Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a Litflix

The next book / movie combination in my journey is Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. First, I want to point out that I am not going to deal with the controversy around Cassandra Clare – I have read a little bit about it, but do not have enough personal experience to really comment on it. I read the book before I knew about the whole controversy so I had already formed an opinion about the book, which was honestly just meh.

I remember when I first saw the previews for the movie and the idea really intrigued me. The idea of a group of people fighting all the things that go bump in the night that normal people don’t want to know about. Making sure a balance exists between the fantastical and the mundane. The idea ends up so much larger than what ends up coming out of it. The book in particular is not that great. The movie changes quite a few things around, but personally I did not mind much. There are definitely some cheesy moments and the story still is not that great. (Potential spoilers for Mortal Instruments: City of Bones after the jump)

The Book

The book City of Bones just never completely held my interest and some of the twists and turns that were presented just seemed weird. I never really got invested in the characters and some of the writing I would get confused as to who was talking when. The supposed love part of the story was never that interesting because I felt like Jace was giving me whiplash and I could never tell whether he was just an ass or actually cared. He definitely came down as more of an ass to me, so why anyone would keep caring about him was beyond me.

Again, the bigger picture ideas were intriguing, but some of the execution felt like ideas I had heard before. The very idea of wanting to eradicate anything different in order to protect humanity… an unknown heritage… and suddenly discovered siblings. There are ways the ideas could have been combined and felt original, but it just felt rehashed and badly put together. It was not terrible, but it was not good either. If I did not need to finish the book for this project I do not know that I would have, just because I would not have cared enough to finish.

The Movie

Which brings us to me having to go watch the movie. I was so disappointed in the book that I became even less excited about the movie, but again I started on this LitFlix journey and needed to see it through. The movie did enough things differently that I was entertained and the action sequences are really what save the movie for me. I still did not really care about the characters, but Jace at least did not come off as such an ass. I felt like he cared about Clary, but was conflicted due to his past and his position as a Shadow Hunter.

The action sequences and special effects worked so well in the movie. They really brought the fight sequences to life and the fight choreography was beautiful. There was a smoothness to the motion that made the fights interesting to watch. Moving smoothly from one motion to the next and I felt like I actually saw and understood what was happening. I enjoyed watching the movie, but it is not one I would care about owning, and I would not recommend people going to see it either.


There are so many differences between the movie and book that it is hard to actually list them all. Initially the basic idea seemed to be going around the same direction, but the end sequence is completely different. The final fight happens in the Shadow-hunter sanctum in the movie, but in the book the main bad guy Valentine had his own location that was locked down. It gives a very different feeling to the final battle by trying to compress events at the end of the book.

The other interesting change is in the book they end and make it sound like Jace and Clary are brother and sister. The problem is that there is a make out session that occurs earlier in the story in both the book and movie. So then being called out as brother and sister, it feels uncomfortable. Of course reading up on this I discovered that this was a deception implemented by Valentine. So, in the movie they actually have a brief moment where it is discussed lying to Jace because if he believes that he is Valentine’s son and Clary is his sister who he made out with he would be more malleable.  Which in the end is why he turns on Clary and even listens to Valentine.

The differences between the book and the movie change quite a few situations and change the characters. I would be curious if some of the changes are presented in further books in the series, but I for one do not care enough to keep reading to find out.

2 responses to “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a Litflix

  1. Pingback: Best and Worst Litflix of 2013 | Comparative Geeks

  2. Pingback: Failure to Launch (A Franchise) | Comparative Geeks

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