*I'd originally given this book a 3 star rating, but after a few days, it started to bother me. Did I really enjoy this book as much as others that I'd given a three star rating to? Was it fair to those books to put CoB on the same level as them?
No. It absolutely was not.*
I'd been hearing a lot about the Mortal Instruments series, and how good it was, and decided to look into it, to see if it was something I might be interested in reading. After browsing around for a while, I found something that made up my mind. I HAD to read this series.
I'm talking, of course, about the plagiarism issue.
[Linked here, in case you were interested in reading a practical essay on the incident; footnotes, quotations, and links are documented and included. Be warned - it's a bit of a read.] -> http://www.journalfen.net/community/bad_penny/8985.html
After learning about the drama that took place, and that CoB was roughly based off of a Harry Potter fanfic, I knew that there was no way I was missing out on this series. I refused to buy the books, but if someone happened to have a copy I could borrow, I would read the entire series, no matter what. As luck would have it, a friend had all of the current books (1 - 5), and agreed to lend them to me.
And so began my descent into madness.
The first thing I noticed, before I even started the book, was that the main character (who everybody is in love with, and is so talented and magical and special, even though she thought she was plain and ugly and boring) and the author had suspiciously similar names. Clary, Clare...especially considering the author *used* to spell her last name "Claire". I'm sure it's just a further coincidence that they both happen to have red hair.
Not far into the book, I realized that I hated every single character. With a passion. The only one who didn't constantly rub me the wrong way was Simon, and we all know how well that worked out for him.
By far, the worst offenders were Clary and Jace. Clary was constantly whiny, and utterly boring, while Jace was almost her polar opposite. Everything he said HAD to be incredibly witty and snarky and OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUST STOP ALREADY!!!
Despite repeatedly telling myself going into this book that I wouldn't compare it to Harry Potter, I couldn't stop myself from groaning about how Jace is clearly an idealized Draco Malfoy. Not even the real Malfoy - the Malfoy that his squeeing fangirls see when they picture him. The blonde, witty, bad-boy who's tied back by his family's expectations of him. The woobie Malfoy.
(I promise I won't harp on the similarities between CoB and HP - if I did, that's all this review would be.)
I almost wanted to keep count of how many times the phrases "teeth like a shark" and "dug his/her nails into his/her palm" were used throughout this book. But by the time I thought of it, I was already more than halfway done with the story, and there was no way in hell I was going to go back to look for them.
The writing itself was just all over the place. Most authors have some sort of voice, something that sets them apart and says, "Yes. This was written by this person." I seriously could not pin down Clare's voice in this book. It almost didn't feel like an actual book - it just felt like words strung together to create sentences. I had to lock myself in a room and force myself to read this book.
Somehow, I made it through the book, and had to admit that while it was bad, it certainly wasn't the worst thing I'd ever read. (That would be this monstrosity.
) I asked my younger brother, who had already read the first three books, how he survived reading them all.
His response? "Oh. I really don't remember what happened in them."
Amnesia. That's what it takes to survive reading this series.