Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: City of Bones

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments #1
Published March 27th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

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 think at this point, that I may have been the only person left that hadn't read The Mortal Instruments series. The first book, City of Bones had indeed been on my 'to-read' shelf for a while now so it was high time I see for myself what the fuss was all about. I had read up on the series beforehand, and was familiar with the fact that the series started out as Harry Potter fan-fiction centralized around Ginny Weasley and Draco Malfoy,which I knew could either make or break the series for this hardcore HP fangirl.  Unfortunately for me, this ended up being quite the underwhelming read.

City of Bones features Clary or 'Clarissa' Fray as our protagonist who knows nothing about her true identity. Her past, her 'sight' and her true nature has been hidden from her. It takes one night out at a club for her whole life to change. It is a this club (Pandemonium) that Clary first encounters the 'Shadowhunters', warriors whose sole purpose is to rid the world of demons. Pandemonium is also the first time Clary meets Jace, a gorgeous, dangerous and mysterious boy...and a Shadowhunter is his own right. Overnight illusions begin to shatter around Clary and while she is barely managing to keep up, she begins to realize she is in more danger than she ever could have imagined.

I have to admit that City of Bones didn't start out all that great to me. The similarities between The Mortal Instruments and the Harry Potter Series were kind of hard to ignore. Jace reminded me too much of Draco...Valentine is very similar to Voldemort in personality and with regards to their personal histories...and I could go on. It was very clear to me who each character from The Mortal Instruments was based off of in HP. Even the Mortal Instruments themselves reek of Horcruxes. And it bothered me. I feel like even if I hadn't know about the whole fan-fiction thing, I would have noticed all of this anyway. I also felt that the intrigue was a bit transparent. Like I guessed every most plot twists miles before they actually panned out. Additionally, Clary herself was a less than impressive protagonist. I never warmed up to her and the fact that she was constantly apologizing to everyone drove me crazy. The minute she'd show some backbone,  she was apologizing for it five seconds after. Gah!

While City of Bones doesn't offer up anything staggeringly unique, it did sort of begin to grow on me about halfway in. The small excerpt we got from Jace's perspective warmed me up to him considerably. (For anyone who follows my reviews, it's no secret that I'm a sucker for a glimpse into the boy's mind within a female driven plot.) Clary eventually grew on me a bit more, I admired her bravery; especially considering she has yet to be trained up much in her abilities. By the ending I was definitely surprised by a few of the twists there. So while I'm not yet finding myself thinking about the plot I do when I'm really hooked, I'm still curious enough about what's coming next to keep going. Hopefully the next one will delve deeper into this intriguing, albeit flawed world.

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars


  1. I liked this series but I preferred her Infernal Devices books. I love the period in which it takes place and though the characters are pretty similar (Jace and Will are REALLY alike) as well as the scenarios (A girl finding her way into this crazy Shadowhunter world) I still found them refreshing and interesting. Plus, it has that steampunk storyline going on which I also fancy.

  2. I still haven't read her Infernal Devices series, but I do currently own the first book in the series. I have a feeling I'll like that series a lot more than this one. Like you said, I tend to prefer stories of that period, plus it's got the whole steampunk thing going for it!

  3. Can't wait to hear what you think of it. I'm really excited for the final book. I need to reread the others because I can't remember everything. Plus I’m sure there are some hints here and there that will give a better understanding of what’s going to happen in the last book.

  4. The last one is coming up in early 2013 isn't it? I'll have to hurry up and read the first two so I can jump on the bandwagon and anticipate for the last one :-) And I love re-reading and searching for hints & clues! Enjoy (when you do re-read them.)


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