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City of Bones (Mortal Instruments): 1 Paperback – 2 Jul 2007

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  • For all you avid readers, we also compiled a list of our favourite screen adaptations on our 25 Best Adult Film Adaptations Page. To see the full list, click here.

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City of Bones (Mortal Instruments): 1 + City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, Book 2) + City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, Book 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd (2 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406307629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406307627
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,000 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cassandra Clare lives in Brooklyn. She has worked as an entertainment journalist for The Hollywood Reporter, has published several short stories and is the author of the popular internet parody The Very Secret Diaries.

Product Description


"* "Funny, dark, and sexy. One of my favourite books... Cassie's writing makes my toes curl with envy." Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles"<br /><br />This urban-fantasy series opener spices its fight against evil with sexual tension. Fifteen-year-old geek hipster Clary thought she was just a normal kid, but normal kids don't see invisible people, and normal kids' mothers don't suddenly disappear, seemingly captured by horrific monsters. But like many fantasy heroines, Clary isn't normal, and she's got all the secret parentage, dramatic revelations and amazing magic powers to prove it. Clary is a Shadowhunter, brought up as a mundane but born to fight demons. She and her mundane friend Simon fall in with a trio of Shadowhunter teens, and are soon embroiled in a quest to understand Clary's past - and incidentally save the world. Rich descriptions occasionally devolve into purple prose, but the story's sensual flavor comes from the wealth of detail: demons with facial piercings, diners serving locusts and honey, pretty gay warlocks and cameo appearances from other urban fantasies' characters. Complicated romantic triangles keep the excitement high even when the dramatic revelations tend toward the ridiculous. Lush and fun. (Fantasy. YA) (Kirkus Reviews) --Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles

"The Mortal Instruments series is a story world I love to live in. Beautiful!" --Stephenie Meyer

"Dear Edward and Jacob, I adore you both, but I'm spending the weekend with Jace. Sorry! Love, Stephenie" --Stephenie Meyer

Book Description

Movie tie-in of book one in the international number-one bestselling series The Mortal Instruments. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is in cinemas August 2013. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dwayne @ Girls Without a Bookshelf VINE VOICE on 10 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
If book can give hang-overs then City of Bones can give the best and worst kind of it. Best, because I'm completely intoxicated with this book; and the worst - because I am utterly and completely going insane over it! This is one hell of a book. It's simply superb!

I think I am one of the remaining few still new to Cassandra Claire's Mortal Instruments series. I regret not reading City of Bones sooner, as it turned out to not only exceed all my expectations, but gave me a thrill that I had not quite experienced since the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books! I will probably inevitably repeat all the gushing reviews given to this book, but there's no way around it. It's just that good.

City of Bones stars Clary Fray, an ordinary girl who discovers a world beyond any she knew existed. In the Shadow world, prominent figures include demons, warlocks, witches, werewolves, vampires, shadowhunters and a certain Jace Wayland. The author's description of this world is impeccable. In rich and with great detail, strong imagery and letter-perfect writing, City of Bones just lures the reader into its world. Clary's adventure I don't often wish I belong to a book world, but I certainly did with this one.

Clary is an amazingly strong heroine. I love her perseverance and her will to fight, her selfless concern for others and even her sarcasm. She's a fiesty heroine, one I totally cheered on. She handles trials with grace and is firm in her stand. Secondary characters are not less note-worthy. They are colourful and their vibrance give this book life. Isabel for instance, is as just as tough as Clary - I really adore her. Alec, Simon, Luke, Hodge - the variety of characters is amazing. All of them are fully-developed and important in their own rights.
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226 of 247 people found the following review helpful By euphbass on 18 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a strange book, a study in contrasts. And it's one I've been thinking a lot about how I'll write this review.

It's clearly aimed at mid-teen age, mostly girls. I believe the author started out in fan-fiction, but this is her first published novel, and is set to be one of three in a trilogy. It is very much a cross between Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl, with a pinch of Buffy The Vampire Slayer thrown in for good measure.

I have good and bad things to say about this book. I think I'll start with the bad and get it out the way.

My first comment is that the book is not very well written in parts, although it gets a bit better as it progresses. The first thing that jumped out at me was the use (particularly early in the book) of very cheesy and/or odd metaphors and similes, which reminded me of something one would write in English at school where the teacher has tried to get you to use various similes and metaphors just for the sake of it. They jarred every time, which was unfortunate. For example:

"He turned to follow her, tasting the phantom sizzle of her death on his lips." [pg. 11]

"A small flower of apprehension began to open inside her chest." [pg. 13]

These sort of things crop up not infrequently, more so in the earlier sections of the book.

My second negative point is that there are occasionally inconsistencies from one paragraph to the next, things I would have expected an editor to pick up right away. For example, there's one instance where the sound of someone's heels are described as clacking on a polished wooden floor, but in the next paragraph the person is described as wearing old hiking boots.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emma @ emtem.reads on 15 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm in the biggest reading slump because of this book. Ive heard great things about the 'City of Bones' but OH.MY.GOD. I wasn't prepared for it to be so good and enjoyable. Ive been wanting to read 'The Mortal Instruments' series for ages now and I honestly don't know why I waited so long to start it.

COB starts off with an normal fifteen year old girl named Clary Fray. She lives in New York City with her mum Jocelyn and as most teenage girls, Clary gets into an argument with her mum. Being in a mood about not wanting to move she heads out with her best friend Simon and decides to go to a nightclub which ends up changing her life forever. In the nightclub we are introduced to three more characters, one of them being Jace Wayland and thats when all the drama starts.

When I first started COB I thought I wasn't going to like it as it started off a bit slow for me but after the 3rd chapter I was hooked, oh gosh was I hooked. I needed to know all about Clary and find out who and what Jace was. It defiantly became a page turner, so much that I read it in a day and a half.

Cassandra Clare has defiantly become one of my favourite authors now. The way she manages to explain the scenes and the world she is creating makes me feel like I'm actually there fighting alongside Clary and Jace. I would defiantly like to fight alongside Jace. OH.MY.GOD. Jace is just perfect, can I have a Jace for my birthday please???

Throughout the book you can tell that there is an obvious attraction between Clary and Jace. Half of the time I was shouting at the book for them to be together but that damn Simon is always in the way.
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