5-Minute Book Club: City of Bones

February 3, 2010

Introducing  the 5-Minute Book Club. On the first Thursday of every month, we’ll pick a YA or MG book and  share our quick, five-minute thoughts. And we want you to play along. Read that month’s book? Leave a comment or send a tweet letting us know what you thought.

Ready? On to February!

From the Publisher

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. Clary knows she should call the police, but it’s hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.

What OPWFT Thought


Never having read any of C. Clare’s HP fanfic, I wasn’t sure what to expect. And I’ve got one word for you: snarkalicious. While many might love the lush descriptions Clire uses, or the twisty turny plot with a big side of WTFery, I enjoyed this book mostly for it’s scrumptious snark between all the characters, especially Clary and Jace.

For some reason, I just can’t resist lines like:

Jace: “I said his poetry was terrible. It sounds like he ate a dictionary and started vomiting up words at random.”


“That might be handy, an extra pair of arms,” Jace said. “Handy in a fight.”
“Not if they’re growing out of your…” Dorothea paused and smiled at him, not without malice. “Neck.”
“Yikes,” said Jace mildly.

Plus, tons of imagination and world-building in this one (made all the better by the quick-witted dialogue. Have I mentioned that I like snark?)


With it’s non-stop action, a twist readers never see coming and humorous dialogue, City of Bones left me rushing out to find City of Ashes. The Mortal Instruments Series is fast paced and enjoyable reading. Simon is one of the sweetest characters I’ve read in a while and I couldn’t help but root for his place in the love triangle, or should I say square, and at the same time not want him to succeed.


Ah Cassandra Clare. Who else could have had legions of geeks using the phrase “leather pants” as one bizarre adjective and muttering “Still not King” when the coffee machine refuses to work? And she accomplished it before City of Bones was even whispered about in internet circles. Fans of Clare’s wit and snark will find much to enjoy and amuse (look for a sly fashion nod to The Very Secret Diaries). On the character front, Alec was brilliant and refreshing (and his love for Jace was completely heartbreaking) while Luke Garroway was completely crush-worthy (at least for this non-teen).


For me, I really enjoyed the twists and turns. Just when you thought one issue was solved, you started down another twisty plot turn. Another part I enjoyed was how she incorporated all types of fantasy creatures. You had werewolves, vampires, angels, demons, etc. It was great having all those different types featured in one story and seeing how they interacted with one another. The “glamour” aspect was also very interesting that you could have a really dilapidated building that was actually some beautiful architecture just in disguise. I did enjoy the different type of love triangle with Alec’s feeling for Jace, and that how even in their world, he wasn’t free to be open about his sexuality.

So that’s what we though. Now it’s your turn. What did you think of City of Bones?

P.S. – Check back next month when we dish our thoughts on The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1) by Rick Riordan.



  1. Cool ideas, guys! (And nice banner, Kath!)

    • lol recognized the boots?

  2. City of Bones was a great start to the Mortal Instruments trilogy. Clare writes the type of characters one can’t help but get attached to. I especially love Magnus Bane and his snarkiness, with a secret side of softness. Jace is the ultimate bad boy we all love and Clary isn’t a weak simpering girl just looking for protection. She’s a strong and loyal character.
    I loved that while it had the elements that are so hot in YA these days (vampires, demons, werewolves, etc.) it wasn’t done in a way where you felt you had heard/read this story before. I’d highly recommend the whole series and I can’t wait until the prequel comes out!

    On another note, I can’t wait for next month! I absolutely adored the whole Percy Jackson series!

    • Magnus Bane was pretty darn awesome. I think I could happily read a series just focused on him.

      • It would be awesome to see how he’s come into power, how he got his position, etc. He is quite old after all. Maybe we’ll find out more about him in The Infernal Devices. If not, maybe we can mention to Cassie how we’d love to hear his story. 🙂

      • Is it wrong that I want him on a t-shirt?

        Sorry. Completely random thought.

      • wrong? of course not! but it’d have to be a sparkly shirt 😉

      • Also, I think, purple.

  3. City of Bones is a very fun read. Clare does an excellent job with most of her characters (never been a Clary fan). I admit, I thought the plot twists were fairly predictable and was able to call them pretty quickly. I thought is was overly descriptive at times, and think Clare’s writing definitely tightens up as the series goes on. This one’s definitely worth it to continue on in the series.

    Isabel is a kickass heroine for the ages.

    • I’m sort of indifferent to Clary. I don’t mind her, but I did find that other characters pulled at my attention a bit more.

      So far, I’ve just read the first book so it will be interesting to see how she develops.

  4. I read this quite a while back so I’m not sure if I remember all of the plot twists and stuff. I did enjoy it, and went on to get #2, but not enough to buy a hardcover of #3. I agree with the overly descriptive phrases – it was a bit too much. But I loved the snarky quips and dialogue.

    • The dialogue was definitely the strongest point for me. I’d love to see what a TV show or a movie written by Clare would be like. Her dialogue style just seems like it would lend itself very well to those other mediums (in addition to prose).

      Interestingly enough, I made a similar comment to one of the OPWFTers recently.

  5. I read CoB about six months ago. CoA has been sitting next to my bed since Christmas. I still haven’t picked it up. Honestly I’m still not sure if I want to fangirl squeal over CoB or throw it out the window.

    The plot twists and turns honestly gave me whiplash. Just as I was getting accustomed to one thing she threw me through a loop. If I’d owned the book, Jace’s father would’ve made me throw it against the wall. And I don’t do that to books often.

    However, I love her characters — Jace is my favorite — and voice, and I will get around to reading CoA. Eventually.

    • It was twisty and curvy but they were familiar sorts of twists and turns — if that makes any sense. I actually haven’t picked up CoA yet, though it’s definitely on my list.- Kathleen

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