City of Bones

City of Bones

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 not...

DownloadRead Online
Title:City of Bones
Author:Cassandra Clare
Rating:
ISBN:1416914285
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:485 pages

City of Bones Reviews

  • Shelley
    Jul 04, 2007

    Pure and utter crap. I wish there were ways to give negative stars. I certainly want the time from my life back. I would compare its writing quality to a fanzine, except that comparison wouldn't be fair to fanzines. But I swear to God, it took every single bad fanfic writing cliche and published them. What were her publishers thinking??? Where was her editor?? It was horrible.

    I would dearly love for a fanfiction author to make good and become a published writer, but I'd prefer one with talent,

    Pure and utter crap. I wish there were ways to give negative stars. I certainly want the time from my life back. I would compare its writing quality to a fanzine, except that comparison wouldn't be fair to fanzines. But I swear to God, it took every single bad fanfic writing cliche and published them. What were her publishers thinking??? Where was her editor?? It was horrible.

    I would dearly love for a fanfiction author to make good and become a published writer, but I'd prefer one with talent, thanks.

  • Heather
    Jan 26, 2012

    I was instantly enchanted when I first read

    , and that enchantment still holds four years, and at least half a dozen re-reads later in sptite of the fact that I'm older, wiser, and should know better. I've also read countless reviews, both adoring and loathing and have come to the conclusion that this book does not garner any type of middle ground, you either love it or you hate it.

    I'm glad that I get to love it. What else can I say?

    For me, this book shines, and to those of you who

    I was instantly enchanted when I first read

    , and that enchantment still holds four years, and at least half a dozen re-reads later in sptite of the fact that I'm older, wiser, and should know better. I've also read countless reviews, both adoring and loathing and have come to the conclusion that this book does not garner any type of middle ground, you either love it or you hate it.

    I'm glad that I get to love it. What else can I say?

    For me, this book shines, and to those of you who loved it, I imagine you are a bit like me. You found yourself immersed in a world where demons roam the night, weres run a bar, vamps occupy abandoned hotels, warlocks cast spells while rockin glitter in their hip hugging jeans, and the law is upheld by Shadowhunters, a race of humans blessed by the angel Raziel. Hokey? Sure. Rockin like a unicorn adorned bike? Hell yes! Even the setting, NYC, was so palpable; it became another character in this vibrant story. I thought the Shadowhunter world was funny, sleek, dark, sexy and hopeful. More importantly, the characters came so alive for me that they jumped off the pages. I felt as though I were in the story with them as opposed to merely following along in their journey.

    Regardless of the types of books you prefer to read, or the characters that endear themselves to your heart, I think we all read to for some type of enjoyment. What evokes that enjoyment varies from reader to reader, but I still find excitement within these pages. To me, that is the mark of a fantastic book.

  • Tatiana
    Dec 04, 2013

    15-year old Clary witnesses a crime at a trendy New York night club. Interesting thing, nobody but Clary can see both the victim and perpetrators. As it turns out, there is an entire invisible to regular people world, and Clary is an unwitting important part of it.

    "City of Bones" is one of those books that all my female friends and fellow readers simply love, Jace-mania all around. Needless to say, I had to jump on the bandwagon eventually and get me some Jace. Who am I to deny myself a pleasur

    15-year old Clary witnesses a crime at a trendy New York night club. Interesting thing, nobody but Clary can see both the victim and perpetrators. As it turns out, there is an entire invisible to regular people world, and Clary is an unwitting important part of it.

    "City of Bones" is one of those books that all my female friends and fellow readers simply love, Jace-mania all around. Needless to say, I had to jump on the bandwagon eventually and get me some Jace. Who am I to deny myself a pleasure to fall for a fictional hot, sarcastic and brooding guy? Imagine my disappointment, when I found out that this book was one big pile of hot mess! Sorry ladies, I said it, it's bad.

    I had the hardest time sticking to the story and for quite some time I couldn't figure out why. Then gradually I realized that there were several reasons.

    Let me start with the editing. I don't really think this book was edited at all, actually. Errors were endless and visible to even my untrained eye: wrong words ("noise" instead on "nose"); missing words in sentences; strange mix of POVs (the book is mostly told in 3rd person, from Clary's POV, but occasionally I saw both 3rd and 1st person narration in the same paragraph describing the same events, then there was a page from Jace's POV and a chapter from Luke's); Clary's father was called Jonathan in the beginning of the book, but John in the end. I can go on, but these were the things that I would normally overlook if the story itself was good. Unfortunately it wasn't, and the errors stood out.

    I didn't think that the story was cohesive, it just didn't quite flow for me. It read as more of a series of events rather than a novel. I thought there were some parts in the book that served no other purpose but to give our hero an opportunity to act knight-like. I am talking about the entire rat-Simon/vampires extravaganza. This story line could have been edited out completely without any damage to the narrative IMO.

    I couldn't quite relate to any of the characters either. What made my friends sigh with adoration, annoyed me. I hated the sarcasm, mainly because the jokes, although funny, felt often out of place, plus all of the characters attempting to joke, sounded exactly the same to me. I didn't feel the difference in attitudes of Clary, Simon, and Jace. If Clare had to make Jace a witty sarcastic type, she should have made the wisecracks his exclusive trademark, not everybody's.

    The story itself was so ridiculously predictable! I do not normally see what is to come in the books, but in COB, I saw every "revelation" coming. Clare just doesn't have a skill to lead to them subtly, it's always in your face: "Valentine is alive" revelation (who in this book who was thought to be dead was actually dead? - a serious question), "your mother put a spell on you" revelation, the big "father/brother" revelation - I could see them all, and I am not the most astute reader out there.

    Now, my biggest problem with this book - I've read/seen it all before! Clare borrows so liberally from "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" and "Buffy," it is simply impossible to overlook. Valentine - Voldemort/Darth Vader combo; Jace/Clary - Luke/Draco/Leia/Ginny (if it is possible) combo; the Circle - reversed Order of the Phoenix/Death Eaters combo; the Clave - Ministry of Magic; Luke - Lupin/Snape combo; Hodge - Giles/Wormtail combo. I can continue, but will stop here, you get the picture. Granted, there is nothing absolutely original in paranormal genre, but a skillful writer can re-work an old theme and make it new, fresh, and unique. Whatever is original in COB, is not quite thought through. As an example, let's take a "stele." After finishing this book, I still have no idea what exactly it does - do you only write runes with it? how exactly do you use it in a battle? why it can open some doors and not others? it can heal, but not everything? it can make you be able to see through a wooden screen, but is it because you write a special rune with it or you use it as a wand? It seems to me stele is pretty much used as a deus ex machina, convenient whenever a quick solution to a problem needed. And what's with all the shadow folk? There is just so much mashed up together - fairies, vampires, werewolves, pixies, jinns. You name any mythical creature, it is in this book. And what about magic? I read about spells made by a warlock, stele rune tricks, curses, where does it end? The limits of magic possibilities were never defined. Bottom line, all these inconsistencies make for one unoriginal and messy imaginary world. And this probably was the main reason why I couldn't connect with this book.

    Finally, I was a little surprised by some of Clare's creative choices. I found both flirtations of at least 35-year-old warlock (he might be older, his age was never mentioned) with a gay teenage boy and reversed Leia/Luke extravaganza quite tacky, if not disturbing. Although I know how Jace/Clary "family matter" is resolved in the end, I don't find possibly incestuous relationships appealing.

    This review might make it seem like COB is the worst book ever written. I wouldn't say so, after all, I've read "Breaking Dawn," and that book doesn't have any plot. There were some nice Jace/Clary moments, the greenhouse birthday party comes to mind. But was COB the most blatantly unoriginal book I've ever read? Absolutely (although I haven't read "Eragon" yet, but I heard a lot about it).

    In all honesty, I shouldn't give this book more than 1 star, but I will add a second one as a dedication to one Mrs. Jace Wayland. Would I recommend this book? Sure, many of my friends enjoyed it immensely. Will I continue on with the series? I don't think I will be able to convince myself to waste any more of my time on being mad at a book. I think I will just check out plot summaries on wiki and be done with the series.

    P.S. I just read that Cassandara Clare is an avid and famous in certain circles fanfiction writer. I guess that's where all the liberal "borrowing" comes from. Mystery solved.

  • Cara
    Jul 14, 2014

    Wow. I was reading some reviews on this and people either hate or love it. I am not ashamed to say I belong to the latter. Lots of opinions means there is lots of things to say...

    Ok so I was practically splitting my head open thinking of what exactly I wanted to say about this book. In the end I just decided to go with what comes to mind. So here it goes...

    Clare does a superb job of drawing you in. Maybe the plot isn't completely unique but the world she created is. I kept telling myself this is

    Wow. I was reading some reviews on this and people either hate or love it. I am not ashamed to say I belong to the latter. Lots of opinions means there is lots of things to say...

    Ok so I was practically splitting my head open thinking of what exactly I wanted to say about this book. In the end I just decided to go with what comes to mind. So here it goes...

    Clare does a superb job of drawing you in. Maybe the plot isn't completely unique but the world she created is. I kept telling myself this is sooooooooooo interesting. The whole shadowhunter thing

    with coolness. I mean half angel, half kick butt people! It doesn't get much cooler than that. The story is full of action and yes sometimes there are things added for dramatic effect, but isn't that the point? If you were looking for something more slow paced read

    (personally I'd rather pull more hair then read this but moving on...)I'm a sucker for action sequences so this totally delivered on that front. The author's take on werewolves was original, and I gotta say they give the vampires a run for their money. I actually guessed most of the twists but that's some of the fun. Finding the hints and feeling the satisfaction of saying YES! Score for me I got it right! Let's do a little victory dance. (insert some break dancing moves I personally cannot do here) I think some people didn't get that guessing the twists is all part of the experience.

    Some people claimed all of this to be fluff but I don't agree. Just look at Jace. The whole feeling about belonging has depth to it. Now for why I knocked off a star even though I REALLY didn't want to. I thought Clary would be more shocked about finding out her history. You'd think with how much her mother pounded in to her that there was not such thing as magic she would resist the whole idea more. Also I think the author tried to introduce too many fantasy creatures at once. Like the scene at Magnus Bane house was overdone for my taste. We could have done without so many new faces. Those are just little irks though, my main one was Valentine. I know this is going to sound outrageous but Valentine wasn't bad enough for me. I shouldn't feel this way looking at his track record he is evil. The thing is I wasn't scared of him. A good villain has got to be scary plain and simple. I'm hoping to see more evilness in him in the next book.

    Well I think I've said enough. I'm so glad I'm reading this series after all the books are out. I totally expect to be blown away by the next installment:)

    Guess what guys? They are making a

    and

    is the trailer!

  • Kat Kennedy
    Dec 04, 2013

    ***Warning: won't contain spoilers cause I didn't get far enough to give a fuck and discover anything worth spoiling.***

    Okay, so let me get this out straight. I have never NOT finished a book before. Okay, I'm lying. The History of Sexuality Volume 1 by Michel Foucault remains unfinished as does Villette by Charlotte Bronte. Why? Because they were boring.

    Because, as I read them, I wanted to take a cheese grater to my skull and rub vigorously just to have something to do!

    But I have never NOT fini

    ***Warning: won't contain spoilers cause I didn't get far enough to give a fuck and discover anything worth spoiling.***

    Okay, so let me get this out straight. I have never NOT finished a book before. Okay, I'm lying. The History of Sexuality Volume 1 by Michel Foucault remains unfinished as does Villette by Charlotte Bronte. Why? Because they were boring.

    Because, as I read them, I wanted to take a cheese grater to my skull and rub vigorously just to have something to do!

    But I have never NOT finished a Young Adult paranormal novel before. And I've read some BAAAAAD books. But I didn't finish this book because it goes beyond bad. It makes the History of Sexuality seem amazingly interesting and colourful.

    To be fair to Ms. Clare, I was not actually "reading" her novel so much as listening to the Audiobook. The Narrator, Graynor, did a particularly craptastic job.

    To be fair to Ms. Graynor, she didn't have much to work with. I tuned her out, I swear, I was focusing on the actual prose, taking in the story, trying to get interested. But the writing was terrible. It was painful. The characters were annoying.

    Now, I've been fair to Ms. Clare and I've been fair to Mr. Graynor. So there's only you left to be fair to now.

    And in order to do that, I have to admit that I wasn't EXPECTING to like this book. I was, however, expecting to be pleasantly surprised, and I'll explain why.

    Many years ago, Cassandra Clare was Cassandra Clair - a VERY popular FF author in the Harry Potter and LoTR circles. I actually greatly enjoyed her Draco Trilogy. I've read it many times. I had heard that this book was very similar to DT and so I was expecting to find it to be a guilty pleasure. Something my moral compass told me to leave behind, but that I would actually enjoy too much to do so. But I was wrong.

    Yeah, she plagiarized that work and I won't really go into it except to post a link because in the end, I'm not reviewing her, I'm reviewing her work.

    But here's the problem. Jace is really just Draco from DT. Simon is really just Ron and Harry amalgamated into one. Clary is really just Ginny. The bad guys seems too much like good ol'Voldie. The plot is painfully similar to DT. It was like reading her old work all over again. And I think, because she was really just redressing her old characters, she didn't even both to give them any growth in this story.

    To be honest, I didn't read far because the writing was boring (oh my lord, the similes! Someone save me from them) and poorly constructed; the characters were boring and poorly constructed and the plot was boring and poorly constructed.

    I'd already read DT so I didn't need to read this.

  • Andrea Caro
    Jan 26, 2011

    I've been deliberating for a few hours over doing a Serious Business review of City of Bones and outlining the infinite number of problems that lie within, but I decided that any critical thought that I could flesh out isn't going to be anything that you've never heard before. Therefore, I choose the low road - sarcasm and mockery.

    Oh, Cassie Clare, you so crazy. I can only guess that after writing almost a million words of Harry Potter fan fiction, a bunch of people sucking your e-cock for steal

    I've been deliberating for a few hours over doing a Serious Business review of City of Bones and outlining the infinite number of problems that lie within, but I decided that any critical thought that I could flesh out isn't going to be anything that you've never heard before. Therefore, I choose the low road - sarcasm and mockery.

    Oh, Cassie Clare, you so crazy. I can only guess that after writing almost a million words of Harry Potter fan fiction, a bunch of people sucking your e-cock for stealing whole paragraphs from books and quotes from Buffy simply wasn't enough. No, I understand. You had to capitalize on all that time spent typing up whole paragraphs from books and outlining plots that pretty blatantly ripped off from various films, books, etc. I get it. I'm sure that's how the Mortal Instruments came to fruition. It is painfully obvious that your dopey red-haired ingenue and snarky blond asshole were essentially Ginny Weasley and Draco Malfoy in Original Character clothing. Ditto Simon being a hybrid of Harry/Ron and maybe Isabelle being a slutty Hermione. But wait, you didn't stop there! Hodge is Lupin/Peter Pettigrew 2.0 and Luke is better known by his other name, Sirius Black, and I am not entirely sure why you didn't just call Valentine by his true name - Voldemort. And seriously, though, why not just call the Mortal Instruments by their true name - the Deathly Hallows? But wait, it gets better!

    Strong with this novel, the Force is - because somehow there's a creepy Luke and Leia thing going on with Clary and Jace which, for the record: dude, that's nasty. How dare you let them make out and then discover they're related. Because I

    in order to keep myself from hurling up my dinner, I did discover that this little detail does get resolved eventually, but I reiterate: that's nasty. I thought the point of this book was to make teenage girls hold their hands to their hearts and swoon, not make them want to upchuck with what I find to be your disturbing affinity for incest (seriously - you had the whole six episodes of Star Wars to steal, uh,

    from and you pick the creepy incesty parts?). But it's weird, because if Jace and Clary are Luke and Leia, does that make Simon

    ? In a weird way, I found Jace's whole over-confident demeanor to be more like Han, which I guess is pretty on point with what happens in later novels. In other news, I will no longer be referring to Valentine as simply that; he is now Darth Valentine. Yes, I said it. I guess this makes Jocelyn Padme, except she's not dead yet.

    I must give you where credit where credit is due, though. Clary isn't a total dumb, annoying, doormat heroine, which is essentially my biggest pet peeve in the entirety of fiction. Instead, Clary is just dumb and annoying. Why the fuck does she slap everyone? It doesn't make her a strong, venerable female, it makes her a psychotic bitch, especially since there wasn't a single justifiable slap she delivered. Also, she's a moron. Blind, deaf babies knew that Simon was in love with her. My dog knew that Simon was in love with her and the most complicated thought he has in a day is, 'gee, I think I'll lick my junk today'. I have no idea why it's such a surprise to her, really. This brings me to my second greatest pet peeve and yet another trope that you liberally borrowed from, well, everyone: all the boys want Clary. What the hell is this shit? Clary isn't even

    . You stole it off of Stephenie Meyer who stole it off of L.J. Smith and frankly? You keep copying copies, the shittier-looking and harder to read they get. You are not an exception, you are the rule.

    Also, okay. So the Clave is like the circle of Jedi, right? And the Circle is like the Order of the Phoenix and the Death-Eaters, sort of, but bad. So, like, Order of the Sith, kind of? Also, is Darth Valentine channeling Magneto from X-Men: The Last Stand with his whole 'purifying the race' bullshit? I think he is. Now that I've brought the X-Men into the picture, I can see the vast similarities there, too; Clary is film version Rogue and Wolverine - Rogue because she can't be with the person she loves physically (Rogue's life-sucking power = Clary's being in love with her brother) and Wolverine because of the whole not having any memories thing and wondering why he has all this power. Also, The Institute = The Knight Bus/Hogsmeade/The Leaky Cauldron (because sometimes the Institute boards travelers and there's bad food at all three places, much like Isabelle's cooking) and also Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters (and Hodge is kind of Professor Xavier-esqe - his inability to leave the institute = Professor X's disability) and

    The Jedi Training Academy

    possibly Starfleet from Trek.

    You know what the funniest thing about all this is, Cassie Clare?

    You know, when most people shoplift, they maybe do a cursory look for the cameras and stuff something in their pocket when they think no one is looking, but you're that chick that goes up to the clerk, asks a clerk a question about a product you have in your hand while winking that you just don't have the money to pay for it. In this book there were blatant reference to both X-Men

    Star Wars (Magneto and Prof. X by name and the dice hanging up in the Millennium Falcon).

    Now that I've drawn all necessary attention to your

    content, I want to talk about the story in general. I read this book because it was handed down to me by my recently-turned eleven year old niece. I figured, okay, I'll figure out what the big deal is with this book since everyone and their mom (no, really, I think my mom, too) has read it. My niece isn't what anyone would call fastidious; she hates cleaning her room and at dinner, she likes to mash all of her food together and make a sculpture with it and

    eat it. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the portion of the book I borrowed from her had pages upon pages of highlighted words. I figured, aw cute, she highlighted her favorite parts. But, no,

    . There were misspellings, comma splices, and just general bad phrasing all throughout. She had also highlighted words that she saw in multiples. Seriously, Cassie Clare, I get it. Every time a wolf shows up in your book, you don't have to describe it as 'brindled'.

    . Did your word-of-the-day calendar run out? Did you lose your thesaurus? Do you have a short-term memory problem and forget that you used the word 'brindled' to describe a wolf

    ? I can't even talk about the metaphors and the similes. I can't. I used to like them. Now they make me want to punch toddlers in the face because your book is full of approximately nine hundred and thirty-three million of them. I am also not going to talk about your bizarre tense changes and the random chapter you threw in from Luke's point of view which was completely out of character for both a man and a human, let alone Luke - no one talks like that.

    Another thing that I want to reference is this whole stele thing. In

    , she mentioned that there didn't seem to be any parameters with this stele; it seemed to be a fix-it for whenever you had written yourself into a hole. I may not have noticed it had I not read the review first, given that as I was trudging through, I was filled with an irrational rage. It's a very good point, though. But since I read your book in three days just to get through it, I'm feeling like an asshole and I want to ask the following questions: can the stele make me look like Scarlett Johansson?; can the stele magic a cheeseburger out of thin air? These are questions of vital importance. Because if the stele can't, maybe you want to consider it in case one of your characters gets stuck on an island with no food for three years or something.

    In conclusion, Cassie Clare, OF COURSE YOUR BOOK IS GOOD. YOU STOLE EVERYTHING IN IT FROM OTHER PEOPLE. I just want to say that I sincerely hope that you make/have made a lot of money off your books; I also hope that the people you blatantly stole your content from take it all from you when they sue you.

    Here is the Reader's Digest version of this review:

    The Mortal Instruments = Harry Potter/Star Wars/X-Men/possibly Star Trek

    Clary Fray = Ginny Weasley/Princess Leia/Rogue/Wolverine/Uhura/Cassandra Clare, herself

    Jace Wayland = Draco Malfoy/Luke Skywalker/Han Solo/Wolverine/possibly Captain Kirk

    Simon = Harry/Ron/Cyclops/sometimes Han Solo/possibly Spock

    Isabelle = Slutty Hermione/one of the green chicks Captain Kirk always hits it with/one of Jabba the Hut's slaves/possibly Jubilee or another dumb, irrelevant mutant

    Alec = token gay character/C-3P0??

    Luke = Sirius Black/Chewbacca

    Jocelyn = Padme

    Hodge = Remus Lupin/Peter Pettigrew/Professor Xavier

    Valentine = Voldemort/Darth Vader/Magneto

    The Institute = The Knight Bus/Hogsmeade/The Leaky Cauldron/12 Grimmauld Place/Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters/Starfleet Academy

    Church the cat = Mrs. Norris/R2D2

    the portals = Floo Network/Disapperating/Beam me up, Scotty

    EDIT:

    Someone pointed out that mundies = muggles GOOD POINT, YO

  • manda
    Apr 19, 2016

    Bet you're sick of my updates, now.

    Just for reference, on the recent Sherrilyn Kenyon v Cassandra Clare.

    Kenyon has

    against Clare, and also provides a

    between Clare's work to her own.

    Read and decide for yourself.

    Saw some stills for the movie, and to be honest, despite being slightly spurious in my "casting" of

    , I actually think my version is much better than the movie version.

    I mean, look at Isabelle,

    Bet you're sick of my updates, now.

    Just for reference, on the recent Sherrilyn Kenyon v Cassandra Clare.

    Kenyon has

    against Clare, and also provides a

    between Clare's work to her own.

    Read and decide for yourself.

    Saw some stills for the movie, and to be honest, despite being slightly spurious in my "casting" of

    , I actually think my version is much better than the movie version.

    I mean, look at Isabelle, and look at Clary.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Isabelle is supposed to be

    hotter than Clary.

    And don't even get me started on Jace.

    I mean, Jamie Campbell Bower was cute in a couple of his other films, but.... Jace was supposed to be..... I dunno... swoon-on-your-feet-panty-wetting

    .

    And Simon.....

    I mean, he has "friendzone" written all over him.

    I know this is now being made into a film, and I

    they've all got the cast sorted out, but I imagined them very differently. So here's how they all played out in my head:

    For some reason, I always imagined Simon as young Eisenheim. And a part of me wants to kick myself for associating the 2006 film with this book in any way.

    And no, it's

    because he's queer.

    Because I wanted to put this picture in here, 'kay?

    I mean come on. Is there even a debate on this??

    Only because her acting skills match the quality of Clary's personality.

    Also known as

    .

    I heard about

    long before I even heard of

    's books, so I tried getting into it as objective as possible, given the circumstances. All I know is that she pretty much copy-pasted whole wads of text from another FF writer, from published books, from TV dialogue - into her

    trilogy, without providing any credit to the original authors.

    I also know that she lifted wads of text from

    into her published

    . What remains a mystery, though, is whether

    bits copied into

    were her own original pieces of writing, or some of them even plagiarized work?

    I won't go much into the whole plagiarism thing, since if indeed any plagiarized work exists in

    , that is pretty much speculation.

    However, it does bring to mind questions of ethic;

    Some people strongly believe in giving second chances. I think people only deserve second chances when they

    to their errors and have truly proven their repentance. Both cases which I have not as of yet heard

    do.

    Other questions popping into my head include

    I mean, if I did in university what

    did in

    (and, arguably,

    ), then I would've been kicked out on the curb and my pretty Master's degree ripped to shreds. And, similar to the whole

    debacle, instead of condemning her far below ethical work habits, we, the consumers, commend their "artwork", as if sending the message that whatever wrongs they have done, it doesn't matter because people still eat their shit up. There is no learning curve here; or at least, no deterrence factor.

    But anyway, I tried to suppress these nagging questions while I read the book, because I wanted to know if I would truly,

    , enjoy

    . Especially after the whole "GR Bullies" absurdity, where an increasing number of voices proclaim that

    .

    Well, ladies and gentlemen, my experience reading

    will provide evidence (alongside many other ample evidence out there), that no -

    Sometimes, our moral and ethic code just won't let us. Reading is, after all, a subjective experience, and

    influence our enjoyment of it, including our perception of the author. And if that affects our enjoyment of a book, then it damn well

    belong in a review if we choose to put it there.

    So. Anyway. Now that I'm off my soapbox. The biggest thing that stands out while I read

    was

    . It was so lazy and repetitive, information was handed over to us on a silver platter - there was no subtlety or any depth going on. But then there would be brief, short scenes or dialogues that

    . Those few and interspersed scenes surprised me, like one wet and icky autumn day, when I found a five dollar bill while raking up my neighbour's filthy garden.

    Try as I might to ignore it, I was at a dilemma.

    I mean, it's only five dollars. Surely they couldn't miss it. And, I mean, I'm working my

    off in this horrible weather because my

    owes them a lawnmower. And anyway, it might not even

    theirs to begin with.

    In the end, I took the money (come on, you would've, too!), but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I would have. And the

    I should have felt at

    just wasn't there.

    These funny bits of dialogues and scenes filled me with just as much inner turmoil as my five-dollar-note dilemma, and even though I

    that maybe, perhaps, it could be that these are all

    's own words, I still couldn't shake off the icky suspicions out off my gut - did she "draw inspiration" from some other unknown source, here?

    In the end, it just ravaged me with too much guilt and suspicions that what originally would have been a five-star scene was reduced down to three stars and a really, really sad face.

    Also a part of the inconsistent writing, was the

    . I know 3rd person omniscient gives the narrator the power to sift through characters' thoughts and emotions as they please, but this is what made the narrative sound forced and contrived. We would normally follow Clary as the novel progresses - until it is convenient for us to see things from another character's perspective, in which case off we'll jump into another person's head.

    These

    are just

    example of what I mean when I say that

    . When we aren't directly being fed a certain character's thoughts and emotions through his/her own point of view, we are blatantly

    their feelings by the character themselves. Rarely are people in real life so honest and

    as the characters in

    .

    The point I'm trying to make, here, is that we get to know the characters because

    , instead of us making our own informed opinions of them based on their actions and words. This is why I say

    . And how

    tried to show us that her characters have background and troubles and are

    was more or less through self-testimonials such as the second quote up above, where Magnus Bane so conveniently gave away his entire childhood to three random teenagers. The chapter

    was another one of these self-testimonials for another partially-important character.

    Where unimaginative writers just unload all these information through descriptive prose,

    was at least creative enough to hide it into her dialogue. But the same underlying problem is still there - we

    none of this "damaged goods". I didn't need

    to tell me his past to know that he was a damaged, troubled man. His

    spoke it for me.

    As for

    -- all you need to do is take a look at the entire ending scene with Valentine to see my point. The whole chapter was an infodump session. Rarely do I read villains who are so eager to reveal their past and provide explanations to their potential victims. The

    novels were slightly guilty of this - especially in the earlier books - but I believe a lot of other things about the books redeemed itself from this one fault.

    , but I don't take away points for this. I mean, I get it - it's hard to get on without

    character at least explaining what the blazes was going on.

    Speaking of

    ... this is rather tough.

    Clary herself accuses Jace of being an asshole plenty of times. But I've lived a fair amount of years, and I was friendly with quite a few assholes during my own teenage years. And let me tell you one thing: Jace is no asshole. He's a guy with daddy issues, trying to act tough. And

    is as deep as any of the characters get. I guess, he would be my favourite character out of the whole lot - not

    as in the one I liked the most, but the character whom, in my opinion, was the most developed, without

    or

    telling us about him.

    But remember my five-dollar-note dilemma? Yeah. Jace was, without a doubt, a direct cut-and-paste of the

    from

    's

    trilogy - who, by default, is a creation of

    's. So forgive me if I

    because frankly? If I enjoyed this book simply because of Jace, that doesn't say much about the rest of the book, or the quality of writing, because Jace is not even

    's original character.

    Further illustrating the

    of

    's writing, though, was the

    during the scene with Valentine. There is no way one person, in such a short amount of time, could thoroughly convince and change Jace into such an ... obedient? passive? receptive? character. No matter

    the person claimed he was, or

    evidence he brings to the table. Even if Jace believed in everything Valentine told him, there is

    it would have drastically changed him in such a manner and such a short time.

    Just as unlikely, was the way Jace was ready to walk the ends of the world with Valentine, build a new life with him, and in the next moment - after a few words from Clary - was ready to throw that all away once again.

    simply does not understand human psychology or even human

    enough to make solid characters.

    to say the least. They all sounded the same, I'm afraid. Witty, dry sort of humour. It gets tiring after a while. Also, the Magnus-and-Alec thing? Can I just say,

    ? Magnus is like, what? Forty? And Alec is ... sixteen?

    Even Valentine the Villain was ...

    He didn't frighten me, or even

    me. I kept reading how Clary was disgusted at how

    he was during his scenes, but reading the pages myself, reading his words, his actions? He wasn't particular conniving or ingenious - really, it was just that Jace was so ready to have a family back, he was willing to lap up every bit of contradicting information he heard.

    Uninspired. No, wait, they

    inspired. By

    and

    , to name a few. Perhaps even a bit of

    in there.

    And this is where my final dilemma lies.

    For light fluff, it has entertainment value enough. But

    out there. To say that I did not enjoy

    would be a lie; but the question is, did I enjoy

    , or did I enjoy the bits of

    and

    ?

    I'll let you decide if it's fine to like a book filled with other writers' characters, other authors' plot twists, other screenwriters' dialogue. Perhaps I'm being too uptight, but here's how I see it. New York with Potterverse and Star Wars. Take that away and what are you?

  • Christina Wilder
    Dec 16, 2015

    This will probably be my longest review, but there's a lot to cover here.

    What I liked:

    - The action sequences were written well. The pacing in them was decent and I could visualize what was happening.

    - The kiss between two characters

    was also written well, and I was happy to see a kiss written as a

    , and not like orgasmic sex (the kiss scene in Fallen was so over the top that it was ridiculous).

    - Some of the twisty twists were decent.

    What I didn

    This will probably be my longest review, but there's a lot to cover here.

    What I liked:

    - The action sequences were written well. The pacing in them was decent and I could visualize what was happening.

    - The kiss between two characters

    was also written well, and I was happy to see a kiss written as a

    , and not like orgasmic sex (the kiss scene in Fallen was so over the top that it was ridiculous).

    - Some of the twisty twists were decent.

    What I didn't like:

    - Pretty much everything else. Details follow. Mild cursing and awesome gifs ahead.

    Okay. Reviews for this are all over the place. It's very much a love it or hate it book. It's understandable given that this very much reads like Harry Potter fanfiction (I may be incorrect but I think it started as fanfiction). Valentine is so obviously a doppelganger for Voldemort that it's distracting. Plus every time I read about the Mortal Instruments, I thought of the Deathly Hallows.

    The story itself, though, had promise. Runes, demon hunting, that's cool. By now I'm so sick of any mention of nephilim that I don't even want to talk about that (thanks Patch!).

    I will also give points to Clare for not having teenagers talk like moronic robots. I actually read a book in which someone said "Oh em

    " and it depressed me. Clare gets the same points taken away, though, for the godawful dialogue.

    I say godawful because I'd heard so much about the witticisms of these characters. I wasn't expecting Oscar Wilde, but these kids weren't witty. They were goddamn annoying. You can tell when someone is in love with the sound of his/her own voice, and his/her own humor, and it showed here. Plus everyone seemed to have the same humor, and it followed a formula:

    Character One: "Simple question."

    Character Two: "Oh, that? It's hyberbole, bad simile, weird visual."

    Character One: "Oh, you're so saucy!"

    Seriously. Between the "shotgun, where? Oh she means where to sit in the car, lol, who's on first?", "looking better in black than blah blah your mom, take my wife, please!", "hahaha better than Isabelle's cooking, am I right? Is this thing on?", I wanted to scream.

    It was relentless. Even what could have passed as poignant moments was ruined by this "humor". Oh, you tried to brush away an uncomfortable moment by saying someone's a killer transvestite who molests cats HAHAHA I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE. Gods, it was constant.

    Also, the infodumping. It was

    .

    As a writer, I can sympathize with needing to get a ton of story out there, but there has GOT to be a better way to do it than sitting the newbie down and answering his/her Q&A for pages and pages.

    On to the characters.

    Now, Jace is a douchebag, and I say that because this guy is one of the most narcissistic characters I've encountered in fiction, and that's saying something. However, he never physically assaulted Clary, so he gets points for that, because other love interests in YA have certainly done that (hi Patch!).

    On to Clary. What a dipshit. She was okay at first, but then her Mary Sueness was brought to blinding levels. She's never used a weapon before, but she's able to throw a dagger right at a monster. Three characters, including the monster she hits, compliment her on it. You could argue that there's something inherent in her that makes her automatically good at this stuff, but I really don't care and that's lazy.

    I also really hated her inner monologue. They're fighting vampires - vampires! - and she takes the time to think to herself "THERE ARE NO FAT OR UGLY VAMPIRES it's like an Abercrombie & Fitch ad with the undead all up in here" while this is happening. She's so clueless it's pathetic.

    Also, there's the what seems to be obligatory mess of "she doesn't know how beautiful she is" thing. On its own, it could be fine, but here it was this mess of all these guys falling over Clary while she remains oblivious. Give me a break here. Have your character own his/her sexuality and beauty, or don't make them objects of desire. And don't tell me it was her winning personality that won these guys over, because she just kind of stands there until the end, and even then she whined so much I was kind of hoping she'd die.

    I'd love to know what was with the weird POV changes. For most of the book I was stuck with Clary, then got a page and a half in Jace's head, then Luke's, which was part of an infodumping so epic it needed a Hans Zimmer score. Seriously, if you infodump like this, my eyes glaze over and my mind clouds.

    Now onto more troubling issues.

    - Girl on girl hate. Clary goes out of her way to be shitty to Isabelle because she's prettier and knows it. Writers, this needs to STOP. Don't tell me this is how teenage girls think, that's lazy. We don't need to encourage this kind of thought in which pretty/sexy girls are the enemy. Plus how can I root for a female protagonist if she's so insecure that she treats other girls like shit if they dare make her feel inferior? Get some self respect and then call me.

    - Demonification of sexuality (but only if it's from other females) The single mother comment made me want to punch this book in the face. It's shitty and low. Can we not emphasize the goodness of a woman by contrasting her with women who aren't exactly like her? Ms. Clare, if you're reading this, I want to know why you felt it was important for us to see how

    Clary's mother is as opposed to other single mothers who you made out to be skanky. It upset me.

    - Ethnicity for the sake of ethnicity. Don't tell me that a couple is of Asian decent or the girl you bumped into was black unless there is a reason for it.

    I'm probably forgetting a few things, but that's the gist of it. I won't be reading any more of this series because I can't take anymore of the aforementioned problems.

    One great thing - Alec and Magnus Bane. Still not enough to overcome everything else.

    Here's something, too. Clary asking if Alec was gay was beyond shitty. I had a gay friend in high school and was constantly asked about him, and it pissed us both off. "What's it to you?" was our common response. Know why? BECAUSE IT'S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS.

    Oh, I did not like Clary. She made me think of a Louis C.K. bit - "I hope she gets pushed off a cliff by someone she loves, and she screams all the way down, never accepting it, and then Superman flies in, catches her, flies up, and drops her from FARTHER UP."

    So that's my review. Take it or leave it.

    ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Rick Riordan
    Feb 19, 2014

    Okay, so I’m far behind the curve on reading this, but I very much enjoyed my introduction to the world of nephilim, Shadowhunters and demons. Clare constructed a vivid, believable parallel world with great characters, punchy dialogue, and a winning mix of humor, pathos and action. I like her take on warlocks, vampires, and werewolves, and of course I’m a big fan or urban fantasy, where these fantastic elements mix into the regular gritty city life of New York. Clary Fray is a sympathetic protag

    Okay, so I’m far behind the curve on reading this, but I very much enjoyed my introduction to the world of nephilim, Shadowhunters and demons. Clare constructed a vivid, believable parallel world with great characters, punchy dialogue, and a winning mix of humor, pathos and action. I like her take on warlocks, vampires, and werewolves, and of course I’m a big fan or urban fantasy, where these fantastic elements mix into the regular gritty city life of New York. Clary Fray is a sympathetic protagonist, though I was equally drawn to the supporting cast. I especially like that the villains are believably three-dimensional. Even when you do not support them, you understand what motivates them. There is no easy black and white, good and evil dichotomy. I’ll be interested in seeing where the series goes from here, and what Clare does with her Victorian prequel series The Infernal Devices.

  • Katerina
    Sep 18, 2016

    I read

    for the first time 5 years ago. I still remember that day.

    It was during my first semester in Law School and I had to study History of Law, which was a complete waste of time because seriously, who is ever going to ask me whether women in Byzantium could get a divorce? (In case you are wondering, they could only if the husband was impotent or pos

    I read

    for the first time 5 years ago. I still remember that day.

    It was during my first semester in Law School and I had to study History of Law, which was a complete waste of time because seriously, who is ever going to ask me whether women in Byzantium could get a divorce? (In case you are wondering, they could only if the husband was impotent or possessed). Aaanyway, I wanted a break and I grabbed this beautiful book and started reading until I finished it, bleary-eyed, disoriented and

    . A typical day in Kat-verse.

    Shadowhunters (ninja warriors with angel blood) fight demons and co-exist with vampires, werewolves, fae and warlocks while a former Shadowhunter with nazi tendencies threatens to destroy them.

    is a

    paranormal book that keeps you invested in the story and the characters since page 1.

    introduce you to a world of magic, where nightmares come true, truths are revealed and decisions have to be made. Diving into this world is easy, effortless and so, so

    .

    and

    are all over the place and witty banters crack you up. But mind that there is also

    that make you question the writer's humanity (and maybe sanity).

    has a unique ability, her writing can heal

    stab your poor heart.

    I need to warn you about Jace. He is the kind of bad boy who makes rude gestures to nuns and loves weapons and treats everything like a joke and is a total badass. You will fall in love with him and swoon and want to have his babies but you're in for disappointment. Because he is

    .

    So that's the general awesomeness of the Mortal Instruments.

    |

    |

    |