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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

City of Bones: Mortal Instruments, Book 1

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare Many of the reviews of this book, and many of the emotions in those reviews, focus more on the reviewers' relationships with Cassandra Clare and her writings in the world of online Harry Potter fandom. I see that I read one of her novellas or novel sections several years ago, but didn't associate it with her authorship of The Mortal Instruments. I leave the articulation of those disputes to other reviewers. To the charge that City of Bones or her other writings plagiarize the likes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I couldn't say. To the critique that they are derivative, I note that when I read the very first Star Wars novel, purchased from Science Fiction Book Club before there was a movie, I thought, What a piece of thieving crap. I still think this. I am much less troubled by Clare's book because it makes much better, creative, and expansive use of its fantasy/urban fantasy/science fiction/mythoreligious roots and sources. It's fresh and, to me, unangering compared to the wholesale larceny committed by the first Star Wars*, or Eragon, or The Sword of Shannara(or even many parts of the story of a certain boy wizard). If anything, I am much more tired of the Betty Sue cute teen girl who suffers the ambivalence of being the apex (or possibly nadir) of a love triangle. Often, the action stalls here for tremulous or truculent conversations between adolescents whose time might be better spent slaughtering the demon who is attacking them.While the writing wasn't sterling, I wasn't pulled out of the narrative by it too often, and Clare's worldbuilding, while sometimes holding the possibility of inconsistencies, was ambitious. As a first novel it kept my attention and showed promise. *(Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, though I hold in my hand a copy with a 1976 copyright)