Lina's Reviews > City of Bones

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
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** spoiler alert ** I originally took down my review because I wanted to re-write a new one in order to make a point, but being my usual absent minded self I promptly forgot that point and so a half-written review has been sitting on my hard-drive for Hera knows how long, while people look at the [[review coming soon]] note and think...sure that'll happen. So I decided on this cool August day that I am going to re-write this damn review and get it over with.

Cassandra Clare was a writer with a history that I was mostly unfamiliar with because being the sheltered little angel I am, I did not have access to the fandom when all the drama went down. However, the internet never forgets so I found about it after the fact. That and a blurb by Stephenie Meyer kept me from seeking out the series, until a friend of mine gave me Clare's spin-off series, Clockwork Angel and I honestly enjoyed it. So when it came a time for me to read City of Bones I was excited honestly. No one can say I didn't go into that book with an open mind. And in return for that, it tried to melt my brain.
All City of Bones managed to be was a messy accumulation of popular stories that were great in their original form, but were blended together into a low-fat, low-carb pop-culture smoothie that is as uncreative as it is long. We get treated to a book with complete character development stasis despite being nearly five hundred pages long.

When our insipid protagonist, Clary discovers, after meeting a group of mysterious strangers, that there is a whole world of monsters and fae that she was previous unaware of. On top of that an evil Voldemort-like villain called, Valentine, has kidnapped her mother. Oh the drama.
Clary commits the cardinal sin on any protagonist: she is stupid. Every action she takes, from the very beginning, is done to show us what a "brave person she is" but only serves to inform us that she can not actually use her brain. During the first chapter or so, she comes across a group of people (the Shadow Hunters) interrogating a "Downworlder" and she thinks that they may be a gang. Instead of going back inside to get help or calling 911, waiting for her friend to bring help or at the very least staying quiet to ensure her own safety she tried to be a hero. "Isn't that a good thing?" You may ask. No, it is a stupid thing to do for many reasons. The main one being they have weapons and she does not. What can she do? If she were to get involved would it actually save that guy's life? If they had actually been a gang she would have been killed, to ensure a lack of witnesses and there would be no chance at ID-ing the perpetrators later on. Thankfully, it's not an actual gang and the Shadow Hunters are so not a problem that Clary can talk with them for a while before they decided to leave. To quote a member from That Guy With the Glasses "They're the best!"

Thankfully for Clary she is not the worst character in this series, that privilege falls onto Jace, who is the oh-so-Byronic male love interest with daddy issues and a patronizing attitude that Clary just can not resist. He is from beginning to end an asshole and there is no nicer way to put it. He is an ass. He treats Clary like a child (which while understandable is not fun to watch when that makes her fall for him) and had everyone eating out of his hand.

As they participate in this journey Clary takes these discoveries of the supernatural with a causal nod and unrealistic clarity, partly because her love interest, Jace, is her mystical estrogen bait-guide. Both Jace and Clary qualify as our protagonists, even though the story is told following Clary’s events. They are both pretty shallow characters, and upon further analysis are seen to be completely stagnant despite the many things that happen to them throughout the book and things technically do happen. Clary is plunged into a world where there is pretty much a war going on between the Downworlders and the Shadow Hunters. Information is thrown at her from all corners, including the fact that her memories have been erased since the age of two and Clary handles it with the equivalent of a shoulder shrug. There are brief moments of anger and outrage, but they fade unfathomably quickly. She never grows as a character and despite this book being the first of a trilogy I think it is fair to expect your lead protagonist to at least evolve a wee bit they discover the things that Clary does.

Oh wait...WAIT! Silly me, I am forgetting something. Clary does grow in one respect! She becomes more of a judgey, pretentious, know-it-all. Clary judges everyone and everything she deems not up to snuff. Mainly Izzy who has the nerve to be beautiful and dress in an attractive manner. I mean the jolly-g, what nerve! And the fact that she and her brother come from money. Gasp. Two attractive women can not be in the same story and actually be friends without one treating the other like the anti-Christ after all. The comments on class might have been more effective if Clary did not grow up in one of the best areas in NYC. I have no problem rooting for privileged people with corny problems, I watch Gilmore Girls. That is at least better than a character like Clary who has her nose up in the air and looks down on everyone and yet tries to make out as if she is so humble. The way she treats her family friend once she finds out he's a werewolf--calling him a dirty Downworlder--I just wanted to smack her. Who does she think she is?
Okay I have to stop talking about Clary.

In terms of just writing it is just very fluffy and silly with metaphors which do not really add anything to the story. Mainly because they are awkward and do not sound anywhere as deep as they are supposed to when read aloud. The Star Wars plot twist was just irritating to read and even thinking about it makes me want to bang my head.

City of Bones is just everything that annoys me about young adult literature. It is not creative and is not fun to read, which is a shame because there is potential in it. When she re-wrote it in Clockwork Angel I thought the story was much better, but then again it had Jem who is delicious and fantastic. In fact you know what, just read that series instead. If it wasn't for me not wanting to invest any more money into Clare or wanting to spend any more time with her work I might still be reading it.

Now back into my dungeon.

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Reading Progress

3.0% "Um, how can you tell what his eye color is from the behind/side and that distance? X-0" 21 comments
3.0% "If you think its a gang war, why are you even still their dumbass?"
3.0% ""They're crazy," Clary thought. "Actually crazy." Again....WHY ARE YOU THERE? Also why is that line even there...sigh."
3.0% "Yes they are crazy...we get it >.> Clary is getting on my nerves already." 2 comments
03/09 "This voice actress isn't even trying. The boys voice sounds even more high pitched that the girl's." 1 comment
5.0% "Wait Daniel is straight? Fooled moi"
8.0% "Honestly, if I was told that I'd been knocked out for three days I'd check between my legs then run to the bathroom!" 7 comments
8.0% "UGH Clary you wake up in different clothes and are just so whatever about it >.......> you must be from the really good part of the City."
9.0% "How do you know her habits after a few hours and if Jace's hair is called tawny one more time I will rage...IT IS BLOND"
9.0% "'I'm from Brooklyn!" Bitch please, I'M from Brooklyn and not from the nice little brownstone area. I'm from the worst areas in Brooklyn, so please check your bravado at the door" 17 comments
9.0% "Oh, mysterious guy named Valentine dead 15 years, same age as Clary...I wonder if that means anything//sarcasm. Seriously is this supposed to be subtle?"
15.0% "The Clave are douche bags..."
20.0% "Why call yourself shadowhunters when you don't hunt shadows or anything hunt's not that special." 5 comments
24.0% "If he doesn't look tense then how can you see tension?"
24.0% "Woah, she named the werewolf guy Lucian? She owes the writers of Underworld a check." 1 comment
35.0% "After reading this so far I am totally taking of marks from the Clockwork Angel review...." 1 comment
35.0% "I'm team Volder---ahem--I mean Valentine."
37.0% "Oh God Simon shut up you never say anything useful..." 1 comment
03/13 "Clary sweetheart are you really impressed by the way Jace walks down stairs?" 2 comments
50.0% "I honestly don't want to hear anymore of this book, I mean it is that bad." 4 comments
55.0% "Will finish this shit tonight. I will admit, I like Magnus..."
55.0% "Why would a Magnus want to help the people who kill his kind? the Clave are such dumbasses"
55.0% "How the line went with Clary: Clary: Maybe we could get back to saving my best friend from being exsanguinatedto death Jace: Exsanguinated that's a big word Clary: And you'e a big- Jace: Tsk-Tsk ----If it were me--- Me: Maybe we could get back to saving my best friend from being exsanguinatedto death Jace: Exsanguinated that's a big word Me: Fuck off -kick in the shin-" 1 comment
60.0% "Jesus I'm still listening to this...most unsexy make out scene ever...can we at least get some erotic groping?"
61.0% "When has Clary shown any romantic interest in Simon ever? So why on Earth would stupid ass Jace think they were sleeping together in Clary's room? Also Clary why are you sorry? Simon is a moron and so is Jace."
61.0% ""Why would you try to make me jealous?" Because he want to get in your knock off Ginny Weasley panties that's why..."
61.0% "Simon, Simon, Simon, poor dumbass Simon. Girl's can not read minds and since Clary's brain is shat because of being mindzapped so many times she does not have the ability to grasp common sense. That's why she couldn't tell you liked her...although everyone else did."
63.0% "The POV in this book is weird as fucq..."
68.0% "Simon is such a nerd cliche! Making Star Wars references does not make you cool!" 3 comments
68.0% "You know what...I'm done. Seriously, this is a waste of time and honestly I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING! HOUSE OF NIGHT IS MORE ENTERTAINING THAN THIS!!!!!!"
75.0% "Woah, woah, woah...Clary has been in the shadowhunter world for less than a week, yet she is already treating downworlders like they are inferior people? Bitch, go get slapped by Alec..." 2 comments
02/07 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 115) (115 new)

message 1: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Moseley If you think it's boring, I'm scared to read it. But I'm still going to because my mom bought it for me.

Christina 0.o Dang...glad I wasn't smart enough at the time to really analyze the book.

message 3: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Poor you. I didn't even read past the first five chapters before I gave up. Worse than HoN and Evermore...that's quite an accomplishment.

message 4: by Lina (new) - rated it 1 star

Lina Cory wrote: "Poor you. I didn't even read past the first five chapters before I gave up. Worse than HoN and Evermore...that's quite an accomplishment."

You were the wise one...I will never read anything this woman puts out ever!!!!

message 5: by Sofia (new)

Sofia And this is why I love you (although you might not know it until now).

message 6: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Also, can we hope for a vlog on this? :)

message 7: by Vi (last edited Apr 03, 2011 04:26PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Vi Vi vlog vlog vlog

God this series just aggravates me. It's horribly written from beginning to end. It just makes me hate humanity that this dog shit is so popular. Glad to see honest ppl willing to mention the stupid.

And YES Clary's middle-class Brooklyn 'I'm not from the Upper East Side therefore I'm super poor but not really' attitude pissed me the HELL OFF. Clare is just the queen of easy outs. She wants to make a 'poor' character who isn't really poor. She wants to make a 'plain' heroine, who's actually really beautiful. She wants to have incest angst without them really committing incest, or going through the deep psychological trauma that incest would surely cause. She steals from better writers, covers over her plotholes with Jace prettiness, and writes a love story in which her official couple falls in love for no reason and with no build up, and suddenly THE LOVE IS SO TRUE AND DEEP NOBODY CAN UNDERSTAND IT.

It's all just easy easy easy. It's like her motto.

She's a hack.

message 8: by Ceilidh (new)

Ceilidh This review is a beautiful thing.

Emily I love you for this. I actually enjoy this series, but it really steams my clams when people try to act like it's NOT a huge, cheap ripoff of HP, Star Wars, and everything else it can never hope to be. There's homages and then there's copy-catting, and this series falls into the latter category.

Christina It's better than what I just read. Yes...yes it is. I just posted a chapter in my writing about it. Much...worse...

Andrea Caro I have never loved anything the way I loved this review. I don't know what's funnier - that you used a Misfits animation or that you called Clary Sherry Shepard dumb. YOU'RE AMAZING.

message 12: by Lina (new) - rated it 1 star

Lina Andrea wrote: "I have never loved anything the way I loved this review. I don't know what's funnier - that you used a Misfits animation or that you called Clary Sherry Shepard dumb. YOU'RE AMAZING."

You are even more amazing! Your snark review was fantastical.

The only thing as bad Sherry Shepard Dumb, is Elizabeth Hasselbeck ignorant...but that is a completely different can of worms.

Andrea Caro Princess wrote: "Andrea wrote: "I have never loved anything the way I loved this review. I don't know what's funnier - that you used a Misfits animation or that you called Clary Sherry Shepard dumb. YOU'RE AMAZING...."

I'm about to start reading book two just so I can yell about that, too. That's probably bad, but I feel like with as many good reviews as this bucket of vomit gets on goodreads, the world needs more people to shine the truth down on it.

Hahaha, Elizabeth Hasselbeck. I wish I could tie her and Ann Coulter together and run them both over repeatedly with my car.

message 14: by Lina (new) - rated it 1 star

Lina Andrea wrote: "Princess wrote: "Andrea wrote: "I have never loved anything the way I loved this review. I don't know what's funnier - that you used a Misfits animation or that you called Clary Sherry Shepard dumb..."


I rebuke Cassandra Clare's works in the name of Jesus Christ's abs.

Andrea Caro I am going to embrace it because I'm always angry. I must not get enough fiber in my diet. Either that or I just want to call all Bear Jew on her.


Kat Kennedy Wow. That was... Well, that was quite a rant!

Congratulations on your rantilicious review! Great job!

message 17: by Hamda (last edited Apr 04, 2011 01:51AM) (new)

Hamda Almuhairi I salute you, you totally outdid yourself, girl.

I think the publisher was pretty sleepy and bored out of his mind when got her manuscript and accepted it for publication. That's the only possible way plagarized work like hers would hit the market.

Caitlin I completely agree with your review and certainly couldn't have said it better myself.

Christina This made my day. No, I'm really serious. This made most of my day.

message 20: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Moseley If you say it's THAT bad, I'm kinda scared to read it. But my mom bought it for me, so I should read it. Otherwise, my mom would've wasted her money.

message 21: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John Egbert City of Bones is as a dull, irritating and painful as taking a massive shit after eating something that looked "pretty good" despite friends telling you "RUN BITCH RUN!"

Actually, that's pretty much how it worked for me too. My friends kept telling me NO NO NO and I was like "But it can't be that bad!" and you know, it's actually terrible. Your review did much justice to this terrible, terrible, terrible book and the entire terrible, terrible, terrible series.

Even seeing the name "Jace" gives me flashbacks and uncontrollable frothing spasms of annoyance and pain. I hate him so much.

message 22: by Mel (new) - added it

Mel Princess, now you have to read Hush, Hush. >=]

Zero vi Britannia Mitsuko wrote: "Princess, now you have to read Hush, Hush. >=]"

Why would you tell her to read that piece of shit?

Melanie Fair I should've just read your review. Instead, I wasted a cd and a half trying to like it. Didn't work

message 25: by Mel (new) - added it

Mel Chris wrote: "Mitsuko wrote: "Princess, now you have to read Hush, Hush. >=]"

Why would you tell her to read that piece of shit?"

Because I'm EVIL.

message 26: by Mel (new) - added it

Mel Melissa wrote: "Yikes, harsh review."

Well criticism can be harsh. So what?

message 27: by Lina (last edited Oct 19, 2011 05:02PM) (new) - rated it 1 star


I'm trash, wow that is very lovely to know lol. The things that happen when you don't check Goodreads.

I guess I feel I should add something to this, but really I think it's pretty much a done deal. I will just make this statement address Melissa and the comments she made towards my review and she can respond to be at her liking. I deleted all the comments save the one Melissa wrote talking about my review so I could respond. :)

First, I would like to direct you to my Clockwork Angel review [before I edited it] where I complemented Clare and thought that she had a really good story and while I understood the hate against her from her other series, I felt CA was a good read. Now, a bit later I read CoB (not by choice I had to read it for a class) and I came into it with an open mind because I DID like Clockwork Angel. Now imagine my frustration to be listening to audiobook and realizing that I am reading (pretty much) the exact same story as CA. Not only that, but the "inspirations" of other books are not just obvious, but blatant. I mean she copied the biggest twist is modern sci-fi history. Yes, there are common tropes, look at every angel YA book and they've all got a Lucifer, but that's different from having entire storylines lifted off of popular material. It's like with Eragon, did they think we wouldn't notice everything it ripped-off...poorly?

So yes, I do hate this book, I think it is a waste of time and I think it is sad that the writer is making money off of other peoples ideas. There is nothing unique about these books, nothing special and the story itself was badly written. So yes, I wrote a scathing review that is (and I'll admit it) only helpful if you want an honest opinion of the book. Usually I calm down the language even if I hate a book (Hush, Hush), but I couldn't because despite all those books before being bad this was really a horrible reading experience.

I'm sorry that it did not help you or at the very least entertain you, but in the end I was honest. I know that you believe in the "be nice" policy, but I feel like once you put something out there and ask people to pay money for it, you get what you get. Yes, I realize that'll mean bloggers like me will never be professional writers unless we go undercover, but that's fine.

The only thing I'm sorry about is that this whole thread got out of hand, because as the original reviewer it's my responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen. So sorry for dropping the ball guys.

message 28: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John Egbert Princess wrote: "The only thing I'm sorry about is that this whole thread got out of hand, because as the original reviewer it's my responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen."

Hm...I don't think it is, Princess. I don't think it should be anyone's responsibility to check a review every week or so to make sure nobody's trolling (view spoiler) their review. In fact, if anything I should be sorry for repeatedly commenting back to Melissa when deep down I knew nothing I could say would ever change her opinion on the matter, or even get her to remotely admit she was wrong. I should have just waited for you to come back and deal with her yourself after the first few or so times I posted.

Heather-Jane Hi, just wondering why did you delete my comments? I don't think i said anything bitchy, or did I? :(

The Holy Terror Can't-Decide-On-A-Name;) wrote: "Hi, just wondering why did you delete my comments? I don't think i said anything bitchy, or did I? :("

She deleted over 5 pages of comments, not just yours.

message 31: by Lina (new) - rated it 1 star

Lina Can't-Decide-On-A-Name;) wrote: "Hi, just wondering why did you delete my comments? I don't think i said anything bitchy, or did I? :("

Like, THT said I deleted everyone's comments other than the initial two by Melissa, since I felt that the argument got out of hand in general, and so that my response would be right after her comments.

message 32: by Demo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Demo Aww! What did they delete them? I wanted to see the fight everyone was talking about. *sits in the corner and pouts*

message 33: by Demo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Demo Those are my favorite kind. Used to spend hours on YouTube reading people break out into fights over the stupidest things, like whether Twilight was good or not, or if MCR should've allowed Glee to remake "Sing."... They're all very repetitive but strangely entertaining.

Or maybe I'm just weird. Which is definitely more than possible.

message 34: by Jia (new)

Jia Noooooooo!
I liked this review XD

Zero vi Britannia Why?!?!?!?!

message 36: by P. (new)

P. :O

whatwaswrongwithyouroldreview? Nothing! D:

Awaiting the new one, though. I bet it's even better!

message 37: by Vi (new) - rated it 1 star

Vi Vi new review? what was wrong w the old one ? but stillyay

Mikki Yay! Can't wait for the new review

message 39: by Deena (new) - rated it 1 star

Deena Can't wait to read your new review. I am reading City of Lost Souls right now and it is awful. I don't know why I continue to punish myself with this series. I guess I thought it would get better, but it just continues to get worse as the books go on. City of Lost Souls is the absolute WORST one so far, it is so convoluted.

Zero vi Britannia NEW REVIEW WOOOOO!!!
Lina's new review is up! Woohoo! Woohoo!
Lina's new review is up! Woohoo! Woohoo!
...Was that too much?

Riké hahaha, how entertaining to read this. I pretty much agree. I don't like Clary and the writing was awful. I read Clockwork Angel first and it's much better in my opinion. I also like Tessa, though she can drive me crazy at times too.

...also I'm afraid that I think it's Will who's fantastic and's the black beautiful...

Kaitlyn Fantastic review. Believe it or not the books just keep on getting worse. I just couldn't take it after the 4th book.

Jennifer Risley So, i came to the series in the fourth book though the audio book. this was so i can listen to ed Westwick. I found the 4th book intriguing, so i stopped listen to it and started from the beginning. I have to say... i found it worth the crapy first book to get to the great stuff Simon has to go though... also Sebastian is a great villain.

there is more character growth in the farther books.
It comes to pass that the downworlders are not the villains and end up being heroes. which i am a sucker for the "evil beings" being the heroes. This is why i like Luke and Simon so much.

That said, there is much ups and downs with this series, and Clary and Jace annoys me. But the rest of the relationship plots are good, or at lease decent. But hey, who am i to judge, i watch tru blood and i hate Bill. And i thought Buffy was stupid and refused to watch it until i saw the spike cry and reaching for Buffy's body in the season final... so i will endure the crap for that nugget of gold.

message 44: by Lina (new) - rated it 1 star

Lina Jennifer wrote: "So, i came to the series in the fourth book though the audio book. this was so i can listen to ed Westwick. I found the 4th book intriguing, so i stopped listen to it and started from the beginning..."

Thank you for that good response :)

Nicole Great review!

GingerDoll "Jace, is her mystical estrogen bait-guide" = one of the greatest character descriptions ever! Great review. And totally agree about Jem in CA.

Shigaya Yes, you're absoluteky right about this book, and Clockwork. But I'm agraid you are.loosing a good tale just because the first 2.books of it should habe been the Intro part in the 3... I might say, the 5 is better than Clockwork 2nd. And I think it can be better than 1st too (but for the main characters in clockworck who are way better. But secondary characters in mortal instruments are gaining my respect: magnus, izzy, jordan, simon, joceling, Sebastian (not necesary in this order)). You can read the wikipedia extracts of the 2nd book and give a try to the 3d... It's an idea (I do this when I loose some episodes in tv series, for example)

Kimberly I totally agree about the Star War twist. I was SO annoyed.

Mizuki you summed everything up nicely!
And your mention of Clary not calling police or looking for help when she first met the Shadowhunters in the club is so good an reminder of how stupid Clary is! She grows worse as the story goes!

Rebecca Claiborne Your review of City of Bones is the reason why I still have faith in humanity. Let me just say I started this book for the same reasons as you. I had read Clockwork Angel and thought the writing was not that bad, actually enjoyed it so much I went to read the second book of the series but quickly stopped when I saw what was happening with the love triangle; this might very well be my opinion, but I hate it when writers make guilty for liking one character, and that is what she did with Jem. He is so good, I don't understand why she had William there in the first place. To someone like me, who automatically will like the main character, I started feeling guilty for liking William more. So anyway, I dropped the series.
Then I heard of City of Bones (being the first book of all these showdowhunter world) and I quickly took interest thinking I would like it as much or even more than Clowork Angel.

The result has been very traumatic!! I dropped it by 50% and that is because the movie is coming out soon so I wanted to finish the book. It's all very shallow really. I'm in love with the actor who plays Jace, and I wanted to support him a bit. With all the fans the series has, I don't think he will notice if I don't! Ha, ha, ha.

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