Review: City of Bones

Title: City of Bones
Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book 1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (2005)
Genre: young adult, urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Pages: 485

When 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 odd markings. This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons–and keeping the odd werewoldves and vampires in line. It’s also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengence, when her mother disapears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

The jacket copy makes this book sound like way more of a paranormal romance than it really is. The romance is there, yes, but it’s a largely action-driven book. There is never  a dull moment, and usually the characters are running around, solving puzzles, or fighting demons. The emotional conflicts are balanced really well with all the action.

Despite being almost 500 pages long, this is a really fast read. It just clips along, almost never standing still, which keeps you engaged and intrigued. And the characters are all really interesting and memorable, even the ones you only see for a short time. No one is forgettable.

As much as I loved the book, though, it was really predictable. I was never actually surprised by anything. It wasn’t that I saw everything coming, I just caught on way faster than any of the main characters. There were certain “oh gasp!” moments towards the end, which I’d picked up on within the first hundred pages of the book. This didn’t keep me from loving the book, but it did lesson the experience a bit, especially when the characters were finally having understandable reactions to everything, and I’d already reacted, dealt with, and moved on.

The cover’s not bad, but it could be better. It drew me to the book, but having read the book, it doesn’t really represent it to me. The interior is nice and simple though, very lovely in its own way.

Ultimately, I was really reminded of both Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in all the best ways. (one of my old housemates pointed this out, and it is so true!)

About Lucy

If you want to get fancy, Lucy lives in Portland, OR, and has a MA in Writing/Book Publishing, with a focus on Young Adult Literature, and a heaping disregard for literary snobbishness (she was an English Major–she’s seen and spouted her fair share). She works as a social media marketer, and has dabbled in developmental editing as a freelancer.
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