Review | City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)I always like to read the book before seeing the movie. So… with the release of the movie, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones looming, I decided to jump into the book.

(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. . . .

I really enjoyed this book.* The story was fast-paced, action-packed, and the characters likable and interesting. Cassandra Clare has done a great job creating an interesting super-natural world with twists and turns that kept me quickly turning the pages. I’m excited to the movie version.

*I really enjoyed this book until I got to the last few pages. I have a huge beef with the romantic conflict that occurs at the end of this book. I really like Jace and Clary. I liked their relationship and the way it was progressing. UNTIL… Major series SPOILERS ahead:


…they find out they are siblings. Ew, they just made-out–only twenty pages ago! Near incest?!? Really?!?

I was so disturbed by this sibling revelation that I looked for spoilers about the other books in the series. In book three, Jace and Clary find out that they aren’t actually siblings. Phew! But after more looking into the spoilers I found out that Jace and Clary kiss a few more times while they still believe they are siblings. Jace even tries to convince Clary to be in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with him and to keep it a secret. Then Clary meets another guy that she ends up kissing who actually is her brother. And when this boy kisses Clary, he knows they are siblings.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Sorry Cassandra Clare, your idea of romantic conflict troubles me beyond what I’m able look past, so I’m breaking up with your series. 🙁 There was so much potential there to make me fall in love with The Mortal Instruments books, but there are too many other books out there to read to waste time on this twisted, incestuous story line.

Overall Rating Pre-Spoilers: 4 of 5 stars false

Overall Rating Post-Spoilers: 3 of 5 stars false

Parent’s guide:

  • Sex: a boy and girl kiss/make-out, a boy has romantic feelings for another boy
  • Language: very little, if any
  • Violence: demons are killed using an array of weapons, it is implied that a woman is kidnapped, demons attack humans, humans are severely injured

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  • readerswonderland

    I love how you include a parents guide, that is really helpful because some of the YA now is getting mature. I hate when someone spoils a book like that for me! This series is okay but I prefer the author’s other series, The Infernal Devices.

    Thanks for stopping by Readers in Wonderland!

  • Ugh. Sorry the semi-incest ruined it for you. It made me very squeamish and the only reason I was able to get through it was that I was convinced the whole time they weren’t really siblings. I hope the movie is good. I’ve heard mixed things. And I did enjoy the super-natural world she built. She has the same super-natural world set in Victorian England with the Infernal Devices series. There’s no incest at all if you want to give those a try 🙂