Book Review: City of Bones

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. . . (


As I started reading the first chapter of this book I knew I was already hooked. By the time I finished the chapter I had so many questions flowing through my head. I didn’t want to stop reading. So, naturally, I didn’t. In the following chapters I discovered Clary and her mother, Jocelyn, were going through a “rough patch” in their relationship with each other. Clary seemed to me to be an unreasonable teenager with an attitude. She seemed a little selfish and dramatic at the time—which I guess fits the teen stereotype; though, being eighteen, I turned my nose up at it, and I feel I have room to think of it distastefully.

After I got through that, the book really started getting good. Jace comes back, seeming to me to be looking for Clary after spotting them when she wasn’t supposed to have the “Sight.” Clary’s mother is assumed to be dead, killed by demons. Clary is also attacked by a demon, but she’s somehow able to kill it. Then, they realize she isn’t a mundane (A.K.A. human); she’s a Shadowhunter.

I don’t want to give too many spoilers away, so I’ll cut it down for you! I was like, “OH MY WORD!” And then I was like, “Oh… all right then.” And then I was like, “OH NO YOU DIDN’T! There has to be a writing rule that forbids that!” Long pause. “IT’S PERFECT!”

Yeah, you get the idea. I know the book is good when I have those reactions–when I’m yelling, crying, laughing at the characters; it’s a good book if I do that. And I did that constantly while reading City of Bones. I think I probably laughed more than anything. (Maybe that’s why I wouldn’t read the book anywhere else but my room, that way no one would ask, “What is it? What’s so funny?” because then I’d have to stop reading to explain. And that wasn’t happening.)

Cassandra Clare has a beautiful style of writing. The language she uses and the way she executes the story with her sharp yet smooth words captivated me. I can’t remember the last book I read that the words and flow themselves left me speechless.

In the end, there is a surprise, something I really, really didn’t see coming. But, like you read above: “IT’S PERFECT!”

Kind of… I mean, it took me by such surprise I hated the idea at first, and I almost wanted to put it down. But, there were unresolved issues, and I told myself to finish the book at least, that I didn’t have to read the others. But I guess it grew on me, because when I finished the book, I was literally aching to read the sequel, City of Ashes.

When a book leaves me feeling like this—happy, sad, lonely, fulfilled, satisfied, sore from sitting in one spot too long as hours pass reading—I know it’s a great book.

And it was. It was a great book.

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