Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra ClareCity of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #1
on March 27, 2007
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 485
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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.

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So this was a re-read for me this year, in anticipation of the movie (I’ll be posting that review Wednesday). I ADORE this series. Sure, everyone knows City of Fallen Angels was pretty weak compared to the rest (although it still has a ridiculously good rating on Good Reads, and I still enjoyed it), and there are some out there who are getting tired of the Shadowhunters and their drama. I am not one of those people. I love Clare’s stories, writing style, characters…and she’s super good at what she writes.

Anyway, City of Bones is so fun because the writing is humorous, even though there is some really bad stuff going down. People get kidnapped, attacked, turned into rats, possessed by demons…there’s some pretty intense stuff in this book. There are also some ‘touchy’ subjects in this book: child abuse, homosexuality, incest…among other things. But Clare writes her characters with such great senses of humor (some of Simon and Jace’s conversations are hysterical). I think that was one of the things that originally drew me to these books was how funny some of the characters were.

Jace. Poor boy. He is one of those cases where he is all strong and sarcastic and untouchable, and then the girl just gets under his skin and he finally finds someone he can be vulnerable around. This book, you don’t quite get to that point, although you see the beginnings of it, but it really becomes a major point later on in the series. I love the way Clary can get under the armor he so carefully puts up. If I was going to fangirl about someone, Jace would be it.

A lot of this book is Clary (and the reader) learning backstory, so there are many times when someone sits Clary down and tells her this long drawn out monologue about the history of such and such. But I was always interested in these stories. Clare does a really good job of presenting the back story in really interesting ways, and you find yourself caring immensely about these characters that you know so little about.
I like Clary. She stands up for herself and wants to be involved in what’s going on, and she’s willing to sacrifice to protect those she loves. All in all she’s a pretty great heroine in my book.

I don’t think there is one secondary character that wasn’t interesting. Sometimes secondary characters get written just so that the main character has someone to interact with. But in City of Bones you see some specific storylines from the 2ndary peeps that adds another nice layer to the story, and also brings you to care more about the other characters and what happens to them.

The conflict is very strong, the characters are great fun, there are plenty of surprising twists, lots of interesting world building…this is an excellent addition to the Paranormal/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy genre.

Also, I cannot wait for the last book to come out.

5 Stars

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