City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Series #1)

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Overview

Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, now a major motion picture. Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

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 ...

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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Series #1)

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Overview

Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, now a major motion picture. Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

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.

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  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - Trailer
    The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - Trailer  

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
“Prepare to be hooked.”
EXTRA
Wildly popular…think Twilight on steroids.”
From the Publisher
"Funny, dark, and sexy. One of my favorite books." — Holly Black

"City of Bones has everything: vampires, werewolves, faeries, true love, and stuff that blows up. What's more, Clare's characters are brilliant — she better not kill any of them off in the next two volumes!" — Justine Larbalestier, author of Magic or Madness

Publishers Weekly

This Buffy-esque YA novel does not translate well to the audio medium, and part of the problem lies in the story's pacing. Teenager Clary discovers she can see supernatural beings that no one else can, gets drawn into the world of the "Shadowhunters" (teens who kill demons and monsters) and learns that her mother is somehow mysteriously connected to all the strange happenings around her. As a result, a good chunk of the novel consists of long explanatory passages, as various characters fill Clary in on supernatural creatures, the history and rules of the Shadowhunters and her mother's entanglements-all of which come across as tedious lectures. In addition, narrator Graynor makes almost no attempt to differentiate the various teen characters' voices. Only the minor character Dorothea, played as a faux witch with a gravelly New York accent, is memorable. Graynor also frequently ignores the author's explicit textual directives, such as "[Simon] came back, sounding worried" or "The tone of arrogant superiority was back in [Jace's] voice," for her performance, making this a program with an intriguing premise and cast but disappointing execution. Ages 14-up. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Sara Squires
Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray visits her favorite New York City night club late one evening and watches attractive teenagers follow a blue-haired boy into a storage room. Next thing Clary knows, the boy is dead and the body disappears. Clary is not your typical mundie-she can see Shadowhunters and the demons that they hunt. Clary's mother is kidnapped, their home is ransacked, and Clary kills an evil Ravener in her home. She is then temporarily adopted into the Shadowhunter clan and begins to learn their ways. For some reason, Clary has the Sight and must use her powers and her new friends to find and rescue her mother. Along the way, she is burdened by the love of her best friend, Simon, and the complicated feelings she has towards Jace, a Shadowhunter. This fast-paced fantastic thriller will keep readers on the edge of their seats. It includes everything from werewolves and mind-sucking librarians to vampires and a brother unknowingly kissing his sister-just what teenagers love to read. Clary is an independent, saucy female character who adapts to her newfound powers easily and thinks nothing of throwing a weapon at a werewolf. The dialogue is awkward at times, leading to the 3Q rating. Clary makes some trite remarks that interrupt the narrative flow. The author is in a writing group with Holly Black, author of dark fantasies similar to this one.
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up Vampires, werewolves, and creatures of every eerie stripe are lurking all over New York, as Cassandra Clare's City of Bones (S & S/Margaret McElderry Books, 2007) begins "The Mortal Instruments" trilogy. Clary Fray, 15, knows something's strange when she sees a punk rocker demon destroyed by Jace, Alec, and Isabelle. What's more, her friend Simon can't see any of the rune tattooed trio. It turns out that the three powerful teens are Shadowhunters, a race of warriors. Clary's mother has hidden her own connection to these magical marauders, but the teen's blocked memory is gradually returning. When her mother disappears and Clary is attacked by a monstrous insect predator, the girl is rescued by Jace and they retreat to safety at The Institute. Drawn into the quest for the Mortal Cup, Clary gets embroiled in numerous bloody encounters and betrayals as she uncovers the truth about her father, her family, and the forces stalking her. A romantic attachment to Jace and questions about her relationship with Simon add to her turmoil. Though a family friend in an unexpected guise helps her save her mother, the cliffhanging conclusion leaves plenty of room for new conflicts. Narrator Ari Graymor is suitably ironic and dramatic as the text demands. With a female protagonist and horror movie levels of gore, the novel will appeal to guys and girls who like their fantasy sometimes fast paced and often gruesome. A good choice for extensive fantasy collections, but an additional purchase for smaller public and high school libraries.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416955078
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 2/19/2008
  • Series: Mortal Instruments Series , #1
  • Edition description: Repackage
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 9,494
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare is the author of the #1 New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Mortal Instruments series, the Infernal Devices trilogy, and the Bane Chronicles. Her books have more than 35 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Cassandra lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at CassandraClare.com. Learn more about the world of the Shadowhunters at Shadowhunters.com.

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Read an Excerpt

One

PANDEMONIUM

"You've got to be kidding me," the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest. He stared down at the boy in the red zip-up jacket and shook his shaved head. "You can't bring that thing in here."

The fifty or so teenagers in line outside the Pandemonium Club leaned forward to eavesdrop. It was a long wait to get into the all-ages club, especially on a Sunday, and not much generally happened in line. The bouncers were fierce and would come down instantly on anyone who looked like they were going to start trouble. Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray, standing in line with her best friend, Simon, leaned forward along with everyone else, hoping for some excitement.

"Aw, come on." The kid hoisted the thing up over his head. It looked like a wooden beam, pointed at one end. "It's part of my costume."

The bouncer raised an eyebrow. "Which is what?"

The boy grinned. He was normal-enough-looking, Clary thought, for Pandemonium. He had electric blue dyed hair that stuck up around his head like the tendrils of a startled octopus, but no elaborate facial tattoos or big metal bars through his ears or lips. "I'm a vampire hunter." He pushed down on the wooden thing. It bent as easily as a blade of grass bending sideways. "It's fake. Foam rubber. See?"

The boy's wide eyes were way too bright a green, Clary noticed: the color of antifreeze, spring grass. Colored contact lenses, probably. The bouncer shrugged, abruptly bored. "Whatever. Go on in."

The boy slid past him, quick as an eel. Clary liked the lilt to his shoulders, the way he tossed his hair as he went. There was a word for him that her mother would have used — insouciant.

"You thought he was cute," said Simon, sounding resigned. "Didn't you?"

Clary dug her elbow into his ribs, but didn't answer.

Inside, the club was full of dry-ice smoke. Colored lights played over the dance floor, turning it into a multicolored fairyland of blues and acid greens, hot pinks and golds.

The boy in the red jacket stroked the long razor-sharp blade in his hands, an idle smile playing over his lips. It had been so easy — a little bit of a glamour on the blade, to make it look harmless. Another glamour on his eyes, and the moment the bouncer had looked straight at him, he was in. Of course, he could probably have gotten by without all that trouble, but it was part of the fun — fooling the mundies, doing it all out in the open right in front of them, getting off on the blank looks on their sheeplike faces.

Not that the humans didn't have their uses. The boy's green eyes scanned the dance floor, where slender limbs clad in scraps of silk and black leather appeared and disappeared inside the revolving columns of smoke as the mundies danced. Girls tossed their long hair, boys swung their leather-clad hips, and bare skin glittered with sweat. Vitality just poured off them, waves of energy that filled him with a drunken dizziness. His lip curled. They didn't know how lucky they were. They didn't know what it was like to eke out life in a dead world, where the sun hung limp in the sky like a burned cinder. Their lives burned as brightly as candle flames — and were as easy to snuff out.

His hand tightened on the blade he carried, and he had begun to step out onto the dance floor when a girl broke away from the mass of dancers and began walking toward him. He stared at her. She was beautiful, for a human — long hair nearly the precise color of black ink, charcoaled eyes. Floor-length white gown, the kind women used to wear when this world was younger. Lace sleeves belled out around her slim arms. Around her neck was a thick silver chain, on which hung a dark red pendant the size of a baby's fist. He only had to narrow his eyes to know that it was real — real and precious. His mouth started to water as she neared him. Vital energy pulsed from her like blood from an open wound. She smiled, passing him, beckoning with her eyes. He turned to follow her, tasting the phantom sizzle of her death on his lips.

It was always easy. He could already feel the power of her evaporating life coursing through his veins like fire. Humans were so stupid. They had something so precious, and they barely safeguarded it at all. They threw away their lives for money, for packets of powder, for a stranger's charming smile. The girl was a pale ghost retreating through the colored smoke. She reached the wall and turned, bunching her skirt up in her hands, lifting it as she grinned at him. Under the skirt, she was wearing thigh-high boots.

He sauntered up to her, his skin prickling with her nearness. Up close she wasn't so perfect: He could see the mascara smudged under her eyes, the sweat sticking her hair to her neck. He could smell her mortality, the sweet rot of corruption. Got you, he thought.

A cool smile curled her lips. She moved to the side, and he could see that she was leaning against a closed door. no admittance — storage was scrawled across it in red paint. She reached behind her for the knob, turned it, slid inside. He caught a glimpse of stacked boxes, tangled wiring. A storage room. He glanced behind him — no one was looking. So much the better if she wanted privacy.

He slipped into the room after her, unaware that he was being followed.

"So," Simon said, "pretty good music, eh?"

Clary didn't reply. They were dancing, or what passed for it — a lot of swaying back and forth with occasional lunges toward the floor as if one of them had dropped a contact lens — in a space between a group of teenage boys in metallic corsets, and a young Asian couple who were making out passionately, their colored hair extensions tangled together like vines. A boy with a lip piercing and a teddy bear backpack was handing out free tablets of herbal ecstasy, his parachute pants flapping in the breeze from the wind machine. Clary wasn't paying much attention to their immediate surroundings — her eyes were on the blue-haired boy who'd talked his way into the club. He was prowling through the crowd as if he were looking for something. There was something about the way he moved that reminded her of something...

"I, for one," Simon went on, "am enjoying myself immensely."

This seemed unlikely. Simon, as always, stuck out at the club like a sore thumb, in jeans and an old T-shirt that said made in brooklyn across the front. His freshly scrubbed hair was dark brown instead of green or pink, and his glasses perched crookedly on the end of his nose. He looked less as if he were contemplating the powers of darkness and more as if he were on his way to chess club.

"Mmm-hmm." Clary knew perfectly well that he came to Pandemonium with her only because she liked it, that he thought it was boring. She wasn't even sure why it was that she liked it — the clothes, the music made it like a dream, someone else's life, not her boring real life at all. But she was always too shy to talk to anyone but Simon.

The blue-haired boy was making his way off the dance floor. He looked a little lost, as if he hadn't found whom he was looking for. Clary wondered what would happen if she went up and introduced herself, offered to show him around. Maybe he'd just stare at her. Or maybe he was shy too. Maybe he'd be grateful and pleased, and try not to show it, the way boys did — but she'd know. Maybe —

The blue-haired boy straightened up suddenly, snapping to attention, like a hunting dog on point. Clary followed the line of his gaze, and saw the girl in the white dress.

Oh, well, Clary thought, trying not to feel like a deflated party balloon. I guess that's that. The girl was gorgeous, the kind of girl Clary would have liked to draw — tall and ribbon-slim, with a long spill of black hair. Even at this distance Clary could see the red pendant around her throat. It pulsed under the lights of the dance floor like a separate, disembodied heart.

"I feel," Simon went on, "that this evening DJ Bat is doing a singularly exceptional job. Don't you agree?"

Clary rolled her eyes and didn't answer; Simon hated trance music. Her attention was on the girl in the white dress. Through the darkness, smoke, and artificial fog, her pale dress shone out like a beacon. No wonder the blue-haired boy was following her as if he were under a spell, too distracted to notice anything else around him — even the two dark shapes hard on his heels, weaving after him through the crowd.

Clary slowed her dancing and stared. She could just make out that the shapes were boys, tall and wearing black clothes. She couldn't have said how she knew that they were following the other boy, but she did. She could see it in the way they paced him, their careful watchfulness, the slinking grace of their movements. A small flower of apprehension began to open inside her chest.

"Meanwhile," Simon added, "I wanted to tell you that lately I've been cross-dressing. Also, I'm sleeping with your mom. I thought you should know."

The girl had reached the wall, and was opening a door marked no admittance. She beckoned the blue-haired boy after her, and they slipped through the door. It wasn't anything Clary hadn't seen before, a couple sneaking off to the dark corners of the club to make out — but that made it even weirder that they were being followed.

She raised herself up on tiptoe, trying to see over the crowd. The two guys had stopped at the door and seemed to be conferring with each other. One of them was blond, the other dark-haired. The blond one reached into his jacket and drew out something long and sharp that flashed under the strobing lights. A knife. "Simon!" Clary shouted, and seized his arm.

"What?" Simon looked alarmed. "I'm not really sleeping with your mom, you know. I was just trying to get your attention. Not that your mom isn't a very attractive woman, for her age."

"Do you see those guys?" She pointed wildly, almost hitting a curvy black girl who was dancing nearby. The girl shot her an evil look. "Sorry — sorry!" Clary turned back to Simon. "Do you see those two guys over there? By that door?"

Simon squinted, then shrugged. "I don't see anything."

"There are two of them. They were following the guy with the blue hair — "

"The one you thought was cute?"

"Yes, but that's not the point. The blond one pulled a knife."

"Are you sure?" Simon stared harder, shaking his head. "I still don't see anyone."

"I'm sure."

Suddenly all business, Simon squared his shoulders. "I'll get one of the security guards. You stay here." He strode away, pushing through the crowd.

Clary turned just in time to see the blond boy slip through the no admittance door, his friend right on his heels. She looked around; Simon was still trying to shove his way across the dance floor, but he wasn't making much progress. Even if she yelled now, no one would hear her, and by the time Simon got back, something terrible might already have happened. Biting hard on her lower lip, Clary started to wriggle through the crowd.

"What's your name?"

She turned and smiled. What faint light there was in the storage room spilled down through high barred windows smeared with dirt. Piles of electrical cables, along with broken bits of mirrored disco balls and discarded paint cans littered the floor.

"Isabelle."

"That's a nice name." He walked toward her, stepping carefully among the wires in case any of them were live. In the faint light she looked half-transparent, bleached of color, wrapped in white like an angel. It would be a pleasure to make her fall...."I haven't seen you here before."

"You're asking me if I come here often?" She giggled, covering her mouth with her hand. There was some sort of bracelet around her wrist, just under the cuff of her dress — then, as he neared her, he saw that it wasn't a bracelet at all but a pattern inked into her skin, a matrix of swirling lines.

He froze. "You — "

He didn't finish. She moved with lightning swiftness, striking out at him with her open hand, a blow to his chest that would have sent him down gasping if he'd been a human being. He staggered back, and now there was something in her hand, a coiling whip that glinted gold as she brought it down, curling around his ankles, jerking him off his feet. He hit the ground, writhing, the hated metal biting deep into his skin. She laughed, standing over him, and dizzily he thought that he should have known. No human girl would wear a dress like the one Isabelle wore. She'd worn it to cover her skin — all of her skin.

Isabelle yanked hard on the whip, securing it. Her smile glittered like poisonous water. "He's all yours, boys."

A low laugh sounded behind him, and now there were hands on him, hauling him upright, throwing him against one of the concrete pillars. He could feel the damp stone under his back. His hands were pulled behind him, his wrists bound with wire. As he struggled, someone walked around the side of the pillar into his view: a boy, as young as Isabelle and just as pretty. His tawny eyes glittered like chips of amber. "So," the boy said. "Are there any more with you?"

The blue-haired boy could feel blood welling up under the too-tight metal, making his wrists slippery. "Any other what?"

"Come on now." The tawny-eyed boy held up his hands, and his dark sleeves slipped down, showing the runes inked all over his wrists, the backs of his hands, his palms. "You know what I am."

Far back inside his skull, the shackled boy's second set of teeth began to grind.

"Shadowhunter," he hissed.

The other boy grinned all over his face. "Got you," he said.

Clary pushed the door to the storage room open, and stepped inside. For a moment she thought it was deserted. The only windows were high up and barred; faint street noise came through them, the sound of honking cars and squealing brakes. The room smelled like old paint, and a heavy layer of dust covered the floor, marked by smeared shoe prints.

There's no one in here, she realized, looking around in bewilderment. It was cold in the room, despite the August heat outside. Her back was icy with sweat. She took a step forward, tangling her feet in electrical wires. She bent down to free her sneaker from the cables — and heard voices. A girl's laugh, a boy answering sharply. When she straightened up, she saw them.

It was as if they had sprung into existence between one blink of her eyes and the next. There was the girl in her long white dress, her black hair hanging down her back like damp seaweed. The two boys were with her — the tall one with black hair like hers, and the smaller, fair one, whose hair gleamed like brass in the dim light coming through the windows high above. The fair boy was standing with his hands in his pockets, facing the punk kid, who was tied to a pillar with what looked like piano wire, his hands stretched behind him, his legs bound at the ankles. His face was pulled tight with pain and fear.

Heart hammering in her chest, Clary ducked behind the nearest concrete pillar and peered around it. She watched as the fair-haired boy paced back and forth, his arms now crossed over his chest. "So," he said. "You still haven't told me if there are any other of your kind with you."

Your kind? Clary wondered what he was talking about. Maybe she'd stumbled into some kind of gang war.

"I don't know what you're talking about." The blue-haired boy's tone was pained but surly.

"He means other demons," said the dark-haired boy, speaking for the first time. "You do know what a demon is, don't you?"

The boy tied to the pillar turned his face away, his mouth working.

"Demons," drawled the blond boy, tracing the word on the air with his finger. "Religiously defined as hell's denizens, the servants of Satan, but understood here, for the purposes of the Clave, to be any malevolent spirit whose origin is outside our own home dimension — "

"That's enough, Jace," said the girl.

"Isabelle's right," agreed the taller boy. "Nobody here needs a lesson in semantics — or demonology."

They're crazy, Clary thought. Actually crazy.

Jace raised his head and smiled. There was something fierce about the gesture, something that reminded Clary of documentaries she'd watched about lions on the Discovery Channel, the way the big cats would raise their heads and sniff the air for prey. "Isabelle and Alec think I talk too much," he said, confidingly. "Do you think I talk too much?"

The blue-haired boy didn't reply. His mouth was still working. "I could give you information," he said. "I know where Valentine is."

Jace glanced back at Alec, who shrugged. "Valentine's in the ground," Jace said. "The thing's just toying with us."

Isabelle tossed her hair. "Kill it, Jace," she said. "It's not going to tell us anything."

Jace raised his hand, and Clary saw dim light spark off the knife he was holding. It was oddly translucent, the blade clear as crystal, sharp as a shard of glass, the hilt set with red stones.

The bound boy gasped. "Valentine is back!" he protested, dragging at the bonds that held his hands behind his back. "All the Infernal Worlds know it — I know it — I can tell you where he is — "

Rage flared suddenly in Jace's icy eyes. "By the Angel, every time we capture one of you bastards, you claim you know where Valentine is. Well, we know where he is too. He's in hell. And you — " Jace turned the knife in his grasp, the edge sparking like a line of fire. "You can join him there."

Clary could take no more. She stepped out from behind the pillar. "Stop!" she cried. "You can't do this."

Jace whirled, so startled that the knife flew from his hand and clattered against the concrete floor. Isabelle and Alec turned along with him, wearing identical expressions of astonishment. The blue-haired boy hung in his bonds, stunned and gaping.

It was Alec who spoke first. "What's this?" he demanded, looking from Clary to his companions, as if they might know what she was doing there.

"It's a girl," Jace said, recovering his composure. "Surely you've seen girls before, Alec. Your sister Isabelle is one." He took a step closer to Clary, squinting as if he couldn't quite believe what he was seeing. "A mundie girl," he said, half to himself. "And she can see us."

"Of course I can see you," Clary said. "I'm not blind, you know."

"Oh, but you are," said Jace, bending to pick up his knife. "You just don't know it." He straightened up. "You'd better get out of here, if you know what's good for you."

"I'm not going anywhere," Clary said. "If I do, you'll kill him." She pointed at the boy with the blue hair.

"That's true," admitted Jace, twirling the knife between his fingers. "What do you care if I kill him or not?"

"Be-because — ," Clary spluttered. "You can't just go around killing people."

"You're right," said Jace. "You can't go around killing people." He pointed at the boy with blue hair, whose eyes were slitted. Clary wondered if he'd fainted. "That's not a person, little girl. It may look like a person and talk like a person and maybe even bleed like a person. But it's a monster."

"Jace," said Isabelle warningly. "That's enough."

"You're crazy," Clary said, backing away from him. "I've called the police, you know. They'll be here any second."

"She's lying," said Alec, but there was doubt on his face. "Jace, do you — "

He never got to finish his sentence. At that moment the blue-haired boy, with a high, yowling cry, tore free of the restraints binding him to the pillar, and flung himself on Jace.

They fell to the ground and rolled together, the blue-haired boy tearing at Jace with hands that glittered as if tipped with metal. Clary backed up, wanting to run, but her feet caught on a loop of wiring and she went down, knocking the breath out of her chest. She could hear Isabelle shrieking. Rolling over, Clary saw the blue-haired boy sitting on Jace's chest. Blood gleamed at the tips of his razorlike claws.

Isabelle and Alec were running toward them, Isabelle brandishing a whip in her hand. The blue-haired boy slashed at Jace with claws extended. Jace threw an arm up to protect himself, and the claws raked it, splattering blood. The blue-haired boy lunged again — and Isabelle's whip came down across his back. He shrieked and fell to the side.

Swift as a flick of Isabelle's whip, Jace rolled over. There was a blade gleaming in his hand. He sank the knife into the blue-haired boy's chest. Blackish liquid exploded around the hilt. The boy arched off the floor, gurgling and twisting. With a grimace Jace stood up. His black shirt was blacker now in some places, wet with blood. He looked down at the twitching form at his feet, reached down, and yanked out the knife. The hilt was slick with black fluid.

The blue-haired boy's eyes flickered open. His eyes, fixed on Jace, seemed to burn. Between his teeth, he hissed, "So be it. The Forsaken will take you all."

Jace seemed to snarl. The boy's eyes rolled back. His body began to jerk and twitch as he crumpled, folding in on himself, growing smaller and smaller until he vanished entirely.

Clary scrambled to her feet, kicking free of the electrical wiring. She began to back away. None of them was paying attention to her. Alec had reached Jace and was holding his arm, pulling at the sleeve, probably trying to get a good look at the wound. Clary turned to run — and found her way blocked by Isabelle, whip in hand. The gold length of it was stained with dark fluid. She flicked it toward Clary, and the end wrapped itself around her wrist and jerked tight. Clary gasped with pain and surprise.

"Stupid little mundie," Isabelle said between her teeth. "You could have gotten Jace killed."

"He's crazy," Clary said, trying to pull her wrist back. The whip bit deeper into her skin. "You're all crazy. What do you think you are, vigilante killers? The police — "

"The police aren't usually interested unless you can produce a body," said Jace. Cradling his arm, he picked his way across the cable-strewn floor toward Clary. Alec followed behind him, face screwed into a scowl.

Clary glanced at the spot where the boy had disappeared from, and said nothing. There wasn't even a smear of blood there — nothing to show that the boy had ever existed.

"They return to their home dimensions when they die," said Jace. "In case you were wondering."

"Jace," Alec hissed. "Be careful."

Jace drew his arm away. A ghoulish freckling of blood marked his face. He still reminded her of a lion, with his wide-spaced, light-colored eyes, and that tawny gold hair. "She can see us, Alec," he said. "She already knows too much."

"So what do you want me to do with her?" Isabelle demanded.

"Let her go," Jace said quietly. Isabelle shot him a surprised, almost angry look, but didn't argue. The whip slithered away, freeing Clary's arm. She rubbed her sore wrist and wondered how the hell she was going to get out of there.

"Maybe we should bring her back with us," Alec said. "I bet Hodge would like to talk to her."

"No way are we bringing her to the Institute," said Isabelle. "She's a mundie."

"Or is she?" said Jace softly. His quiet tone was worse than Isabelle's snapping or Alec's anger. "Have you had dealings with demons, little girl? Walked with warlocks, talked with the Night Children? Have you — "

"My name is not 'little girl,'" Clary interrupted. "And I have no idea what you're talking about." Don't you? said a voice in the back of her head. You saw that boy vanish into thin air. Jace isn't crazy — you just wish he was. "I don't believe in — in demons, or whatever you — "

"Clary?" It was Simon's voice. She whirled around. He was standing by the storage room door. One of the burly bouncers who'd been stamping hands at the front door was next to him. "Are you okay?" He peered at her through the gloom. "Why are you in here by yourself? What happened to the guys — you know, the ones with the knives?"

Clary stared at him, then looked behind her, where Jace, Isabelle, and Alec stood, Jace still in his bloody shirt with the knife in his hand. He grinned at her and dropped a half-apologetic, half-mocking shrug. Clearly he wasn't surprised that neither Simon nor the bouncer could see them.

Somehow neither was Clary. Slowly she turned back to Simon, knowing how she must look to him, standing alone in a damp storage room, her feet tangled in bright plastic wiring cables. "I thought they went in here," she said lamely. "But I guess they didn't. I'm sorry." She glanced from Simon, whose expression was changing from worried to embarrassed, to the bouncer, who just looked annoyed. "It was a mistake."

Behind her, Isabelle giggled.

"I don't believe it," Simon said stubbornly as Clary, standing at the curb, tried desperately to hail a cab. Street cleaners had come down Orchard while they were inside the club, and the street was glossed black with oily water.

"I know," she agreed. "You'd think there'd be some cabs. Where is everyone going at midnight on a Sunday?" She turned back to him, shrugging. "You think we'd have better luck on Houston?"

"Not the cabs," Simon said. "You — I don't believe you. I don't believe those guys with the knives just disappeared."

Clary sighed. "Maybe there weren't any guys with knives, Simon. Maybe I just imagined the whole thing."

"No way." Simon raised his hand over his head, but the oncoming taxis whizzed by him, spraying dirty water. "I saw your face when I came into that storage room. You looked seriously freaked out, like you'd seen a ghost."

Clary thought of Jace with his lion-cat eyes. She glanced down at her wrist, braceleted by a thin red line where Isabelle's whip had curled. No, not a ghost, she thought. Something even weirder than that.

"It was just a mistake," she said wearily. She wondered why she wasn't telling him the truth. Except, of course, that he'd think she was crazy. And there was something about what had happened — something about the black blood bubbling up around Jace's knife, something about his voice when he'd said Have you talked with the Night Children? that she wanted to keep to herself.

"Well, it was a hell of an embarrassing mistake," Simon said. He glanced back at the club, where a thin line still snaked out the door and halfway down the block. "I doubt they'll ever let us back into Pandemonium."

"What do you care? You hate Pandemonium." Clary raised her hand again as a yellow shape sped toward them through the fog. This time, though, the taxi screeched to a halt at their corner, the driver laying into his horn as if he needed to get their attention.

"Finally we get lucky." Simon yanked the taxi door open and slid onto the plastic-covered backseat. Clary followed, inhaling the familiar New York cab smell of old cigarette smoke, leather, and hair spray. "We're going to Brooklyn," Simon said to the cabbie, and then he turned to Clary. "Look, you know you can tell me anything, right?"

Clary hesitated a moment, then nodded. "Sure, Simon," she said. "I know I can."

She slammed the cab door shut behind her, and the taxi took off into the night.

Copyright © 2007 by Cassandra Clare, LLC

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Average Rating 4.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 5582 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Some Good Advice for Twilight Lovers....Read It!!!!

    if your trying to decide to read this series or not...dont wait! trust me. the first few pages, i cant lie, i was feeling like i was playing catch up. it starts off in the middle of a night out on the town without really explaining much. but after only a few pages i got my bearings and learned who the characters were and how they were related to the main character. WARNING!!!...after you understand whats going on, you wont be able to stop. all types of events start to happen in Clary's life which will hav no choice but to lure you in with her! its not crazy-busy but also leaves no room for you to get bored...the perfect mix. :) everytime there wasnt action or almost unbearable suspense, i was soaked up in the lust and romance of Jace and Clary. although it is written in 3rd person, it is so easy to become the characters and be overwhelmed with their intense emotion. its sad for me to admitt, and i probably would hav beat myself up for even thinking this before i read this series, but the Mortal Instruments Series goes hand in hand with the Twilight saga...or probably even better. this is definitely for people who fell in love with Twilight and just cant seem to find a good enough book to fill its spot. And although the end of this book can be heartbreaking...dont give up on it!! it gets better and better with each sequel!!!!

    300 out of 319 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    104 out of 121 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Intense and compelling urban fantasy

    City of Bones is the first book in The Mortal Instruments trilogy for teens. It's an edgy urban fantasy with a roller-coaster plot, intricate and original world-building, and complex characters. Clare's combination of sarcastic humor and deep honesty makes for pitch-perfect dialogue and compelling character development. A must-read for teen fantasy buffs, this book should also be of interest to adult fans of urban fantasy. No surprise that the first two books in this series have already hit the New York Times Bestseller List-- This is some of the best stuff to hit the teen market in the last few years.

    89 out of 109 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my Favorites!!!

    This is definately one of my new favorite books. I couldn't put it down the whole time I was reading it. I know a lot of people are complaining about the ending but they need to grow up, its just a twist it doesn't mean anything. I will also say that anyone who enjoyed the Harry Potter series will love this even more. The characters are funny and sarcastic (which I love) and well developed. The book is worth the read abd you will not be dissapointed. Well for the most part. When you finish it though I highly recommend you read the next one because it hints at the end of it in contrast to the twist at the end of the first one. Or if you're too lazy for that just check out the website. Anyway back to the actual book. Its very thrilling and I have to say I thought the funniest character was Magnus. Jace and Simon were funny too but Magnus was funnier. The whole book is fast pace and full of twists. Some suprised me more than others. So, if you're into a book with lots of action, sarcastic characters, and plenty of twists trust me this book has it.

    56 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hm......

    So I work in a bookstore and I keep watching people buy this book left and right and actually had to try and calm a bunch of fangirls who thought 'City of Glass' came out the day before it's actual release date (Not a pretty picture). So I had to think that there was actually something to this series. I picked up the first book and read through it and I have to say.......meh. I was really disappointed with how it ended and I really have no draw to pick up the next book, mostly because I'm too miffed about it. I won't say anything to ruin it for anyone else but, all I know is that I really didn't care for it, but that is just my personal opinion, don't etch it in gold or anything.

    50 out of 130 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    Disappointing

    I was very disappointed with this book. The writing was very choppy and I felt that the characters were undeveloped. Clary is just a mess of contradictions, and the age of the characters really come out in the childish and overly emotional dialogue. The only person who seems solid in this book is Valentine, and that is because there is barely any dialogue with him in the book and the most description of his character is given. The plot developments had crude transitions and it seemed that with everything else in the book, more preparation, imagination and suspense could have been used. In the end, I never finished the book and got the cliff notes version to the rest of the series. Again, I was very disappointed.

    44 out of 134 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    City of Bones

    Cassandra Clare, the author, creates a fascinating world within our own, one where demons--more like malicious beings from other worlds; don't think biblical--menace "mundanes" (regular humans, like Muggles in Harry Potter) and need to be kept under control by Shadowhunters. Faeries wander New York City, vampires party at night, warlocks cast spells, and werewolves change at will.
    As for the people that populate this world, I love Clare's characters. Clary, the main character and viewpoint of Clare's third-person narration, is a strong and funny female lead. Her best friend, Simon, is witty and nerdy in the most adorable way. Jace, a Shadowhunter and Clary's main love interest of the book, is one of the most entertaining characters I have ever encountered. In fact, practically every character is funny. City of Bones is a very quotable book. Most of the best lines are between Clary and Jace, who have great banter. Recommended read.

    42 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Very interesting and entertaining. Very good book. finished it v

    Very interesting and entertaining. Very good book. finished it very quickly

    35 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Should've known better

    If Stephanie Meyers liked it, I should've known better than to buy this without reading the sample first. Suffice it to say, she could have written this...it's that caliber. Will probably be the next obsession franchise, which is truly unfortunate. It's barely readable, and I honestly couldn't force myself past the first 10 pages. Wish I could get my money (and my time) back. Ugh.

    35 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    OMG...I think I'm in love!

    This book was SOOOOO AMAZING! I...just...jeeze. Hold on while I find words.<BR/><BR/>The beginning was a little slow, I had to get into it. But once I did (whenever Jace was present) I just couldn't stop reading it. Spent most of my waking moments reading it, more of my unconscious nights dreaming about it. I don't know, it was like some kind of addiction. One time wasn't enough.<BR/><BR/>I had to re-read it because it was just that good! The ending...oh man, the ending was a heart break. I felt so bad FOR them, ecspecially Jace. I'm still praying that it was a fluke. Jace was definately my favorite character. Him, Magnus Bane, and Simon had me rolling most of the time. Their so sarcastic and witty, it reminds me of me and my friends.<BR/><BR/>Cassandra's writing is amazing, but what first caught my eye was the cover. (What hormone crazed teen skimming the library wouldn't be attracted to a book with a shirtless guy and the word "sexy" on the cover?) Yeah...that and the fact that it was shiny! <BR/><BR/>But anyways, It's a really good read for any teen into sci-fi. I put it right up there with the Twilight Saga. Something I never thought I'd be able to do. I hope they make a movie too!

    31 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    City of Bones Leaves You High and Dry

    Having picked up, read completely more than a dozen times over the popular novel by Cassandra Clare called Clockwork Angel, I decided it was time to read where The Mortal Instruments Series began. My envision was that City of Bones would give me a reason to fall in love with the current series, and want to complete all the books. However, CoB left me completely short-handed in so many ways, I can't begin to describe them all.

    From an outside glance, the book looks like it holds weight; young Clary is thrown into a world of the supernatural, where she encounters and falls into a pack of renegade children who are Nephilim. Discovering herself, Clary bonds and bands with them, not only to understand who she is, but to understand where her mother is and save her. I had read the preview of this from B&N and decided to try it, but I put this book down so many times it put me to shame. Clary is this whiny, 2D character who doesn't really shine through until the very end of the novel when her friend's life is on the line. Jace is a literal mirror of Clare's previous characters from Clockwork Angel, namely William. Then there's Alec, who is so underdeveloped it's a crime, and Isabelle, who is mainly used to make Clary feel jealous or sound like a Valley Girl when she speaks. Really now?

    Jace didn't bother me so much (mainly due to the fact that I Wiki'd the rest of the series that's currently out and discovered he is in fact related to William Herondale- good recovery, Clare!) but Clary completely and utterly left me disgusted. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, memorable or important about this girl. Sure, she's been mind blocked, sure, she's a hidden child of the Nephilim, but other than that she's merely wasted space. Reading segments from Clary's point of view was like taking a knife to my brain, and I haven't felt this terrible about a MC since Twilight came out with whiny, inconsolable Bella Swan. But it's not just Clary- it's the writing entirely. So many short sentences that could have been woven and cropped together would have made the reading experience much more enjoyable.

    Even though I've been told that the series, does, in fact, get better as her books go on, I'm afraid this is one series I won't revisit for a while, if at all.

    26 out of 58 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2010

    Energetic and Captivating

    Originally posted at: www.aurorareviews.blogspot.com

    What if they world you think you know is more than you could have ever imagined? Vampires and werewolves walk among us. Demons and Angels are real. And the man that you've always thought was your father isn't... it's all a lie told to you by your mother to keep you safe from your real father.

    Fifteen year old Clary Fray is as about as average a teen as they come. She spends time with her friends, goes to dance clubs, and ... witnesses a murder? Okay, that last part wasn't so average, but even Clary isn't sure that what she thinks she sees is real. Thanks to her mother and a powerful sorcerer putting a spell on Clary to hide the magic around her, Clary has missed or forgotten a world that is just out of her reach.

    I originally picked up this first book in the Mortal Instruments series because of a recommendation by another YA phenom, Stephenie Meyer. She was so excited about getting to read the third book in the series before it was released that it made me curious to see what another favorite author was reading. I'm glad I took a chance on Cassandra Clare.

    City of Bones is chock full of fun dialogue while taking the reader deep into a fantasy world of Shadowhunters, demons, vampires, mundanes (that's what they call us humans) and werewolves to name a few. Besides Clary there are several other secondary and main characters that bring this adventure to life. First there's her best guy friend Simon that has had a crush on Clary since forever. Then there are fellow Shadowhunters Jace, Alec and Isabelle. Alec and Isabelle are brother and sister and Jace has lived with them so long he's practically a brother. Jace is the dark anti-hero of the series. He wants only to forget his past and hunt demons until he either kills them all or dies trying.

    I've read other reviews that bemoan the long narratives in City of Bones. While they aren't exactly wrong, I can see the need to describe the world of the Shadowhunters a little more in this first book, including the history of the Nephilim.

    The obvious bad guy in the books is Valentine. He's easy to dislike because he makes no apologies for mentally abusing his son early in life as well as using people with low self esteem to do his dirty work. He's on a mission, much like Hitler, to destroy anyone that isn't a part of the Shadowhunter elite.

    I think you'll find this book has a little bit of everything: mystery, magic, intrigue, paranormal, romance and even betrayal. I read this first book in the series straight thru and couldn't wait to get my hands on City of Ashes since I was left with so many questions at the end of City of Bones.

    If you are a fan of the Harry Potter and Twilight series I think you'll enjoy Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments as well.

    21 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    FINALLY A BOOK THAT DEFEATED THE TWILIGHT SAGA

    I love this book so much. It has everything anyone would ever want in a book. It has action,humor and romace. Its awesome for both genders and its WAY better than twilight. I was amazed at how good of a writer Cassandra Clare turned out to be. I love the plot of the book and the characters. A MUST-BUY BOOK.

    19 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Terrible end

    Not going to read the second 1 cuz the end sucked! Im just going to stick to the hunger games cuz those book are100% better

    17 out of 84 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    Stupid!

    I love reading books and after reading the Twilight series my friend recomended this series. Well I got the first book the other day and let me just say that I had to physically drag myself through the whole thing. It was horrible! It was dry and blan no romance and WAYYY to much discription I couldn't picture any of the characters or any of the settings. She used way to much dictionary words for teenagers these days and spoke in langauges that "obviously" we were expected to know. Lame. I wanted to light this book on fire and send it back to the horrible author that wrote it. For the sake of your sanity don't read this series let alone this stupid book.

    17 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Not Recommended. At all.

    Everybody on here was commenting things like, "If you love Twilight, read this!" and "Awesome for Twilight Lovers!"

    Well, Stephenie Meyer said it's a good series, and everyone said if you love Twilight you should read it. I gave it a shot.

    And I wish I hadn't.

    I am a HUGE Twilight fan. I've read the series over ten times and I memorized most of the lines in the movie. This book disappointed me so much.

    Let me start off by saying that the beginning was extremly slow. I was lost, and everything was complicated. I didn't understand anything that was going on, which made it hard for me to read.

    I said, "What the heck? Beginnings are always like that. Let's see what happens."

    I will admit it got a little bit better, but I was still as lost as I was before. Nothing became interesting, and I finally gave up on the book. I was never going to read it again, so I deleted it from my nook. I had a $50 gift card, so I bought the Immortals Series by Alyson Noel instead. And loved it.

    Multiple people asked me what I thought of it, and I said that it was the worst. book. I. have. ever. read.

    If you're a Twilight fan, go ahead, read it. I don't think you'll like it, but I don't know what people like. Lemme get this straight: City Of Bones = Worst book ever.

    Just not my cup of tea.

    16 out of 62 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    Mildly Predictable

    I found this book predictable to a point. The characters were ill-developed and the plot line had some elements of cliche. While not being bad for an introduction into teenage fiction, it was overdone and if not for a few plot twists here and there that could quite possibly have been undetectable beforehand were the reader not paying attention, the book would have been unreadable.

    15 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A little upset...

    The ending is horrible! I will not ruin the ending for anyone but I think it's the ulitmate twisted ending. I thought the book was pretty good up until then. I'm guessing that was the point to seperate this series from all the rest.

    15 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    15?

    I started reading this book...but I just can't get over the fact that they're so young! With the talk about drugs, clubs, seduction I thought they would at least be around 17 or 18. It just felt wrong and it was a little sickening.

    13 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Writes like a Child

    Story ok a little too all over the place. Writing nothing grand.

    12 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

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