A World of Words

Reviewing children's books

City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare

on April 25, 2013

City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare

Published by Walker Books

City of Bones

 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. . .

I’ve seen several blog posts recommending this book – it seemed to me to be one of the ‘staples’ of YA fiction. Enough so that it has been made into a film, which will be released on 23rd August.

I’d say this book was a bit of a slow-burner. I was enjoying it, but I wasn’t whipping through the pages as much as I would usually – until the end, anyway. At the moment, I’m hating how much YA stuff depends on a romance, and I think I was a little wary that this is what City of Bones would be all about. Clary (short for Clarissa – knowing that helped me pronounce her name) has two love interests – her best friend, Simon, who is in love with her; and Jace, the new boy she meets. As this blogger here writes (which I agree with), the love interests are fairly stereotypical and underdeveloped. With this much ‘choice’, I thought it was fairly inevitable that the book would sink into romantic fantasy, which would not have impressed me. It was about two-thirds in, then, when the ‘twist’ starts to unfold (no spoilers!), that I was able to start properly enjoying it and let myself be taken along for the ride.

Not all the characters were developed fully (as I mentioned before), so I did find myself not caring when certain people were hurt (namely, Alec). Then there were some elements that weren’t fully explained. A good example is when Jace mysteriously knows it’s Clary’s birthday, although I’m pretty sure she never told him and nobody else, even Simon, refers to it.

However, the plot moved at a good pace and I was blown away by the numerous twists at the end, only one or two of which I was expecting. I was fully immersed into the world the characters moved in, and had great fun reading about their adventures along the way. I’ll definitely be reading the next books in the series, and may even treat myself to see the film, considering it’s out a few days before my birthday!

Speaking of the film, I’ve just watched the trailer for the first time, and I’m not sure. While I can see that she’s supposed to be seeing unusual things, Clary’s mouth seems to be wide open for the whole time! It does look action-packed though – what do you think?

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2 responses to “City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare

  1. Caitlin says:

    I love this series and her victorian prequel series is even better!! Fairly slow-burning too but I liked that. Oh, I replied to your comment on my blog with some urban fantasy recommendations. Judging by what you’ve said here I think you will really like both Sarah Rees Brennan’s The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy and Lili St.Crow’s Strange Angels series

    • Kayleigh says:

      Really?! Wow, I’ll have to check that out then – I love Victorian stuff! Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll add those to my list for next time I get paid, haha! 😀

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