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City of Glass | Review

City_of_glass

City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare

Clary is annoying and because she’s selfish, stubborn, and dumb she decides to ignore her Shadowhunter “brother” and go to Idris anyway, breaking the law and causing quite a ruckus in doing so.

Of the three books in the series so far, this one has the most action and stands apart from the other two in that it takes place predominantly in Idris, the land of the Shadowhunters.

Valentine is at it again, and now with the first two Mortal Instruments in his hands, he’s looking for the third, and with it, hoping to wipe out the “evil” Shadowhunters who are friends with the Downworlders (vampires, faires, werewolves, and warlocks) and purify the race. Except all the ones that would be left are terrible people, and all the good would be wiped out. But Valentine is crazy, we all knew that, and this book just confirms it.

7fa12e4dbb9b14733dae2ce540dbb9feI liked finally getting the answers to many of the questions Clare posed throughout the previous two books, and finally having the backstory to Valentine-Jocelyn-Jace-Clary cleared up. Thank Goodness. I was getting tired of it, and didn’t believe half of it anyway.

I also liked the change of setting; it was nice to get out of New York and into the Shadowhunter mecca, to see where Jace grew up and learn more about the Clave and the picturesque locale.

In the beginning of the series, I really didn’t like Simon, but as the series as gone on, and he’s evolved (and gotten over Clary, thank goodness), I’ve come to like him more. He’s come into his own and is a stronger character for it, and I love that he’s embraced his new world a bit more, and has two girls fighting over him.

The big reveal was predictable (there were PLENTY of signs), but it was still fun, and I found myself getting into this one a bit more than the other two (despite the odd cutting of scenes). Probably because of all the epicness and battles and whatnot.

This was the original ending to The Mortal Instruments, so it reads like a finale. Big giant epic battle. Everything tied up nicely at the end. An epilogue, even. It just makes me wonder where this can go from here (and HOPE that Clary finally gets over her recklessness and selfishness).

3.5/5 stars

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City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments 2) | Review

City_of_Ashes

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments 2) by Cassandra Clare

The second book in The Mortal Instruments series is an improvement on the first: the characters are better developed, the plot is more interesting, and there is more dramatic tension.

The plot of City of Ashes focuses more on Valentine and his quest to obtain the different Mortal Instruments. It also deals with the aftermath of Clary and Jace discovering their sibling relationship, and how that affects their feelings for one another… which is weird and incesty and confusing. In addition, Clare leaves hints at the true nature of Jace’s heritage that keep the reader intrigued through the series, which makes it slightly less weird/incesty, but even more confusing.

Jace is more brooding, Clary is just as clueless, and Simon is still annoying, but Luke and Magnus’ awesome levels rise, and I found a softer spot for Alec. I did miss the presence of Isabelle, however, as she was not in as many scenes as in City of Bones.

Even though the City of Bones movie ruined it for me, Simon’s transformation was fun to read and a nice twist on the story, though the ending was a bit too convenient.

7a64ecc7319acd3bbf2b05c903c642eeI was still bummed about the lack of Jocelyn in the book (she’s in a coma the entire time), and it bothered me even more that Clary rarely went to visit her mother in the hospital, leaving it up to Luke to do so. If my mom were in the hospital, I’d be there every day.

I also wasn’t a fan of Simon-Clary. It felt like she was just trying to use him to get over her conflicting feelings about Jace, and he just let it happen because he wanted her so badly… but then gets mad when her attention is easily thwarted by the presence of the latter. It just felt awkward and clumsy, and I didn’t buy it. There just wasn’t any chemistry, and honestly, half the time I don’t even buy their friendship, because Clary forgets about him so easily and treats him terribly.

Valentine’s character was also a bit more three dimensional, as his character started to shine through more and you could see how he so easily affected those around him. He’s creepy, but he’s kind of a badass.

I’d like to see more of Clary and Jace’s “special” abilities developed, and I really want to see Clary go through some shadowhunter training so she can be less useless in a battle (ugh) and Jace can stop calling her a mundane.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments 1) | Review

City_of_Bones

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments 1) by Cassandra Clare

I did it. Finally. I started The Mortal Instruments, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t enjoy it.

Clary (though I hate that name) thinks she’s a normal, everyday human being, but when she sees something unexpected and horrific at a club, her world starts to unravel before her eyes, and she must search through her forgotten past to discover who she really is and how she can save those she loves.

Put like that, it reads just like every other YA novel these days. And in some regards, it is. There’s a YA formula for a reason: it works.

The fact this book came out in 2007 and I just read it in 2015 probably taints my perspective on this series as well, as I would have been a lot closer to the characters’ ages in ’07 (I would’ve been 20) as opposed to now, when I’m 27 and have read a lot more similar-sounding stories since. That being said, here are my thoughts:

I enjoyed the Supernatural elements of the book (though I don’t watch the show), with the Shadowhunters and the demons and the Downworlders; I liked the concept that “all the stories are true,” which means beings like vampires, werewolves, faeries, mermaids, etc exist. I even enjoyed the slight political-class drama between the Shadownhunters and the Downworlders, though some of the backstory was slightly confusing.

745410I also really liked Jace and Luke. Clary wasn’t particularly my favorite, though it was nice to have a heroine who wasn’t automatically an amazing fighter, though her skills with the runes did come super fast to her at an advanced level, which I’m not sure I totally buy. Jace, however, is brooding, funny, admittedly narcissistic, and broken – just the way I like my book heroes – and Luke reminds me so much of Lupin (and not just for the obvious reason), and I do love Lupin.

What I didn’t enjoy was that I felt Clare tried to make the backstory and the history of the Shadowhunters too complex, and parts of it were confusing. I also thought that some of the twists were tired and expected, and the relationships wrapped up too neatly at the end. These are teenagers, after all, teenagers can be flighty, sure, but they also hold grudges and aren’t always so quick to forgive. I also wanted more from Alec. It’s rare for there to be a LGBTQ character in a series such as this, and I wanted him to have more to do, more to deal with, and I thought it was a cliche for him to take that out on Clary,.

But that just points to another of my issues with this, and that’s the characterization. Other than Jace and Luke, and perhaps Valentine and Simon, I didn’t really feel like I got to know the characters. It wasn’t until halfway through that I realized Clary had red hair, and Isabelle and Alec were just kind of there to fill space most of the time. Other characters were in place purely for plot points, and Simon’s devotion to Clary didn’t really seem to waver, even after she broke his heart and then continued to use him (and the whole Jace-Simon-Clary thing was just laughable and so teenage, ugh).

Also, I’m not in love with the whole twist at the end regarding Clary and Jace. It’s a bit weird for me, and I know that’s the point, but… Jace is more of Han to me than Luke, and this is all a bit too Luke and Leia. And Jace seemed to get over that shocker a bit faster than I would have anticipated, especially since he went all psycho-brainwashed only days before.

The plot, once it got going, went, and was a fun read. I like unraveling mysteries when reading, and even though I predicted it, it was still fun to uncover.

Even though I didn’t love it, I liked it enough that I flew through it in a manner of days (and being almost 500 pages and a super busy week at work, that’s impressive for me), and I’m curious enough to continue on with the series and see where the story unfolds.