Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
I tormented myself over the rating I should give this book, how many stars it rightly deserves. I compared it against other books I'd rated as two or three or four stars, deliberated what my friends had to say about it, and then realized I was expending far too much energy on an enjoyable, fun experience. My sister told me to just go with my heart, and I finally did.
1 - This is undoubtedly a bad book. Well, not a bad book, per se, so much as truly poorly written. It's all over orange sherbet sunsets dripping over the horizon, and the characters have the inability to simply do or say anything without an adjective or simile attached. I want to Give Cassandra Clare the 'you tried' gold star, because so much YA prose is generic, basic, and she was trying for something else. The dialogue made me howl with laughter occasionally, and not at the actual jokes it contained. To quote the book, it made me "smile all over my face." Yeah.
2 - It was an awful lot of fun, with an intentional sense of humor, a very strong, wild imagination on behalf of the author creating a foundation for an entertaining story. Clary is one of my favorite YA protagonists to date, and while I more often than not wanting to punch Jace in the mouth, there seemed to be a bit of a role reversal with Jace being the overly emotional, catty one, whereas Clary came off as far more practical and able to handle the situations they found themselves in. At least in the first book, not too much of a heavy emphasis on the romance.
Since I lost my parents ten years ago, stories of heroes trying to find or save their own have interested me, and effected me emotionally. At first, I thought Clary was a bit too reserved about her mother being in danger, but as I got a grasp of her character, and of Jocelyn's, I began to see how she gets her reserve, and slight control issues, from her mother, and how realistic it is that Jocelyn would have been that way, having been in the position she was in. The climax, with Luke, was a punch to the heart, and I loved it.
A strong first book for the series. Cautiously looking forward to reading the next five, since I can also see them going south pretty quickly. But hesitantly optimistic at this point.