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City of Bones

by Cassandra Clare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Shadowhunter Chronicles (2007-1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
19,185857217 (3.84)378
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.
  1. 160
    City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (jemsbookblog)
  2. 60
    Tithe by Holly Black (wegc)
    wegc: Both Tithe and City of Bones are about a girl who discovers she is part of a hidden supernatural world full of rivalries and danger.
  3. 40
    The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (stephxsu)
    stephxsu: Lots of action, richly described alt. world setting, and Nick and Jace are similarly attractive bad boys
  4. 30
    The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (SunnySD)
    SunnySD: If you like strong, determined female leads with hidden depths, plenty of action, adventure and intrigue....
  5. 20
    Forsaken by Jana Oliver (SunnySD)
  6. 20
    Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (HatsForMice)
    HatsForMice: Girl pulled into a fantasy world only to discover she's a part of it. Stephanie/Valkyrie is a stronger character than Clary, too. Obviously this is for a slightly younger readership, so if you're in it for the romance, you won't find it here until the 4th book.… (more)
  7. 10
    The Watcher by Lisa Voisin (stevensclare)
  8. 10
    Underfors by Maria Turtschaninoff (julienne_preacher)
  9. 23
    Marked by P. C. Cast (kassyavon)
  10. 211
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (MyriadBooks)

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City of Bones
3 Stars

Strong world building but the teenage sniping and romantic angst illustrates once again why I dislike reading YA (I had enough of this nonsense in high school and I have no wish to relive it in my reading).

None of the characters are particularly likable, and there is a complete lack of camaraderie between the so-called protagonists. What should come across as friendly teasing and ribbing is actually harsh and cold, and the derogatory comments are delivered not softly with a hint of humor but with scorn and a tinge of malice. There is also an unappealing elitist and prejudiced undercurrent in their words and behavior that makes it difficult to identify with them.

That said, Clary turns out to be a courageous heroine and the gradual buildup of her relationship with Jace is very appealing. Jace, however, can be an obnoxious jerk although he does have his intriguing moments of vulnerability and some slight romantic hero potential, but he isn't quite there yet.

The plot is engaging and the basic premise of a villain with a racist ideology in search of a cup that can help him build an army is compelling, if unoriginal. Moreover, the main antagonist, while despicable, does not have that all encompassing, menacing and world destroying evil that characterizes other works of epic fantasy. Clare's writing also lacks the creativity, foreshadowing, intertextuality and language construction of these stories, i.e. Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, and Harry Potter.

On a final note, the Star Wars inspired twist at the end turns the book into a soap opera. Unfortunately, I have a very unhealthy addiction to soaps (they are like watching a train wreck - you just can't help yourself) and now I'm going to have to continue to find out if this travesty is going in the direction I think it is.

Narration: Ari Graynor's narration is not the best - even those characters who are adults sound like snotty teens. I've learned that subsequent books have a different narrator so I will probably listen to the next one as well. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 5, 2023 |
the characters and dialogue were atrocious , i want to cry ... the infodump was very bad and the twist at the end is soooo unnecessary and made me feel uncomfortable .. ( )
  Jessicaby234 | Apr 30, 2023 |
Though I am not in the target demographic by more than a few years, I do enjoy reading a lot of YA fiction. The Gone novels by Michael Grant being a particular favorite of mine, and I have read Harry Potter and Twilight (talk about going from one extreme to the other). I picked up the first book in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, CITY OF BONES, because it had some plot elements that appealed to me, namely old school supernatural monsters like vampires and werewolves, not to mention warlocks, spells and magic. I went into this series cold, not having seen any of the TV and screen adaptations, and with no knowledge of the controversy surrounding the author with charges of outright plagiarism, not to mention a general reputation for very unoriginal writing.

That CITY OF BONES cribs most of its plot, characters, and themes, from Harry Potter and Star Wars is evident before the half way mark. The central character is Clary Fray, a fifteen year old girl who is drawn into the paranormal world of the Shadowhunters, an ancient society of warriors who battle monsters and demons who escape to earth from Downworld. As the story unfolds, Clary becomes aware that she has more than a passing connection to these Shadowhunters and the teenage boy, Jace Wayland, who leads the group she falls in with. Jace seems to be a dreamier version of Draco Malfoy, and there are other characters who are equal parts knock off versions of Hermione Granger, Ron and Ginny Weasley, Lupin and Snape, Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black, not to mention Padme and Professor X for good measure. The Big Bad of the story is named Valentine, whose name shares a first letter of the alphabet with Voldemort and Darth Vader, and whose motivation is very similar to Magneto’s. Simon, Clary’s muggle—I mean mundane—best friend, who is obviously in love with her even if she doesn’t notice it, bares more than a passing resemblance to Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There’s a plot twist near the end of the book involving Clary, Jace, and Valentine that would make even George Lucas groan. Bottom line, the whole book felt like a huge cut and paste job from the most popular pop culture phenomenas of the past few decades.

All that being said, I certainly didn’t hate CITY OF BONES in the way that other reviewers who poured their wrath and venom on the book, as most YA fiction, especially when it comes to the paranormal, are hardly original. I think Cassandra Clare was just a little more blatant about it, and her past FF writing didn’t endear her to many readers. As unoriginal as it might be, CITY OF BONES held my interest, and I kept turning the pages to see what happened next. My biggest complaint is that Clare wrote the book from Clary’s POV through a shaky 3rd person when the story would have been much better served by having told in 1st person with Clary’s voice clear and present. But that leads to another problem in that Clary, as written, comes off as vague and generic when she needs to be distinct and unique. CITY OF BONES was written in the mid 2000s, back before the insufferable teenage girl had become such a trope, but a little more attitude it would have helped her character a lot. I kept thinking that the story would have been so much better if it had been told from the POV of Jace, or Alec and Isabelle Lightwood, even Simon, all of whom had some real personality.

As the first book in a series, the finale of CITY OF BONES felt very anticlimactic, with dangling plot threads in all directions, and for that reason, I am going to give Cassandra Clare, and CITY OF ASHES, a chance. ( )
  wb4ever1 | Apr 25, 2023 |

I don't really know what to say about this book.I'mm just glad that I didn't buy a box set,which I probably would never have done anyways!I'm not a shadowhunter,guys.I'm just not.The only person I loved in this book was Simon.I kinda hated him a bit at time(you know when).I am not a fan of Clary.I do not ship Jace and Clary,no,just no!I don't think I'm going to read the next book.I do NOT remember most of the parts in this book.That's it.It's a no from me.

But I heard that the first book is bad but the rest of the series is awesome..I don't know..I'm confused.. ( )
  GouriReads | Mar 21, 2023 |
When I finished this book, I felt angry with the lack of resolution so I read the 2nd book to find out what happened. After reading the 2nd book, I am stopping because there still has not been enough resolution, and now I don't care enough to want to find out. I don't care for this style of writing where I feel manipulated into wanting to know more, through painstaking withholding of information and cliffhanger-type endings. Instead, I like to care about what happens to the characters because I like them - or have come to care about them despite not liking them because the author has written them with insight and sympathy.
( )
  deemaromer | Feb 23, 2023 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clare, Cassandraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
向慕華Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
რაზმაძ… გიორგიTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bagović, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Breivik, Pål F.Overs.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charton, BénédicteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
管阳阳Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dionisio, IsabellaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
龚萍Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
茹静Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fritz, FrancaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallart, GemmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garcia Pons, AïdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graynor, AriNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Μοσχή, ΦωτεινήTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jinga, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kamper, GergelyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazemian, SaeidehTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klēra, KasandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kořínek, OtakarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koop, HeinrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lafon, JulieTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leskinen, TerhiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luna, José LuísTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maršíková, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murillo, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nunes, PatriciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Otto, NeleToimetajasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paracchini, FabioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perger, AlenkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perschke, Mette SkotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petrukaitis, VytautasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reszka, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reyes, Delos JanisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risheden, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawatzki, AndreaSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stajković, JelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strautniece, IntaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suits, KristaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sussekind, RitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Violin, MelodyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whitman, MaeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Witt, ElsbethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yeniçeri, SelimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Клеър, КасандраTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I have not slept.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing

And the first motion, all the interim is

Like a phantasm, or a hideous dream:

The genius and the mortal instruments

Are then in council; and the state of man,

Like to a little kingdom, suffers then

The nature of an insurrection.

- William Shakespeare,
Julius Caesar
I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night,

Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down

The dark decent, and up to reascend. . .

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
Facilis descensus Averni:

Noctes antque dies patet atri ianua Ditis.

Sed grandium revocare superasque evadere ad auras;

Hoc opus, hic labor, est.

- Virgil, The Aeneid
The descent beckons

as the ascent beckoned.

- William Carlos Williams, The Descent
For my grandfather
First words
"You've got to be kidding me," the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest.
"Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt," she told him.
"I can't help it. I use my rapier wit to hide my inner pain."
"Your pain will be outer soon if you don't get out of traffic. Are you trying to get run over by a cab?"
"Don't be ridiculous," he said. "We could never get a cab that easily in this neighborhood."
"Is this the part where you start tearing off strips of your shirt to bind my wounds?"
"If you wanted me to rip my clothes off, you should have just asked."
"If you were half as funny as you think you are, you'd be twice as funny as you are now."
"Jesus!" Luke exclaimed.
"Actually, it's just me," said Simon. "Although I've been told the resemblance is startling."
"Unfortunately", said Hodge, "we're all out of bitter revenge at the moment, so it's either tea or nothing."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
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...
Haiku summary
trash about Shadowhunters
and forbidden love.

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