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Book Rating (375)

Narrator Rating (64)

City of Bones

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Cassandra Clare

Narrated By: Mae Whitman

Date: April 2014

Duration: 13 hours 45 minutes


Discover the world of the Shadowhunters in the first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly). City of Bones is a Shadowhunters novel.

When 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 people covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. And she’s more than a little startled when the body disappears into thin air. Soon Clary is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. And Clary is introduced with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster. How could a mere human survive such an attack and kill a demon? The Shadowhunters would like to know…


  • Frida Marquez

    i love this book as well as the series!!! one of my favorites!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Madeleine W.

    Let me start off by saying I really enjoyed the narration. Mae Whitman had great voices throughout for every character and made it fun to listen to. The story however? Cassandra Clare is a very amateur writer. Her writing style isn’t the worst but sometimes she writes with very jarring analogies, detracting from the picture and taking me out of the story. Other times it is clear she wrote with a thesaurus nearby to expand her vocabulary. The plot structure is also very weak. There will be a chapter of exciting action and then five chapters of boring history lessons and dull dialogue. The twists are rather poorly executed, either making no sense or being the most obvious cliche in the book. Another issue I had with this novel was our protagonist, Clary Fray. She is the definition of a Mary Sue. Clary is perfectly “mundane” in every possible way. She undergoes zero character development and learns zero lessons. Clary consistently treats her best friend poorly, often ditching him and getting angry over his happiness. Oh and he still forgives her regardless because of course he does. Clary does almost nothing to advance the plot. Wait actually: she can throw a knife and perfectly hit her target with no practice and can understand Spanish with no studying. Oh wait, those are just traits of a Mary Sue. Clary will also occasionally slap someone or curse them out because she’s a “strong female character”. Eye roll. She also has the intelligence of a brick wall, being absolutely oblivious to *SPOILER* Luke being a werewolf or Valentine being her father. Things we could see coming from miles away. The worldbuilding and overall plot is pretty good!! It’s very entertaining and I completely understand why people would fall in love with the world and want to continue reading this series. It’s not the best and it never swept me up in its magic like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson did, but it’s definitely not bad. Lots of potential here. HOWEVER the biggest issue I have with this novel is the use of cliches and rip-offs instead of originality. Many of you might not know but Cassandra Clare used to be a fanfiction writer and has gotten into trouble in the past for her plagiarism. She has since stopped and moved forward from blatantly stealing the works of others, but City of Bones is far from the most original concept. In fact, it actually started as a Ginny x Draco fanfiction. See the connections? She also wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction, which heavily influenced her worldbuilding of this Shadowhunter world. Valentine is an obvious rip-off of Voldemort even down to the names. Two evil lords with Nazi ideology who were once powerful and have “come back from the dead”. I could continue but you get the gist. Overall, City of Bones could have been a fantastic debut novel. It’s set in an exciting world with an author full of potential. However, Clare relied on an amateur writing style, a Mary Sue protagonist, and an abundance of stolen ideas. Quite depressing as I know I would have absolutely adored this book. Please do not let this review discourage you from reading! I’m sure many people will enjoy this book! However, please do not believe it is literature of any sort. And also be aware that Cassandra Clare is a very problematic person for an abundance of reasons, including fetishizing incest but that’s for another time...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    This book would have probably been ok. The narrators voice and delivery was terrible. Annoying,monotone and ditzy.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful.

  • Kasey C.

    I forget that there is only one person reading! She is very good over the past couple years I’ve listened to it three times!

  • Kassandra C.

    Amazing narration

  • Anonymous

    I’m originally a fan of the film before I realized the film was based off the books. I’ve tried watching the tv show but it’s just way to corny for me like it’s targeted towards younger teens. So I thought I’d try the books and am happy so far with the first book... Moving on to Book 2... Fingers crossed hoping the rest of the book series is as good as the first...!!!

  • Traniel P.

    I appreciate the narrator and the excitement at the right times. It is not easy to create different voices when taking on multiple characters. Story was really good

  • Nick H.

    Great book to listen to.

  • Anonymous


  • Danielle D.

    I liked the book. Had a food amount of action. It was easy to follow. Narrator was excellent. Liked the character development. I liked the preview to the next book in the series. That one looks interesting.

City of Bones

by Cassandra Clare

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City of Bones, Cassandra Clare
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