Title: City of Bones [The Mortal Instruments 1]
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Rating: 5 (4.5)
Description/Synopsis: When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder. Much less a murder commited by three teenagers covered with odd markings. This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons–and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It’s also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. 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 an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know….
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
First of all, great cover. Second, it was about time I got into this series. I avoided all the hype when the books first came out and started to become popular, but when the movie came out, I felt it was finally time I look into what the hype was all about. The first thing I did was watch the movie, which was pretty good – if a little all-over-the-place at times. Having enjoyed it, I jumped right into the first book, and without delay, subsequently finished all five.
Honestly, overall, and I’ll probably repeat this when I review the other four—I enjoyed the novel series a lot more than the movie. It, (like most book series), felt more complete and put-together. The plot made more sense, and there were a lot of little moments (like Simon being turned into a Rat) that didn’t make the cut into the movie, but seemed to suit the books just fine.
Like most YA novels, it had it’s moments of unnecessary drama (that’s just how teenagers are), but overall the writing was clear, concise, and fast-paced. I never found myself shaking my head at the narrative or skimming bits. I didn’t feel the need to throw things at the characters (okay, maybe at Simon), and although Clary sometimes did really stupid, dangerous things, I didn’t get annoyed at her character like I do with some YA heroine’s.
I think overall, if you liked the movie even remotely, you should give this book (and the entire series) a chance. The characters were a lot more personable in the book vs. the movie, and their motives, a little easier to understand. Jace especially was easier to connect to in this version of the story, though I think Clary possibly lost a bit of her coolness-factor. Simon still irritates me, but no surprise there. Anyways, it was a good book and I’d recommend it to any YA (or even adult) reader. The entire series is age appropriate for anyone 13+. A little later in the series (towards the last two books) there are some racier bits if you’re considering gifting this series to your teen, but the author was very careful not to go into great detail of any sexual/romantic encounter even that late in the series, and I’d certainly feel comfortable recommending it to anyone 13+ who enjoys paranormal fantasy. The world-building was a nice mix of fantasy/paranormal that leaned a bit towards the grittier side, with conniving not-so-nice fairies, vampires, werewolves, demons, and avenging angels.
The –only- reason this book got a 4.5 rating from me rather than a full 5 stars, was because a little later in the series (the last two books in particular) the story gets even better. This wasn’t my favorite book in the series, but it was still a good read. Take a chance, pick up a copy today. This one’s going on my keeper shelf.