Honest and lively YA book reviews
I. Didn't. Hate. This.
I'm just gonna let that sink in for a moment.
I. Didn't. Hate. This.
Maybe I'm sick. Maybe I'm dying. Maybe this is the end. I'm gonna morph into a crazy, screaming, frothing-at-the-mouth Fangirl, the whites of my eyes flashing as I desperately scan the bookstore shelves for anything with even a passing connection to The Mortal Instruments series, hungry for my next Shadowhunter fix. I'm frightening myself. There must be a cure for this affliction?!! I can already feel the change taking hold - Must. Create. Fan. Art. Aargh!!!
I jest, of course. But The Mortal Instruments series seems to have some kind of almost magnetic pull for me. It's like when you pass a car crash on the highway. You really don't wanna look but at the same time you can't look away. You could call it morbid curiosity. Whatever it is, I'm compelled to complete this series. I'm not gonna queue up outside the bookstore in May at midnight, shaking as I wait desperately for my copy of City of Heavenly Fire. But I'll get it. I'll read it. And then maybe we can all move on with our lives. That is, until Cassandra Clare comes up with yet another way to repackage her goddam Harry Potter fan fiction. Please stop Cassandra Clare!! Let me live my life!!
So, City of Glass is set in the ancient Shadowhunter country of Idris where the gang have travelled to discuss with the Clave the whole Valentine debacle. For some reason that is never actually fully expanded on, Simon rocks up, as does Luke and Magnus et al. It's all very contrived. We meet the mysterious Sebastian who is not who he claims to be, Clary sasses anyone who dares cross her path and Valentine has plenty of opportunities to perfect his evil laugh. But I was entertained.
Clary will never change. I have accepted that now. She will always be an angry bitch. There's no point fighting it. And there's no point expecting anything more from her. Her only saving grace in City of Glass is that there is less talking and more action so she didn't really have enough time to truly begin grating on my very soul. The exchanges she shared with Jace were nothing short of bizarre though. Do they hate each other? Are they in love? Who knows. Does Cassandra a Clare even know?
""The truth is that I don't want you here because you're rash and thoughtless and you'll mess everything up. It's just how you are. You're not careful, Clary." (Jace)
And then the next minute they're rolling around in the dirt together:
"He kissed her gently, carefully, but it wasn't gentleness she wanted, not now, not after all this time, and she knotted her fists in his shirt and, pulling him harder against her."
There's a large part of this book which is just plain confused, wandering around with a dazed look on it's face trying desperately but in vain to join up with the rest of the book in order to make some kind of sense.
*Spoilers are approaching !!! Watch out !!!*
For example, why following Jace's discovery about the supposed demon blood running through his veins does he take this as license to embark on, what he believes to be an incestuous relationship?!! This is illogical. The boy still has free will. Two minutes ago he had full control over his actions. But it seems the moment he believes himself to be "tainted" he throws caution to the wind, shouts fuck this shit - "I'm gonna jump my sister's bones." What the hell is that?!!
I just ... I can't ... What?!! I really don't understand this. It doesn't sit with Jace's character at all. But then there's a lot in City of Glass that just doesn't feel like the Jace we've all come to know and hate. And I like it. He needed to be knocked down a peg or two, and he seems a lot more humble this time round. There's less of those goddam quips and dumbass jokes and for that reason I felt a lot less violent towards him. He has less posing and a lot more action, and although some of that action is a little nonsensical it's still limitlessly more bearable than him rattling on page after page after page, flipping his golden hair in my face every five minutes.
The supporting characters are much improved also. Alec actually has what resembles a storyline of his own. It's a bit strange but it's there!! He and Magnus have apparently been nurturing some relationship behind the scenes which is brought to the forefront in City of Glass. Alec is afraid to admit he is gay and takes the next logical step in revealing his secret to the world:
"Alec had his arms around Magnus and was kissing him, full on the mouth."
Okay, so during City of Ashes, Alec could barely scrape his eyes up off the floor to even look at Magnus, blushing furiously if he even so happened to catch a glimpse of him up the street. At the opening of City of Glass Alec takes a very formal stance, treating Magus as nothing more than a business associate. However a couple of hurried exchanges and a few smirks and giggles later and he's sucking the face off him in the street. Like, what?!! Uhm - could this be instalove rearing it's ugly head? There's zero character development with Alec. One moment he's this shy little wallflower, all wringing hands and nervous anxiety. The next - BAM !!! - he's an adult and he's ready for some action !!! Jeez, Cassandra Clare, make up your goddam mind already!! Who is Alec? Because it seems to me that he's just whoever he needs to be at the time to create a somewhat interesting subplot. And that's not a proper character - that's cheating.
Isabelle was smoke in the breeze. Max was shock factor. And Jocelyn was info-dumper extraordinaire. But Sebastian ....
Sebastian was entertaining. He was kinda creepy, he was a little unsettling and he made for a decent enough twist at the end. He wasn't exactly a well rounded, fully developed character but he was fine as a plot device. I actually liked the way things panned out at the conclusion. ANGEL BLOOD !!! DEMON BLOOD !!! WHO DOES THIS CHILD BELONG TO ?!! Yeah, it was fun with Valentine skipping around, as comically menacing as ever.
I feel like Jace's heritage was left somewhat muddled though (so has he picked a surname yet, or what?) but it all tied in with the previous books and shit so I guess so I'm just gonna leave that one alone.
There was a bit of a different tone to City of Glass than I felt with the previous books in this car-crash series. It felt very much like rounding off, tying up loose ends, so overall it actually felt a lot more complete. Sure, there were plenty of scenes involving the supporting characters really shoehorned in there to allow the story to reach a conclusion but all the main players actually generally had their shit together. I would even dare to whisper that perhaps Cassandra Clare did put some planning and thought into The Mortal Instruments after all. Perhaps I was wrong to assume the whole thing had been written in purple crayon on the back of old receipts. The were a few loose threads like what the fuck is going on with that goddam Simon? And wow. Such missing body - Sebastian is where?!! But of course despite this series originally being a trilogy it expanded into four books. Then six. They're multiplying. Because there's just so much more to tell. Blerk. And we can never get enough of Jace. Barf.
Hmmmm. We'll see .....
See y'all after!!