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

City of Bones CoverFrom Goodreads.com: 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.

Why I Chose It: I’d heard a lot of good things about Cassandra Clare so I wanted to check her out.

The Review:

I didn’t really have expectations about this book when I started reading it, because although I had heard that people liked Cassandra Clare, I didn’t actually know what her books were about. And becasue I had no expectations, the book started off pretty good for me. I liked Clary as a character,  and the opening events were pretty intriguing. Mysterious forces at play, strangers with weird tattoos – I was definitely interested in seeing where the story would go.

But I kind of feel like the further I got into the book, the less I liked it. I think I expected the book to do some really interesting things, but I kept feeling disappointed. For example, when vampires were introduced into the story line, I definitely thought “Oh…it’s a vampire book. :/” And then of course we had to have a battle scene between vampires and werewolves – something that’s been done many times before. It just felt like every time something new was introduced to the storyline, it was something I had seen before, and not something really unique. Now I know that there are some characteristics that authors might be constricted by – i.e. vampires and werewolves are enemies – but I would like to see authors doing something slightly different with it, something interesting and not so run-of-the-mill.

Now that’s not to say that Clare did not do some interesting things, because she did. The weird tattoos on people were actually runes, drawn on to protect them, give them strength and allow them to move faster. I thought that was a neat touch. Overall, I liked the idea of the Shadowhunters fighting all the bad demons in the world. I also found that there was some interesting comparisons going on with old stereotypes of powers (like Tarot cards) and new forms of power (like the Shadowhunters).

Cover close up

Still, overall I found too many characteristics of the story were familiar to me. I just didn’t feel like any part was overly unique or stood out. Now, this may be a completely personal reaction to the story. I have to admit that I’ve been getting a little tired of YA Fantasy. I still love the genre, but I’m finding that a lot of books I’m reading are similar to each other and not very unique. This is especially pronounced in a lot of the vampire books I’ve been reading. But I recognize that this is entirely a personal reaction, and many readers have enjoyed this book a lot.

So in summary, there were a few interesting things I found in the book that were neat to read. And while I may not have appreciated it fully, any vampire/werewolf/demon hunter lover will probably want to check this out!

Rating: 2.5 / 5

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2 comments on “City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare

  1. I felt the exact same way that you do when I read City of Bones….then on a whim I read Clockwork Angel and it made me fall in love with Clare’s world!

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