City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare Retro Friday Book Review

Retro Friday Reviews is a feature/meme hosted by Angieville where you write a review of an older book or an underrated book on Fridays.

I think something is wrong with me because I am totally meh about City Of Bones, the first book of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I read this book back in June 2010, so forgive my foggy memory, but I wanted to write a review anyways just in case I decide to read the rest of the books (I have this weird thing about reviewing books in a series, I usually prefer to review them all and feel a little odd about reviewing books from the middle of a series — CYBILS notwithstanding).

City Of Bones, Cassandra Clare, Book Cover, Jace, Runes

City Of Bones

So pretty much the premise of City Of Bones is that there’s this girl, Clary who has awesome red hair. She goes to Pandemonium Club in NYC and sees a murder. The murderers are totally shocked that Clary can see them because actually they aren’t murderers, but warriors called Shadowhunters who kill demons. Oh yeah and her BFF Simon can see the Shadowhunters too! See, normal humans are not supposed to be able to see Shadowhunters and are thus mundane. OH and her mom was kidnapped by this d-bag named Valentine LOL. I lol because Valentine is a male name that hardly inspires fear. SO Clary ends up in the Shadowhunter library headquarters with Simon and forms a growing attraction to Jace, WTF, a shadowhunter, while they try to figure out how to get her mom back.

YOU GUYS, what the hell is the appeal of Jace? Is it because he is a male and an asshole that he is therefore worthy of our attention (10 points if you get the reference)? I’m sorry but he came across as a dick to me and guys like that just aren’t attractive. Sorry I don’t care how chiseled your body and face are, being treated like shit isn’t my idea of an awesome date. And then SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT ITS YOUR FAULT NOW IF YOU SPOIL YOURSELF SPOILER ALERT I could be wrong but I think the internet told me that Jace is Clary’s bro which is GROSS. Sorry just say no to incest. Team Simon, yo. Team Simon straight up. Because Simon does not come across as a dick to me and he’s not Clary’s brother. Even better.

However, on the upside, there’s a lot of action. The plot of City Of Bones isn’t slow and I just loved Simon as mentioned above he would be WAY better for Clary than fricken jerkwad Jace. AND I also liked all the creatures and the idea of the runes on their bodies. I liked Isobel Lightwood’s clothes (she’s a Shadowhunter) and also the fact that there are gay characters, YAY.

I’ll attempt the other books in the Mortal Instruments series and keep an open mind, but at this point, I find Clockwork Angel vastly superior to City Of Bones.

Disclosure: I purchased my copy.

Other Reviews of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare:

Red House Books
Chick Loves Lit
I Eat Words
Fyrefly’s Book Blog
Consumed By Books

Purchase City of Bones here. * link will take you to Amazon where I’m an affiliate. A very small portion of the proceeds benefits Good Books  &  Good Wine at no extra cost to you!

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. WHAT?! you know this book is one of the reasons i started my blog. FOR SERIOUS. And yes, I get that Jace is a prime time dick and he’s self loathing and yada yada yada WHATEVER HE IS HOT WITH BLOND HAIR. and he get’s better in book two – i for serious hated him for like 75% of CoB and now he’s one of my all time literary crushes. JACE 4EVA.

  2. I have to agree them being bro and sis turned me off but i’ve been told things change later on in the series so i’ll eventually pick up book 2. I have to agree this book didn’t hold up to all the hype around it for me either maybe because I read Clockwork Angel before this and I found it more interesting.

  3. So you’re right, City of Bones kinda sucked. I decided to read it earlier this year, because if a series is that freaking popular, it must have some redeeming value, right? Well, the series does get loads more readable as you get through the second and third book. I kept going, and it was worth the quick read imho. That said, I am still so annoyed that she felt the need to continue this story beyond the trilogy. It felt really “oh people will keep buying this is I keep writing it” and not very “there is so much more to say!”. So needless to say, I haven’t gone there with City of Fallen Angels, and I don’t really plan to. I am looking forward to reading the Infernal Devices series. But yeah, if you do continue: prepare for weirdness.

  4. Yes! Everything you said I agree with 100% I bought all 3 books (when there were only 3), trusting that I would love them as everyone else has and I could barely finish the first. There was so much wrong with the story and I really didn’t like the writing.

    I’m glad you liked Clockwork Angel though because it’s sitting on my shelf untouched… I was completely put off.

  5. THANK YOU OMG. I can’t understand why this book is so popular. My review is here.

  6. LoL at your spoiler alerts. I read the first three, I still have to read City of Fallen Angels, but I’ve been putting it off because I heard it’s a huge ass cliff hanger. I figure the longer I put it off, the less time I have to wait.

    I really liked these books.. but I agree about Jace. I honestly didn’t find him attractive at all. I thought when he wasn’t being dicky, he was being a whiny little bitch.. But I loved Clary, and I loved all the other characters, which made this series worth reading. Jace eventually grew on me, but not enough to ever date him.

    And yes! it was nice to have Gay characters.. I liked that she made it known they were gay without going too “stereo type”. I read a series.. well, I started a series.. have since stopped reading them.. but anyway, the gay characters in it were so gay.. like gayer than gay.. The way they were written was borderline insulting. So I was happy to see Clare doing it right.

    Looking foward to seeing what you think of the rest of this series! I read these before Clockwork Angel, which I also loved. :0)

  7. Eeeheheheehee best review EVER! So many comments to make.

    First of all, I know what you mean about reviewing books in a series.

    Second of all, excellent 10 Things I Hate About You reference. And you are right about Jace.

    Third of all, I am also Team Simon, but I feel like I’ve heard that what we learned at the end of this book is not entirely true somehow.

    Well done, April. Well done.

  8. I haven’t read this one, but it’s on my list. I am a Cassandra Clare virgin, and I feel like I should know better! Sorry to hear this one is meh for you – although a good moving and intriguing plot can improve a meh book for me – good to hear your thoughts!

  9. Lol – you’re spoiler alert warning made me smile. In fact it was more enjoyable then said book itself.

    Yeah – not a fan. I also hate Jace. If you think he’s a dick in this one, wait until the read the next two. If you can muster the energy lol.

  10. I meant *your* not *you’re* obviously. Sorry! :S


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