Ok, book is finally finished, thank god. Now the review:
In which I document the many deliciously atrocious similes scattered carelessly like false diamonds throughout this book.
There are many, many things I could say about the terrible clichés in the writing style here, not least the cringe-worthy banter between the main characters, but as that would take up all 15,000 allowed words in this review, I'll mostly just stick to the similes. Here were my top nine favourites, followed by a list of as many as I could be bothered to find and write down, in order.
9)"He had electric blue dyed hair that stuck up around his head like the tendrils of a startled octopus"
8)"stars hurtling down... like a rain of silver tinsel"
7)"Clary's throat felt tight, as if she'd swallowed something very hot or very cold."
6)"The distant hum of cars filled the humid air with a sound like beating wings"
5)The furniture seemed to smoulder like somber jewels."
4)"...She spun upward, breaking the surface of consciousness like a diver breaking up through a wave."
3)"She looked like a moon goddess. Clary hated her."
2)"...the shadows seemed to rise up before her like magically fast-growing plants in a nightmare forest."
1)"She wondered how often he let glimpses of his real self peek through the façade that was hard and shiny as the coat of lacquer on one of her mother's Japanese boxes."
"He pushed down on the wooden thing. It bent as easily as a blade of grass bending sideways."
"She was beautiful.. - long hair nearly the precise colour of ink, charcoaled eyes"
"Energy pulsed from her like blood from an open wound""
"He could feel the power of her evaporating life coursing through his veins like fire."
"Their coloured hair extensions tangled together like vines"
"The girl was tall and ribbon slim, with a long spill of black hair."
"Her pale dress shone out like a beacon."
"Her smile glittered like poisonous water"
"His tawny eyes glittered like chips of amber."
"His hair gleamed like brass""
"The look Alec shot Clary was as sour as poison"
"It hurt to think about, like biting down on a broken tooth, but she couldn't stop doing it"
"She could taste the terror... sharp and coppery on her tongue like old pennies"
"It was... so cold it nearly hurt, like touching an icicle with your bare skin"
"The piano lay on its side, gaping open like a wound"
"The empty frames looked like bones picked clean"
"Her knees felt like bags of water"
"The pewter gleam of stars" (not simile but...)
"Her thoughts ran as thickly as blood or honey"
"She heard a faint and delicate noise, like wind chimes in a storm" (referring to someone playing the piano)
"its footsteps sounded like lead weights being dropped on the floor"
"the blade burning in his hand like a fallen star."
"The mark was shimmering as if it had been etched with phosphorescent ink".
"It sank into his skin, like a weighted object sinking into water."
"The moon hung like a locket over the city"
"Church slinking at her feet like a cloudy gray shadow."
"It smells like... Springtime... before the heat comes and crushes the leaves into pulp..."
"Clary followed his gaze upwards and saw the glass roof of the greenhouse shining above them like the surface of an inverted lake.""
"The lights of the bridge... lit his hair to an unlikely halo."
"The skin of his fingers was thin as parchment paper... She could feel the power in them, jumping like static electricity to sting her skin."
"she could feel the sweat that... pasted her shirt to her back like sticky tape."
"Passing pedestrians looked crushed by the heavy air, like insects pinned under glass."
"She felt the cool impress of his ring like a sliver of ice against her sweaty skin.""
"...blinking owl-like behind his glasses..."
"He... watched her across the room with a bird's bright-eyed stillness."
"He steered he through the crowd as if she were a leaf caught in a river current."
"Silence... seemed to flow from him like a dark tide, black and thick as ink."
"The archivist's head was bald, smooth and white as an egg."
"His arm was lightly muscled and downed with golden hairs as fine as pollen."
"Her mind seemed to snap in on itself, like a rubber band..."
"It didn't look like much - a low brick building that sagged in the middle like a collapsed soufflé"
"The caffeine in her veins fizzed like carbonated water..."
"The eyes behind them, light blue as seawater" seawater is very rarely light blue. Unless you mean Caribbean seawater - but when I think of seawater I think dark blue, ultramarine, cobalt, green!
"Her nails were like glittering coins"
"The church looked spectral, its Gothic arched windows reflecting the moonlight like silvery mirrors."
"...a scar at the base of his throat flashed like a winking eye."
"Spider webs drifted in the clammy air like ancient wedding veils."
"The night sky wheeled above her, scattered with stars like a handful of loose diamonds."
"They hurtled up toward the diamond-littered sky."
"The city rising up beneath her like a towering forest of silver and glass..."
"Rage rose up in her like a black wave."
"The silvery roof of the Chrysler building glowed like a poker left too long in the fire."
"...the white draped furniture looming up out of the dimness like icebergs through fog."
"...it's blackness seeming to seep into her like ink sinking into paper."
"It struck at him, knocking him aside like a cat might bat aside a kitten."
"Dirty black glass fell like rain..."
"... its skull crumpling like burning paper"
"the air... was shimmering, like the surface of a lake seen from a distance. The shimmering wall of air parted like a curtain..."
"Already an image was forming in her mind, like a fish rising up through cloudy water, the pattern of its scales growing clearer and clearer as it reached the surface."
"Only the foundations, like burned bones, were still visible."
"Moonlight ran like silver water..."
"Clary could see how thin his control had stretched, like the skin over a drum."
"Glassed surged across the floor like a shower of ice, a strangely beautiful cascade of silver shards."
"She could feel the cold that wafted off his body, like the steam from an iceberg."
"The sky arced overhead, the perfect blue of a china bowl..."
In which I explain (though not in too much depth as there are others who have done far better)how I inadvertently discovered that the author used towrite Harry Potter fan-fiction, and thereafter I could not help but not every similarity (ripoff) in this here work The City of Bones, of which there are many.
Clary = Ginny
Red hair, size, fierceness, general demeanour etc.
Simon = Harry/Ron
Harry's looks and love for Ginny/Clary; Ron's bumbling sidekick geekery and inevitable day-saving.
Valentine = Voldemort
I mean, come ON. At least come up with a better name! Anyway, their whole basic philosophy - purify the species, rid the world of "nasty Half-bloods"... Not to mention the continuous mentions of how charismatic he was, how charming, how his loyal followers remained so because of his charm and power etc etc.
The Circle = Death Eaters.
Seriously. I kept accidently reading names as Rookwood or Yaxley because they seemed interchangeable/
Dorothea = Bathilda Bagshot and/or Mrs Figg
Mrs Figg - neighbor to "chosen one" suddenly reveals that they are a part of this magical world, though they have no magic themselves. Offer Clary/Harry aid in time of need.
Balthilda Bagshot - Previously unknown possession by Valentine/Voldemort's dark servant.
Mortal instruments = Deathly Hallows
The cup = the stone
The sword = the wand
The mirror = the cloak.
Like I said, others have explained this better than me and in great depth too. I'll try and re-find the links to the articles about this if I can.
In which I summarise my general displeasure with the whole book, but explain why I will in fact most likely see the film.
The book was clichéd; filled to bursting with ridiculous similes (if I have to read the word "like" in the next week, I may cry with frustration), one dimensional characters, terrible dialogue and pointless descriptions of unnecessary things; boring and childish. The very worst part of all this is that I have friends whose taste I have totally trusted up until now who absolutely swear by this series. Am I missing something? Did I read the wrong book? I can say with absolute certainty that I'm won't read any more books in this series because not only do I refuse to torture myself knowingly again though finding all the similes was rather fun but I simply don't care about the characters.
Clary is simply unlikeable, Jace is annoying, Isabelle is forced into a cliche, Alec won't stop whinging, Simon, also was cliché... the list goes on. I can sum up my dislike for these characters in one quote: "Clary recoiled. Rage rose up in her like a black wave - rage... against her mother for not being the boring, normal mother she's always pretended to be, but someone else entirely: someone heroic... someone who wasn't here now, when Clary needed her desperately."
Ok, to clarify: The mother was not there for Clary at that moment BECAUSE SHE HAD BEEN CAPTURED. AND WAS BEING TORTURED FOR INFORMATION. And she had left Clary because she HAD BEEN CAPTURED. While AT HOME, WAITING FOR HER DAUGHTER, who had left the house in a fury because her mother wanted to take her out of town (to protect her) for the summer. SO she, at the old age of 15, decided to storm out and ignore her mother's ten calls saying that she needed to come home because she was in danger.
Spoiled brats do not a good story make. The film, however, I will see only because one of my favourite actors is playing Simon and I will happily pay to see him for an hour or so.