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  • City of Bones

  • The Mortal Instruments
  • Written by: Cassandra Clare
  • Narrated by: Mae Whitman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (192 ratings)
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City of Bones cover art

City of Bones

Written by: Cassandra Clare
Narrated by: Mae Whitman
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Publisher's Summary

Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, now a major motion picture. Discover this first installment of the internationally best-selling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

When 15-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. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a 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...

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

©2007 Cassandra Claire, LLC. All rights reserved. (P)2007 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights resevered.

Featured Article: The 18 Best Audiobook Series of All Time

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What listeners say about City of Bones

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Love this book but....

I've read City of Bones before, so it was interesting to listen for a change. I really enjoyed it, but Mae Whitman uses the weirdest, refined/affected accent for anyone who isn't Clary or Simon. It doesn't suit the characters at all, especially Jace because it's hard for the sarcasm to come through... and who is Jace without sarcasm?

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Odd accents

This is one of my favorite series so I decided to get the audio books to listen to on my commute to work. I have no idea why the narrator chose to give the characters all these weird accents. It also makes Clary sound like she's 8 and overly bratty.
Really wish this would get redone.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, terrible accents

The narrator uses a thick and kind of irritating accent for most of the characters. It kills a lot of the humor in the writing, especially Jace's wit, which is the best part of the story.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Strange choice of accents

Great book. Not sure why the narrator decided to give all the shadowhunters British accents when they were all born in New York.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

change the reader

love movie,show and probably the book also but couldn't finish, only because the voices did not match characters. example the voice for Jace . maybe with a different reader,.. I could finish.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love this series!

Whenever I’m feeling sick and need to listen to something familiar, this is always a good story to listen to.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

amazing voice actor, annoying main character

the performance from the voice actress was amazing I was disappointed by the story though clary was very annoying and b**chy

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Poor Preformance

I love this novel and have read it several times IRL, it is my first time trying out audible and have listened to another book I was struggling to get through and loved it, so I thought why not read my favourite book of all time? I really should have read the reviews before wasting a credit on this. The characters grew up and takes place in NYC yet the narrator gives all the shadowhunter's really strange British accents except for Clary and Simon who are probably the only voices in the novel I did not mind. I also found a lot of the humor was lost in the telling of the story due to this. If you love TMI just take the time to read it physically. Super disappointed.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

love

loved it :) and will listen to all 6 books. loved the show now really love the books.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I have watch the show and learn to love the characters but It does sadden me the show is different but usually it is

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • B
  • 2014-06-04

Six of one, half-dozen of the other

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, if you haven't listened to the original version of City of Bones, narrated by Ari Graynor. If you're like me and have the Ari Graynor version, don't bother. When I say "six of one, half-dozen of the other", I mean both versions are mediocre, as far as narration goes. The story is worth it though, so if you haven't read or listened to City of Bones, go for it! It's worth the credit. If you're just looking for a different version with better narration, don't waste your credit.

What did you like best about this story?

City of Bones opens a captivating young adult series, The Mortal Instruments. Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter world is cleverly-built and the stories exciting. Keeping up with Clary as she learns about her heritage and discovers the world around her kept me hooked through all six books.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Mae Whitman?

Maybe? She wasn't terrible as a narrator, but her accents were. It would have been a much better listen without the questionable English accents.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Ugh...I wish I hadn't. The movie was terrible and it was one of the worst book-to-screen adaptations I've ever seen (but this isn't a movie review). I blame the movie for the bad English accents. The City of Bones movie decided that the Shadowhunters would have English accents and this is the result of that decision. In all of the other audiobooks (except for City of Heavenly Fire, which also came out after the movie), the Shadowhunters have American accents.

Any additional comments?

I wrote this review for listeners who have the Ari Graynor version of City of Bones and are wondering if this version is an improvement. It isn't.

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60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-06-28

Wish I hadn't listened to the audiobook

Any additional comments?

Didn't like the narration at all, most of the accents were super cheesy and didn't allow me to get into the book. I wish I had read the book instead of listening to it, because I'm sure I would have liked it more that way. The way it was narrated made me really annoyed with all of the characters. I only finished the novel for the sake of finishing it, I had no interest in how it ended.

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39 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lady Disdain
  • 2014-05-13

Horrifyingly bad accents

What would have made City of Bones better?

Using a narrator that can actually do voices, OR telling Mae Whitman to stop doing them.

What didn’t you like about Mae Whitman’s performance?

Her accents sound like bad community theatre. Why re-record the book if you aren't going to make it amazing? This one is as bad as the original.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I love this book but the audiobook is TERRIBLE.

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36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Petunia1620
  • 2015-06-03

Could be better

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I couldn't finish this book. The writing is good for the young adult genre but the narrator is mediocre at best. I could have gotten past the horrible British accents but I couldn't stand her reading style in general. It's very...forced and immature. Emma Gavin and Marisa Calin are much better narrators. But perhaps it's the director's fault. Regardless, I would skip the audio and read the paperback.

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34 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • TJ S
  • 2015-10-10

Adults who loves fantasy, skip this book.

If you are new to the fantasy genre, this is a cute, fun world. The narrator needs to work on her accents/dialects but is otherwise fine. But if you are an Adult who loves fantasy, skip this book. You will find no new ideas or surprises here.

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28 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • eat.climb.knit
  • 2017-06-27

Terrible narrator

What disappointed you about City of Bones?

Honestly, it takes a lot for me to write a review, but this book is that bad. I had read other ones who said the accent was bad, and yea, it's not great. But for me what is worse is the narrator's choppy, "every sentence is a statement" style of reading. She reads everything fast, and as if it's dropping a bomb. Even sentences that have a follow up comma are read that way. I could get over the accents, but the choppy way of narrating everything as if it's a single stand alone statement is grating.

What didn’t you like about Mae Whitman’s performance?

See above.

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27 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr.
  • 2014-05-05

Fake Accent Alert

OMG - this narrator reminded me of reading bedtime stories to my kids. I try to give every different character an oddly different way of speaking so they'll be amused. My kids are 8. This strategy might work for them but does not work for an avid listener trying to make his / her way through 10 hours of mangled mess.

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22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • whitephoenix
  • 2017-11-10

This narrator... why?

It's not just pronunciation. It's like the narrator doesnt even read books. A-badd-in. Abbadon. Just... why? I literally almost quit half way. Because half the time I'm wondering what she's even talking about then I'm like ooohhhh, she's just bad at words.Just rough.

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21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JamieB
  • 2017-05-26

Love the series not the multiple narrators

Wish the same narrator was used on the books...hard to picture the characters when the voices keep changing.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua Bergeson
  • 2019-11-23

Excellent premise, wonderful worldbuilding, garbage main characters.

I cannot express how mixed my feelings on this story are. It has some serious ups, and some staggeringly diarrhea inducing downs. The setting and world-building are truly fantastic. Though it doesn’t particularly do anything unique or original, it does put many aspects of modern fantasy together in a way that is truly interesting and fun to experience. So hold onto your toilet paper kids, we are about to spend ten hours on the toilet and things.....might get a little awkward.

I really enjoy the colorful side characters and the writers ability to develop settings had me immersed throughout the story. Small details put together in a way that really helps visualize each scene, and plenty of subtle suggestion lead me to see the underlying world this story is built on. As a writer I really appreciate these aspects of the experience. I always felt like I knew exactly where I was in the story, and yet the world building didn’t distract me from the character development.

Now for the bad. And holy shit the bad is REALLY bad.

The main character is, despite being very emotive throughout the story, so bland and uncharismatic that I simply could not at any point in the story either relate or really care about her situation. She was basically a wet plastic bag being dragged along to react to things and seem impressed by all the shiny neon haired non humans throughout the story.

Simon, Alex, and Iz are all interesting, multifaceted, complex characters that develop throughout the story, and I enjoyed their place in said story. I legitimately felt so strongly towards Simon, as I feel he is a character MANY guys can relate to both in experience and personality. Alex and Liz take a little longer to develop, but do so very well throughout the plot.

Jace however is an unbelievably unlikable edgelord. I’m sorry there is no way around this. He is a 10 year old boys fan fiction character and a 14 year old girls idea of a “dreamboat”. Half of all narrative dedicated to him is purely existent for the sole purpose of constantly describing how gorgeous and flawlessly super charming he is supposed to be, however he only ever comes off as a total douchebag who hurts people for no other reason than he can. There are even points in the story when Clari’s inner monologue states that she is aware of and sickened by his needlessly venomous attitude towards Simon.....and then immediately starts gushing about how fucking blonde he is and spends a page describing the color of his eyes.

To make things worse, the romance between Jace and Clari is the most contrived, shallow, and unremarkable piece of YA trash I’ve ever seen. The first half of the book is spent with the main character constantly going on about how much she absolutely loves and cannot love without her friend Simon, and how much of an insufferable shitbag Jace is. Then all of a sudden he makes some vague mentions of his troubled past and she falls for him like he’s the second coming of edgelord Jesus riding a guitar playing unicorn farting pure happiness and heroism.

As for the audio performance. It was par. Accents were awful. But it wasn’t enough to be off putting. I sat through it because I really enjoyed the story, even though I was wishing the entire time that I could trade the protagonists for literally anything else. FFS a moldy peanut butter sandwich and a bottle of Fanta would have made better main characters than Clari and Jace.

Overall. 3 out of 5. It’s a fun, colorful, and interesting romp through a well built world with some serious flaws. But I managed to sit through it all which is no small feat. And I appreciated the things it did right enough to write this review in the hopes that someone writes a fanfic about Jace sniffing unicorn farts while the rest of the cast goes off to do interesting things.

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12 people found this helpful

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  • Lexane Faure
  • 2024-01-12

la saga de mon enfance

j'adore les livres de Cassandra Clare ils sont tous incroyables même en les relisant des années après

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Natalie j
  • 2023-01-16

Good YA fantasy book

OK plot line- but I found the whole brother/ sister romance a bit odd… even if they turn out to not be siblings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gioia G.
  • 2021-01-31

i loved to go too sleep to this!

it was great! Thank you for the effort you put in making this! Loved it! :)

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