City of Bones is the first book in a series of six called The Mortal Instruments. The book revolves sixteen year old artist, Clary Fray, who runs into a group of teenagers claiming to be killing a demon at the Pandemonium club, one night. Clary’s best friend, Simon, who was with her at the club, is genuinely confused when Clary explains her experience to him and she comes to the realization that he witnessed something entirely different. After this incident, Clary crosses paths with one of the teenagers from the club, Jace, or rather, Jace, came looking for her. After Clary returns home, subsequent to an argument with her mother, she finds the apartment in disarray and her mother missing.
She ends up tagging along with Jace and the other teenagers. She learns that they are part of a race of Nephilim or Shadowhunters, half human and half angel, ridding the world of demons. With her new found company, Clary embarks on a journey to find her mother, coming to terms with the fact that vampires, warlocks and werewolves all exist in her world. Soon, Clary realizes that her mother’s disappearance is linked to something much bigger, something dangerous and she manages to pick up pieces of her astonishing past.
City of Bones is an action packed ride with a never-ending array of frustrating and astounding plot-twists. The book is truly one of a kind. Clare’s unique way with words is beautiful, it offers a youthful tone, overflowing with sophisticated language and hilarious dialogue. I could endlessly praise the complexity of the characters, which is, quite definitely, the most endearing aspect of the book. Clare has such a way with familiarizing readers with characters that we feel quite attached to them. My personal favourite characters are Simon Lewis and Alec Lightwood. Simon Lewis is Clary Fray’s best friend. He appears quite frequently in the book and is a very likeable character. Simon is very helpful and generous, especially toward Clary. Jace often puts down Simon, calling him a Mundane, because he is not a Shadowhunter. But, Simon is very brave and displays courage when he saves the lives of Clary, Jace and the other two Shadowhunters, the Lightwood twins. I very much like Simon because he is relatable to young people. Simon can be considered a bit of a geek for his squared glasses and love of science fiction and anime. He relentlessly puts faith in his band, which in all truth is a bit rubbish. He’s not to mention rather socially-awkward and is quite different from my other favourite character, Alec Lightwood.
Alec is one of the Shadowhunters that Clary meets at the Pandemonium and later joins on her journey. He is the twin of Isabelle Lightwood, a bold, confident Shadowhunter. It’s made clear to us that this set of twins are remarkably attractive and so, it wouldn’t be difficult for Alec to get a girl, but he swings the other way. Speaking of girls, Alec and his sister Isabelle are both very close and protective of each other. He’s very close to Jace as well, who grew up alongside himself and his sister. So when Clary grows close to Jace, Alec does not appreciate it. He becomes bitter toward Clary, but avoiding cliché, Clary doesn’t categorize Alec as an enemy, she works with him, as does he when necessary.
Alec is introverted, he voluntarily avoids too much social interaction and can be perceived to have an attitude. He’s sarcastic and can comes across rude, but at heart, Alec is a good person. He is extremely loyal to his family and friends, he displays much courage and has a strong personality. The reason I like Alec so much is because, he is a very complex character, written beautifully. It’s hard to study and label him, as he himself is still figuring out who he is. I expect as the series proceeds he will develop and grow to be a great literary role model.
Along with the rollercoaster of a plotline and intricate characters, the book ponders on two love triangles. This at times makes the book seem like an ordinary teen romance novel, but the story alongside it, is too gripping to ignore.
I enjoyed this book to it’s fullest. It is a thrilling tale of adventure, fantasy and love. With endless drama, you will not be able to put this book down. For such a satisfying read, I rate this book a 4.5/5.