City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

75%

43 Critic Reviews

...there are many things to love about City of Bones, including a cat by the name of Chairman Meow. The adventure can only get better as this trilogy progresses and I will be waiting eagerly for the next installment.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.
 

About Cassandra Clare

See more books from this Author
Cassandra Clare is the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices trilogies of young adult fantasy novels. Her first book, City of Bones, was a 2007 Locus Award finalist for Best First Novel. Her books have been translated into 32 languages. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two cats.
 
Published April 2, 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 503 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Education & Reference, Horror, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Children's Books, Religion & Spirituality, Humor & Entertainment, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for City of Bones
All: 43 | Positive: 36 | Negative: 7

Publishers Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Publisher's Weekly on Jul 15 2013

This timely and inspiring book offers many insights into how to improve America’s mediocre school system.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Book Addict 98 on Jun 12 2015

Trust me, this story isn’t over yet. You have got to read this book to know the rest. In the start my friends told me not to read this series because they thought it was boring, but I totally disagree. I am happy I went against them because i loved the book!

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Nic on May 04 2013

Keep reading through the annoying love triangle because the characters and plot twists make it worthwhile.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Dannii on Jul 13 2012

...I was unable to lay the book down: reading late in the nights, while eating my breakfast, and during any spare minute during the day. I honestly would recommend this book to any teen looking for an action/fantasy/romance novel.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Apr 09 2007

...this is a compelling story about family secrets and coming-of-age identity crises. Fans of the smart/chic horror typified by Buffy the Vampire Slayer will instantly fall for this new series.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Katie T. Buglet on Mar 29 2007

...there are many things to love about City of Bones, including a cat by the name of Chairman Meow. The adventure can only get better as this trilogy progresses and I will be waiting eagerly for the next installment.

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Dear Author

Below average
Reviewed by Jaiku on May 28 2009

Hot hero guy Jace? She’s been kissing? Get ready. ‘Nother big reveal...Won’t spoil it here but It rhymes with TWINCEST. So. Yeah. Book hits wall. I’m done. DNF.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Tara Entwistle-Clark on Mar 07 2013

All of the characters in City of Bones are well developed and they each have endearing aspects to them...What makes City of Bones stand out from all of the other paranormal YA is that it is also well written. Dialogue sounds realistic, characters are real people, and the vocabulary is not simplified nor insulting to readers of any age.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Provenzano on Jan 23 2013

Clare’s world is complex, developed, and ever so interesting. The detail that has been put into this reality, as well as the characters, is one of the things that makes the story work...The chemistry between Clary and Jace is easy to see, and the ending will leave you thrilled and devastated for them.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Sean Chumley on Nov 29 2012

A fun and surprising start to what promises to be a thrilling fantasy series. I can't wait to read more after City of Bones.

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Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Lisa Westerfield on Nov 18 2010

Not that I want to cast aspersions at Clary, but I get the feeling that she played a lot of ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ in her youth, she seemed to reference that game one too many times within the novel.

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Pajiba

Below average
Reviewed by kella

This series is trying really, really hard to be the next big phenomenon. It’s glaringly obvious, and it detracts from the plot and the characters.

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Bestsellersworld

Excellent
Reviewed by KRISTEN LEONG on May 26 2015

This totally awesome book was about discovering things that people would rather not know and how the characters deal with those facts...Clary, Simon, and Jace must face some pretty interesting things together- a love triangle, vampires, some potent magic, and the mystical and dangerous world of the Shadowhunters...

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Love Vampires

Below average

The world building is laboured in places and the occasional over florid descriptions jar readers out of the story rather than drawing them into it.

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Kidz World

Excellent
Reviewed by KidzWorld on Apr 03 2012

City of Bones, the first in Cassandra Clare’s demon hunter Mortal Instruments trilogy is a non-stop rollercoaster of action, emotion and magic that will have you on the edge of your seat and asking for the second book.

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http://childrensbooks.about.com

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Kendall on Aug 27 2013

City of Bones is a fast paced urban fantasy that delivers action, adventure, and romance in detailed and exciting doses that is appealing to teens and adults. The unique storyline of Shadowhunters mingling with humans and other supernatural creatures creates a fascinating read while adding tension as well as variety to the story.

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Shelf Life ~ Book reviews from the VC/UHV Library

Above average
Reviewed by vcuhvlibrarian on Mar 12 2014

I had heard a little about it but the cover looked interesting so I decided to pull the book and read the inside covers and first page or so. I was immediately yanked into a turbulent world of “mundies,” mundane or normal people and “Shadowhunters”, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons.

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New York Public Library

Good
Reviewed by Emma Carbone on May 05 2010

As Clary delves deeper into the world of the Shadowhunters and the demons they hunt, Clare creates a richly developed world filled with vivid characters that readers will look forward to seeing again.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Corinne16 on May 15 2015

This is a shocking book full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing...With action around every corner and suspicions changing with every page it is an enthralling book. I would recommend this book to those looking for a story filled with the supernatural, adventure, and romance combined.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by LilyLily on May 09 2015

The story, characters, and style of writing are just three great reasons to read City of Bones...The writing, the plot, and the characters all contribute to making City of Bones a book I will read again and again. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is a must-read!

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Catalina3444 on May 15 2015

City of Bones is an intriguing story filled with interesting twists and turns, humorous characters, and a fun story line...it definitely held my attention throughout the story and kept me reading...I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light read involving the world of fantasy and romance.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Gabrielle Sherman on Oct 24 2010

City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare, was a wonderful book full of fantasy, twists, and romance. This genre of book is very popular right now, but I foresee this book becoming a cult classic even more than it already is.

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All the Books I Can Read

Above average
Reviewed by 1GIRL2MANYBOOKS on May 29 2011

It still makes for a very fast paced and action filled book with plenty of fascinating twists and interesting threads that all come together very nicely at the end but still leave enough set up to guide the way through the rest of the series.

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Vampire Book Club

Below average
Reviewed by Chelsea on Sep 16 2010

While the twists in the plot are great and the characters relatable, those who look for adult-level prose in their YA novels... will not find it in City of Bones.

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Sarah Reads Too Much

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Reads Too Much on Jan 04 2013

I must say that one of my favorite things about reading these books is talking with fans of the series. They are so passionate about this world and these characters! It is so fun - even when I had no idea what they were talking about.

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Peeking Between the Pages

Good
Reviewed by Darlene on Nov 26 2010

City of Bones definitely had me turning the pages quickly to find out what was coming next. I’m really looking forward to getting involved in the next novel – City of Ashes.

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Reading on a Rainy Day

Below average
Reviewed by Athira on Feb 06 2010

I wasn't so impressed by the writing, which I felt quite lame both in the many similes used in the book, as well as in the dialogues.

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Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Above average
Reviewed by Literary Feline on Mar 01 2013

There were many aspects of the book I thoroughly enjoyed from the Institute where Jace and the other Shadowhunters are living to the scene leading up to Clary and Jace's entrance into the vampire lair...Anyway, I enjoyed reading this novel and am curious as to where the next one in the series will take me.

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Chick Loves Lit

Good
Reviewed by Shanyn on Sep 15 2011

I really think this is a series that most any reader would like. If I liked it and Steve liked it, it shows that it appeals to quite a large audience – boys and girls, fantasy/science fiction lovers and those who prefer contemporary. I will certainly be continuing the journey with the remainder of these books!

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Lost in a Great Book

Above average
Reviewed by LOST IN A GREAT BOOK on Jul 05 2014

Clare has a knack for writing lively action sequences that drag you along and keep you entertained, and I loved that she dropped us off right at the beginning with the club scene. In fact, I loved the whole concept of the runes and of the Shadowhunters.

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Book Thingo

Above average
Reviewed by Wandergurl on Sep 16 2013

I really like this series and this book in particular. It was fun and entertaining and I felt it had a fresh voice, in that while all stories are essentially the same, she managed to tell this one in a different way.

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http://www.ciao.co.uk

Excellent
Reviewed by aliciazam on Mar 07 2014

The book is different from other books I have read. It has plot twists that have you page turning until dawn. The love story is like others but because of plot twists it leaves you wondering what else does Cassandra Clare have up her sleeve.

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One Book At A Time

Good
Reviewed by Page on Aug 29 2013

I also enjoyed the supporting cast of characters. Simon was just the right touch of boy next door/love stuck best friend. I'm curious how that relationship will develop in future books. I also liked Jace's fellow Shadowhunters, Alec and Izzy...I obviously will be continuing this series! Now that I've started...how could I not finish!

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http://beckybentrim.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by beckybentrim on Dec 30 2013

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the direction that “City of Bones” went. I think that Cassandra Clare has a unique voice and a wonderful imagination. I look forward to reading the rest of the series...I think that it was a fun read and it was quick to get through as well. It would appeal to a wide range of audiences.

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Death, Books and Tea

Above average
on Jul 24 2012

The Jace and Clary romance. It was going so well and seeing them all loved up was really nice. And then the big reveal. Yes, it was a good plot furtherer. But it made everything really really awkward. Incest...not really my thing.

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Justin's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Justin941 on May 27 2012

The ending was fantastic, it left you with a thirst for the next book but I didn't really see it as much of a cliffhanger or anything. Luckily it will be easy just to pick up book two and not have to worry about any of that...

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Young Adult Books Central

Good
Reviewed by Amber on Aug 10 2007

City of Bones is an absolutely riveting fantasy novel, I daresay the best new series since Harry Potter.

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A Life Bound by Books

Good
Reviewed by Jenny on Sep 05 2013

The varied characters are easily relatable...and it is easy to find yourself fully immersed in Cassandra Clare’s world because of them...I enjoyed reading City of Bones. There’s suspense, drama, romance, unrequited love and a few unexpected events along the way. It’s everything you’d expect in a Y.A. novel but with its own special twist.

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InkBitten

Good
Reviewed by Meevaa on Aug 27 2013

...once I finished the first three chapters I could not put the book down until the end of the novel...I liked the writing, I couldn't go two chapter's without laughing and my sister asking me what was so funny. Jace is defiantly in my top three favorite guys...

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Books That Spark!

Good
on Feb 16 2012

What I loved most about City of Bones was the ever present twists and turns to the plot line. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and there were a lot of shockers along the way.

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De Librarie

Excellent
Reviewed by Delilah on Mar 11 2013

I can see why everyone loves this series so much. It's such an interesting premise and so fantastically written. I find that so many authors have a great idea and just kind of fail when it comes to the writing style. This is so totally not the case... I literally read this book in one sitting and didn't even realize it until I was finished.

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About Books

Good
Reviewed by H on Feb 22 2009

With enough twists to keep the suspense and an interesting plot, City of Bones was gripping and entertaining. Cassandra Clare is especially good at weaving the romantic elements into the plot, with exactly the right amount, not too much to slow down the plot.

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Breathing Books

Good
Reviewed by Sana on Nov 24 2012

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

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Reader Rating for City of Bones
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7083 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Carolina Curbelo 22 Nov 2013

Rated the book as 3.5 out of 5

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Lauren Hortum 7 Apr 2015

Has read the book

Linz Walters

Linz Walters 29 Apr 2014

Added the book to want to read list

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