Skip to content

Cassandra Clare – City of Glass

June 10, 2011

74. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (2009)
The Mortal Instruments, Book 3

Read my review of book:
1. City of Bones
2. City of Ashes

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.

Family reunions
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.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

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.

© 2011 Fyrefly’s Book Blog. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Fyrefly’s Book Blog or its RSS feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is being used without permission.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2011 4:01 am

    I can see we share many opinions on that one! I wasn’t a fan of Jace either (loved Alec, though!), and like you I found that aspect of the romance really predictable – and that made this my least favorite book of the series. Except for all the world building, as you so well pointed out.

  2. June 13, 2011 1:26 pm

    kay – I think I wound up liking this one better than the second book, because even though the romance was predictable, Clare wasn’t trying to sell us on the love triangle aspect of things. Plus, the fact that it all takes place in Idris let the worldbuilding, which was my favorite part of any of it, take center stage.

  3. June 18, 2011 3:37 pm

    I’ve still got City of Bones sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read. I really should get to it! :)

    • June 20, 2011 2:30 pm

      Nikki-ann – For sure! Whatever other issues I have with them, these books are undeniably fun.

  4. January 8, 2012 2:03 pm

    Alright. Good review. I most certainly agree with the Jace thing. He just made me mad everytime he did something, and he was pretty predictable. I loved every part of Alec’s side-story, I wish there was more to it. Amazing setting, it flowed nicely, and I loved all the books, actually, I was thouroughly entertained, and even thought it was a little routine in the love story, amazing writes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: