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 24 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 they will never want to end.
Listen to Book 2.
©2007 Cassandra Clare, LLC. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
So yeah.... I am glad I listened to the first and the 2nd book before I wrote this review because whilst this book left a bitter taste in my mouth.... the 2nd book left me downright gagging. But yeah, this review isn't about the 2nd book.... It's about the horror that was the first book.
Let me start off by saying I am a big fan of fantasy literature... It's more than likely my most preferred type of book to read. I also really like the concept of this book. I actually found myself more intrigued about the 'world' they were living in within the confines of the book than the actual story itself. This goes to show how much potential this book had. In fact one of the main reasons I went to the second book in this series was because I was fascinated by the world they were living in.
The story though.... The story.... was just upsetting to me. I am hardly too gung ho about the whole 'fated' lover thing, I mean not that I am completely grossed out by the thought of being in love but at 15, 16 or 17.... But that's just one thing, the writing is far from a work of art, it sounds like something a high school student would write (an above average high school student but a high school student none the less). I'm confused as to how and why the adult characters in this book can be so utterly irrelevant (except maybe for one or two adult characters in the book). The 'twist' in or near the end... Sadly I saw it coming... I was hoping the author wouldn't go there... but the author went there.... and it was and is disturbing.
The narration leaves much to be desired. It wasn't the worse that I have ever heard but it's right up there.... or maybe I should say down there.... either way it's not good.
I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.
The narrator puts way too much emphasis on the first syllables of her words, and on the wrong words, in a kind of blind, "I'm reading at a poetry slam" kind of way. It sounds like a kid telling a ghost story which they think is "really scary" and compelling around a fire at church camp. It makes the whole story seem even more childish and false, and distracts you. The narrator is unskilled.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Not a crossover book for adults. Fine for kids.
Her performance was acceptable.
This is definitely a book for young teen girls. I should have heeded earlier comments from adults, but arrogantly thought..."surely this book is better than they thought." I was proven wrong. If you are an adult who enjoys YA and have read past the other negative reviews and made it to mine. Please stop and do not purchase this book.
Decent book for 12 yr old girls, not interesting enough for adults. Save your credit.
High Brow Buyer
This book is entertaining - I often am able to pull clever, well written young adult fiction into my adult fiction list and enjoy the hell out of them. This book was much more difficult to do so - relying heavily on sarcastic, teenage humor and relationships.
If you are a teenager - you will like this book. If you are an adult looking to a bit of fun...I'd look for another book that won't have you rolling your eyes.
The writing is terrible. I could stop there and feel that I'm justified in my review, but I won't! I knew going into this book that it was most likely going to be terrible, and I chose to read it anyway. So in a way, I am solely responsible for this negative review and not the author who is the source of the terrible writing because I chose to read something I was pretty sure I wouldn't like. I knew upfront that this was glorified fanfic. That's a problem for me. I know that there is nothing new under the sun, but it's going too far to import another author's characters whole. So based on that alone, I had grudge against this book from the outset. Additionally, I had heard from plenty of reliable sources that, unlike other popular young adult series, this one held no appeal for actual adults. I read it anyway. You see, a friend and I had gone to see the movie. It wasn't really planned; we didn't specifically intend to see that particular movie. She and I go to dinner and a movie every few weeks and the Mortal Instruments happened to be playing at an agreeable time, so we went. It was bad (but that's a different review). After seeing the movie, though, I had the idea that the book could be good, that the movie could have been good if it had done a better job following the book. Turns out, the movie's plot was disjointed and unmotivated precisely because it followed the book closely.
The book's plot is generally unmotivated. So much so that I came up with the following advertisement for The Cassandra Clare Method of Writing Good: Stuck as to how to move the plot forward? Invent something new! A gadget that does the precise, specific thing the characters need to accomplish (avoid the pesky temptation to have the characters problem solve!), introduce an as yet unheard of character to give the next bit of minor information (no need to round out the characters you already have!, or fill the gap with some more unnecessary similes until you think of something to have your characters do next. It's like magic! The characters in this book just wander around aimlessly from one place to the next until some minor character gives them in the information that they need or they otherwise stumble upon the next thing to do.
Clare gives the impression that she doesn't pay any attention to what came before the word she is writing now. Early in the book, Clary 'inexplicably' knew that someone was following someone else by the way he walked. Sounds pretty explicable to me. Later, Simon saves the day by letting in light from the skylight. How come the light he would have just let in from the front door had no affect? Later, a character was given a knife, ran around as a man and as a wolf for a while, showed up at the werewolf camp still in possession of the knife. Where did he keep it while he was a wolf? Some might say I'm nitpicking, and I am, a bit. And if there were one or two of these examples, I wouldn't care; not everything has to be planned out in great detail. But there are a lot of examples and it makes her plot sloppy.
On the other hand, leaving out all of these things makes room for all the other crap that should have been edited out. Characters are constantly answering questions no one asked and giving information the characters already know. At one point, Hodge even points out to Jace that a name in a list he's rattling off is Jace's dad. I'm pretty sure he knows that without being told! Now, I can understand that at this point the reader has only heard Jace's surname one time and might need a reminder of the significance. However, Clary is in the room when this takes place. As the outsider to this world, it would make sense if Hodge directed the information at Clary who might not know instead of Jace who is sure to know. Is Clare even listening to herself?
I think I've made my point that the writing is bad, but I can forgive bad writing if the plot is good and if the characters are interesting. I've touched a bit on the plot above, but there isn't much more to say. It's ok. Nothing is super engaging about Clare's world; it's just there. It's not exactly boring, either, though.
As for the characters there is a lot to be said, but I just don't have the energy to do it justice. This whole book reads like wish fulfillment on the part of the author. Clare writes about a red-headed character named Clary who is plain, but also so very special that the really cute guy likes her, the boys fight over her, and she shows that the plain girl can be really interesting. Even though she has the personality of wet cardboard. She's Bella from Twilight all over again. Blech. Isabel also bothered me, not in an of herself exactly, but in how she and Clary interact. Isabel's entire personality is based on the stereotype that the pretty girl is a bitch. Isabel even describes herself as a bitch toward the end of the book and Clary agrees that she had been. The thing is, none of Isabel's behavior is all that bitchy throughout the book. Clare is perpetuating the girl on girl hate. Jace is supposed to be super hot and we're told that he's super hot and cool, but we're never shown anything that makes him all that attractive. That's about all I'll say on the Jace subject because it's really strange to wanting the teenage guy to be hotter. It makes me feel like a perv. All the character development (and that's a generous description) is done blatantly through dialog and description. We are told what the characters are like and what they are feeling, but we're never shown.
All the characters have the same sense of humor which makes them blend into one another throughout the book. Clare seems to be able to one write one way and thus it applies to all her characters. The humor actually works with Simon's character and occasionally with Jace's, but on the whole it just serves to make all her characters indistinguishable.
All I ask of books, usually, is that they entertain me, and in a way, this book did entertain me. I took a great and perverse pleasure in cataloging all of the things I hated. So, I can't really call that a recommendation, but you might be entertained in the same way.
The narrator isn't the best, but it wasn't horrible and it didnt distract me from the story once I got used to her. I took a star away because of the narrator.
The actual book is pretty awesome! The book is slow going for the first 3-4 chapters. After that, it really begins to pick up and the story just sucks you in. I usually do not like the young adult books, but this one is nice. I'm definitely going to check out the rest of the books in this series.
I didn't have time to read the print version, so I used a credit on this.
The story is good and aimed at the teen reader, but the narration fell short enough to only get 2 stars. As another reviewer put it, the story is read and not performed. If that doesn't bug, I'd go for it. I've recently been spoiled with some absolutely excellent narration and this one suffered a jarring lack of delivery style. I don't know if that was intentional, or if the narrator just needs to grow and develop as an artist. The voice itself, was pleasant but at the bottom of the reader's register, allowing little room for inflection. The accents were affected and off and better not attempted. Almost every sentence ended on that 'down' note related to just reading aloud. This said, I believe the narrator shows promise with vocal training and experience. I'd like to hear from this narrator down the road, but right now, it's making the book difficult to finish (I'm in the second half of the download and struggling).
This is the first book in an addicting series of young adult fiction. If you enjoyed Twilight and Harry Potter, then you'll enjoy this series!
I was not sure about the series or the narrator but I ended up loving it so much that I couldn't wait for my new credits to come in and bought the second book... and then the third!
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