City of Bones is the first book in the highly praised Mortal Instruments series. It is set in downtown New York yet involves a completely new world. In the novel, the world is protected from demons by ‘Shadow Hunters’. They protect the world from a wide assortment of demons on a day to day basis, yet are completely unseen by humans. Although not enemies with downworlders like vampires and werewolves, they’re not on good terms with them either.
Clary comes home one day to find her mother has vanished from their apartment just days after she witnessed the murder of a boy, who was supposedly a demon, by a group of Shadow Hunters. In search of her mother, she learns of the true nature of the Shadow Hunters and the war taking place beneath their noses and Clary is shocked to learn that she may play a vital part in the survival of the world.
I absolutely loved this book. It had it all – a thick, well fleshed out, interesting plot, intriguing characters, a mysterious setting, superb use of language and an undeniable charm. The plot was almost flawless; I couldn’t tell what would happen next and was surprised at the amount of curveballs thrown at me, and I realised just how well Clare subtly hinted at these developments earlier in the novel without giving anything away.
Clary was a nice character, though by the end of the book I found her romance with Jace, one of the teenage Shadow Hunters, to be disturbing. The Shadow Hunters themselves were interesting and had a lot of depth to them. Jace was strong and a true leader; Isabelle was calm yet could be ferocious, and at times calm; her older brother, Alec, was a bit awkward but I liked him because he brought some humour.
Clary’s best friend Simon was also a fairly likeable character. Although I wasn’t a major fan of his personality, I feel he has a lot of potential to be a big character in the future.
I absolutely adored Clare’s writing style. It flowed perfectly and it was the perfect mixture of descriptive yet succinct. She didn’t overdo her descriptions and rarely used too many words to describe a scene. Her writing gripped me by the scruff of my neck and was a delight to read.
So far, The Mortal Instruments is looking like an unforgettable series. If the next books in this series can live up to City of Bones, then I’m sure it really will be unforgettable.