This review is spoiler free.
“Clary, you’re an artist, like your mother. That means you see the world in ways that other people don’t. It’s your gift, to see the beauty and the horror in ordinary things. It doesn’t make you crazy — just different. There’s nothing wrong with being different.”
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Published: 2015, by Walker Books, Ltd.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Contains: Death, Violence, Anger, Body Image, Strong Language, Blood/Gore, Abuse, Child Abuse
‘City of Bones’ is the first book in the infamous series, The Mortal Instruments, telling the story of Clary Fray, a teenager from a supposedly normal family. However, after witnessing a murder at Pandemonium Club in New York City, she enters the world of the Shadowhunters, and discovers the truth behind her background.
I’m years late to this series, too many to count, having never considered giving it a read until now. I knew of the author’s works, yet the amount of novels surrounding its world intimidated me. However, I really wish I’d started sooner. It was a delight.
‘City of Bones’ is one of my easiest reads of the year, indulging myself in the story immediately and falling in love with the concept. This book is extremely character driven, Clare making you fall in love with the characters at their introduction before reaching the action.
Jace’s character was the comic-relief throughout the story, having sarcastic comebacks for nearly every conversation and I loved that; It held my interest. Jace becomes Clary’s shadow fairly quickly into the novel, yet provided sides to the story that Clary’s character couldn’t. Personally, I feel fairly indifferent about the protagonist, tending to simply stand and watch during the main chapters of action whilst Jace fought for their survival. Yet, it made me connect with him more, and I’m hoping there’ll be more strength in Clary in the following instalments.
Alec’s character, however, was one I adored from the moment he was introduced. Although, I’m a huge fan of the idea of an LGBT shadowhunter, that isn’t the sole reason for my connection to him. He’s stand-offish towards Clary for the majority of the novel, having the tendency to state his disliking of her at every opportunity. His character developed the most in this novel, capable of admitting his mistakes and trying to make up for them. I love that about him, he’s three-dimensional and real to us readers.
The novel itself was an easy read, using simplistic language and introduced the magical world carefully; it didn’t dump information on you. As someone who adores fantasy yet has the tendency to get overwhelmed easily, I appreciated that. The story was fast-paced with multiple cliffhangers at the end of each chapter, urging you to continue reading.
Overall, ‘City of Bones’ was an incredibly fun read. The characters are lovable, the concept is interesting and the climax definitely gave me a reason to continue. Plus, there’s magical motorbikes, what’s not to love?