City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare
My rating for this book: 5 stars out of 5
I was a little late entering the Shadowhunter world (much like Clary, you could say) and this summer I started from the beginning. City of Bones is the first installment of The Mortal Instruments series. I’d heard many good things about the series and all my friends said I should read it. Now I’m asking myself why I waited so long. The story itself is simple enough, until you start to get invested in the book. The farther you go, the more questions are asked and the more you want the answers. Clare is a first rate storyteller and how she keeps all the storylines in the series straight, I have no idea. I can only imagine the complex web in front of her as she’s writing, adding little notes here and there, planting little clues seamlessly into the text only to bring them back when you least expect it. I cannot stop being amazed, both in this book and as you work your way through the series, how complicated (yet not in an incomprehensible way) and intriguing the plot becomes.
The character development in City of Bones is exemplary. Characters, either main or extra, interact seamlessly. Clare builds on their habits, likes/dislikes even clothing and posture and uses that to her full descriptive advantage. Clary Fray, our protagonist, is a seemingly normal main character. She is thrust into a world so different than the one she knew. Upon entering it, Clary not only meets new friends along the way but starts to have a bigger impact on Shadowhunters and Downworlders than anyone would have thought.
Her characteristics are not particularly outstanding or different than many main characters in other books. She can make rash decisions, fall in love and also fly into fits of rage, all while pulling together mysteries and answering the unanswerable questions along the way. However, these common main character attributes are easily forgivable. Firstly, because there are only so many types of main characters that can work well in a book and Clary is one of them; Secondly, because a character any more complex, in my opinion, would simply complicate the story too much. And City of Bones is already far from your average fantasy romance novel.
In short, City of Bones is a wonderful introduction to The Mortal Instruments series. With a storyline you won’t soon forget, characters that you feel connected too and a world in its entirety like you have never seen before.
Those of you with a nose for fantasy, adventure and even a little romance will instantly fall in love with Clare’s remarkable creation.