Friday, May 21, 2010

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: McElderry Books
Hardcover, 485 pages
Date Published: March 27, 2007

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
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.  
Clary Fray and her best friend, Simon, venture off to the club Pandemonium on a night like any other, but when Clary witnesses a demon being killed by three teenagers, her normal night disappears. Clary isn’t supposed to be able to see demons or the Shadowhunters who kill them. Jace, one of the Shadowhunters, becomes intrigued by Clary and her Sight and soon enough, she is thrown into a world full of angels, demons, werewolves, vampires, and all the things that she never thought existed. Clary must come to terms with who she really is, save her mother, find the ancient and powerful Mortal Cup, and cope with her attraction to Jace while it’s clear that Simon has a thing for her. It’s a lot for a formerly average fifteen year old girl to handle.

City of Bones opens up a series of epic proportions. The mythology and vast expanse of history behind each and every character is phenomenal. Clare melds modern day New York City with the ancient Underworld and hidden world of the Shadowhunters. The Shadowhunters themselves are one of the most unique creations I have ever seen. They are part angel (Nephilim) and gain their powers through the runes, or tattoo like inscriptions, that they carve along their bodies. The image they provoke is hauntingly beautiful.

Hauntingly beautiful is a great way to describe the entirety of City of Bones. The characters are all tortured in their own ways, but Clare is able to counter her own dark story with the charm of Jace and the wit of Clary. The characters are incredibly strong throughout the story and kept me riveted. Jace has this charm about him that is impossible to resist. 
Jace’s grin was a white flash in the darkness. “It means Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234.” ~ pg. 179
Clary is beyond intelligent and I love how she is so far from the average YA novel heroine. She rarely comes off as being airheaded or controlled by her love/lust for another and I adore that she is a ginger. Clary's best friend, Simon, gives Jace a bit of competition for Clary's affections. I loved Simon. He is the somewhat dorky boy next door that I would love to just hang out with. He also had some fantastic lines.
“That’s why when major badasses greet each other in movies, they don’t say anything, they just nod. The nod means, ‘I am a badass, and I recognize that you, too, are a badass,’ but they don’t say anything because they’re Wolverine and Magneto and it would mess up their vibe to explain.” ~ pg. 340
Not only does City of Bones deliver with an urban fantasy adventure, but the characters are intriguing and captivating. This debut novel from Cassandra Clare is incredibly well crafted. There were a few inconsistencies that I noticed, but they didn’t take away from the story. I will say that there was one thing towards the end that had me cringing. For those who have read it, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Still, I have the next book in the series begging to be read and I will certainly oblige.

Opening line: “You’ve got to be kidding me,” the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines: If there was one thing she was learning from all this, it was how easy it was to lose everything you had always thought you’d have forever. ~ g. 160

Remember. If the rune were a word, it would have been that one, but there was more meaning to it than any word she could imagine. It was a child’s first memory of light falling through crib bars, the recollected scent of remembered humiliation, and the cruel forgetfulness of old age, when the most ancient of memories stand out with agonizingly clear precision and the nearest of incidents are lost beyond recall. ~ pg. 233

*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.


Dahlia (TheBookShopaholic) said...

I'm itching to read this, I've finally decided to read this after ignoring it for so long. Thx for the awesome review!

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Can't agree with you enough! I LOVED this book and the whole series, although this one shines brighter than the other two. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the review which reminded me of the joy I had when reading this book!

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