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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Clary Fray's life changes forever after going to a nightclub one evening and sees a boy murder another - who's body disappears. Then when her mother disappears, and she finds a monster in her house, Clary is thrown into a world of demons and Shadow Hunters, those who hunt them. Everything she knows is turned upside down, and with the return of th Shadow Hunter's worst...
Published on 4 Mar 2010 by Jo

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would have been great if I had been 20 years younger.
Having read the great reviews on here, I decided to jump on this, as the trailer for the movie that is being released in August 2013 looks absolutely amazing.

This book started off quite well. I liked the nightclub scene, and I quickly started to connect with Jace. He is a strong, likable character, but... that's a far as it went.

I respect the fact...
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would have been great if I had been 20 years younger., 9 Jan 2013
By 
Amazon Customer (Wiltshire, England.) - See all my reviews
Having read the great reviews on here, I decided to jump on this, as the trailer for the movie that is being released in August 2013 looks absolutely amazing.

This book started off quite well. I liked the nightclub scene, and I quickly started to connect with Jace. He is a strong, likable character, but... that's a far as it went.

I respect the fact that the heroine is only 15 and as a 30-something reader, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to connect - unfortunately, that was precisely what happened.

However, I can appreciate that some elements of this book are really good. It has great descriptive narrative and dialogue that flows well, but as an avid paranmormal reader it's obvious to me now that the more 'adult' orientated books are my poison. I got spoilt with the likes of JR Ward and Nalini Singh, to ever contemplate going back to YA in the para spectrum.

I guess the part that did it was when the best friend got turned into a rat who was then rat-knapped by vampiric bikers - I just had to stop. I gave up at 52% which is almost unheard of. BUT, like I said... I just couldn't connect. If I had read this 10-15 years ago, maybe I would have felt different, but as it stands, it's just wasn't the book for me.

I just wish I could have embraced that inner child of mine, but she decided not to come out and play on this occasion.

From what I can tell though, Cassandra Clare has written a well received and much loved series, and I'm kind of sad that I didn't feel it, like many other readers have. But, I will keep it on my kindle in the hope that my Daughter reads it when she comes of a more appropriate age.
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220 of 239 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Study In Contrasts, 18 Aug 2007
By 
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. In another situation, a knife is held to someone's back where it can easily piece their heart, but in the next paragraph it is described how the blade nicks the skin on their throat. These small continuity errors crop up not infrequently.

My third and final negative point is the derivative nature of certain plot and background elements. To my mind, there are some striking similarities to Harry Potter (I won't go into detail here, to avoid spoilers).

But enough of the negative. I have some positive comments too.

Firstly, the book is very addictive. I don't know how or why, but it's something I've noticed with fanfic writing as well (although I admit I've read very little), and perhaps this is not coincidental, since I hear the author comes from a strong fanfic background. I wish I could put my finger on what causes this addictiveness. It's very easy reading - perhaps that's part of it. It requires little or not mental effort, much like a "disengage brain" blockbuster film. The characters and story were bouncing off the inside of my head for about an hour after I went to bed every time I read it last thing at night, wanting to know what happened next, thinking over what had passed. Very annoying, actually, when I'm trying to sleep!

Secondly, the author writes romantic scenes very well, another trait I believe is particularly noticeable in fanfic (perhaps because that is the point of a lot of it...)

Thirdly, there are quite a few decent plot twists that I didn't see coming. It was not a straightforward story in that respect I enjoyed that aspect of it. It is well rounded off, but also well set up for the following two books in the series.

So overall, I'd say with this book you get the good with the bad. The writing quality is not in the same league as most published novels I've read, but it does improve throughout the book. Aspects of the plot are derivative of already existing material, but it is very enjoyable nonetheless, and quite addictive. The world the author has created is interesting and fun to explore.

I don't know if I'll read later books in the series. I won't buy them, but I may borrow them if someone offers.
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 4 Mar 2010
By 
Jo (London, England) - See all my reviews
Clary Fray's life changes forever after going to a nightclub one evening and sees a boy murder another - who's body disappears. Then when her mother disappears, and she finds a monster in her house, Clary is thrown into a world of demons and Shadow Hunters, those who hunt them. Everything she knows is turned upside down, and with the return of th Shadow Hunter's worst enemy, Valentine, and the search to find an ancient relic of great power, the Mortal Cup, before he does, Clary discovers she is more than just an average girl.

I've seen reviews for the Mortal Instruments series for a fair while, and thought I would give City of Bones a go even though it didn't really appeal to me. This book has been sitting in my TBR pie for a few months now, and finally made my way to it. And you know what? I so wish I picked this up sooner!

As I hand write this review (I'm on holiday, and can't get to a computer right now), I've literally jus finished City of Bone and I am BUZZING! There aren't really any words I am capable of using right now to describe how good it is, but the fact that I feel the urge to shout and scream and jump about should give you the idea. City of Bones is that good! Someone pass me City of Ashes now!

It may sound odd, but this book reminds me of Doctor Who's tardis in a way; you know how it's bigger on the inside? Well it's kind of opposite with this book. City of Bones is a fair sized book at 442 pages, and the font is fairly small, yet it was such a quick read! And although a lot happens, it looks like I should have at least half the book still to read. My point is, I thought I'd be reading this book for quite a while (I'm not the fastest reader going), and that it may be a little tedious, but it took just two days, and was so exciting. I got through the book much faster than I thought possible for me - while on holiday!

The storyline at it's very, very basic isn't all that original; a group of teenagers fighting against an evil adult antagonist, one of said teenagers finding their life isn't what they thought. Sound familiar? Of course it does, you could apply this to any number of YA novels out right now, but this is just the bare bones of the novel. It's the meat of the book that makes this book so fantastic, and stand out from the rest!

Like the characters for example. Clary herself is awesome, funny, and strong when she's forced to be, but she is fairly ordinary as a person that any girl could relate to her. The other characters are also amazing! Jace, one of the Shadow Hunters, with his golden angelic good looks, arrogance and humour make him irresistible, even if he is a git at times; Simon, Clary's best friend, the most hilarious nerd I've ever seen read, you just wantto give him a big hug; Isabelle, another Shadow Hunter, beautiful and a right cow, and her brother Alec, just as good looking, but not the nicest bloke around. All of these characters and their individual sub-plots intertwine and ovelap with th main thread to creae a brilliant, and at times beautifully heartbreaking, story.

There are so many romantic threads weaving through this book, you're continually switching back and forth over who you're rooting for. The action in City of Bones is incredible, ad it really gets the heart pumping and the adrenalin rushing. Definitely edge-of-your-seat stuff. Simply amazing!

This book has jumped right up there with my favourites! Anyone who is umming and ahhing about reading this book like I was, stop hesitating and pick it up now. You won't reget it! I'll leave you with an image that should seal the deal: beautiful, gorgeous Jace, with a cocky smile, sitting astride a flying motorbike. Oh my.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable...just., 18 Feb 2013
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This is a hard review for me to write because I recently read the Hunger Games trilogy & I noticed that many people who reviewed the first hunger games slated it for copying Battle Royale. I didn't understand why they disliked it so much for that sole reasom. NOW I do...

City of Bones is not awful, but it's also not great. It is Buffy/Harry Potter, with the main character relationships ripped straight from the original Star Wars trilogy. Being a huge Star Wars fan, I feel this is the main reason I didn't enjoy the book as much as I could of. All the characters seem to be lacking depth at times except one - Simon. For me, he is by far the most relatable character, & as such, it's good that he gets his 'hero' moment.

As I read through the book, I kept waiting for it to really grab my attention. This doesn't happen until near the end when the Shadowhunters fight the Greater Demon, & by the time you read the final showdown with Valentine, the emotional depth just isn't there & you feel like this could just be a bad Jerry Springer style talk show.

As I say, the book is readable, with the odd genuine piece of humour, and the characters being just about engaging enough for me to download the sample of book 2.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars you have to like this sort of books, 9 Dec 2012
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but if you do, I really enjoyed this series. A bit stereotypical, but you have to expect it. Just forget about that and enjoy them!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, 19 Aug 2011
I found the book fascinating, i loved the whole story line.
I was never really into teen fantasy but after reading this I am addicted.
I adore Clary and Jace's connection and must admit am abit jealous, over all very enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 10 Aug 2010
By 
Dwayne @ Girls Without a Bookshelf (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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. And of course, I think this review would be incomplete if I don't mention how hot the heroes are. I love both Simon and Jace, but damn. Jace Wayland? Yes please.

City of Bones has the markings of a great classic and so much more. It's exhilarating, intoxicating and every bit gripping. Expect a whole lot of suspense, tension, thrill, drama, you name it! There were twists in every corner, new characters to delight readers, adventures that would give anyone an adrenaline rush and a romance that will leave you gaping. As more secrets are uncovered, more truths laid bare and more of the Shadow World discovered, the more this book hooks you. It was slightly draining to read as it really engages the reader; I felt as if I was in one adventure myself!

And the ending? The bomb. The profanities the flew out of my mouth after I found out the great revelation was unbelievable. Like I can wait a second for City of Ashes?
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too many similarities :(, 3 April 2013
I had previously read Clare's other series, the Infernal Devices, and I loved it. Hence, I decided to give the Mortal Instruments a go. I was greatly disappointed, the Infernal Devices and the Mortal Instruments had too many similarities.
Pretty girl falls in love with the good-looking, arrogant guy- check.
Then pretty girl is torn between choosing her best friend or the mysterious guy- check.
There is an evil villan, trying to build an army- check.
They are shadow hunters, who live in an institute, which is a church- check.
They have a cat called church- check.
Even the main characters names are similar- Clarissa(Clary) Fray and Theresa(Tessa) Gray.
Actually, I think that one of the only differences is that the Infernal Devices are set in the past- which makes the book more interesting.
My advice, just read the Infernal Devices, as the Mortal Instruments is just a less interesting copy of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Harry Potter Spin-Off., 15 Jun 2014
By 
Jennifer May (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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As a HP fan, I was pretty excited to read this book as I've heard such great things about it. However, as soon as I started reading it I knew something fishy was happening. I had a strange feeling I'd read it before, even though according to my Kindle I hadn't, and 'mundanes', seriously? Why not just call them 'muggles' and be done with it.

It turns out that I read some of the draco trilogy back in the day and this is pretty much just a rehash of that. So Clare has pretty much stolen JK's characters and setting (which is nothing short of treason in my eyes) and just changed their names and sold MILLIONS OF BOOKS and made a ridonculous amount of money. Like seriously. Clare even has THREE OTHER SERIES' based off the same concept, which is pretty much just plagiarised from other books and films anyway.

A whole big bag of no from me, I'm afraid.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glorified fan fiction - a huge disappointment, 16 Sep 2012
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The idea behind the Mortal Instruments is probably one of my favourite ideas behind a book. Out with her best friend Simon one day, she sees a boy she isn't meant to be able to see and thus learns of the existence of Shadowhunters (or Nephilim). Shadowhunters are humans whose blood is mixed with the angel Raziel's and they protect the world from demons. Shadowhunters have a rich history, one that Clary herself is drawn into when her mother goes missing and she discovers that she's a Shadowhunter. City of Bones is set around the hunt for the Mortal Cup, which must be found before the evil Valentine finds it. Throw in vampires, werewolves, demons, mute monks, a gay wizard, plenty of romance and love triangles, and enough secrets to keep you guessing and you can see a thrilling story ahead of you.

Unfortunately, after City of Bones tempts you with magical creatures that live unknown among the residents of New York City, dangles a good-looking hero in front of your eyes, and starts you off with a fast-paced incident that changes the life of the heroine and leaves you intrigued for the rest of the story, it doesn't give you anything else. The ideas are all there, but it just doesn't deliver. To show you why, I first need to tell you that it all has to do with Cassandra Clare's beginnings in fan fiction, which she dabbled in before writing this series. A lot of authors now published began by writing fan fiction and some have achieved huge notoriety (Fifty Shades of Grey, for instance). While writing fan fiction is a good idea for aspiring writers, if you don't develop your writing style for original fiction, you end up with something like this - great ideas that don't quite hit the mark.

When you write fan fiction, your characters are already developed. Someone has already done the hard work for you. So now all you have to do is find a storyline for the characters you already have. That explains why Clare puts little effort into forming and developing her characters, but comes up with some really imaginative storylines. It also explains the many comparisons you can make between some of her ideas and the plots of Twilight and Harry Potter (I'll try not to draw comparisons between mortal instruments and horcruxes...). This applies to every book of hers I've read, which sadly is most. Most people who write fan fiction won't plan their writing either, and Clare's writing definitely feels unplanned. For instance, the narrative switches point of view far too often, and sometimes half way through the book a completely new perspective is introduced. It would have been nice to see this more planned out to make it feel less jumpy; sometimes it's hard to remember whose perspective you're even reading at that point.

On an unrelated note to fan fiction, her descriptions could use a lot of work. The similes and metaphors are overused and unnatural; they don't fit seamlessly into the story to bring places and people to life as they should. Clare's adjectives also have a lot of room for improvement; her descriptions feel very repetitive and it makes me want to throw a thesaurus at her.

I can tell from the huge popularity of this series, and the fact that there are now not one but three spin-off series in the works, that the issues I have with Clare's writing don't bother everyone. Some people can ignore bad writing and get sucked in anyway and I wish I could say that I could. But the real problem I have is that it makes Clare come across as lazy, especially having read the Infernal Devices series and realising her writing still hasn't improved. It makes me feel cheapened when I read her books, as though I'm betraying good writers by reading someone who has had such huge success undeservedly. I feel that I should repeat, though, how much I love the idea behind the Shadowhunter world, to give credit where it's due, but I can't help but feel thoroughly let down by Clare's poor attempt at writing it, especially as I bought the first 3 books all in one go back when they were a trilogy. The trouble is, once I got past the first chapter of the first book (which ironically was all I was able to read free online at the time and was my basis for buying the trilogy), I was left feeling completely ripped off. It's great for budding writers to practice by writing fan fiction, but it's important to note the differences in writing fan fiction and original fiction. Perhaps if Clare had made a little more effort I wouldn't have been left with this massive disappointment.
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City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)
City of Bones (Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare (Hardcover - 27 Mar 2007)
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