City of Bones - Cassandra Clare



Clary Fray is a fifteen year old girl who lives alone with her mother. She enjoys painting and hanging out with her best friend Simon. One night she takes Simon to a club called Pandemonium even though he really doesn't want to go. At the club she sees something only she can see and it freaks her out. Apparently, she is able to see the Shadowhunters and demons fighting each other. Since this is her first time seeing something so strange, she keeps quiet about it after the initial shock.

Clary is soon swept up in a world where nothing is as it seems. She really does have the gift of Sight, her mother has been abducted, the Shadowhunters are very curious about her and she is attacked by demons. In all of her troubles one Shadowhunter rises above the others and helps Clary. His name is Jace and he can act like a real jerk but he is reliable and Clary becomes fond of him.

After Clary manages to get some time to think, many questions are starting to arise. Why would anyone abduct her mother and try to harm her? Why does she suddenly possesses the gift of Sight? What will happen to her now that she has lost the most important person in her life?


Wow, I really don't know where to start with this. First of all, the cover is really nice and it cries out from the shelves in my bookstore: "Look at me, look at me, I'm so pretty and interesting. Buy me!". Thankfully, I didn't.

The storyline.
What a mess... Basically, I could summarize it like this. Whiny teenage girl makes her overly friendzoned best friend Simon to accompany her to a lousy club with awful music where she sees a couple of Shadowhunters killing a demon. The next day she abandons her best friend to follow one of the aforementioned Shadowhunters only to learn that her mother has been kidnapped. After that she is attacked by demons and she finds a sanctuary at an Institute. Then she wants to get her memories back which her mother had sealed away only to lose her best friend who turned into a rat. Jace and Clary go to a vampires lair to retrieve the rat and she almost gets them all killed. After that there is a lot of whining, her inner monologues and not much action. Towards the end there is a nice scene where they all fight a demon, Abaddon. She then fetches the mysterious mortal cup and wraps up the ending.

Also, the POV keeps shifting. Sometimes this can spice things up and add a flavor to the story but since there isn't much of a story here it only hurt the narration and confused me.


The characters.

Clary Fray
No. Just no. A spoiled nagging teenage whiny oversensitive girl who acts bitchy and bad mouths everyone around her while expecting everyone to help her is a recipe for disaster. One thing is to be confused and hurt but acting towards your best friend as though he doesn't exist is too freaking much. She repeatedly stated how she forgot he was there and hasn't even noticed him. She is furious with Isobel for not taking care of Simon while just a few days earlier she abandoned him at a poetry reading without saying a word that she was leaving. But she certainly knows how to use him when she needs help. Like calling him the day after they had a fight that she needs a ride.
If someone even whispers to me that she represents a strong female character, I will shoot them. I'm not joking around. I will purchase a weapon, learn how to shoot and go after them.

Jace Wayland.
What an ass. Overbearing smug egocentric womanizer(?) in whose ass I would gladly put my Dr.Martens shoe during our first encounter. He is only a year older, which would make him sixteen if someone is wondering, and he acts like he spent ages, decades, centuries fighting the evil and has seen the greatest of battles. Wake the fuck up. You are sixteen. And you have been fighting a mere few years if that.
He also has the status of the most competent in the group, the guy everyone turns to like he is some kind of an accomplished elder. And his smug attitude towards women is plain disgusting.
Despite everything, I don't hate him. He is much more likeable than Clary. Well, everyone is.

Isabelle Wayland.
She sounds interesting even though the author tried to belittle her so Clary could catch the reader's attention. She speaks her mind. Knows how to fight. I would really like to know more about her experience with the whip and how does it work.

Alec Wayland.
A frustrating character. Everyone seems to know or guess his little secret but he remains stubbornly silent. He even goes that far that I see him like a whiny little pest every time Jace needs to get into a fight. Just screw Bayne.

The most uninventive stupid blank unnecessary character I have ever encountered. He is supposed to keep everything in line and guide everyone at the Institute but he does nothing except going missing at crucial times. There is nothing good about him. This book could have easily done without him. The author tried to make him look like a special mysterious intelligent leader who helps the Shadowhunters in their job. What she managed to do is make him look like a sissy who does nothing but is revered only because the author said he should be. Totally pointless.


That is the word used for ordinary people who know nothing of the demons, fae folk or the Shadowhunters. Doesn't this remind you of a certain word - MUGGLE - which is not only similar in the sound of it but also in the meaning. Not cool Cassandra Clare, not cool.

The Mortal Cup.
The whole story should be revolving around it but we have to wait almost until the end to learn what this object actually is or what it does. And I'm still not so convinced that this Cup is such a legendary ubercool strong object and that it will bring about a great evil. Not convinced at all.

What can they do? Can they make me a little black dress? I know they make runes and open doors. But what is their freaking potential? Their limits? Nothing is clearly explained and for experienced readers this is a big flaw which ruins the whole atmosphere.

The writing.
I would use facepalm here. Not the best I've read so far, I'll just say it as kindly as possible. For example: "The apple tasted green and cool." Seriously? The apple tasted green? Have you had too many red bulls with your coffee this morning so now you can taste colors?
Anyway, descriptions are really not on the highest level.
The similes are really silly. For example: "...pale gold pollen as light as talcum." And there is way too much of them. Like using them is the author's main goal in life.

All in all, confusing, disorienting, whining and not charming at all as I thought it will be. Many inconsistencies, flaws, missing information...

The heroine Clary is one of the worst ones I have encountered.

And just for the record, who the hell considers this a great romance novel when the hero and the heroine are SIBLINGS? There should be a line, a clear visible line presented to the teenagers these days. Kissing your sister when you still don't know that she is your sister is awkward, yes (hello Luke and princess Leia) but still wanting her/him like that after you know it is messed up. Not romantic, sweet or charming. It is not normal, it is sick and disturbing.

(show spoiler)