Book Hungry Review: City of Bones

city of bones coverWhen 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. (Summary source: Amazon)

There are many books I would love to reread, but because my TBR list is so long, I don’t often do so. Recently, I made an exception. As the newest member of the Book Hungry Book Club, I was initiated by having to choose the read for my first go round. No sweat! I had just finished CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, the final novel in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series, and was considering going back to the book that started it all, CITY OF BONES (Mortal Instruments series). I ran that idea up the flag pole and was pleased it received salutes from all the Book Hungry gals.

My thoughts on CITY OF BONES are a bit different from the first time I read it. Both times I found the story to be engaging right from the start — colorful characters launched quickly into action in an interesting, otherworldly mystery. But unlike last time, I discovered a couple of things that bugged me a little. As a book of fantasy, I recognize the goal is to engage in suspension of disbelief, but I couldn’t help being a bit annoyed by how swiftly Clary and Simon (mundanes) embraced the existence of the Shadowhunter world. I would like to have seen their process of acceptance fleshed out a little. I also found myself being critical of the pacing of the story; perhaps because it was a reread for me and I already knew how it would end.

Those things aside, I did enjoy the book. It was great to revisit the characters. I had forgotten just how much I like Simon; my adoration for him only grows as the series continues. Magnus Bane is another favorite, a staple in both the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices series. And having read this on the heels of Cassandra Clare’s latest release, it was interesting to see how her writing style and storytelling has evolved over the span of eight novels. Clare truly is a clever writer whose works keep getting better and better.

Final verdict: If you are a fan of YA paranormal and fantasy, CITY OF BONES is worth the read — especially if you plan to see the movie which is set to release in August 2013. Check out the trailer here.

What did my Book Hungry gal pals think of this book? Click their names to find out: Abby, Karla, Kelly, Patty.

Leave a comment


  1. Can I just say that trailer totally rocked. And why does Jace suddenly have an English accent? Was that something I missed in the book?

  2. abby mumford

     /  April 29, 2013

    umm, i don’t know how i missed the trailer, but holy wow!! that looks good and dare i say it? the movie might be better than the book! i will definitely watch that movie — maybe it’s as you say, blake, and the movie takes into account clare’s growth as a writer…?

  3. I’m a bit nervous as to why ALL of the Shadowhunters have Brit accents. Of course it makes them even more RUDE at first encounter, and that in itself could have been reason enough. If anything, though, shouldn’t they have Spanish accents or something?? Seems that the mythical Paradise Island area they call home borders Spain. But I could be really wrong about that since I read late at night and get fuzzy!

    My main concern for the movie is that they have cast Clary as a dark-haired, teen beauty, no? I think that kills the heart of the typical YA fantasy novel premise…that the the mundane-looking in school are the most extraordinary in their home context.

    Ok, no more out of my mouth…I’ve been meaning to write my review for weeks, and you shall receive no more free pearls from this guy.


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