The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Book and Movie Review

Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a young adult fiction that became a New York Times bestseller upon its release; however, the film adaptation (which made an attempt to capture the Twilight Saga box office magic) was an epic fail.

Fans of the series especially the film and actors, stay calm. 🙂 *Don’t fight me. Instead, allow me to explain.

I love and will always love Young Adult (YA) novels including The Mortal Instruments series. YA novels are just unique and out of this world. Though there are times that it seems cliché or repetitive due to the presence of a vampire, werewolf or wizard (or all), I have to admit it’s still interesting.

These supernatural characters dominate the pop culture which I doubt would be forgotten. As long as the story is different from the previously released books, people will embrace it. However, adapting the book into a film is another story.

Let’s start with “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” film, shall we?

The Film

Take note, this is the first time I watched the film before reading the book. I prefer reading the book first because I love the excitement and anticipation. But this time, I’m glad I watched the film because I was disappointed with it that I decided to read the book.

Going back to the film, I watched it with pure innocence. I do know that they had to create a shorter version of the book; however, I felt that they cut many scenes from the book leaving some things unexplained and an impression that they were in a hurry. Not to mention, the lines and humour just passed by.

I like the actors and I think they did a great job portraying their roles. But the lines did not seem right. Plus, the marks or runes were just too dark as if they used Pentel Pens. The scene at the greenhouse, it was magical but too cheesy. Lastly is the Institute. Come on! Hogwarts alert! But there are two other things I liked aside from the actors. The fighting scenes were good and the demons were scary and gory.

The Book


“When fifteen-year-old 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 teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it’s hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.

Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary’s mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon.

But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know… Summary from

After reading the book, I can say that I now understand why the reviews were low.

They created a different script. It was far from the story of the first book. People should be very careful with this because The Mortal Instruments is a series of books. In fact, the series has six novels namely: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and the City of Heavenly Fire. Five of these has been published.

Creating a different script for the first film affects the rest of the series. This can be a good idea but can also be a bad one. If you read the book, of course, you will be expecting the same flow despite leaving the other pages behind.

Moving on, I learned that City of Bones is a good book. It opens a new world which reminds me of the “Other Realm” in Sabrina: the Teenage Witch, “Soul Society” in the anime series “Bleach”, and the paranormal world in Trese, a Filipino comic book series. I definitely love the idea of having another world where mundanes or humans can’t see because the Shadowhunters and their world are covered by glamour.

The story is neatly tied wherein it left nothing unexplained. Instead, it left you wanting to know more about Clary’s memories, her association with Jace and Idris.

I understood that even though they are Shadowhunters leaving in a different place, they are run by a government or the Clave. They have rules to follow and the beliefs they stand by. I also learned that there is indeed a huge battle that needs to be won by the good. Not to mention, the issues about love and trust among friends and family.

The book has a lot of promise and action. I suggest you read the book if you were disappointed after watching the film. I promise it is worth your time. In fact, I’m reading book three now.

Moreover, I am pleased to hear the news that the City of Ashes is planned for production this 2014. I hope they will make it more understandable and they won’t leave important conversations and/or scenes from the book. Plus, the demons and action sequence should be impressive. I know you can’t beat people’s imagination but it is possible to create one digitally.

By the way, the last book “City of Heavenly Fire” is set to release this year as well. 🙂

Enjoy reading!

Related post:

Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters Review

One response to “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Book and Movie Review”

  1. […] 2014, I wrote “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Book and Movie Review”. There is no denying I love the Shadow World, the world that Cassandra Clare created after seeing […]


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