My 13 year-old son put it perfectly when I was trying to describe how this book, a fantasy book, is still very ordinary and expected. He asked, "Oh, it stayed within the parameters of every fantasy trope?" Yes! That's it! (In explanation, E is a word-lover and began compiling his lexicon at a very early age)
It's not that the book was boring, exactly, it's just that it seemed to take every current trend in tween/teen pop culture and jam it into to the target time period. I have dabbled in the steampunk fashion but not too much more into the realm. I understand the pull I just think the characters and their attitudes were too anachronistic and too "teenage dream" to really consider this great writing. I'll give the sequel series a try (The Mortal Instruments) and see if this latter-written prequel is just vying for more publicity and money and the original is more inspired. But, it's not going to be too high on my reading priority list.