Review : City of Bones

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Pages : 485
Genre : YA, Urban Fantasy
Series : The Mortal Instruments, Book 1
My Rating :

From the Back of the Book :

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….

The Mortal Instruments is one of those YA series I have seen all around the blogs in 2009, receiving most of the time high praise. Quotes on the cover and on the blogs promised something as good (sic) as Harry Potter, Twilight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc, etc. With all that in mind, I was of course a little worried that I wouldn’t love it.

In the end, I would say this first book was less good than Harry Potter, better than Twilight, and had a similar universe to Buffy’s with a different story and characters. It was good : fast-paced, mysterious, funny at times and a little scary at others, I went through its near-500 pages in just a couple of days, even though I felt like I read only a few hours. The story pulls you in from the start and won’t let you go until the very end.

There are so many things I enjoyed in this book, but one of them is Clare’s writing. It’s perfect for the genre. Unlike with some other books, I didn’t feel like Clare neglected the writing to focus more on the action or the universe; instead, there was a fine balance between these various aspects. I also admire how great a job she did with the 3rd person voice, which can be confusing with so many characters running around! Still, each of them had their very own voice and personality, and I had no problem discerning them from each other.

I did find that some elements of the world were predictable, but I didn’t mind it except for the characters. They were a bit too stereotypical – which might be why I didn’t get them confused, so this can be a blessing and a curse. I also noticed that most of the teens in the book  were on automatic-sarcasm/irony.  Alec was almost the only one who didn’t constantly answered with some quip. I understand the need to lighten up the scenes that are heavy with action or information, but it’s such a cliché to have teens that are either hyper-serious or constantly being witty!

That didn’t keep me from enjoying the characters though. I liked Alec, Jace and Clary the most, although Clary was a little bland as a heroine. When I turned the last page I couldn’t wait to read more about what was waiting for them. I had some concerns about certain things in the ending (I have no desire to spoil it, but I’m sure those of you who read it know what I’m talking about!), but it didn’t take away from my appreciation of the book.

In the end, City of Bones was a captivating read : there was so much action and mysteries and twists that I didn’t feel like it was the first in a series. I would recommend it to any fan of urban fantasy and epic stories.

Series Reading Order :

  1. City of Bones
  2. City of Ashes
  3. City of Glass
  4. City of Fallen Angels (published 2011)

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11 responses to “Review : City of Bones”

  1. Juju says :

    I need this series.

  2. the1stdaughter says :

    This is one of my favorite series of books by far! It just keeps getting better and I’m so excited they granted a fourth book mostly about Simon. I can’t wait!

  3. Steph says :

    Kay, you know I don’t really read YA, but when you compare something to Buffy how can I resist it? 😀

  4. Staci says :

    If you liked this one wait until #2!!!!

  5. Wdebo says :

    Ooo I really need to read City of Bones!! But glad you enjoyed it…and it’s pretty hard for any book to surpress Harry Potter.

  6. Joanne says :

    I liked this one alot too, although I did find the characters slightly cookie-cutter, the story managed to pull it off.

  7. Michelle M says :

    Hmm.. It seems like I’m the only one who didn’t fall madly in love with this one. Not sure why, it just didn’t quite do it for me.

  8. Literature Crazy says :

    I think I’m the oddball in reading your review because I read this series and, as much as I liked the first one (because I liked Jace enough to start thinking, “Edward Cullen, who?”… and I’m eternally grateful to Clare for getting me over my god-awful Twilight fascination), it wasn’t knock-my-socks-off.

    The second one was my least favorite and the last one (although I was learning to predict Clare’s “plot twists” more easily) was probably the most interesting.

  9. Debbie says :

    I loved this series and really enjoyed Jace. I didn’t care for Clary so much though. She kind of got on my nerves with her behavior.

  10. justicejenniferreads says :

    Sounds like quite a read. I remember seeing so many ads for this book around when i came out. It definitely interested me at the time and still interests me a little. I love jumping into new series.

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  1. Review : City of Ashes « The Infinite Shelf - January 31, 2010

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