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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

Magic And Danger In The Contemporary Cityscape

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare

At a club in Brooklyn sixteen-year-old Clary encounters three youths who appear to be attacking an innocent clubber. It turns out that the clubber is far from innocent, however. He's a demon and they are Nephilim or demon hunters. It's the beginning of a long adventure in which Clary will learn (yes, you guessed it) that she is a Nephilim, too.

This is Cassandra Clare's first book. I came to it after reading The Clockwork Angel, her fourth. In the intervening period her style has developed a great deal. I loved The Clockwork Angel but this strikes me as a bit clunky. It's over-plotted and tries too hard to be cool. The characters go through hoops in order to provide the twists and turns which the story relies on.

That said, she effectively creates an alternative world of magic and danger alongside the everyday contemporary cityscape, interweaving the two together cleverly. That's always an appealing trick.