City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
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…
City of Bones is the first book in The Mortal Instruments series written by Cassandra Clare, who is also known for her Infernal Devices series. Ever since finishing Harry Potter I have been on the lookout for a new YA series that delivers the same reading experience and when I came across the books of Cassandra Clare I thought that they might be in the same league, and I must say that I am very pleased with the first book. Just a note up front, yes, The Mortal Instruments has some elements that might not be unique anymore but that did not stop my enjoyment at all, and solely because of this reason: Each book stands or falls by how it is written and, moreover, how the elements are used in producing the storyline. In this Cassandra Clare has managed to create an interesting new series.
Too start of with the world that was created in City of Bones. The story takes place in a present day New York where you get to meet up with Clary, the main protagonist of the story. From the start you are thrown into the supernatural aspects of the world, introducing the Shadowhunters. This organization deals with threats that arise from demons, werewolves and vampires. I found that the whole idea of the Shadowhunters was well thought out. They have a secret place somewhere in Europe called “Idris”, connected by portals. Being half Angelic they also have some neat angelic weapons, swords, dagger and chakrams! They are led by a librarian named Hodge who helps them out when injured, and above all the Shadowhunters have one great thing. Marks. It is from creating tattoos on their bodies that they can draw strength, heal instantly and the like, it was pretty awesome to read about when they were gearing up for battle. Although you get to met up with the Shadowhunters quite often, you do see less of the other supernaturals in City of Bones. Yes, there are scenes with werewolves and vampire and demons but they are not fully explored yet. In the end, with the ideas and the introduced elements, City of Bones turned out to be a dark story.
Clary, like I mentioned is the main protagonist of City of Bones. She is a 15 year old girl who, as I perceived it, just wanted to fit in and lead a normal life. But during one night out her whole life is flipped upside down. She witnesses a murder… or did she? From this point on it is a race through New York for her to find out what exactly is going on. When I first was introduced to Clary I immediately fell for her. She has a great personality, is somewhat innocent and somewhat snappish. All the stuff that Clary is going through made the story compelling and made it that much better. Added to that Cassandra Clare utilizes the events surrounding Clary to the very best, showing very nice character development. Next to Clary you get to meet up with a lot more characters, and one of them is Jace, typical of the bad, cocky, self-indulgent guy, who thinks he is everything. Although he does have his good moments, for me there were, in his personality, some changes and in the end he is not the witty guy anymore but changes to a more stubborn/closed type. But his character is pretty cool once he start fighting with the demons.
As for the evil lord in this story, I was so hoping that it would not be just another vampire or werewolf overlord and I was glad that this was not the case! No, it is a somewhat unexpected force. Following from the beginning there are nice few references to the past of Clary’s life that once you get to meet Valentine you already see some pieces of the puzzle coming together. It is with the talk to Hodge that everything becomes clear and that City of Bones is not just a mere rip-off but that Lord Valentine was actually trying and is still trying to do the best for the Shadowhunters but is not looked upon with the same view as the Shadowhunters. I cannot say more about it else it will spoil too much but this unexpected introduction was nicely done showing, on top of all, a great family history and struggle.
It is also in the goal of Valentine that the plot is slowly unfolding. There are 3 mortal instruments - one of them being “The Mortal Cup” - which can transform any human into something else… And with an interesting turn in the end this cup fall into some unexpected hands. What I liked about this plot is that it mostly leaves you in the dark once you had finished, there is no direct follow up or a reference in the epilogue of where the cup is. Also what are the other two instruments? There are nice twists and turns in the book that kept a nice pacing overall. In the end I was deeply thinking of the ulterior motives of some of the characters and what their true alliances were. Not everyone is who they claim to be...
All in all I found a great pleasure in City of Bones, Cassandra Clare managed to hit the right snares to introduce a new series, showing a interesting world and likable characters, and a plot that can go any which way.
This City of Bones book review was written by Jasper de Joode
All reviews for: Mortal Instruments
City of Bones
Mortal Instruments: Book 1
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 teenager...
City of Ashes
Mortal Instruments: Book 2
City of Glass
Mortal Instruments: Book 3
To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is aga...
City of Lost Souls
Mortal Instruments: Book 5
What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace ...
Have you read City of Bones?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
City of Bones reader reviews
Case from Idris
<3 <3 <3 <3 I love her writing.
Lola from Idris
I absolutely love it. It's my favorite book and I like live my life around it.
9.4/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Elena Michaels is a model woman for the 21st century: self-assured, keenly intelligent, fighting fit. And like every modern woman, she has her secrets. Nothing extraordinar...
Blood and Feathers
Alice isn’t having the best of days: she got rained on, missed her bus, was late for work. When two angels arrive, claiming her life so far is a lie, it turns epic, g...
An explosion in a nuclear power plant. Kids patched up with scavenged body parts and bionic implants. A growing army of superhuman soldiers programmed for destruction. '...
Ben Street: the Secret of the Lost Soul
When the students of a famous Performing Arts School left for their outing to Stonehenge one morning in 1946, they had no idea they would witness the crash of a meteorite. ...
The Never Pages
The Never Pages is a very odd book to behold – there's no blurb on the back, no author announced on the front and it actually looks like an old journal. It tells ...
The Enchantment Emporium
Alysha Gale is twenty-four, unemployed, and tired of her family meddling in her life personally and magically. So when a letter arrives from her missing grandmother, bequea...
This Savage Song
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be a...
What if angels not only walked among us - but were our celebrities? What if they saved people for money? That's the reality in Angel City, where hot young Jackson Godsp...
Grace Under Fire
Frog and Esther Jones
It’s the 21st Century, and magic users are outlaws. The public considers summoners evil and in league with the Devil. So when someone or something wipes out the entir...
The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder -- a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist A...
Katharine Geryon is living the life her family name has dictated, and why not? After all, it has given her a good job in the family company and a fine life with all the thi...
License to Ensorcell
Psychic Agent Nola O'Grady isn't sure returning to San Francisco, and living near her unusual family, is a good idea. Her job, with a psychic agency so obscure even...
The Fallen and Leviathan
Thomas E Sniegoski
On his eighteenth birthday, Aaron begins to hear strange voices and is convinced he is going insane. But having moved from foster home to foster home, Aaron doesn't kno...
The body you are wearing used to be mine. So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. Wit...
The Weight of Souls
Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer a...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended contemporary / urban fantasy books/series
- Recommended books/series featuring angels and demons
- Recommended young adult fantasy books
Best of 2016
Tricia Sullivan has written an extraordinary, genre defining novel that begins with the mystery of a woman who barely knows herself and ends with a discovery that transcends s...
This Savage Song
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as r...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer's legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the was...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...