City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Release date: March 27th, 2007
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.
I have a confession, I saw the movie (which was meh to say the least) before I read City of Bones. Friends recommended the book to me way before the movie came out but I had no interest. Vampires? Werewolves? No thank you! The whole Twilight craze kept me away. Then there was the reviews. Reviewers seemed to be divided, they either loved it or hated it, no in between. So, I went into the book basically already knowing what would happen. However, this did not take away from the fact that I really enjoyed it.
City of Bones is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series. Clary Fray had a normal life. She went to school, hung out with her best friend Simon and lived with her mom Jocelyn in Brooklyn. Things began to change when she witnessed a murder that no one else could see. Then her mother disappeared and she was was attacked by a demonic creature. The only people that could help her were half human, human angel, otherwise known as Shadow Hunters.
What I did like:
- It was fast paced and I easily read through it. This is no small feat as it was 400+ pages in length. The characters, their banter and the story kept me interested the whole time and pushed me to keep reading to find out more.
- I really liked Jace! Hard on the outside, but all melty marshmallow on the inside. He’s got a lot of issues and angst, but I loved reading conversations that involved this character. For me he was an excellent male lead.
- I often found myself laughing out loud. The humour in the book was great! Jace had a lot of wonderful one liners.
- One of the major themes in the novel is racism. Valentine believes that the Shadow Hunters are the superior race and wants to either enslave or murder those he sees as beneath him. Clary and company need to prevent this from happening at all costs. While the book does have shallow moments, it does examine how we view others and how a group of seemingly good people can follow someone who preaches such hate.
- Two words: Magnus Bane! Magnus was lovely and such a diva! Any part with him in it was gold. I can’t wait to start reading the The Bane Chronicles to learn more about this character.
- The ending was good, really good! It was probably the best written part of the whole novel.
What I didn’t like:
- I did not like Simon at all. It seemed like the whole point of him was to whine and act as a wedge between Clary and Jace. As I have mentioned many times before I don’t like love triangles. Actually, I HATE them. Simon was always the odd man out and I hated how he would pine after Clary. His character just exhausted me.
- The whole sister and brother storyline kind of freaked me out a bit. Of course it was in the movie so I saw it coming, but eww!
- The plot was pretty much predictable. Even without having seen the movie I’m sure I would have figured it out early on. It follows the usual YA formula. Normal girl, new strange world, attractive guy, issues and adventures, love triangle, etc.
- The author’s writing is a bit uneven. Some parts flowed really well, while others were made up of short choppy sentences. Another edit or two could have helped this. But overall it didn’t take away from the book.
Like every book, City of Bones had its ups and downs. It did have enough to get me throughly invested in the shadow world and want to follow Clary and Jace on their next adventure.