Cassandra Clare – City of Glass
Read By: Natalie Moore
Length: 15h 22m (541 pages)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Started: 17 May 2011
Finished: 31 May 2011
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I’m a completist! I had to know how the trilogy ends.
for Shadowhunters are much
tenser than normal.
**Spoilers for the first two books in the Mortal Instruments series ahoy!**
Summary: In City of Glass, the action shifts from New York to Idris, as Jace and the Lightwoods must go before the Clave to explain the battle in the East River that resulted in Valentine, Jace’s father, escaping with yet another of the Mortal Instruments. Jace is eager to leave his sister Clary behind, both to shield her and her nascent rune-creating ability from the Shadowhunter council, and to shield himself from his own romantic feelings towards her. But Clary knows that going to Idris is the only way she will find out how to wake her mother up from the potent spell that has been keeping her comatose, so Clary secretly transports herself to Idris as well. Alicante, Idris’s main city, should be the safest place in the world: it’s home to most of the world’s Shadow Hunters, and wards around the city prevent demons from entering. But humans can be just as dangerous as demons, and Jace and Clary are about to find out that Valentine has plans more devious than they could have possibly imagined.
Review: I wish I liked these books more than I do. I mean, I don’t dislike them; they’re definitely well-written, funny, entertaining, and I’m enjoying them enough that I’ll keep reading them. But they’ve got a lot of elements that make me think that I should love them, and I just… don’t.
This book was a bit better than the previous one. One of my favorite things about this book is its cool worldbuilding and internal mythology, and so moving the action of the story to the home of the Shadowhunters brought all of that to the foreground. There’s just as much action as in previous books, but unlike previous books, it’s less episodic, and flows together into one story smoothly and without dragging. I also love the storylines of the secondary characters, particularly Alec, who once again had me cheering at several points.
However, oh my goodness, this book (and the whole series, to a point) was so very predictable. Spoiler alerts in case your sense of “predictable” varies from mine, but here goes: it was pretty obvious from midway through the City of Ashes that the romantic storyline between Clary and Jace wasn’t going to be dropped, and it was therefore equally clear that there had to be something more going on in their backstory than their purported sibling relationship. Playing the incest card is a dangerous move for an author, and Clare obviously wasn’t going to defuse it by having them not be really in love, which leaves her with only one real way out. So, I had a good idea how large parts of the story were going to play out from fairly early on, which made the portentous hints being dropped about them pretty tedious.
It’s entirely possible that the incest angle is why I never particularly cared about the “doomed romance” angle – that’s enough to sour me on a story on its own – but it’s equally possible that I just don’t like Jace. I am SO TIRED of the YA paranormal romance convention of the boy being all “I’m going to be broody and withdrawn and lie to you and act like a jerk, but it’s all for your own good, baby!” Lying and assholery are not romantic! Jace doesn’t have nearly as bad of a case of “for your own good”-itis as some other notable YA male “romantic” leads, but it’s there, and it keeps me from becoming overly involved in his and Clary’s romantic travails… and thus from becoming entirely emotionally invested in the story.
Recommendation: For all my complaining, I did enjoy it, and I will almost certainly be listening to City of Fallen Angels. Sometimes, reliably entertaining is all you really need. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Other Reviews: Oodles and oodles of them on the Book Blog Search!
First Line: The cold snap of the previous week was over; the sun was shining brightly as Clary hurried across Luke’s dusty front yard, the hood of her jacket up to keep her hair from blowing across her face.
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