Sadly—or thankfully, depending on whichever you prefer—this book-to-movie adaptation hasn’t been doing very well. And unfortunately its author, Cassandra Clare, has been at the center of some controversy, most notably accusations of plagiarism. City of Bones follows the fifteen-year-old Clary—played here by twenty-four-year-old Lily Collins, because how big is a nine-year gap, really?—who, after witnessing a murder, is drawn into a world of magic and demons.
It turns out that the murder victim was a demon, and his killer, Jace, is a Shadowhunter, a person who fights demons using magical runes and awesome swords, because swords look cool. When Clary’s mother goes missing and Clary finds herself about to be killed by one of the demons who took her, Jace comes to her rescue. Clary discovers that her mother used to be a Shadowhunter as well, and that her mother had stolen and hid a very powerful relic called the Mortal Cup, capable of turning normal people into the half-angel, half-human Shadowhunters. Thus starts our plot to find Clary’s mother and the Mortal Cup, and this also marks the beginnings of an epic romance between Jace and Clary.
All in all, it doesn’t surprise me that this movie seems to have bombed, however disappointed I am that that’s the case. I’d say that this movie is a fairly decent adaptation of the first book in The Mortal Instruments series. The problem here is that the books are terrible, and they made a really terrible movie. So why am I sad that it’s not doing well?
Well, there are a number of reasons. For starters, it features a female protagonist, and we don’t get a lot of those. It has queer characters, who I thought were some of the most well written characters in the books. And it has a twist in the romance that I thought could have been very well done and unique.
Spoilers for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones after the jump.