Thursday, 3 April 2014

A-Z Challenge: C

Hello Everyone,

Today’s letter is C, and so the book’s name is City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. It is the first in a series of books called The Mortal Instruments. It follows the experiences of its main character Clary as she discovers a whole new Shadow World right on her doorstep, where an eternal battle between demons and demon-slayers (or Shadowhunters) is going on. On a quest to save her mother from the forces of evil, Clary encounters a band of young Shadowhunters, Alec, Isabelle and Jace. She is instantly drawn to Jace, and he to her. However, fate is not kind to them, and they must learn to live apart from one another. With the darkness growing ever nearer, can Clary save her mother, the Shadowhunters, and herself from the destructive power of forbidden love?

After that particularly dramatic sounding plot summary, it is quite difficult to tell you what I think of the books without spoilers. Most of you will know of the City of Bones movie, which came out in the summer of last year, which there have been mixed reviews (and my own feelings on it are mixed as well) from its fantastic to a complete flop compared to the books. I felt that the marketing was wrong for it, as it seemed to be marketed as a replacement for the Twilight franchise that finished last year, leaving a hole in the market for a teen romance series of films. If it had been marketed slightly differently, and stayed truer to the books, then I think it would have had a better reception.

I enjoyed the books, they are a light relief from other heavy texts that I have to read for my coursework with a plot that is not always predictable (which I feel other teen fiction on this same subject have a horrible tendency to do). Other people’s reaction to them puzzled me though. Once, as I was sitting reading the second book, someone commented on the fact that the film had just come out, so everyone was reading it, as if I too, was jumping on the band-wagon. Now, although they couldn’t be expected to know this, but I had been reading the books since I was 12, a mere year after the first book came out (you maths geniuses may be able to figure out the date from there, but if you can’t, it was 2007). I also was reading from the old covers, before the books were updated to make way for the film to be made. This story I feel points out the flaws in teen fiction today. There are cliques within it, the die-hard fans of the series, those who have been reading them before they became popular, and then the others, those who only discovered it since there was more marketing, or after watching the film. I wish there were no cliques within this genre and to just celebrate the fact that people are reading, and enjoying the books.
the second book original book cover

Let me know about your gripes with fiction these days in the comments below.