City of Bones by Cassandra Clare | Book Review


DISCLAIMER: I first posted the review for the first three books of this series in 2019, edited this in 2022 and changed it from a 3-book review to just the first book in the series, because the initial review was unnecessarily wordy.

BLURB: 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... (Goodreads).
“I don't want tea," said Clary, with muffled force. "I want to find my mother. And then I want to find out who took her in the first place, and I want to kill them."

Title: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) 
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Goodreads rating: 4.08
Pages: 485
Publication: 27th May 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Book Depository | Amazon | BookXcess | Google Books
Reading format: E-book
Review type: Non-spoilery

This was one of the books that I thought I would never read. I tried several times before 2019 but I just couldn't. But then I started reading the book in 2019 just for the sake of making fun of it... and instead got hooked to the series, its prequels and sequels. Note: don't ever read a book for the sake of making fun of it ever again.

First of all, I hate the writing of this book. It was very underdeveloped and very early 2010s, which, if we think about it, is relevant since this book was published in 2007, and probably started being written in the early 2000s. For me, it's forgivable, the only reason I finished this book despite its poor writing was that I kept reminding myself that this book was published in 2007.

On the other hand, the storyline, the world-building and the characters were pretty solid. As all of the standard young adult fantasy books, at least the first 10 chapters were spent for world-building, and Cassandra Clare really did a decent job in introducing this world and its magic system to the readers, which I really appreciate. There was nothing confusing and everything was pretty straightforward, and enough explanation was done for the readers to get absorbed into the world, at least for the first book. The way she wrote about her characters also clicked really well with me.

The storyline was also written really well. I liked all the twists that were included in this book, except for that last one (if you know, you know). And surprisingly, despite the poor writing, the narrative of the book was actually quite fun to follow. Jokes and puns were inserted in the most inappropriate times, coming out of the mouth of the most unlikely character, which is always welcomed by me. I love those.

The characters that were introduced in this book were not easy to love, since almost all of them, especially the main character, made really reckless, questionable decisions but it should be noted that they were just 16 to 18 years old teenagers. Coming from a person who finished the whole series and its sequel, the characters do grow on you. It was very fulfilling to see the characters grow wiser by each book, and I can say with absolute certainty that I definitely will cry if any of them die, despite disliking them in the first book. 

And yes, 2 stars. I LOVE THE SERIES. BUT THE FIRST THREE BOOKS? JUST NO. NOT IT. I initially gave this book 3 stars but I realized how high that was for this book, so I reduced it to two. Will I recommend this book to anyone, ever? No. But I will recommend the series, as a whole, if anyone is interested in reading the prequel and sequel series, which are 10000 times better than this one.

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