City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: DNF
published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing in March 2007 (HC)
Don't be deceived by the following plot [from Amazon]:
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. . . .
Let me just start by telling you that this is the first time EVER I will be getting my money back. I am the type that figures if you bought it then you stick it out. However, I hadn't come across such a horrible read as this one in such a long time I think I deserve my money back.
How bad was it? A Did Not Finish. I barely got past the first 20 pages and I felt I was in a very, very bad episode of Buffy [from back in Season 1 when everything was so campy and horrid you couldn't help but wince].
Mind you and I am a HUGE Buffy fan.
Oddly enough what I find most disappointing was not the book itself but the fact that one of my absolute favorite YA writers recommended it. I don't know what Holly Black was thinking. In fact, I am willing to bet she didn't even have time to read the book and just read the description, saw faeries and figured it had to be good.
I bought the book because she spoke so highly about it. I have never done this. Ever. I don't buy books because of author quotes. EVER. But Holly Black is so amazing with her dark faeries and I figured what the hell.
I am never, ever doing that again.
Let's see, where to begin. Oh yes. We have a seemingly normal teenager walking into a club. Somehow I get the idea she isn't of the "in" crowd and her and her friend probably stick out like a sore thumb but what the hell I'm going with it. Out of the blue [remember she is supposed to be normal] she sees a boy following a girl and figures they are about to get it on but what bothers her is that they are being followed by two more boys. Now, anyone else would have A)figured they were all friends or whatnot and B)minded their own business. But not our heroine. She thinks this is weird and so she proceeds to follow them all into the storage closet.
Now, how big this storage closet is that there are 3 boys, 2 girls AND that the first four fail to notice our heroine hiding in the darkness, well, I don't know. Also, they are all super humans or not human and they can track each other yet they fail to detect a mere mortal hiding a few paces from where they are all standing.
It just gets better and better.
Of course our heroine mistakes the scene for a gang rivalry and figures they are going to kill the one boy they all followed. Instead of going to get help what does our heroine do? You probably saw this coming: she yells at them to stop what they are doing because killing humans is just plain wrong.
I didn't make that up. I paraphrased. No joke.
Oh, I think I forgot to mention that, before she decided to speak up, she was pretty scared thinking that these were not your average weirdos what with their talk of demons and supernatural beings.
Raise your hand if you would have run back the way you came.
Raise your hand if you would have gotten an adult, like one of the bouncers, to help.
Raise your hand if you wouldn't have even follow the lot of them into a storage closet because it was none of your damn business.
Since I couldn't believe my eyes I decided to check out some reviews on Amazon and, apparently, I should have checked them out first. It seems I wasn't mistaking and this book is a cross between every fantasy novel that ever was from Buffy to Harry Potter to Star Wars to god-knows what else.
I could have tried to read some more but not only was the plot horrific, so was the writing. This was somebody's fan fiction gone wrong.
I would have overlooked all of this if indeed it WAS someone's fan fiction but a professional book that cost no less than $18 USD?
Oh you bet I will be getting my money back. And if they ask me why at the bookstore I am not even going to lie. I am going to tell them that it just plain stinks.