Book Review: City of Bones

Well, it is now Week One of My Mortal Instruments Month of April reading challenge!  I am very excited to starting this series, especially with the release of City of Lost Souls just 4 weeks away!!

For those of you who are not aware, the aim of this reading challenge is to connect with other bloggers who have either already read and love the series or are (like me) just now reading this series for the first time.  I want to link up reviews and get in discussions about this interesting series!

Reading Calendar

April 10th City of Bones (Book #1)
April 17th City of Ashes (Book #2)
April 24th City of Glass (Book #3)
May 1st City of Fallen Angels (Book #4)

Here is my Book Review of City of Bones, followed by Discussion questions and a linky for your reviews of City of Bones!

Title/Author:  City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
(The Mortal Instruments #1)

Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Published:  March 27th, 2007 by Simon Pulse

Hardcover, 485 pages

How I Got This Book:  Checked it out from my library

Why I Picked It Up?:  This was another series that I kind of let pass me by, as it came out when I was entering college and left a lot of my new reading behind.  So I am picking it up now because a lot of people adore this series!

Book Jacket Blurb:  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.”

My Review of the Work:

Somehow, I have avoided all knowledge of this series, which is a rare thing for me.  So imagine my surprise when I start reading and realize this is a book about demon-hunters!  LOL.  Really, I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA that this series was a paranormal fantasy novel.  But this was a pleasant surprise, as the paranormal fantasy aspects of this novel is what drives the story at a quick pace!

The story revolves around Clary (short for Clarissa) Fray, just your average teenage girl living in New York City.  She spends her time either sketching or hanging out with her best friend, Simon.  One night they are at a local teens club, and Clary sees a group of teenagers that look to have weapons in their hands.  By the time she finds them, they have captured and killed a boy, and that boy just disappeared!  Come to find out, Simon couldn’t see them, leaving Clary in a bit of a confused state.  Soon after that night, she is thrust into a world she didn’t even know existed–the world of Shadowhunters, those angelic warriors who fight and kill demons.

This is my first experience with the Urban Fantasy genre, so honestly, I had no idea what to expect.  But I was completely shocked with the fantastical elements and characters included in this story:  vampires (of the non-sparkly form), werewolves, faeries, warlocks, angels, demons.  Yes please!  I absolutely loved the direction Clare takes with these elements.  The world within The Mortal Instruments series is so vivid and confluent of the different underground fantastical worlds.  And how all of these worlds unfold with Clary is as realistic as a fantasy novel can get.

As for the characters in this novel, I feel like there could have been more depth.  Each of the main characters and major minor characters are introduced in an easy way, but I feel like a lot of the characters got shafted with regards to their depth in this novel.  This is probably due to the quickness of the plot and the whole “laying of the foundation for the series” thing, but I just kept finding myself wanting a little bit more.  I mean, this story is predominantly told from the third-person view of Clary, but the perspective does shift every once and a while.  I feel like Clare missed a couple of opportunities to add a little more character depth in these moments of shifted perspective, but it didn’t take away from my reading experience.

As for the swoon-worthy scale, just four letters:  J. A. C. E.  He is the kind of bad-boy good guy hero you want to fall in love with, and I do appreciate that Clare at least took the time to give his character some depth, for he is the one I kept wanting to know more about (probably because I turned in to a 15 year old girl while reading this novel haha).  His sarcastic manner makes him a bad-boy, but his caring spirit makes him the good guy.  And that is the best of both worlds.  But at the same time, you just can’t forget about Simon.  Simon, the best friend part of the love triangle.  Simon, the sweet and caring guy who is just waiting for the right moment.  Every one needs a Simon in their life.  But will it be Simon or Jace?  That is the question.

Overall I thought that City of Bones was a solid foundation for what seems to be a very interesting series, and I cannot wait to continue reading it!

I will refrain from speaking about some of the more delicate plot twists and developments, as my discussion questions below address them.  But I will end with saying that I immediately picked up City of Ashes when I finished this novel because I just HAD to find out!

Please, join me in discussing the questions below by leaving a comment about your answers and opinions.  I really want to talk about this series with you!

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Fourth Shelf Book!

This is a solid series opener that creates a paranormal world that is completely interesting and full of surprises and room for plot development.  A fun, exciting, and gripping storyline filled with characters that are always surprising you and moments that shock you.  A solid series opener, and I cannot wait to continue!

Discussion Questions:  (please remember to keep these series spoiler free!  This discussion only includes City of Bones)

1.  The Power of Names–I have avoided any knowledge of this series before reading them, so I don’t know how this whole love triangle thing works out in the story.  However, I feel like Cassandra doesn’t even give Simon a fair shot with Clary because his name is SIMON, and his competition is a guy named JACE.  This doesn’t seem like a fair competition to me simply because of the attractiveness of a name like Jace and the puniness of a name like Simon.  Does anyone else feel this way?

2.  As I did a little review-reading, I know that a lot of people had some beef with the similarities between this story and series like Harry Potter and Star Wars among others (Buffy, etc).  Did this create problems for you?  Or did you just look past the similarities to enjoy this story as it stands?

3.  As I am trying to be as vague as possible–the ending?  Was/is anyone else upset by this?  Because I am completely!

4.  Who is your favorite character so far and why?

And here is the Linky!  If you have reviewed this novel before, link up your reviews so that any newbies (myself included) can read your opinions about this novel.  And if you haven’t read it yet, feel free to link up when you do review it!

That’s all for now!
Love and hot tattooed men,
Jennifer

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