Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Suited by Jo Anderton

Suited by Jo Anderton is the sequel to Debris which I read and reviewed earlier this year. I received an advanced review from the publisher, Angry Robot, but my sources tell me it should be available in ebook and paperback from today.

Suited was a surprising read. The first part was as expected a more or less direct continuation from Debris. After the somewhat disastrous events at the end of Debris, life in the city of Movoc-under-Keeper goes on. Mostly. Tanyana returns to debris collecting with her team and the other citizens of the city go about their usual jobs, albeit with a lot more repair work.

However, the world is not going back to how it was. Pion binders trying to repair damage are finding that they can’t, or that their repairs are short-lived. The debris collectors just can’t find much debris anywhere, even though the damaged pions suggest it should be everywhere. And the sinister puppet men still seem to be everywhere when Tanyana looks closely. In short, doom is looming.

In Debris, Tayana spent a lot more time worrying about her own life than she did in Suited (and Suited is much more about fixing/saving the world than Debris was). It made her a more likeable character, although there were parts where I don’t think she was supposed to be sympathetic, shifting more towards scary.

The romantic plotline, while no more prominent than in the first book, is handled better, I thought. I didn’t quite find the genesis of the relationship in Debris believable, but that was definitely not the case in Suited. I also like how Tanyana spent more time worrying about saving the world and less time worrying about her relationship issues (some of her friends spent more time worrying about her relationship issues than she did).

The ending was strange. The climax went as one would expect but the denouement did not. Of course going into detail would be spoilerific, but suffice to say there’s definitely room for a sequel series.

This is not a book to read without having first read Debris. I don’t think it would make all that much since since a lot of the foundation world building is done in the first book (as you would expect) and is critical to the plot. That said, this is an excellent series and I highly recommend both books to lovers of fantasy*.

4.5 / 5 stars

* As far as I’m concerned, it’s fantasy. Others’ opinions may vary by my feeling is that just because the magic is structured, doesn’t make it science. Also? Throwing in a few modern words also doesn’t make something science fiction when it’s full of magic, even if it has a vaguely steampunkish setting. Just throwing my hat in because some people have called this series SF. That said, I reserve the right to classify any potential sequels differently upon reading them.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is the fourth book in The Mortal Instruments series, which was originally a trilogy. It picks up not very long after City of Glass left off. This review doesn’t contain spoilers, but if you’re looking to start reading this series, I definitely suggest starting from the first book. There’s a lot of continuity and character development throughout the books and I suspect they’ll make much less sense if you don’t read from the start. My reviews for the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series:

Right, now that’s out of the way, on to the review proper. City of Fallen Angels focusses more on Simon than the previous books have. This didn’t bother me since, despite hating Simon in the first two books, I found him suddenly more likeable in City of Glass. In City of Fallen Angels he continues to develop and mature and it’s clear at the end that there’s still space for him to continue to grow. It’s always good to see characters not be “complete” because that’s not how real life works.

Clary and Jace, of course, continue to feature prominently, of course. Their storyline, however, was fraught with angst. A different sort of angst to the previous books, which I found less interesting to read about. There was less tension and more moping on their parts.

I would have liked to have more Magnus and Alec in this one, but there wasn’t much room left over for them. I suspect/hope that we’ll be seeing more of them in the next book (and maybe Magnus in the prequel series, the Infernal Devices, which I have yet to read).

All the characters spent the first part of the book doing their own thing with their paths crossing occasionally up until it all came together at the climax. The problem was that, despite mysterious bad guys trying to kill one of the characters from the start, there wasn’t that much danger and the reader didn’t know who the bad guys were until the climax started. While it didn’t result in a boring story or anything like that, it was a little bit less exciting than the previous books. Especially juxtaposed with the immediate prequel, which involved an end-of-trilogy climax. That it ended on a bit of a cliff hanger with many things unresolved didn’t help either. (Especially since I won’t be able to read the next book for a little while :-/ )

All that isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy City of Fallen Angels, just that I didn’t think it was quite as good as it’s predecessors. I still recommend it to anyone who’s enjoyed the first three books. If you’re reading this and you’re new to the series, I definitely suggest starting with the first book, City of Bones.

4 / 5 stars

New Booksies (11)

Hal Junior: The Missing Case by Haynes

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Aussie books!

Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

I am back in Australia for a bit and, as promised, I am starting to amass a pile of Aussie books. Whoo!

First up, I bought the second Hal Junior book, The Missing Case by Simon Haynes just before I left because, well, that was when it was released, but shh, it totally counts as being bought here. I mean, it’s an ebook, so, er, something.

Then I bought City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, because I needed something easy to read to get through the jet-lag (two red-eye flights in a row: not recommended). I’ve actually been reading Existence by David Brin (expect the review up soonish) but it’s not that kind of book that works well when you’re tired or quickly in a few sittings so it’s been slow progress.

Then I bought a small pile of Aussie-authored books in a real life Australian bookshop (Dymocks). From left to right in the photo:
  • Diamond Eyes by AA Bell. I’ve also ordered in the sequel, Hindsight, which wasn’t in store.
  • Winter Be My Shield by Jo Spurrier of which I received and ARC and have already read and reviewed it. But I wanted to buy a paper copy because I enjoyed it and want to own the whole set in pretty on my shelf.
  • Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan.
Hubby bought the boxed set of the Mistborn trilogy which we happened upon in QBD. Partly because he likes the series (originally he read them from the library) and partly due to my encouragement so I could read books 2 and 3 (review of book 1 here). And they’re included here because, as I’ve mentioned previously, all our books revolve around me ;-p

Finally, Beyond Binary, an anthology of genderqueer stories, was waiting for me in Australia when I arrived. I won it from a Galactic Suburbia Twitter competition a month or two ago. Also my cover is slightly different because it is an ARC.

Yay books!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead is the second Bloodlines book, a series set in the same world as the Vampire Academy books.

I felt that The Golden Lily was tighter and had a bit more depth to it plot-wise than the first book, Bloodlines. A big part of this, I think, was that Meade had the chance to set up some of the characters and situations in the previous book. Sure we already knew most of the main characters in Bloodlines, but the plot was more high-school shenanigans (with a dangerous undertone, of course). In The Golden Lily, I felt like part of an overarching plot was set up and at the end I had a clearer idea of where the series was going (particularly given the title of the next book…).

The characters, especially Sydney, continue to be developed in The Golden Lily. There were some hilarious moments associated with her love interest (a new character) and her coming to terms with the world of dating. Mead also used the opportunity to draw some interesting parallels between Sydney’s love-life and other characters’. It was entertaining watching her struggle with understanding that aspect of people while excelling in all other areas.

Dimitri, central in the Vampire Academy books, plays a role in The Golden Lily and it was fascinating seeing him through someone else’s eyes. In the Vampire Academy books, I couldn’t help empathising with Rose’s feelings for him but Sydney is relatively ambivalent towards him (beyond him being a part of her team) and I enjoyed seeing this different perspective.

I am looking forward to reading the next instalment, The Indigo Spell, which comes out in February 2013. I would recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Bloodlines or the Vampire Academy books. It’s not as essential to read Bloodlines before reading The Golden Lily as it is with other series, but the series would definitely work better in order. It’s definitely not necessary to read the Vampire Academy series before the Bloodlines books. If you felt a bit meh about Bloodlines, I’d still suggest giving The Golden Lily a go, since I feel it is a stronger book.

4.5 / 5 stars

Thursday, 14 June 2012

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City of Glass is the third instalment in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. It was originally the last in a trilogy, but she’s since written, not only a prequel trilogy, but two more books following on from City of Glass. You can read my review of the first book, City of Bones, and the second book, City of Ashes at their respective links.

While I enjoyed City of Ashes, it was mostly for the continuation of story and more of the same enjoyable writing rather than something specific that grabbed me. Conversely, I found I had a stronger and more specific reaction to City of Glass.

My favourite aspect was the characters and their development. Over the past three books, all the central characters have grown and matured. The most obvious is Clary coming to terms with the world of Shadowhunters and miscellaneous supernatural beings and coming into her abilities. There’s also Jace coming to terms with who he is and who he wants to be (ambiguous to avoid spoilers) which is itself an interesting storyline. As a character brought up in the supernatural world, I liked that his place in the world wasn’t as clear cut as it first seemed or as a parallel character’s in a different book might have been.

My feelings changed the most over the three books towards Simon. I greatly disliked him in the first book, but by the third he was kind of endearing. His is also one of the most dramatic character journeys (for reasons which are spoilery). Personally, I went from hoping he would die in a demon attack to hoping he’d stick around for book four, so yay Simon. (Clary, Luke and Jace are still my favourites though.)

Being originally a trilogy book three, City of Glass has a lot of action and a climax worthy of an entire trilogy. Despite all the running around fighting, there’s still quite a bit of plot and character development, which was a nice balance. Overall, I enjoyed it very much.

I recommend The Mortal Instruments series to lovers of urban fantasy or YA fantasy. So far it’s been consistently well-written and engaging. However, I definitely don’t suggest starting with City of Glass. There’s a lot of continuity and it’s best to start with the first book, City of Bones.

4.5 / 5 stars

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ditmar winners

A little bit slow on the uptake because I was busy with things on the other side of the world at the time, but this past weekend the Ditmar Awards were announced at Continuum 8: Craftonomicon, this year’s Australian NatCon.

The Ditmars are the Australian popular awards, voted on by members of that year’s (or the previous year’s) national convention, which moves around each year. The Chronos Awards were also included in the same ceremony (as they’re always given out at Continuum) and they’re state-level awards for Victorians.

Results reproduced below via SF Awards Watch.

The A Bertram Chandler Award: Richard Harland

The Norma K Hemming Award: AA Bell, for Hindsight, and Sara Douglass, for The Devil’s Diadem

The Peter McNamara Award: Bill Congreve

The Chronos Awards:

Best Long Fiction:
The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Paul Haines (Brimstone Press)

Best Short Fiction:
The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt, Paul Haines (in The Last Days of Kali Yuga)

Best Fan Writer:
Jason Nahrung

Best Fan Artist:
Rachel Holkner

Best Fan Written Work:
Tiptree, and a collection of her short stories, Alexandra Pierce (in Randomly Yours, Alex)

Best Fan Artwork:
Blue Locks, Rebecca Ing (Scape 2)

Best Fan Publication:
The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond

Best Achievement:
Conquilt, Rachel Holkner and Jeanette Holkner (Continuum 7)

The Infinity Award, for overwhelming contribution to Australian SF: Merv Binns

The Ditmar Awards:

Best Novel
The Courier’s New Bicycle, Kim Westwood (HarperCollins)

Best Novella or Novelette
“The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt”, Paul Haines, in The Last Days of Kali Yuga(Brimstone Press)

Best Short Story
“The Patrician”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Collected Work
The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines, edited by Angela Challis (Brimstone Press)

Best Artwork
“Finishing School”, Kathleen Jennings, in Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (Candlewick Press)

Best Fan Writer
Robin Pen, for “The Ballad of the Unrequited Ditmar”

Best Fan Artist
Kathleen Jennings, for work in Errantry (tanaudel.wordpress.com) including “The Dalek Game”

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium
The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond

Best New Talent
Joanne Anderton

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review
Alexandra Pierce and Tehani Wessely, for reviews of Vorkosigan Saga, in Randomly Yours, Alex

Yay! Congrats to all the winners. I really need to get around to reading The Courier’s New Bicycle and AA Bell’s books.

New Booksies (10)

Liar's Game by Kait Gamble

The Ravenous Dead by Natasha Hoar

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Clarke

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

From Carina Press on Netgalley: Liar’s Game by Kait Gamble, a SF romance novella and The Ravenous Dead by Natasha Hoar a dark urban fantasy novella.

Bought City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare as my achievement unlocked book and already reviewed it.

…And then I couldn’t contain myself and bought the third book, City of Glass, on credit (so now I have to read another four books, not counting City of Glass, before I can buy more. On the bright side, the read-three-buy-one restriction isn’t going to be enforced while I’m visiting Australia in a couple of weeks so expect to see a PILE OF AUSSIE BOOKS here soon. I’m excited.

Ahem. And then I got two books from Strange Chemistry (the soon-to-be-launched YA imprint of Angry Robot) which I am super excited to read. Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings and The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke. How awesome are the covers? The links go to the blurbs and I have to say, The Assassin’s Curse in particular seems to tick many boxes of awesome (pirates! assassins! hilarious curses!). Here’s hoping they don’t disappoint.

And finally, my pre-order for The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead (second Bloodlines book, the series set in the same world as Vampire Academy) dropped just this morning. Yay. (And for the record, pre-orders pre-book buying restrictions don’t count as bought books, also yay.)

On a aesthetic note, I like how my books almost all happened in pairs this week. Symmetry is nice.

Monday, 11 June 2012

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare is the second book in the Moral Instruments series. You can read my review of the first book, City of Bones, here.

City of Ashes follows on pretty close to where City of Bones left off. It’s very much more of the same and definitely not in a bad way. A few new characters are introduced but the old characters we know and love take the centre stage. In fact, more of them have point of view scenes in the first book. This was a bit off-putting at first but I quickly got into the flow of it and enjoyed getting into more of their heads. There was one new character, the Clave’s Inquisitor, who had me wanting to punch her through the page and we all know such an emotional response is a sign of a well-written character.

The story revealed more of the history and mysteries of the world that were hinted at in City of Bones and it was nice to see Clary being accepted as one of the Shadowhunters, even if she’s never going to be fighter like Isabelle, Alec and Jace.

The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger (although I’ve read worse — no actual cliffs  were involved) and makes me want to pick up the next book immediately, possibly on book-buying credit.

I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy and/or YA fantasy. I suggest starting from the first book, however, since I’m pretty sure City of Ashes won’t make as much sense otherwise and definitely contains lots of spoilers for City of Bones.

4.5 / 5 stars

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes first came to my attention when it won a bunch of awards, notably the Arthur C Clarke in 2011. It caught my attention further because it’s set in South Africa rather than the all-too-common US. The other thing that piqued my interest was Galactic Suburbia discussing the premise, many episodes ago (and actually, I think that happened after I bought the ebook from Angry Robot, but never mind).

Zoo City is set in Johannesburg in a contemporary world with a supernatural twist: people who have committed crimes have their guilt manifest as an animal. The animal is bound to them, a bit like a familiar, particularly as it comes with some minor magical ability, and if it dies, its person dies shortly afterwards. Different countries responded to the animal shift in different ways. In South Africa, the animaled are seen as a lower class, have difficulty finding jobs and live on the fringes of society. Other countries are much less nice to their animaled.

Zinzi has a sloth and her ability if finding lost things by following the tenuous threads that bind people to the things they care about. A job finding a ring dropped down a drain doesn’t end as she hoped and Zinzi finds herself thrust into slightly more dubious work. Things spiral out of control and by the end of the book she has had to fight for her life more than once.

I enjoyed Zinzi as a character. She’s tough because she has to be to survive, which makes her a bit kick-arse but not unrealistically so. I liked that Beukes avoided a particular cliche near the start which a different author might have used to show that Zinzi’s not really a bad person and has a heart of gold deep down. Zinzi’s realist tendencies tend to win out over any feelings of sympathy she might feel towards strangers. Of course this doesn’t make her saint, but then if she were a saint, she wouldn’t have an animal. It was consistent and the exploration of the nature of guilt was aspect I liked.

Zoo City offers a sharp view into the edges of South African society. It is at times quite confronting and there is quite a bit of fast paced action interspersed with Zinzi’s more sedate attempts to work out what’s going on. From the first page I was impressed by Beukes’s tight writing which kept me interested all the way through to the end.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. The fantasy elements aren’t very strong (they only just register above the background level of real-world African mysticism which also features in the novel) and I think it would be enjoyed by a fantasy fans and non-fans alike. The insight into South African life is interesting and refreshing in the plethora of US-set urban fantasy books.

5 / 5 stars

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Polymer by Sally Rogers-Davidson

Polymer by Sally Rogers-Davidson is a science fiction story which I would categorise as adventure. Apart from being in first person, it reminded me of pulpy SF adventure stories from way back when. Except with a female protagonist and more female issues than would ever have come up in those books.

The main story takes place within the pages of a long-lost journal written by Polly Meridian (aka Polymer). On the night of her graduation ceremony, her space station home is invaded by aliens. (Aliens, in this book, pretty much means “people not from the same place as me who might be human or could be blue aliens”.) She almost dies in the invasion but is “lucky” enough to be taken prisoner and enslaved instead.

Without spoiling any plot, a lot of things happen to her. Some of them are externally driven (like being taken prisoner) and some are on her own initiative. Either way, the book is full of action (although I thought there was a bit of a slump shortly after the invasion, it definitely picked up later on).

Unlike Spare Parts, the other Sally Rogers-Davidson book I’ve read, I wouldn’t call this one YA. Sometimes the writing felt like it could be and the main character is horribly naïve as isn’t uncommon in YA, but ultimately the book dealt with more grown-us issues. I wouldn’t stop a teenager reading it — it’s not very M rated (there’s sex and a bit of rape but it’s mostly off screen or not described in detail) — but I wouldn’t call it YA. Also, I think the main character is right on the cusp of the YA protagonist age range.

There were some problematic elements in the book. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I felt a bit uncomfortable by Polly’s shifting attitudes towards one of her captors. Given earlier events, it just didn’t sit well with me, even though I could understand it from her point of view.

I would recommend Polymer to anyone who enjoys a SF adventure story. I think Rogers-Davidson’s writing style improved in Spare Parts, but that’s understandable since Polymer was published four years earlier and I think it was her debut novel. If you enjoyed Spare Parts, give Polymer a go. It’s a very different setting, but there are some similarities in outlook (relatively cheery).

If you’re wondering about the different covers, the top is the recently released ebook cover (which is the version I have), the middle is the original paperback cover, now out of print, and the bottom is the re-released paperback. I think the bottom is my favourite.

You can currently purchase Polymer from Lulu in paper or ebook formats. Hopefully the ebook will be coming to Smashwords and other retailers soon.

3.5 / 5 stars

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

You keep your rabbit’s foot safe in your pocket. I keep my Penguin safe in customised body armour.

Zoo City, Lauren Beukes

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

New Booksies (9)

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

When You Wish Upon a Rat

Another small haul this time.

I bought on, erm, read-three-buy-two credit: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I have already read and reviewed it. It totally didn’t count as cheating though because hubby allowed it; we were in a shop and needed to make up some spending to get a loyalty stamp. Yes. It’s a perfectly good excuse. As things stand now, I need to read two more books before I can buy another (and right now, it’s a toss up between the next Mortal Instruments book and the next Mistborn book).

From Netgalley I received Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel. The ARC has a boring place-holder cover so instead of posting that I’ve put what I think is the US cover up there. I haven’t read a zombie romance before or, thinking about it, any books with sympathetic zombies, so this should be interesting.

Also from Netgalley I received When You Wish Upon a Rat by Aussie author Maureen Mccarthy. It’s actually for the US release of the book. The Australian edition was called Careful What You Wish For and because I couldn’t find a non-thumbnail version of the US cover (it’s not out until September), I’ve included the Aussie one in the images above. See thumbnail on the right for a preview of the US cover.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Exile by Rebecca Lim

Exile by Rebecca Lim is the second book in the Mercy series. You can read my review of Mercy here.

Exile continues the story of Mercy, an angel who for reasons unknown to her is cursed/sentenced to briefly possess different humans, constantly jumping around and never knowing where she’s going to end up next.

This time, she lands in Melbourne into the body of Lela a 19 year old girl who works at a coffee shop in the city and whose mother is dying of cancer.

She also has a vivid dream in which Luc, her angel love who is always beseeching her to find him, visits her. This time he has a plan for reuniting them.

Overall, I felt a bit ambivalent about this book. It wasn’t bad, in fact the writing was objectively fairly good. But the story, especially the angelic parts, completely failed to resonate with me. Which is more a comment on me than on the book. Compared with Mercy there were more magical dream-sequences which particularly didn’t do it for me. We do learn more about who and why Mercy is, but Luc has always seemed a bit creepy to me and if anything he seems more so after Exile. He’s her star-crossed lover and they’re being punished for some reason by being kept apart and he spends his time trying to stalk her down. On the bright side, it gives me someone to cheer against. Also the sort-of love interest from Mercy reappears and is a much more likeable prospect.

Unsurprisingly, as Mercy learns more, everything seems to get more complicated. If I have one complaint about the story structure it’s that it ends too soon for us to really get into to the meat of the mystery. However, it does end in a logical place and it’s not an unsatisfying ending. I do want to know more, but the sequels aren’t very high on my to buy list. Mostly, it’s just a little bit too goddy for my taste (but objectively, really not that religious).

One final note: I’m not sure this is terribly YA. The protagonist is on the cusp of the requisite age group but thematically this series hasn’t struck me as very YAish. I suspect the shortness of the books contributed to them being marketed as YA. It’s not that I think they’re inappropriate for young people, I just didn’t feel they quite fitted into the usual YA mould (but it sort of makes sense from a marketing perspective since they’re short and fantasyish it would be harder to sell them as adult fiction).

If you like YA fantasy with angels, then I highly recommend this book. If you like YA that’s lighter on the fantasy and more rooted in the real world than, for example, your standard vampire story, this is also a book you might like.

3.5 / 5 stars

Friday, 1 June 2012

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I’ve been meaning to read Cassandra Clare’s books for a few years now. I think the main reason it took me so long to get around to them was because (from the blurb) I was expecting them to be a but of fluff — a quick fun read like some YA books are. Not that there’s anything wrong with being fluff, but it meant I kept prioritising other books (and I think in Australia they were slightly more expensive than some YA books because of the format (trade paperback) but I might be wrong about that). Anyway, it was this (SPOILER-containing) blog post (/containing SPOILERS) by Cassandra Clare which made me realise there was probably more depth to the books than I had assumed from the covers and, ultimately, convinced me to read them sooner rather than later. So I did.

(Also, it’s being made into a movie and of course I have to read the books before the movies come out.)

City of Bones is the first of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. It’s set in New York (you can’t get much more urban fantasy than that) and the mythology reminded me a bit of Buffy in the sense that the good guys were mostly running around killing demons. Although vampires weren’t automatically evil as in Buffy. Also there were faeries, so not really all that similar. Anyway.

Shadowhunters are trained from an early age to fight demons and any half-demon creatures that step out of line (like vampires that decide to munch on humans, for example). Clary thinks she’s an ordinary girl until she sees three teenagers in a nightclub no one else can see. Also, they kill a vampire in front of her. Then her mother disappears and her whole world changes; Clary finds herself in the supernatural world, dragging her completely human best friend in with her.

One of the things I liked about Clary was that, unlike many didn’t-know-s/he-was-special stories, she isn’t some long-lost secretly superpowerful creature. She hasn’t been training to fight demons from an early age, so she kind of sucks at it. Although she has some natural talent, she pretty much just manages to be lucky enough not to get herself killed and that’s while she’s not actively fighting them. On the other hand, she also isn’t much of a damsel in distress, at least not once she gets over the whole “demons exist” thing, which is also nice.

I enjoyed the banter between Clary and the gorgeous-and-knows-it Shadowhunter, Jace. I wasn’t a big fan of most of the other characters, except for one that I can’t name because spoilers. Not that they were badly written, just that I’m not sure I would have liked them much as people. I did find them entertaining, though, and I got the feeling that I might grow to like them in later books as we get to know them better and as they grow.

City of Bones has everything a good YA urban fantasy should: magic, monsters, parties, flashy transportation, confusing crushes, betrayal, plots, supremacist bad guys and unrequited love. I enjoyed City of Bones and I’ll definitely be picking up the next book when I can *shakes fist at book buying restriction which means I can’t have it NOW*. It also gets an extra half a star for actually surprising me with a plot twist. Not too many books manage to surprise me these days.

4.5 / 5 stars