Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: City of Bones

 City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, the first in The Mortal Instruments series, came out in 2007. So here I am, four years later, reading it. The book, and I’m assuming the entire series, is aimed at young teen girls who enjoy paranormal worlds and adventures, and fans of the Twilight series. Here’s the back cover blurb:
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 werewolves 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 vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interesting in an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know….
City of Bones has a lot of twists and turns. Clare creates a fully realized alternate world that exists in New York, right alongside the everyday world. This world of vampires, werewolves, demons, Shadowhunters, and more is complex and well thought out. There is so much going on that at times it’s a bit hard to keep up but that’s probably a comment on my aging mind rather than the writing.

The story starts with Clary and her friend Simon at a nightclub. Clary realizes she can see things that Simon can’t. Being the kind of person who steps in to help, she does just that, only to find herself involved in things she shouldn’t be able to see. Once she steps into this world, taking Simon with her, the story revs up the action and revelations.

Despite the fact that I’m a few years past my teens (y’all quit laughing), I enjoyed reading City of Bones.

I give City of Bones by Cassandra Clare a rating of Hel-of-a-Story for teenage girls.
FTC Disclaimer: I did not buy City of Bones, nor did I check it out of a library, nor did I steal it. None of that influenced my review. My son walked out of his room one morning and set four big books on the table. They sat there for days. Finally, I asked him about them and he told me a girl had lent them to him and he was going to return them. They sat there for days until, finally, I picked up the top one and started reading and kept reading, all 485 pages. I’ve told him he can take the books back to his friend since it will probably take me forever to read them all. Apparently his friend is not in a rush to retrieve them. I suspect there will be movies made from the books. I’ll probably go see them. I think it will help if I see characters on-screen calling her Clary. In my head, I kept calling her Clay. Wouldn’t you? I mean, you’re reading fast and you glide across “Clary.” Wouldn’t you think it said Clay? Wouldn’t you? Okay, that’s probably just me.


  1. ...the habits of an admitted book-worm, pick up a stray book, leaf through the pages, and a day later, close the book, having fully absorbed the entire story. Yeah...I've been there.

    Great review, Helen, and I would've no doubt mistaken Clary for Clay as well. I do that all the time when reading ;)


  2. People should not leave books just lying around. It's like catnip to a cat or a diary to anyone with a curious nature to peruse and fall into. It's dangerous.

    Yes, Hel, it's you. I have no trouble with Clary and am probably older than you are. I've also had a good night's sleep, which is rare. Could be the sleep.

  3. "you’re reading fast and you glide across “Clary.” Wouldn’t you think it said Clay? Wouldn’t you? Okay, that’s probably just me.

    And the fact you're, um, only a few years past(lololol!) your teens.

    Actually, I've come across a few YA that have been good reads. I have to keep reminding myself that YA doesn't mean *little kid's reading*. I'll have to check this out.

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  4. I don't read all that many YA books, so I'm always surprised by the writing. Certainly not what I read when I was 13.

  5. I've read 3 of Clare's books and I agree - the setting is very well realized. I enjoyed them & I do read a fair amount of YA :)

  6. These books do seem to be popular with the young and the young at heart. I would probably call her Clare in my head.

  7. Once again, a "Helen Disclaimer" makes my day!

  8. Another great disclaimer. :) I haven't read this, although I enjoy reading (and writing) YA. I tend to stay away from Vampires...

    I think my head would have turned that name into Clare.

  9. Helen, you wouldn't believe the bizarre spellings these dyslexic eyeballs see when they 'glide across' a manuscript.

  10. I do like a story with lots of twists and turns. And four years isn't too bad. I'm only now getting around to reading Harry Potter.

  11. Not my style of read, but score one for another awesome disclaimer!

  12. I can't say it's true of all men, but my son, who read them all, was not a big fan of the books. But that's okay. They seem, from reading this first one, to be aimed at teen female readers. Son didn't hate them, he just wasn't as enthralled as he was with the Potter books.

  13. City of Bones is AWESOME! I'm so glad you liked it.

    And being that I am, in fact, a YA author, I have to give a shout out to the genre in general. There are some amazing books out there and you shouldn't be ashamed to enjoy them.

    (Of course I could be saying that because I read so many of them...I'm a bit biased.)

  14. Maybe when all of the vampire craze dies down...

  15. That sounds like quite a story! Long book though. For some reason, I thought YA books would be shorter, but then I haven't read many of them recently.

    Thanks for the review. Don't know why, but I don't see the +1 on yours and couldn't find it on Marian's either. Since I see it on my own blog, I must be doing something wrong on other people's.


  16. Monti, my +1 is just below where you clicked to comment. There are three lines, the top is to comment, the second are the labels I attached to the post and under that is a group of squares, one of which is the blue +1. Thank you for trying, though!

    It seems to me that if you want to write a YA paranormal series, you almost have to write these involved loooong books.

  17. I'm not sure I could write for teens and admire anyone who does. There is some good reading out there, that's for sure!

  18. Very nice information shared by you. I was just searching this type of information and luckily I got it from your blog. I like your blog also. Keep it up.

  19. This sounds like a very interesting read. I'm sure you're not a day past 16 Hel.....LOL, thanks for coming over to my blog this week.
    I'm a follower


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