City of Bones – Cassandra Clare (Spoilers)


Book: City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
Edition: First edition paperback

I started out 2019 with a reread of the entire Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, taking my reading back to my middle school roots. The Mortal Instruments series will always have a special place in my heart because it helped propel my love of reading to what it is now. Each book that was published got me more excited about reading. There were others, sure (Scholastic Book Fair, anyone?), but nothing like these books.

Back in the summer of 2008, after City of Bones was published, my friends and I would walk over to the Hasting’s store across the street from the university in town during our longer breaks from band camp (yeah, yeah, we all know the jokes). We would sit in the only section that had decent seating (religious) and dramatically read from a random book off the shelf. It was close to a YA display section that had a rotating selection of new releases/popular series that were out. This particular time was paranormal/fantasy. My friend Bobby grabbed the first book he saw off the shelf and started reading:

I have not slept.
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The Genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.

—William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

I was intrigued. He kept reading and soon enough it was time to be heading back for rehearsals. I made a note of what book it was so I could come back and purchase it. Little did I know that my best friend had just changed my reading life forever.

I finished re-reading City of Bones on January 11. It took me longer than anticipated to finish it. I blame that partly on the fact that it wasn’t 100% like I remembered, partly on the fact that I initially read it over 10 years ago, and partly on the fact that the Shadowhunters tv show got events out of order. I decided to take on the task of re-reading this series because 1. I never finished the Mortal Instruments the first time around, and 2. I want to make sure that I have all the events of all previous books straight before I jump into The Dark Artifices now that it’s completed.

There were some things about the writing that infuriated me a bit (why are there so many damned cat metaphors???) but that’s what I get for going back to the beginning of it all when the writing style hadn’t been completely fleshed out yet. I ranted about it a bit over on twitter. I don’t find Jace as much of a heartthrob as I did when I first read the series, though knowing he’s a Herondale and not a Wayland (or Morganstern) like they initially have you believe has me drawing a lot of parallels to his great great great grandfather, Will Herondale. They’re both sassy bookworms that don’t like to show their emotions and tend to hide behind their sarcasm and wit. Though both are afraid of ducks (“Never trust a duck!”)

Regardless, I still think it holds up and I would definitely do another reread in the future. Though maybe a little far in the future. There’s so many other books staring at me from my TBR.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐//5

Next stop: City of Ashes

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