Becky’s One Hundred and Sixteenth Book Review: “City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare

There is all this hype about the Mortal Instrument’s series, the books are selling like crazy, a movie has been made…so I decide to check it out. I figure it can go a few different ways. It could be like the Hunger Games which was a fantastic read, or it could be like Twilight series where I just kept praying that Buffy would come in and kill them all. I started reading “City of Bones” and while I knew that it was a young adult novel, I still thought it had quite a bit of predictability to it. Then I kept reading. 

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the direction that “City of Bones” went. I think that Cassandra Clare has a unique voice and a wonderful imagination. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Let me discuss a bit what it was about, shall we?

“City of Bones” is focused around a girl named Clary. The world she knows is one where she is an only child, her father died when she was a baby, she lives with her mother, she has a best friend named Simon, she goes to school, she hangs with her friends, life is pretty normal. Then one night, she is out at a club with Simon and she sees something. What more – no one else CAN see it. “If there is one thing she was learning from all this, it was how easy it was to lose everything you had always thought you’d have forever” (City of Bones, pg 160).

An entire world that Clary never knew existed begins to unravel and reveal itself. In the center of this world is a boy named Jace. Clary and Jace have a budding friendship that really bothers Simon. This is clear pretty much from the beginning, but is repeated again and again. “His eyes were narrowed, as if he half-expected her to tell him that none of it was true and Jace was actually a dangerous escaped lunatic she’d decided to befriend on humanitarian grounds” (City of Bones, pg 117). I like this quote because it shows Simon’s reaction to Jace and it also is an excellent display of the humor that Cassandra Clare distributes throughout her novel. 

Clary only finds out about this world when she gets a frantic call from her mom telling her not to come home. Like any good teenager, she promptly ignores her mom’s instructions and rushes home. She finds her apartment wrecked and ends up in a struggle for her life. After that, all the secrets begin spilling out and Clary finds herself in a whirlwind adventure that she never could have imagined. She is injured and brought to the ‘secret headquarters’ if you will where there are others like Jace who fight demons and those who teach along with a blue cat who was a fun addition to the character list. “…[Jace] was walking a few paces ahead of them, apparently conversing with the cat. Clary wondered what they were talking about. Politics? Opera? The high price of tuna?” (City of Bones, pg 135). Again with the subtle humor. 

I don’t want to give too much away because, although I thought this book was a bit predictable in the beginning, there were some outrageous twists that I never saw coming. Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think that it was a fun read and it was quick to get through as well. It would appeal to a wide range of audiences. I think that Cassandra Clare has a unique idea with this series and I hope the rest of the books are as enjoyable as this one was. 

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