Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


Book: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release date: February 19, 2008
Source: Local library

Summary: (from Goodreads) When fifteen-year-old 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 strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing – not even a smear of blood – to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. 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 interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know….

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

First impressions: The opening nightclub scene in NYC was fun and intriguing, so I got hooked in right away. I have to admit, however, that the large Stephenie Meyer quote on the front cover of this edition was distracting. I was not a fan of this cover. It doesn’t have anything to do with my experience with the book matter, but…duly noted.

Lasting impressions: I was not a big fan of the twist at the end. **SPOILER AHEAD** I didn’t want Jace and Clary to be brother/sister. I wanted them to fall in love! It was Luke and Leia disappointment all over again. Sigh.

Negative impressions: I didn’t have major issues with this book. Other than the twist ending and cover, I have no real complaints.

Overall impressions: I really liked this book. From the moment Clary’s mom went missing, I was invested in how Clary was going to get her back. Clare does a good job of setting up some tension in the relationship between Clary, her mother and Luke. From the first scene, we know something is up in this world of the Shadowhunters, and with enough tidbits and clues thrown in along the way, we start to piece together the truth about Clary’s family. I thought the pacing and flow of information to the reader were handled well.

**SPOILER AHEAD**There is also a nice dose of unrequited love thrown in between Clary and Simon, her best friend. Normally this situation is bungled by writers who can’t seem to quite work out how those feelings are discussed among teenagers. Here, I felt Clare had a perfect grasp on what a boy says to his best friend who he happens to love. The scene where this is revealed had spot on dialogue that hit all the right emotions square on the head.

This was a solid book from start to finish, with lots of promise for the rest of the series. I thought Clary was a great protagonist, and her dialogue with Simon and Jace seemed honest and warm. The plot had enough mystery to keep me hooked until the end, and the final battles were well paced. I’m looking forward to the next installment.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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