City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

04 Dec


Clare, Cassandra. City of Bones. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007. 485 pages. ISBN 978-1-41691-428-0

Plot Summary:

Clary went to a club with her best friend Simon and stumbled upon a group of kids who were hurting a boy, and then one of the kids murdered the boy claiming he was a demon. Clary is shocked to find out that nobody else can see these kids or the murder that just took place. The next day, the murderer, Jace, runs into Clary at the coffee shop and offers to take her to his tutor so that he can explain about the demons and know that Jace was telling the truth. However, she receives a distressed call from her mother and runs home to see what is wrong. Upon returning to home, Clary and Jace, who followed her, are met with a monstrous creature, a Ravener demon, and no mom in sight. Clary takes down the demon with Jace’s Sensor, but is hurt in the process, so Jace takes her to his home, The Institute. The Institute is within an old Gothic cathedral and is invisible to outsiders, being concealed magically by glamour. Clary recuperates and immediately goes about trying to find her mother, where she learns a whole lot more than she thought she would. She is a Shadowhunter, just like Jace.

Critical Evaluation:

Being the first novel in the Mortal Instrument series, City of Bones is a fantastical novel. This is a compelling tale, that fantasy loving teenagers will fall all over, about what it is like to live in the Underworld with all of the creatures that go bump in the night. Clary is a character who is struggling with her emotions and trying to come to terms with the new information she has just learned about herself and her family all the while trying to find her missing mother and save her. Clary, Jace, and Simon take us on a dangerous journey to face off against the main antagonist of this story, Valentine, and ultimately unravel even more of a mystery that will be discovered in the rest of the series. From vampires to werewolves, and angels to demons, this story has it all. If you were not a fan of one of them before, you just may be after you read this novel. There is one disturbing aspect of this novel that even as you read it you know it can’t be true because it just wouldn’t be right, but nonetheless it is still disturbing almost to the end of the third book when you find out the truth you knew was there.

Reader’s Annotation:

Prowl through the underworld and take down the evil monsters who live there. This is what Shadowhunters do, and Clary just discovered that she is one.


Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Ira. She spent a lot of her time traveling with her family, including trekking through the Himalayas when she was just a toddler. She has lived in France, England and Switzerland. She liked to read books as a way to have something familiar for all the moving. She went to high school in Los Angeles and would write stories to amuse her classmates.

After college, she live in Los Angeles and New York. She worked for various entertainment magazines and did some rather suspect tabloids, such as Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. In 2004, she started on the City of Bones novel, which was inspired by the Manhattan landscape, her favorite city. In 2006 she went to writing fantasy full time, and wishes to never write about Paris Hilton again.



Curriculum Ties:


Booktalking Ideas:

Clary just found out she is a Shadowhunter…

Vampires, werewolves, fairies, demons, and angels…

Reading Level/Interest Level:


Challenge Issues:


Why I included this book:

The Mortal Instruments series is absolutely wonderful. It is the perfect fantasy/love story. Although , I have heard that her Infernal Devices is better, but I am waiting until they are all out to read them.

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Posted by on December 4, 2011 in LIBR 265-10 Database Project/Blog


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