Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

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.


This was my second time reading City of Bones and I decided to do reviews with each reread in the series.

Clary Fray’s world is turned completely upside down when a regular night at the Pandemonium club turns into her witnessing a murder done by kids that look about her age, only for the body to have disappeared when she seeks help. My first thought: wow, this chick probably needs some serious professional help after this. But, that is not the case here. From then on, as if being awoken, suddenly everything Clary thought she knew about the world was now revealed to be lies, glamours, half-truths. You name it.

She’s thrown into this world of demons, warlocks, vampires, faeries and werewolves. Where being mundane is seen as a joke. This is now the new normal for her.

When I first read this book I found Clary to be very annoying as she’s quite determined, but not in the good way. When she wants something she expects it to be done now, no questions asked. I felt that at times she didn’t care what it cost others to do her bidding, as long as it got done. Alec, my dear sweet baby, saw this from the beginning (even though we know what was really going on with him). It was almost easy for me to ignore Clary this time because I was so focused on everything else. The world building, the minor characters that I’d forgotten about, awesome one liners.

I never felt a pull towards Jace, and that hasn’t changed. Even though I know where the story goes for him, now that I was looking for it, it’s almost so obvious I don’t know how I missed it the first time. He’s holding in so much pain that you can’t help but want to weep for him. He is so troubled but he puts others first, even if it doesn’t seem that way. Sure he’s cocky and arrogant, and I want to say that those are part of a facade, but they’re not. He is all those things but he still has a heart of gold. Once you read The Infernal Devices side by side with The Mortal Instruments, it’s amazing how many similarities you can find between family members.

“-The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

I have four favourite characters in this series: Simon Lewis, Magnus Bane, Alexander Lightwood and Isabelle Lightwood. If these four were to form part of a superhero team, then I feel sorry for anyone who crosses their path. Mundanes are not weak. Well, not all of them. Simon is one great example of how they can step up when the situation calls for it.

The amount of love I feel for this series is so plentiful that I want to experience it over and over again. I noticed so many different things about the characters and places that I didn’t the first time around. Jace, superior and coldhearted as he acts, is actually a child inside. A kid who wants nothing more than a family. My heart breaks for him. Clary, the thing that annoys me about her is also the very thing that I like about her. She won’t take no for an answer. If the Clave wants to sit around and not to anything, you can bet Clary will be out there kicking butt. As for Magnus…one thing is for sure, never judge a book by it’s cover. Dude has a license to kill. What I know about the other characters will be ‘spoilers’ for the rest of the series. I can’t wait to see them grow because one thing that’s certain in this series is the character development. And Cassie Clare definitely delivered that on a silver platter.

Now that I think about it…this book is tiny compared to what the rest of the Shadowhunter Chronicles has to offer. If you think this was one hell of a ride, you’re in for so much more.

Reread: 11 April 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Publication Date: 7 July 2007 (First published 27 March 2007)
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Cassandra Clare

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10 thoughts on “Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

  1. Great review! I agree with everything that you have mentioned here and now I want to re-read the series again, just to see all the finer details that I missed the first time around 🙂 You are right, Clary can be a bit annoying at times, but her determination is definitely something to admire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I started rereading the series because of the Shadowhunters TV show. I’m loving it but I wanted to go back to where it all started. TMI is my favourite series so I reckon I’d probably reread it a couple more times in my lifetime. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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      • I wasn’t a fan of season 1 when I first watched it but then Malec happened and I died. But no really, season 1 was a bit of a touchy subject for me because I had to get used to all these changes but in season 2 I was ready for it and I actually like what they’re doing with the show. They’re branching out and looking at different angles and I’m into it.

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