English Language Died in the City of Bones

Courtesy of futuregravestone.com
Courtesy of futuregravestone.com


  • Clotted-blood-colored robes” adorn the characters, and some of them have a “half-breed-tolerating ways” about them. Those bastards! They made me feel “as if [my] heart were going to slam its way out of [my] rib cage“. My slamming heart were really perturbed by Valentine’s “interior face“, it “tantalized [my] sight“.

I was lying on the beach, basking in the late-august sun, attempting to explain to my boyfriend what was wrong with City of Bones. “She wrote that the weapons room looked like something called the weapons room would look like”, I said to him, indignantly.

He squinted against the sun and said that it sounded cool, like something Bujold would write. I realized he was right. I went over my notes and read to him: “The weapons room looked exactly the way something called the weapons room sounded like it would look.

His blank stare and my smirk were enough to dismiss any relation to Ms. Bujold’s writing.

The conversation continued due to my general confusion about how raw meat feels. I was trying to imagine how a peace of veal feels when its uncooked state. Apparently, Cassandra Clare has amazing emphatic abilities which extend to a piece of raw meat.

Her face felt like one big bruise, her arms, aching and stinging, like raw meat.

How does “The demon, turning, caught her a backhanded blow that sent her spinning to the ground” work for you?  Because it sure as hell had me thinking something along the lines: What the fuck just happened? How exactly do you catch someone a backhanded blow? Would Pete Sampras know the answer?

People in this book are “grinning grins” werewolves are “howling howls“. Some of the characters are “savoring the rich savory-salt taste”. There is some surprise at people retaining their eye-colour during a 15-year period: “He bore little resemblance to the handsome boy in the photograph, though his eyes were still black.” Masterful use of all the 50 shades of the English language.

Note this “I determined to look for her“. It felt wrong, it felt unnatural and forced. I admit, I had to look up why it felt so wrong, and according to thefreedictionary.com determine is both a transitive and intransitive verb. When it is used as a synonym of “decide” it is intransitive.

I could keep on writing about other stuff, like the fact that Cassandra Clare has an attention span of a gnat and keeps forgetting about stuff she wrote only several pages ago, but I won’t. Because I wrote about it here and because then I would have to put a subtitle to this post, something like Literature Died in City of Bones, and that would be superfluous because I think Literature generally shares the burial ground of Language.

For a more detailed review check out the one my friend wrote (we read this crap together, as a part of our MiniBookClub).

I do not consider myself a measure of all things, and even though I cannot understand it, there must be a reason why people like this book. So, here’s a review written by  Pau C. who thinks City of Bones is “a must-read to anyone interested in modern fantasy and romance“.

EDIT: I beg of you to read this review on Goodreads. It’s so very wonderful and the author has a blog here http://chocopal.wordpress.com/


7 thoughts on “English Language Died in the City of Bones

  1. Well I guess, at the end of the day, it all depends on the readers. It’s up to them / to us if a piece of literary work is good or not because we all have our own criteria. Nice review though, and I honestly respect your opinion about this book, despite how my very own contradicted your own. I’m not exactly a literary expert and English isn’t my first language so I guess I failed to see the technical side of things and just simply focused on the plot and its twists. Thanks for pointing these things out, nonetheless. You’d go a long way with that keen sense of detail. 🙂


    1. I can see how someone could enjoy City of Bones, because I am very much capable of disregarding awkward language. For instance Man on Fire is rather poorly written (language-wise), but I still love it because I liked the characters and I found the story exciting. However, City of Bones just didn’t manage to grip enough of my attention for me to look past its faults and enjoy it.


      1. Yes, I completely understand. It’s something we can’t avoid, really, how the impact of fiction stories (esp YA ones) are different from person to person. I have the same sentiments (like what you have for City of Bones) for another popular series, so I really understand where you’re coming from with this review. 🙂


    1. Thanks 🙂 I’ve heard the movie is even more ridiculous. However, there is a lot of people out there who like the book, so who knows, maybe you’d find something in it that I didn’t.


      1. There will be always “a lot of people” that like something stupid. Statistics. Reading those quotes and the GR review, I’m definitely not interested in even trying that.


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