Book title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments, #1
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
Release date: September 2015 (originally published January 2007)
Format: Paperback, 485 pages
Discover the world of the Shadowhunters in the first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly)—now with a gorgeous new cover, a map, a new foreword, and exclusive bonus content! City of Bones is a Shadowhunters novel.
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. And she’s more than a little startled when the body disappears into thin air. Soon Clary is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. And Clary is introduced with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster. How could a mere human survive such an attack and kill a demon? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
I’m almost 9 years behind the times. Oy. Well. There’s not much to be said about City of Bones at this point. This was a reread, actually — I read the book for the first time a number of years ago. Back then, I wasn’t very impressed with it so I didn’t continue with the series. However, now that The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices have become such mega-popular series with giant fandoms, I figured it was about time to finally jump on the bandwagon. I reread City of Bones — and really enjoyed it this time!
Briefly put, City of Bones is a fantasy that takes place in New York City. There are Shadowhunters, warlocks, vampires, werewolves, and the like — this is a really fun paranormal series with magic and magical beings. Fiesty and loyal Clary Fray is the book’s main character, and she gets pulled into the world of Shadowhunters when her mother goes missing. She meets Jace Wayland, the sarcastic, gorgeous bad boy Shadowhunter, and goes out on a quest with her new Shadowhunter peers to find the Mortal Cup, a lost magical object everyone wants for different reasons.
Maybe one reason I didn’t like City of Bones when I read it years ago was because of it being paranormal. A number of years ago, vampires and werewolves were the hot thing, and I was kind of sick of all the paranormal books flooding the market. (It was paranormal and dystopia, thanks to Twilight and The Hunger Games!). However, my reading tastes now lean mostly to fantasy — and high fantasy, usually — so it was a refreshing change to read a paranormal book. I also loved the New York City setting — hello, it’s where I live! And, now that I’m a bit older (well, only 19), I finally really got the romance and am totally shipping Alec and Magnus. Clary and Jace, you’re cool, too, but my main OTP here is Alec and Magnus. ❤
City of Bones originally started out as a Harry Potter fan fic and there are definitely a few similarities, such as the Institute kind of mirroring Hogwarts on a lesser scale, and the search for the Mortal Cup being like the search for the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone). But City of Bones is an entirely different story, and from what I’ve heard the rest of the books are original and don’t borrow much or anything from other famous fantasies.
I found City of Bones hilarious. Jace’s snarkiness always got me. I couldn’t believe some of the stuff that came out of his mouth. I found the book pretty interesting and fast-paced, too. I liked Clary, she was a perfectly serviceable MC. I wasn’t a huge fan of Simon, but he was okay. I really liked Isabelle and can’t wait to see more of her in future books. I liked Alec to an extent, but goodness, I didn’t like the way he treated Clary. I loved Magnus. I liked Luke. Valentine… let’s just say that I’m not completely sold on the series’ main villain yet, but he’s obviously pretty crazy what with his psychological manipulation.
After I read City of Bones, I watched the movie, the one with Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower. (And Godfrey Gao as Magnus and Lena Heady as Jocelyn.) The movie was fun, but they changed the entire ending so drastically! I understood why they changed the story so much, mostly for clarity and for a big show-down that action movies seemingly need to have. But they also spoiled something huge for the rest of the series! I’ve already been minorly spoiled for the series, so this wasn’t news for me, but still — c’mon, that was just rude! (Although I kind of get why they mentioned such an important thing.) I really loved the actors they got and think that Jamie made an excellent Jace, but Johnathan Rhys Meyers as Valentine– holy ravioli, that overacting was atrocious.
As I’m sure you all know, there’s a new TV show based on the books called Shadowhunters that’s coming out soon. I’ve watched the previews and teasers and I’m not sold on it, yet. Clary, Jace, and Isabelle… hmmm… The acting, from what I’ve seen, seems very stiff and obvious. I’m willing to give the show a try, but I don’t have high hopes for it. Still, it’s pretty awesome that there even IS a TV show based on the books! After the movie kind of bombed, I don’t think anyone expected any more adaptations.
So. City of Bones. I really enjoyed it this time around. Am I in love with the series yet? No. And I’ve heard it takes a few books for things to really get rolling. I don’t have any “feels” yet, I am not super invested in the characters or plot at this point. But I know I’ll be entertained and have a good time so I’m going to continue reading the series and finally become a Cassandra Clare fan. I’m currently reading City of Ashes — and let me just say that the new paperback covers are huge improvements over the original covers. 😉 ♦
Have you read City of Bones?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
What’s your favorite paranormal/urban fantasy book?
And are you looking forward to the Shadowhunters show?
Comment below letting me know!
And, as always, happy reading!