I remember seeing this book at Barnes and Noble and not being all that interested. Then my aunt mentioned it to me so I decided to give it a try. I'm very glad I did because it is quite enjoyable.
The writing is very good. Cassandra Clare has a flare for precise detail and very raw imagery with her use of metaphor and simile. I loved the dialogue because it was realistic and I could picture teens actually talking that way. They weren't teens that sounded like adults or like children; they were teens.
Clare uses Dante's Inferno to create her world of Shadowhunters, demons, warlocks, witches, vampires, werewolfs, fairies, and other magical creatures. I like this because it exposes teens (her target audience) to a classical piece of literature that they, otherwise, would not know about.
I do have some qualms with the story though. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!) Why would Clare go through the trouble of creating this romance between Jace and Clary only to have the big twist at the end revealing that they are brother and sister? I'll admit I actually knew it was coming because I had read the synopsis of the next book, City of Ashes. So while Clare was building up this romance, I kept thinking, Sick, I know they're going to find out they're related. Why is she doing this to me (the reader)? I'm sure she has a good explanation for it, but it saddens me because I really liked the chemistry between Jace and Clary.
That brings me to my other complaint. This might be because I am not the target audience. I don't think the target audience for this book is a 26 year old white male, English major, and an aspiring writer. That being said, for her target audience I don't think this is the case. I just think that some of it was too predictable. Not just the relationship between Clary and Jace, but also some of the big "revelations." Granted, it is a nice tool to have the characters be oblivious to things the reader is all-too aware of, but sometimes that can be overdone. While I love Clary, she is not exactly smart sometimes. But I think that could also be simply because she's a teenage girl. It is also a nice payoff for the reader to be right sometimes when they predict what is going to happen. That being said, even though a good portion of the book is predictable, there are a few things that Clare throws in that are pleasant surprises. It is moments like these that you realize you are in the hands of a true storyteller with pure talent. And, no matter how predictable it is, you can't help but enjoy the ride.
I am really excited to read the next book in the trilogy. I've been on a teen fiction kick lately for some reason, and this is definitely a good read in that genre.
Jake Taylor graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional writing. He is the author of The Tales of the Unluckiest Lucky Girl series. He is also an avid reader, traveler, movie-watcher, and music lover. He currently serves in the US Navy and is stationed in San Diego, CA.