Monday, October 25, 2010

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Bones (The Mortal instruments #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: McElderry Books
Release Date: March 27th, 2007
Pages: 485
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....
Plot: 5/5
Creativity: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Impact: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Creative, exciting and unforgettable, City of Bones is the first novel in a YA fantasy/paranormal series that will have readers awe-struck and addicted. Set in New York, it blurs the line between fantasy and reality by featuring a story wherein average humans unknowingly coexist with mythical beings.

Very much like The Hunger Games, The Mortal Instruments series was something I didn't hear of until recently. Sure, I've seen the books around bookstores for a while now, but I never took the time to stop, pick them up, and read what they're about. But when I started blogging, I became aware of the supposedly amazing series, and I decided that I needed to give it a try. Something that talked about must truly be great to deserve to be treated with such high regard. Thus, I got the books and started reading the first book, City of Bones, and I became addicted.

What caught my attention first about City of Bones was the entire concept. I've never read a fantasy or paranormal book that featured all of the breeds of mythical beings I read about separately in different books- witches, warlocks, faeries, vampires, werewolves, demons- as well as regular human beings living in a regular world- our world- and I loved the entire idea. It's so fresh, so current, it totally put the novel on a whole new level for me, and I love Clare backs all the creativity up with a rich mythology and history completely unique to this novel.

The next thing I fell in love with was the characters. Clary, the protagonist, was someone I identified with, and I loved that she isn't the girly-girl, damsel-in-distress type, but oh boy did I fall hard for Jace. He's arrogant, self-absorbed, and absolutely irresistible. He kicks major demon butt, but there are times when he shows his vulnerability, too. I also really enjoyed the character of Isabelle, Jace's adoptive sister who's vain and occasionally conceited, but is in possession of a heart bigger than her body. She doesn't show her soft side often in the novel like Jace, but her kindness and compassion shine in the times that she does. If I had to pick a favorite character in the novel, it would be a tie between Jace and Isabelle. I guess I have an affinity for characters full of attitude and snark but are secretly sensitive; I'm not really sure. All I know is that they're two characters whose lines kept me entertained throughout the entire novel.

Finally, I fell head over heels for the plot. I loved how wonderfully it progresses and how spot-on the pacing is. It's a mix of equal parts adventure and romance, so there isn't too much of one element. It begins with Clary first discovering the world of Shadowhunters, and as she tries to put together why and how she's connected to them, she and her friends encounter a handful of different creatures and get themselves into situations leading to scenes that will have readers holding their breaths. I was certainly gripped by the excitement and intensity of the said encounters, and especially by the curveball ending. And somewhere in between the demon slaying and villain-hunting, the romance creeps in. It's not a breath-taking, whirlwind type romance, it's one that's subtle and doesn't take the spotlight but is still a key part of the plot and a venue for major character development.

Honestly, I find it practically impossible to find a flaw in this book. I was blown away by the story and the setting and the characters, and now I completely understand why people talk about this book with such high praise. City of Bones certainly got me hooked, and I already know that the Mortal Instruments series will be one I'll talk about for a long time.


  1. Great review for a great first novel in a great series:DI love TMI!Looking forward to your review of City of Ashes. Happy reading:)

  2. Hahaha! You better get ready to jump on the bandwagon! The rest of the series is just as good. I hope you enjoy! :)

  3. I finally just recently read/reviewed this one as well. It definitely lived up to the hype! I just took a look at your "Casting Characters" for the book (I love that type of post :) and it matched up with almost all of the other predictions I've seen. It almost seems like they've already cast the movie since so many people have their hearts set on a specific group of actors. Now I just need to read book #2... Thanks for sharing!

  4. I'm just about to order the boxed set from Barnes and Noble right now! haha
    The same thing with me: I heard about it in the blogosphere, but I never read them, and now I'm dying to!
    Great review:)