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

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra ClareTitle: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare
Publishing Info: March 27, 2007 by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 6, 2012

    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.

Breaking It Down Further: When Clary Fray stumbles upon a group of Shadowhunters – and a full paranormal world that normal humans don’t even know exists – she begins to rethink her whole path in life… And how normal the paranormal actually feels. The Shadowhunters (specifically Jace, Isabelle, and Alec) inadvertently take on Clary when her mother goes missing with several signs of foul play, including obvious demon attacks. The more Clary learns about this new world, the more she worries for the safety of her mother from the powerful and dangerous force that is Valentine.


Hmmm. I really enjoyed this book, but I still have somewhat of a mixed review!  First, as a die hard Harry Potter fan, I couldn’t help but see sooo many similarities!

Harry Potter                                   City of Bones
Voldemort                                      Valentine
Deathly Hallows                            Mortal Instruments
Ancient Runes                               Runes
Wormtail                                        Simon’s accidental transformation
Harry orphaned by evil                Jace orphaned by evil/Clary almost orphaned
Hogwarts                                        The Institute

Totally not knocking it! I’m just saying that I couldn’t help but constantly see all the similarities!

For some reason this is how I’m picturing Jace (Kyle Schmid)? Anyone else?

Okay, so now more into the review. I really enjoyed the amount of sarcasm in the book. I love sarcasm and snarky and I think books need more of that nowadays! I loved Jace’s cocky attitude since it was cocky in a way that was humorous and not pretentious. I liked seeing Clary grow throughout the book and her developing friendships/relationships with Jace/Simon. What I wasn’t really a fan of was the secondary characters. I didn’t really see a whole lot in Isabelle or Alec and since it’s a series, I’m sure they’ll be more developed later on, but in this book, I didn’t really see the point so much.

As for the story — I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I just get paranormal overload. Along with the Shadowhunters who fight the demons, there are still several (or tons, I should say) of “downworlders” who are other paranormals who came from a combination of angels/humans/demons, etc. Along with Shadowhunters, we have the demons, but then vampires, werewolves, pixies, faeries, selkies, and so many more. I was just overloaded with all of the paranormal beings and I’m not sure it was entirely necessary. Again –  since it’s a series, that may play out later. We’ll have to see!

I really did like the development of how the Shadowhunter’s world works and all of the rules and practices. I’m hoping there’s a little bit more focus and development of this in future books because I’m really interested in learning more about this world, and I’m super anxious to see Clary find her place in it!

I felt like there were a little too many similes and metaphors for my taste. They all made sense — It wasn’t like it was random — But I feel like overuse of similes and metaphors takes away from writing rather than enhancing it. I was distracted by some of them, actually, instead of having them enhance the picture in my mind. I think part of the reason is because I get really vivid pictures in my head when I read the story and even if it’s not exactly what the author is thinking, I like to be able to paint my own picture. Sometimes they really distracted me from how I was picturing things.

Um, for all of those people who have already read this (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t) – Let’s talk about this twist at the end. Does this have a better answer!? I was completely blown away (and maybe a little embarrassed that I didn’t see it coming…) but also weirded out. I’m not sure if I got turned off by it or really interested to see how that works out in the next book!

Overall, I really enjoyed it! I definitely look forward to reading the next in the series.


4/5 stars
I actually kind of went back and forth between 3.5 and 4 stars for this, but ultimately decided on 4 stars.

If You Liked This, You Might Like… 
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling — I just couldn’t help by make comparisons! I think HP fans will like this book and vice versa
The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead — I think this could be a good match also. Not your ordinary vampire story, it’s a bit of different “rules” as well as a bit of magic built into its own world. I’m only 2 books in but loving it so far!

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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9 thoughts on “City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare

  1. Kelly

    I read this book awhile ago, but I actually remember not being too thrilled by it. So many people I know loved it, though, so maybe I should give it another shot. I’m very glad you liked it, though! Great review! 😀

  2. M

    This series is my fiction crack. I know there’s better out there, but it’s so addictive. And she’s so prolific! It’s easy to get immersed in the world. Also- Jace = idealized Draco Malfoy.

  3. sunshinetree

    haha the ending also weird-ed me out!! I was like “Oh no she is not going to go there!” and then “Oh I guess she is”….but I admit that twist made me go onto the second book, and now I’m looking forwarded to starting book three!

  4. Persephone

    I keep passing this book because of the similarities to Harry Potter. It’s like I want to read it because people like it so it has to be a decent book. Then again, I don’t really want to read it because so many people like it (I’m afraid of the Twilight Effect). I’m stuck.

    I’ll probably end up picking the book later on because I really love sarcastic and snarky characters. Since it is similar to Harry Potter, is there someone who reminds you of Snape?

    1. Brittany

      I’d recommend it! I think it was worth the read.
      And I could also maybe pin Hodge as a Snape type character. Sort of a combination of a lot of the professors!


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