Book Review → City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Book 1 in the Mortal Instruments series

Young Adult Fiction // Categories: Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: March 27, 2007
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster)
Format: Paperback • 485 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

Other books by Cassandra Clare: The Infernal Devices trilogy, Lady Midnight

The nice thing about being one of the last people on Earth to start The Mortal Instruments series is that I can express all my feelings + frustrations and you would most likely know exactly what I'm talking about. And I have a lot of those. A lot of the things that happened got physical reactions from me—the eye-popping-out-of-my-sockets thing (O_O), a head-desk, the jaw drop, a book drop, etc. and I think that's one of the reasons this book is so well-liked.

While I have been exposed to many different opinions about this series, I don't think it affected my reading experience. For as long as this book has been out, I (surprisingly) was not spoiled for anything. And since it has been out for quite some time, there's been less buzz.

If, for some reason, you've heard nothing about City of Bones, it follows a girl named Clary who discovers Shadowhunters and their world after accidentally watching them kill a demon at a nightclub. Turns out, Clary is more involved in this world than you know.

Because City of Bones is driven by plot, I had a hard time moving forward when the characters weren't fighting demons or discovering a new secret. I wanted them to be DOING something instead of sitting around and chatting. There were a lot of new things to learn, and world-building is necessary to fully understand all that's happening, but it was TOO MUCH in such a small amount of time. When Clare wants to share new information with us, Clary just listens to someone tell a story. And to be honest, I felt disconnected because Clary wasn't verbally involved.

I can tell the series will improve though, especially since all the "basics" have been explained. Now the action can continue onward! There were a multitude of good (and strange) surprises in City of Bones, and those are what will remind me to pick up City of Ashes, the sequel.

It gets spoilery from here on out, so this is your cue to avoid the rest of this post if you haven't read City of Bones yet! 🎶 Don't say I didn't (say I didn't) warn ya ... 🎶


Clary: Is this when you start tearing strips off your T-shirt to bind up my wound?
Jace: If you wanted me to rip my clothes off, you should have just asked.

Jace: Oh dear, I hope that wasn't anything important.
Clary: It was a sleeping potion, and now it's gone.
Jace: If only Simon were here. He could probably bore you to sleep.

Jace: Do you remember back at the hotel when you promised that if we lived, you'd get dressed up in a nurse's outfit and give me a sponge bath?
Clary: Actually, I think you misheard. It was Simon who promised you the sponge bath.
Simon: As soon as I'm back on my feet, handsome.

Jace: Somehow, I thought it would be bigger.
Isabelle: It's the Mortal Cup, Jace, not the Mortal Toliet Bowl.

Clary: So when the moon's only partly full, you only feel a little wolfy?
Luke: You could say that.
Clary: Well, you can go ahead and hang your head out the car window if you feel like it.
Luke: I'm a werewolf, not a golden retriever.


THE CUP IN THE CARD — To have some sort of leverage, I feel like Clary should've taken the card with her to the Institute and demanded her mom back first. If she's the only one (aside from her mom) who knows how to draw the rune, no one else can retrieve the Mortal Cup ... right? At the very least, there would have been a bigger struggle! But instead, Hodge just snatches it out of her hand and has his pet bird attack her. Great.

SPEAKING OF HODGE (NOTE: THE FLASH TV SHOW SPOILERS) — I suspected a bit of evilness in Hodge, but I think it's because I've been influenced by season one of The Flash, haha. I even pictured him in a wheelchair ...

I LOVE YOU (I KNOW) — Clare hints at Simon's feelings for Clary early on, but it's revealed around the halfway mark. Did anyone feel uncomfortable during Simon's declaration? I personally felt offended when he told Clary his past girlfriends were just "practice." Maybe instead of messing around with other girls, you could have told Clary how you felt. Sorry I don't feel sorry for you, Simon!!! (Okay, maybe I do ... just a bit.)

LONELY LUKE — I know Luke meant the best for Clary, but what did he think would happen to her if he continued to hide from her? Surely he didn't think she'd be safe after her mom was taken away.

LIKE BROTHER, LIKE SISTER — Jace and Clary have the same parents. Jace and Clary are SIBLINGS. WHAT??? SO WEIRD. I wonder if this was inspiration from Star Wars, because I caught at least two references while reading.


If you've finished the entire series, which book would you say takes it from good to EXCELLENT? What do you think about all the crazy surprises Clare added to City of Bones?


  1. I am surprised you haven't read these before! I remember liking this series, but I lost steam on it after reading the fourth book. However, I LOVED LOVED The Infernal Devices! For me, that's when it got excellent. :) (But I love steampunk, so that helps.)

  2. Ah, City of Bones! I barely remember this novel, really, but once you began to mention certain details, it started coming back to me. I can't wait to reread it and see what I think of this story now!