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The Mortal Instruments 1: City of Bones by…

The Mortal Instruments 1: City of Bones (edition 2010)

by Cassandra Clare

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21,256890200 (3.84)388
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.
Title:The Mortal Instruments 1: City of Bones
Authors:Cassandra Clare
Info:Walker (2010), Kindle Edition, 503 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

  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
    Underfors by Maria Turtschaninoff (julienne_preacher)
  8. 10
    The Watcher by Lisa Voisin (stevensclare)
  9. 23
    Marked (House of Night, Book 1) by P. C. Cast (kassyavon)
  10. 211
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (MyriadBooks)

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» See also 388 mentions

English (865)  Spanish (7)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (883)
Showing 1-5 of 865 (next | show all)
1st Reread: Sept 2023

Feel pretty much the same about this one! I mostly wanted to reread to jog my memory so I can continue with the rest of the series (finally).

Review also posted over on my blog! :)

I know, I know, I am so super late to this series/fandom. I have heard so many mixed things about this book, that I was unsure about reading it for many years. But my curiosity finally broke down. Here's what I thought:

What I Liked

What I enjoyed most about this book was the creativity and depth of detail of the fantasy world that Clare created. She incorporated different mythologies very well to make it feel like her own. While there are vampires, werewolves, fairies, mages, etc., she also took the mythology of the nephilim and created something pretty unique. I think she was one of the first to write a young adult novel using some kind of pseudo-angel mythology. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) I found it to be compelling and different. I also thought the concept of a shadow world hidden just beneath the "surface" of our own was really fascinating.

To be honest it took me a bit to really be interested in the characters, (and there were still flaws about them that annoyed me, which I'll discuss later), but after a few chapters I started to become really interested in them and what would happen to them. I also think each character had a very distinct personality – something I think is really important to a good story that a lot of authors tend to overlook.

Another good thing about this book was it was a real page-turner. The plot doesn't really have any slow points (almost to a fault), so you're really kept moving along as you read. I plowed through the book pretty fast, but I was kept interested and genuinely wanted to know what would happen. Additionally, there were some twists I was not expecting, and were done well.

What I Disliked

Unfortunately there were some flaws to this book, and I can see why some people really didn't like it.Firstly, I felt that in a lot of scenes the writing was really clumsy. There were a lot of sentences that were awkward, or hardly made sense. As an example, in the beginning of the book, there's the scene where Jace, Isabelle and Alec catch the demon in the night club, and one sentence really threw me off:

"Far back inside his skull, the shackled boy's second set of teeth began to grind.
'Shadowhunter,' he hissed.
The other boy grinned all over his face. 'Got you,' he said."

"...grinned all over his face." ...it just sounded so awkward to me. A lot of the physical descriptions really bugged me too. For instance, I can't count how many times Jace's eyes were re-described. I'm not even sure what color his eyes were supposed to be because of how many different descriptions there were for them... gold, tawny, smokey, clear... ????

Not only characters' appearances, but the lore of the world was reiterated many times. It felt like pointless filler – there was no need to re-describe stuff so many times.

Despite enjoying the fast-paced nature of the book, I was having trouble keeping track of what was going on – it felt like there was so much going on at once. There was almost too much that happens in this book. It felt like Clare wanted to cram every initial idea she had in this first book. In some ways it felt too fast-paced, like there needed to be some slow parts. On top of that, an overwhelming amount of information about the Shadow World is dumped on the reader. And while speaking about the writing, most of the twists were too easy to predict. Yes, I did mention earlier there were some good ones that surprised me, but most were foreshadowed too obviously. Some of the more obvious twists definitely felt like tropes – but I don't want to spoil anything for anyone else.

And while I did enjoy the characters as a general principle, they did have some characteristics that kind of annoyed me. For instance, I got kind of sick of Jace's sarcasm throughout the book... nearly every reply he makes is sarcastic. I also really didn't like how Simon was seemingly treated like crap through most of the story. I can't really get behind the whole "friend-zoned" theme to begin with, but oh my gosh... the shadowhunters were awful to Simon, and Clary pretty much ignores it all. It was really frustrating to read over and over again.

Finally, I really want to see Clary go through more development as a character. While I did like her as the main character, I felt that she didn't really do anything. We don't see her show any strength or even trying fight back. It's always someone else saving her butt, and that kind of disappointed me. I mean, I get that she wasn't trained like the other shadowhunters, but it kind of felt like she just sat back and let everyone else save her... Even Simon – who has no supernatural abilities – has a moment to shine.

Overall, I'm glad I finally got to reading this book, I was really curious to see what the fuss was about. And there were a lot of factors I liked about it. But it does have its flaws. Despite all the things I disliked, I do want to read the next book in the series. I am curious to see how the characters develop, and to see if Clare's writing makes improvements. I was close to going with a solid three stars for this book, but I can feel so much potential with this story that I went with a final rating of: ★★★½ ( )
  escapinginpaper | May 18, 2024 |
dnf ( )
  staygoldsunshine | Apr 23, 2024 |
This book did not live up to hype I've been hearing about the series. None of the kids interested me at all, and I found Alec and Jace to be obnoxious at best. Only the adults really caught my attention, and they are few and far between. ( )
  sawcat | Apr 8, 2024 |
Not great, not horrible. Some fairly major plot holes. Everything “resolved” at the end so not sure what incentive there is to read the next book although I probably will. ( )
  corliss12000 | Mar 16, 2024 |
4.0 Stars
When I was younger and City of Bones became a popular books and then the series became popular, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. That is not to say that I think it is bad, but it is not the type of magic/adventure/romance laden book that I have come to gravitate towards. My own high school experience is far enough in the past that I prefer reading books with adult main characters. That said, a few of my thoughts on the construction and plot are below.

In City of Bones, 15 year old Clary discovers there is another world under mundane human one, a world filled with demons, warlocks, vampires and more. It's not pointedly unique in any way. As a reader, I don't mind this as long as the narrative strings together these components in an interesting and unique way. Clary makes new friends with the Shadowhunters who police demon-kind and along the way develops a romance with cliche bad boy Jace. The book is full of teenage angst, a little bit of unrequited love, family drama, and importantly magic. On the whole, I would have liked the book more if there were a greater focus on plot, and character development and a little less emphasis on pretty shallow interpersonal drama. A few specific plot points are already going to annoy me. Though Jace is "revealed" to be Clary's brother at the end of the book, we know this is not the case (the books have been out for a while and there's a TV show). I don't find that this plot point is particularly interesting, creative, or well done. However, the description of the runes that Shadowhunters use as a type of magic and the lore behind their world is interesting enough that I wanted to learn more. In this way, the writing and pacing of the story is pretty well done. ( )
  tnemurtsni | Mar 9, 2024 |
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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
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Reyes, Delos JanisTranslatorsecondary 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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