May 3, 2016

Enchanted jungle hiding around the concrete one.... City of Bones

When you are browsing a bookstore, there are some books that you pick up in a glance, some you disregard without a doubt, some are forgotten even while you are staring at their covers, and then there are some that you don't pick up but you can't let go of either. These books appear everywhere you go, in stores, in hands of fellow travellers/commuters, on displays, even FB or other frequently browsed webpages. They seem to be following you everywhere. They turn up when you are least expecting.

City of Bones was one of those for me. It appears almost everywhere I seemed to look in past few days. (The other one is Game of Thrones... I ain't falling for that one, I swear)

So when I stumbled across a completely markless barely touched copy of it in an used bookstore last week, I gave up the fight and paid $3 demanded for this one.

One of the major reason for me to stay away was "I have WAYYYYYY too many worlds and fictional characters jammed in my head already to invite a few more to add complications". And its true, from LOTR, Harry Potter till Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase, I've witches, wizards, magicians, vamps and even gods running around in my head crowding my brain to fight around with reality. Did I REALLY need another set of demon hunters and their world invading what little normal brain capability  I've had left?

The simple answer to it is.... YES.

Like the eternal, 'there's always space for ice-cream'; in my head, there will always be space for a new set of fictional characters and their world.

Those who know me, know that I will not abandon a book if it doesn't hold my attention long enough. I've done that on several occasions. I'm not one of those people who will force themselves to read through a book just because I started reading it. Fortunately, City of Bones did not fall in that category. Canssandra Clare does a fair job at creating a world that lurks behind and around the concrete jungle around us. Its a world or the concept of the world that we are well familiar with from Harry and / or Percy Jackson novels. A sort of magical / ethereal world that exists just beyond the human reach, a world that is veiled behind glamour by those who know more than a mere mortal should or could understand and withstand. A world that is both fascinating and dangerous for the uninitiated. It is into this world where the protagonist Clary takes us. A journey that is filled with secrets about species, about people and about the history of a world that is completely unknown to us.

I will have to applaud Ms. Clare for a storyline. For a story that spans around 500 pages, it never gets dull. there are always things happening. Another thing I will have to appreciate is the no of characters in the novel. With the amount of things that are happening, the actual no of people involved in the narrative are relatively smaller, including all the smaller roles. For someone like me, who would forget her own name if it was written on my nameplate; it is a pleasant experience to actually read a whole novel and remember who the story is talking about at any given point in time. Its a fairly active narrative. Things keep happening, and no matter how bizarre they appear to be, they make sense in terms of the flow of the story.

I can't / won't say that its a story that is ground breaking, or out of the world. Despite the newness of the novel, it still seems like an age old story. A charismatic but fallen lord, uprising about the regime, betrayed by his own. A scared woman trying to save her child from someone / something from her past. A teenager who finds herself in middle of a crisis that she had nothing to do with. A battle of good vs evil.... the list of familiar goes on. Ms. Clare brings new characters, in a new setting with the same age-old, tried-n-tested formula.

so, what's the verdict?

well, I liked it. Its something that every escapist would enjoy. A respite from the same-old same-old reality of everyday life. But if you are looking for a break-taking, fast-paced, mind blowing adventures... you might have to wait till September, 2016...coz that's when Matthew Reilly's new novel is releasing. Till then, give this one a try. You might have more space in your brain for a new world with new characters and plot-twists....

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