City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare
Fantasy / paranormal
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Reading Level: 9th grade up
Reviewed by R.M.
The first installment of The Mortal Instruments series follows the story of a young Clary Fray, who learns that her bloodline can be traced to a family of Shadowhunters who keep the world’s demons at bay. As Clary starts seeing things only she can see, her world starts to collapse. In addition to all these events, her mother goes missing, which is when the modern Shadowhunters help her accept her own origins. Joined by her friends, Clary discovers the truth about her family and its ties to the “other” world.
This book (and the whole series) is full of witty puns only suited to the sharpest of readers. The techniques used in the book were also good; it really works the readers’ imaginations. It’s also full of creatures from the fantasy realm. One thing that I didn’t like about the book is that when it starts talking about groups of people, associations, or organizations with known names, the author doesn’t bother (or probably forgot) to explain the details of such groups. For example, the author would throw names like The Clave, The Covenant, The Conclave, and such but with no real explanation of their distinctions. Even the main character seemed to just magically know about them with no explanation. And there she was, supposedly clueless and relatively new to the supernatural and its complications. This caused me as a reader to filter these names and just treat them as one group. Other than that, the book was enjoyable to read. Readers will witness character development over time, and no character will remain static and predictable.
Editor's note: The humor (particularly Jace's smart mouth) was my favorite part of this series, too.