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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 nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

485 pages, Hardcover

First published May 27, 2007

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About the author

Cassandra Clare

197 books261k 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 trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts."

You can find me online at

www.cassandraclare.com

I have a blog:

http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com/

and a Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/Cassandraclare

and a Twitter:

www.twitter.com/cassieclare

I'll be available here on Goodreads to answer questions for a Goodreads Author Discussion starting September 18 — http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/3...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 71,158 reviews
Profile Image for a.
22 reviews206 followers
January 14, 2018
IMPORTANT EDIT (1/14/18):
Fam, I wrote this review in 2011.

All of y'all commenting in 2018 need to get over it. I've moved to a different account. I've moved past Cassandra Clare and while I maintain that this book is a blatant rip off of about 1000 other books (and while a lot of you insist that she's an original author, like it or not, she does have a history with plagiarism/bad behavior), I haven't read any of her new stuff so I can't tell you if she's continued to toe the line with plagiarism or write poorly. In fact, I can tell you that a lot of people whose opinions I trust say that she's become a much better, more original writer. I've even considered reading some of her newer books.

If you enjoy her writing, good for you. If these books she's written are important to you, I'm happy for you. My opinions are my opinions, you don't have to share them.

What's really gross is the amount of bullying and personal attacks that are going on in these comments and in messages I've received. While I do regret some of the harshness of the original view, attacking me or anyone else in the comments (on either side of the fence) is gross. I've received abuse about my looks, about my writing abilities (I don't write), about my sex life (people implying I should get laid), about my mental health, and even a few messages telling me to kill myself. All because you don't like my opinion of a book. Guys, even if you hate this review, you have to see that this is way too much.

I've grown up since writing this review and I sincerely hope that some of you have matured, too, since writing some of the hate that I've read (some of of which I've deleted) in these comments. Please stop. Please move on.

Review from 1/24/11:
I've been deliberating for a few hours over doing a Serious Business review of City of Bones and outlining the infinite number of problems that lie within, but I decided that any critical thought that I could flesh out isn't going to be anything that you've never heard before. Therefore, I choose the low road - sarcasm and mockery.

Oh, Cassie Clare, you so crazy. I can only guess that after writing almost a million words of Harry Potter fan fiction, a bunch of people sucking your e-cock for stealing whole paragraphs from books and quotes from Buffy simply wasn't enough. No, I understand. You had to capitalize on all that time spent typing up whole paragraphs from books and outlining plots that pretty blatantly ripped off from various films, books, etc. I get it. I'm sure that's how the Mortal Instruments came to fruition. It is painfully obvious that your dopey red-haired ingenue and snarky blond asshole were essentially Ginny Weasley and Draco Malfoy in Original Character clothing. Ditto Simon being a hybrid of Harry/Ron and maybe Isabelle being a slutty Hermione. But wait, you didn't stop there! Hodge is Lupin/Peter Pettigrew 2.0 and Luke is better known by his other name, Sirius Black, and I am not entirely sure why you didn't just call Valentine by his true name - Voldemort. And seriously, though, why not just call the Mortal Instruments by their true name - the Deathly Hallows? But wait, it gets better!

Strong with this novel, the Force is - because somehow there's a creepy Luke and Leia thing going on with Clary and Jace which, for the record: dude, that's nasty. How dare you let them make out and then discover they're related. Because I had to know in order to keep myself from hurling up my dinner, I did discover that this little detail does get resolved eventually, but I reiterate: that's nasty. I thought the point of this book was to make teenage girls hold their hands to their hearts and swoon, not make them want to upchuck with what I find to be your disturbing affinity for incest (seriously - you had the whole six episodes of Star Wars to steal, uh, draw inspiration from and you pick the creepy incesty parts?). But it's weird, because if Jace and Clary are Luke and Leia, does that make Simon Han Solo? In a weird way, I found Jace's whole over-confident demeanor to be more like Han, which I guess is pretty on point with what happens in later novels. In other news, I will no longer be referring to Valentine as simply that; he is now Darth Valentine. Yes, I said it. I guess this makes Jocelyn Padme, except she's not dead yet.

I must give you where credit where credit is due, though. Clary isn't a total dumb, annoying, doormat heroine, which is essentially my biggest pet peeve in the entirety of fiction. Instead, Clary is just dumb and annoying. Why the fuck does she slap everyone? It doesn't make her a strong, venerable female, it makes her a psychotic bitch, especially since there wasn't a single justifiable slap she delivered. Also, she's a moron. Blind, deaf babies knew that Simon was in love with her. My dog knew that Simon was in love with her and the most complicated thought he has in a day is, 'gee, I think I'll lick my junk today'. I have no idea why it's such a surprise to her, really. This brings me to my second greatest pet peeve and yet another trope that you liberally borrowed from, well, everyone: all the boys want Clary. What the hell is this shit? Clary isn't even likable. You stole it off of Stephenie Meyer who stole it off of L.J. Smith and frankly? You keep copying copies, the shittier-looking and harder to read they get. You are not an exception, you are the rule.

Also, okay. So the Clave is like the circle of Jedi, right? And the Circle is like the Order of the Phoenix and the Death-Eaters, sort of, but bad. So, like, Order of the Sith, kind of? Also, is Darth Valentine channeling Magneto from X-Men: The Last Stand with his whole 'purifying the race' bullshit? I think he is. Now that I've brought the X-Men into the picture, I can see the vast similarities there, too; Clary is film version Rogue and Wolverine - Rogue because she can't be with the person she loves physically (Rogue's life-sucking power = Clary's being in love with her brother) and Wolverine because of the whole not having any memories thing and wondering why he has all this power. Also, The Institute = The Knight Bus/Hogsmeade/The Leaky Cauldron (because sometimes the Institute boards travelers and there's bad food at all three places, much like Isabelle's cooking) and also Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters (and Hodge is kind of Professor Xavier-esqe - his inability to leave the institute = Professor X's disability) and also The Jedi Training Academy and also possibly Starfleet from Trek.

You know what the funniest thing about all this is, Cassie Clare? You aren't even stealth about stealing. You know, when most people shoplift, they maybe do a cursory look for the cameras and stuff something in their pocket when they think no one is looking, but you're that chick that goes up to the clerk, asks a clerk a question about a product you have in your hand while winking that you just don't have the money to pay for it. In this book there were blatant reference to both X-Men and Star Wars (Magneto and Prof. X by name and the dice hanging up in the Millennium Falcon).

Now that I've drawn all necessary attention to your totally original content, I want to talk about the story in general. I read this book because it was handed down to me by my recently-turned eleven year old niece. I figured, okay, I'll figure out what the big deal is with this book since everyone and their mom (no, really, I think my mom, too) has read it. My niece isn't what anyone would call fastidious; she hates cleaning her room and at dinner, she likes to mash all of her food together and make a sculpture with it and then eat it. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the portion of the book I borrowed from her had pages upon pages of highlighted words. I figured, aw cute, she highlighted her favorite parts. But, no, my eleven year old niece had gone through the book and highlighted grammatical errors. There were misspellings, comma splices, and just general bad phrasing all throughout. She had also highlighted words that she saw in multiples. Seriously, Cassie Clare, I get it. Every time a wolf shows up in your book, you don't have to describe it as 'brindled'. I get it. Did your word-of-the-day calendar run out? Did you lose your thesaurus? Do you have a short-term memory problem and forget that you used the word 'brindled' to describe a wolf eight times? I can't even talk about the metaphors and the similes. I can't. I used to like them. Now they make me want to punch toddlers in the face because your book is full of approximately nine hundred and thirty-three million of them. I am also not going to talk about your bizarre tense changes and the random chapter you threw in from Luke's point of view which was completely out of character for both a man and a human, let alone Luke - no one talks like that.

Another thing that I want to reference is this whole stele thing. In Tatiana's review, she mentioned that there didn't seem to be any parameters with this stele; it seemed to be a fix-it for whenever you had written yourself into a hole. I may not have noticed it had I not read the review first, given that as I was trudging through, I was filled with an irrational rage. It's a very good point, though. But since I read your book in three days just to get through it, I'm feeling like an asshole and I want to ask the following questions: can the stele make me look like Scarlett Johansson?; can the stele magic a cheeseburger out of thin air? These are questions of vital importance. Because if the stele can't, maybe you want to consider it in case one of your characters gets stuck on an island with no food for three years or something.

In conclusion, Cassie Clare, OF COURSE YOUR BOOK IS GOOD. YOU STOLE EVERYTHING IN IT FROM OTHER PEOPLE. I just want to say that I sincerely hope that you make/have made a lot of money off your books; I also hope that the people you blatantly stole your content from take it all from you when they sue you.

Here is the Reader's Digest version of this review:

The Mortal Instruments = Harry Potter/Star Wars/X-Men/possibly Star Trek
Clary Fray = Ginny Weasley/Princess Leia/Rogue/Wolverine/Uhura/Cassandra Clare, herself
Jace Wayland = Draco Malfoy/Luke Skywalker/Han Solo/Wolverine/possibly Captain Kirk
Simon = Harry/Ron/Cyclops/sometimes Han Solo/possibly Spock
Isabelle = Slutty Hermione/one of the green chicks Captain Kirk always hits it with/one of Jabba the Hut's slaves/possibly Jubilee or another dumb, irrelevant mutant
Alec = token gay character/C-3P0??
Luke = Sirius Black/Chewbacca
Jocelyn = Padme
Hodge = Remus Lupin/Peter Pettigrew/Professor Xavier
Valentine = Voldemort/Darth Vader/Magneto
The Institute = The Knight Bus/Hogsmeade/The Leaky Cauldron/12 Grimmauld Place/Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters/Starfleet Academy
Church the cat = Mrs. Norris/R2D2
the portals = Floo Network/Disapperating/Beam me up, Scotty

EDIT:

Someone pointed out that mundies = muggles GOOD POINT, YO
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,379 reviews11.7k followers
December 4, 2013
15-year old Clary witnesses a crime at a trendy New York night club. Interesting thing, nobody but Clary can see both the victim and perpetrators. As it turns out, there is an entire invisible to regular people world, and Clary is an unwitting important part of it.

"City of Bones" is one of those books that all my female friends and fellow readers simply love, Jace-mania all around. Needless to say, I had to jump on the bandwagon eventually and get me some Jace. Who am I to deny myself a pleasure to fall for a fictional hot, sarcastic and brooding guy? Imagine my disappointment, when I found out that this book was one big pile of hot mess! Sorry ladies, I said it, it's bad.

I had the hardest time sticking to the story and for quite some time I couldn't figure out why. Then gradually I realized that there were several reasons.

Let me start with the editing. I don't really think this book was edited at all, actually. Errors were endless and visible to even my untrained eye: wrong words ("noise" instead on "nose"); missing words in sentences; strange mix of POVs (the book is mostly told in 3rd person, from Clary's POV, but occasionally I saw both 3rd and 1st person narration in the same paragraph describing the same events, then there was a page from Jace's POV and a chapter from Luke's); Clary's father was called Jonathan in the beginning of the book, but John in the end. I can go on, but these were the things that I would normally overlook if the story itself was good. Unfortunately it wasn't, and the errors stood out.

I didn't think that the story was cohesive, it just didn't quite flow for me. It read as more of a series of events rather than a novel. I thought there were some parts in the book that served no other purpose but to give our hero an opportunity to act knight-like. I am talking about the entire rat-Simon/vampires extravaganza. This story line could have been edited out completely without any damage to the narrative IMO.

I couldn't quite relate to any of the characters either. What made my friends sigh with adoration, annoyed me. I hated the sarcasm, mainly because the jokes, although funny, felt often out of place, plus all of the characters attempting to joke, sounded exactly the same to me. I didn't feel the difference in attitudes of Clary, Simon, and Jace. If Clare had to make Jace a witty sarcastic type, she should have made the wisecracks his exclusive trademark, not everybody's.

The story itself was so ridiculously predictable! I do not normally see what is to come in the books, but in COB, I saw every "revelation" coming. Clare just doesn't have a skill to lead to them subtly, it's always in your face: "Valentine is alive" revelation (who in this book who was thought to be dead was actually dead? - a serious question), "your mother put a spell on you" revelation, the big "father/brother" revelation - I could see them all, and I am not the most astute reader out there.

Now, my biggest problem with this book - I've read/seen it all before! Clare borrows so liberally from "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" and "Buffy," it is simply impossible to overlook. Valentine - Voldemort/Darth Vader combo; Jace/Clary - Luke/Draco/Leia/Ginny (if it is possible) combo; the Circle - reversed Order of the Phoenix/Death Eaters combo; the Clave - Ministry of Magic; Luke - Lupin/Snape combo; Hodge - Giles/Wormtail combo. I can continue, but will stop here, you get the picture. Granted, there is nothing absolutely original in paranormal genre, but a skillful writer can re-work an old theme and make it new, fresh, and unique. Whatever is original in COB, is not quite thought through. As an example, let's take a "stele." After finishing this book, I still have no idea what exactly it does - do you only write runes with it? how exactly do you use it in a battle? why it can open some doors and not others? it can heal, but not everything? it can make you be able to see through a wooden screen, but is it because you write a special rune with it or you use it as a wand? It seems to me stele is pretty much used as a deus ex machina, convenient whenever a quick solution to a problem needed. And what's with all the shadow folk? There is just so much mashed up together - fairies, vampires, werewolves, pixies, jinns. You name any mythical creature, it is in this book. And what about magic? I read about spells made by a warlock, stele rune tricks, curses, where does it end? The limits of magic possibilities were never defined. Bottom line, all these inconsistencies make for one unoriginal and messy imaginary world. And this probably was the main reason why I couldn't connect with this book.

Finally, I was a little surprised by some of Clare's creative choices. I found both flirtations of at least 35-year-old warlock (he might be older, his age was never mentioned) with a gay teenage boy and reversed Leia/Luke extravaganza quite tacky, if not disturbing. Although I know how Jace/Clary "family matter" is resolved in the end, I don't find possibly incestuous relationships appealing.

This review might make it seem like COB is the worst book ever written. I wouldn't say so, after all, I've read "Breaking Dawn," and that book doesn't have any plot. There were some nice Jace/Clary moments, the greenhouse birthday party comes to mind. But was COB the most blatantly unoriginal book I've ever read? Absolutely (although I haven't read "Eragon" yet, but I heard a lot about it).

In all honesty, I shouldn't give this book more than 1 star, but I will add a second one as a dedication to one Mrs. Jace Wayland. Would I recommend this book? Sure, many of my friends enjoyed it immensely. Will I continue on with the series? I don't think I will be able to convince myself to waste any more of my time on being mad at a book. I think I will just check out plot summaries on wiki and be done with the series.

P.S. I just read that Cassandara Clare is an avid and famous in certain circles fanfiction writer. I guess that's where all the liberal "borrowing" comes from. Mystery solved.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cara.
280 reviews700 followers
January 9, 2020
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!
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16k followers
December 4, 2013
***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 finished a Young Adult paranormal novel before. And I've read some BAAAAAD books. But I didn't finish this book because it goes beyond bad. It makes the History of Sexuality seem amazingly interesting and colourful.

To be fair to Ms. Clare, I was not actually "reading" her novel so much as listening to the Audiobook. The Narrator, Graynor, did a particularly craptastic job.

To be fair to Ms. Graynor, she didn't have much to work with. I tuned her out, I swear, I was focusing on the actual prose, taking in the story, trying to get interested. But the writing was terrible. It was painful. The characters were annoying.

Now, I've been fair to Ms. Clare and I've been fair to Mr. Graynor. So there's only you left to be fair to now.

And in order to do that, I have to admit that I wasn't EXPECTING to like this book. I was, however, expecting to be pleasantly surprised, and I'll explain why.

Many years ago, Cassandra Clare was Cassandra Clair - a VERY popular FF author in the Harry Potter and LoTR circles. I actually greatly enjoyed her Draco Trilogy. I've read it many times. I had heard that this book was very similar to DT and so I was expecting to find it to be a guilty pleasure. Something my moral compass told me to leave behind, but that I would actually enjoy too much to do so. But I was wrong.

Yeah, she plagiarized that work and I won't really go into it except to post a link because in the end, I'm not reviewing her, I'm reviewing her work.

But here's the problem. Jace is really just Draco from DT. Simon is really just Ron and Harry amalgamated into one. Clary is really just Ginny. The bad guys seems too much like good ol'Voldie. The plot is painfully similar to DT. It was like reading her old work all over again. And I think, because she was really just redressing her old characters, she didn't even both to give them any growth in this story.

To be honest, I didn't read far because the writing was boring (oh my lord, the similes! Someone save me from them) and poorly constructed; the characters were boring and poorly constructed and the plot was boring and poorly constructed.

I'd already read DT so I didn't need to read this.
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews109k followers
February 11, 2021
I was surprisingly into this book when I first started! The world-building is super creative and fun, and I can see why so many people love the series. I really like the concept of all these supernatural creatures coexisting in the same world as us, and that there is a class of people who have to keep them in order. I came in with super low expectations because a lot of people said the writing is terrible, but honestly, I found Cassandra Clare's writing to be better than some of the current YA fantasy books I've read. There are some cheesy dated lines, sure, but it's still solid - she takes time to describe in detail the settings and the world around them, and you can tell she has a lot of love for the characters. Unfortunately, the second half of the book put me in a huge reading slump where I stopped caring about the story, especially with the cartoonish villain as the crux of all their conflict.. I think what didn’t help was how expositional the writing became - Clare falls into the pit of info dumping a lot of the background stories to the point where it feels like you’re reading a Wikipedia summary. I also wasn’t a fan of how certain relationships turned out with the compulsory girl/girl hate, the friend zone mentality and trying to make another character jealous, and obviously, the plot twist at the end about certain characters was unnecessary.
Profile Image for Rick Riordan.
Author 312 books397k followers
February 19, 2014
Okay, so I’m 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 I’m 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 protagonist, though I was equally drawn to the supporting cast. I especially like that the villains are believably three-dimensional. Even when you do not support them, you understand what motivates them. There is no easy black and white, good and evil dichotomy. I’ll be interested in seeing where the series goes from here, and what Clare does with her Victorian prequel series The Infernal Devices.
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,208 followers
June 2, 2020
Clary just shut the hell up
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,511 reviews6,636 followers
December 4, 2022
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 witness to an attack, the strange thing is that the victim of the attack disappeared right before her eyes, and when security arrives, despite the attackers standing right in front of them, she is the only one who can see them.

Clary descovers she is part of the world of Shadow Hunters and demons. Shadow Hunters are demon slayers. She learns stories of Vampires and Warewolves are more truth than fiction. She is attracted to Jace the most accomplished of this group of hunters. Much to the chagrin of her best friend Simon, and Jaces' hunter brother Alex.

She learns years ago a charasamitic, powerful, and high ranking Shadow Hunter, called Valentine created his own circle to cleanse the world of all demonic blood. Weather they were good or bad, their existence was enough of a crime. He was ruthless to the point he was willing to sacrifice anyone and anything human or demon as calateral damage. Now after 17 years Valentine has seemingly returned from the dead to finish what he started. Clary must learn of the ways of the shadow hunters if she is help her friends stop Valentine.

Great story, good drama, the characters are ok, the only failing I found in the book were the fight scenes. I think these are not the writer's strongest area yet. All in all a great book, not as action packed as I expected but the story makes up for this.
Profile Image for Tomoe Hotaru.
247 reviews839 followers
April 19, 2016
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, and look at Clary.



Correct me if I'm wrong, but Isabelle is supposed to be way hotter than Clary.

And don't even get me started on Jace.



I mean, Jamie Campbell Bower was cute in a couple of his other films, but.... Jace was supposed to be..... I dunno... swoon-on-your-feet-panty-wetting hawwwt.

And Simon.....



I mean, he has "friendzone" written all over him.



12 Jan '13
I know this is now being made into a film, and I know they've all got the cast sorted out, but I imagined them very differently. So here's how they all played out in my head:

Simon - Aaron Taylor-Johnson

For some reason, I always imagined Simon as young Eisenheim. And a part of me wants to kick myself for associating the 2006 film with this book in any way.

Alec - Ezra Miller

And no, it's not because he's queer.


Isabelle - Jessica Szohr

Because I wanted to put this picture in here, 'kay?


Jace - Draco Malfoy

I mean come on. Is there even a debate on this??


Clary - Kristen Stewart

Only because her acting skills match the quality of Clary's personality.



11 Aug '12
Also known as Why Readers CAN Review An Author As Well As His/Her Book, And Why STGRB Are Full of Shit And Obviously Never Took English Lit Classes For Telling Us We're Not Allowed To.


I heard about the whole plagiarism issue long before I even heard of Cassandra Clare's books, so I tried getting into it as objective as possible, given the circumstances. All I know is that she pretty much copy-pasted whole wads of text from another FF writer, from published books, from TV dialogue - into her Draco Dormiens trilogy, without providing any credit to the original authors.

I also know that she lifted wads of text from Draco Dormiens into her published Mortal Instruments. What remains a mystery, though, is whether these bits copied into The Mortal Instruments were her own original pieces of writing, or some of them even plagiarized work?

I won't go much into the whole plagiarism thing, since if indeed any plagiarized work exists in The Mortal Instruments, that is pretty much speculation.
However, it does bring to mind questions of ethic; should a plagiarist be published? Some people strongly believe in giving second chances. I think people only deserve second chances when they admit to their errors and have truly proven their repentance. Both cases which I have not as of yet heard Cassandra Clare do.

Other questions popping into my head include shouldn't there be some sort of punishment for plagiarists?! I mean, if I did in university what Cassandra Clare did in Draco Dormiens (and, arguably, The Mortal Instruments), then I would've been kicked out on the curb and my pretty Master's degree ripped to shreds. And, similar to the whole Chris Brown debacle, instead of condemning her far below ethical work habits, we, the consumers, commend their "artwork", as if sending the message that whatever wrongs they have done, it doesn't matter because people still eat their shit up. There is no learning curve here; or at least, no deterrence factor.

But anyway, I tried to suppress these nagging questions while I read the book, because I wanted to know if I would truly, objectively, enjoy City of Bones. Especially after the whole "GR Bullies" absurdity, where an increasing number of voices proclaim that Reviews Should Be About Books And Completely Separate From The Author.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, my experience reading City of Bones will provide evidence (alongside many other ample evidence out there), that no - sometimes we, as readers, cannot keep the two things separate. Sometimes, our moral and ethic code just won't let us. Reading is, after all, a subjective experience, and all sorts of things influence our enjoyment of it, including our perception of the author. And if that affects our enjoyment of a book, then it damn well does belong in a review if we choose to put it there.

So. Anyway. Now that I'm off my soapbox. The biggest thing that stands out while I read City of Bones was how inconsistent the writing was . It was so lazy and repetitive, information was handed over to us on a silver platter - there was no subtlety or any depth going on. But then there would be brief, short scenes or dialogues that actually made me laugh out. Those few and interspersed scenes surprised me, like one wet and icky autumn day, when I found a five dollar bill while raking up my neighbour's filthy garden.
Try as I might to ignore it, I was at a dilemma. Should I enjoy this? I mean, it's only five dollars. Surely they couldn't miss it. And, I mean, I'm working my arse off in this horrible weather because my mother owes them a lawnmower. And anyway, it might not even be theirs to begin with.
In the end, I took the money (come on, you would've, too!), but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I would have. And the delight I should have felt at finding money just wasn't there.

These funny bits of dialogues and scenes filled me with just as much inner turmoil as my five-dollar-note dilemma, and even though I know that maybe, perhaps, it could be that these are all Cassandra Clare's own words, I still couldn't shake off the icky suspicions out off my gut - did she "draw inspiration" from some other unknown source, here?
In the end, it just ravaged me with too much guilt and suspicions that what originally would have been a five-star scene was reduced down to three stars and a really, really sad face.

Also a part of the inconsistent writing, was the inconsistent narration . I know 3rd person omniscient gives the narrator the power to sift through characters' thoughts and emotions as they please, but this is what made the narrative sound forced and contrived. We would normally follow Clary as the novel progresses - until it is convenient for us to see things from another character's perspective, in which case off we'll jump into another person's head.
These conveniences are just one example of what I mean when I say that the narrative lacked subtlety . When we aren't directly being fed a certain character's thoughts and emotions through his/her own point of view, we are blatantly told their feelings by the character themselves. Rarely are people in real life so honest and self-aware as the characters in City of Bones.

"An asshat?" Jace looked as if he were about to laugh.
"What you said to Simon--"
"I was trying to save him some pain. Isabelle will cut out his heart and walk all over it in high-heeled boots. That's what she does to boys like that."

*

"(...) You want to know what it's like when your parents are good church-going folk and you happen to be born with the devil's mark?" He pointed at his eyes, fingers splayed. "When your father flinches at the sight of you and your mother hangs herself in the barn, driven mad by what she's done? When I was ten, my father tried to drown me in the creek. I lashed out at him with everything I had--burned him with everything I had--burned him where he stood. (...)"

*

"I didn't think you liked me all that much."
Isabelle's brightness faded and she looked down at her silvery toes. "I didn't think I did either," she admitted. "But when I went to look for and Jace, and you were gone..." Her voice trailed off, "I wasn't just worried about him, I was worried about you, too. There's something so ... reassuring about you. And Jace is so much better when you're around."


The point I'm trying to make, here, is that we get to know the characters because other characters are constantly telling us about them, instead of us making our own informed opinions of them based on their actions and words. This is why I say the writing was lazy and lacked depth . And how Cassandra Clare tried to show us that her characters have background and troubles and are oh such damaged goods was more or less through self-testimonials such as the second quote up above, where Magnus Bane so conveniently gave away his entire childhood to three random teenagers. The chapter The Werewolf's Tale was another one of these self-testimonials for another partially-important character.
This is a whole new level of telling-instead-of-showing. Where unimaginative writers just unload all these information through descriptive prose, Cassandra Clare was at least creative enough to hide it into her dialogue. But the same underlying problem is still there - we see none of this "damaged goods". I didn't need Sweeney Todd to tell me his past to know that he was a damaged, troubled man. His actions spoke it for me.

As for information being handed to us on a silver platter -- all you need to do is take a look at the entire ending scene with Valentine to see my point. The whole chapter was an infodump session. Rarely do I read villains who are so eager to reveal their past and provide explanations to their potential victims. The Harry Potter novels were slightly guilty of this - especially in the earlier books - but I believe a lot of other things about the books redeemed itself from this one fault.
Jace was also a bit of an infodumper, but I don't take away points for this. I mean, I get it - it's hard to get on without one character at least explaining what the blazes was going on.

Speaking of characters ... this is rather tough. Many reviewers despised Jace because he was such an asshole. Clary herself accuses Jace of being an asshole plenty of times. But I've lived a fair amount of years, and I was friendly with quite a few assholes during my own teenage years. And let me tell you one thing: Jace is no asshole. He's a guy with daddy issues, trying to act tough. And that is as deep as any of the characters get. I guess, he would be my favourite character out of the whole lot - not my favourite character as in the one I liked the most, but the character whom, in my opinion, was the most developed, without self-testimonials or other characters telling us about him.

But remember my five-dollar-note dilemma? Yeah. Jace was, without a doubt, a direct cut-and-paste of the Draco from Clare's Draco Dormiens trilogy - who, by default, is a creation of JK Rowling's. So forgive me if I "can't separate the book from the author" because frankly? If I enjoyed this book simply because of Jace, that doesn't say much about the rest of the book, or the quality of writing, because Jace is not even Clare's original character.

Further illustrating the inconsistencies of Clare's writing, though, was the sudden and drastic change in Jace's character during the scene with Valentine. There is no way one person, in such a short amount of time, could thoroughly convince and change Jace into such an ... obedient? passive? receptive? character. No matter who the person claimed he was, or what evidence he brings to the table. Even if Jace believed in everything Valentine told him, there is no way it would have drastically changed him in such a manner and such a short time.
Just as unlikely, was the way Jace was ready to walk the ends of the world with Valentine, build a new life with him, and in the next moment - after a few words from Clary - was ready to throw that all away once again. The double inconsistencies astound me. Clare simply does not understand human psychology or even human nature enough to make solid characters.

The other characters were forgettable, to say the least. They all sounded the same, I'm afraid. Witty, dry sort of humour. It gets tiring after a while. Also, the Magnus-and-Alec thing? Can I just say, ew? Magnus is like, what? Forty? And Alec is ... sixteen?
Even Valentine the Villain was ... not much of a villain. He didn't frighten me, or even daunt me. I kept reading how Clary was disgusted at how manipulative he was during his scenes, but reading the pages myself, reading his words, his actions? He wasn't particular conniving or ingenious - really, it was just that Jace was so ready to have a family back, he was willing to lap up every bit of contradicting information he heard.

Plot progression and twists were unsurprising. Uninspired. No, wait, they were inspired. By Star Wars and Harry Potter, to name a few. Perhaps even a bit of Buffy in there.

And this is where my final dilemma lies. To like, or not to like? That is the question.

For light fluff, it has entertainment value enough. But what little entertainment value there was, was lifted off other, better, pieces of work out there. To say that I did not enjoy City of Bones would be a lie; but the question is, did I enjoy City of Bones, or did I enjoy the bits of Harry Potter and Star Wars in City of Bones?

I'll let you decide if it's fine to like a book filled with other writers' characters, other authors' plot twists, other screenwriters' dialogue. Perhaps I'm being too uptight, but here's how I see it. New York with Potterverse and Star Wars. Take that away and what are you?



elfswood
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,013 reviews46.2k followers
July 19, 2022
edit 7.19: i still love jace and his stupid quips


finally fcking DONE

i'm not changing my initial rating but y'all really need to cool it with the TMI hate. imo this is still better than a lot of YA fantasy and i will DIE on this hill alright?

this is probably my most read book of all time so having to reread it for millionth time to continue on with the series was kind of like pulling teeth. listened to the audiobook by mae whitman which wasn't bad. but even on 2.6x speed it kinda dragged for me.

because i knew eeeeeverything that was going to happen idk.

i still fucking love herondales. yall can choke, idc idc idc.

on to the next one.
Profile Image for Heather.
282 reviews13.9k followers
January 26, 2012
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?
[image error]


For me, this book shines, and to those of you who loved it, I imagine you are a bit like me. You found yourself immersed in a world where demons roam the night, weres run a bar, vamps occupy abandoned hotels, warlocks cast spells while rockin glitter in their hip hugging jeans, and the law is upheld by Shadowhunters, a race of humans blessed by the angel Raziel. Hokey? Sure. Rockin like a unicorn adorned bike? Hell yes! Even the setting, NYC, was so palpable; it became another character in this vibrant story. I thought the Shadowhunter world was funny, sleek, dark, sexy and hopeful. More importantly, the characters came so alive for me that they jumped off the pages. I felt as though I were in the story with them as opposed to merely following along in their journey.



Regardless of the types of books you prefer to read, or the characters that endear themselves to your heart, I think we all read to for some type of enjoyment. What evokes that enjoyment varies from reader to reader, but I still find excitement within these pages. To me, that is the mark of a fantastic book.

Profile Image for  Teodora .
279 reviews1,536 followers
January 20, 2023
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 would’ve 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. I’m sure it would grow on me, I mean, that should be the whole point of a series with that many volumes. But for now I am only going to categorise it as weird.

I also cannot say that the plot of this particular book did not baffle me, because it did. There were some parts where I thought that things just fall perfectly into place, but some others...Jesus, really? Like, for one (maybe a tiny spoiler but so many people have read this book already that is not even relevant anymore), how the fuck did that vampire tore open Clary’s backpack and stole a rat all “by mistake” without Clary to notice is beyond me.

Now, cutting off all that negativity I’ve spilt like tea, let’s talk about positive things. Yay.

How much do you think I love Clary, Simon, Jace, Isabelle and Alec? The answer is: actually very much. Like, for real, are they accepting submission letters to their cult because I am in, what the hell.

Clary Fray is, to me, a bit of a head-in-the-clouds type of girl, a bit silly and naïve, and excepting the fact that she got so fast so cool with all this weird voodoo batshit happening in her life all of a sudden, she is really nice. Simon – the same as Clary. Maybe a bit sassier.

Isabelle is that type of superhot but super scary girl (the cool stuff, you know) that is a bit overly narcissistic but can dominate every idiot that dares to breath wrong in her presence. Kinda my type of cool girl.

As for Alec, her brother…boy, I love him. I really do. He is the right amount of sexy, shy, awkward and badass, all that mixed with a big heart and a strong impression of not knowing how to express feelings. You just got to love him! Oh and I can already see something blossoming between him and Magnus and I am so here for that to happen!

Now, about Jace, all I can say is that he can charm the pants off of you and you’d probably thank him for that.

In my opinion, Jace is the best part of (at least) this book and I am always going to be looking forward the parts where he’s being himself. He is charming and witty and selfish and cruel. But he has some of the best moments. And because of the fact that I haven’t seen The Mortal Instruments films or The Shadowhunters TV series, in my head there was this constant portrait of Jace that my brain painted for my mind’s eye and in my mind, Jace looks exactly like Toby Regbo who played Prince Francis II in Reign . I just couldn’t picture him otherwise! Put some sexy runes on that Prince Francis and there you have Jace Wayland, my version.

***OOPS MY FINGER SLIPPED***
description

Okay, living my inappropriate behaviour aside (shame on me, what can I say), I was prepared to give this book something between 3 and 3.5 stars altogether. But that ending had something else in mind.

I was so confused with everything happening that I just ignored some factors that might’ve made me prepare myself for that ending but no . I really can say that I didn’t see that coming. My face literally fell on the ground and I am still in a little bit of shock.

So with that being said and without further ado, I am glad to announce that I am not going to leave this series alone until I love it, so bring it on book #2, show me what you’ve got!


(Book-styled)
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,079 reviews17.2k followers
September 12, 2020
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 just... boring and also, I hate every single character. I hated... almost everything about this, until book three, which I thought was okay because it didn't take me four months [you think I'm kidding?] and also for ending the incest plotline. [Yeah, that.]

Listen, I am not opposed to fun trash. I read The Infernal Devices this year and it was fantastic, and books two and three basically emotionally killed me inside. But this was not fun for me.

Okay, so first of all, because we've all talked about this, The Mortal Instruments is kind of based off Cassandra Clare’s Harry Potter fanfiction [no, I'm not kidding], and it is painfully obvious. There are basic things, like that humans are known as “mundanes,” while in Harry Potter they are known as “muggles.” But then there's also the fact that the characters kind of feel like not good fanfiction interpretations of various Harry Potter characters. Our redheaded lead character, Clary Fray, is a slightly stupider version of Ginny Weasley. Her love interest, Jace Wayland, is essentially Draco Malfoy if everyone excused his actions because he’s super hot. [I really don't like Jace.] Jace becomes a member of the Ripoff Death Eaters in like book two because his father is Ripoff Voldemort [his name is Valentine. which is actually hilarious]. Simon is... Harry [again, not a very good one], and Isabelle is Hermione, if Hermione were there exclusively to be slut-shamed by the angelic virgin protagonist.

I mostly said this to point out how utterly fucking dull these characters are, but... listen, I'm not actually wrong about this. If you match the characters up to her fanfiction [which is not hard], the pairings fit. You know that thing I linked up above? Well, it discusses how the fanfiction trilogy [I mean, kudos for that dedication] is endgame Draco/Ginny and Harry/Hermione, with subtext between Harry/Draco [I'm so sorry, I'm laughing typing this]. The endgame of this series is Jace/Clary and Simon/Isabelle, with subtext between Jace/Simon. Do. you. think. I'm. kidding.

But listen, you'd think that after ripping from fucking Harry Potter, Clare would’ve at least come up with something interesting? I mean, fiction doesn't have to be original to be good. But again, it's basically boring, boring, boring, offensive, boring, jace is hot chapter, boring.

I... don't even know where I'm going with this, I just need you all to know that this originated as Harry Potter fanfiction. Although I will point out that the original fanfiction this was based off of got taken off fanfiction.net after plagiarism accusations. And then there were Sherrilyn Kenyon's plagiarism accusations. I mean, I think fanfiction and original fiction used to be considered very different things in a way they almost aren't today, but... it's important to know.

Anyway. I've established at this point that the characters are flat, it's all painfully derivative, and the books themselves are... boring. But... there is so much more.

Beyond the issue of Clary's I'm-not-like-other-girls thing, there's also the issue of messily handled lgbtq stuff. So, yes, it's 2005, and I'm willing to excuse this... a little bit Alec Lightwood's entire presence in this book is to Create Some Angst through homophobia and it feels... so much like a plot device, not going to lie. While it's fair to mention that Cassandra Clare has improved her lgbtq rep - severalsapphic friends of mine would like to notify you that The Dark Artifices is awesome wrt this - it's not good in this series. Alec is barely a POV character in the first three books of the series, despite being marketed as a major character, and feels super tokenistic. Also, just... his treatment. At one point in this series, his mother, who is a supposedly likeable character, tries to kill him and his boyfriend for being gay, which he forgives her for [how?]. There is later on a lot of explicit biphobia towards Magnus [who is my favorite. I love Magnus] that is not subverted or criticized at all, and in this book especially, there's an intonation of that slutty bi trope [though the character is allowed to develop beyond that, man, it is there.]
“You're not gay, are you?"
Simon's greenish color deepened. "If I were, I would dress better.”

this... is... not... funny...

No, Cassandra Clare would rather focus on something else: a sideplot where Ripoff Ginny Weasley believes Hot Draco Malfoy is her brother for two fucking books. It is exactly as terrible as it sounds. For two full books, I had to live through Ripoff Ginny Weasley’s angst over her crush on her brother and about their forbidden love or whatever the shit. Yes, I KNOW They almost have sex while still believing they're related [book three]. That's not even the weirdest part; they do it in Voldemort Except Boring’s home, right after they almost physically die, and it's wild. Do you know how many hours I spent trying to wash my eyes out after reading this? Why, exactly, is sex between two people who literally think they are siblings an enjoyable thing to read about? The focus on Draco Malfoy’s bare chest was bad enough; I don’t need to think about incest sex too.

Oh, and there are so many constant descriptions of Jace’s utter maleness. It honestly feels like an entire book jacking off to the thought of Draco Malfoy’s bare chest. It's not good.

I don't know. I guess not everything is bad? The worldbuilding was possibly something cool ten years ago, but it's pretty typical nowadays. I'll also give Clare a bit of credit - she's pretty great at writing dialogue. The moments where the characters are chatting or hanging out in squad dynamics are a lot of fun.

But overall... no. It's full of tropes, there aren't really any plot twists, and it's honestly just boring. I'm sorry, I really don't understand the hype. Like, come on, besides being an example of all the worst bits of YA literature, from the underdeveloped characters to the lackluster worldbuilding, this first book truly takes the cake as one of the worst I've ever read.

Oh, and I'm just going to say it: Jace and Simon have huge crushes on each other. I am NOT giving up this opinion. I don't really give a shit about either of them or care about this relationship, I'm just saying that factually, they talk about each other like they want to have wild sex. I'm ALSO saying that the ending scene of book two reads like shitty vampire smut. I'm picturing it on fanfiction.net with the description m/m blood drinking kink erotica don't like don't read!!!

VERDICT: This book is terrible. I'm somewhat shocked to say that it gets a little better later on, but this one is objectively terrible. Maybe just skip to book two if you genuinely want to read the series [listen, I like The Infernal Devices]. Or skim. Please just skim.

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Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,588 reviews153k followers
May 21, 2021
“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 Shadowhunters are other Shadowhunters...but Clary is 100% human, a mundane...or so she thought.

Almost immediately, Clary's mother goes missing and the Shadowhunters appear to be the only ones who can help her.

And so, with much trepedation (and sass) she forces herself into their world...and discovers there's quite a few things she's never thought were possible.

Okay, I really, really enjoyed this one....until we got to the twist at the end. Ugh.

I absolutely loved the banter.

Any and all scenes with Jace in it just shone so brightly.

I mean, how could you not love scenes with lines like this:
“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?"

Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
Or this?
“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.”
OR THIS?
“Investigation?" Isabelle laughed. "Now we're detectives? Maybe we should all have code names."

"Good idea," said Jace. "I shall be Baron Hotschaft Von Hugenstein.”
However...the ending? Very nearly ruined the book!



Four stars because I have a very selective memory she eye top-notch banter.

Audiobook Comments
The reader was fabulous through and through!

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Profile Image for Sofia.
294 reviews5,926 followers
March 31, 2021
First of all, who designed that cover? It's traumatizing.

Anyway, here I am (again), finally done with City of Bones. I DNFed it the first time because I was so done with Clary slapping everyone. But I'm back.

I still hate it, thanks.


Clary Fray is fifteen years old when she witnesses a murder at a nightclub. (Why would they let kids into a nightclub? Anyway.) The murderer is a boy with eyes "the color of antifreeze." His name is Jace Wayland. He's actually a Shadowhunter, or a demon-killer, and the kid he killed was a demon. She's understandably shocked, and is even more scared when she gets a call from her mother telling her to not come home. When she gets back to her apartment, her mother is gone. She's attacked by a demon, and it's revealed that she is, in fact, of Shadowhunter blood.


I bet you can predict the rest of the plot. It's basically Harry Potter. (I guess there are spoilers in this next paragraph, but it's honestly so predictable that they're hardly spoilers at all.)

- Kid discovers they are special
- Kid's parents were also special
- The bad guy was supposed to be dead but he's actually not; wow, how original
- Special artifacts will stop him
- "mundanes" = "Muggles"


TMI actually stands for Too Many Infodumps, because every time Clary met someone knew, they dumped their whole backstory on her and gave us a mini history lesson of the Shadowhunters. There was literally an entire chapter towards the end that was just Luke's backstory.


Clary has a friend named Simon who is absolutely insufferable. Everything he says is sarcastic. He can't take anything seriously. He "loves" Clary. (Come on. We all know the childhood best friends never win in a love triangle. Can we just cut this?) He's been "in love" with Clary for "ten years." (He was five ten years ago.) Why is he hanging out with the Shadowhunters anyway? He has no purpose. There's no point to him being there. His only job is to turn into a rat halfway through. We waste like five chapters trying to save him from being a rat. It was so boring and I didn't care at all.

"Ignore him," Clary said to Jace, and elbowed Simon in the side. "He always says exactly what comes into his head. No filters."


"Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt," she told him.


These kids are fifteen and yet they're going to nightclubs and talking like they're twenty. All of the banter felt out of place.

"'Here' as in your bedroom or 'here' as in the great spiritual question of our purpose here on this planet? If you're asking whether it's all just a cosmic coincidence or there's a greater meta-ethical purpose to life, well, that's a puzzler for the ages. I mean, simple ontological reductionism is clearly a fallacious argument, but-"


Jace is flexing.


Clary is equally annoying. She slaps everyone for no reason and it's supposed to make her "strong." (It actually just makes her a jerk.) She doesn't know she's beautiful (and that's what makes her beautiful). She is not like other girls.

Two teenage girls sitting on an orange bench seat were giggling together. The sort of girls Clary had never liked at St. Xavier's, sporting pink jelly mules and fake tans.


She'd never understood why some girls felt the need to smell like dessert.


She ugly-shames people, despite calling herself less than beautiful on many occasions.

Clary wondered if there were any ugly vampires, or maybe any fat ones. Maybe they didn't make vampires out of ugly people. Or maybe ugly people didn't want to live forever.



Jace likes to call Clary "little girl," despite the fact that they are basically the same age. Can we stop with the condescension? Also, he smells gross:

She was standing so close that she could smell the scent of him, sweat and soap and blood.


Get you a man who smells like sweat and blood all the time.

Jace is not like other guys:

"You may be the only guy my age I've ever met who knows what bergamot is, much less that it's in Earl Grey tea."
"Yes, well," Jace said, with a supercilious look. "I'm not like other guys."


*intense coughing*

Only Dorothea knows the truth about Jace's awful sense of humor.

"If you were half as funny as you thought you were, my boy, you'd be twice as funny as you are."



And I can't tolerate characters who treat those without powers like they're lesser. Throughout the book, Jace ridiculed Simon and treated him like he was nothing. There's a saying that you should always judge a person by how they treat people in positions of less power, and Jace isn't looking too good.

Jace leaned forward and banged his hand against the partition separating them from the cab driver. "Turn left! Left! I said to take Broadway, you brain-dead moron!"


What a jerk.


There were some racist incidences that struck me the wrong way, like when Jace met someone Mexican and kept calling him "chico."


The writing was okay, but there was far too much description. If the unnecessary bits were cut out, the book would be half as long as it is now.
And there are some... interesting analogies. Like the antifreeze, and like this:

...Jace reminded him, his voice soft as cat's fur.


Some of the description wasn't even good.

The apple tasted green and cool.


*shook*

Also, there was a lot of all-caps screaming, which was extremely juvenile.

"NO POINT?" Clary shouted, so loudly that Simon hid his head under her thumb. "HOW CAN YOU SAY THERE'S NO POINT?"



The magic system was odd. There's this thing called a stele, which is used to draw runes that can heal a Shadowhunter. But it's literally just used whenever the Shadowhunters don't know what to do. There's no definite limit to what it can do.


Besides, there were plot holes. Why did Valentine team with demons if the only reason he was evil in the first place is because he said Downworlders were too demonic to live?


The only good character was Jocelyn because of this:

Jocelyn recognized reading as a sacred pastime and usually wouldn't interrupt Clary in the middle of a book, even to yell at her.


*applause*

Also, there were grammar and spelling mistakes and inconsistencies. Is Shadowhunter actually Shadow-hunter? Because there were different ways of spelling it and I'm confused.

Oh and there was this quote, which made me laugh out loud. (For context, Simon just asked if Isabelle and Jace were dating.)

"Ew, no. They're practically related. They wouldn't do that."


If you know, you know.
*muffled wheezing*


0.5 stars

Clary let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.



__

Yes, I am giving this another try.
Why?
Because I still haven't figured out who Magnus Bane is and I feel like he's someone I need to know.
It's time to dive back into the dumpster.


____

First Read; DNF; 0.5 stars

There's a difference between good trash and bad trash.

On one hand, we have the guilty pleasures, which I usually devour in less than a day. You all know the formula - evil guy trying to take over the world, sarcastic teenage girl who is prophesied to stop him, and a sappy love interest to tie it all off. Let's not forget about the comic relief.

This is my excuse to rate some trash four stars and some trash one star. It's such a fine line and so easy to cross. I can read a formulaic novel and thoroughly enjoy it (because I'm no literary critic), and I can read a different derivative book and want to throw it in the trash where it belongs.

I think you can guess which category City of Bones falls into.

This is the epitome of bad trash. We have Clary, the most annoying, rude, ungrateful girl in the history of annoying, rude, ungrateful girls. She snaps at everyone. She literally runs away to a poetry competition because her mother wants to take her on vacation. Either she has some problems or she's just a ReBeLlIoUs TeEnAgEr, because ALL of us can relate to THAT.

Bible – La Petite Muse

And then we have Simon, who can only speak sarcastically. No, really. Nothing he says is serious. Everything is a complete joke, and it's not funny at all.

And finally, there's Jace, who I want to throw in the trash along with this book. There is absolutely nothing special about him. He makes bad jokes. He's a "Shadowhunter" *cringes at the cheese* He fights dEmOnS. Yippee. At one point, Clary gets all overwhelmed with how SPESHUL Jace is because he knows what bergamot is. And then he says - I KID YOU NOT - "I'm not like other guys." HE SAID IT. HE ACTUALLY SAID IT.

Oh, wait! Let's not forget the plot! Which is so horrible I want to cry.

Apparently, there's this Shadowhunter who betrayed his fellow demon-murderers and went to the Dark Side. Does that sound familiar to you? Oh, really! I totally didn't pick up on this book's resemblance to Star Wars!

And his name is... drum roll please...

Valentine.

If you're going to make a villain, give him a cool name! Now I can't picture him wearing anything but pink suspenders with hearts on them. Everyone's like "oooo, Valentine is so scary -" NO. HE IS NOT. He is a CUPID.

Thanks For Coming To My Ted Talk Thx For Coming To My Ted Talk GIF - ThanksForComingToMyTedTalk ThxForComingToMyTedTalk MostExcellent - Discover & Share GIFs

We also have a mentor figure who is such a caricature that my brain is exploding trying to comprehend the cheese. I forgot his name.

No, I won't be continuing the series. To everyone's complete and utter shock, I'm not too big on incest.
Profile Image for Katerina.
420 reviews16.7k followers
September 18, 2016
“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 possessed). Aaanyway, I wanted a break and I grabbed this beautiful book and started reading until I finished it, bleary-eyed, disoriented and obsessed. A typical day in Kat-verse.



So what's the story?
Shadowhunters (ninja warriors with angel blood) fight demons and co-exist with vampires, werewolves, fae and warlocks while a former Shadowhunter with nazi tendencies threatens to destroy them.



City of Bones is a fast-paced, action-packed paranormal book that keeps you invested in the story and the characters since page 1. A nerd, a heartbreaker, a jealous friend, a warlock who loves glitter, a werewolf, an artist and a gorgeous warrior introduce you to a world of magic, where nightmares come true, truths are revealed and decisions have to be made. Diving into this world is easy, effortless and so, so enjoyable.
“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.”

Humour and sassiness are all over the place and witty banters crack you up. But mind that there is also drama, plot twists and shocking moments that make you question the writer's humanity (and maybe sanity). Cassandra Clare has a unique ability, her writing can heal and stab your poor heart.
“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he'd learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

I need to warn you about Jace. He is the kind of bad boy who makes rude gestures to nuns and loves weapons and treats everything like a joke and is a total badass. You will fall in love with him and swoon and want to have his babies but you're in for disappointment. Because he is mine.



So that's the general awesomeness of the Mortal Instruments.

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Profile Image for Melanie.
1,154 reviews97.7k followers
April 1, 2019
“Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist side by side.”

Hi, my name is Melanie, and I’m 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 Cassie’s other work, and some of my friends lost their shit, to put it lightly. And this is the story of how I got roped into finally reading City of Bones in 2018.

Again, I’m the last person to read this, but City of Bones starts off with a young girl named Clary, and her and her friend, Simon, are in line for a teen club. Yeah, the two-thousand vibes were real. Once inside the club, a couple individuals catch her eye and she can’t resist following them out of the club, to only realize that she isn’t supposed to be able to see them in the first place.

We are then thrown into the paranormal world that is hidden from the mundanes (non-magical humans). We see vampires, werewolves, fae *swoons forever*, angels, demons, and everything else you think of when you think paranormal. And we also are introduced to the world of shadowhunters, the warriors who are sworn to defeat the demons.

And Clary’s world gets turned upside down when she realizes that her mother has been doing everything in her power to keep her hidden from this paranormal world. And Clary can’t even ask her for the truth, because her mother has gone missing. And the only people who can help her are the shadowhunters. *dun dun dun*

“Keep in mind that when your mother fled from the Shadow World, it wasn’t the monsters she was hiding from. Not the warlocks, the wolf-men, the Fair Folk, not even the demons themselves. It was them. It was the Shadowhunters.”

Back when this series came out, everyone was saying it was “Harry Potter fanfic” and my pretentious, Harry Potter obsessed self wasn’t going to read anything that was a rip off of my fandom. And were a few of the similarities there? Yeah, I mean, this is a story that centers around three brothers with three magical items that a certain villain wants, who has been presumed dead for a while now. The parallels (and names, I guess) between Valentine and Voldemort are very apparent, especially their desire for wanting magic blood to be pure. But besides this big aspect, I really couldn’t easily see any other Harry Potter elements.

But you know what else? City of Bones holds up decently well in 2018. I was a little thrown off that it is told in third person, but I actually think it has aged pretty well. I am always so desperately scared to go back and read my high school favorites, because I doubt they will hold up and have the same magic they did back in the mid two-thousands. This this was a good read, and it was funny, and touched on a lot of things that are super relevant and “cool” today.

And I was honestly impressed that Cassandra Clare wasn’t scared to write in LGBTQIAP+ characters in 2007. I was surprised that we got confirmation for two characters, without it ever feeling manipulative or even drawn out. And she even touches on homophobia and how differently a character would be treated if their colleagues knew he was gay. I mean, this is pretty impressive for 2007, and it wasn’t lost on me. I will say the end there was a villain that maybe did the things he did because of his love for another man that I wish wasn’t in the book, but it didn’t erase the good Cassie did with the other two characters.

“The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me.”

This book also surprisingly made me laugh. Jace is like the most sarcastic character ever, and he actually had me laughing in so many scenes. And I loved seeing the mystery unfold right alongside Clary. Magnus was everything, I wanted so much more of him instantly. But I ended up thinking that Luke and his backstory stole the spotlight. I wasn’t prepared for those feelings. And this book had a huge cast of characters, so I’m very curious about how I’ll feel about all of them as the series progresses.

Quick sentence about how the characters made me feel:
Clary - super likeable.
Jace - half love and half hate (and still side eyeing you all, maybe).
Simon - so annoying, please, no one give this boy a certain cup.
Isabelle - marry me this instant.
Alec - I feel neutral but hope to end up liking more.
Magnus - going to be the best character in literature.
Luke - the star of this book for me.
Hodge - super good surprise.
Valentine - needs to get bent.

“You want to know what it’s like when your parents are good churchgoing folk and you happen to be born with the devil’s mark?”

Overall, I went into this with the lowest of expectations. Like, picture the lowest expectations that a human can have. Okay, now, mine were lower than even that. So maybe that’s why I got so much enjoyment out of this story. But I honestly did have a lot of fun with this, and it made me very curious to pick up the next book (hopefully soon)! Also, I have been very blessed to not be spoiled for anything in this series, the only thing I always hear was, “CLARY AND JACE!” Which is why I’m side-eyeing each one of you if the ending of this book is true. Like, you all nasty.

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[Reread: March, 2019]
Oh my word, the appreciation I have for all the threads that Cassie Clare started weaving in this first book that truly started it all. Seeing these kids, not even beginning to understand what is ahead for them. My heart. I loved this way more the second time around, and I especially loved rereading this with Lea! ❤
Profile Image for Shelley.
2,252 reviews146 followers
July 5, 2007
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, thanks.

Profile Image for Sasha Alsberg.
Author 11 books67k followers
August 18, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Chelsea *Slowly Catching Up* Humphrey.
1,387 reviews77.2k followers
October 24, 2017
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 still a young, gay teen, as this book was before it's time in it's courageous attempt to feature a homosexual couple before it was popular to do so. I was completely sucked into the action, drama, and mysterious intrigue that sweeps over the reader from the first page; I couldn't tell if I should be embarrassed to be so obsessed with such a cliche, teenage read, but honestly I don't care. I AM HERE FOR ALL THE TMI LOVE AND AM PROUD OF IT.

I unfortunately accidentally stumbled across the movie before picking up these books, so there are a few spoilers I already knew about before starting the books since the movie pulled a bit from the first 2-3 books? I think? I actually like going into beloved, hyped up series knowing some of the big things before reading them for myself; I found I can enjoy it more if the stress of knowing who to ship is already handled for me so I don't invest in the wrong coupling . Obviously this series features all types of supernatural creatures, but I like how Clare gave a feel of placing multiple religious/mythical/world views into a giant mashup that became her own. It was very clever and ballsy and I love it.

There's not really much I can say here that hasn't already been said thousands of times over the past decade, but I'm so glad I've officially experienced my first Cassandra Clare novel and I can't wait to continue on. I know there's some dissension among which order to read in, but I've decided on reading them: 1-3 TMI, 1-3 TID, 4-6 TMI, then follow with TDA series. Wish me luck; I have a lot of catching up to do! ;) Side note- I somehow scored a like new used set of all the books (except TDA) and they all are these gorgeous Australian paperbacks. That is all.
Profile Image for Maria.
65 reviews8,376 followers
March 26, 2019
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 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 nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...


This is the first Cassandra Clare book I have ever read. You would think I knew nothing of this world before and I just starting delving to it now. And you would be wrong. Many years ago the film "City of Bones" with Lily Collins was the shit. Everyone was watching it and I watched it too. I didn't like it. It didn't feel special to me. After that the show "Shadowhunters" started. I started watching it because of a dear friend who is obsessed with it. I watch more than 70 tv shows so it's hard for me to watch something that special. And that's the case here. It wasn't anything special. But I liked it a lot and I loved the characters. Then, I joined the book community about a year ago. This book was everywhere. EVERYWHERE. So, as always, I joined the hype train and bought it. And now here we are. So, even though I have never read anything related to the Shadowhunter world, I knew about it a lot. And this is important to note here, I'm not just a new fan of everything.

Let's start with what I liked. I enjoyed the banter and the humor in this book extremely much. Especially Jace's humor, I felt myself laughing out loud at times. The only moments this character was bearable. I also enjoyed the immersive world. The author created a very unique and beautiful but also gloomy world that is rich and full and has a huge history behind it. Many details about it bored me to death 💀 but it was exciting nonetheless. And now the juicy shit. What I didn't like.

This book felt so childish, juvenile and immature to me. Even when the plot was getting serious, I just wanted to laugh. It started off better but after the whole Simon-rat-vampires-werewolves-fucking-motorcycles-that-fucking-fly shit, it went downhill for me. I couldn't take ANYTHING that was happening seriously! I mean come on, they wasted 50 pages on the Simon-rat situation, which was ridiculous, and another 10 pages on what ride they would get to get to Clary's house! I mean come on man!

I hated Clary's perspective. I hated her insecurity, her hatred towards Izzy was unreasonable. You don't hate on someone just because they're prettier than you. Or because you think they are. She didn't even give her a chance at the beginning. Basically, the reason I think the book seemed childish to me was that we were seeing things from Clary's POV. The writing also didn't help the case, but Clary is a very immature character.

HOW DID THIS AUTHOR SUCCEED IN MAKING EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK UNLIKABLE??? (except Simon, SIMON ILY YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MY FAVORITE). Characters like Izzy, Magnus and Alec, who have been my favorites for years because of the tv show, felt so distasteful to me! Imagine if I didn't know the characters from before. I would hated the guts out of them. Clary and Jace weren't a surprise to me. I didn't even like them from the show. I don't think I will ever like these two characters. They have been on my black list for years. And it's a pity because we see things from Clary's eyes. A damn pity.

To sum it all up, I didn't enjoy this book. I wanted to, I wanted to add a new favorite series to my collection but it didn't happen. My dick was hard for this book series and it fell down real fast. I'm sorry, don't hate me. I think the show has done a better job with adapting this series. I know it's not the source material and it isn't that good but I prefer it. I will continue to read this series because I have heard the writing gets better, but it won't be a priority. So many books to read, so little time. Anyway... until the next one KBYE!!!
Profile Image for The Burning Rose (Jess).
161 reviews307 followers
November 30, 2019
2019 Re-read: 4/5 stars.
This book wasn’t 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. I’m glad I’m re-reading it because I want to finally finish this series.

2016: 4.5 stars.
Such a great book!
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
525 reviews56.7k followers
November 15, 2021
I like to come back to books I've read years ago and give you the real tea so here it is...

Reading this books as a grown ass woman was an interesting experience. As a kid, I would always pick the biggest fantasy book I could find in a store because it meant more to read. As an adult, I realized that so many popular YA books are fluffy just for the sake of it.

The writing isn't that great nor are the characters, I found it very "info dumpy", also, I don't care for love triangles and really resent them when they involve a "friend zone boy friend".

If you've read this as a teenager, you'll have a much better time than I did.

Also...
Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
179 reviews1,144 followers
January 29, 2022
"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 about it? I was so invested in the story, the characters, the sleazy moments *sighs*, basically everything.

There were quite a few Darth-Vader-moments and Voldemort-moments which were beyond thrilling! Okay I'm gonna stop now, please read it if you haven't already because there's so much you wouldn't wanna miss :)
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
419 reviews1,622 followers
December 27, 2018
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 wouldn’t be there. I had a lot of problems with this. But I still couldn’t hate it.

In fact, I can see why mini-me adored it. This is a really fun story. The world is exciting with a large cast of (mostly) interesting characters. As Clary is inducted into the Shadowhunter World, we feel pulled along with her. The world is mysterious and sexy and complex (looking at you: numerous spinoffs).

In that same vein, this introduces a slew of compelling side characters. (Aka, Alec, Magnus and Isabelle are my baes.) While the main character is frustrating (see next paragraph) the side characters are all really interesting! None are particularly well-developed here, but there are interesting dynamics at play-- the glamorous warlock who’s had enough of this Shadowhunter shit, the gorgeous huntress whose greatest priority is protecting her family, and the angsty, logical parabati scared to be who he is. Their stories are all really interesting, and I’m really excited to see their development again.

description

But back to problem #1: the bland, frustrating, quasi-misogynist that is Clarissa Fray. I understand she serves as our introduction to the Shadowhunter world, so that’s where her story starts-- but there’s nothing else to her. Outside of asking questions about this world, she seems to have no personality, no aspirations, and nothing outside of basic “oh-gee-golly-wow” reactions. Then, once the initial shock of “demon-hunters-oh-my” wears off, it seems like Miss Clare tried to give Clary some sort of sassy! and strong! personality-- AND FAILED HARD. Instead, Clary comes across as a patronizing bully. She blames others for everything even though she very rarely knows what the hell is going on. She slaps her love interest twice for not agreeing with his actions-- and granted, I understand why they were fighting, but it comes across like the only way Clary can defend her position is physical violence. Which she has no personality, so maybe it’s true.

(screw it, this rant gets more than one paragraph. #DEALWITHIT)

Clary has this god-awful self-loathing complex, I think. Because she’s utterly dripping with I’m-not-like-other-girls-so-lets-hate-all-other-girls which is some bullshit. My favorite example of this is when Isabelle dares to wear vanilla perfume of all things, and Clary has this whole internal rant about “girls who wear vanilla perfume” and how she just can’t fathom “why they want to smell like cupcakes.” She then judges their ‘daintiness,’ which is ridiculous because we all know Isabelle could kick every-square-inch of Clary’s ass. There’s more examples of this, including with female characters Clary doesn’t even know. It’s like she has absolutely no self-respect and the only way she feels good about herself is dragging down other women. Excuse me, it’s 2017 and I’m tired of this bullshit.

(Also I wear vanilla perfume and I smell like a fucking delicious cupcake, thank you)

There’s also some plot points that just seem a little cheesy/underdeveloped to me, including:
- how fast the romance goes from uneasy distrust to love
- the pointless love-triangle
- the way Jace is so easily swayed from one side to another
- the ex-machina of werewolves
- the way no one uses their steele’s half the time
- the way the steeles can do anything, except for when it’s actually useful.

(Also ‘mundane/mundie’ is wayyyy too similar to ‘muggle’ for my taste. )


Overall:

Idk man. Nostalgia says 5 stars, but the rest of me knows better.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,478 reviews29.7k followers
April 20, 2019
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 hate this? it had its entertaining moments and i actually thought the pacing is pretty decent. i have seen many reviewers say that they didnt love this the first time around. i guess this is one of those books/stories that is more meaningful when reread, so that doesnt make me feel so bad for not loving this initially. maybe after i read the series, i will appreciate the series’ humble beginnings much more. im willing to keep an open mind.

but for now, i will just leave here. i will most likely get around to picking up the sequel at some point, but i dont quite feel the rush.

3 stars
49 reviews9 followers
July 27, 2007
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. But no matter the reputation, my review still stands. The blatant borrowing and cobbling jarred me from the story multiple times. As I said in another review, "most likely would have still come to the same conclusions, due to the heavy-handed writing and knowing some of the more obvious media nods.

"For instance, the Silent Brothers kept reminding me of the Bringers in season seven of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and the Dementors in Harry Potter mixed with a little bit of monks and made goodish. Yeah. Very hard to take them seriously. And people have repeatedly mentioned Sirius's flying motorcycle, which has been labeled a "demon motorcycle." That kinda reminded me of Anne Bishop's book Sebastian, which I put down to read City of Bones, because of the fact she has motorcycles that are run by demons, not for them. But still, it's obviously not something original, even though it plays a fairly important role in several scenes."

I truly am glad I obtained the copy from the library and not purchased. I would have been irate over the 14 dollars that I would have lost. It did not inspire me to read the other two in the series. After all, I didn't spend money, so I would have been more willing to read the book. Now? Not a chance in Hades, even if it were frozen over with pink slushie.
Profile Image for Era ➴.
212 reviews494 followers
November 10, 2022
Why is the guy on the cover sparkly, and why does he look like he's been scribbled on by a toddler? This isn't Twilight, is it?
Oh wait.

Okay, I'll concede this: the plot is a bit different. But the romance and the characters and the quality of the writing were...about on the same level.

Two stars. I did not enjoy this.

Everyone was recommending this book and a lot of my friends loved this series, so I tried out the first book. Again. After DNF’ing it twice. Everyone was like, just make it through the first half and you’ll love it, or, make it through the first book and you’ll need the second one.

I made it through…and I still didn’t enjoy it.

Where do I start? There is a whole list of things that were just wrong.

The writing. I mean, at least it was comprehensible? I don’t understand why it was written the way it was. I mean, the narrative itself was okay (except for our whiny, clueless, annoying narrator, also known as Clary Fray), but the dialogue and the descriptions were…
I don’t know a single being (human or otherwise) that would speak like that.

“It's a girl," Jace said, recovering his composure. "Surely you've seen girls before, Alec. Your sister Isabelle is one.”

“That's why when major badasses greet each other in movies, they don't say anything, they just nod. The nod means, 'I am a badass, and I recognize that you, too, are a badass,' but they don't say anything because they're Wolverine and Magneto and it would mess up their vibe to explain.”

Someone please tell me they know someone who would actually speak like this in normal, everyday conversation.

“I'm not unhappy," he said. "Only people with no purpose are unhappy. I've got a purpose.”

Oh yes. This is exactly how people speak in normal context. I always talk about my level of happiness and my purpose in life. It’s normal human interaction.

(I hope you can detect the level of sarcasm in that statement.)

The characterization. Pretty boring and one-dimensional. The attempts to add layering to a character were usually pretty abrupt and out-of-place because there was no effort to make it gradual or consistent. There was also no character development. I could sum up all the characters in three words.

Clary – annoying, clueless, needy

Jace – arrogant, jackass, idiot

Isabelle – bitchy, angry, inconvenient (although I did like her a bit more than everyone else, mostly because she actually seemed like she had a brain)

Alec – rude, anxious, awful

Simon – nerdy side character

Need I go on?

“You’re both famous, “Isabelle said in that same overbright voice (for the record, my computer doesn’t believe “overbright” is a word. Seriously what even is this writing) … Clary looked at Isabelle curiously. “I didn’t expect you to be this glad to see me, I have to admit.”

Yeah that’s because of something called character inconsistency, which took the place of any real character dimension.

Also, what was up with Jace calling Clary "little girl"? It's a stupid nickname for two reasons: One, because Clary and Jace are the same age, and two, because it's condescending. Why is it condescending? I have no idea. It's not like Jace is good at anything except for stupidity.

The plot. It dragged and really didn’t go anywhere. There wasn’t much development. The world-building wasn’t very nuanced either. Guess what Clary, you can see magic shit now. Everything that you see is magic shit. The weird people you met at a club are magic shit. You are magic shit.

Yeah. That’s the plot. At least it was explained in a comprehensible way I guess.

“Everything you’ve heard, about monsters, about nightmares, legends whispered around campfires…all the stories are true.”

I basically just had to force myself through this one. It was like practicing a violin run: Just lift your finger. Play the note. Just play the notes. I just had to make myself get through it.

The feeling I had when I finished this book? Relief. Sure, there were some parts of it that I enjoyed. But I couldn’t get over how literally every aspect of the book was bugging me. I just couldn’t. The ending was…it left me completely lost. And not in the “I-want-to-read-more” sense, more like the “what-am-I-even-reading” sense. I just wanted it to be over.

So, was it the worst book I’ve ever read? No. (My review sounds pretty salty but the lack of cuss words indicates that I’m not furious)

Would I read the series? Also no. I was considering it because everyone I know is super obsessed with this book and everyone was hyping the rest of Cassandra Clare’s writing, but I just could. Not. Read. This. According to my friends, the second book is even slower than this one. And this one dragged. So no, I’m unlikely to read any more of the Mortal Instruments. And I probably won’t read the Infernal Devices (is that even the right series?) because I don’t want to go on to the second series without reading the first.
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