All member reviews for City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments, Book 1

Common Sense Media says

Exciting start to teen fantasy series in urban setting.
 

Users say

(out of 124 reviews)
age 13+
 
Review this title!
Adult Written bychilanga April 17, 2009
 

Unpleasantly surprised

I was unpleasantly surprised at the inaccurate review given for this book. It doesn't mention language or sex and there was enough in the first chapter to cause me, an adult, to stop reading it. The first scene in the nightclub had sexual innuendo and harsh swearing. I am new to this website and it leaves me doubting the accuracy of the reviews. I am a positive person, but this left me jaded.
Parent of a 3, 5, 7, and 8 year old Written by6whittingtons October 27, 2009
 

Has it's moments but not good for young teens

This book about the hidden world where good and evil are at war is action filled and has it's moments. That said it contained LOTS of sexual innuendo, homosexual romance (more in the next books with an adult male with a teen male), some graphic violence, and the adults in the books are generally not good or iffy at best. The teens in the book are on their own to solve their problems and break rules or deceive the adults in charge to do it. The underground world is full of drinking, sex and violence for both the "good" and "evil" characters. Very little separates one group from the other in some aspects.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bytrackgirl175 July 18, 2009
 

best since harry potter

i love love love LOVE this book. best ever. the characters suck you into the story and keep you guessing till the very end, and even after that. there is just enough romance to get tweens interested but not so much that they're lying awake thinking about terrible things. the blood is no big deal because THERE ISN'T THAT MUCH. great book, i highly reccommend
Teen, 15 years old Written bybibliophile February 5, 2009
 

Wonderful Read!

This book was absolutely amazing! A beautiful plot, intriguing characters, and great action. There is swearing fairly often, including sh-t, p-ss, d-mn, h-ll, -ss, and the Lord's name in vain. One guy is mentioned as being gay, and another man winks at him and says 'call me'. Maybe an innuendo or two. It was truly a wonderful book that I recommend to anyone thirteen and older.
Teen, 13 years old Written bySky Trekker February 6, 2012
 

Really really good!

I thought this book and series are amazing. It is funny, interesting, and gripping. And really, why is it a big deal that there's minor swearing and gay characters? There's nothing wrong with that, is there? No. The adults who say that it is 17 and up must be way too protective as parents. I scoff at you.
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent Written bySherry Lynn Conley July 25, 2013
 

Parents be aware

As a retired teacher I read teen books before I recommend them. This is a long series, and by the fifth book there is heavy lesbian, gay and bisexual material. There is also the occult nature if the book, from avenging angels to demons chained in hell.
Parent of a 11 and 13 year old Written bystarbox June 29, 2009
 

A Twilight-esque fantasy that will appeal to boys.

It's hard for me not to review this novel independantly of the second and third book in the trilogy - which reader's of the first novel will be compelled to read. They are fun books with lots of references to demonology and angels - most of which are based in Judeo-Christian mythology. The books, in my opinion, neither support nor directly contradict a reader's faith (or lack of faith) - and reader's will likely put these books down entertained and with their world-view unimpacted. There are no explicit sexual encounters, but there are numerous scenes with lots of sexual tension and kissing. Many of these scenes are between two characters that believe they are biological siblings. Two supporting characters have a homosexual relationship. Teen characters drink at parties. There are almost constant and graphic descriptions of demon-killing. The adults in this novel are almost all negligent, untrustworthy, or evil. I read these on the recommendation of a ninth-grade student. I think they will appeal to teens and will likely interest boys much more than the Twilight phenomenon has. However, due to the content and the teens behaving solidly as teens, I'd put the age limit a bit higher than the main review and reserve them for high schoolers.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byClearastheSea April 13, 2011
 

Definitely iffy for teens and definitely NOT for tweens.

This series, as a whole, is too sexual to be appropriate for kids 12+. There are multiple scenes implying sex, especially later in the series. A girl is described as having her shirt unbuttoned displaying her bra while kissing a boy.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written byGill.ox July 27, 2009
 

Adored this book!

This is one of my favourite books! It's exciting and always keeps you guessing with new suprises at every turn. From the moment I picked up this book, I was addicted! Cassandra Clare keeps you hanging with every page!
Educator Written bycrazy for reading August 4, 2011
 

Just Say NO

I teach English to 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, and I won't have this book in my classroom. I read only the first chapter or two and had to put it down. I read LOTS of young adult fiction, especially fantasy, but this was too much for me.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byJ-Yo June 30, 2011
 

Angels and Demons– done differently.

One of my top five favorite book series (up there with Harry Potter and the Hunger Games). While it may seem like a guilty pleasure novel at first, this story does have some intriguing allusions to angels and almost Islamic beliefs about them. It has positive messages about friendship and overcoming prejudice (One character is gay, another is a rather scary-looking warlock that's good at heart). Violence is prominent (hey, they're demon slayers) but is never overdone. Sexual references are present, but as I said, they're only references. Sex does not actually occur.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bypatriciao May 11, 2011
 

Caution, not for young teens.

I bought this book on the advice of a friend's 12 year old daughter for my 13 year old son. He was reading another book so I read it. I was a little shocked to be truthful. The kids go to all age clubs and are out at midnight or after on Sunday night. There is reference to drinking, drugging and smoking at the club although the types of drinks and drugs are not of our world. There is mention of Herbal Estacy use. One kid drinks a cocktail he shouldn't have and turns into a mouse. The cocktails are very attractively described in the book. There is clove cigarette smoking but not by the main characters. There is tons of bloody violence with lots of graphic detail. In the book they are killing demons and other creatures not of our world but there is still blood and gore and vivid descriptions of the violent killings. I think it's definitely a book for older teens and not appropriate for 13 and under. I have enjoyed reading the book and am now reading the next one (City of Ashes) but I am not going to offer them to my son just yet.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written bybenya January 8, 2010
 
I am reading it now and I am quite surprised that the main page says there was only a mention of herbal exctasy. In the first 5 pages there was a cocaine mention (packet of white powder), herbal exctacy(ha I cant even spell it!), not to mention the mention of a hardcore makeout session.. It stinks cause gramma got it and my 12.5 y/o is done with 1&2. Oh and the smoking of Clove cigs, which just became legal again where I live. However she knows my stance on drugs and she has one of her own. The thing is those things went right over her head. She didnt know what they meant. I wonder how much of the book she even gets. Seems like a complicated storyline if you dont even get those references. We'll use it as a way to talk about things. I read Christopher Pike as a 12 y/o and recently reread one. There were refernces to coke there even then. It's funny I didn't get it as a kid. But, It also didnt cause me to became a drug addict, sexual deviant or anything else I am worried about happening to my kid.
Parent of a 14 year old Written byTwilight Mom August 27, 2009
 

Great for adults, use discretion for tweens, inappropriate for children

There was a lot of minor curse words and one gd word in this book. The book would have been just as good if not better if it had left out the language. The plot was awesome, the action kept you on the edge of your seat. Could not put it down. As a parent, I edited out the curse words so my 14 yr old could read it.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byBloody Gorgeous February 1, 2009
 

Beyond my Expectations

Considering this book sloshes together witches, warlocks, werewolves, vampires, and even demons, I was a little scared of how it would turn out. I was suprised. This book was really entertaining. It has some good twists, although you can probably compare some parts to other books and movies. Besides that, It's a great book. I absoulutely fell in love with Jace. But hey, is there many teen books where you don't fall in love with a character? I can't wait to read City of Ashes!! I only said 12 years old because i want kids to actually understand ans soak up all the great stuff theyre reading!
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bypatriciap63 April 7, 2011
 

Great Series!

Great series, good adventure
Educator and Parent Written byGot_Books August 18, 2013
 

12? Not in my house. Great book for older teens and adults only.

This book is an exciting fantasy adventure. However, parents should be warned. The age rating given by the reviewer, Matt Berman, is way off. As a mom, I would never allow my young teen to read this book. Granted, most inuenddos will go right over their heads. But, I don't agree with exposing them so early. Within the first few chapters, you can expect to find: -Drug and alcohol use -Underage clubbing -Sexual tension and inuendos -Violence -Powerless parenting -Homosexuality ***Parents- This series is a prime example of why you should always read books first. You know your child and can judge a book's appropriateness better than anyone. This is an appropriate series for 16 and up. I would highly recommend for older teens and adults. -
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byKaylitchka March 19, 2010
 

Perfect for older kids, but not for tweens

Ok, First of all, PArents if your kids are not 16 and up DO NOT let them read this book. It is a terrifically written book if you are old enough to understnad these things. Language is HORRIBLE in this book. And there are several references to sexual situations but none that are graphic or display any thig inapporpriate, just refernces. It is fantasy so there are lots of demons and dark features. If your child is under the age of 16, its not for them. This is coming from a teen, so trust me... 16+ will enjoy this book alot but other wise, wait til they are older
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byhaslamklily February 26, 2015
 

Best of the best! Perfect for fantasy lovers!

I classify myself as an avid reader. I am rarely ever caught without some sort of novel by my side, and spend my free time rather reading, writing, eating, or browsing tumblr. Overall... an antisocial teenage fangirl. And, having read so much great material, I tend to be uneasily impressed. I always look for loopholes, and criticise more than I know I should... but this book series is outstanding. Reading books such as Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent, Percy Jackson, The Giver, The Heroes of Olympus, and many more Fantasy, Dystopian, Adventure novels and TV shows, the Shadow Hunter Chronicles is in my top 3 book series of all time. A thousand years ago, shortly after 1000 AD, the Earth was invaded by hordes of demons. During the times when the Crusades first began, particularly believed to be some time in the winter months, a crusader named Jonathan called on the angel Raziel, though it was believed by many that it was a warlock who truly summoned the Angel. Jonathan begged Raziel to help save humanity. Seeing the honesty and nobility of his wish, the angel obliged and mixed his blood with that of Jonathan in the Mortal Cup, a mixture he let Jonathan drink. Raziel then gave Jonathan the other two Mortal Instruments, the Gray Book, and the fitting name of Shadowhunter as a symbol of his transformation. Soon, more men and women drank from the cup and became Nephilim warriors themselves. Shadowhunters roam the earth, protecting the weak mundane from trouble... killing demons and rogue Nephilim, as well as keeping Downworlders, Werwolves, Vampires, Warlocks, in line. This series follows the eye of a particular girl named Clary who thought she was just an ordinary girl; till she spots a murder at a night club... a murder only she can see. Clary Fray discovers her mother was a Shadowhunter. Sucked into this crazy world of death, Fray and her new friends realize that Clary might just be the key to defeating an insane, vindictive, ambitiously cunning Valentine, who is also her father. Not to mention the fact that he her brother is equally as horrible, only half demon. WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW: for the entire series... based off a girl who has read them 6 times each. This book, being all about killing monsters, I would give a 3.5/5 star rating for violence. There are some sexual references and sex is mentioned, with a brief overview in the final book. I would give a 1.5/5 star rating for sexual content. This story also tells readers that it is okay to be themselves (featuring gay characters if that matters at all) and also has historical value (in the prequels) with much information from the Bible and ancient runes that may spark the mind. I would give a 2/5 star rating for educational value and 2/5 star rating for positive message. Language would be 2.5/5 star rating for there is minor swearing through the book series, along with rude insults. 3/5 stars for Consumerism as one character is very geeky and mentions things such as Dungeons and dragons and anime shows, along with other brand mentions. For drug usage and whatnot, I would give a 2/5 star rating for a few teenagers go to a bar here and there and some smoke, with a few drug mentions. I would rate this series fine for 12-13 year olds, 11 year olds if they are mature for their age.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Written byAnonymous August 24, 2013
 

This is such a gripping book

4.4/5 8.8/10 I am hooked to this book. One page 200 in 3 days. So far there has only been a few gory scenes. This is such a well-written book and I really love it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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