City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare (2007)
YA Fiction | Paranormal | Urban Fantasy
“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…” -Goodreads
pooled ink Review:
One of my fellow book nerd friends read The Mortal Instruments series when it stopped after three books and she loved them. She would go on about them whenever we hung out and so eventually I decided to give them a try (I was pretty dedicated to Divergent and had to get through that fandom before I could dive into another). I was not disappointed and I’m glad I read it before the movie came out.
Just to quickly get the movie stuff out of the way: I liked the movie as a movie but not quite as much as a film adaptation of the book. It was good but it just wasn’t the book (those who had not read the book loved the movie but those who had read the book were noticeably upset and I get both sides: good movie, semi-decent book-to-film adaptation). I also think it was a good decision to create a television show based on the series instead of continuing with the movies and yes I will most likely watch it and I am excited for its debut.
Okay back to the book.
I liked how Clary was portrayed as artsy but ordinary (Clare managed to write a character that is an average teenage girl without making her pathetic and wimpy like Meyer did with her character Bella). I think Clare did some great character work in this book. Clary is supposed to be average perhaps but she’s filled with determination, intelligence, and wit. Simon, her best friend, is loyal and sweet. Jace, her ally, has a sharp tongue with quick wit that you can’t help but snort at in a hidden laugh, and he has a dark aura about him that just draws you in.
The world of the Shadowhunters is interesting and I appreciate how Clare tries to tie in tidbits from actual demonology, angelology, and even the Bible to strengthen this fictional world she has devised in her imagination.
The plot is filled with action and fast-paced drama, complicated and ever twisting relationships, fantasy and adventure. You are constantly having veils ripped off characters and situations revealing alternate truths and perspectives.
I wasn’t converted into a die-hard fangirl but I can’t deny that City of Bones was a really good and quick read and I’m 100% down for more. I’m definitely interested to see where Clare will take things based on where she left off at the end of this book (be prepared for a plot twist!).
If you’re into YA Fiction, paranormal, dark romance, fighting demons, or adventure then this just might be for you.
City of Bones ignites a paranormal series that reveals the shadows lurking behind the light. Enter a terrifyingly enchanting world of angels and demons with humans sprawled across their chessboard of battle.
I ended up reading the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series and I loved them. They’re seriously great. Read them!!! I stopped after the third though because the series was originally intended to be a trilogy and honestly I felt that it worked better that way. City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #2) was filled with action, romance, and revelations leading us to the climax in the trilogy in City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) which was seriously intense and which also ended with a lovely bow. If you’re honestly into reading the however million other books Clare has written since then then go ahead, but for me? Nah. I’ll stick with just the first three. Although I hear on good authority that the three prequels (The Infernal Devices) are quite worth reading! So maybe I’ll dive into that but as for the rest of the Mortal Instruments series I think I’m gonna pass.]
Recommendation for similar books: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, Sing Sweet Nightingale by Erica Cameron, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Lichgates by S.M. Boyce, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Meet Cassandra Clare!
Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.