Cassandra Clare

City of Bones {& Shadowhunters}

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book 1)

Author: Cassandra Clare | Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

I really wanted to like City of Bones. I swear, I tried! I’ve read so many great reviews of this series, so many people seem to love it, that I really thought there must be something in it. Maybe it’s because I watched the movie first, or perhaps I’m just too old to appreciate it… But City of Bones was a firm DNF.

The premise was good: girl discovers a whole secret underworld, plot to overthrow the order of things, fights evil, magic prevails yadda yadda… I’ll buy into that.

The problem, for me, was in the execution. It felt very juvenile, very “tell” rather than “show”, and I just found my interest wavering. If I can’t invest in the characters, the worldbuilding, I’m not sure why I’m reading the book? It felt, for me, like a lot of self-published fantasy which is written in the third person. It had promise, but it needed a good edit. It wasn’t well developed.

I think, also, as a woman in her 30s, I don’t have any particular interest in reading about the lives of teenagers. I find teenagers a bit… Silly, I suppose. And the characters in City of Bones were no exception. There was a lot of drama and door slamming, for no real reason.

Honestly, if I was 20-years younger, none of this would have been an issue. I can see why the premise and the world Cassandra Clare has created appeals to people – I probably would have loved it too, if I was a few years younger! But, sadly, I am not… And I just don’t think this series is for me.

1 out of 5 Archimedes

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Watching this movie has put me off reading the book. I’ve done things the bad way round… Though, if the movie is a true representation of the book, then it’s going to get a hard DNF because the movie was TERRIBLE!

So, ok, it wasn’t the absolute worst thing ever… I exaggerate. It had its plus points. The story was fine, quite tense and dramatic, lots of twists. The use of magic and all the backstory was fun. The character development was pretty good, and the characters were reasonably interesting. The cinematography, what little I know of such things, wasn’t too awful. I mean, the CGI left something to be desired, it felt cheap, but the actual filming of it seemed… fine. The camera was pointed at the right people and there was clearly some lighting…? I mean, what more can you ask for?

I think the point where they lost me was when the dark-haired girl kissed the guy with the face like Macauley Caulkin after a heavy night, and then they get to her bedroom door and her friend is in her room. The face guy is all “but what about our love… (sob sob)”. Firstly, you kissed, you’ve known each 10-minutes, you didn’t make a baby, you’ll get over it… And, secondly, why is no-one talking about the creepiness of just hanging around a girl’s bedroom, riffling through her sketch pads and whatnot? Like oh, you’re my friend, so that’s fine? I don’t think so…

The cheesiness was just too much for me. I stuck it till the end, but I cringed. A lot.

Maybe I should have gone with the TV series?

2 out of 5 Archimedes

3 thoughts on “City of Bones {& Shadowhunters}”

  1. I found the exact same thing reading these books! I read them (at least the first three) when I was about 20, and already they felt pretty juvenile to me. I liked the world, but the characters and plot were not interesting to me. I know I lot of people hate the movie, but it does have its moments (unlike the books). I haven’t seen the TV show, but I saw some clips and it looked worse than the books, so I stayed away from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh good! I thought maybe it was just me… the movie wasn’t the best, but I did watch it all the way to the end, so it wasnt that bad. I’m going to give the TV series a go, I think… maybe… haha

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, the tv show is even more cheesy than the movie. There were bits that were better, but I couldn’t finish it- it was so bad. I don’t blame you for not wanting to read this- to be honest, if I hadn’t read this when I was younger, I wouldn’t want to read it at all. I’ve found the older I get the less I’m interested in these books. And there’s definitely too much telling in these books. Really well done reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

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