Tuesday, October 16, 2012

[Review] City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: March 27th, 2007
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book #1)
Source: I purchased a copy from a bookstore.
Blurb from Goodreads: 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.

General thoughts: This is one of the best first-books-on-a-series that I've read. In most of series it takes a while to reach the good parts and it isn't uncommon to see a huge portion of descriptions and world-settings. City of Bones mix the exciting moments with the informative ones (so you don't get info-dumped) creating a sublime harmony. The author gives you information through jokes and quotes that you can't forget even when you're done with the book and she inserts fights and critical turns in between, which makes the reading very light and fun.
I loved it, this is the kind of book you can't stop thinking about once you've read it.

About the plot: Thousand years ago, Angel Raziel combined his blood with human's to give birth to the Shadowhunters race. They have to take care of demons and keep the world safe. No human knows about their existence, at least until the night when Clary -a girl who is about to turn sixteen- sees them in Pandemonium, the trendy nightclub. Since then, nothing will ever be the same in Clary's world. Everything the girl had believed her entire life has turned out to be a lie. On top of that, she found out there are all kinds of mythical creatures, her mom has been kidnapped and Luke (the closest thing to a father she has) seems to be done with her. Now, with the help from Simon, her best friend; from Jace, the most frustrating person and the hottest guy she has ever seen; and from other ShadowHunters, she will have to figure out who her mother  really is and will have to find herself in the meantime.

About the characters: Clary is the girl who finds out everything she believed in was wrong and all the mythical creatures she knew from fairy-tales are real. She is an emotional teenager -as expected since she's only sixteen- but she's brave. Clary is willing to do whatever it takes to save the ones she loves most. 
Jace is a boy who's beautiful like an angel and deadly like a dagger. God, he's like every girl's dream. I'm just so in love with him that it hurts. He's the best Shadowhunter of his age, tough on the surface but behind his I-don't-give-a-crap act he has a huge heart. He obviously has a thing for Clary, there's something about her that intrigues him and annoys him at the same time. Even when he pretend he's all calm and indifference, at the end of the day he's just a boy seeking answers. 
Simon, the human or "mundane" -as Shadowhunters call him- is Clary's bestfriend and the only normal person she can count on since her world has turned upside down. He's a real geek and kind of clumsy, but he'll do anything for Clary.
Alec and Isabel are siblings, both Shadowhunters and Jace's best friends. At first they seem  reluctant to take Clary in, especially Alec. But after a while they get used to her and start treating her better. 

About the writing: Being a first book on a series, its goal is to catch the reader's attention and I must say: That's exactly what this book does!
City of Bones is a urban-fantasy book and what can be more urban than New York!? This story is set on the Manhattan streets and aside from the fictional creatures and paranormal features from this kind of genre, the scene is pretty believable.
It's fast paced and contains just the right amount of details so the reader is able to picture the settings, the voices and even the smells, all this without taking over pages and pages for description purposes. Once you've started it you can not put it down!
It is narrated in third person, however, we don't get to know everything before hand. We can almost see the world through Clary's eyes and we don't have much more information than she has. We learn about the other characters through the dialogue which is good, because we don't get info-dumped. 

About the ending (contains spoilers): The ending is clearly open. You can tell there's a lot that hasn't been solved. Most of the characters are not fully developed and some essential part of them is still missing. Valentine is gone -for now-, Clary's mom is still asleep, Jace has a lot to make sense of, Alec is struggling with his sexual orientation and I could go on and on listing things that still need an answer.
However, the story has a begging, development and ending well built, like an episode from a TV show that is just starting.
When you're done reading, you still have a lot of doubts about what comes next. You feel the need to start the next book right away.

I would recommend it for: Everyone who loves paranormal books. This is one of the funniest reading I've had in a while.



"Is this when you start tearing strips off your T-shirt to bind up my wound?" she joked. She hated the sight of blood, especially her own. 

"If you wanted me to rip my clothes off, you should have just asked." He dug into his pocket and brought out his stele. "It would have been a lot less painful."

"Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?"

Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."

Dorothea roared at that. "At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."

"Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting."

"No," Jace said crossly. "The Mark are only part of it. There are tests, ordeals, levels of training -look, just forget it, okay? Stay away from my blades. In fact, don't touch any of my weapons without my permission."

"Well, there goes my plan for selling them all on eBay," Clary muttered.

"Selling them on what?"

Clary smiled blandly at him. "A mythical place of great magical power."


  1. I've read the first two books in this series, but I can't say that I'm in love with it. The books are very interesting and I'd like to continue reading the series, but I won't be rereading them a second time. But that's just me, maybe other people will love these more than anything else:)

  2. This is one of my favorite books ever. I won this book through a giveaway and I was absolutely enchanted by it! I have read the Infernal Devices before this one, and I have to say I've fallen in love with Cassandra's writing. She is awesome. Can't wait till 2014 for the next book of The Mortal Instruments... Cassandra's got no mercy leaving us to wait that long! :D

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Before I started reading I didn`t really give City of Bones much hope, but this book turned out to be one of the best reads this year, I can`t wait to continue reading the series.

  5. I've got this book around two years. I have no idea why I just could not finish it. But I will read it next year. I hope I will enjoy it as you do :)
    I am pretty sure you cant hardly wait for the movie ;)

  6. I really liked it! Thanks for the review.

  7. Thanks for this review. I'm interested with this book and have been hopping to read reviews.

  8. I have read all the books they were great and love the review