City of Bones Book Review!

Hi everyone! I haven’t done a book review in ages! But we’re back to these types of posts as I wanted to review City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

I read this book last month for the first time. I know, I’m super late to the party. Everyone has read this before me.

Before I go on, thank you to everyone who’s checked out my YouTube Q and A video on my new channel! Fun fact, my mom said she’d do a video with me when I get to 10,000 followers so tell your friends! (Lols!)

So a little bit about the series in general. Apparently this was the first book released for the Shadowhunters series, but it is the first book of the Mortal Instruments series which is one of two series that makes up the Shadowhunters series. Confused yet? Me too. I’d draw a picture but I really can’t draw. Basically:

Mortal Instruments + Infernal Devices = Shadowhunters.

I had to ask my sister to check my math and she says that’s right.

She also stood by me at the library when I told her I wanted to read this series, ordered me to grab City of Bones first, took a really long time to explain why, and eventually let me take it home. Thanks sister!

Per usual, I’m going to start with a spoiler free section and then when you see the photo of the book the spoilers are going to start.


City of Bones was very much an introduction to the world and series book. While the concept is interesting the book went so slowly and I was struggling to keep reading it for awhile there. I literally had to renew it maybe 4 times total to finish it. The series is set in modern day New York City but the main character was not exposed to it, so we follow her as she starts to learn about the Shadowhunters world after her mother is kidnapped.

Since we’re look at it through the main character, Clary’s, point of view, it makes sense that we’re going to need to learn a lot with her but she’s not very intuitive or a quick learner so it really felt like the story stopped completely just to be able to help Clary keep up. The characters are very one-sided and quite boring as well. However there are funny bits here and there as well as a few surprises mixed in too.

The reason I’m not giving up with this series is because I hear it does get better afterwards once the author herself figures out the world. Overall this book feels like a “work in progress” more than a finished book but I hear it gets much better after this book. The story the author wants to tell does seem like a good one and it is compelling enough to make me want to keep reading.

Okay, that’s the end of the spoiler free section! Starting with the book photo will be the spoiler section and it will continue until you see the book again at the end. If you don’t want spoilers skip to the second book photo and start there!


Spoiler Review

If my spoiler free section sounds like I was bored and disappointed reading this book it’s because I was. I had trouble continuing through the informational dumps and relating to the characters. The characters seemed pretty one-sided.

As I said earlier, the main character, Clary, was just so dull and dim that anytime she didn’t know something, everything stopped to get her up to speed. Because it took her so long to catch up, the scenes would have the other characters go off to do something else! Literally one character would send the rest off and stay behind to spend pages upon pages to explain what was going on to her. Every little thing had to be explained to her, it was like she couldn’t put two and two together. She was extremely frustrating.

This may have been heighten because I actually did know more than Clary did a lot of the time. My sister had accidentally told me early on that Valentine was her father, something that Clary didn’t know. But she also couldn’t figure it out after learning that he and her mother had been married. Of course, her mother had told her that her father was a fallen soldier that she kept a portrait of in their home, but you would think she’d be less surprised than she was. There was also the part where Luke told her that he didn’t want anything to do with her despite having been her mother’s boyfriend for years and knowing her mother was missing. At that point I felt it was obvious that Luke knew what was going on but Clary didn’t seem to be able to pick up on that. Plus there was that bit where she didn’t know Simon had a crush on her despite it being super obvious and so on. Also, what kind of a name is Clary? At the end of the day, I didn’t like her character.

Jace was another annoying character. He was the one that was the most patient with Clary so a big reason as to why the story stopped as much as it did. And for some reason he also kept making horrible decisions around her. The only explanation we got was “oh Clary, he’s just making these bad decisions because you’re around!” Which is a terrible explanation if you ask me. It would have better if it was because that’s just who he was.

Did anyone else laugh when you found out Clary was his sister becauseΒ  you immediately recalled that he kissed her earlier? Major Star Wars vibes there.

As for the other teens, Simon, Alec, and Isabelle, they’re just more of the usual YA characters. Again, Simon is the stereotypical boy that’s deeply in love with the main character who has no idea he’s in love with her and allows her to drag him into all types of dangerous situations. Alec is the moody best friend to the love interest who tries to scare away the lady. And Isabelle is the hot friend that turns into a jealous female the moment another female walks in the room.

Luke was easily the most likable character for me because he actually came up with a good plan. Essentially he saved the day after Hodge betrayed the Shadowhunters. Literally, without Luke/Lucien the next three books would be Clary & Co. trying to find out where Valentine is and another two books trying to figure out how to get into the building.

I am looking forward to the next book as I want to meet Alec and Isabelle’s parents (I hope they show up) and see what happens next. Since the other books are better supposedly I do plan to keep reading the series. I already have the next book from the library so I’m going to start it soon.


And that’s my review for City of Bones! Let me know if you’ve read it and if so, what did you think? Also does the series actually get better?

If you haven’t read it, do you plan to?

Thanks for reading!


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  1. This is one of my favorite YA series, and I promise that it does get much better than City of Bones might lead you to believe the series will be. I’ve liked it so much I actually decided to purchase the complete set (including TMI, TID, the Shadowhunter’s Codex, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and the Bane Chronicles… haven’t gotten around to The Dark Artifices yet lol) to add as a permanent part of my YA collection. Personally, I far preferred the prequel, The Infernal Devices. Strangely enough, it is a prequel series that is significantly enhanced by reading the original first (it’s usually the other way around lol!) You can expect much better character development beyond those established tropes and the plot gets surprisingly more dynamic and intriguing. I completely agree with your assessment that City of Bones reads more like a “work in progress”, but practice definitely makes perfect, and Cassandra Clare really finds her voice as a writer later on. I hope you enjoy continuing in the Shadowhunter world!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am here for the mom video πŸ˜‚ I think that would bs too fun! I’ve never even heard of this series, but I’ve been reading mostly crime/thrillers. Sounds intriguing but 4 renewals?! Perhaps not 😦 Very thorough though, it piqued my interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually veer away from this series for just because the backstory makes me a bit uncomfortable? Apparently it was originally a HP fan fiction, with a Ron/Ginny main ship (which is why there’s the brother sister reveal). At one point (a few years back, around when the first books came out) I read a really long thread in the fan fiction threads I’d lurk in about how the author was accused of plagiarism, almost entire chunks of the original pre-book series (i.e. when still a fan fic) was directly ripped off of a lesser known fantasy series. Apparently she thought people wouldn’t find a connection?

    Idk, clearly changes were made by the time her book deal came around and she obviously worked hard to bury that weird dramatic past but … the fact that I was there when it happened makes me feel really weird about ever reading the series!

    My best friend is really into it though! So who knows, maybe I’m being too judgmental πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weird!! I did hear she was accused of plagiarism but I didn’t know it was for this series. I guess I don’t feel so bad because I got the book from the library and didn’t buy it but the fact that it could be stolen work is terrible! That original story sounds very uncomfortable!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I’ve had to buy her books because like I said my friend is really into them and I got her some sequels(?) for her bday haha. She’s also really into the movie and the tv series, so I hear about it quite a lot. And the book itself I think had to be reworked when she got a book deal, the plagiarism drama was when she was just writing the fic. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the other books more!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I tried to read this book a few years ago, but it seemed to drag on for me as well so I never actually finished more than about 1/4 of it. I enjoyed the movie (I saw that first because I wanted to try to see a movie first prior to reading the book that it was inspired by, which is what I prefer to do) but not so much the book. I didn’t read the spoiler section as I may wait until you read and review the next book before I attempt to jump back in!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have read this book, and I LOVED it!! Read the others in the series, and loved it even more. You should definitely give the others a check.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am do glad you did this review because I have been wondering what it is like because I want to read this series and it is good to know that it might take more effort to read this. After I read this I’m going to be doing a review on my blog if you want to check it out at

    Liked by 1 person

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