This was my favorite of the Mortal Instruments series. The main plot revolved around an upcoming battle between Valentine and the Nephilim, with the Downworlders holding much of the power to either side’s success. It felt like all of the buildup of the first two books was finally going somewhere interesting. Although there was still the awkward brother-and-sister-but-not-acting-or-feeling-like-it dilemma, it was resolved in exactly the way I expected it to be (took them long enough to figure it out!) and the other minor storylines were tied up quite nicely.
I felt like many of the characters really grew into themselves throughout this book. Clary establishes her place in the Nephilim world (and fortunately the author doesn’t do the typical cop-out of somehow making her main character a fabulous warrior with absolutely no training or prior experience); Jace discovers and comes to terms with who he really is; Simon also finds a place in this new world that was opened up to him; and we finally get a glimpse into who Clary’s mother really is.
Overall, I’d recommend to anyone reading the first book or two to finish off the trilogy — this book was by far the most interesting of the three.
The second book in the Mortal Instruments series, I felt like this one wasn’t quite as good as the first, perhaps because a lot of the novelty of the Shadowhunters’ world was gone? The love triangle also felt rather contrived and awkward — the decisions she made through this novel made me dislike Clary, since they made her seem even more emotionally helpless and pitiful than the first book. I’m also a little irritated at the “big secrets” that no one in the book can figure out, even though to the reader it seems incredibly obvious; the author doesn’t even seem to be TRYING to be subtle about the foreshadowing and clues she drops. I will probably still read the next book, since I do feel somewhat “sucked into” the series, but I’m hoping the next one will be better than this one.
Heads up: This book contains violence and some swearing
I spent about the first third of this book wondering if I was going to like it; the second third wondering when the characters were going to catch on to the plot twists that I had already figured out; and the last third actually enjoying it.
City of Bones is a fairly easy read, kind of typical among other supernatural-creatures-in-a-real-world battle-between-good-and-evil YA book. Some of the ways they worked this supernatural world into the real world were interesting (such as the addition of Shadowhunters, basically a breed of superhumans that fight demons), others were a bit overdone (aren’t we sick of vampires and werewolves yet?) The “romance” aspect of the book was a bit overplayed… I would have preferred it without the awkward teen love triangles, especially considering the startling revelation that happens at the end (which I had figured out about halfway through). The end is somewhat of a cliffhanger, but wraps up enough of the loose ends that I don’t feel like I have to rush out and get the sequel this moment. In fact, I’m still debating whether I liked it enough to read the other books in the trilogy, or whether I should just leave well enough alone… I was left with a distinct feeling that the rest of the series could go downhill very quickly.