My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was hesitant to read this book fearing that I may get sucked up in the YA body of lit and slowly turn into a pimply teenager or lose my ability to write in three syllable words. But I needed to read it to assess whether ten-year old T would be ready for a much more violent read i.e. Hunger Games which she was dying to get her hands on.
The book is a light read and shamelessly addictive. The story is essentially a teenage soap opera (think One Tree Hill or Dawsons’ Creek) with vampires, fairies, and demons mixed in. 80% of the story is drama and explanatory notes of the fantasy world they live in and 20% actually doing something (lots of gore in this part!). Hence, the depiction of the characters were relatively well-developed than most YA lit books I know. Clary’s character started off frail but developed a quiet strength through the story. Much more human than Triz Prior and less annoying than Bella Swan. Jace had more dimension than Four and could display a larger range of emotion than one note Edward. As for the setting, the urban fantasy Ms. Clare created held nothing new for fantasy lit veterans. This book does not have the creative genius of HP or Middle Earth that make geeks lose themselves in their own heads for hours.
Having said all that, it’s an entertaining enough book to read casually (while waiting at the dentist, waiting for your torrentz download etc) or if you are looking for escapist fare. Safe reading for ten-year olds but still a couple of notches lower in terms of violence than Hunger Games. Thus T will have to wait.