Book Review: City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare
City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

I’ve been curious about the Mortal Instruments series for a while, a few of my friends have read them and recommended them. Plus they have pretty good reviews. So I brought a copy of the first book in the series – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare a few weeks back.
And then I really struggled to want to read it. Let me explain why.
The blurb on the back cover of my copy says this:

Clary Fray is seeings things: vampires in Brooklyn and werewolves in Manhattan. Irresistibly drawn to a group of sexy demon hunters, Clary encounters the dark side of New York City – and the dangers of forbidden love.

Mythical creatures I’m all for – even if vampires and werewolves have been WAY overdone lately. The problem I have is with “sexy demon hunters” and “forbidden love”. This makes it sound like some erotic mythical creature fetish – which I assure you – it’s not (thank God).

Clary is 15 years old – petite with red hair – she’s the daughter of an overprotective mother and has few friends. Her regular hang out is Pandemonium a nightclub with a buzzing teen night. However this time when she enters the club with her best friend in tow – she witnesses a murder but the body disappears in seconds.
Later Clary learns that the murderers are Shadowhunters – who only she can see. She is thrown in at the deep end of their world when her mother goes missing from their home and Clary is attacked by a demon left behind to guard the house.
What a demon would want with her or her mother Clary has no idea, but she is determined to find her mother and as secrets unfold – to find out who her mother really is.

All the characters in the book are very different from each other – they have all their own strong points and even Jace, who is a complete jerk 99% of the time is very likeable. However none of the characters are perfect, they all have their own issues and towards the end of the book this starts to show through.

The book brings in different world views on things such as racism (or speciesism as it mostly is in this book), homosexuality, tyrants, cults and social divides. The tensions are definitely there and there is a very thin line between what is acceptable to some and what is not. Towards the end of the book it takes a glimpse of how things were when these situations were much worse – making it very clear that they are one move away from an all out bloodbath.

To be honest some of the “twists” in the book were pretty predictable but there were a few that still made me quite shocked, and thus it kept me wanting to read on.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the end of the book – relationships change and twist, which is understandable considering all that has happened but they have that very tense sense of awkwardness – which is uncomfortable to read. It’s like they’re all standing in a room shrugging their shoulders and saying “well… what now?”.

That said, the story is clearly not over – although plenty of loose ends have been tied up in this book, you’ll definitely be wanting to know what happens next. Which is why when I was getting close to the end, I ordered the second book.

Great young adult book – which is more complex than it seems on the surface.


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