I have heard lots of good things about the Mortal Instruments series, so I just had to read what all the fuss is about. City of Bones didn't quite live up to it, but I definitely wasn't disappointed. I really liked the characters. Clary is plucky and brave despite being largely defenseless compared to the trained and prepared Shadowhunters. Not only that, but she's also pretty clever and quick to get used to the strange lives that Shadowhunters live. Of course she makes some mistakes and acts kind of annoying sometimes, mostly when acting rashly and not thinking of others. But that's to be expected with any character. I know there are a lot of Jace fangirls and Jace haters. I'm somewhere in the middle. At first I thought Jace was pretty horrible, but as the book went on, he revealed more and more of the person underneath that hardened outer shell. I felt sympathetic toward shim, but I was still annoyed by some of his over the top bad boy behavior. With what I had heard before, I was expecting Patch (from Hush, Hush) levels of bad behavior. I'm glad that he was far from that and actually likeable instead of just being a complete tool.
The story is pretty predictable and basic for the genre. The characters seem to be especially thick headed in figuring out the mysteries that are pretty obvious much earlier. A lot of the book was dedicated to explaining their world to Clary and by extension the reader: the rules, the runes, the demons, the half demons, etc. It's a little tedious to get through, but admittedly necessary to understanding the story. Hopefully the second book won't have so much of this since the reader would be more familiar with the world and characters.
I enjoyed all the adventure and secrets that City of Bones had to offer. It's like a cross between Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The action was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. The twist at the end is a little unexpected. I suspected it earlier, but dismissed it as being to weird for a teen book. I would recommend this book to fans of urban fantasy and similar teen books.
My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins