Cassandra Clare · Mortal Instruments · Young Adult

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

Update: After reading the entire series I can only say that it is mediocre. You can read my reviews of each book and decide for yourself if you want to read it. There are positives and negatives to each one. If you want to read a better story set in this world than read The Infernal Devices!



I haven’t been a fan of very many young adult books, usually because the story focuses way to much on love triangles. Ugh. This was also pretty much the case for City of Bones; however, after just finishing the novel, I can’t decide how much I enjoyed it. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the greatest thing I have ever read either. I believe it wasn’t until I was 75% of the way through the book that it actually started to get really interesting and then I was hooked.

This wasn’t one of my favorite books and I don’t know if I would ever read it again. That kind of depends on how much I enjoy the rest of the series. There were a lot of things that bothered me about it including the love triangle, a couple of the characters, and some of the dialogue was cheesy and forced. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the world and look forward to learning more about it as well as some of the characters. This just barely made it on my “continue with series” list. Only because everyone says it keeps getting better.


Almost everyone who reads knows what this book is about so I don’t have to go into too much detail here. Clary is your average teenager who is thrown into a world she never knew existed involving demons, werewolves, vampires, warlocks, and shadowhunters. She finds out information she never knew about her mother and eventually figures out why demons are so interested in her and her mother. The entire book focuses on attempting to rescue her mother (wherever she is) and finding the Mortal Cup, while fighting off various demons and vampires along the way.

I can’t say that I found the plot to be particularly interesting and I think it is mainly because it wasn’t executed well. It just felt like they were going from place to place for no reason without a logical plan (lets just fight our way through!). One such example was Simon getting kidnapped, which seemed completely unnecessary. It was just too simple of a plot. I mean it took me 3/4 of the book to be really into it. 😦

The information dumping wasn’t well done and became annoying. I thought that could have been a lot more interesting by being worked into conversations a bit better than it was. It needs to be more natural. There was just so much information about the world and its inhabitants that it was terribly overwhelming. This also lagged the plot in some parts and prevented it from flowing smoothly. As a result there were a couple parts in which I started to become uninterested. Certain parts of the book would just go by so quickly, while others seemed to take FOREVER.

One thing I hate are poorly developed love triangles especially when they distract from the actual plot, which this one did all the time. It needed to be more subtle and further in the background. It started to seem that the romance was becoming more of the focus of the book. I hate that. I also dislike when characters are so ignorant when someone is in love with them. I mean are you really that stupid that you can’t tell? Hopefully there won’t be one in the following books. The most interesting thing was that one of the main characters is gay, which you don’t find it books too often, so I thought that was a nice touch.

The ending of the book (omg!) was also great, although it was slightly predictable…oh well. I will have to read the second book to see if the story gets better.


I have to say the overall world was rather interesting. Its the one thing that kept me interested in the story and why I want to read the next book. The runes the shadowhunters use is an interesting form of magic, and all the other beings including angels, werewolves and vampires were actually really entertaining, but I was hoping for a unique twist on them, as of now they are just the same as every other story.


Clary, the main character, is incredibly annoying. I didn’t like her at all because she seemed to be really spacey and somewhat dumb at times making really stupid decisions. She is also completely ignorant about Simon being in love with her because she is so focused on Jace, although she should have known about Simon’s feelings well before meeting Jace. I hate it when characters are like that. Clary also didn’t have much of a personality, she was really well…bland to me. She also constantly forgets about Simon, which was just rude. She has known him for a very long time and they spend a lot of time together, so how do you just forget about your best friend? I don’t understand her sometimes. I guess I did like that there was some focus on her art, but that is pretty much all we know about her, that she is good at drawing. I really hope that she develops more in the next book and smartens up a bit. Please, please, please!

I am not sure how I feel about Jace. I hated his cocky, full of himself attitude, and his lack of emotion (at least until the end), but at least he had a personlity! Yay! I enjoyed his stories about his past, which made me like him a little more if only because I felt sorry for him. Jace also appears to be ignorant that his best friend, Alec, is actually in love with him (sigh). I guess he is just so used to everyone being in love with him because of his looks.

I loved Simon and thought he was one of the best characters in the book. Though we don’t know too much about him, I still ended up liking him a lot. I love his sarcastic personality! I also felt really sorry for him because it was so obvious that he loves Clary, but she just didn’t get it. He was also forgotten about several times and I thought he was just being used. So sad. 😦 I really hope we get to see more of him and maybe learn a bit more about him. He is such a good friend to Clary, so kind and charming! I think he can do better than her though.

One of the most interesting characters was Magnus. I hope he plays a larger role in upcoming novels because I need to see more Magnus….

There are so many characters in this book! I thought Luke was a great character and he becomes so much more interesting towards the end. Alec was also okay though I felt totally sorry for him because his feelings for Jace don’t seem to be reciprocated. I liked Isabelle and am glad there is another female in the book, but I need something more out of her.

I didn’t like Hodge at all, even from the beginning and Valentine is so…evil, such a horrible person. I guess Valentine seems so love his children and his wife, so maybe he isn’t entirely evil, just completely misguided? He has a great way of showing his love….


I thought the writing wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t the best either. I thought some of the conversations were kind of cheesy and forced, and there were so many metaphors/similes I couldn’t stand it. There had to be at least one in every paragraph. Leave something up to the imagination!


I can’t even tell you how much I hate this cover! It’s horrible! It’s more eye-catching then some other editions of the book, but I really dislike the illustration and something that better fits the book could have been chosen. The only thing it has going for it is a decent layout. Definitely could have been better! Don’t you agree?

The title is decent and at least fits the book pretty well


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4 thoughts on “City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

  1. The third book is the best in the series. It is absolutely amazing! I agree with the fact that the plot is slow on the first book and I also wasn’t a fan of the writing. The best thing about the series is that the writing and the characters grow and improve as the series goes on. I hope you keep reading and enjoy the next book!


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