City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare: A reread review plus film rant!

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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. . . .

When I first read this last year I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, or as much as other people expected me to. I didn’t dislike it, but I just wasn’t completely captivated by it. I enjoyed it enough to read the second book but I got distracted by a million other books after that and didn’t continue the series.

This time round however, I enjoyed it more. I forgot how funny Jace was (I found myself having a LOL frequently) and Clary didn’t annoy me as much, although it does still piss me off that she goes on and on about how much she loves Simon (as a friend of course) but always seems to forget he even exists or care how much danger she’s gotten him into.

I was impressed that Cassandra Clare’s story is based in our normal world but she’s created a whole new world within that, rich and complex and with its own history and by the end of the book we have one foot firmly in each side just like Clary does.

I also liked how religion and sexuality were portrayed in a ‘real’ and frank way. Clary questions Jace’s beliefs suggesting that if he believes in demons then he must believe in God.

“I’ve been killing demons for a third of my life. I must have sent five hundred of them back to whatever hellish dimension they crawled out of. And in all that time I’ve never seen an angel. Never even heard of anyone who has.”

My father believed in a righteous God…And when I saw him lying dead in a pool of his own blood, I knew then that I hadn’t stopped believing in God. I’d just stopped believing God cared. There might be a God Clary, and there might not, but I don’t think it matters. Either way, we’re on our own”

It’s clear to Clary that Alec is in love with Jace and I liked the fact that no one has an issue with it but they worry about the reaction from ‘the elders’ which definitely reflects our society at the moment. Naturally, the Jace/Alec bromance/unrequited attraction was hot!

Howwwwwever, the chapters dragged for me and seemed way too long than was necessary. I think it could have done with another edit to cut out some of the filler. And what is it with YA novels where the female protagonists are just so dumb when it comes to romance??? It’s like writers are scared of having a character who can admit to themselves that someone fancies them, as if we’ll think they’re vain or arrogant or something. They’re all like, ohmygod, why is he looking at me like that, he must hate me. Or, ohmygod he couldn’t possibly like me even though everything he has ever said or done has proved that he does.

None of it had been real anyway. Jace might be an exceptional kisser but he didn’t care about her at all. He’d said as much.”

Arrgh.

But other than that, I’m glad I gave this another go and will hopefully continue with the series at some point.

AND NOW FOR THE INEVITABLE FILM RANT ***MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD – 1ST BOOK ONLY****

Oh, where to start.

1. Never before have 3 hot men been made to look so unattractive. Whyyyyy? Jonathan Rhys Meyers is hot. Jamie Campbell Bower is hot. Robert Sheehan is hot. In City of Bones they look like this:
tmi-trailer-2-forweb-cropped-341mortal_instruments_jonathan_rhys_meyer

robertsheehan

Not very hot.

2. The whole Simon not being turned into a rat thing: Isabelle was supposed to be much more of a bitch than she was in the film and was supposed to let Simon drink the blue drink that turns him into a rat. I don’t have an issue about him not becoming a rat, but why include the drink in that case? In this version someone spikes Simon’s drink and Isabelle tries to stop him drinking it. She fails…but it doesn’t do anything to him anyway. Pointless.

3. The vampire fight scene in the hotel was awesome but why does Simon say they kidnapped him to get the cup…why do they want the cup??? They were just trying to get revenge for them ruining their vampire motorbikes…which don’t exist in this version. Tenuous.

4. Magnus Bane…really? I was picturing a flamboyant, hot version of Elton John but we get this:
Godfreymagnus

5. Jace’s quips and sarcasm just didn’t translate. I’m assured that Jamie Campbell Bowers .. is a good actor but he was just wooden and flat.

6. The whole last 40 minutes or so just went batshit. Did they lose the script? What was Hodge doing? Why are we told that Valentine is just going to lie about Jace being his son – we’re all supposed to think it’s the truth the whole time- and why would Jace even believe him? He gave him no reason to. Plus how/why has Clary ended up with the Mortal Cup…Valentine is supposed to have it…therefore I have no idea what they’ll do for the next film….oh there’s not going to be a next film because this one did so badly. RAGE.

7. The kiss was pretty hot.

8. There was no homoerotic bromance going on between Alec & Jace. Which made me sad.

I’m sure I could go on but I won’t. I didn’t hate it, which is a feat. The action was good but it was way too long and lost its way towards the end. It provided me and Dora (Hi Dora – please add your additions below!) with many laughs however. All for the wrong reasons of course.

Here Endeth the Rant.

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14 thoughts on “City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare: A reread review plus film rant!

  1. I enjoyed the film but I haven’t read the book since it was first published so maybe that played a big part of my enjoyment. My sister reread right before we saw it and she was annoyed!

    I felt the same way about the ending though, it was crazy and fun but totally not what I remembered from the book. I loved Lena Headey as Clary’s mum!

  2. Rereading right before seeing the film is probably a really bad idea, but my memory is terrible and I like to know what they’ve changed. Definitely adds to the rage though. I liked Lena Headey too, she’s great in everything, damn her!

  3. Couldn’t join in the ranting earlier as was busy at work.
    Obviously I agree with everything you said – so much wasted hotness! 😦
    Other points:
    1. Serious red hair envy!
    2. There was not enough depth to the characters. In the book you know what they’re like and how they’re feeling – in the film everyone was all over the place.
    3. Jace’s annoying habit of saying: ‘Remember what I said?’ and then quoting something he never said in the film!
    4. Basically cutting out lots of the book and instead putting some random stuff in and still making it really long.
    OK, think I’m done for now…

    • Yes, yes yes!
      ‘3. Jace’s annoying habit of saying: ‘Remember what I said?’ and then quoting something he never said in the film!’ Hahahahaa how did I forget about that one. So funny!!! AND I’VE JUST REMEMBERED ABOUT BACH. Bach was a Shadowhunter, didn’t you know!? Where the hell did that come from!

  4. I thought Jamie looked SO HOT as Jace. I’m really hesitant to even read the books because I loved the movie so much (minus the cheesy music and awful romance). I thought Lily did an awesome job playing a strong female but I do wish Jace and Alec had more scenes together. I thought Alec would be in it more.

    • Yeah Alec def needed to be in it more, him and Jace hardly spoke and they’re supposed to be inseparable. I thought there was something odd about Jamie’s face…maybe it was the lighting, but he looked a bit gaunt and harsh. Did not like! I agree about Lily though, she was really good.

  5. I think I’ll read the book first then. I’ve been toying with going to see the film but am fairly apathetic about it.
    And I’m upset on your behalf about Magnus Bane. If you were imagining a flamboyant, hot version of Elton John then anything would be disapointing.

    • I know, right!!? The film is probably decent enough in its own right so if you’re not bothered about reading the books I’d go see it. But, I wouldn’t see the film before reading the first book, I think it would probably ruin it.

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  7. Interesting review! I agree on some many points but I’ve come to accept that movies hardly ever reflect the books they are supposed to be based on. Still, it was fun with all the action.

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