Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is almost content with her boring real life in Brooklyn. Trips to the Pandemonium Club for dancing and people watching with her best friend Simon add enough excitement, even if Clary is too shy to talk to anyone.
That changes when Clary witnesses three teenagers with mysterious tattoos murder another boy in the club. Clary is ready to report the murder until she watches the body disappear into thin air. The murderers being invisible to everyone but Clary also complicates matters.
But nothing is as it seems when the murderers explain themselves to her. Not murderers at all, the teens are part of the hidden world of Shadowhunters–warriors who fight to rid the world of demons.
Clary is drawn deeper into the Shadowhunter world when her mother disappears and demons start to attack. Suddenly Clary’s boring real life is anything but in City of Bones (2005) by Cassandra Clare.
The book itself is also anything but ordinary. Reviews have cited City of Bones as an unoriginal pastiche of other fantasies–a claim that, after finishing the novel, seems unfounded.
Clare blends elements of biblical myth, urban fantasy and suspense to create a truly unique story. The writing is snappy with wit and verve that might explain the comparisons between the book and the Buffy TV series.
As Clary delves deeper into the world of the Shadowhunters and the demons they hunt, Clare creates a richly developed world filled with vivid characters that readers will look forward to seeing again.
City of Bones is the first of Clare’s Mortal Instruments books. Clary’s adventure continues in City of Ashes. The first three of the series are already published with a fourth due out in 2011. Clare is also working on a prequel trilogy called The Infernal Devices. The first of the prequels, The Clockwork Angel will be published in 2010.
Possible Pairings: Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer, White Cat by Holly Black, War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, The Inferno by Dante, Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Paradise Lost by John Milton, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan