City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Reviewed by Shaylan Jewell.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

 

From Amazon.com:

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.

Imagine living in a world filled with demons, vampires, and werewolves. In City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, it’s normal to see these creatures daily. This first book in the series discusses the themes of revenge and stopping for nothing to protect loved ones. This fantasy novel set in modern day New York City, tells the fascinating story of a girl who is trying to protect her mother and finding out that not everyone can be trusted. Although I was intrigued by the entire novel, the setting, interesting vocabulary, and characters stuck out to me the most.

Particularly, the beautiful setting of City of Bones was my favorite thing about the novel. The story is set in modern day New York City. However, there is a little twist. Several evil creatures, such as warlocks, witches, and fairies, live among the ordinary New Yorkers. While reading the book, I discovered that the setting was a bit dark. Although there were many comical and uplifting moments, the story felt as if it were based directly on the “Underworld”. For instance, the story begins when the main character, Clary, witnesses a demon’s murder in an eerie night club. I very much enjoyed the mysterious mood throughout City of Bones because it was very unique. The author made a different approach, to make the reader feel as if they were stepping into Clary’s dark world.

The second most appealing element of the book was the unique vocablulary. The novel includes many terms that I hadn’t previously heard of. For example, throughout the book the terms “mundane” and “Shadowhunters” were repeated several times. The humans in the novel are called “mundanes” by the “Shadowhunters” or hunters specialized in asassinating demons. The language used in City of Bones would definitely appeal to those who enjoy fantasy novels. Also, since the story is set in modern day, many terms that my friends and I use are also said by the characters. For example, the characters briefly discuss their love for Pop-Tarts. I enjoyed the mixture of modern and fantasy terms.

Lastly, I was amazed by the well put together characters. Each one had unique characteristics and attitudes. I enjoyed that the characters had a close bond and protected each other throughout the book, even when they faced troubling situations. Clary was created to be very relatable to teenage girls, but also a heroic lead, and her love interest, Jace, was meant to be attractive and lovable. Clary is just described as a normal girl, which many readers could see themselves as. It was clear that the characters bonded as the book went on, and that was an enjoyable aspect. All in all, the characters were very well described and detailed.

Overall I highly recommend the book to all teenagers and fantasy lovers. I plan on completing the series and discovering how Cassandra Clare will finish the books off. Clary Fray is a young yet strong heroine, which many readers could be inspired by. I can honestly say that I was captivated by this novel. It was a great read for anyone, regardless of age, who enjoys a good action and fantasy filled book. Through the use of a beautiful setting, interesting vocabulary, and relatable characters, Cassandra Clare has created a terrific read in her book City of Bones. 

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8 responses

  1. Shaylan,
    This is an excellent book review. I enjoyed your organization, your literary vocabulary used throughout, and your tone. I have never read this book, but thanks reading your descriptive book review, you have convinced me that this book should definitely be on my list of things to read next.
    I have a few small suggestions for your writing. In the sentence: “The humans in the novel are called ‘mundanes’ by the ‘Shadowhunters’ or hunters specialized in assassinating demons,” I would suggest adding a comma after Shadowhunters to slightly separate the definition from the word, and I would change “or” to “which are.” This flows a little better with your book review and takes away from the feel of a sudden definition added within this review.
    Another suggestion is, when quoting, put the period on the inside of the quotation marks. For example, you could change “Underworld”. to “Underworld.” This was a mistake I also used to make (because it seems to make sense), and actually, that is how British English is quoted; however, putting a period on the inside of the quotes is how we are supposed to quote in American English.
    Also, in your sentence, “The author made a different approach, to make the reader feel as if they were stepping into Clary’s dark world,” I would change the word “made” since the words “made” and “make” are within the same sentence. This is a powerful sentence, and by changing that word to something more effective would make it even more powerful. You could use a word as simple as “took” to replace this, or you could go more advanced. Sometimes, just one word can make all the difference in a sentence.
    Overall, you’re book review was very well written, convince, clear, and easy to follow. I enjoyed reading your review, as you made it a pleasant experience.

  2. Hi, Shaylan

    I thought you did a really nice job with this review! It was very easy to follow, and I thought your favorite things about the book were insightful. It all followed together very nicely! I have never read this book, but your review sparked my interest enough that I think I just might have to go out and purchase it!
    The novel sounds really interesting, especially the “mixture of modern and fantasy terms,” as you mentioned. Also, speaking of how Clary was relatable, don’t you love that about a book? I personally think it adds so much when the characters are relatable. It makes the reader feel like he or she is actually a part of the story! That’s definitely one of my favorite things about books.
    A couple of suggestions…Try making a slightly smoother transition from paragraph to paragraph. I know this can be difficult, especially with this type of writing, but it can be done! Also, I was slightly confused with the 2nd paragraph where you spoke about the setting. You wrote that the setting was “beautiful,” but then said it was “a bit dark.” Try rewording or rephrasing some of that so that it makes the actual description of the setting more clear, as well as your reasoning for the setting being your “favorite thing about the novel.”
    Overall this is very strong writing, and I look forward to reading more of your work! Keep it up!

    Hannah

    1. Dear Hannah,

      Thank you for reading my review and giving helpful tips! I am working on all of the things you told me to, and your advice really helped. I noticed that Mrs.Baisden also wrote on my rubric that I needed to be more clear of what I’m writing about. Giving detail is important, so I need to stop writing vague sentences!

      Also, could you reread my review and make sure that I don’t have any incorrectly placed commas? Sometimes I question whether or not they have been put in the right spots.

      Thanks again, Hannah.

      -Shaylan

      1. Hi, Shaylan

        I hope that you are doing great! Thanks for reading and responding to my feedback. I really hope that it helped you.

        Commas can be tricky little things. I looked online at a resource that I use when I am unsure where to place commas, and I pasted the link below. It is short, doesn’t take long to read, but it’s really good.

        https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/01/

        Personally, when I need to know where to place a comma really quick, I will read the sentence aloud. Wherever I notice a natural pause in my voice, I place a comma. This works for me the majority of the time, but it doesn’t work 100% of the time. So when in doubt, check out the link I sent you. 🙂

        I hope you have a very merry Christmas!

        Hannah

  3. Dear Kara,

    Thank you for the helpful advice! I have also noticed that some of my sentences aren’t very smooth, and I plan on fixing that. You also mentioned that I had incorrectly placed commas while writing quotes, and that is actually something I was hoping to ask you about.

    Sometimes when I look over my work, I question whether or not my commas are correctly placed. I feel that I often add commas when they’re not needed. Would you please tell me when commas are needed? Thanks again.

    -Shaylan

    1. Shaylan,

      Knowing when to add commas can be difficult. The simplest way I can state it, is to add one whenever you feel a pause. If you think someone will or should pause while reading an area, it might be a good idea to add a comma. However, more specifically speaking, there is a great website that really breaks comma usage down. This website will help you more than what I would be able to due to its level of detail. This site is linked below:
      http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/commas.htm

      Thanks for the question. It is always great to ask questions so that you can keep improving. Keep up the great work and keep asking questions as this will help you grow into an even greater writer. Good luck!

      1. Dear Kara,

        Thank you for answering my question! I’ll be sure to take a look at that website to improve my writing. Commas are definitely things that I need to work on. Thanks again.

        – Shaylan.

  4. Dear Hannah,

    Thank you for reading my review and giving helpful tips! I am working on all of the things you told me to, and your advice really helped. I noticed that Mrs.Baisden also wrote on my rubric that I needed to be more clear of what I’m writing about. Giving detail is important, so I need to stop writing vague sentences!

    Also, could you reread my review and make sure that I don’t have any incorrectly placed commas? Sometimes I question whether or not they have been put in the right spots.

    Thanks again, Hannah.

    -Shaylan

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