Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

The cover actually put me off it. The blurb on my copy is also dreadful…

I decided to read City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare, on a whim. I had seen a few shots of the cast – the movie is currently filming – and a friend had told me they were excellent, so when I saw a box set of the first three books in The Mortal Instruments series, I decided to buy it.

I’m not sure if this is the official poster, but it conveys the point…

I’ve just finished it, and it’s good. I wouldn’t call it the best book I’ve ever read, but it’s worth a read.

City of Bones follows the story of Clary Fray, a fifteen year old girl living in New York. One day at a club, she sees a demon being killed. Over the next few days her life gets thrown into chaos, as she realises that there’s a whole other side of the world that she hasn’t been able to see. Shadowhunters roam the streets, killing demons and keeping “the Accords” (a peace agreement). After her mother is abducted, she is taken to the Institute, a sort of headquarters for Shadowhunters in New York.

She then hears about the Uprising, a time when a Shadowhunter called Valentine attempted to rid the world of all Downworlders (demons, vampires, werewolves etc.). He is thought to be dead, along with his wife, and the Mortal Cup – a cup that can turn people into Shadowhunters.

But Clary soon discovers that Valentine’s death was not what it seemed, and that she is involved in this new world. And what part did her mother play?

It can be a little slow in places, and it certainly left me with more questions than answers, but I’m sure they’ll all be answered in the sequels. The characters are great, even if Clary is a bit of a Mary Sue, and the plot leaves nothing to be desired. There was not one, but two Star Wars moments, in about as many chapters, but that was fine – quite a big plot twist, but not completely unexpected.

All in all, City of Bones is quite a good book. It’s not amazing, but it’s certainly worth a read, and I’m a bit biased, as this sort of genre isn’t always my cup of tea. . I give it three and a half out of five.

On a different note, I recently attended the book launch of Derek Landy’s new book “Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked.” I haven’t started reading it yet, but from the blurb, and the way Derek talked about it on the day, it seems very good.


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