I felt like I already knew these characters to a certain extent because we’d reviewed City of Ashes for the Burn Bright Book Club previously. I was pleased to see where their character arcs originated.

City of Bones is essentially about Jace and Clary finding one another and realising that you may not be able to pick your family, but you can certainly pick your friends. 

Cassandra Clare has me enchanted with her use of landmarks around New York, Brooklyn, and the surrounding areas. The unknown has always held some sort of magic to me and to have these places glorified in an enjoyable book makes both things more special.

The interesting bits will be to see how much the film, which is ‘based on’ this book, will be able to bring the chemistry between characters, the plausibility of the supernatural aspects, and the way the setting is allowed to speak for itself and isn’t just left as decoration.

I honestly hope Harald Zwart tries to keep the film as close to the book as he possibly can, though 500 plus pages will be difficult to contain within a standard film-length adventure.

Bring it on!

Paperback, Movie Tie-In, 506 pages

Published July 9th 2013 by Walker Books Ltd (first published 2007)

original title

City of Bones




Consider me blown away. The casting was spot on, the CGI and special effects department were well on top of things, and the fact that Cassandra Clare was part of the script writing process helped beyond measure.

The key plot points were dead on target and the slight changes were forgivable as long as you went into it knowing it’s a film ‘based on’ the book, not a close adaptation. If you are expecting a word for word recreation, you will not enjoy it, though many of the memorable quotes remain in the script.

Joelene_tnJoelene reviews City of Bones and recovers from her casting doubts to find she loves it more than the book.



The-Mortal-Instruments-City-of-Bones-bannerFor those of us who have read Cassandra Clare’s New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series, the City of Bones movie was either much anticipated or much dreaded. After seeing the assembled cast, I threw my lot in with those of low expectations. I mean the action and special effects looked great in the trailer, but Clary was meant to have hair the colour of hell’s flames and Jace was meant to be the most stunningly attractive boy to ever grace God’s good earth or something. I felt cheated.

Which is precisely why I need to tell myself more regularly not to be shallow! The movie was amazing.

For anyone out there who hasn’t read the books, City of Bones follows the story of Clary, a normal teenage girl who begins seeing things that other people can’t. At first it’s just symbols but one night she and her best friend, Simon, head into a local night-club and she witnesses three teens killing someone. An occurrence that the rest of the club is oblivious to.

From there events snowball out of her control, dragging her and everyone that she loves along with them. If she has any hope of surviving she has to cast her lot in with Jace, a Shadowhunter, who has dedicated his life to keeping demons and other creatures from killing the innocent.

City_of_bones_posterThe casting that I had been so dismissive of at first won me over a few minutes into the film. Jamie Campbell Bower plays a sweeter Jace than the literary one, with the same casual confidence that secured fans of the novel. Godfrey Gao is obviously beautiful and the perfect Magnus. The movie adaptations of Clary and her mother, Jocelyn, were the ones that really shone though. Lena Headey plays a far more formidable Jocelyn than the novels showed. She’s smart, capable and determined; all traits that Lily Collin’s Clary is shown to have in abundance.

In many ways the movie surpasses the novel. It moves away from Clary’s perspective when necessary, while the first novel mostly stayed with her. This means that we not only get to see more of the other characters without reference to Clary, but we see scenes upon which she could only speculate. I don’t recall there being any indication that Jocelyn fought back when attacked in the novel. In the film she does so spectacularly, making it obvious where Clary gets her resourcefulness from.

While the characters translate well to film, the events are a little more tricky. The first half works brilliantly, while the ending is messier than in the novels. There’s so much back-story in the series that fitting it in was always going to pose problems, and in this case it disrupts the pacing somewhat.

Overall, I still really enjoyed the City of Bones movie and am looking forward to seeing how the next two go. This is one of the very few times that I can honestly say that I preferred the movie to the book. So, for anyone who hasn’t yet, go see the movie!

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

Hardcover, 1st Edition, 453 pages

Published March 25th 2008

Margaret K. McElderry Books

ISBN 1416914293 (ISBN13: 9781416914297)



I found the audio book of City of Ashes in my local Library; the cover is the same as the paperback with a muscular, redhead in a tough girl stance super imposed over the Brooklyn Bridge.


There are a wide variety of supernatural characters, and though there is political crap to sift through, they work really well together to add depth to the story.


Jace (Jonathan). He’s conflicted thanks to his lineage, but lets his morals guide him. He’s a smart mouth, a tough guy, and he’d fight to the death for his adopted family.

Least Favourite

The Inquisitor. It’s one thing to not believe a teenager in an impossible situation, but it is another thing entirely when you do the things she does. Nasty, nasty.


Clary’s Mum is in a coma and Jace is facing a situation with his biological father that throws the Lightwood family into chaos.


Valentine is up to his old tricks again and it’s Jace, Clary, Isobelle, and Alec’s job to stop him.


There are answers to be had but you’ll have to read the book, because I don’t want to spoil it for you.


I tried to get my hands on the first book, City of Bones, so I could lead into City of Ashes… not only were there no copies on the shelves in any of my local stores, but the holdings list for the library was impressive, and after listening to City of Ashes, I now understand why.

This series is gritty and will tear at your heart. It will be interesting to see if the good guys win in the end. At the moment all bets are off.


Rather than a quote, I dedicate the song What You Want, especially the film clip to the book. The two really mesh, and the lyrics are so relevant it gives me goose bumps.



I love the covers for all of the Cassandra Clare books, the colors are beautiful and there is really a lot of detail.


This series contains an ensemble of characters that come into play. Some readers find it overwhelming, but I for one love getting to know each of them and their relationships with each other.


Luke is by far my favorite character. He is the only father figure that Clary knows. In the first book the reader is a little unclear what his position will turn out to be. But the relationships that form between Jocelyn (Clary’s Mother), Luke and Clary are my favorite.

Least Favourite

This early in the series I think it would be Magnus that is my least favorite. This does change later on, but in City of Ashes he seems really smug and indifferent to the rest of the group. He definitely is a personality type that you have to get used to.


The end of book one really left us off with a crazy whirlwind of events. This book jumps right into where we left off with Clary having her world turned upside down. The beginning here will introduce us again to what transpired in the first book and focus on the whereabouts of Valentine and Jace.


Jace is torn between his fellow Shadowhunters who have taken him in, and the return of his father Valentine into his life. Clary is pulled in several different directions as well with her mother in a magical coma, and learning who her real father is. She is not ready to lose Jace completely but starts to really feel like she belongs among the Shadowhunters.


Cassandra Clare has an amazing way of building up to an intense climax with each book. Several different events take place and lead into what could possibly happen in the next book. Not exactly a cliffhanger, but something that will make you say WOW!


There is a lot of action, great plot and fabulous writing style. There is a constant flow of action and entertainment until the last page.
My absolutely favorite part of this particular story was the relationship between Simon and Jace. And, oh boy, does Simon go through a lot of stuff in this one!

Valentine is a creepy and well written villain as well. He has the potential to be a real Voldemort. I really loved to hate him.


“Look,” Luke went on, “In all the years I’ve known him, there’s always been exactly one place Simon wanted to be, and he’s always fought like hell to make sure he got there and stayed there.”
“Where’s that?”
“Wherever you were.”

“I keep thinking about blood, I dream about it. Wake up thinking about it. Pretty soon I’ll be writing morbid emo poetry about it.” – Simon



Every single book in this entire series is an eye catcher! Doesn’t matter if you pick up the Hardback or the Paperback copy; they both look A-MAZING! But my favorite part about this series, has to be the way they look together on my shelf. After purchasing all of Cassandra Clare’s books, you do have quite a shelf full!


I love all of the characters. from the love triangle between Clary, Jace and Simon to the evilness of Valentine.


Jace or Simon would have to be my favorite (I guess I’m in a little triangle of my own). I love how sweet Simon can be to Clary, he is just the kind of guy they will always be there for her. While Jace is Clary’s starcrossed lover, and part-time badass, with a motorcycle!

Least Favorite

I don’t really dislike any characters in this book, but Maryse (mother of Isobelle, Alec and Max) did frustrate me a few times throughout the story. I wish she’d have believed, trusted and stood by Jace’s side more often!


Jace is living with the Lightwoods, while he is having problems with his father Valentine. Clary is living with Luke, as her mother is in a coma. Clary is also having feelings for her best friend Simon. Not liking the first book in the series, The City of Bones, I think caused me to start reading this book very skeptically, which ended up making me feel that the beginning of this book was simply okay.

Story Line

Valentine is starting to build a army. With almost no help Jace and Clary and a few others (Luke, Isobelle, Alec and Simon) try to stop him before things go to far, and time runs out. Spending a lot of time together, Clary and Jace start to rekindle their feelings for one another, causing jealousy from Simon. The relationships were very interesting and about 1/5 of the way through the book, I start enjoying and loving the story!


It’s almost hard, describing the ending, without giving away too much, but I’ll try my best anyways! Defeating Valentine and most of his evil plans, Jace proves Maryse wrong, and that he deserves her trust and respect. Things and especially relationships (not just love ones, but also biological ones) may not be what they seem! 🙂

My Overall Thoughts

Disliking the first book, caused me to go into The City of Ashes with a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t really enjoy the beginning but once things started heating up, I couldn’t (and didn’t really want to) put the book down. I can’t wait to see how the series continues, and how things between Clary, Jace and Simon work out!

Audiobook, 11 Discs

Published April 1st 2010 by Bolinda Publishing (first published January 1st 2008)


Belinda_kisses_tnBel’s happy with the series so far!



shadow huntersThis is a Netflix exclusive, 13 episode TV show based on the best selling Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

Some would class the City of Bones film as a bit of a flop… (I personally liked it). So I was utterly thrilled to see recently that the TV series was heading to my Netflix account on the 13th of January 2016. Episodes are to be released on a traditional once weekly basis and I’m looking forward to seeing the installments pertaining to the slideshow shows when mousing over the tile.

The special effects are pretty damn cool and though the first thought that ran through my head when they pulled out the Seraph blades was ‘Wow hope they bought enough batteries’, the rest of it is better than most I’ve seen before.

They didn’t stick to the storyline rigidly; Clary is 18, rather than 15, and the cast has completely changed… not necessarily a bad thing.

I want to hear what you all thought and tell me if you’re going to keep up with the series.

I am totally sucked in.

Mid-August will bring us the second in the Percy Jackson franchise: Sea of Monsters. Based on Rick Riorden’s book, this time around Percy and his friends search for the famed Golden Fleece in order to save Camp Half-Blood’s magical borders from its foes. With most of the same cast as the first movie, I think we’ll see a good, fun film about this modern-day demi-god.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones will also be released in August. Based on Cassandra Clare’s uber-best-selling novel (and the first of six in this series), will tell the story of Clary Fray, a seemingly normal New York teenager, who learns of her secret bloodline – and the war that’s been going on under her very nose for years. Starring Lily Collins as Clary, Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace, and an epic supporting cast including Aidan Turner (think Mitchell the vampire in Being Human and Kili in The Hobbit, *swoon*) as werewolf Luke. Described as an ‘epic adventure fantasy’, we can expect to see lots of demons, angels and, of course, Shadow Hunters.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking late November is way too long to wait for the second Hunger Games movie: Catching Fire. I loved the first movie, and felt it was as true to the book as it could be, so I’m hoping the filmmakers do just as good a job of the second film. Katniss Everdeen – again played by Jennifer Lawrence – must again fight to save the people she loves – this time in the Quarter Quell. Expect more violence, more heartbreak and more political badness.

Finally, to round the year offThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, with the current release date being December 13th. If you’ve saw ‘An Unexpected Journey’ recently, I’m sure you’ll agree that this is another movie that can’t come too soon. A typical example of a bit of creative license being taken by the movie makers as compared to the book (hey, I thought it worked) – the two remaining Hobbit movies are bound to be box-office winners as well as visual feasts.

So what about you? Which movies are you hanging out to see on the big screen? Which ones won’t you bother at all with, and which ones will you wait for on DVD? Are you worried that turning your favourite books into movies will leave a permanent scar on how you feel about the story, or are you like me, expecting to see small changes that will hopefully enhance your memories of the time spent between pages?

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