Release Date: March 27th, 2007
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Goodreads Review: here
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.
R E V I E W
I think I’ve made it pretty clear in my reading career that I am trash for the Shadowhunter Chronicles. This doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge the fact they are trash. However, the nostalgia is so raw that I can’t help but feel like I’m coming home when I pick up this book. I get taken back to when I felt uncomfortable picking it up in the library as a 13-year-old because of the half-naked guy on the front. Now, here I am holding the 10th-anniversary edition which is stunning.
My point is, I know City of Bones is highkey a bad book. Trust me, it became so clear in this re-read that I was cringing at every other interaction and how much I hated Clary. But, I can’t help but be sucked into the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. It’s a problem. Cassandra Clare’s writing has improved so much, though, so I feel no shame for this being one of my favourite series ever.
City of Bones begins with Clary Fray. A firey red-headed artist (basically her description, oh the cliche) who is simply trying to get through high school with her best friend, Simon, and stop fighting with her mum. Her mum has hidden a whole world from her though, a world that Clary is born to be a part of. Strange, right? I’m pretty sure she’s sixteen too? I’m not even sure, honestly. Anyway, this all changes after she is an underage club one night with Simon and sees something that no one else can see. She’s thrown into a world where she discovers the lies her mothers told to protect her and who she is. Also along the way, she makes some new enemies and even finds out who her father is, which is something I would rather die than do.
Clary Fray may possibly be one of the most annoying female leads. She seems to forget her mum is missing and remember at times convenient to her. She’s much happier to fantasise over the male love interest, Jace Wayland. Who is annoyingly arrogant. I keep picturing him as the actor from the film City of Bones and it has ruined my 12-year-old picture of him, honestly. I’m not a fan of the actor. Nor am I a fan of Dom Sherwood. That’s neither here nor now though. Clary is happy to live her normal mundane life until she discovers the Shadow World. The only problem is she isn’t content to just take herself down. She drags her completely human best friend with her.
I hated Simon when I first read these. I was a big Jace fan and Simon came in as a love interest and I gagged. However, during every re-read, I love Simon more. He is an adorable nerd who is simply just in love with his best friend. It’s kind of tragic and definitely cliche, but the growth of his character over the series is one of my favourites. Alongside Isabelle. That is in the other books though, not City of Bones.
There is some hardcore girl competition too. Neither Isabelle or Clary like each other in this book and it makes me sad since I am such an advocate for girl friendships in books. It gets better later, but I feel if Cassie Clare had had the friendship grow from the book once it would have been a lot better.
This book is also pretty messy. The writing style is all over the place and my friend who’s studying nursing says all of the medical terminologies throughout this series is wrong. Which, are only little things but they amuse me so I feel you should be aware. I do love the humour throughout City of Bones but I’ve heard it’s been ripped off from Buffy The Vampire Slayer? I’m not sure, just covering my bases so no one yells at me for being naive.
The plot line and plot twist in this book make me gag though, every time. I feel like everyone knows what the twist is but if not skip this part because of spoilers. The fact that Jace and Clary are portrayed as siblings (which gets proven wrong in book three) but remain romantically involved or have been romantically involved makes me want to throw up. Honestly, what the heck was Cassie thinking? Possibly the most disturbing storyline ever, especially for me considering I had step-brothers when I read this book and thought of them as bio brothers and could never imagine what Jace and Clary do.
I also just want to say I hate Magnus. I’m not sure what it is but I’ve never meshed well with his character. This is an irrelevant part of my review but I do like his growth with Alec and I felt I should mention this, if not briefly.
Ultimately, is City of Bones a good book? No. Will I still give it five stars for nostalgia? Yes. This is definitely a great series to use to transition into the fantasy world when you just start reading. It’s what I used it as. It is also just a great series for me when I don’t look in analytically. It’s like a big warm hug and coming home.
Happy reading everyone!
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