I read City Of Bones when I was 17 or so and I really didn't like it then - let's just say that that dislike has really changed now...I loved it this time!
Clary, the lead female character of this series has been blind to the otherworld of this book since she was born because her mother didn't want her to see it. Clary and her friend, Simon go to a club and there she sees a creature that shouldn't exist within this world.
That's where the story really begins and where the shadowhunters come into the story. Led by Jace, someone whom Clary feels a connection with, the shadowhunters are people who rid the world of evil creatures.
Minor spoilers below...
Clary goes with the shadowhunters to their headquarters (a church that becomes the New York shadowhunter institute). There she gets to know Jace, Alec and Isabelle - the shadowhunters. She also meets Hodge, the leader of the institute. Hodge explains the world of the shadowhunters a little bit. I found this helpful. The information given surprisingly wasn't overwhelming (at least to me). The information is interspersed within the book so it's not given in one big heap. If this had been the case I don't think I would have liked this book. From there on in the story gets pretty crazy, really quickly. We learn the history of the shadowhunters and we get to visit certain settings. Like the City Of Bones in this book. I enjoyed this. It showed that the author cares to get in every single detail she can. Although it was crazy, it was still written really well.
Sometimes in books there are situations where there are a couple of people who do exactly the same thing, being the funny ones, or the serious ones for example. Here, each character brought something different to the book. Clary for example is always careful about how she does things. She thinks before she jumps in, whereas Isabelle is the badass character who doesn't care how she does something as long as it gets done in City Of Bones at least. The main male characters each had something to add to the story, as well as the few side characters.
City Of Bones isn't overrun by lots of different characters. I appreciated this as it gets annoying when a character isn't really explored for the sake of another character. There are a few characters who start out as what we think are good characters but change to being evil at some point. These moments were exciting to read.
The settings are described really well. I felt like I was in the story with the characters, which is what everyone wants while reading I think.
There is one chapter that's told in first person because the author I think wanted to add something different to the story. This happens near the end when a character is telling Clary what happened in the past. The rest of the book is told in 3rd person. I didn't like this fact when I read it the first time but now, reading it again I think it's an easier way for the reader to see each character's emotions instead of just the one you're reading from.
The romance wasn't really amazing in this book, although there was some flirting between Clary and Jace as well as a little bit between Isabelle and Simon. Because of a major spoiler I don't want to write what happens between one of the couples but it's pretty shocking. I'm hoping for more romance in later books but we'll have to see...
I'm giving City Of Bones 5 stars because it really outshone other books that I've rated highly on this blog. It was filled with comic moments, loving moments as well as shocking moments. The last section of the book took some great twists that I had forgotten since the first time
I read it...I look forward to picking up City Of Ashes (book 2) next...