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City of Bones

(The Mortal Instruments #1)

by
4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,631,783 ratings  ·  62,292 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 506 pages
Published July 2nd 2015 by Walker Books (first published May 27th 2007)
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Atheda It really won't, unless you appreciate Mary Sues and their cliché life stories and so forth. That's my own opinion though and there are plenty of…moreIt really won't, unless you appreciate Mary Sues and their cliché life stories and so forth. That's my own opinion though and there are plenty of people out there that will tell you the opposite. In the end, you might have to read it to see if it is worth reading or not. Cheers!(less)
Katherine Definitely a teenage audience in my opinion. The characters are fairly one-dimensional, which a lot of more sophisticated audiences would not…moreDefinitely a teenage audience in my opinion. The characters are fairly one-dimensional, which a lot of more sophisticated audiences would not appreciate. A lot of detail is given toward Clary's (the protagonist's) self-consciousness and ambivalent feelings about Jace (the stereotypical chauvinistic, male romantic love interest who secretly has a "heart of gold"). Ultimately, it probably is more thought-provoking and universal than a trashy romance novel, but very clearly geared toward young teenage girls. Even for older teens it's fairly juvenile.

I read the prequel trilogy a few years ago and enjoyed them immensely, expecting to find the same satisfaction with this book. Even though the character layout and underlying themes and concepts were pretty parallel or similar, I enjoyed this book a lot less; I feel that this is probably because I simply outgrew it.

Clare's writing style is beautiful in places, however, and that may appeal to you. I enjoyed her lovely descriptions of the city lights and backdrops. It really depends on your interests.(less)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  1,631,783 ratings  ·  62,292 reviews


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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tatiana
Apr 23, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenage girls, fans of angsty teenage soap
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cara
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cara by: Tori
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
...more
Kat Kennedy
***Warning: won't contain spoilers cause I didn't get far enough to give a fuck and discover anything worth spoiling.***

Okay, so let me get this out straight. I have never NOT finished a book before. Okay, I'm lying. The History of Sexuality Volume 1 by Michel Foucault remains unfinished as does Villette by Charlotte Bronte. Why? Because they were boring.

Because, as I read them, I wanted to take a cheese grater to my skull and rub vigorously just to have something to do!

But I have never NOT
...more
Rick Riordan
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so Im far behind the curve on reading this, but I very much enjoyed my introduction to the world of nephilim, Shadowhunters and demons. Clare constructed a vivid, believable parallel world with great characters, punchy dialogue, and a winning mix of humor, pathos and action. I like her take on warlocks, vampires, and werewolves, and of course Im a big fan or urban fantasy, where these fantastic elements mix into the regular gritty city life of New York. Clary Fray is a sympathetic ...more
NReads
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clary just shut the hell up
Tomoe Hotaru
19 Apr '16
Bet you're sick of my updates, now.

Just for reference, on the recent Sherrilyn Kenyon v Cassandra Clare.
Kenyon has filed a lawsuit against Clare, and also provides a list of alleged similarities between Clare's work to her own.

Read and decide for yourself.



15 Jun '13
update again! Saw some stills for the movie, and to be honest, despite being slightly spurious in my "casting" of City of Bones, I actually think my version is much better than the movie version.

I mean, look at Isabelle,
...more
Khurram
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great and interesting books. I manages to combine the infulences from many of top fictional series of our time. It combines hidden magic world of Harry Potter, the teenage drama of Buffy, and a couple of themes from Star Wars as well. The book is very well written and fast paces.

We follow Clary Fray, a 15 year old misfit trying to find heself, not quite sure if she is goth, cyberpunk, or just a temperamental teenaged artist. One night in the local club, Pandemonium, she realises she is a
...more
Heather
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was instantly enchanted when I first read City of Bones, and that enchantment still holds four years, and at least half a dozen re-reads later in sptite of the fact that I'm older, wiser, and should know better. I've also read countless reviews, both adoring and loathing and have come to the conclusion that this book does not garner any type of middle ground, you either love it or you hate it.

I'm glad that I get to love it. What else can I say?
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For me, this book shines, and to
...more
 Teodora
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, on-app, ya, romance
4.25/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

HEY LOOK AT ME FINALLY PICKING UP THIS SERIES!

As a newbie in this whole Shadowhunter universe, all I can say is that this world is pretty weird. Maybe if I was reading this 12 years ago, things wouldve seemed to be different, but now as a 20-something year old I am not so into the world just yet. It is at the same time childishly simple and complicated. Im sure it would grow on me, I mean, that should be the whole point of a series with that
...more
Elle (ellexamines)
I was never expecting anything from this but an entertaining and maybe a little bit forgettable book. I was wrong; I found this completely unforgettable. For being a trainwreck.

To be quite honest, I think 75% of the hype for this series comes from nostalgia. Listen, I'm sorry, I know this isn't everything, but I really... don't get why these first three books are hyped, on any level. Not only do I have ten million problems with the tropey nature and the slutshaming and the etc etc etc, it's also
...more
Katerina
Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234.

I read City of Bones for the first time 5 years ago. I still remember that day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing It was during my first semester in Law School and I had to study History of Law, which was a complete waste of time because seriously, who is ever going to ask me whether women in Byzantium could get a divorce? (In case you are wondering, they could only if the husband was impotent or
...more
Melanie
Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist side by side.

Hi, my name is Melanie, and Im the last person on this planet to read anything by Cassie Clare! But I had too many best friends who promised me that reading this series would be worth it for me to finally get to Lady Midnight! Well, the other night I did an Instagram poll, because I wanted something fae and I was just going to pick up Lady Midnight, without reading any of Cassies other work, and some of my friends
...more
Sasha Alsberg
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Mortal Instruments changed the way I looked a fantasy novels. I am a huge fan now. I defiantly recommend this book for any hunger games, divergent, harry potter, and twilight fans out there. It is truly a fantastic series.
Shelley
Jul 04, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Pure and utter crap. I wish there were ways to give negative stars. I certainly want the time from my life back. I would compare its writing quality to a fanzine, except that comparison wouldn't be fair to fanzines. But I swear to God, it took every single bad fanfic writing cliche and published them. What were her publishers thinking??? Where was her editor?? It was horrible.

I would dearly love for a fanfiction author to make good and become a published writer, but I'd prefer one with talent,
...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can totally see why everyone rants and raves over these books; while I'm only one deep (so far) and hoping to read City of Ashes in the very near future, I feel this is the type of book that teenage Chelsea would have flipped her turds for back in the day. I'm just glad I can still enjoy them now. While very teen oriented, City of Bones still had a classic feel that surpassed barriers of age and gender, and I have heard from many folks that they wish they had found these books while they were ...more
shady boots
Aug 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who have the hots for dickhead heroes.


I had to do it.
Maria
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.6/5 Stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt.


This book didn't leave a good taste in my mouth. Basically, it left no taste in my mouth. Or if it left a taste, it was like water taste. It didn't exist. But let's talk a bit about my history with the Shadowhunter world. But first the plot in italics cause we're classy as fuck.

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
...more
The Burning Rose (Jess)
2019 Re-read: 4/5 stars.
This book wasnt as good as it was the first time I read it, somewhere at the time I was 16 years old. And yet, it was still interesting, intriguing and the reading was good. Im glad Im re-reading it because I want to finally finish this series.

2016: 4.5 stars.
Such a great book!
...more
Miranda Reads
You're an idiot."
"I've never claimed to be otherwise.
Clary Fray goes to one little party with her best friend (Simon)...and there's a teeny-tiny littler repercussion by way of her life being absolutely and irrevocably ruined.

She witnesses an unusual boy being led to the back by figures cloaked in black, brandishing knives.

Curious, she decides to investigate...and stumbles upon an exorcism.

The Shadowhunters are just as surprised as she is - mostly because the only people who can see
...more
She-who-must-not-be-named
"The Law is hard, but it is the Law"

Okay, what did I just read? I wasn't expecting so many twists (especially in the last three chapters) and I feel so hysterical I wanna jump. As much as I am excited to share with y'all what I feel, I'm afraid I'll give away a few spoilers which I don't want to.
I love Clary and Jace. I don't care about anything else, I just love them.

"To love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be destroyed"

The writing style well, do I even have to say anything
...more
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
3 Stars

Reviewing this is weird-- because I used to love it. When I was about 13, I remember finding this library book, taking it home and reading all 400+ pages in one sitting. Then I went back the next day and grabbed the next two books, devoured them, thought that was the end and (mostly) forgot about it. (Until that awful movie came out a few years ago)

So reading it now, as an early-twentysomething with a lot more reading and life experience, I knew the initial love wouldnt be there. I had a
...more
jessica
CAN YOU BELIEVE its taken me this long to finally pick up my first cassandra clare book?!? because i can. lifes too short to read books you know you wont love implicitly, but i recently had a change of heart.

unfortunately, reading this went exactly how i thought it would. this is serving some major pre-teen juvenile cringe realness. the writing is a little bland. none of the characters are memorable. and there is a lot going on that isnt really worth obsessing over.

that being said. i didnt
...more
Cristina Monica
I didn't always love The Mortal Instruments.

In fact, the first time I read it, I found it quite immature and annoying. If Im not mistaken, I read it for the first time three years ago, just before the release of the execrable movie. Well, 1) you need to know that, at that time, I wasnt reading English books just yet (that came a couple of months later) and 2) some of the French editions look horrible (view spoiler) and those are the ones my library owned. So every time I was
...more
Meredith Holley
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ABOVE ALL ELSE, AVOID THE AUDIO
I think this book is has some kind of mental disability. I kind of dont want to make fun of it because, you know, its not playing the game with a full deck of cards. But, at the same time, it does not have such a significant learning disability that it needs to sit in a separate classroom from the other stories; it just has this confluence of creepiness and then some kind of mild mental challenge. So, I kind of do want to make fun of it because, you know, you probably don't have to be this ...more
Jess
Jul 27, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really, there's nothing very original, or satisfying in the book. She borrowed so heavily from Buffy, Harry Potter, and Star Wars that it sticks out like a sore thumb. It reads like altered fan fiction. And I love fan fiction, make no mistake, but it's not attempting to make a buck off someone else's world, either. Which is essentially what the book is. Cobbled fan fiction that has no cohesion.

I knew Clare as Cassandra Claire from Harry Potter fandom, I will admit, and that did color somewhat.
...more
Jessica Edwards
I've actually been meaning to write a review about this book, and because I watched the film only recently, I thought why not write a review about it now.
I received the first 4 books from my sister but I never got around to reading either of them. I remember reading City of Bones, but I think I stopped midway because I realized that a movie had been made of it, so I watched the film instead.

City of Bones is about a teenage girl called Clary Fray who lives with her mother in Brooklyn.
Clary
...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
#1 City of Bones ★★★★☆
#2 City of Ashes ★★★☆☆
#3 City of Glass ★★★★☆
#4 City of Fallen Angels ★★★★★
#5 City of Lost Souls ★★★★★
#6 City of Heavenly Fire

I know Im slow to pick up this series, but I honestly spent several years of my life thinking that Cassandra Clares books didnt hold anything special in store for me. They just didnt strike me as books that I would like very much, but when my friend Julie started binge reading them last fall, I decided to finally give them a chance, and I am so
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
So heres the thing. I got rid of my copies of these books and The Infernal Devices series awhile back when I was having a clean out. The I enjoyed some of the newer books. Then one of my groups put up a challenge for the series. Then I decided to listen to them from the library. NOW, my thoughts have changed as they do on rereads sometimes. I love certain characters more so in the newer books but in this book I feel like I wasted precious time, AND time is precious people!! This went from 5 to 4 ...more
Kiki
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Blue fairies
Recommended to Kiki by: A blue fairy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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230,919 followers
Hello Goodreadsers. Here's my official bio:

"Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments
...more

Other books in the series

The Mortal Instruments (6 books)
  • City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)
  • City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)
  • City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)
  • City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)
  • City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

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“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?'
Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
..."At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."
"Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”
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“Is this the part where you start tearing off strips of your shirt to bind my wounds?"
"If you wanted me to rip my clothes off, you should have just asked.”
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