August 16, 2013 by Vicki
City of Bones, is the first novel in the series Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. City of Bones tells the story of Clarissa Fray, a fifteen year old girl who stumbles into the world of demons, werewolves, vampires, and those who hunt them, the Shadowhunters. She, then, begins to unravel the web of lies and misdirection her mother had placed upon her to protect her. A group of , led by Jace Witherspoon, become embroiled with Clarissa Fray and her best friend, Simon, as they further their investigation and discover a connection between Clarissa’s mother and the mysterious Mortal Cup.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am now reading the rest of the series. The relationship between Jace and Clarissa hooks the reader with their mutual connection and confusion over the connection. I loved the character Simon and how he simply couldn’t stop himself from helping Clarissa even when he was furious with her. A true friend will be there for you even when they are pissed at you and Simon demonstrates exactly how this works. All of the characters in this novel are fully fleshed out and believable. I also appreciated that the novel did not focus on the love story element. I have found many teen novels tend to over focus on the drama of unrequited love. City of Bones contains unrequited love but allows it to simmer under the strains of the larger issues.
I also approve of this novel as a novel for teens. For once, we actually have a female main character in a teen novel that never faces questions about whether she can handle it because she is a girl. We have a werewolf pack who’s second is a woman. We have a female Shadowhunter, Isabelle, in the group of teens who is better at handling demons than her brother, Alex. Isabelle also proves that woman don’t have to fit typical female stereotypes just because they are in a group of men. In the novel, Jace boasts that Isabelle cannot cook because she focused on training to be a Shadowhunter.
The novel, City of Bones, also explores the limitations placed on other because of sexual orientation. Alex is gay and his sister pleads with Clarissa not to tell anyone because it is frowned upon by the Shadowhunter community. Isabelle claims the problem originates not within their age group but by the older members. She, however, does not want to tell Jace for she fears how he may react. Despite City of Bones being a gender-neutral environment, it still explores the limitations placed by prejudice. City of Bones also explores prejudice through the plot of the main story. The villainous group in the story are ex-Shadowhunters who believe that all Downworlders (vampires, werewolves, the Fae etc) should be eliminated to leave the world for the human race. They work to destroy the Accord between Downworlders and the Shadowhunters so that war would be declared and the Downworlders could be eliminated. They proceed based on prejudice and hate without consideration for the resulting losses. I recommend City of Bones to any teenager or adult who enjoys Fantasy stories. I am looking forward to starting the next novel in the series. As always, however, that is only my opinion. Please share your reading experience of the City of Bones in the comment section below. For my next post, I will be reviewing February by Liza Moore as requested on the Book Request page.
- City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (plueschbooks.wordpress.com)