The Mortal Instruments Book 1: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon Pulse Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal
Age Recommendation: 12+
Length: Full Length (485 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 Suns
Review by: Honeysuckle
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.
What if they world you think you know is more than you could have ever imagined? Vampires and werewolves walk among us. Demons and Angels are real. And the man that you’ve always thought was your father isn’t… it’s all a lie told to you by your mother to keep you safe from your real father.
Fifteen year old Clary Fray is as about as average a teen as they come. She spends time with her friends, goes to dance clubs, and … witnesses a murder? Okay, that last part wasn’t so average, but even Clary isn’t sure that what she thinks she sees is real. Thanks to her mother and a powerful sorcerer putting a spell on Clary to hide the magic around her, Clary has missed or forgotten a world that is just out of her reach.
I originally picked up this first book in the Mortal Instruments series because of a recommendation by another YA phenom, Stephenie Meyer. She was so excited about getting to read the third book in the series before it was released that it made me curious to see what another favorite author was reading. I’m glad I took a chance on Cassandra Clare.
City of Bones is chock full of fun dialogue while taking the reader deep into a fantasy world of Shadowhunters, demons, vampires, mundanes (that’s what they call us humans) and werewolves to name a few. Besides Clary there are several other secondary and main characters that bring this adventure to life. First there’s her best guy friend Simon that has had a crush on Clary since forever. Then there are fellow Shadowhunters Jace, Alec and Isabelle. Alec and Isabelle are brother and sister and Jace has lived with them so long he’s practically a brother. Jace is the dark anti-hero of the series. He wants only to forget his past and hunt demons until he either kills them all or dies trying.
I’ve read other reviews that bemoan the long narratives in City of Bones. While they aren’t exactly wrong, I can see the need to describe the world of the Shadowhunters a little more in this first book, including the history of the Nephilim.
The obvious bad guy in the books is Valentine. He’s easy to dislike because he makes no apologies for mentally abusing his son early in life as well as using people with low self esteem to do his dirty work. He’s on a mission, much like Hitler, to destroy anyone that isn’t a part of the Shadowhunter elite.
I think you’ll find this book has a little bit of everything: mystery, magic, intrigue, paranormal, romance and even betrayal. I read this first book in the series straight thru and couldn’t wait to get my hands on City of Ashes since I was left with so many questions at the end of City of Bones.
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter and Twilight series I think you’ll enjoy Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments as well.