City of Bones is an exciting escape! I was immediately drawn in to the story, and quickly came to like the characters very much. This book had me on the edge of my seat several times, and the scary scenes are truly, intensely frightening without gratuitous gore.
The world Clare has created is unique, and the story had me thinking more than once about whether or not it could be real. Using some aspects of time-honored legends, Clare puts a new twist on the supernatural that’s absolutely believable. She also adds a subtle element of the spiritual to her story. I was happy to note that she does not glamourize dark magic or anything evil.
I expected this book to be a lot more violent and edgy than it was–instead, it was deliciously creepy without crossing any lines. (Descriptions merely serve to get the point across without causing the reader to feel like they’re being told too much.) A very quick read–only because I couldn’t put it down! I’m eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.
Profanity/Language: 16 religious exclamations; 15 mild obscenities; 2 religious profanities; 9 derogatory names; 6 scatological words; 8 anatomical terms.
Violence/Gore: Several characters sustain minor injuries (cuts, bruises, etc.) in a variety of fights with monsters; several non-human characters are killed; characters are repeatedly attacked by monsters; a character hears a second hand story of murders; characters are attacked by animals and sustain minor injuries; a character hears a brief second hand account of a brutal killing; a character threatens another character; a character is seriously injured in an extended fight (5 pages) with some gore; a character fights and kills a non-human character in an extended scene (5 pages) with little gore; a character very briefly remembers brutal and gory scenes of war; characters engage in a brutal fight with vampires in an extended scene (7 pages) with little gore.
Sex/Nudity: A character flirts repeatedly; a character dances sensuously; homosexuality is discussed; a character is accused of wanting to have sex; a male and female character lay on a bed talking with no sexual contact; two characters kiss; a reference is made to “second base,” allusions are made to sex, cross-dressing, and an orgy.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of family members; kidnapping of family member; homosexuality.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
A character is drugged while being held in captivity; characters visit a night club where others are using ecstasy and smoking clove cigarettes; brief underage drinking; an adult character gets drunk.