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

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.

 

Rating: 4.5/5

I know, I couldn’t quite go all the way to 5/5 on this one. I almost did … Almost …

This book has been sitting on my bookshelves through four different moves: from high school to college, from college to my first apartment out here in Washington, and from that apartment to my current one. Seriously, I think I’ve had it since it first came out back in 2007. Since I knew there was a movie coming out, I decided it was finally time to read it. I really wish I hadn’t waited so darn long.

I was hooked from the very beginning—the writing is smooth and easy to read, and this book definitely opens with a bang. So much happens right at the very beginning that you’re just pulled right in. Unfortunately, life got in the way at some point, and I got a bit bogged down in the (slightly) slower bits right after the killer opening. There were the inevitable “welcome to our world and here’s how it works” moments that give you a minute or two to catch your breath. I’m not sure that everything was laid out as clearly as it could have been, and I was moderately annoyed (not really) as I read it. I think it was intentional though, as it worked in favor of the overall plot. Not to mention that if I were a fifteen year-old girl I would be outright confused/hysterical and not really keeping up either … Looking back, I think those scenes were really well-written.

Once you hit about the 35%-40% mark, it was nigh-on impossible to put the book down. So much was going on that I almost (almost) turned off the music to try to make more room in my head so I wouldn’t miss anything. (Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking).

I loved the characters—they came off the page as any good character does, and they all felt their age the way they should. What I mean by this is that even though Jace is seventeen, he feels a little older because of his experience, and that came across. It was also really clear to see the development in all of the characters, and that development didn’t feel heavy-handed or forced. It was very natural, and that’s something I think is really important for character writing.

So why didn’t I go all the way up to a 5/5? That’s a little tough to say without spoilers, but there was some turmoil toward the end that simultaneously was really really awesome and really really … not? I don’t know, something didn’t sit well with me about the big reveal, and I think that’s honestly because I just plain didn’t like some of the implications — it was still well-written and engaging, and it did everything that the climax of a story is supposed to do.

Also, the paragraphs are a little long for my taste. They’re well-written paragraphs, but … ahh, all the words in one place! Admittedly, this bothered me more because I had a migraine while I was reading it and I was dizzy—long paragraphs make it incredibly difficult to focus on the words when you’re dizzy.

And now I have to go get books 2 and 3 … I don’t think this is a series I will be able to set aside for very long …

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Posted on August 30, 2013, in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, Young Adult and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I just re-read this book because I’m going to see the movie tomorrow. I didn’t love it the first time around, but I think I actually liked it a little more the second time around. And I think books 2 and 3 were my favorite of the series so far.

    • Good to know! I think I’m actually a little angry at it right now … This feeling will wear off, I suspect, but … I did only JUST finish reading it … I can’t wait to get caught up 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  2. I totally agree with Stephanie, the books just keep getting better. I love what you said about the ending because its so true! I almost expected it, but, at the same time, was disappointed in how it had turned out. Odd ending for sure.

    Keep reading so we can keep discussing these!! 🙂

    • Thanks! I’m going to try to keep reading them relatively soon, but I don’t own the next ones yet :/ Hopefully at some point I’ll find time to swing by B&N to pick them up …

  3. I still need to stop by Chapters and pick up the last one: City of Lost Souls ? Then I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself…!

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