Clary is an ordinary 15-year-old girl, living in New York with her mum, Jocelyn, her father is dead and her Uncle Luke has been taking care of her for as long as she can remember. But soon she realises she doesn’t know them as well as she thought, and her ordinary family, aren’t so ordinary at all. One night she goes to a club with her best friend Simon and witnesses a murder that no one else saw. She meets a group of people called the Shadowhunters; they are demon hunters, and are curious to discover why Clary can see their world when no mundane should. She discovers she has the Sight and can witness the supernatural world, but she’s left wondering why. As her mother mysteriously goes missing through supernatural means, Clary turns to the Shadowhunters to figure things out and find her mother before it’s too late.
Cassandra Clare has set up an incredible world, filled with Warlocks, Vampires, Werewolves, Demons, I could go on. With world building came a huge information dump right at the beginning that was necessary, yet was not handled as well as it could have been. City of Bones was very thick to wade through, however once you get the lay of the land, there were many plot twists and turns, and I didn’t get bored once.
The things I really enjoyed about the characters were that Cassandra chose various specific characters to focus on throughout the book. City of Bones doesn’t completely revolve around the heroine, we see other characters points of view, and instead of getting bored—which I frequently do in other points of view—I enjoyed reading about the characters. A lot of YA novels have the whole book solely on the heroine, which is quite unrealistic, and can make the world dull and one-dimensional.
Clary had a fiery element about her, but she also had a vulnerability because she was only just introduced to the Shadowhunters when she gets thrown into battles, and therefore can’t kill and didn’t have the fighting training they did. This grew weary because she couldn’t protect herself and didn’t contribute much to fights. But I can’t expect her to be a ninja right away, so I’ll let that go…other than that, I liked her point-of-view!
Simon was Clary’s geeky best friend and I though he was funny; engaging in witty banter with Jace and making Star Wars references made him entertaining. Also, I was picturing him as Robert Sheehan, who’s playing Simon in the film, which didn’t hurt. Jace was a jerk, yet that didn’t bother me much, because it was said many times that it was a facade, and although he had a haughty attitude and a big mouth, I always thought there was a complexity to him and a set of emotions no one sees upfront that he covers up. Unfortunately, I didn’t like Isabelle and Alec as much as I wanted to; Alec had his own issues and I liked that, Isabelle was ‘the beautiful one’ and seemed kind of badass when it came to fighting. But there was always an animosity they both shared towards Clary that I didn’t think was reasonable. It seemed only Jace was actually nice to her and he was meant to be the jerk, which was kind of cliché. There’s also a definite love triangle building here, which I’m not a huge fan of, regardless of the ending I believe this love-triangle is not going away. For me, this wasn’t particularly a love story but was more about world-building than the romance between characters.
Despite minor character issues, I still found this an enjoyable world to read and will be reading the next in the series.
Rating: 3 Stars