Cara's Reviews > City of Bones

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
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's review
Jun 30, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, paranormal, series, recommended-to-me
Recommended to Cara by: Tori
Read in July, 2009

Wow. I was reading some reviews on this and people either hate or love it. I am not ashamed to say I belong to the latter. Lots of opinions means there is lots of things to say...

Ok so I was practically splitting my head open thinking of what exactly I wanted to say about this book. In the end I just decided to go with what comes to mind. So here it goes...

Clare does a superb job of drawing you in. Maybe the plot isn't completely unique but the world she created is. I kept telling myself this is sooooooooooo interesting. The whole shadowhunter thing oozes with coolness. I mean half angel, half kick butt people! It doesn't get much cooler than that. The story is full of action and yes sometimes there are things added for dramatic effect, but isn't that the point? If you were looking for something more slow paced read The Mill on the Floss (personally I'd rather pull more hair then read this but moving on...)I'm a sucker for action sequences so this totally delivered on that front. The author's take on werewolves was original, and I gotta say they give the vampires a run for their money. I actually guessed most of the twists but that's some of the fun. Finding the hints and feeling the satisfaction of saying YES! Score for me I got it right! Let's do a little victory dance. (insert some break dancing moves I personally cannot do here) I think some people didn't get that guessing the twists is all part of the experience.

Some people claimed all of this to be fluff but I don't agree. Just look at Jace. The whole feeling about belonging has depth to it. Now for why I knocked off a star even though I REALLY didn't want to. I thought Clary would be more shocked about finding out her history. You'd think with how much her mother pounded in to her that there was not such thing as magic she would resist the whole idea more. Also I think the author tried to introduce too many fantasy creatures at once. Like the scene at Magnus Bane house was overdone for my taste. We could have done without so many new faces. Those are just little irks though, my main one was Valentine. I know this is going to sound outrageous but Valentine wasn't bad enough for me. I shouldn't feel this way looking at his track record he is evil. The thing is I wasn't scared of him. A good villain has got to be scary plain and simple. I'm hoping to see more evilness in him in the next book.

Well I think I've said enough. I'm so glad I'm reading this series after all the books are out. I totally expect to be blown away by the next installment:)

Later added: Guess what guys? They are making a movie and here is the trailer!
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Quotes Cara Liked

Cassandra Clare
“Don't touch any of my weapons without my permission."
"Well, there goes my plan for selling them all on eBay," Clary muttered.
"Selling them on what?"
Clary smiled blandly at him. "A mythical place of great magical power.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

Reading Progress

06/30/2009 page 1
0.21% "See Tori I'm starting it!" 6 comments
07/06/2009 page 308
63.51% "Things are beggining to make some sense..." 2 comments
07/08/2009 page 485
100.0% "I am totally and irrevocably hooked!" 24 comments
01/31/2016 marked as: read
show 2 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-50 of 106) (106 new)

Victoria Good review! And don't worry, I think Valentine definitely gets more scary in the next book.

Cara Thanks:) Glad to hear about Valentine. It is a good name for a villian, so I'm totally expecting to be shaking in my socks next time. I would have said boots but I usually read in my socks.

message 3: by Ash (new)

Ash Goodness women! You wrote a freaking thesis on this book! But still a very good review (very, very good :)). I'm now planning on reading the series.

Amethyst yeah i'm with you. i really liked the series.

Jami I appreciated your perspective on this book. I'll admit, I was one of the people who didn't love it. I went in to it expecting it to be so much better than it was. But it's nice to hear what other people liked about it.

I was just wondering, though, if you didn't think the werewolf concept was borrowed a little heavily from Twilight? You said it was very original, but I kept thinking it sounded like it was taken straight from New Moon! Just curious.

Cara I actually haven't read the Twilight series so I can't really say if I think there are that much alike. I haven't watched New Moon either, so all I'm going is what I've read from the Mortal Instruments.
I'll have to pay attention when and if I watch the movie and compare notes. Thanks for the comment:D

Victoria Actually, I think City of Bones might even have been published before New Moon, so that would mean it couldn't have been ripped off. And the werewolf structure and habits were different enough between the two books that any similarity never really crossed my mind, personally. And in general, the traits of mythical creatures like vampires, faeries, and werewolves do tend to be very similar in fantasy fiction.

Cara Victoria does have a point. In general they do seem to be alike in most books. I guess it's just that the Mortal Instruments series are the first books that I saw that broke from the original idea of what werewolves should be like.

Tori I didn't think they were similar at all. Plus, twilight sucks, so yeah.

message 10: by Jami (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jami New Moon was published before City of Bones, but probably the reason I was so quick to see the comparison was because of the very many similarities of City of Bones to other books . . . borrowing heavily from things like Harry Potter and Star Wars. It was hard to see the originality when there were so many glaring duplications.

I agree, though. Twilight did suck! :)

message 11: by Tori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tori Yes! Finally someone who sees it!!

message 12: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara Well I guess I better stay away from Twilight! Sorry Jami I haven't really paid much attention to Star Wars either so... But I have read Harry Potter and to tell you the truth I didn't really correlate the two series. But I do give you that the plot isn't something that I thought was specifically original, but I totally still had so much fun with this series.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

i agree completely with your review, i found myself thinking the same things:)

Jenna Cahill Wow Cara I totalyy agree with every word you said which is weird because your review was like a novel in itself but I completly agree that these books are awsome(i've read all of them and they just keep getting better) she is also writing a new one which i think is coming out next year and I'm so excited

message 15: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara Haha yeah I know I tend to get carried away in my reviews:D Yup City of Fallen Angels comes out next year and later this summer a new series comes the first book being Clockwork Angel. Hope these one will be just as awesome.

Christine I made this comment on another person's review, but feel like it applies to this discussion, too:

NOTHING is new in fantasy. The last person who did anything unique in fantasy is Tolkien, so unless you're him, forget it. Everyone else is borrowing from other people. Harry Potter is not unique. I loved the stories, but it borrowed from dozens of myths, legends, and other books. Buffy is not unique, except perhaps that it put the concept on TV where it indelibly claimed in our minds things that never belonged to it in the first place.

Vampires, wer-wolves, withces, warlocks, hunters, demons...these are the core of the fantasy genre. With only minor variations, every author uses them in his or her story and if they didn't, we wouldn't have much of a clue what's going on. You might be able to introduce one new creature in your fantasy world, but if you tried to build one from scratch no one would get it and no one would read it. Plus, it wouldn't be unique, either. In trying so hard to be different, you would be copying by contrast!

Creativity doesn't make huge leaps, it moves us slowly and inexorably along a path that builds from the stones before it. We don't make something out of nothing. We make it out of what came before. The best "original" ideas are really just new spins. Someone goes off in an unexpected direction, but they fork from the same path.

I love fantasy, and what I want to see is a strong narrative voice, a compelling character, and a dramatic story. That's what sets the good stories apart from the bad ones.

message 17: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara So true and nicely put Christine:) Sorry I didn't comment back earlier I hadn't seen it it till now.

message 18: by Quoteaddict (new)

Quoteaddict I didn't think Valentine was too scary either, but there's always some good in those who turn evil. And doesn't Valentine think he's doing the right thing? So- he's not really evil, just his actions you will learn in the next 2 books or so:]

Kaimonne Yuss I agree Valentine wasn't really scary at all. But I also think that the plot was unique in the sense of gay characters and incest romance.

Victorious Thanks for this review! I just started reading this one after my sis-in-laws praises- and her gifting it to me for Christmas. This positive review gives me hope after seeing quite a few negative ones.

message 21: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara No prob;) Hope you enjoy the book.

message 22: by Sue (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sue Great review... I'm going to pick it back up... I left off around page 80 and had no motivation to keep reading. Now I will!

message 23: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did Sally:D

Aditya Hadi i think the fact is Valentine not really bad enough, he still have a good purpose, but unfortunately he choose an insane way ...

do you really can do a breakdance? :)

message 25: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara I wish! No, it was more of a "mental" breakdance so to speak:)

message 26: by Abby (new) - rated it 4 stars

Abby Great review! I read some reviews about this and some says that Cassie Clare got those ideas from Harry Potter and other stories as well but I totally disagree with them although, The Circle in this story sounds a lot like the Order of Phoenix in Harry Potter. That's the only one I've noticed so far. But the whole concept of the story is definitely GOOD. I didn't regret reading this. :)

Lilian speak the truth sista what team r u?? jace or simon??

message 28: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara Honestly when I started the series I wanted her to end up with Simon but I mean come on it was Jace all along wasn't it? Besides Jace grew on me as the series progressed. How about you?

Lilian jace all the way since the first book nothing less nothing more.......

Emily Jace!!!
i found the same thing about valentine not being scary, but i dont think he's meant to be - i think he's supposed to just be like an ordinary guy gone bad. He is so calm and self assured because he believes in his cause

message 31: by J.D. (new) - rated it 4 stars

J.D. Field one of my favourite bits was the whole idea of glamour. it made me think of Kim Kardashian, so I posted about it , as well as how chimpanzees might be a bit like downworlders.

message 32: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara Thanks Melissa:)

Sarah Amazing Review! Loved the book, can't wait to read the next two!

message 34: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara Sarah wrote: "Amazing Review! Loved the book, can't wait to read the next two!"

I hope you enjoy the next two books Sarah:D

message 35: by Jodi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jodi Jace
as the series progresses it makes me think of my own relationship or mostly how I wish I could totally know my boyfriend loves me as Jace does for clary

Lauren I loved the entire series so far! I have already pre-ordered Lost Souls and I am super excited for it!

Tyrah (Wace) This series changed my life!!! JACE love you forever!!!

Elizabeth I think this is an amazing review! I just bought the book so I'm very anxious to read it!

Mikaila You're really good at reviewing it seems, you should start a blog or something :) Your review convinced me to go out & buy the book!

message 40: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara Sorry guys I hadn't gotten the notifications earlier for some reason.

@Jodi- Don't worry about it too much. Though I love this series I would tell you not to compare your own relationship with the one in the book. You have something unique from anybody else and you'll know if it's right;)
@Lauren- Did you love City of Lost Souls? And I mean come one the next one is out in 2014!
@Tyrah(Wace)- Haha there is always so much love for Jace:)
@Elizabeth- Thanks and hope you love it!
@Mikailia- Thanks and hope you love it too! So exciting to see more potential fans:D

message 41: by Mei (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mei "The whole shadowhunter thing oozes with coolness. I mean half angel, half kick butt people! It doesn't get much cooler than that."

Umm Cassandra Clare didn't come up with the idea of nephilim. The premises of half-angel half-human things was in the bible. Oh and she totally got it wrong. I highly doubt people gifted with the powers of angels would devote their entire life to protecting humans. In some versions, they were even evil and killed them. So Clare pretty much went, "Hey, people are getting into angels... but I want my characters to be modern and such! So I'll use half-angels!"

message 42: by Mei (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mei Cara wrote: "Thanks:) Glad to hear about Valentine. It is a good name for a villian, so I'm totally expecting to be shaking in my socks next time. I would have said boots but I usually read in my socks."

Valentine is not a good name for a villain. When I read that, I was seeing a baby wearing a diaper. I could not take him seriously.

message 43: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara Hello Mei,
I'm not well versed in that aspect of the Bible so I don't have a lot of information on that. But if you notice I didn't specifically indicate that the idea of it was original (and if you look into it a lot of themes and plot devices used in novels are recycled over and over again). I just think it's cool what Clare did with it, and the world she was able to come up with. I guess you weren't too impressed with Valentine either then if that was the image you got in your head:D I believe it's a good villain name because when I see the name it reminds me of gangsters during the 1930s who had ironic names like that.

Savannah i love what u had to say about this

message 45: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara Thanks Savannah:D

Mayasa AlKaabi Very Good Review , u wrote a lot , I'm planing to read it the min I'm done with Anna and the French kiss , thank you !

Tiger If you guys like Cassandra Clare's series then you have to check out Mark Chadbourne's "Age of Misrule" series.

message 48: by Cara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cara @Maish- Thanks and hope you become a new fan! I loved Anna and the French Kiss btw;)

@Tiger- Thanks for the recommend, I'll have to check it out.

message 49: by Michele (new) - added it

Michele Thinking I will add this to my need to Read list . when I first started reading about the book and saw it said Vampires .I was about to turn away and look other books up for I can Stand Twilight. Saw one Movie and said to myself this is just plain garbage. so I decided not to waste my money on the books . but I will now go look for this one Thank you :)

message 50: by Michele (new) - added it

Michele can't stand not can .. good typing on my part lol

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