The book jumps straight into the plot, and smacks you in the face with new ideas. I had a thought as I was reading; would I actually understand nay of this if I hadn't seen the film first? No.. probably not. I would have been confused and bewildered by everything up until it's all kind-of-explained a couple of chapters later. At that point 'Mundie' means nothing to me. Other than that, the plot was interesting, fast-paced and kept throwing obstacles in Clary's way. You very slowly find out everything, which would make it a tantalising read for people who had not seen the film. As it was, I was just left wondering how the differences would play out.
If you're looking for a film comparison, here it is: *Spoiler Alert* Most things were pretty much exact to the book, like the love quadrangle, the fact that Simon is quite good-looking (what? Robert Sheehan is very nice to look at), the fact that Jace is a moody so-and-so. All of it is pretty much the same, apart from that Dorothea isn't actually a demon (she was possessed) and that it was only Clary and Jace who go to Hotel Dumort for Simon, and there wasn't quite so much fighting there. Oh, and Simon gets turned into a rat, which was kind of funny. Then, near the end, the stories split quite dramatically. The film goes for the all-out action face-off between Valentine and his cronies against everyone who is able to fight, and it is set in the Institute, with the wolves turning up as a surprise. In the book, Valentine turns up twice, once in the institute and then again when Clary goes to look for Jace. Here, the wolves have teamed up with Clary and are the ones fighting, and there are zombie-type things!
So in all the book was very different from the film in terms of the ending, and though it didn't pack quite as much of a punch, at least it didn't leak a major plotline. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, where I hope my experience won't be marred by the film (Note to self: watch the film after you've read the book, not before).
A nice enough read, but Clockwork Angel definitely trumps it for a first novel in a series.
City of Bones on Goodreads