Original review on my blog Oh, For the Love of Books!
This is actually a re-read for me. And there are two reasons for this. For one, the movie is coming out in August and I wanted to brush up on my CoB knowledge. And two, I just finished her prequel series and loved it and wanted to go back to see if I could find the same spark in this series. Unfortunately, my feelings haven't changed much.
The first time I read this book, I gave it 3 stars. I liked it, but didn't fall in love with it. Well, that's not changing. I originally picked this up because of all the hype surrounding it and was expecting it to be some utterly fantastic book. Maybe all the hype was why my feelings for it were less than excellent because we all know that exceptional hype can end up ruining a book.
Whenever it comes to "meh" books, it's alway hard to write a review because many things I feel torn on. I neither loved it nor hated it. However, there was one thing I loved:
I loved the world-building. I truly did. I thought it was utterly fascinating and exciting. It was a world ripe with mythology and adventure. It was rich and beautiful and incredibly intriguing. I caught myself consistently wondering about this world Clare had built. I was so incredibly interested in all things Shadowhunters. Not to mention Shadowhunters are just all around bad-ass. The Shadowhunter world this takes place in is what kept me rooted to this book.
Unfortunately for me, an amazing world isn't enough to make me fall in love with a book. I need to like the characters too, especially the main characters. And, quite frankly, that didn't happen.
Jace: Don't get me wrong, I love a good snarky, arrogant, tough guy. But when it's done right. For some reason, Jace just irked me. Not to the point of me hating him and wanting to punch him in the face (well, at least not all the time), but I just couldn't fall in love with him the way some others have. I can't quite pin-point what made me not like him. I think it was the fact that while he was arrogant and cocky, he didn't really have any redeeming qualities to counteract those characteristics. He was simply cocky. Plain and simple. But he was sarcastic and I love sarcasm so brownie points there.
Clary: Eh. You were sometimes a rather strong girl and I personally felt bad for you, but you also really got on my nerves. Clary isn't a Shadowhunter so she's not exactly "bad-ass", but she is tough. I like that she didn't just believethem, but believed it over time. I liked her curiosity and her fierce protection of her mother, even though they didn't get along. But she was also a very annoying teenage girl. She got petty and jealous and angry. And annoying. Can't forget annoying. She'd vie for Jace yet get mad and extremely mean when Simon looked at Izzy. Oh, boohoo. You can't have both honey. Besides, you ignored that poor boy until someone else came along. Sucks to suck.
Isabelle: Tall, thin and gorgeous. Pretty much a model. Hate her already. That aside, I liked that she is a tough girl who kicks-butt. But I don't find her incredibly memorable. Again, she's like Clary. Stereotypical whiny, jealous teenage girl.
Alec: Not much to say. He was a jerk. I don't like him. But he also wasn't really in the book enough for me to really say whether or not he redeems himself.
Simon: I actually liked Simon! Yes, I'm rooting for the friendzoned boy here. He's funny, sarcastic, and geeky. Totally adorable! And he knows how to use a bow and arrows. Cool points!
Magnus: Okay, I can't deny that I do love Magnus. His "I'm awesome and I know it" attitude coupled with his careless and sarcastic demeanor made me adore him. He was cocky sarcasm done right. And, he's a warlock. He's just all around cool.
Oh yeah, on a final note - I hated the ending. It sucked and was stupid and awkward. Me no likey. I know what is actually going on from me reading the rest of the books, but the first time I read this, it just disturbed me. Not to mention it totally made the relationship beyond awkward in the next book.
This book has potential. While I didn't really love the main characters because they were all typical annoying teenagers, I did love the world Clare created alongside all the action-packed adventure. If plot and world-building are the most important to you, definitely check out CoB! Although I didn't love it, it's definitely a series worth reading on a rainy day.