Book Review: City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) 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....

What a great start to a fantastic series.  This was my second time reading City of Bones, and it was just as good the second time around.  Cassandra Clare's fantasy world contains vampires, faeries, werewolves, mermaids, demons, warlocks, and Nephilim, who are the Shadowhunters who devote their lives to killing demons.  Clary is just an ordinary human, or so she thinks.

I love the way Clare writes.  It is very descriptive wihthout being too wordy or melodramatic.  Her writing reminds me of Stephenie Meyer, and I mean that in a very good way.  I like that Clary is a normal girl.  I can't stand reading about a perfect, unrealistic character.  I have found in the past that the first novel in a series is not as good as the subsequent novels (think Harry Potter or Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking of the Rachel Morgan series).  That is not the case here.  Fans of Harry Potter, Vampire Academy, and Twilight will love this series.

Just One Gripe:
It's a little teen angst-y at times.

The Best Thing About This Book:
The fantasy meshes very believably with the "real" world.

Appropriate for a younger audience:
Yes.  Finally, a YA series that's age-appropriate!

Characters:  4/5
Plot:  4/5
Setting/Imagery:  5/5
Originality:  5/5
Ending:  5/5
Total Score:  23/25


  1. See Natalie! I told you these books are awesome!
    Kelli make her read them, I've been trying for months!

  2. Okay okay... you have strong armed me :) My nieces were just getting onto me about needing to read these asap! I will buy them this weekend.

  3. Oh and when are you reading Vampire Academy Ms Abby???

  4. i adore this series its been number one on my list for a few years now i just cant get over its awesomeness!

  5. Natalie, we're not taking no for an answer. You HAVE to read them!

    Abby, I'm already almost done with City of Ashes after starting it last night. I think it's even better, don't you? I wish she would write faster...

    BlueIceGal, I agree. It is an excellent series!

  6. Nat- I'm reading them as soon as Amazon delivers them to my door!!!! I'll let you know as soon as I start!

    Kelli- I loved them all...I wish there were 10 more! My one gripe is, I wish she expanded a little more in the last book about a certain love interest with Clary. After such build up and stress about it...I needed a little more than she gave me! I wanted to relish in it a little before the end....But I still LOVED it!

  7. I agree 100% about wanting more...maybe we'll get it in City of Fallen Angels. But we have to wait forever for that one!

    Nat promises she'll get them this weekend, we'll see...

    I can't wait to hear your thoughts on VA! She jumps right in to the story in book one, so it takes a little getting used to at first. But they are SO GOOD!

  8. Wait City of Fallen Angels? There's a 4th book.
    Natalie, I have the 2nd book i think.

  9. City of Fallen Angels is book 4, coming out 3/11/11. Here's the link to Cassandra Clare's website:

    She's also coming out with The Clockwork Angel, which is a prequel to City of Bones!

  10. I will admit it right now... I completely freaked out just like all my friends told me I would. It had one of the biggest twists I have ever read... Star Wars style. With that, I really enjoyed this book and the cover art too. I really feel like it is a 4.5 Star book right now and not a 5 Star only because I am so heartbroken :( They cannot be brother and sister!! I tried to catch every little detail trying to anticipate a twist for the City of Ashes... so time will tell if my suspicions are correct. I really enjoyed the world that Cassandra Clare has created and the fantastic imagery. I could imagine all of it as I read and felt like I was living it (from the sidelines of course, I would be the first to die because I am such a wennie).

    I am starting City of Ashes immediately following my review... I NEED TO KNOW!


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