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4.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
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. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know… 

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

My Review
I’ll admit I’m late to the Mortal Instruments party. My daughter carries the books around and reads them whenever she has a spare moment. I finally got around to picking up the first one and began reading. It probably took until the third chapter for me to reach the point that I wanted to sneak read a page or two whenever I had a spare moment. But once I was immersed into the story, I was there. Completely.

Clary Fray lives a relatively normal life in New York City with her mom and her best friend Simon. When she witnesses a crime and is thrown into a hidden world she didn’t know existed, she’s suddenly hanging out with Shadowhunters, vampires, and werewolves. Nothing in her life will ever be normal again.

Plot
Once the story gets going, the plot moves and because Cassandra Clare’s world is of her own making, nothing is guaranteed or predictable. I think that’s what I love most about the story. Even when I thought I had things figured out, Cassandra Clare turned the hourglass and the sand began pouring in the other direction. Once I hit the midway point in the story, things took off and never slowed down until I crossed the finish line, broken and exhausted, and ready to pick up the second book in the series.

Characters
I absolutely love the characters in this story. Clary is awesome — everything from her fierce need to protect her mother to the way she doesn’t let Shadowhunter Jace get under her skin. She’s really complex for a teen girl, which only makes me love her more.

Jace is fascinating and none of that would change if he wasn’t amazingly hot. What I love about him is how damaged he is, but how he doesn’t let that keep him down. Instead he uses it to fuel what he believes is his purpose in life.

But I think it is Simon that I love the most. There is something so incredibly endearing about him. He’s the loyal best friend, the pining love interest, and the bravest of them all.

Bottom Line
City of Bones is a fantastic story that brings together so many delicious elements, it’s hard to classify it as just another young adult paranormal. It has elements of fantasy, it’s a ripping good adventure, a sweet romance, and a story of friendship, love, loss, and family.

Title: City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Pages: 503
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Category: Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble