City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments #1

Description:

Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Review

This Buffy-esque YA novel does not translate well to the audio medium, and part of the problem lies in the story’s pacing. Teenager Clary discovers she can see supernatural beings that no one else can, gets drawn into the world of the Shadowhunters (teens who kill demons and monsters) and learns that her mother is somehow mysteriously connected to all the strange happenings around her. As a result, a good chunk of the novel consists of long explanatory passages, as various characters fill Clary in on supernatural creatures, the history and rules of the Shadowhunters and her mother’s entanglements—all of which come across as tedious lectures. In addition, narrator Graynor makes almost no attempt to differentiate the various teen characters’ voices. Only the minor character Dorothea, played as a faux witch with a gravelly New York accent, is memorable. Graynor also frequently ignores the author’s explicit textual directives, such as [Simon] came back, sounding worried or The tone of arrogant superiority was back in [Jace’s] voice, for her performance, making this a program with an intriguing premise and cast but disappointing execution. Ages 14-up. (May)

The Mortal Instruments (6 Book Series)

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