Quick Read: City of Bones ch. 3

city_of_bones

Chapter 3: Shadowhunter

That sounds ominous and vaguely exciting! Is something interesting going to happen?

By the time they got to Java Jones, Eric was already onstage, swaying back and forth in front of the microphone with his eyes squinched shut.

Not yet, I guess.

“This is going to suck so hard,” Clary predicted.

Hey the protagonist is writing the post for me!

Seriously, the plot needs to come back very soon. I actually thought the first chapter, while being a little all over the place in terms of jumping around between POVs,  did a pretty good job at establishing the story and the characters, dropping just enough to give a vague sense of what was going on but not overloading on exposition; but after that it was a whole load of coy hint-dropping and dull teenagers complaining about shit, and now we’re watching some jackass and his stupid band.

“I’ll get the coffee if you find us a seat. What do you want?”

“Just coffee. Black—like my soul.

QUIPS

“All right. I’m Eric, and this is my homeboy Matt on the drums. My first poem is called ‘Untitled.’” He screwed up his face as if in pain, and wailed into the mike. “Come, my faux juggernaut, my nefarious loins! Slather every protuberance with arid zeal!”

Man that shit’s almost as embarrassing as using pretentious literary quotes for chapter titles.

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Simon is about to confess his feelings for Clary (who naturally doesn’t realize that he fancies the pants off of her even though it’s incredibly obvious) when Jace suddenly appears.

It was a derisive sort of cough, the kind of noise someone might make who was trying not to laugh out loud.

He coughs derisively. Is this guy really the romantic interest?

Jace asks to see Clary’s hand, then vomits out a bunch of setting details that he knows for a fact she doesn’t understand.

He released her hand with a shrug. “Most Shadowhunter children get Marked on their right hands—or left, if they’re left-handed like I am—when they’re still young. It’s a permanent rune that lends an extra skill with weapons.”

I know this is meant to be for the benefit of the audience, but there still needs to be a reason for Jace to be saying it.

After this he starts blathering about werewolves and fairies and shit, which highlights one of my main problems with urban fantasy: the more you pack into it, the less interesting it becomes. And of course, like in all urban fantasy, there’s one specific public domain creature that everyone scoffs at despite blithely accepting the existence of everything else. This time it’s mummies.

Jace basically says that he’s going to kidnap Clary and bring her to somewhere called The Institute because someone name Hodge wants to talk to her, but before that (highly romantic) scene can take place Clary’s phone rings. It’s her mom, panicking and babbling in a way that hints at just enough of the story to catch the reader’s interest, but not enough to actually reveal what the fuck is going on:

“Just promise me you won’t come home. Go to Simon’s and call Luke—tell him that he’s found me—” Her words were drowned out by a heavy crash like splintering wood.

Clary throws her phone away in frustration (probably because there’s going to be a scene later on that wouldn’t work if she had a phone).

“Give me your phone,” Clary said, grabbing the black metal oblong out of his shirt pocket. “I have to—”

“It’s not a phone,” Jace said, making no move to get it back. “It’s a Sensor. You won’t be able to use it.”

Man I wish Jace had a magic Shadowhunter phone. That would have been awesome.

Jace stops acting like a giant douche-canoe long enough to offer to help her, but she runs off without accepting the offer. Maybe once she gets back home, something interesting will finally happen.

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One thought on “Quick Read: City of Bones ch. 3

  1. braak

    I would like it if the magic rune on your hand gave you extra skill with weapons, but only with that hand. If it got pinned down or injured or something, and you had to fight with the other hand, you would just be a dope.

    Also, related, if it’s the rune that does all the fighting? Like most of these guys are lazy and not into “training” and just not very good at fighting in general, so the rune has to do the work for them.

    Reply

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