Reviews for City of Bones


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray's ordinary life turns upside down when she begins seeing demons, her mother is kidnapped, and Clary is taken in by Shadowhunters, demon-fighters as astonished by her newfound abilities as she is. Despite recycled material and purple prose, the snappy dialogue and striking details in this hip, sprawling urban fantasy keep the convoluted series opener entertaining. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray's ordinary life turns upside down when she begins seeing demons, her mother is kidnapped, and Clary is taken in by Shadowhunters, demon-fighters as astonished by her newfound abilities as she is. Despite recycled material and purple prose, the snappy dialogue and striking details in this hip, sprawling urban fantasy keep the convoluted series opener entertaining. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2007 March #1
This urban-fantasy series opener spices its fight against evil with sexual tension. Fifteen-year-old geek hipster Clary thought she was just a normal kid, but normal kids don't see invisible people, and normal kids' mothers don't suddenly disappear, seemingly captured by horrific monsters. But like many fantasy heroines, Clary isn't normal, and she's got all the secret parentage, dramatic revelations and amazing magic powers to prove it. Clary is a Shadowhunter, brought up as a mundane but born to fight demons. She and her mundane friend Simon fall in with a trio of Shadowhunter teens, and are soon embroiled in a quest to understand Clary's past--and incidentally save the world. Rich descriptions occasionally devolve into purple prose, but the story's sensual flavor comes from the wealth of detail: demons with facial piercings, diners serving locusts and honey, pretty gay warlocks and cameo appearances from other urban fantasies' characters. Complicated romantic triangles keep the excitement high even when the dramatic revelations tend toward the ridiculous. Lush and fun. (Fantasy. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 April #2

Clare's debut novel, first in the Mortal Instruments series, is a sprawling urban fantasy packed with just about every type of creature known to the genre, and still spacious enough to hold more. Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray witnesses a killing in an "all-ages club"; when she confronts the attackers, she learns that they are spectral Shadowhunters, charged with killing demonic creatures called Night Children. Clary returns home to find her apartment vandalized and her mother missing, apparently kidnapped by creatures in the service of someone named Valentine. An attack by a slithering beast sends Clary to the infirmary at the Institute, hidden home of the Shadowhunters. There she befriends the hunter Jace, who tells her of Valentine's intention to find the Mortal Cup, one of three Mortal Instruments the Angel gave to the first Shadowhunters (the others are a mirror and sword). Great secrets abound both in Clary's past and in her own head--secrets that are gradually revealed to her about her mother, her mother's eccentric friend Luke, her relationship with Jace and, eventually, about Valentine himself. Clare's atmospheric setting is spot-on, informed equally by neo-gothic horror films and the modern fantasy leanings of Neil Gaiman. Werewolves, vampires, angels and fairies all fit in this ambitious milieu. At the core, though, this is a compelling story about family secrets and coming-of-age identity crises. Fans of the smart/chic horror typified by Buffy the Vampire Slayer will instantly fall for this new series. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)

[Page 55]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 May

Gr 8 Up -When Clary Fray witnesses three tattoo-covered teenagers murder another teen, she is unable to prove the crime because the victim disappears right in front of her eyes, and no one else can see the killers. She learns that the teens are Shadowhunters (humans who hunt and kill demons), and Clary, a "mundie" (i.e., mundane human), should not be able to see them either. Shortly after this discovery, her mother, Jocelyn, an erstwhile Shadowhunter, is kidnapped. Jocelyn is the only person who knows the whereabouts of "The Mortal Cup," a dangerous magical item that turns humans into Shadowhunters. Clary must find the cup and keep it from a renegade sector of Shadowhunters bent on eliminating all nonhumans, including benevolent werewolves and friendly vampires. Amid motorcycles powered by demon energies, a telepathic brotherhood of archivists, and other moments of great urban fantasy, the story gets sidetracked by cutesy touches, like the "toasted bat sandwich" on the menu of an otherworldly restaurant. The characters are sporadically characterized and tend toward behavior that is both predictable and slightly repellent-Clary finds out who her real father is about 200 pages after readers will have it figured out. Despite the narrative flaws, this version of New York, full of Buffyesque teens who are trying to save the world, is entertaining and will have fantasy readers anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.-Heather M. Campbell, Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

[Page 130]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2007 April
Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray visits her favorite New York City night club late one evening and watches attractive teenagers follow a blue-haired boy into a storage room. Next thing Clary knows, the boy is dead and the body disappears. Clary is not your typical mundie-she can see Shadowhunters and the demons that they hunt. Clary's mother is kidnapped, their home is ransacked, and Clary kills an evil Ravener in her home. She is then temporarily adopted into the Shadowhunter clan and begins to learn their ways. For some reason, Clary has the Sight and must use her powers and her new friends to find and rescue her mother. Along the way, she is burdened by the love of her best friend, Simon, and the complicated feelings she has towards Jace, a Shadowhunter This fast-paced fantastic thriller will keep readers on the edge of their seats. It includes everything from werewolves and mind-sucking librarians to vampires and a brother unknowingly kissing his sister-just what teenagers love to read. Clary is an independent, saucy female character who adapts to her newfound powers easily and thinks nothing of throwing a weapon at a werewolf. The dialogue is awkward at times, leading to the 3Q rating. Clary makes some trite remarks that interrupt the narrative flow. The author is in a writing group with Holly Black, author of dark fantasies similar to this one.-Sara Squires 3Q 4P J S Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.

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