Fifteen year old Clary Fray and her friend Simon are minding their own business in Pandemonium, a local club, when Clary sees a group of people acting very strangely. When they sidle off into a storeroom Clary follows [as you do!], and sees them kill a demon.
After leaving things start to get stranger, the next day she encounters Jace, one of the killers from the night before, and then receives a phone call from her mother who sounds like she’s being attacked.
As the tale unfolds Clary discovers a whole world exists in the city without anyone knowing, apart from those who are connected to it. What has happened to her mother, how will she get Simon back and who exactly is Valentine?
City of Bones had sat in my TBR pile for a very long time, I started it at least three times without success. Cassandra Clare is a very popular author, and this series “The Mortal Instruments” as well as “The Infernal Devices” are consistently in the list of top sellers. But, and I hate to say it, I just don’t get it. From a personal point of view, I think there are better books of this type out there to read. It was a bit too marmite for me. I didn’t hate it like some reviewers I’ve seen online [ who refer to the authors time as a fanfic writer] but I didn’t love the characters enough to want to instantly pick up the next book. I have never read any of her previous work, and although I can see how it has similarities to other published titles, I really only noticed it after having it pointed out. She certainly has all the usual hooks in there to grab the attention of readers but having read so many in this genre they just don’t hold the same effect over me that they used to.
I’d say that this would be a great book for people trying to get into this YA supernatural/magic sub-genre. For a seasoned lover of demons, werewolves and general spooky goings on though, I’m not sure it hits the right note… Saying that, I had a discussion with my mum about this book and she really enjoyed the whole series and was constantly on me to get the latest ones when they came out. Being that she reads Robin Hobb, Robert Jordan and many other authors across all the genres… so I guess that just leaves me shrugging my shoulders.
As for the movie [and I will very rarely say this], I think I preferred it to the book… but, what I will point out is that there are enough differences that it did feel like I was just watching a completely different thing altogether. There weren’t a whole lot of omissions from the book that made me grumble, here are four differences between the two that I think are worth noting.
- In the movie, the composer Bach is a Shadowhunter, and his music is unbearable to demons.
- Jace tells Clary the story of the falcon as if it is someone else and it’s much more effective that way. [That being said, I have also read online that this piece is lifted from one of her Draco Trilogy fanfics.]
- Simon is turned into a rat at the party and the rescue mission into the vampire hotel has a much better atmosphere.
- Clary proves she’s not completely doomed to be a damsel in distress by killing the demon in her apartment.
Although the film wasn’t well received, and previous decision to make more of them into films have been scrapped, there does seem to be the occasional talk of a TV series based on Cassandra Clare’s books. We’ll just have to wait and see I guess, but for the time being she has such a big following I think she’s going to continue taking the book world one shelf at a time.