Monday, 10 October 2011

City of Bones Review

So, I figure I am one of the last book bloggers to read Cassandra Clare’s best selling Mortal Instruments series even though I’ve had the books on the shelves for at least 18 months. Yes, you read that right and I know, I feel slightly ashamed and I have to say that HOT DAMN, YOU GUYS WERE RIGHT - THESE BOOKS ARE AWESOME SAUCE WITH SPRINKLES AND A CHERRY ON TOP. So why did I wait so long to read them after everyone else was raving about them? Well, I was afraid that they wouldn’t live up to the hype, I mean what if *gulp* I hated them? This now seems like the most ridiculous notion to me *rolls eyes* and I could kick myself for waiting so long. Pretty much overnight, Cassandra Clare has made a fan girl outta me and has guaranteed that I will automatically buy anything she writes. Seriously. Here’s the synopsis:

“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.”

Stephenie Meyer was not wrong when she said she wanted to live inside this story world. I DO TOO! Let me tell you about City of Bones. This is the kind of book that you race home from work for, the kind of book you end up TAKING to work so you can read it in your impossibly short lunch break. If I have learnt nothing else, I have learnt to eat jelly (Jell-O for the US crowd) and read at the same time without getting it all over the pages.

I have to say at this point that books help me to retain my sanity and I could not wait to dive back into Clary’s world as often as I could possibly manage. Apologies go out to my poor, neglected boyfriend for the late night dinners, the pile of dirty dishes by the sink and the overflowing laundry basket. There was nothing more important than this book I’m afraid.

One of the things that struck me most about this book was that Cassandra Clare taught me an invaluable writing lesson about characters. I always thought that you had to write characters that people “got” and you had to explain everything so that the audience understood. What I adore about Jace is how on the surface, he seems so fierce, so arrogant and confident, almost aloof but if you look a little deeper, he’s actually quite a conflicted and complex character. NEWSFLASH: PEOPLE ARE COMPLEX and that’s what makes Jace so realistic. His confidence and bravery are definitely sexy and he reminds me A LOT of Richard Gere’s Lancelot in the movie First Knight. Lancelot was portrayed as man who had nothing therefore he cared about nothing and ultimately feared nothing as he had nothing to lose. That’s how I see Jace. Of course, then in walks Clary and suddenly Jace’s world is altered. I love that the more of the book I read, the more I learned about Jace and the more I came to understand him without really having him all figured out. I think that’s a good thing though as there is just enough mystery left to make him alluring ;) You could say that to love him is to understand him. I suspect that like most of the female readership, I’m totally in love with Jace. One of the things about Jace that is the most appealing to his ever growing hoards of female fans *I think* is that we all want to be the one that discovers him, the real him that he keeps hidden away, we want to the be the one that unlocks his heart so that he can love freely and without pain.

Jace and Clary’s relationship develops over time and it’s like you don’t notice that they’re falling for each other until you do (if that makes sense) and I admit that I fell for Jace in the same way, slowly and quietly without realising. He might be snarky, arrogant, brave, sexy, confident, funny, rude, honest, and insensitive but he’s got a good heart, and a fierce sense of loyalty and duty.

Clary is a girl whose life is tied up in secrets. Described as petite and beautiful but she doesn’t realise how beautiful she is. I love the flirtatious banter going on between her and Jace at times and how their relationship blossoms so naturally without being over the top or in your face. The way he protects Clary is so endearing and melts my heart into a puddle on the floor. Clary is the girl who doesn’t realise her own potential, mostly because she’s never been allowed to. Now, Jace is opening her eyes just as she is awakening something deep inside him and things will never be the same again.

Another character I quite simply adore is Simon who is Clary’s best friend, a boy she has grown up with since childhood and I cannot stop picturing a young Colin Hanks in the role (think Alex from Roswell High). Having said that, Colin Hanks is now a little old for that role so I'm going with Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) who would be perfect! Simon is a sweet, geeky goofball but he has some great lines and I’m interested to see where his character goes in the story, especially as he’s had a lifelong crush on Clary but has thus far neglected to tell her!

Reading about Alec Lightwood (Jace’s step brother of sorts) made me realise that I haven’t read a book with a gay character for a long time. Not on purpose or anything, but it’s not something I’d really thought of until now. I felt sorry for Alec who felt he had to hide his feelings for Jace for fear of ruining their relationship. Again, I'm interested to see how his character will develop.

Isabelle is Alec’s sister and she is sexy and confident and doesn’t she know it. I still like her though and she is the only heroine I know that would turn up to a dog fight in heels LOL.

I also want to mention The Silent Brothers whom I really liked and in fact, one of my favourite scenes in the book was when Clary went to meet them. I do think in part, that my fascination for them is influenced by a silent yet mysterious character in A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan whom I also loved but I saw The Silent Brothers as ancient monks in my head.

I’m so overwhelmed with the awesomeness of the characters that I haven’t actually mentioned the plot yet. I LOVE the fact that this book series is set in the heart of New York City and that mythical creatures don’t just exist in forests. The world of shadowhunters and demons blends into the backdrop of New York quite nicely as not everyone can see them, but Clary can. Why? READ THE BOOK AND FIND OUT!

City of bones is a truly awesome read and part of one of the best book series I have ever read. I still can’t believe that this was Cassandra Clare’s debut novel and you know what? BLOODY WELL DONE GIRL. Nephilim, demons, vampires, werewolves, warlocks and faeries - you name it and this book has got it! Do yourself a favour and don’t wait like I did, if you haven’t read these books yet, pick up this series like NOW.

City of Bones was published on 27th March, 2007. TO find out more about Cassandra Clare and her books, please click here to visit her website. She is also active on Facebook and Twitter. I couldn’t find an official trailer but here is an EXCELLENT fan made one (only she used Alex Pettyfer) but I’m not complaining! I can’t wait for this book to be turned into a movie!!!!!


  1. I haven't read the series either and like you have them. I MUST read them x

  2. I LOVE your review!! This is fabulous! I agree to everything you said.