Friday, November 4, 2011

City of Glass

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight. 

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her new found powers to help save the Glass City?

Whatever the cost?

Warning: here there be many spoilers. Read at your own risk.

So.  City of Glass. My last TMI re-read.  You know what?
I'm glad I re-read these.

There are some things I really liked about City of Glass, and some that I really didn't.  Just like there are some things I really like about TMI in general, and some things I really don't.  I'm going to mention the biggest dislikes first, so I can just get those out of the way.

1. I feel like Clare was not thinking of the whole "two boys" thing when she wrote CoB and CoA.  Because I don't recall Jace mentioning even ONCE that Valentine would disappear on him for days at a time, and I think that's something someone would mention, especially considering how often he's brought up.  There was just no foreshadowing to that.

2. Possibly my biggest problem with Clare's writing: the repetition.  I know you were thinking the similes, and those are my second biggest problem, but she did get ever-so-slightly better with those in this one.  But it's the repetition that kills me. She recycles the same phrases over and over and over again.  It's like she thought of a cool description and decided to describe everything that could possibly be described that way with those words.  I can't even count how many times I stumbled on a phrase and realized, "Hey, I've read that before. Six or seven times."

3. THE FACT THAT CASSIE CLARE FREAKING SOLD OUT.  Read the ending. Look very carefully at the ending.  Is there something you notice? Like the fact that everything's ALL TIED UP AND THERE'S A STRONG SENSE OF CLOSURE? LIKE THE END OF A TRILOGY? 
Oh, but my mistake. This isn't a trilogy anymore, it's a series.
Really. I'm sorry, but I hate when authors do that. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.  Cassie Clare, why did you accept? Why?
I'm just going to pretend that this is the last book. I don't ever intend to read City of Fallen Angels, because in  my mind, this is the end. This is it.

Alright, so I had other problems, but I'm too tired to mention them right now. Most of them have already been mentioned in my previous reviews, and the rest are just nitpicks.

There were actually a good amount of things I liked about this book, and if asked, I will name them.  But the only thing I'm going to tell you in this review is the reason I gave it four stars, not three like the others.

It made me cry.

I know. Weird, isn't it? TMI . . . and crying?  Those aren't two things I usually think of together, and I'm about 99% certain I didn't cry the first time around.

But I did this time.

After Jace was stabbed, when Valentine drew him onto his lap and rocked him like a little kid.  I cried.  It wasn't just a faint sting in the eyes, it was actual, honest crying.

And the thing is? I wasn't crying for Jace, or at least I'm pretty positive I wasn't.  I already knew he'd be back and better than ever in a couple pages. No, that's not it.

I was crying for Valentine.

And that is why I gave this four stars.  Not only did it make me cry, but it made me cry for the villain.  In most books, I am happy when the villain dies. Triumphant. Gleeful.  And while there was a faint sense of triumph, mostly what I felt was just . .  . sadness. Because yes, Valentine's moral compass was skewed beyond repair, and yes, he had done and intended to do terrible things, but in the end, he still had a soul. He was still human.  And he truly thought that what he was doing was the right thing, a noble cause.

4 stars.

The Mortal Instruments series is not stunning. It is not life-changing. It is not one of those series where I will poke you in the virtual face until you pick it up and read it and love it and reread it and love it again.  But the books are good, engaging reads that captured both my attention and my imagination.  If you're just looking for some easy, action-filled books to read, or you're a fan of urban fantasy, or both, I'd recommend you pick up this series.



Argument for #3: They never find Sebastian's body after the fight, and it's mentioned that they don't find his body so there is a pretty decent loose thread that isn't tied at the end of the books. :P Not saying your wrong because there is enough closure that the books could have stopped, but the fact that they never found Sebastian's body plays a major role in CoFA so I can see why the books continued with how she handled CoFA.

You know, I forgot about that scene after Jace gets stabbed. But you're right about it. It makes the villain human, and I think with what we find out about Valentine and Jace and Sebastian in the books, a part of Valentine really, I don't want to say loved because I don't think that's right, but had pride in--maybe?--Jace because he wasn't a monster and I think Valentine saw Jace as more like him than his own son, so to see him die was a blow.


I do realize that it's technically a loose end, but it really never bothered me, and the ending just did NOT sound like the end of a book that has another coming after it. It sounds like the end of a story, like it's coming to a close. And it was SUPPOSED to be coming to a close. So I'm going to pretend it did.

Maybe he wasn't capable of real love, but Valentine, in his own way, really did care for Jace. Sebastian was his own blood, but he had no humanity; Sebastian was a soldier, but not really someone Valentine could care for. Jace was too empathetic to be his soldier, but it was that same quality that made Valentine care for him. And it was Valentine's feelings for Jace that really did it for me, because when it came down to it, no matter what he'd done, Valentine was a human being. So many villains nowadays are portrayed as purely evil, something you can only hate, not feel sympathy for, so the fact that I cried for Valentine made me like this book and the series as a whole a lot more.

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