City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: Review + Discussion | Shadowhunter Chronicles #1

Heyo! Guess who’s re-reading the same books instead of picking up new ones that are staring at her from her TBR pile? Uhhhhh. Don’t look at me. Okay, fine. Guilty as charged. Honestly, 2018 has been the year of re-reading some favourites and it has been blissful. I’m getting a whole new perspective on these stories, so many things I’d missed out, so many things I’d forgotten.

Early this year, I’d made a decision to re-read the entire Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare in wait for Queen of Air and Darkness which is one of my most anticipated books of this year! When I read it for the first time, I was only in the sixth grade and I’d started from the Infernal Devices; reading is in chronological order rather than the order it was published it. I read the events in the way they happened, not in the way they were meant to be read. So, this time I decided to read them in the order that they were published, starting with City of Bones from The Mortal Instruments. And while I was at it, I thought I would record my journey and thoughts on here. Not that anyone cares.

Personally, TMI was never my favourite compared to TID and TDA, and City of Bones left me feeling kind of meh when I first read it. But I have a lot more than meh to say on it now. It wasn’t the greatest book by her, but it’s still a lot better from others that I’ve read.

I think my favourite part about this book was the world-building and the detailed descriptions. It was quite slow-paced for a Cassie Clare book, I have to say, but the way everything was explained, and all the characters were introduced, felt really welcoming and her writing style is definitely one of the easiest and most interesting to read. The way we got to see different characters interact with different groups was fascinating; especially Magnus’ party, the Hotel Dumort fight, and The Circle’s backstory.

The characters did seem flat to me, though. Even though I could see changes in them through the course of the book and I do know what happens later on in the series, in City of Bones it just felt like their personality was forced onto them and even when they wanted to act another way, Cassie wouldn’t really let them. It seemed as though it was forced. For the second time, I hated the arc of Jace completely falling for Valentine, for him completely believing him, for him being okay with leaving everything behind after a single claim that the VILLAIN of the story had made. Poor plot convenience device.

Isabelle was also just portrayed as the sexy, bitchy, dumb but fierce trope which was slightly annoying because I know the potential that her character has, and I could have done with a buttload of more dialogue from her. I LOVED the scene at the party when she said “Simon is a rat.” and Alec becomes all protective of her and she says “No. He’s literally a rat.” She was treated more of as a sidekick and was given a lot less credit than both Alec and Jace, which hurt.

However, Alec, I was really impressed by. His arrogance turning into empathy, his defensiveness turning into healthy protectiveness, his close-mindedness turning into acceptance and willingness. And obviously, he’s queer so that’s an added bonus. His shyness around Magnus was adorable, and his need to make sure everyone was safe all the time was also adorable. Until he almost got killed because of it.

OKAY LET’S TALK ABOUT MAGNUS. Definitely my favourite character, nobody comes close to his glittery, cat eyes and frank attitude. The way he dismissed people, didn’t care and openly flirted was so liberating to read. The fact that he threw a party for his cat, who wasn’t even present. The fact that he helped them, even though he didn’t exactly get any personal gain from it. The fact that he immediately came to heal Alec and stayed with him all night to make sure he recovered properly. He’s caring and uncaring at the same time. And we love an oversharer! I just think Cassie was trying to info-dump with his first my-demon-dan-doesn’t-love-me monologue, though.

I’m torn over my respect for Jocelyn’s decision to quit it with Valentine, and my disappointment in the way she carried it out. Wiping away her daughter’s memories and leaving just when she’s about to be in a lot of danger wouldn’t exactly be my favourite form of YA parenting. I get that a lot of it wasn’t her choice, but deceiving and tampering with an individual’s mind, it just doesn’t sit right with me. The dynamic between her and Luke made my heart happy, though. Their comfort with each other is endearing.

Not going to lie, I did not buy into Clary and Jace’s romance arc, even though I know that it’s the principal relationship in the rest of the books. It just wasn’t convincing, and other than Jace’s one-liners, their chemistry seemed sort of dry. My heart sang more when Magnus winked at Alec than when Clary and Jace actually had a full-on date and kissed. Or maybe that’s just because non-het relationships are a lot more interesting.

The revelation to me, as a re-reader, wasn’t exactly shocking since I know what’s happening next, but the way Valentine handled and doled out the news was impressive. I respect the thought process behind it, even though I agree that it was a terrible thing to do. He doesn’t seem to have a heart, not even for his family.

The easiest way to know which book of TMI a person is on, just ask them what Jace’s last name is. For me, it would be either Jace Wayland or Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern right now. I will keep y’all updated. Good talk.

Favourite Non-Human character: Church the Cat

Favourite Setting: Taki’s (The Downworlder breakfast place)

Characters I’d like to know more about: Raphael, Max Lightwood, Young Valentine

A question I was left with: How does Church live through so many generations?


thank you for reading

au revoir, ciao and sayonara

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4 thoughts on “City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: Review + Discussion | Shadowhunter Chronicles #1

  1. ahhhh this gave me so many memories!!! This whole world/series was so pivotal in my life as a reader, but I don’t think I have the patience to reread lol
    Imma just wait on Queen of Air and Darkness before I return to Cassy haha x

    Liked by 1 person

    • woah i haven’t checked my blog in AGES. i don’t think you even remember commenting on my post. and same! it’s really difficult to reread this series because there’s SO MUCH CONTENT. and there’s more being added every year. hopefully i can get through it haha. and i’m currently reading Queen of Air and Darkness! what did you think about it?


  2. haha well I like rereading too! I do like the world building of this book, but I get what you mean about the characters falling flat. And yeah valentine doesn’t have a heart. And I love Malec so much- I think my heart would melt over a wink too 😉 Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

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