City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was the first time I’ve read this book in almost eight years, and I honestly can’t believe how much of just the little things I completely forgot. Of course, I knew the general storyline, but I forgot simple things like the general order of events for some things.
This book made me sooooo nostalgic while reading it; it felt so wonderfully familiar to return to this world and these characters again. It’s one of the reasons why I love Cassie’s books so much.
I’m going to give this book 4 stars, when in my head, it’s really something of a 3.5-3.7. I definitely remember this book being my least favorite in the series and I still understand why that is.
The first time I read this book, I didn’t AT ALL see the ending of the book playing out as it did, but as I was rereading this time, I could see the subtle hints pointing towards all of the different plot points to come later on in the book and in the series as a whole, which I thought was really well thought-out and intriguing.
I love this story; I love the creativity of the world, as I do with all of Cassie’s books. The introduction is really well done, the plotline unlike anything I had read the first time I read it, which of course, is one of the reasons why I love it so much still.
This book is a lot of set-up for what comes later, which is understandable as to why it’s such a slow pace compared to many of Cassie’s other TSC books.
The amount of foreshadowing for the later books in this one is truly amazing. I won’t touch on them, as some people reading this might not have read the full series yet, but the way that Cassie so meticulously planned out the series (even the little details) is so brilliant. I definitely didn’t catch them the first time I read it and am enjoying it all the more now.
I love the humor in the book! It’s so present in all of Cassie’s books, but I didn’t realize how much I missed Simon and Jace’s cheesy jokes until I was reading it again, laughing to myself alone in my room. Like this gem that I forgot about:
“Do you remember back at the hotel when you promised that if we lived, you’d get dressed up in a nurse’s outfit and give me a sponge bath?” asked Jace.
“It was Simon who promised you the sponge bath.”
“As soon as I’m back on my feet, handsome,” said Simon.
“I knew we should have left you a rat.”
I love the banter between Clary and Jace. I didn’t realize how much I missed them, and specifically Jace until I was rereading this book. Jace was one of my first book crushes way back when I first read it. I love his sarcastic nature, even though in this book we don’t really get to see inside of his head as we do in the rest of the series.
I love the setting up of the family dynamic between Jace and the Lightwoods, though it’s not so much touched upon in this book as it is in the later books. It felt like a nice way to ease into it.
I loved the scene at the Hotel Dumort with Raphael, who I absolutely love and missed. It was such a fleeting moment in the context of this book, but is something that becomes so wholly important in the next book, which is a hint of foreshadowing that I really enjoy.
I love the way that Magnus, though only appearing in this book for a small portion of it, is hinted at to be a major part of this story, and eventually the whole Shadowhunters Universe. (view spoiler)[I also love the fetus hints at his future relationship with Alec (hide spoiler)]
I love Isabelle; I always have, and even though she’s not a huge player in this first book, she is such a vibrant and strong character.
SPOILER FOR LATER IN THE SERIES: (view spoiler)[I love the way that Simon and Izzy’s relationship is sort of hinted at, if only poked fun at. It’s so funny to see their interactions so early on, before they really even get to know each other. (hide spoiler)]
I love the type of villain that Valentine is, the kind that can almost make sense because of how charismatic and charming he is, but is truly monstrous.
I forgot how much I love Clace, and it reminds me of how underrated they are in terms of the ships within TSC.
Clary’s ignorance gets quite annoying. I don’t know if it felt so irritating the first time I read it, having been so long ago, but this time, I definitely felt as if I wanted to smack her upside the head just to get her to see what’s right in front of her.
I hated it the first time and it bothers me still so I’ll say it again: Simon and Clary as a romantic relationship. Yeah, I understand why it’s there, but it still bothers me a bit. She’s so clearly leading him on, and it bothers me because Simon deserves better than someone who doesn’t truly love him in that way.
(view spoiler)[The “Jace and Clary are siblings” thing. It annoys me to no end and it just feels like something that for two seconds I’m shocked over and then I’m like “okay we all know that they’re not because why would a book with incest in it be so popular, so let’s move on from this”. (hide spoiler)]
I’m not sure if this was only because this was a reread, but some of the book felt like a massive info-dump. There was a bit of it at the beginning, but then again towards the end in Luke’s 25 page backstory. I honestly found myself skimming a bit of it because it was hard to give my full attention to it.
Hodge’s character falls a little flat for me; I know that I’m not really expected to love him, but he still seems a little more two-dimensional than most of the other characters.
I also never was a fan of Jocelyn really, and I know that she’s unconscious for most of this book and she has her reasons for the things that she did, she was never really a character that I particularly liked or clung to.
I wish that there was more interaction between the Lightwoods and Clary in this book, when really, there isn’t all that much, though I know that there is MUCH more of it as the series goes on.
Rereading this book let me really see how much some of these characters grew over the course of the series (and the Shadowhunters Universe as a whole), particularly Clary and Alec.
Clary annoys me quite a bit in the beginning bits of this series, but I noticed she doesn’t bother me nearly as much in the later stages of this series, or in the snippers that we get of the TMI crew in The Dark Artifices. She grows up so much over the course of the series and I can’t wait to see it happen as I continue my reread.
Alec is perhaps the character that grows the most over these books. In this book, Alec comes off very rude and standoffish, though I know he has his reasons when in the later books he has become much more comfortable with himself and who he is (both in his private life and skills as a Shadowhunter). I remember not liking Alec all that much the first time that I read this series through and only really liking him in the later books, but in this reread, even in the early stages of the series, I still really love him.
I was talking with my friend who I buddy-read this book with, who has the newer edition of this book with the updated cover, and we discovered that there are small differences between the two books, as some sentences, interactions, vocabulary, etc. are different in the newer edition than in the original.
I can’t wait to get on with my reread and get into the later books in the series! There’s so much I remember happening and so much I’ve forgotten about and I just can’t wait!
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