When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. And she’s more than a little startled when the body disappears into thin air. Soon Clary is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. And Clary is introduced with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster. How could a mere human survive such an attack and kill a demon? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Searching through my bedroom, I rediscovered this book and knew I needed to quickly review it. In fact, I probably need to review the entire series at some point because they are so highly addictive. In 2014 I went from the first to the second to the third, etc, until I had read them all in just over a week. They are six beautifully written young adult fantasy novels, but for now I shall [*try*] to remain focused purely on the first: ‘City of Bones’.

The story centres around Clarissa Fray, a red-haired, feisty girl, who dreams of nothing more than becoming an artist just like her mother. She is fifteen and at that crucial stage of self-discovery, yet no mundane can imagine just how much discovery will take place.

Mundanes are humans – everyday people like you and I, but it turns out Clary is far from mundane. Instead, she is a Shadowhunter – a human with angel blood, meaning she should’ve been raised to fight demons, and yet here she is, living in Brooklyn, completely oblivious. Well, that is until one chaotic night where she sees a demon – disguised as a teenage boy – murdered by a bunch of sassy shadowhunters, and from there all hell breaks loose. Her mother has been lying to her all these years and the truth is about to prevail…

The book is packed with everything and anything the 2007-2012 world were obsessed with: shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, love-triangles, conveniently absent parents, teenage heroes, characters with crazy chiseled jawlines, and the search for magical items which in the wrong hands could end the world as we know it. No big deal, right?

Full of ridiculous amounts of humour, action, and some hit-and-miss romance [*you’ll see what I mean*], this book is for anyone willing to give fantasy novels a try. I want to compare it in some way, such as it’s Harry Potter meets Divergent, but I don’t think that really does the book justice. It’s pretty amazing in its own right and probably does not need any comparisons to convince you to read it. It never feels forced or over the top. It does have a few cliches, but c’mon, in a world of millions and millions and millions of novels it’s almost impossible to avoid that happening.

In my opinion, this book should certainly be in your Top-10-To-Read-List this year, especially considering it’s a decade old now. You’ve already missed so much time to obsess over it; don’t miss anymore.


Setting: – New York, 2007

Favourite characters: – Jace Wayland, Alec Lightwood, Simon Lewis

Hated characters: – Jocelyn Fray, Valentine, Hodge Starkweather

Favourite quote: – ‘It means ‘Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234” – Jace Wayland

Overall rating: 4.7 / 5

Additional information: – ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ was adapted into a 2013 action-adventure science fantasy film. The cast included Lily Collins, as Clary Fray, and Jamie Campbell Bower, as Jace Wayland.
on October 12th 2014, it was confirmed ‘The Mortal Instruments’ would return as a television series, abandoning a film sequel. ‘Shadowhunters’ aired its first episode 12th January 2016. It starred Dominic Sherwood and Katherine McNamara.

Previous post: [Television Show Review: Shadowhunters]


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