Other Beasties

Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)I did things backwards with this one.

Book synopsis: 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…

My review: I watched the film first and then I read the book.  Usually I read the book first and then it comes out in the cinema or on TV in some cases.  I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to do it the way that I did and to be fair I don’t think I missed much.  I finally jumped on the band wagon, took the plunge and read the story of Clary Fray and Jace Wayland.

It was confusing to say the least. I think it was supposed to be a paranormal young adult romance? But I didn’t feel a whole lot of romance apart from the apparent incest and I felt that the paranormal beasties were not described how I expected them to be, I didn’t think all that much of the character building such as it was or the characters in general – Clary was an irritating teenage girl, Jace was a know-it-all & I’m-so-unbelievably-hot-no-one-will-refuse-me arsehole that I wanted to smack.  Isabelle was a little too slutty for my tastes, Alec was an idiot for falling in love with someone who cares about no one but himself and don’t get me started on how much of a fool Simon was.

The demons or “Downworlders” (catchy, I’ll give Clare that) were basic and foolish.  Valentine wasn’t much better and neither was Clary’s mum.  The only character that I really liked was Magnus Bane and that’s because he had a cool name and wore slippers, not because he was a decent character or anything.

Despite my reservations and dislike of the characters, I liked City of Bones because of its plot. I haven’t read anything like it before and thought it was quite an unusual topic – physical items that can create Shadowhunters out of mortals rather than being born was quite interesting. I didn’t, however, think much of the writing style and found it a little bit jumpy and slightly disorganised.

Series: The Mortal Instruments

The Verdict: 3.5 stars

For: Lovers of young adult/young adult romance, paranormal beasties plus awkwardness and tension you can cut with a knife.

Publication details: April 4th, 2009

Format: Kindle, 485 pages

3 thoughts on “Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

  1. I’m a huge Cassandra Clare fan and it was interesting to read your perspective of the book, especially since you saw the film first and didn’t care for the book too much (aside from the plot). I actually haven’t seen the film and probably never will (I hear it’s awful even for City of Bones fans). And I agree, I think City of Bones focuses more on the shadowhunter world than romance, and it doesn’t ever get steamy. You may like The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare though, that’s also set in the shadowhunter world but during the Victorian age in England.


    1. Thank you 🙂
      I didn’t much care for the film either. However I will eventually read the rest, I’ve read some reviews from other people and read a couple of short breakdowns of the next books in the series. I’m more interested in learning who this Sebastian fellow is and whether Jace and Clary really are related. I doubt it though.
      The Infernal Devices is on a to read list purely because it’s Victorian London.

      Liked by 1 person

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