Sunday 25 August 2013

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Page Count: 449
Publication Date: March 27th 2007
Obtained: Purchased


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. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

What I thought:

I expected a lot from this book. I’m a little late to the Mortal Instruments train and I’d gotten quite a few good recommendations from my friends and I’d read a lot of positive reviews about it so I assumed it would be good. I’ll start by saying that I thought the main story line was good. I found it interesting and although at times I was confused, the general plot was engaging.

My main problem with City of Bones is that I don’t believe the characters. I don’t feel their interactions are realistic so it makes it difficult to get into the story. Clary is particularly confusing because it seems like she’s meant to be the strong and intuitive female lead but she is completely clueless in the majority of the book. Even to things that are completely obvious to her. All through the book I felt like I was in a pantomime and every five seconds I wanted shout 'He's behind you!' or something along those lines because it was ridiculous how oblivious she could be in dangerous situations without getting killed.

I also have a problem with the 'friend group'. I never really got the idea that Isabelle disliked Clary, it seemed more that she was a new person entering the group, but at some point in the story Clary asked if she hated her. Is ever possible for the girls in the group to be friends or does one always have to secretly hate the other? Apparently not.

Clary's personality was terribly underdeveloped and a little all over the place at times. She slaps Jace across the face after barely knowing him for five minutes, why? Jace is rude but the slap felt out of place. She also seems to have a lack of thought for Simon who's her best friend. Of course she wants for him to be safe but she cares little for his feelings. Of course these two are after her because every story needs a love triangle to spice it up but this seemed unjustified. If Clary was really interesting then maybe it would warrant their affection but from what I've read, other than the obvious, she's quite unremarkable.

I almost forgot about Alec who is kind of a non-character. He's Isabelle's brother and is also the only age-appropriate boy that dislikes Clary, and isn't going after her. Why? Read and find out.Which finally brings me onto my final issue. The writing. It wasn't bad but there were some unnecessary descriptions given out that I found distracting. Also sometimes the characters didn't speak to have a conversation, they spoke to fill the reader in on pages, and pages worth of information that were somehow missed.

Hmm, this review seems to lack positivity. Unfortunately I just didn't like the story an awful lot and was a little disappointing as I'd been hearing good things about it for so long. But that's just me, I can see how someone else might enjoy the book because the plot is good. I wonder how book #2 will be?

Rating 2/5


  1. I DNF this book. But then I went to watch the movie and loved it. I just finished book 2 today and I'm hooked.

    1. It was nearly a DNF for me but I wanted to read it before the film came out. The film looks so much better than the book. I can't wait to watch it!

      - Lettora (I'm Booked!)