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City of Bones

(The Mortal Instruments #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,871,820 ratings  ·  70,527 reviews
Librarian's Note: this is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B0013TXA5Y.

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 poli
Kindle Edition, 485 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published May 27th 2007)
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Atheda It really won't, unless you appreciate Mary Sues and their cliché life stories and so forth. That's my own opinion though and there are plenty of peop…moreIt really won't, unless you appreciate Mary Sues and their cliché life stories and so forth. That's my own opinion though and there are plenty of people out there that will tell you the opposite. In the end, you might have to read it to see if it is worth reading or not. Cheers!(less)
Katherine Definitely a teenage audience in my opinion. The characters are fairly one-dimensional, which a lot of more sophisticated audiences would not apprecia…moreDefinitely a teenage audience in my opinion. The characters are fairly one-dimensional, which a lot of more sophisticated audiences would not appreciate. A lot of detail is given toward Clary's (the protagonist's) self-consciousness and ambivalent feelings about Jace (the stereotypical chauvinistic, male romantic love interest who secretly has a "heart of gold"). Ultimately, it probably is more thought-provoking and universal than a trashy romance novel, but very clearly geared toward young teenage girls. Even for older teens it's fairly juvenile.

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

Clare's writing style is beautiful in places, however, and that may appeal to you. I enjoyed her lovely descriptions of the city lights and backdrops. It really depends on your interests.(less)

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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
Kat Kennedy
***Warning: won't contain spoilers cause I didn't get far enough to give a fuck and discover anything worth spoiling.***

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

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

But I have never NOT fini
Feb 11, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 f ...more
Rick Riordan
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 protag ...more
Clary just shut the hell up
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great and interesting books. I manages to combine the infulences from many of top fictional series of our time. It combines hidden magic world of Harry Potter, the teenage drama of Buffy, and a couple of themes from Star Wars as well. The book is very well written and fast paces.

We follow Clary Fray, a 15 year old misfit trying to find heself, not quite sure if she is goth, cyberpunk, or just a temperamental teenaged artist. One night in the local club, Pandemonium, she realises she is a witne
Tomoe Hotaru
19 Apr '16
Bet you're sick of my updates, now.

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

Read and decide for yourself.

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

I mean, look at Isabe
chan ☆
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was instantly enchanted when I first read City of Bones, and that enchantment still holds four years, and at least half a dozen re-reads later in sptite of the fact that I'm older, wiser, and should know better. I've also read countless reviews, both adoring and loathing and have come to the conclusion that this book does not garner any type of middle ground, you either love it or you hate it.

I'm glad that I get to love it. What else can I say?

For me, this book shines, and to those of you wh
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, on-app, romance, ya
4.25/5 ⭐

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


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 t
Elle (ellexamines)
I was never expecting anything from this but an entertaining and maybe a little bit forgettable book. I was wrong; I found this completely unforgettable. For being a trainwreck.

To be quite honest, I think 75% of the hype for this series comes from nostalgia. Listen, I'm sorry, I know this isn't everything, but I really... don't get why these first three books are hyped, on any level. Not only do I have ten million problems with the tropey nature and the slutshaming and the etc etc etc, it's also
Miranda Reads
“You're an idiot."
"I've never claimed to be otherwise.”
Clary Fray goes to one little party with her best friend (Simon)...and there's a teeny-tiny littler repercussion by way of her life being absolutely and irrevocably ruined.

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

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

The Shadowhunters are just as surprised as she is - mostly because the only people who can see Shado
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
“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 impoten
“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
Jul 04, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Sasha Alsberg
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Mortal Instruments changed the way I looked a fantasy novels. I am a huge fan now. I defiantly recommend this book for any hunger games, divergent, harry potter, and twilight fans out there. It is truly a fantastic series.
Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can totally see why everyone rants and raves over these books; while I'm only one deep (so far) and hoping to read City of Ashes in the very near future, I feel this is the type of book that teenage Chelsea would have flipped her turds for back in the day. I'm just glad I can still enjoy them now. While very teen oriented, City of Bones still had a classic feel that surpassed barriers of age and gender, and I have heard from many folks that they wish they had found these books while they were ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.6/5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
“Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt.”

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

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murde
The Burning Rose (Jess)
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!
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
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
"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
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 hat
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
3 Stars

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

So reading it now, as an early-twentysomething with a lot more reading and life experience, I knew the initial love wouldn’t be there. I had
Jul 27, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really, there's nothing very original, or satisfying in the book. She borrowed so heavily from Buffy, Harry Potter, and Star Wars that it sticks out like a sore thumb. It reads like altered fan fiction. And I love fan fiction, make no mistake, but it's not attempting to make a buck off someone else's world, either. Which is essentially what the book is. Cobbled fan fiction that has no cohesion.

I knew Clare as Cassandra Claire from Harry Potter fandom, I will admit, and that did color somewhat. B
Era ➴
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
Meredith Holley
I think this book is has some kind of mental disability. I kind of don’t want to make fun of it because, you know, it’s not playing the game with a full deck of cards. But, at the same time, it does not have such a significant learning disability that it needs to sit in a separate classroom from the other stories; it just has this confluence of creepiness and then some kind of mild mental challenge. So, I kind of do want to make fun of it because, you know, you probably don't have to be this unc ...more
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Midnight Readers ...: November 2022: City of Bones 2 13 Nov 25, 2022 10:05AM  
Word Game starting on JACE! 53495 9331 Nov 14, 2022 02:48PM  
Was nobody else troubled by the incest? 44 1867 Nov 08, 2022 04:38AM  
Best Cassandra Clare series??? 21 219 Nov 03, 2022 05:42AM  
Addicted to YA: Isabelle Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments) 40 1029 Aug 28, 2022 05:31PM  
Addicted to YA: Jace, Clary, and Simon 124 1323 Aug 28, 2022 05:06PM  
The Midnight Readers: The Mortal Instruments - Cassandra Clare 49 220 Aug 17, 2022 10:13PM  

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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 trilo

Other books in the series

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

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“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?'
Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
..."At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."
"Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”
“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.”
More quotes…