her mother. I think that I understood what the author was aiming to do but the particular way that this - rather interesting - story was written, the particular phrases and words used, made this tale sound less like a person relating a personal tale orally and more like an author narrating a story - in print. It threw me out of the story.

Clary annoyed me for some reason starting from early on in the book. She was like a Mary Sue: hidden power, beautiful but unaware, artistic, had few friends but had at least two love interests in one book, etc. She reminded me of two popular YA heroines, Bella Swan from Twilight (e.g. hated the sight of blood, especially her own) and Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy (e.g. used a guy who cared for her in order to help the guy she likes). Out of everything, I hated how she used Simon most of all.

I found Jace to be pretty amusing at times, but I felt like the author failed to convince me of HIM. His wisecracks presented one facade, and his tough, broody self presented another - and THEY FELT LIKE TWO DIFFERENT CHARACTERS. I think I know what the author was going for with his character but she failed in the execution. He was still my 2nd favorite character because he was occasionally entertaining.

Alec and Isabella had little personality and barely stood out, and Simon, by the way he was presented, seemed pathetic.

And as for the great Magnus Bane, a minor character who is apparently very popular with the fans - I did not quite get his attraction. He was a bit odd, and the description of his make-up and such reminded me of the fashion of the Capitol in Panem in The Hunger Games. I kind of enjoyed how he was coming on to Alec, but there was so little "screen time" that I didn't really get a good sense of who he was and why he did what he did - did he do that bit of wizardry for free or for payment? If the former, it makes no sense unless he and Jocelyn had a history together. If the latter, nothing was mentioned or implied.

So, in short, I didn't love the book. I hardly felt immersed in it. At times, I felt as if I was just reading the words. The writing was unsophisticated, and I didn't really care for the characters, but I'm still interested enough in the story to want to continue with it. I hope that the movie doesn't disappoint; I was looking forward to it.