Okay, before I get started with the real review, let me just say that I hate the name Clary. I hated it enough that it distracted me a little from the story. You can’t just add a “y” to something and call it a name. It bugged me the whole book.
Now that I’ve gotten that complaint out of the way, let me tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t quite what I originally expected it to be. I expected it to be a little more fantasy and a little less urban. I got over that assumption quickly though. The world of the Shadowhunters is so interesting that I felt a little fascinated the whole time. I was roped in by the plot immediately. I felt like it took a little time to get to the heart of the plot, but I’m willing to let that go since this is the first book in the series and there was a lot that needed to be explained.
I have to say I haven’t made up my mind about the characters yet. It’s the main element that has kept me a little tentative about my feelings on the book. I could feel that Clare tried to make them complex, but it was hard for that to shine through. I think it’s because of the dialogue. It’s a little too “teen” for me sometimes. I know they’re teenagers, but most of them aren’t normal teenagers and didn’t grow up in the normal world. Wouldn’t they speak and act a little differently? Just a thought. I think the character she did really well on was Jace. Jace was the most complex character in the book. I’d like to see how things go with him in the other books. There’s a very tiny degree of character development, but it’s pretty minuscule. I would have enjoyed a little more of that.
This book is more plot-driven than character-driven. I was locked into the story quickly and always ready to learn more about the Shadowhunter world. It’s the reason I want to read the next one. I’m eager for more of this world. I haven’t read anything like it before, and I always love that. I have to say it felt like the plot got a little too complicated at the end. I just felt like I was thinking “WTF?!” a little too often. I’m hoping I’ll appreciate the plot twists a little more after I read the next book. We’ll see. I’m glad the story kept me locked in. It definitely wasn’t Clary. So far, I’m not very fond of her.
Clare’s writing is very clear with what I assume is meant to be wit in some of the characters, but usually comes off as smart-ass comments. She writes simply, which is common in YA novels. It works well enough with this book. I will give her props on her description abilities. She can really paint a picture with her text. I found myself being impressed by some of the ways she described the surroundings, and even the characters. Graynor was a decent narrator. I wasn’t crazy about her at first, but I warmed up to her by the end.
All in all, I thought it was a good book with a relatively original idea. I’m just not totally convinced yet. Hopefully, I can make my mind up about it after the next one.