Week 32: Discord & Bones

Here is this week’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks post…

Today we have a 2-book review!

First up… City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1)
by Cassandra Clare

(YA paranormal, romance-ish)

I enjoyed this book, but. It is YA. In places, VERY YA. However, it was amusing. There was some good world-building, and some really enjoyable characters. I wonder if I’m odd in that my favorite character was Simon, the mundane, rather than any of the paranormal characters. Clary was fun, but rather predictable. Jace was less predictable, except in his “I’m the bad boy” attitude. And the others just didn’t get as much screen time.

As to the plot, there were some elements I was expecting from the start of the story, some I saw coming about half to two-thirds of the way through, and one or two things that surprised me. I’d say it was a good blend of twist and not… some books have so much twist to them that you can barely see straight when you’re done reading them. Personally, I don’t think YAs should have too much twist, and this one has a good amount.

The writing style, in my mind, was the weak point. There was one point where the characters — all teens — are teasing each other, and using some (not too bad) swear words to do so. Instead of using the word or saying “he swore,” Clare wrote something like “he said something that rhymed with…” Not only did this wording throw me off, it threw me out of the story. And that’s never a good thing. Something else that threw me out of the story was the main character’s name: Clary. It’s short for Clarissa, I think. But in either case, both names are Way. Too. Close to the author’s first and last names. Made me roll my eyes a few times because it seemed that she was trying to make the MC herself.

All told, it was an enjoyable book, but not one that’s going on my “to buy” list. I’m very glad this was a library book for me.

Grade: B

Next book: Discord’s Apple
by Carrie Vaughn

(urban fantasy? fantastical contemporary romance?)

I did not like this book. I wanted to, but I did not. At all. Very disappointing. I didn’t even finish it.

The basic premise is that all the magical items of myth are real, and have been saved in this magical Storeroom until such a time as they are needed once again. There’s Excalibur, the Golden Fleece, Cinderella’s glass slippers, and the apple that Discord used to start the Trojan War. Now, Evie has to find a way to keep the wrong people from getting their hands on Discord’s Apple in order to prevent chaos and war.

Sounds like a great story, right?

The problem I had was the execution of it. I loved the premise, sounded like a great story. And I couldn’t get into it. I didn’t sympathize with the main characters. It didn’t phase me that Evie’s dad was sick. I tried, but I couldn’t bring myself to care about Evie at all. (I had to look up her name, because I couldn’t remember it.) The part I liked best was where Sinon and Odysseus were talking right before the final battle at Troy, with the Trojan Horse and all that. (Side note: the Greeks built it, so why don’t we call it the Grecian Horse?)

I have had this problem with Vaughn’s other popular series, the Kitty series. So I guess I’m not surprised that I didn’t like Discord’s Apple either. I had hoped, though… If you like Kitty, you’ll likely enjoy this one as well. But if you (like me) don’t enjoy Kitty, I wouldn’t bother to read this book.

Grade: C—


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