It’s not all that surprising that City of Bones was as popular as it was. For one thing, fanfic writers with a lot of reviews and attention seem to write books that get a lot of attention. For another, this thing was flat pandering to the female Harry Potter fanbase. As such, City of Ashes was released to some fanfare. Some even considered it to be the next Harry Potter and Clare to be the next great fantasy author.

Yeah.

I said in my last review that I was hoping that Clare would manage to distance herself from her fanfic background. While I was pretty sure that she wouldn’t, I wasn’t aware of just how much of a bad fanfic this book would feel like. I didn’t know that Clare was going to pretty much ignore anything that she might have learned from writing fanfic.

It’s a pretty accepted fact that in most trilogies, the second book is the stupidest. The writer has plenty of ideas for the first and third books, but they just can’t seem to figure out what to do with the second one. They can’t defeat the Dark Lord, but at the same time, something has to happen. Usually they set up some minor annoyance and have the characters deal with that. This book doesn’t seem to do much of anything.

Well, nothing that couldn’t have been done in a couple chapters anyways.

Cover Impressions

I’ve never been fond of the covers for these books. A girl’s upper body with her arms in something of a power stance over the New York skyline is…interesting, but it doesn’t really give much of an impression about what the books are like. Actually, I stayed away from these books because they reminded me of porn on a first glance.

This may or may not be a detriment to others.

Just remember, this isn’t porn.

Also, the quote from Stephanie Meyer about how she’d like to live in Clare’s world really doesn’t do anything to put me at ease.

Plot

Our plot as given by Amazon:

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

Now, I’ll summarize: After the events of the first book, Jace and Clary have realized that they are in fact siblings, at least according to Valentine. As such, they not cannot have a romance. Woe. To fill the aching void of her heart, Clary starts dating Simon for no real reason and continually angsts about how he makes her feel safe and content.

Simon is having his own problems. He thinks that because he bit a vampire at some point in the last book as a rat, he might be becoming a vampire. He’s having an aversion to light and is hinted to have a desire for blood, but that’s not really gone into by Clare. She’s much more interested in Clary and Jace’s little drama.

Meanwhile, Jace is angsting because his foster mom came back, and she doesn’t believe that he didn’t know that Valentine was his father. I mean, it’s not like that man could have lied the entire time, and he’d never seen any pictures or anything… Nor is it like Valentine looks absolutely nothing like the man who he claimed to be, and anyone who knew the guy would have known the difference easily. Really, the whole thing is stupid, but moving on. To prove how mature he is, Jace runs away, ends up in a bar fight, and has to get picked up my his sister because ‘she’s the only person he listens too’ and such.

Are you impressed by his maturity?

All the while, we’re told that not only is this cool, this is the only thing that he could have done.

After this, a woman known as the Inquisitor shows up. She doesn’t believe that Jace is innocent. She imprisons him in the City of Bones, for some reason that I was never too sure of, and lets him sit there while she is waiting to take him to stand trial (I think). Meanwhile, Valentine has been getting buddy buddy with a random demon who controls fear, and he manages to steal another one of the Mortal Instruments: the Infinity +1 Sword of Infinite Goodness, which tells if your lying. This a stupid thing for a sword to do. He plans to convert it to evil1 by killing a fairy, a warlock, and vampire and a werewolf. Don’t ask why this works. Val manages to kill everyone in the City and stops to have a chat with Jace. Really.

Clary gets told that her brother just got unjustly imprisoned, and she goes to see what’s up. Well, more like storms over complaining about how sweet and innocent Jace is and wondering how anyone can dislike him. After having a weird dream about her mother, who’s comatose and isn’t really being mentioned much in this book, giving her a rune, Clary goes with Isabelle and Alec to the City of Bones. There, Clary uses her speshul new rune to unlock everything, despite how bad this is going to look. Before being reunited with Jace for long, all the adults, including the foster mom and the Inquisitor, turn up. They don’t believe him, and…he’s allowed to walk away.

Yep.

Alright, he’s a little wounded and so that make him shack up with Magnus Bane2 to heal up, but it’s a little hard to swallow. As if an organized group of demon hunters aren’t going to have multiple points where you can heal up.

So, after this, Isabelle tells Jace and Clary that the Queen of the Seelie Court wants to talk to them because one of her court was just killed. They go to a faery party with Simon tagging along. Going to said party really isn’t very helpful, because the queen thinks that it was a vampire who recently killed one of her Court, and she’s pretty much uninterested in the Shadowhunters. She just wanted to know why they weren’t doing anything, and basically says that if they don’t do something, she will. She believes our protagonists when they tell her it was Valentine but shows the most common sense out of anyone in this book by basically saying that it’s not her problem. However, if Jace asks Valentine ‘what blood runs through his veins’, she’ll help out a little, for the giggles. Then, because apparently the gods of this universe ship Jace/Clary, she will only allow Clary to go home if Jace kisses her. This has no baring on the plot, other than making Simon get mad and leave.

Simon leaves and goes to see some vampires about his more interesting worries involving his becoming a vampire, and then he’s really turned into a vampire. Because as Clary puts it “humanity is overrated” and she couldn’t possibly have a normal love interest. Oh, by the way, this scene of Simon getting turned is never shown in the book, despite the fact that it’s actually important to the plot. We’re just told what happened when the leader of the vampires, who actually does show some sense, keeps Simon from being completely killed, brings him to Clary and Jace, tells them how to make him a vampire and explains what happened.

The next part is…confusing. So, Simon, now a vampire, gets captured by Valentine along with a werewolf girl that he’s going to undoubtedly hit it off with in the next book. Instead of just killing them, Valentine gloats a little for no reason. Simon basically tells him to go play in traffic, actually looks…fairly awesome…and gets seemingly killed. Valentine doesn’t kill the werewolf girl who was right beside him and goes off and captures Clary. Someone needs to explain to Val that it’s best to kill potential problems. Then again the the protagonists couldn’t possibly win against a somewhat capable villain.

Jace gets caught by the Inquisitor,3 and it turns out that she just wants to kill him so that Valentine will feel what she felt when her son (who was actually on Valentine’s side in the prior war or something) was killed. The Inquisitor ends up eating crow when Valentine basically tells her to go ahead and kill Jace. Jace escapes (naturally) and the Inquisitor acts all humble and shocked and apologizes. She then dies right after learning something about Jace,4 and he runs off to save Clary. Before that happens, Jace finds the not quite dead Simon in the process. Val also needs to make sure that when a vampire looks dead that they are dead.

Jace ends up letting Simon drink his blood to help him, which turns Simon into a Uber Vampire who doesn’t get hurt by the sun. Since Simon was refusing to be like every other supernatural creature in this series and ditch his loving mother to hang out with cooler people, this solves some problems.

But it’s really because only speshul people are good enough for Clary.

Nothing really happens in the confrontation, Val gets away with the sword and the cup, everyone gets saved, and Simon and Clary break up.

That’s it. Moving on.

Characters

Clary: Clary has grown more annoying from the last book. She hardly ever thinks about her mother, gets all upset whenever someone calls out the Shadowhunters for being racist pigs, and generally contributes little to no active part in the story. She simply reacts to everything that happens. Her presence changes nothing. We do learn that, as any good self-insert, she is developing special powers that no one has ever seen before by making up runes/listening to the voices telling her what to draw. I’m not lying about the voices. They’re really there.

Jace: Clare has apparently forgotten every single rule about characterization in a fanfic, or she never learned it, because all she does is work on Jace’s stu-ish traits. One notable scene involves him walking into a werewolf bar and defeating everyone there despite the fact that they are seasoned warriors and he’s seventeen. Also, while Jace exhibited a lot a creepy traits in the last book, in this one, it’s very, very clear that he has no regard at all for human (or otherwise) life. He never seems to care that his actions could get his friends killed or himself killed, and he doesn’t seem to care that people are dying around him. He’s more interested in his daddy issues. Now, you could say that he saved Simon, but really, he didn’t do it because Simon was suffering, permanently caught between coming back to life and dying. He did it because (1) it would annoy his father, (2) because it might make the corruption of the Infinity +1 Sword not work, and (3) because he wants to get in good with Clary. So, despite her attempts to make him a Jerk With a Heart of Gold, Jace remains and is even more of a Jerk With a Heart of Jerk.

Simon: As I predicted, this guy had it hard in this book. Not only was he turned into the ‘boring and comfortable’ guy, Clare decided to get rid of some of his fans by making him more obsessed with sex than Jace, and thus not as cool. And more like Jacob Black. Since Clare couldn’t have Clary have in love triangle with a normal, boring human, she had to make him into a vampire. Credit where credit’s due, Simon’s transformation is one of the best written and well thought out parts of the book. Simon’s pain at not being able to tell his mother why he’s suddenly hiding in his room, the fact that he used to be a vegetarian as well as (apparently) a more of less Orthodox Jew, and his choices in life being completely stolen from him are tragic. His refusal to just run away stole the show. For a moment, I actually understood why people liked vampire fiction. The problem is that Simon’s sudden stu-powers felt like a cop out. It felt like Clare was trying to resolve Simon’s subplot as quickly as she could so she could go back to her pointless love triangle without worrying about real problems that would just get in the way.

Alec: Once again, this guy really doesn’t add anything to the overall plot, and isn’t even present for most of the important scenes. He is simply there to be gay, show how open minded Clare is, and give her slash fans something to gnaw on. This guy contributes absolutely nothing to the story, and he is as unrealistic as the characters in a slash fanfic. Which is, as far as you non-fanfic fans need to be concerned, about as realistic as the characters in Twilight.

Isabelle: She does one single thing in this book: she happens to be dating one of the Fair Folk, despite having been taught that the Fair Folk in this world use mortal girls. Thus, she is able to tell our protagonists that the Seelie Queen wants to talk to them. All this really is supposed to do is show how shallow Isabelle is and to move the plot along. She dumps him the moment that it is no longer convenient. This could have been done by someone else, but we have to see how stupid Isabelle is. Why? Because she’s a girl who isn’t Clary. And in Sue-fics, all the girls other than the Sue are either ignored or demonized.

Maya: This werewolf chick is supposed to be sympathetic. She was bit by her ex, had an older brother who tried to kill her before he died, and pretty much had a rotten life. The only problem is that, like SMeyer, Clare tries to make her secondary female characters as much like her main character as possible, and, like SMeyer, it means bashing humanity. Apparently, despite the fact that her parents are probably worried sick about her, or they think she’s dead and are devastated after losing both of their children, Maya doesn’t consider them worth her notice. They’re human and thus boring and ‘overrated’. She actually admits to never even thinking about them the moment she leaves. I guess sleeping in alleys with the possibility of being raped by some random passing psycho is more fun. As I said in my plot overview, she’s basically being set up as Simon’s Designated Love Interest and something for Valentine to target.

The Inquisitor: Once again, Clare falls into a Sue trope. Instead of disliking Jace because he’s a jerk, shows no respect for anyone or anything, and needs a good swift kick, she has to dislike him for a personal reason. After all, no one could dislike Jace because they dislike Jace. Her character is boring, flat, and completely cliché. If you’ve read even one sue/stu fic where morality depends on whether you like the main character, you have nothing new to expect.

Valentine: Once again, this guy proves himself be a pathetic villain. What’s worse is that when you read into his character, he’s the only person who actually thinks that humans are worth protecting. Therefore he’s evil. His grand scheme is to kill all supernatural beings so that humans will be completely safe. While I’d say he’s a Knight Templar, he’s not a really horrifying villain. What made Voldy a villain was that he didn’t care who he killed, and he had no justification for his hatred. Val’s also a lousy villain since he makes some pretty clear violations of the Evil Overlord List, like not killing people when he has the chance, or at least keeping them with him, and revealing his schemes to people. He also really does stop and chat with people for no real reason. You’d think that he’d learn after being defeated once. You know, Clare, there was a reason why Voldy didn’t just sit down with Harry for a cup of tea while explaining his evil plan.

Setting

While the world building itself is getting extremely problematic, having such logic problems as just how a werewolf bar doesn’t get normal patrons, the actual setting is handled well enough in this one to be at least readable. Clare shows knowledge of New York, the setting feels natural, interesting, and some of the images like how all the City of Bones is made from the ashes of dead Shadowhunters, are interesting and a little creepy. Good.

Now add some logic and I’ll give you more than three stars.

Theme

Er…humanity is icky and Clare’s made up stuff is so much cooler. If you like humanity, you’re an evil person.

Albinos are still evil.

If a guy makes you feel safe, appreciated, and loved, he’s obviously not the guy who you should be going for. Find the nearest arrogant ass and attach yourself to him. Even if he’s your brother, you’ll probably find out that he’s not anyways.

Family is only interesting as long as it’s useful.

Once again, it’s really that racism is bad. But when the main characters are themselves racist, it starts feeling a little stupid. Making another Harry Potter point, the Wizards who used terms like ‘Mudblood’ were usually the bad guys, and while the Wizards were woefully ignorant about Muggles, Rowling herself pointed out that a Muggle with a shotgun was going to win against a Wizard with a wand.

Weapon’s Research

This is new. As there was some more conversation about weapons, and Clare named a few things that weren’t Western and failed. Apparently, she thought that no anime or manga fan ever bothered to learn a little about Japan’s weapons. One such fail is her use of a naginata. In City of Ashes this weapon is given to Alec, who seems to think that he can use it with one hand. A naginata is a pole arm that is traditionally a woman’s weapon. You know that thingy that Sailor Saturn used? You know, this? That’s a naginata.

So basically, she’s not only going oh, look, look, Alec is gay, gay, GAAAAYYYUUUU, she’s also lacking some knowledge of how a person uses a pole arm: it’s not with one hand.

It only takes a little trip to Wiki, Clare.

Anime

Another new thing that I wanted to discuss. Since people started to actually pay attention to teenage trends instead of letting Disney and Hollywood think for them, writers have started to realize that there are not only female geeks, but there are geeks who are interested in more than just Star Wars or Star Trek.

The problem is that many seem to think that their readers believe that these people are stupid.

Some people, like Jim Butcher, give their readers a wink and a nudge and revel in the fact that they too are Dukes of Dorkdom. Others do their best to distance themselves from such uncool things by making fun of them or they try to show how in tuned with ‘geeky’ things by trying and failing to use these things to make their characters look cooler. Clare does the last two.

Not only does she have an almost three pages of making fun of some anime for no apparent reason other than to bash anime5 but she also attempts to describe Jace as an anime hero. I know my anime heroes. They are stereotypically loud, brash, rude, and generally nice guys. You learn that they are really sweet guys pretty quick. Jace is not in any stretch of the imagination a sweet guy. If Jace was in an anime, he would be someone like Uchiha Sasuke, with a boatload of fangirls, but an anti-hero at…best…

Sorry, but this really, really annoyed me.

Mechanics

Things haven’t changed. The dialog is witty, but brings nothing new to the table. The sentences are awkward and Clare likes her adjectives too much. I feel like Clare is going ‘See! See! I’m a professional writer! Look at all the neat words I use!’ instead of having the self assurance to use larger words sparingly.

Mythology and Religion

I didn’t really go into the sheer lack of research and holes in my last review. As we have more revealed about every race in this novel, I’m going to have to call Clare out on…well…everything.

Both werewolves and vampires are nothing but shameless rip offs of the commonly conceived movie versions. Clare has done no real research, and probably doesn’t care enough to know that The Wolfman came up with the silver bullet, and that vampires, in the folklore sense, are a step up from zombies. While I would be fine with her making things up, there is nothing new, original or interesting in what she’s doing. She’s just using popular ideas of vampires and werewolves without even thinking. It’s unoriginal and boring.

Next, the Fair Folk. I hate to inform Clare of this, but they weren’t ruled by queens in folklore. In Scotland, the Fair Folk were divided into the Seelie (or Chaotic Neutral to Chaotic Good) and the Unseelie (Always Chaotic Evil) Courts. Both were ruled by kings. In the Irish stories, everyone was ruled by someone called Finvara. To my knowledge, the thing with queens only turned up when Spenser wrote the Fairy Queen, which was really his way of getting into Queen Elizabeth’s good graces. I’m calling this out because it’s become a cliché. I’m bored with it. Show some originality.

Also, The Fair Folk were not ‘evil’ or ‘amoral’. Actually they were a lot like people would be they were longer lived and had magic. They had a code of honor, were kind of nosy about what humans were doing, and had no problem whatsoever with punishing people for breaking the rules (either theirs or humanity’s). So long as you were polite, decent to people and left the Fair Folk alone, they would usually leave you alone. Usually. Finally, to say that the Fair Folk came from a union between angels and demons just to jam them into Clare’s little mythology is annoying. Some stories claim that the Fair Folk were angels ‘not good enough to stay in heaven but not bad enough to go to hell’ but others say that they were the old gods and others say that they just are some kind of natural thing. It’s best just to leave what they are alone. Once again, all Clare is doing is using the popular ideas without adding or even researching anything.

Finally, on angels. I’ll admit, angels aren’t my personal strength. As a practicing Catholic, I have a working knowledge of angels, mostly concerned with who’s the patron of what, and some knowledge of the ranking system, as defined by the Church, but I wasn’t sure enough of my knowledge of the Nephilim to make a judgment, so I got our own Danielle to help me.

In her words:

‘The Nephilim are basically a fantasy writer’s best friend, especially when said writer doesn’t care about biblical accuracy—the reason for that being how little we know about them. The Nephilim are mentioned briefly in the book of Genesis, and again in Numbers, almost in passing. All the verse in Genesis says is “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them.” The verse in Numbers basically just says “We saw the descendants of the Nephilim.”

Many scholars believe the Nephilim are the offspring of unions between fallen angels (aka demons) and mortal women, because true angels don’t have children. Some theorize that the Nephilim-offspring were giants, and that Goliath’s people were distant descendants of the Nephilim. This theory is bolstered by Numbers: “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” As the speaker says that those men were descendants of the Nephilim, it makes sense that they would be giants. So if a writer wants to be accurate, any descendants of the Nephilim would be giants.

However, I know a lot of writers who take HUGE liberties with the Nephilim—even Christian writers. Ted Dekker changed them for one of his series, making the offspring vampires instead of giants. Other writers give the Nephilim various superpowers, superhuman good looks, etc. It’s annoying, but oh well.’

I don’t really see how I can add to that.

Literature

Speaking of shamelessly taking from popular conceptions, Clare has a lot of Bible Fail and Literature Fail in this lovely. For example, she insists on re-quoting how Satan was the character Milton was actually supporting in Paradise Lost. Speaking as a lit major, he wasn’t. When you actually read the whole thing, and not just some of Satan’s spiffy speeches, it’s pretty clear that Milton’s making fun of him, and that Satan’s a hypocrite. Pandemonium being about as big as a bird house and how, as time goes on, Satan tends to contradict himself are examples of this. Also, in the words of my professor: “you’d be a pretty lousy Deceiver of the Nations if you weren’t very charismatic.”

And once again, Clare seems unaware that there are people, and quite a few of them, who actually believe the Bible. It’s not really the best choice of material to play with. She constantly quotes the Old Testament, uses it to make herself sound smarter, and generally adds nothing to the book but my irritation. It’s pretty stupid to quote the Bible and think you sound smart. As it’s such a major text and some Christian groups pretty much memorize it, you’re not really impressing anyone.

Final Assessment

I’m not going to lie. This book is bad. Clare seems to have almost forgotten most of her original ambition in the first book. She’s not really trying to come up with anything new or exciting. She’s more or less following tried and true methods to write a more or less successful YA book. The pointless love triangle is even more pointless, and there’s kind of a drag in the book.

I’m assuming that Clare really didn’t know what to do with this one, while she had some more ideas for the next one.

Would I recommend it? No. Most of halfway the charming things of the first book aren’t really there, and I feel that Clare herself is too impressed by her own characters to be able to step away from them and see where they need to be improved. Worse, she seems aware of criticism and answers by trying to show us why we are wrong.

Always a bad tactic.

Since I’m not wasting my money on this thing, I don’t know when I’m going to be able to review the third novel of this joy.

So, next up is Fallen.

Score: 3 out of 10

Just remember, I’m always up for listening to recommendations.

1 The benefits of which are not really explained well. Maybe when it’s evil, it becomes a weapon. As opposed to the World’s Most Inappropriate Truth Detector

2 Remember the painfully gay stereotype that hosts random parties? Apparently he’s very popular in the fanbase. Even if he doesn’t actually do much other than flirt with Alec because if two guys are gay, they are automatically attracted to one another.

3 Remember her? One of the main plot problems?

4 Probably that he and Clary aren’t really related after all, so they can get it on without risking deformed babies.

5 She also seems unaware that anime is not always, or even usually, about tentacle porn and sex.

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Comment

  1. Fireshark on 27 July 2012, 02:02 said:

    She also seems unaware that anime is not always, or even usually, about tentacle porn and sex.

    Ugh, there is no possible way for that to be either funny or accurate.

    Nice review, by the way. I especially liked how you went into mythology and religion, since those seem to be things many authors won’t research thoroughly. I’ll hate to see fantasy/horror lit in 20 years. By then, the writers will probably be convinced that zombies were always the result of some strange infection, and that vampires always sparkled.

  2. Tim on 27 July 2012, 05:18 said:

    Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries?

    Bacon. Bacon is always normal.

    But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace.

    Commas do not work that way.

    When the second of the Mortal Instruments

    Those are clearly very small Mortal Engines, so I guess Traction Sofas and Traction Futons are taking over the living rooms of New York.

    the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace

    Press LT to use iron sights.

    How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

    How can Bob think Sarah can possibly remember or care who the hell these people all are when we, the potential reader, have known them for all of one paragraph?

  3. swenson on 27 July 2012, 09:14 said:

    But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace.

    Please never ever ever ever ever refer to your blood brother as “handsome” again, m’dear. It’s disturbing. Even if it turns out he’s really not her brother, it’s still disturbing because it means she thought he was hot even when she believed him to be her brother. I know they didn’t know one another as young children and therefore the Westermarck Effect isn’t in play, but you’d think general squick would be enough to keep her from going there, especially because this is supposed to be a YA book, not Game of Thrones.

    This book sounds incredibly boring, I’ll be honest. It’s just so… meh. Nothing really new there. I wouldn’t mind the pop culture version of mythology if it was handled well, but it sounds like it isn’t. At all. And the whole “everything mythological is so much COOLER than boring human people!” is as annoying as the whole “woe is me for being mythological T_T” angst found in some other books.

    And for the love of all things sweet and beautiful, if you’re going to base a book off a religion that a significant population follows, do your research!

  4. Pryotra on 27 July 2012, 09:23 said:

    Ugh, there is no possible way for that to be either funny or accurate.

    It’s not the first time I’ve seen writers do that. It’s kind of annoying to hear them talking about how only goths and druggies read ‘manga books’ and how it’s all dirty.

    All Anime is Naughty Tentacles gets really old.

    I’ll hate to see fantasy/horror lit in 20 years. By then, the writers will probably be convinced that zombies were always the result of some strange infection, and that vampires always sparkled.

    Shudder

    It’s bad enough with people assuming that werewolves and vampires have always hated one another or that vampires were always cool. (The original vampires were essentially speaking a corpse infested with an evil spirit. Buffy was actually pretty close.) I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s always a pet peeve with me when the writer doesn’t bother to learn anything about what they’re writing.

    Bacon. Bacon is always normal.

    I’m sure that in Clare’s universe, they have special supernatural bacon that floats around and insults people.

    Those are clearly very small Mortal Engines, so I guess Traction Sofas and Traction Futons are taking over the living rooms of New York.

    …That would be awesome. Until the beds start trying to eat the dressers. Maybe the beds are part of the Anti-Traction League.

  5. Pryotra on 27 July 2012, 09:30 said:

    you’d think general squick would be enough to keep her from going there, especially because this is supposed to be a YA book, not Game of Thrones.

    Oh no. That doesn’t seem to bother Clary in the slightest. It didn’t seem to bother anyone since there was a steamy kissing scene with Jace who she thought was her brother.

    It’s nasty.

    And, yes, this book was boring. As usual with Clare stuff happened, but none of it really had any baring on anything. If you want to read something where pop culture mythology is treated well, read The Dresden Files. The protagonist is actually sympathetic, you have everything from the Fair Folk to a mortician in a one-man Polka Suit controlling an undead T-Rex, and research is done.

  6. Tim on 27 July 2012, 10:10 said:

    You’re expecting a big-name fanfiction writer to have hangups about incest? Isn’t that rather like expecting a world-class fighter pilot to have a fear of flying?

  7. Pryotra on 27 July 2012, 10:18 said:

    You’re expecting a big-name fanfiction writer to have hangups about incest?

    As I am a somewhat big-name fanfic writer, at least in my genre, yes. Then again, I’m more interested in the actual dynamics between characters than I am in pointless romance, but it is possible for a big-name fanfic writer to dislike writing slash/lemons/incest.

  8. swenson on 27 July 2012, 10:19 said:

    True… but I thought she’d at least tone it down for publication.

    Guess not, though, so let me say WELCOME TO FANFICTION, UNSUSPECTING READERS.

    Actually, I’d like to run some stats some time on how much fanfiction actually involves, well, disturbing elements. Or sex at all. Obviously a great deal doesn’t include it, despite the stereotype, and some sites other than FF.Net don’t allow mature content at all, but I’m curious nonetheless.

    I suspect it’d vary wildly from fandom to fandom, though, and from site to site based on their policies.

    And I know I’m getting off-topic from City of Ashes. I’ll stop now. :)

  9. Pryotra on 27 July 2012, 10:48 said:

    Speaking in generalities, it depends on genre, age and skill level of the writer. Most fanfic isn’t disturbing, it’s just badly written and boring. In HP fanfic, there’s a lot of slash, Mary Sues, pointless romance, and plot rehashing, but proportionally not too much of it is really disturbing, it’s just badly written and thought out. There’s more good/acceptable stuff on FF.net than disturbing.

    I’ll say that usually the most disturbing stuff is written by some fifteen-year-old who’s never had a boyfriend/girlfriend in her life. The older/more experienced people usually (in the case of Clare) know better.

    As far as Clare went, I know that a lot of people really wanted her to turn the Draco Trilogy into a slash fic, but incest wasn’t involved in the small sections of it I read.

  10. Apep on 27 July 2012, 13:03 said:

    Also, the quote from Stephanie Meyer about how she’d like to live in Clare’s world really doesn’t do anything to put me at ease.

    Of course Meyer would like to live there. It’s a world where the ‘heroes’ are complete hypocrits, claiming to protect normal people all while being casualy racist against them. And Meyer would, of course, be one of the special people, not one of those pathetic mundies.

    I can’t believe Jace has fans. I’m (slowly) making my way through the first book, and he’s a complete jackass, especially to people who are supposed to be his friends. But apparently being ‘hot’ makes his behavior completely excusable. And no, having a “tragic childhood” doesn’t make me like him more, because guess what: he’s still a jackass.

    Sorry about the mini-rant, but Jace really pushes my buttons.

  11. Pryotra on 27 July 2012, 15:18 said:

    And Meyer would, of course, be one of the special people, not one of those pathetic mundies.

    Just like if she was in her world, she’d be a vampire, as opposed to the normal humans that seems to think that the vampires are justified in eating.

    Oh, Apep, I feel for you. One of the reasons that I wasn’t sure if I could do a real sporking was simply because I would have spent so much time pounding on the keyboard screaming about how much I hated Jace.

    What’s worse is that I hear that he’s gotten so bad in the City of Fallen Angels that even some of Clare’s fanbase had issues with him.

    apparently being ‘hot’ makes his behavior completely excusable.

    Well, I suppose that the creator of Draco in Leather Pants (no matter how much she claims to hate that trope) would think something like that. It’s still utterly disgusting though.

  12. Danielle on 27 July 2012, 15:38 said:

    I got our own Danielle to help me.

    Yay! I got a shoutout! :)

    Glad to have helped.

    I can’t believe Jace has fans.

    Me neither. Then again, people tend to like crappy things. When my brother was in high school, he did an HI (humorous interpretation) of Twilight. Two judges said it was hilarious, one said she hadn’t read the book and didn’t get it but thought it was funny anyway, and one basically said he was a heathen with no taste in literature for daring to mock Twilight. Meanwhile, Fifty Shades of Grey has quite the devoted fanbase, and HP fanfics where everyone talks like they’re from the 16th century get over four hundred reviews. I guess crappy fictional boyfriends are just par for the course.

    City of Fallen Angels

    Let me guess: Cassandra Clare doesn’t know that “fallen angel” is just a more poetic way to say “demon.” facepalm

  13. Minoan Ferret on 27 July 2012, 17:06 said:

    I’m sure that in Clare’s universe, they have special supernatural bacon that floats around and insults people.

    I might have to steal borrow that idea!

  14. Apep on 27 July 2012, 17:33 said:

    Oh, Apep, I feel for you. One of the reasons that I wasn’t sure if I could do a real sporking was simply because I would have spent so much time pounding on the keyboard screaming about how much I hated Jace.

    You know what’s worse? I’ve decided to do a sporking. It seems I have a bit of a masochistic streak in me.

    Booze, even digital, will be most appreciated.

    Cassandra Clare doesn’t know that “fallen angel” is just a more poetic way to say “demon.”

    And she’s not alone. But at least she’s a little better than Becca Fitzpatrick – she didn’t make the “fallen angel” the love interest.

  15. Danielle on 27 July 2012, 17:59 said:

    But at least she’s a little better than Becca Fitzpatrick – she didn’t make the “fallen angel” the love interest.

    I wish these writers would realize that a “love” story between a human and a demon would be like a romance novel about a US Marine who falls for Osama Bin Laden.

  16. Fireshark on 27 July 2012, 18:36 said:

    That probably depends on the writer’s outlook. As a rule, I think that demons are usually supposed to be failed angels who rebelled against God, which should make them irredeemable.

    On the other hand, some authors treat demons as though they were demons from the moment they were born/created. In that case, it makes sense for demons to be redeemable because no race should be Always Chaotic Evil.

    And finally, some might draw a distinction between a fallen angel and a demon—if you get booted out of heaven for some reason, that doesn’t mean you are a demon, just not good enough to be an angel anymore. The fathers of the Nephilim are not mentioned again, I believe. Those angels are not said to have rebelled against God in the same way that Lucifer and his angels are said to have.

  17. Danielle on 27 July 2012, 18:58 said:

    Yes, but the Bible doesn’t draw a distinction between fallen angels and demons, and it says that all demons made the choice to rebel along with Lucifer. So if an author wanted to be accurate, they would need incorporate that view into their story.

  18. swenson on 27 July 2012, 19:24 said:

    a romance novel about a US Marine who falls for Osama Bin Laden.

    Yeah, I laughed. And it’s such an excellent analogy.

  19. Tim on 27 July 2012, 21:38 said:

    Yes, but the Bible doesn’t draw a distinction between fallen angels and demons, and it says that all demons made the choice to rebel along with Lucifer.

    The Bible has very few references to such things (the only clear one being in Revelation unless your Bible somehow contains the Book of Enoch which identifies Satan as the former archangel Sataniel), and Satan is never called Lucifer in the Bible (it’s actually one of Jesus’ names, if anything). The “fallen angels” in Rev were cast down to Earth for rebelling against God, but I don’t see anything in the Bible that says they couldn’t either abandon Satan and be evil in their own right after that or repent / seek redemption / work a nine to five job while thinking the pit of fire can’t come soon enough / whatever. It doesn’t bother to go there because it’s not like instructions for the salvation of demons / fallen angels are going to be any use in a holy book for humans.

  20. Fireshark on 27 July 2012, 22:09 said:

    Lucifer is mentioned in Isaiah, in a rather obtuse way. He is used as an allusion referring to an earthly king. Many Jews did believe the passage, along with a similar one in Ezekiel, referred to the personified form of evil behind those kings, although this interpretation somewhat fell out of favor until Christians revived it later on. The book of Luke refers to Satan falling from heaven, although the direct connection of Lucifer and Satan was made later. Both are often used as synonymous with the name “Devil,” of course. Matthew also mentions the Devil having angels.

    “Lucifer” as a name of Jesus is only very occasionally used, because of the meaning “Bringer of light.” The word “Lucifer’s” only appearance in the Bible is not a reference to Jesus by any stretch.

  21. Fireshark on 27 July 2012, 22:11 said:

    Unfortunately there’s no edit button, so I’ll just add that Lucifer is said to have fallen from heaven in Isaiah, which forms the connection that made “Lucifer” synonymous with “Satan.”

  22. Tim on 27 July 2012, 22:26 said:

    Lucifer isn’t just lightbringer, it also means the morning or day star (Venus, as it happens). Morning star, day star, and morning and evening star are all titles assigned to either Jesus or God.

    Here’s Jesus effectively calling Himself Lucifer in Rev 22:18:

    “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.”

    Lucifer being the devil’s name is the religious version of fanon and has no scriptural support at all.

  23. Tim on 27 July 2012, 22:28 said:

    Whoops, that’s Rev 22:16, not 18.

  24. Danielle on 27 July 2012, 23:23 said:

    There’s a serious difference between Jesus and Lucifer, Tim. Jesus’ calling Himself the “bright and morning star” does not equal Him calling Himself Lucifer.

    I’m not going to argue this with you, because I don’t want to clutter up the comments page with debate, but I will ask you to stop saying Jesus and Lucifer are one and the same.

  25. DictatorHat on 28 July 2012, 01:43 said:

    Ok, why are we claiming Voldemort was an effective villain at all? His strategy was:

    If I use Avada Kedavra again on Harry maybe this time it will work!

    And I seem to recall his long explanation of his resurrection in Goblet of Fire, along with breaking the Evil Overlord List by saying Potter was his.

    Still, this book is pretty ugh.

  26. Danielle on 28 July 2012, 01:59 said:

    If I use Avada Kedavra again on Harry maybe this time it will work!

    Although, it did work that one time….sort of. I don’t know why he didn’t just hatch the plan from Potter’s Puppet Pals:

    Ron: I’ve found the source of the ticking! It’s a PIPE BOMB!

    All but Snape and Dumbledore: Hooray!

    BOOM!

    Voldemort: sings Voldemort, Voldemort, ooh, Voldie-Voldie-Voldie-Voldemort!

    T’would have been far more effective, in my opinion.

    breaking the Evil Overlord List by saying Potter was his.

    At least he never turned into a snake…..

  27. Minoan Ferret on 28 July 2012, 02:40 said:

    There’s a serious difference between Jesus and Lucifer, Tim. Jesus’ calling Himself the “bright and morning star” does not equal Him calling Himself Lucifer.

    Especially because in the Latin “Lucifer” isn’t used, or indeed any variations of “lux” (light) or “ferrere” (infinitive form of verb “to bear”).

    Ego sum radix et genus David, stella splendida et matutina.

    Literally he says: “I am the root/foundation and of the Davidian line, a star both shining/splendid and of the morning.”

    Classically, Lucifer was a name for Venus as the morning star, and a very minor son of two gods, who seem to vary by sources. How it got applied to Satan I don’t know.

  28. Tim on 28 July 2012, 03:31 said:

    Classically, Lucifer was a name for Venus as the morning star, and a very minor son of two gods, who seem to vary by sources. How it got applied to Satan I don’t know.

    It’s because in the King James Bible the word was left in Latin. Isaiah 14:12 mockingly assigns a divine title to the King of Babylon (“morning star, son of the dawn”) to indicate what he believed himself to be, then talks about how he has fallen from his supposedly lofty position. The fact that the same title of “morning star” is later assigned to Jesus cements that Isaiah’s use is intended mockingly.

    More to the point, Isaiah isn’t talking about the devil, he’s taunting a human king who thought himself to be divine. Later authors looked at the passage and said “ooo, something falling after pissing off God, must be Satan!” and carved out this whole brainfart of Lucifer being the devil’s name.

    Basically, calling Satan “Lucifer” is exactly what the article complains about; going along with what other people have added later rather than being familiar with the original root of the story. The title “day star” belongs to God or Jesus in the Bible, never to Satan.

  29. Pryotra on 28 July 2012, 07:43 said:

    …I leave for a while and I find a debate about the origin of Lucifer as being applied to Satan.

    I find this rather nice, actually.

    Ok, why are we claiming Voldemort was an effective villain at all?

    Because he never once sat down in private with Harry and told him everything that he was planning. Nor did he have just allow someone to live for no good reason. While I agree the Voldy…really needed to read the List himself, (particularly that bit about the object that was his greatest strength/weakness) he was at least tolerable. And when you actually considered what it meant to use the Unforgivables, it was unnerving. Val is just not a convincing villain. There’s nothing particularly threatening about him.

    Back to the Lucifer=/=Satan thing. In the Catholic Church, we usually call the Devil the Devil or Satan in Baptism and other services where he’s mentioned. I do know that demons/fallen angels are considered irredeemable because of what some of the evil spirits/demons said to Jesus in the Bible about tormenting them before their time.

    There was also kind of logic that if humans are clueless, and usually think they’re doing to the right thing, and we can be considered evil, something that knew what it was doing and rebelled would be pretty much irredeemable. I believe that a man called Origen disagreed and said that everyone, including the Devil, would be saved, but everyone pretty much disagreed. It is conjecture and logic, but unlike what Clare and her compatriots do, this is actually believed by people, so if you’re going to write something about this, it’s kind of necessary to not only know the root, but know what the general thought is before writing about your Good!Fallen/human romance. In the general mindset though, Danielle’s right. Though that worries me. I fear that some idiot might try to write US Marine/Bin Landen romance in about twenty years or something.

  30. swenson on 28 July 2012, 09:20 said:

    Would I be a terrible person if I admitted I think a Marine/Bin Laden shipfic would be completely hilarious?

    Really horrible, of course, but still completely hilarious.

    Unless of course, someone wanted it to be taken seriously, in which case the flamethrower may need to come out.

  31. Tim on 28 July 2012, 10:20 said:

    Well, like I said, the Bible is for humans, and all humans need to know is that angels that are bad are going to end up in the pit. While a demon couldn’t accept Jesus as his saviour (because Jesus died for man’s sins, not theirs) I don’t think it would be beyond the realm of possibility that there was some way by which they could seek redemption. Whether any of them would actually choose to do so would be another matter entirely, but exploring it in fiction could be interesting if done right. That’s without getting into the whole Gnostic thing of God actually being either imperfect or the bad guy, obviously.

  32. ThaArmada on 28 July 2012, 13:04 said:

    Ummm 1: it was the navy SEALs, not the marines who killed Bin Laden, sorry to be a detail nut.

    2: Maybe this bible discussion deserves its own thread on the forums?

  33. Danielle on 28 July 2012, 14:39 said:

    Ummm 1: it was the navy SEALs, not the marines who killed Bin Laden, sorry to be a detail nut.

    Oooh, even better! We can call it…. SEALed with a Kiss! With an entire chapter devoted to the amazing sexiness of Bin Laden’s beard and the way his turban fits his head just right!

  34. Pryotra on 28 July 2012, 14:53 said:

    it was the navy SEALs, not the marines who killed Bin Laden

    No problem, in ten years the suethor wouldn’t be too careful.

    SEALed with a Kiss!

    Excuse me while I go vomit. I’m getting tooth decay just reading this. Though…maybe it’ll be a kind of…Springtime for Hitler…

  35. Prince O' Tea on 28 July 2012, 15:34 said:

    Token gay character? I really can’t stand people who include gay or other minority characters and never let them do anything important or relevant to the plot, but pat themselves on the back about how open minded they are for making the waiter who served our heroes their coffee and pancakes like dudes. I guess that’s one thing the books have in common with Harry Potter: rampant tokenism.

  36. Danielle on 28 July 2012, 15:40 said:

    rampant tokenism

    Most annoying thing ever. It’s almost like you’re at a zoo: “And here we have the token gay character, crying while watching chick flicks….and here we have the token black character, being more awesome than the white characters….and here we have the token Asian character, using bad grammar and being good at math.”

    The Time Traveller’s Wife did that to no end. The token black character was a wealthy family’s maid who was an excellent cook. The token Asian character was the poor character’s former babysitter. The token gay character was dying of AIDS. Oh, and there was a token lesbian character, too, but she was only there to date the male lead’s ex-girlfriend and cause some pointless drama while she was at it. None of them made more than the most minor contributions to the plot, and yet the author is patting herself on the back for being so Hip and Progressive and all of her critics are patting her on the back for it too.

  37. Prince O' Tea on 28 July 2012, 15:41 said:

    And since I love a bit of Potter-bashing, I can honestly say that Voldemort is a terrible villain, for me at least. He felt more like the villain of a Saturday morning cartoon or a cartoonish caricature, then either an ultimate evil or a compelling character. It was like JK Rowling glanced at the menu whilst dining at the Stereotypical Dark Lord Cafe and said “I’ll have the lot, if you please.”

  38. Pryotra on 28 July 2012, 15:56 said:

    And since I love a bit of Potter-bashing, I can honestly say that Voldemort is a terrible villain, for me at least. He felt more like the villain of a Saturday morning cartoon or a cartoonish caricature, then either an ultimate evil or a compelling character. It was like JK Rowling glanced at the menu whilst dining at the Stereotypical Dark Lord Cafe and said “I’ll have the lot, if you please.”

    As I said, he never sat Harry down and told him all of his plans.

    (I could never stand Voldemort as a convincing villain myself. After fourth year, I just wasn’t impressed. Though I did start theorizing what would happen if a person who was conceived under a love potion was given a love potion. One day, I will write that fanfic.)

    On Token Gay/Black/Asian people: That’s one of the reasons I’m calling Clare out on this. She got a lot of pats on the back for including a gay character, but I’m not inclined to give her one. The writer of Guardian of the Dead did the same thing with Asexual people. She seemed to think that because you can’t be sexual aroused meant that you couldn’t fall in love.

    As I see it, if you can’t/don’t want to put the effort into writing a minority character, don’t. It’s almost more prejudiced to stick a stereotypical GLBT character in a book than to just leave the issue alone.

  39. Prince O'Tea on 28 July 2012, 17:00 said:

    Agreed. I found it maddening that JK Rowling gave her non-white characters the most stereotypically foreign names she could think of, but pretty much every major character in her books was white. And the less said about Dumbledore’s DADT policy and the other Unfortunate Implications, the better. One thing that really annoys me is how many shows will preach about equality for homosexuals, but will deny their gay characters getting any real screen time (if you’ve ever seen the first two series of Skins, you’ll see what you mean), or they just make their one gay character contain just about every negative or annoying stereotype (Family Guy). What I found annoying about Dumbledore was the sheer amount of Unfortunate Implications raised by outing him: like you said, it’s a case where it would have been a lot more sensitive to just not bother.

    You know what, I will give you that. Voldemort didn’t monologue to the heroes about his Evil Plans constantly, and the heroes would often have to work them out. Apart from that I was pretty unimpressed about like you said. Personally, I think Voldemort is an example of What Not to Do when writing a villain, while Umbridge is an example of what to do. She may not be a Dark Lord and as much as I love raking the Harry Potter books over the coals, I think Umbridge was an excellent villain, even before i met someone just like her in real life (though my Umbridge looked more like an iguana then a toad.)

    Yeah, that is a misconception I hear a lot about asexuals. (I do know two, and they are both romantic asexuals.) I would like to see bisexuals represented better in the media: especially since the bisexuals i know experience a LOT of nastiness from both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

  40. Prince O'Tea on 28 July 2012, 17:06 said:

    This for example, is something i hear from both camps: A lot.
    Straight girl: I wouldn’t date a bi guy. He’d cheat on me with a guy. Why are you facepalming?
    Gay guy: I wouldn’t date a bi guy. He’d cheat on me with a girl. Why are you facepalming?

  41. Tim on 28 July 2012, 18:54 said:

    Dick Steele was twenty eight years old and the finest soldier the US miltary had ever had. In SEAL training he’d not only got a perfect score, he’d also caused the creation of a new grading system with an extra rank only he had and invented four new types of dog. After a chronologically unlikely series of missions which had taken him all over the world, he was more experienced than most men twice his age, as well as being known for his rapier wit and having a cock like a T-Rex. But now he was facing his toughest challenge ever.

    “Infidel!” Bin Laden groaned realistically, “I never knew it could be like this!”

    Dick Steele drew on his twenty years of military experience and stayed focused. Suddy there was a huge explosion.

    “Oh” Bin Laden said sheepishly, “So that’s where I left my IED.”

    “Not to worry” Dick grunted, shouldering eight paragraphs copied verbatim from a Heckler & Koch sales brochure and flexing in a way that made a passing wildebeest faint, “I learned a few tricks in ‘Nam. My protective fakematerium alloy ass protector absorbed the blast easily.”

    There was little time for bin Laden to swoon, as seconds later a drone missile strike levelled the complex, causing Dick to have a completely coherent flashback to his time in Normandy back in forty-five before blacking out.

    ————————————————————————

    “The complex was destroyed” the CIA man began redundantly.

    Barack Obama relaxed in his chair, “So it’s finally over, and the world will no longer be terrorised by that man.”

    “Yes sir. Bin Laden is confirmed KIA in the explosion.”

    “Oh, he’s dead too? Even better.” Obama added another cushion to the pile under his aching rear.

    “With the leaders of al-Qaeda gone, the organisation is collapsing as we speak. The war on terror is over.”

    “Over?” Obama laughed, pulling off his mask to reveal a grinning skull with a scraggly beard, “Fool! You have merely removed the one thing that was holding me back!” He paused to tie a stick of dynamite to a bald eagle and kick it into a busload of orphans, “Soon I, Barack Saddam Hussein Obama, will subject all America to my AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE!”

    Outside the Oval Office, Dick drew four paragraphs of description of a knife. He’d survived by abusing a scene transition, but now he’d have to go against orders for only the two hundred and seventy third time. He readied his knife. Just like that time he killed Caesar…

  42. Prince O'Tea on 28 July 2012, 19:08 said:

    So you’re not making Dick a shy, naive twinky boy next door type, with long blonde hair and sparkling clear blue eyes, who is so naive and inexperienced he has never even masturbated or been kissed?

  43. Tim on 28 July 2012, 19:18 said:

    Naw, this is present day military novel stuff, so he has to be so chiselled he makes statues look like sissies.

  44. Mingnon on 28 July 2012, 19:24 said:

    So he’d be so built that his entire body would consist of only muscle and veins!? OAO;;;

  45. Tim on 28 July 2012, 19:26 said:

    Basically we’re in territory where there should be no meaningful difference between a sex scene and a description of two battleships colliding.

  46. Mingnon on 28 July 2012, 19:36 said:

    So every sex scene would end in a destroyed bedr- No no, a destroyed BUILDING!?

  47. pRince O'Tea on 28 July 2012, 19:38 said:

    So is Osama going to be the beautiful naive unworldly twink who gets ravished and seduced by the borderlline predatory older man?

  48. Tim on 28 July 2012, 19:41 said:

    Naw, that’d probably be some FBI analyst or something. The feds are usually immune to being unreasonably beefy in military fiction.

  49. Danielle on 28 July 2012, 20:38 said:

    Am I the only one who senses a love triangle between the absurdly phallic-named character, Osama Bin Laden, and Barack Saddam Hussein Obama? o.0

  50. ThaArmada on 29 July 2012, 01:04 said:

    Warning: rated R for graphic violence.

    draws M14 and rams it down Dick’s throat “You are a traitor to the God-Emperor, you have committed heresy by fornicating with a violent heretic, as Commissar TheArmada I execute you and the heinous story idea you represent!” The bullet went in one end and out the other, spraying blood and intestines onto the floor. Flips gun around effortlessly in one hand and aims it at Barack Saddam Hussein Obama’s head “You too heretical infiltrator, go back to Tzeentch and tell him I’m coming for his shapeshifting commisarial bleep

    Heretic whines “But the love triangle isn’t supposed to be killed off, don’t you read an YA fantasy novels?”

    “This stopped being a YA novel a long time ago” Pulls trigger, then spins around just in time to block Osama Bin Laden’s thrust with his recently late lover’s knife “I purge thee and end this foul heretical triangle of evil!” Blows head off “Phew” turns to stare at camera “I’m off, I have a strategy meeting in ten with Buffy and Blade”

  51. Tim on 29 July 2012, 01:49 said:

    Well, that wasn’t funny or good. Also /me doesn’t work in prose.

  52. ThaArmada on 29 July 2012, 02:31 said:

    I wrote that because I was sleep deprived (and still am) and I was getting overzealous in my irritation at the SEAL fix that was being created above. It sucks, and can I get it deleted if the general consensus is that it sucks?

  53. TakuGifian on 29 July 2012, 03:33 said:

    draws M14 and rams it down Dick’s throat

    can I get it deleted if the general consensus is that it sucks?

    Nope. Guess what? That’s going in the hardback Deluxe Edition of the book as a special “deleted scene”. Along with never-before-seen sketches of Dick Steele’s, ahem, ceremonial sword… standing at ceremony, as it were.

  54. Spanman on 29 July 2012, 08:50 said:

    I found it inspiring.

  55. autumnfey on 29 July 2012, 11:28 said:

    Thank you for pointing out the anime thing; it’s one of the little annoyances that always jumps out at me when I’m reading the books. Like, Clare mentions someone reading Naruto or having a Bleach poster and we’re supposed to believe her characters are oh so geeky and hip with that stuff. And Jace would totally be a Sasuke type . . . I hate that character so much.

    Next up is “Fallen,” huh? Good luck. It’s one of my least favorite YA books I’ve ever read . . . I think I’d even rate it below these (although your opinion may differ from mine).

  56. swenson on 29 July 2012, 15:01 said:

    Tim, you have quickly become one of my favorite people here. That was a thing of sheer beauty.

  57. ThaArmada on 29 July 2012, 15:19 said:

    inspiring in what way Spanman?

  58. Prince O'Tea on 29 July 2012, 18:59 said:

    It could be worse. I remember reading a book where the author was trying hard as she could to be hip by mentioning anime whenever possible. Only she would refer to it as Japanese Anime. Constantly. Never individual shows or characters or anything like that. Just “I like watching Japanese Anime.” Or “There is a Japanese Anime Marathon on the Sci Fi Channel.” “My friend loves Japanese Anime.” It got grating very quickly.

  59. Pryotra on 29 July 2012, 21:15 said:

    Japanese Anime

    As opposed to Russian Anime.

    I really, really wish that authors would either take the time to watch the shows, or just not talk about it at all. There was one woman I read recently who assumed that only goths and druggies read ‘manga books’.

    It was only less painful that a book where the female Frankenstine decided to turn the lab into a ‘Fab’. I might review it, but after the ones I’ve got coming, I want to review something aimed at guys… I feel like I’m being sexist.

  60. Spanman on 29 July 2012, 21:31 said:

    inspiring in what way Spanman?

    In the way that after reading it I felt it was a work that the author truly enjoyed creating. Plus it was funny.

  61. Fireshark on 29 July 2012, 21:43 said:

    “Over?” Obama laughed, pulling off his mask to reveal a grinning skull with a scraggly beard, “Fool! You have merely removed the one thing that was holding me back!” He paused to tie a stick of dynamite to a bald eagle and kick it into a busload of orphans, “Soon I, Barack Saddam Hussein Obama, will subject all America to my AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE!”

    I KNEW IT!

  62. ThaArmada on 29 July 2012, 22:23 said:

    @Spanman I forgot to make my question clearer, You are talking about Tim’s?

  63. Spanman on 30 July 2012, 01:15 said:

    Yeah.

  64. Minoan Ferret on 30 July 2012, 07:13 said:

    I’d love to try and top that, but… what does it take to get banned?

  65. Prince O' Tea on 30 July 2012, 07:33 said:

    Was that woman a relative of Gloria Tesch? We all know the Tesch’s complete and utter contempt for video games, to the point that anyone who plays videogames for fun is clearly an illiterate moron who is too stuupid and corrupt and mediocre to enjoy Gloria’s fantastic literature.

  66. Mingnon on 30 July 2012, 20:54 said:

    Liturasure? What is that? Is that some kind of vitamin drink?

    -A ‘video gamer’, according to Tesch.

  67. Prince O' Tea on 31 July 2012, 09:54 said:

    “Naw it’s a new power up gun in Call of Duty!”

    But we all know little Gloria loves videogames really. Or at least, I think she does, considering there were parts that felt like they were lifted word for word from the DS version of Final Fantasy IV.

  68. Fireshark on 31 July 2012, 10:39 said:

    There were parts that might have been lifted from Zero Wing. Gloria doesn’t exactly “get” dialog.

  69. Pryotra on 31 July 2012, 12:59 said:

    Gloria doesn’t exactly “get” dialog.

    The fact that in the words of Mark Twain, the talk must sound like people talk, or just the random Ice Cream Koans that Joey throws around?

  70. Prince O' Tea on 31 July 2012, 19:49 said:

    Gloria goes out of her way to make sure that nothing her characters say sounds absolutely nothing like human speech.

  71. Nate Winchester on 13 August 2012, 16:13 said:

    Woe. To fill the aching void of her heart, Clary starts dating Simon for no real reason and continually angsts about how he makes her feel safe and content.

    What did we learn today boys and girls?
    That if you want to prove your love to a girl, you make her miserable and threatened.

    “you’d be a pretty lousy Deceiver of the Nations if you weren’t very charismatic.”

    This, this a thousand times this!

    As I asked furious D once, nobody nowadays seems to be able to do charismatic evil any more.

    Bacon. Bacon is always normal.

    I might have to steal borrow that idea!

    “Give up your pathetic humanity! Embrace the darkness and join us as lords of the world!”
    “No! You mustn’t do it!”
    “Turn away, and we will destroy you along with the rest of the pathetic chaff!”
    “If you turn, you’ll no longer be able to eat… bacon!”
    [beat]
    “Shit she makes a good point. Now I’m depressed over my immortal and dark powers.”

    Of course Meyer would like to live there. It’s a world where the ‘heroes’ are complete hypocrits, claiming to protect normal people all while being casualy racist against them. And Meyer would, of course, be one of the special people, not one of those pathetic mundies.

    We call that…

    A major burn!

    Sorry about the mini-rant, but Jace really pushes my buttons.

    As well as a lot of other people’s apparently.

    You know what’s worse? I’ve decided to do a sporking. It seems I have a bit of a masochistic streak in me.

    Das-sporkings did City of Bones.

    I wish these writers would realize that a “love” story between a human and a demon would be like a romance novel about a US Marine who falls for Osama Bin Laden.

    Sinfest?

    Oooh, even better! We can call it…. SEALed with a Kiss! With an entire chapter devoted to the amazing sexiness of Bin Laden’s beard and the way his turban fits his head just right!

    I both love and loathe you for that.

    As I see it, if you can’t/don’t want to put the effort into writing a minority character, don’t. It’s almost more prejudiced to stick a stereotypical GLBT character in a book than to just leave the issue alone.

    Word. If anyone ever asks me about why this or that isn’t in my work, my answer will be: “Because I couldn’t do a good job with it.”

  72. swenson on 13 August 2012, 17:01 said:

    Aww, but the Sinfest devil girls aren’t really evil… just misguided. Even the angels recognize that they can sometimes do good, or at least give them Glitter Points on occasion. So they’re not quite the irredeemably evil fallen angels of Christianity.

    But more importantly, Crimney + Fyoosh for life!

  73. simon forever on 23 December 2012, 12:57 said:

    Your review is perfect.
    Claire is obsessively jealous bitch spread out and takes advantage of her best friend.
    Jace is a maniac rejects stop whining already
    Alec is gay
    Iz is Hfaktzh
    Simon just perfect as always. Cma cried he became a vampire. He was in the arms of Raphael …. And that he was murdered by Olntinn … : ‘(