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

Last Updated on December 11, 2013

I read City of Bones by Casssandra Clare (the first in The Mortal Instruments paranormal series) after watching the movie in the cinema. I think it was a first for me, as I usually read the book and then watch the movie (or TV series), like I did with so many others including Harry Potter, Dexter, etc.

So now having both read the book and watched the movie, here are my impressions. I have to say I liked both. I would have probably liked the book more if I hadn’t watched the film first, because now every time I read about Clary, I had the red haired actress in mind (Lily Collins) and of course when I was reading something that Jace said or did, I had Jamie Campbell Bower in front of my eyes all the time.

Especially since I read the book 2 days after watching the movie in the cinema, I can’t but relate the two in my review. I found the the movie followed the book quite closely, I think the one part where it really departed from the original script it was the end (e.g. where Clary’s mother was found and where the final battle took place). Otherwise the similarities were eerily strong, which I quite enjoyed.

Obviously the plot is nothing new, I’ve read dozens of similar paranormal mysteries (and romances), but still I enjoyed how Cassandra Clare literally drew us in the story and made us feel for the characters. The world of the shadowhunters is really cool and even if I hadn’t seen the movie first, I could easily imagine the grand place that their home of the shadowhunters was.

In fact that’s one thing I liked most about the whole first book – it was very easy to follow, the action was well done, the suspense was there and even though for the most part we’re talking about kids here (except for a few adult figures such as Luke, or Jace’s “parent” or Madam Dorothea (now that is an interesting character, especially with the startling conclusion about her).

I just loved the interaction and the slow but sure building romance between Clary and Jace. There is definitely strong chemistry developing there, it’s undeniable. And wow the surprise about finding out something about each other…this is where I though “now I should be grossed out”, but I wasn’t. I’m only reading now book 2, but I’m hoping that something will be put right between the two..some secret that will turn out not to be true afteral….but we’ll see…

Just to not make it even a bit boring, we get our steady and trustworthy Simon, Clare’s best friend who has a serious crush on her, which is sadly not returned by her. She always considered him more like a brother than anything else, and I was more than once sorry for Simon. He’s a great (albeit geeky) character who is going to be even more interesting as the story goes on (and yes, book 2 will bring a nice surprise about him as well).

And finally we have Valentine, the perpetual evil guy who has so strong ties to all the main characters. He is a guy that you can’t but love to hate from the moment you first lay eyes on him.

All in all City of Bones is a wonderful dark urban fantasy that is full of intrigue, mystery, romance and at times fast paced action as well. It’s not a cheesy paranormal romance, so if you’re looking for a light reading that is full of fluff, smiles and comedy, you won’t find that in this first novel.

Now going back to the actual writing, I found that the author, Cassandra Clare is writing her books quite well. Granted, it was the first novel I’ve read by her (I”ll be picking up The Infernal Devices book series as soon as I finish the 5 ones in The Mortal Instruments) but I really liked her writing style. So often when I read a book I might like the characters or enjoy the plot, but the writing leaves something to desire. Not so here. I really enjoyed reading even the decriptions (which I agree, I do tend to glaze over in some other books).

I’ve been reading on Goodreads what other reviewers said, and it’s funny, but this book is one that you either love or hate. There doesn’t seem to be much in between. Which I think should say something about it – it evokes strong emotions from the reason, and one thing I can’t find in anyone’s description about the book is: boring. Because whatever it might be, boring it ain’t.

To learn more or order a copy, visit Amazon


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  1. Great review! I have watched the movie and am eagerly trying to find a gap in my reading schedule to read this series. I just finished The Infernal Devices and absolutely loved those books. I hope you do get to them soon and enjoy it as much as I did! I will keep an eye out for your reviews.

  2. I listened to this on audio. It was pretty good, even though I don’t usually read a lot of paranormal novels. Still, I gave it 4 stars. Still have to see the movie though. Hopefully it hasn’t gone out of theatres yet!

  3. I’ve got this on my TBR list but as it’s a genre that’s not my favorite it will be a while until I read it. I do have to say you make it sound good.

  4. Sounds like something I would love to read. I didn’t realize they had a movie of this. If you like Dexter then you and I might actually have something in common!

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