Review of City of Bones


While at a club with her best friend Simon, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray sees a strange-looking boy disappearing around a corner. Curious, she follows him and finds him in a storage closet about to be killed by three other teenagers. Before her eyes, the boy is slain and the other teenagers inform Clary that he was a demon. They also let her know that she’s not supposed to be able to see people like the teenagers. They’re Nephilim, and if Clary can see them, she must be one as well. Clary doesn’t believe this claim, but is intrigued by Jace, Isabelle, and Alec. Jace offers to introduce Clary to his tutor the next day, but before she can meet him, Clary receives a panicked call from her mother, commanding Clary not to come home. When the line goes dead, Clary immediately ignores her mother’s order and runs to her apartment. There, she finds another demon waiting for her, and though she defeats it, is injured by its poison. Jace takes her to the Institute, where he lives and is educated, for treatment. There, Clary is healed and subsequently learns that she is not the person she’s been led to believe. Not only is she a Shadowhunter like Jace and his friends, her mother and father were as well. With this knowledge, Clary sets out to find her missing mother as well as her own identity. Clare’s book takes the reader on a journey of discovery, romance, and danger, and is quite a page turner.

 This is not the first of Clare’s books that I have read. City of Bones is part of a series called The Mortal Instruments, and it has a sister series called The Infernal Devices, from which I have read Clockwork Angel. I very much enjoyed Clockwork Angel and was surprised when I heard that Clare’s writing was not regarded as the best; I thought Clockwork Angel was very well done. However, now that I have read City of Bones, which was her first published book, I can see where the negative comments came from. Clare’s book is a good length for her story, but within her writing, she can be a little long-winded. She occasionally tells us how a character is feeling instead of letting us find out through their actions, and she’s a fan of the long, complicated metaphor.
Even with all of this, I read the book all the way through and plan to read the others. The writing may not be perfect, but the plotting is well done and well- paced. I will be the first to admit that it is a set-up you’ve seen before, but nonetheless, it held my interest for the duration. Also, as a writer, I respect a fellow composer that grows as her work goes on, and Clockwork Angel shows Clare’s development. I think Clare is an excellent creator of well-rounded characters, and I cared about all of them. City of Bones is an easy, enjoyable read. If you enjoy supernatural suspense and action, definitely check out this series.


Posted on December 25, 2011, in Books, Rachel, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’ve been hearing a lot about Cassandra Clare–I even had the opportunity to hear her read at the National Book Festival–but I still haven’t read a thing by her. That certainly needs to change! 😀

    • Definitely! As I wrote, her writing has really grown and improved since this first endeavour of hers, so she’s definitely worth a read!

      Thank you for your comment- you’re our first! (Also, I checked out your blog- it looks awesome!)

    • I’ve only read two of her books myself, but I’d go with the first one I ever read: Clockwork Angel. It’s the same general world as City of Bones, but the characters are a bit different. I’d say they’re just as dynamic and well-rounded as the people in CoB, but as I mentioned in the review, CA is more skillfully written.

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