Given the bad beginning of the Mortal Instruments, I wasn’t really expecting City of Glass to be able to rise above the rest of the series, and Clare was, for the first time, leaving her urban fantasy New York setting and trying to write an original setting. She already had so many holes in the plot that things could only improve so much.

I was right.

While Clare did manage to rise above the general stupidity that took place in City of Ashes, she still manages to fall into several holes in this book. Most of them are concerned with her focus in a romance when there are far more interesting thing happening around the minor characters. The other problems usually happen because Clare doesn’t seem to be aware that secondary characters actually have to have a reason to exist, and, if you want to do it right, should have their own motivations that don’t concern the main couple.

Are you ready? Let’s begin.

Cover Impressions

This is, by far, the cover that I hate the most in the entire series. It looks like the illustrator didn’t know what to do, so they just put a shirt on the guy from the first book and just left things at that. The city that’s seen isn’t New York, but so little emphasis is put on it that it’s easy to miss it for the giant torso that takes up at least three fourths of the cover. The same quote from Stephanie Meyer as the last book is one the front, and all the whole, the cover just feels like the publishers were bored with the whole thing and threw out some slop.

Even the wings in the background just look badly photoshopped. Maximum Ride’s covers are better, and that’s not saying much.

This does not bode well for the rest of this book.

Plot

As taken from Amazon:

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 Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters 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 newfound powers to help save the Glass City—whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of bestselling series the Mortal Instruments.

My version:

A couple of months have passed from City of Ashes, and we’re opening with a conversation between Clary and Simon. Clary shows her usual passing interest in Simon’s life and mentions someone named Matilda who was apparently a friend of Clary’s mom. She’s going to the City of Glass so that she can figure out a cure for her comatose mother.

We only see Matilda once, but she’s treated like a major plot point. We also are never told how Clary came in contact with her or anything like that.

Simon is very interested in Clary’s life because Clary is Speshul. He does mention that rather than live on the streets and eat people, he’s stayed with his mom and refuses to live like a vampire. Because he likes being human and doesn’t see himself as part of the undead. Have I mentioned that Simon is an interesting character?

Clary angsts a little about her mom and how Simon is somewhat distant from her after she made out with her brother in front of him. She talks to Luke, a werewolf that I never bothered to mention who obviously has a thing for Clary’s mom, and is now acting as her guardian. He tells her how wonderful she is and how well Simon’s taking it and Clary feels better.

Simon later goes to meet Jace, who is with Matilda waiting for Clary. Jace is smug and irritating as usual, but after Patch, at least he’s smug and irritating in a way that doesn’t worry me. Jace wants Simon to convince Clary to stay in New York. Before Simon has much of a chance to say anything, someone attacks out of nowhere, and he has to go through a Portal to the City of Glass. He gets knocked unconscious during the attack, ends up losing a lot of blood, and is about to have a really stinky life.

Meanwhile, Clary has just arrived at the designated point and seen the remains of the attack, including Matilda’s corpse. This would be said except for the fact that I don’t know anything about her. She just stood there during Jace and Simon’s conversation, and that was it. Clary is sad because she might have lost the only way to cure her mother. She and Luke realize that something happened, and Clary decides to open the portal. Luke doesn’t think she can, but Clary’s Speshul. So, naturally she just manages to open the portal and goes zippity do dah into the middle of a lake near the city called Lake Lynn. This lake from above looks like foreshadowing a mirror /foreshadowing and when the Shadowhunters drink it, they get sick and start seeing delusions. Clary drank quite a bit of it, and starts seeing lovely things like her own grave and monsters.

Why can’t she see something funny? Would it kill the drama? It would be kind of nice to know that the narrative (Clare) doesn’t take her main character so seriously that bad things can’t happen to them for laughs. Or maybe you get a mix. That could be interesting.

So, Clary gets taken to a woman’s house who is Luke’s sister, Amatis. She plays no actual role in the story, so I’m just going to call her Sister. Clary passes out and that’s the last we hear from her for a while.

Meanwhile, Simon has woken up, and is staying in the Lightwood house (Alec and Isabelle’s last name in case you forgot) where a guy named Sebastian and a girl named Aline are visiting along with a kid named Max Lightwood who was introduced in the last book but did nothing other than shill Jace so I honestly didn’t consider him necessary to add as a character. So, Aline is flirting with Jace when Simon walks into the room, and she immediate is shocked that 1. a vampire is perfectly able to converse and 2. a vampire actually has a family, friends and emotions. This is one of the people that we’re supposed to be cheering for. Sebastian is slightly better, and Max is too busy shilling Jace to be interesting. It’s mentioned that Clary didn’t want to come, which Simon calls out as a lie, and Jace goes through the roof.

Something about her being safer and happier or something. Because Clary has no idea what she wants.

At any rate, Simon is supposed to go right back home, there is a conversation between Simon and Alex about why Alec hates him which might have been interesting if it didn’t have to into how Alec is gay. We’re talking about fantastic racism not homophobia, Clare. I know that being gay happens to be Alec’s only character trait, but it’s annoying when no conversation involving him doesn’t mention the fact that he’s gay, ya’ll. While they’re walking to the portal that’s supposed to take Simon to New York, they meet the new Inquisitor. Who is Male!Umbridge. Seriously. He’s small, fat, acts really sweet, but really is evil. It’s Male!Umbridge. He’s even called the Inquisitor. I’m not sure if this is hubris or just stupid. Male!Umbridge’s name is Aldertree. Aldertree get’s Simon alone, starts insinuating that he wants Simon to say that the Lightwoods are backing Valentine, and when Simon refuses, more on moral fiber than on actually liking the racist pigs, he gets put into a prison cell.

I am having WWII drama flashbacks, and the fact that Simon is Jewish isn’t helping.

Clare, apparently bored with the fact that she’s just had a character captured by what are essentially Magic Nazis, goes back to Clary.

Clary’s point of view has some description fail, as she mentions how the four Demon Towers look like “polished quartz that cast dull rainbows” everywhere. No, I’m not sure how this works either.

Clary spends her time dressing up like a Shadowhunter, realizes she looks Just Like Her Mother,1 ignores Sister’s request not to go outside and goes looking for Jace. She runs into Alex and Isabelle, who aren’t overly thrilled to see her, and she’s all prissy about it. Isabelle calls her out for being a brat, and Clary get all angry and storms up to see Jace. Only to walk in on his making out with Aline.

Awkward.

Now, this is treated like ‘teh worst thing evar’ but really, Clary thinks that Jace is her brother. If anything, she should be glad that things are moving in a more healthy direction. Clary is all upset, and Aline thinks that Jace is some over protective big brother who’s never allowed Clary to see a healthy relationship before. For some reason, this amuses me. She also meets Sebastian, who is nice to her and asks her to hang out with him the next day.

Jace and Clary argue, and Jace basically tells Clary that he doesn’t want her there, and she’s nothing more than a little mundie who doesn’t know anything and acts like a baby. Clary is hurt, ends up running back to Sister, who is upset that she left without permission since the Shadowhunter government is suspicious right now, and if they captured her, they’d find out about Luke, who they consider a traitor since he was turned into a werewolf against his will.

Back to Simon, who is being starved, having food waved in front of his nose and denied him unless he claims that the Lightwoods are evil. Aldertree basically says that he never intends Simon to go free, and that he can make things much more painful for him. Simon tells them that they’re wasting their time and the longer they spend playing with him, the better chance that Valentine has of attacking.

Simon is also worried about his mother, who doesn’t know what happened, and the head of the local vampires in New York appears to him and tells him that if he doesn’t live like a vampire, (meaning leave his mother and start eating people) the other vampires are going to kill him because he’s a threat.

…This is ten times more interesting than Clary’s plot. While I know that the story of trying to save your mother is emotional and all that, this is, in essence, the story of a girl trying to find a cure for her mother and finding true love while her best friend is being tortured by Nazis. Simon’s story is more immediate. There isn’t a time limit for Clary, but there is one for Simon. His story has higher stakes than Clary’s, and because of that, my interest in Clary is even lower than usual.

Back to Clary: she feels kind of guilty about not listening to Sister, but that doesn’t stop her from still going out to see Sebastian. He says that he’s got a plan to help Clary’s mom and the two go over to see a warlock named Ragnor, who is…Magnus Bane2. Magnus stops time, tells Clary that the real Ragnor is dead and that if she wants to cure her mother, she has to find a spellbook that’s disguised as a cookbook (which has nothing to do with FMA I’m sure) and unfreezes time. Clary and Sebastian leave, and go see the house that her mother and Valentine used to live in. Sebastian is all flirty with her, and she’s only so interested. Then Sebastian kisses her. Suddenly, Clary’s Sue Senses tell her that something is wrong3 and she backs up. She notices that her hands have a black inky substance on them from Sebastian’s hair, and they go back.

When she gets back to Sister’s house, Jace is waiting for her. He (kind of) apologizes for being a jerk, and Clary forgives him. Then he tells her that Simon’s in prison (Alec heard it) and Clary throws a temper tantrum but doesn’t actually do anything much. So, they decide to hop over to Wayland manor (because the plot demands it) and take a look around. Clary finds the totally not ripped from FMA cookbook. In the basement they find a half dead angel that Valentine had been experimenting on for a while and somehow is still alive after being left alone for however long it that house was abandoned despite the fact that in the Claryverse angels are apparently mortal and require sustenance.

The angel shows them some memories about how Jace has demon blood in him (something I’m not surprised by) and then kills itself. Jace takes this opportunity to angst, claim he’s a monster and make out with his sister.

…That sounded so dirty.

What annoys me about this scene is not the fact that the romance is jammed in. It’s the fact that this was a really interesting opportunity for character development, and it was ignored. Jace has admitted that he doesn’t believe in angels, so when brought face to face with one, how does he react? This isn’t even mentioned or considered, and I feel kind of cheated. It’s as if Clare doesn’t want to consider the fact that Jace could be wrong and therefore have the change.4 Because her precious Draco clone is perfect.

Clary gets mad, not because he’s her brother and incest isn’t cute, but because he’s just using her as a way to feel sorry for himself, and he really likes the other girl, Aline. Jace says that he was using her to make him feel better. Apparently he’s used used girls before. Charming.

Jace and Clary get in a conversation about Ivanhoe that shows me that Clare has never actually read Ivanhoe and then they turn back to the city to find that it’s on fire.

And here comes the plot. Late as usual.

While Jace and Clary were busy, someone managed to paint a bunch of symbols on the Demon Towers (which act as evil repellent) so that Valentine and his demons can come into the city. He attacks and cases mayhem. At the same time, werewolves, lead by Luke, attack the demons and keep the situation under control. Sebastian meets up with Clary and Jace, and they run to the dungeons to save Simon. On the way, they meet Magnus, who apparently has nothing better to do but hang around government buildings, and Clary hands him the totally not ripped from FMA cookbook. This angers Sebastian, who says that it should belong to Shadowhunters. Clary cares more about her mother. Magnus promised to hold up to his end of the bargain and goes away.

In the cell where Simon is being held, they save him and the guy in the next cell. He turns out to be a character from the first novel named Hodge who played such a minor part that I didn’t bother to mention him. Hodge tells them that the last Mortal Instrument is Lake Lynn. Then he’s killed by Sebastian, who was a spy for Valentine the whole time.

And he dyed his hair black. With really bad dye that came out when someone touched it. His real hair color is white. Have you guessed the thrilling plot twist yet?

Sebastian gets away and Jace and Clary go back to the Lightwoods to find that Sebastian knocked out Isabelle and killed Max. Clary decides that this is the opportune time to cuddle Jace.

Shame on you, Clare. Shame on you for having a scene in which an eight-year-old is brutally murdered that is used for romance. Shame on you for handling that scene so badly that I had no emotional reaction to it other than irritation that Jace and Clary were cuddling. This is easily the worst written and handled scene in the book, and I am furious.

We do not see the kid’s funeral. Rather we see Jace and Clary feeling sorry for themselves. While the Lightwoods are busy morning their son, Jace and Clary go on over to the Shadowhunter government building, and witness Valentine appearing, killing Aldertree (that guy just did so much before his death) and demands that they turn over the government to him.

And they consider it.

You know, this was the moment to show that, while the Shadowhunters are racist and lazy, they aren’t as bad as the villain. She could have shown something at least likable about the Shadowhunters, particularly when they’re dealing with the werewolves that just saved them. But no. The group that we’re supposed to care whether or not is saved decides to take a guy who they know is mentally unstable over dealing with the icky downworlders and mundies.

So, things eventually break out into a fight, and Clary asks the vampires to help them. They say they’re not doing anything unless they can kill Simon because he’s a vampire that can stand the sunlight. Clary, using skills that the dying angel showed her, gives Simon the Mark of Cain.

Yep, that Cain.

Now the vampires can’t kill him. Apparently, Clare doesn’t realize some of the other myths about the mark of Cain.

Simon goes back to the vampires, scares them spitless and makes them help Clary and the others. Mostly Clary.

At the same time, Jace has run off to find Sebastian because, for once, he’s got enough human feeling to be angry about the whole killing an eight-year-old thing. I’m very proud of him. He finds the guy, and Sebastian reveals that: surprise, he’s Valentine’s real son! Jace is the grandson of the old Inquisitor. His parents were Valentine’s supporters and he gave his mom angel blood when she was pregnant with him.5

Which means Sebastian has the demon blood in him. Jace is relieved. Now he can have a squick free relationship Now he can fight Valentine without feeling guilty. Kind of. He still angsts about it to himself. At any rate, Sebastian and Jace start fighting, and Jace ends up killing Sebastian with a move that Valentine taught him for his birthday. So they’re really family after all!

Wait.

Then Jace gets captured by Valentine and dragged off to the lake.

Meanwhile, Clary has been making some runes, but since she can’t fight, she easily gets captured and taken to Valentine, who has a heart to heart with her, saying how he never hated her mother and how much he missed her and loved her. And how guilty he felt about giving baby Sebastian demon blood because that made her mother really, really messed up. He’s also sorry that he started giving her mother angel blood when she was pregnant with Clary. So she’s half angel too.

Excuse me while I go vomit.

Ahem.

So, anyways, Valentine decides to summon Raziel, and, honestly, this is probably the best written scene in the book. The tension in well handled, and Raziel’s put down is pretty good. He’s obviously not overly impressed by the Shadowhunters.

To Summon Raziel, Valentine kills the captured Jace, and seems kind of choked up about it.

Ah, Valentine, trying to have a personality so late in the game…

Raziel basically tells Valentine that he’s an idiot, and the Shadowhunters were supposed to hunt demons and evil things that hurt people, not to harass the other supernatural things that were basically minding their own business. Since Valentine has been all buddy buddy with demons, Raziel is ticked. Valentine says that because he draw a Super Special Awesome circle, Raziel has to do what Valentine says. Raziel points out that Clary had just crossed out his name and added hers. At this point, Raziel obliterates Valentine, which is kind of a cop out.

Clary asks Raziel to bring Jace back, and she and Jace make out like crazy.

The epilogue has Simon in a sudden love triangle between Isabelle and Maya the werewolf girl, a (as in one) vampire and a (as in one) werewolf are allowed on the Shadowhunter council, and Jace and Clary are now dating

Oh, and Clary’s mom’s back.

Yay, I guess.

So, that’s the plot. Now, I’m not going to celebrate too much since I know that there’s a second trilogy coming up, which makes the big epilogue kind of pointless.

Characters

Clary pretty much plays no part in this story until the end. Her character never changes, and the occasional times where she’s called out for being a selfish brat are mostly played for angst. The only thing she actually does is at the end, and while it’s alright, it’s not really enough to justify way her story got so much prominence over say…her best friend. Honestly, I have nothing more to say about her that I haven’t already said. She’s thoughtless, doesn’t really care about anyone, puts down her friends, and barely considers the danger that she gets people in. What a main character.

Jace is annoying simply because of his missed characterization. In the earlier books he was all bad boy-ish because he was a Flat Earth Atheist, but he never even reacts to having seen angels and being resurrected. I would think that this deserves some comment. It could have been interesting too. How would he react? Did he think what he saw was real? Anything..? The realization that he’s part angel is…almost so stupid it’s funny. This little ass is actually supposed to be extremely empathetic when he never seems to note, and sometimes flat enjoys, other people’s pain. His character is static from the first book onwards, and honestly, he’s pretty boring.

Simon stole the show. His plot was ten times more interesting; his character went through more trauma; and really, he was the only character who really showed any kind of change throughout the entire three books. The strange thing is that his interest in Clary seems completely unnatural for his character. The times when he talks about how much he loves Clary feel like they’ve been shoehorned in because Clare doesn’t want to let go of her pointless love triangle. It’s hinted that at some point, Simon is going to take over the vampires, and, honestly, being that he’s the only main character that seems to like people and who worries about them, I’d be more interested in reading that story. I fully expect his character to be butchered in the next couple of books.

Alec does one thing in this book. One single thing: he comes out of the closet. Really! That’s all this character does! Honestly, It’s more offensive than not having a gay character at all. If a person doesn’t know how to handle a character without making some trait the only thing defining about him and what pretty much rules his life, then don’t write him.

Isabelle is, if possible, more useless than her brother. She’s being set up as a part of Simon’s growing harem, and honestly, she doesn’t do anything either. She doesn’t even fight. Only the men can fight apparently.

Sebastian is a new character. That’s not his name, since he’s the real Jonathan Wayland. He actually has the possibility of being an interesting character. The problem was, the moment that he it’s revealed that he had demon blood in him, he was one dimensional. He was evil, and the subplot of Valentine kind of liking Jace better and Sebastian being jealous really, as far as I was concerned, came to not. He’s pretty much there to make sure that the earth shattering love between Jace and Clary wasn’t incestuous, dies after explaining Valentine’s whole stinking plan, and doesn’t really do much of anything other than that. He’s a wasted character.

Clary’s Mom, Jocelyn Fray, is a character that I have to advise all writers against. The problem with her is that she’s been built up by everyone as being so wonderful, so perfect, and so great. In the end, she can’t do anything but not meet expectations. She doesn’t do much in the story, and, in my opinion, it’s a missed opportunity. It would have been neat if she and Valentine had met one last time. It could be been an interesting, well written, and kind of tragic scene. Naturally, all Jocelyn really does is shill Clary for being so wonderful.

Magnus Bane is a character that I’ve mentioned a few times, but I haven’t really been interested in talking about him. He’s a fan favorite, as I mentioned in my review of City of Ashes, and he’s so gay it hurts to read his descriptions. Alright, alright, I know, he’s not gay, he’s bi, but, honestly he acts like such a stereotype, I can’t help but think of him as one. He doesn’t contribute much to the plot, and while his less than stellar view of the Shadowhunters is nice to hear, his over the top angsty past and how much of him is defined by his sexuality are just tacky. He plays a very minor part in helping the characters, never actually fights, and pretty much only is there to help Jocelyn and smooch Alec in front of his parents, without Alec’s permission.

Setting

When Clare was dealing with New York, her setting was good. Here, the setting is confusing, badly set up and not well thought out enough to stand. Apparently, this city is in some unknown location/dimension and it also includes enough land for manor houses and horseback riding. While I’m sure that a pocket dimension could do this, there’s very little of what’s going on explained, or mapped out. There’s little sense of time either. As Clary is sixteen, shouldn’t she bet at school? Is is summer? Is she tracked out? These little pieces of reality don’t seem to show up too much in Clare’s fantasy.

The setting, now that it’s not in New York has lost a lot of the exciting feel to it, and it just feels like a generic fantasy city. Also it’s hinted that most Shadowhunters never actually leave this city. I hate to say this, but then what’s the point of their existing at all? They were made to help people and they’re just sitting in their special city ignoring everyone. Why am I supposed to like them? In Harry Potter, this wasn’t necessary because the Wizards never said they were going to protect people from the supernatural. Naturally they were going to avoid people. The very existence of this city raises all kinds of questions, and Clare doesn’t seem interested in answering them.

Themes

Girls have special senses that tell them when a guy isn’t right for them. Therefore, if, in your heart, you’re not completely sure that a guy is bad for you, even if he treats you like dirt, you should stay with him.

When someone says that the obviously evil, corrupt organization is evil and corrupt, they must be the bad guy.

Albinos are evil. They have demon blood in them. For realsies!

Clare’s actual, already confused stance against racism is propped up by the Shadowhunters finally allowing a single vampire and a single werewolf be on their council. This is pretty much useless for them, since the Shadowhunters will outvote them in everything.

Racism

These books are pretty racist when it comes to Clare’s fictional crap being better than humans or actual things from folklore, but it’s also traditionally racist. For instance, everyone has an Anglo-Saxon sounding name. Lightwood. Aldertree. Wayland. There are not other kinds of names. Next, all Shadowhunters are white. This must cause something of a problem in places like Africa and China where being white makes a person stand out, and their glamors can’t always be active.

I’ve heard that her prequel series has some even more awkward issues concerning the Chinese and, in particular, the Opium Wars, but I’ll cover that in a different review.

What’s worse is that there are mentions of Shadowhunter bases in China, but it seems that there are no Chinese Shadowhunters. Now, this could be justified by saying that only the descendants of the guys who were first made Shadowhunters are Shadowhunters, but that doesn’t even make sense. Why don’t they have Jewish names then? Has no mundie ever married a Shadowhunter even once in history? How is this population kept from serious inbreeding and thus dying out?

Hm…Maybe that’s why Clary acts the way she does…

Incest

You know, I’m all for mutually consensual relationships and all that, but…I’m sorry, sibling love just makes me uncomfortable. And Clare does not write this book in a way that makes me forget that they’re siblings. She doesn’t talk about how different they are. She doesn’t attempt to even push this under the rug. If anything, she’s rubbing it in my face yelling ‘tolerate them’ at the top of her lungs.

She seems to think that either her audience has guessed the plot twist or just doesn’t care and wants to see the romance regardless of the fact that they’re siblings. This incest thing really does detract from the story, because when Clary is kissing Jace in the abandoned house, I’m not thinking how romantic this is. I’m thinking how squicky the whole thing is, and how I don’t care if the Westermarck effect doesn’t really apply to this, the fact that he was her brother should gross Clary out.

Not everyone is part of the most dark and depraved corners of FF.net where people write Lelouch/Nunnally porn, Clare, and I really wish you’d come to realize this.

Another thing is that, honestly, there was no reason for the sibling red herring at all. All Clare had to do was make the romance move more slowly and not take up so much of the plot. Then the plot could have moved forwards, the romance could have seemed more natural, and she wouldn’t have had to worry about it.

Pop Culture

I complained in my City of Ashes review about how Clare would just toss in anime and think we should all be astounded by how hip she was. Well, she’s tossed in some other things.

The first mentions that Clary doesn’t know who Lestat is. Now, I’ve never read anything by Anne Rice. I don’t really like vampire novels in general, but through pop cultural osmosis I know just who Lestat is and the influence that he’s had on the modern idea of the vampire. The fact that Clary doesn’t know this, and the fact that she kind of talks down about Simon’s interest in D&D makes me wonder just what Simon likes about her and why they hang out.

They obviously don’t have the same interests, and she sneers at his. It also makes me wonder…just what DOES Clary actually like. Other than feeling sorry for herself and Jace. She also is mentioned having attempted a ‘graphic story’ which is apparently the lame version of a graphic novel or a manga. At least it’s not a ‘manga book’. Seriously, Clare, if you want to appeal to this fanbase, you have to know the right words for things. If you don’t, you look like some old woman who has a minor conception of what geeks do, but thinks that everyone wants to be the Disney brand of cool.

Next, Max is mentioned to be reading Angel Sanctuary which everyone thinks is nerdy. If my eight-year-old brother was reading that manga, I’d have some more issues than just how geeky it is. Granted, the whole incest thing really does lampshade the squick factor of the whole book, but I get the feeling that Clare hasn’t ever read the manga. She just liked the mention of angels.

Finally, Maya is mentioned to be wearing a gamer shirt, but Clary thinks she’s only doing it to impress Simon. Why can’t girls like D&D or video games? Clare, girls can be geeks, gamers, otakus (both the American and Japanese versions) and nerds. It’s not a male only group.

Mechanics

Clare has actually improved in this area. Her language is still a little stilted and annoying, but it’s lost a lot of the unnatural quality that she’s had for the last few books. The same goes with her flaunting her vocabulary. While she tends to use big words where most people would use small ones, I feel like she’s relaxed a little bit and realized that you can in fact write the way that a normal person would.

However, her descriptions, particularly those of the ‘bright quartz’ towers that ‘cast dull rainbows’ and Clary’s ‘graphic story’ are just awkward, silly and weird. So, while some areas show signs of improvement, others…well…don’t.

Mythology and Religion.

And here’s the part that I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for. Where I whine about Clare’s angels…

Actually, I don’t have much to say.

She’s got some dumb things, like the whole thing with ‘killing’ an angel, but she’s at least managed to keep with the ‘six winged and many eyed’ thing that I’ve read in the descriptions of some angels. Also, since Raziel is something of a One Scene Wonder, we don’t have to worry too much about him. She’s even acknowledged that angels and God tend to go together, so she’s slightly smarter than Kate or Fitzpatrick.

However, she’s made a mistake. The problem isn’t in descriptions. The problem is the Shadowhunters. Basically, we’ve got a group that claims to have angel blood in them, and they are all agnostic. There are no churches, temples, or anything else of that nature in the Awesome Shadowhunter City, and there never have been.

In Harry Potter, religion didn’t come up once. For one thing, Rowling was working pretty hard to sidestep the entire issue, and for another, the book didn’t really require it. We don’t know much about the wizards’ religious leanings, if they have any, and it wasn’t a big deal. Here, Clare has attempted to tie her world into a Judeo-Christian worldview but not have anyone be religious, and it just feels badly thought out.

As far as her other mythology goes, there’s nothing here to really talk about. Nothing new, nothing original. The only thing I can mention is that it looks like Clare’s going to steal from Holly Black and make the Seelie Court evil and the Unseelie Court good.

Because nothing says ‘good guys’ like dragging children under water so you can eat them.

Oh, and one other thing. In Clare’s mythology, vampires and werewolves are all humans. Warlocks are what happens when a demon and a human get together (kind of in a Did You Just Romance Cthulhu way6). So, in essence, every vampire and werewolf is a sign of the Shadowhunter’s failure. These are people who they should have protected, but because of their complacency, normal people have been dragged into this. All of this could have been avoided by the Shadowhunters, but they were more interested in feeling better than everyone to do anything.

Literature

Other than using random quotations from the Bibles as pickup lines, Clare shows some terrible fail in an Ivanhoe conversation between Clary and Jace. Apparently, Clare has only watched the 1982 movie because she makes some really dumb comments. The best one is when Clary says that Ivanhoe should have chosen Rebecca instead of Rowena, implying that there was a love triangle and a choice involved. Anyone whose read Ivanhoe will remember how, the moment that Rebecca said she was a Jew, Ivanhoe lost all interest in her.

There was no love triangle in that book. That was part of the point. The people were so racist that even when Rebecca showed a ton of exemplary traits and she was beautiful, they could never see her and her father as anything but Jews. The book was about antisemitism and chivalry. Not romance. Ivanhoe was never interested in Rebecca, and she was never really interested in him. Why be interested when you know that nothing’s going to happen? Granted, this was changed for the movie, but you see my point.

Having you characters talk about classic novels does not make them smart. Nor does it make you smart. Particularly when they start seeing love triangles where there aren’t any, and show a general lack of understanding of the material.

Confrontations

The confrontation scene in a novel is the most important scene in the book. This is the climax, the point of highest tension, and if you don’t do it right, the audience isn’t going to be happy. In Clare’s climax, there was no final confrontation between Jace and Valentine like Clare had been building, there was no resolution of the issues of Valentine and Jace’s relationship. In fact, there wasn’t any resolution at all. Valentine was made to internally combust, and that was it.

This is poor writing. Even Harry Potter’s fight with Voldemort, which was pretty anticlimactic, was better. At least he fought Voldemort. Not someone else. Valentine’s death was hollow, and while it was amusing to see him get his goal tell him that he’s an idiot, it wasn’t as satisfying as having the characters that I’m supposed to have grown to love defeat him.

Of course, since I hated all of them, other than Simon, I guess I can’t even claim that.

Final Assessment.

City of Glass is better than City of Ashes. It has a plot, and the plot is mostly relevant. Yet, it actually isn’t better than the Draco Trilogy. I recently, out idle curiosity read the thing, and the plot, such as it was, of that fanfic worked better than the entire Mortal Instruments series. It was more cohesive, more interesting, and the characters had more point in existing than almost all of the characters of the Mortal Instruments.

Clare cannot really bring anything new to the table; all of her plot twists are boring and predictable; she can’t deal with the issues that she creates; and anything that’s potentially interesting is ignored in favor of more romance. Clare, in the end, doesn’t seem sure what she wants to write: a romance or an adventure, and what she gets is a melodramatic, trite story that can only recycle those things that Clare herself has seen and read.

While she’s not really a plagiarist anymore, she’s, in essence, doing the same thing that she got taken off FF.net for. She’s taken from movies, better written books, and anything in pop culture she can and uses them in her books without even attempting to make them original or hers.

Cassandra Clare could have written a good book. There are times when she actually shows talent. However but to write that book, it would require more work, more research and more knowledge than what she’s showing.

Eventually, I’ll start on her other series, and see just how much she’s failed at them.

(Score: 4/10)

Next up: The Selection

1 Apparently people only have their parents genes in this universe and the genes can only pass from mother to daughter and father to son. Have I mentioned how much I hate the Generation Xerox trope?

2 Apparently, Bane’s a pretty popular character in the fandom. Which is why he keeps appearing. I’d like him better for calling the Shadowhunters out on their racism and hypocrasy if he wasn’t such a blatant stereotype. Though, to give him some credit, he actually does do something in this book

3 I always hate it when the heroine just knows when something is bad. It’s such poor writing.

4 If you want to see where this was done right, look up Supernatural. In the forth season, the characters come face to face with an angel, and Dean Winchester, who didn’t believe in them, has some really good scenes of character development where he comes to terms with this.

5 Can’t you tell? After all, Jace is so angelic! He cried when a pet he’d been taking care of as a kid was killed by his father! Isn’t that angelic! Most guys wouldn’t ever do that when they were eight.

6 Seriously, they have tentacles.

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Comment

  1. swenson on 27 September 2012, 11:57 said:

    Oh yay, I was waiting for the next in this series! (we’ve been having so many new articles lately—it’s very exciting!)

    Love is a mortal sin

    Surprised you didn’t mention this one, although it’s the fault of the summary writer and not Clare herself. I’m not familiar with Catholic canon (or other branches that believe in “mortal sins”), but I’m almost entirely certain no one believes that love is in and of itself a mortal sin. Except for the Jedi.

    The Jace/Clary thing continues to disturb me SO MUCH. Whether they’re siblings or not, the fact that at this point they believe themselves to be siblings makes Clary’s jealousy… really, really disturbing. What makes it worse is how this is never recognized in the book. They simply doesn’t seem to realize that it’s creepy and weird and incestuous. (Yes, I know they aren’t technically siblings. But a romantic relationship with someone you THINK is your sibling is just as creepy if it turns out you’re mistaken than if it turns out you’re right.)

    Wait, so Jace and Clary are both half-angels? I hate this so much. ANGELS AREN’T PHYSICAL, YOU MORON. THEY’RE SPIRITS. SPIRITS DON’T HAVE BLOOD. AND THEY DON’T HAVE SUPER-SPECIAL ANGEL GENES THAT GRANT SUPERPOWERS, EITHER. I could go on about the enormous significance of why spirits don’t have blood—that’s one reason for the Incarnation, for crying out loud—but I don’t want to get into theology in the comments other than to say that Clare’s fails miserably on a number of levels.

    …Jace dies and immediately comes back. Really? I hate when stories do that. If a character comes back from the dead, it needs to be hard, it needs to be with sacrifice, it needs to not necessarily work out with sunshine and roses… case in point, Red vs. Blue. A major character dies at the end of sesaon 6. And he’s really genuinely dead. A version of him comes back the next season, but it’s not without work and difficulty, and the ramifications of bringing him back are wide-ranging and have a major impact on the following seasons. Furthermore, because it’s not technically the same character, there’s a change in personality, mistrust from former allies… basically, it’s a big deal, and it’s treated as such. Death is not and should never be cheap. When done correctly, it can be so powerful—don’t water it down!

  2. Licht on 27 September 2012, 12:51 said:

    Jace and Clary get in a conversation about Ivanhoe that shows me that Clare has never actually read Ivanhoe

    What did they say that made it so obvious? (I wrote this during reading. You answered that one. Yey! :D)

    Apparently, Clare doesn’t realize some of the other myths about the mark of Cain.

    As a non-religious person, enlighten me! From what I’ve been told the mark of Cain was given to Cain by god to protect him, yet is often misinterpreted for being a curse?

    Clare, girls can be geeks, gamers, otakus (both the American and Japanese versions) and nerds. It’s not a male only group.

    That. And, like someone said earlier: They come in different flavors now.

    Basically, we’ve got a group that claims to have angel blood in them, and they are all agnostic.

    That’s a really good point. I’m so used to those supernatural-romance books not making much sense, that I wouldn’t even have noticed it.

    Thanks for your wonderful articles. I really enjoy reading them. Good work :)

  3. Kyllorac on 27 September 2012, 13:06 said:

    girls can be geeks, gamers, otakus (both the American and Japanese versions) and nerds

    Actually, the female equivalent of a Japanese otaku is a fujoshi (腐女子), and contrary to some information you’ll find from a quick search, it is not limited solely to women into yaoi, though it is a strong association (like otaku with hentai and pedophilia). Otaku as a term is only really intersex (and positive) outside of Japan.

  4. Tim on 27 September 2012, 16:42 said:

    Yeah, the closest translation of “otaku” isn’t “fan,” it’s “fanatic.”

  5. Pryotra on 27 September 2012, 17:14 said:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention this one, although it’s the fault of the summary writer and not Clare herself.

    That’s pretty much the reason I didn’t. I guess I decided that it was beneath me to review summaries.

    Whether they’re siblings or not, the fact that at this point they believe themselves to be siblings makes Clary’s jealousy… really, really disturbing.

    This. This. So much. Honestly, the fact that Clare seemed to think that this was alright, even though they thought they were siblings really disgusted me. I don’t care if they turned out not to be related. The fact that she was jealous of someone she thought was her brother disgusts me.

    I don’t want to get into theology in the comments other than to say that Clare’s fails miserably on a number of levels.

    Yeah. It was pretty terrible. The fact that they were physical, and the fact that angel blood somehow was supposed to make Jace and Clary more kind, empathetic and understanding than normal people. Really. Stop laughing.

    The stupid thing is that her entire mythology is dependent on that. Shadowhunters drank the blood of angels which made them speshul, but, really, the whole idea is stupid. Even if you take out the whole ‘half angel sue’ thing.

    If a character comes back from the dead, it needs to be hard, it needs to be with sacrifice, it needs to not necessarily work out with sunshine and roses…

    Yes. Resurrection isn’t something that should be handled lightly or for melodrama the way this series plays it. There was no point to it, and at least there should have been something sacrificed for it. But no, these characters get everything spoon fed to them, everything works out, and no one really suffers who is important. Well, other than the pointless death of the eight-year-old that was stuck in there for drama.

    As a non-religious person, enlighten me! From what I’ve been told the mark of Cain was given to Cain by god to protect him, yet is often misinterpreted for being a curse?

    The Mark of Cain is…complicated, and there’s no real way to interpret it. The Bible just mentions it and goes along its way, making no judgement or statement about it.

    People have filled in the gaps. It’s generally thought that the Mark is kind of a mixed blessing. One that, while people wouldn’t attack him for killing his brother, made it so that most people avoided him, meaning that he pretty much lived out the rest of his life thinking about what he did. Thus making his punishment pretty lingering.

    Another thought is that he was Marked so that he could not die. Which is one of the explanations for the Wandering Jew in Medieval folklore.

    Still another, in Beowulf, claims that the Mark made it so that he become something other than human and his children were cursed (like Grendel and his mother).

    The last one I know off the top of my head, which might have been interesting to explore in terms of this book, claims that Cain was in a state of undeath after the Mark was set on him, making him a vampire.

    So, yeah, there’s a lot of stories about it, and I’ve probably missed a few. Hope that helps.

    Actually, the female equivalent of a Japanese otaku is a fujoshi (腐女子), and contrary to some information you’ll find from a quick search, it is not limited solely to women into yaoi, though it is a strong association (like otaku with hentai and pedophilia). Otaku as a term is only really intersex (and positive) outside of Japan.

    I was not aware of that.

    I knew that ‘otaku’ has a really, really bad connotation, but I didn’t know there was another word for girls. Thanks for telling me.

  6. Apep on 27 September 2012, 18:29 said:

    Oh gods. So much fail. SO MUCH.

    Is the Jace/Clary revelation as random as it seems here? Because it wouldn’t surprise me if Clare shoved it in because too many fans found their relationship squicky rather than romantic. Personally I’d be more worried about those who didn’t find it squicky…

    Also, Clare, the death of a child should not be so flippant. Death is a serious and potentially tragic thing, even moreso when it’s that of a child. You do not use that as an excuse to have your leads cuddle.

    Using your one wish to bring someone back from the dead can be done well. See The Gamers: Dorkness Rising for an example (though said character is an NPC in a game, but still).

    Why are the Shadowhunters the heroes again? They’re not any kind of peacekeepers, they’re bullies: “Follow these rules or we’ll kill you. Never mind that we’re the ones making the rules, and you have absolutely no reason to trust us to keep our word. Just sign on the dotted line.”

    The last one I know off the top of my head, which might have been interesting to explore in terms of this book, claims that Cain was in a state of undeath after the Mark was set on him, making him a vampire.

    No, because then White Wolf would get pissy and threaten to sue Clare. Remember the hissyfit they threw when Underworld came out?

    But still, Clare could have at least thought about the potential rammifications of doing that to Simon.

  7. Pryotra on 27 September 2012, 18:38 said:

    Is the Jace/Clary revelation as random as it seems here?

    It’s a little more dramatic, but, yeah, it’s pretty random.

    Also, Clare, the death of a child should not be so flippant. Death is a serious and potentially tragic thing, even moreso when it’s that of a child. You do not use that as an excuse to have your leads cuddle.

    This. So much.

    No, because then White Wolf would get pissy and threaten to sue Clare. Remember the hissyfit they threw when Underworld came out?

    Sadly, I never saw it, but White Wolf doesn’t have any business getting sulky. It’s folklore. Public domain. Unless they’re unaware of that.

    But still, Clare could have at least thought about the potential rammifications of doing that to Simon.

    That would require Clare to think of something other than how awesome Jace is.

  8. Apep on 27 September 2012, 18:43 said:

    White Wolf doesn’t have any business getting sulky. It’s folklore. Public domain. Unless they’re unaware of that.

    Wait, Cain as the first vampire is folklore? I’ve never heard that outside the context of Vampire: The Masquerade.

  9. Pryotra on 27 September 2012, 18:53 said:

    Wait, Cain as the first vampire is folklore? I’ve never heard that outside the context of Vampire: The Masquerade.

    One of the books on the supernatural that I’ve read mentioned it as being folklore. Long before that game came out. It was from a library when I lived in Colorado, so I’m not sure if it’s the world’s best source…

    I was only twelve at the time.

  10. Epke on 27 September 2012, 19:07 said:

    The first mentions that Clary doesn’t know who Lestat is.

    Heathen.

    The Will They, Won’t They thing Clary (Clary, Clare, Clary, Clare… does Cassandra have a brother?) and Jace has got going is pretty disturbing and made moreso when no one else seems to react to it. It’s basically:
    Clare: You’re hot.
    Jace: I know. I’m also a total douchenozzle.
    Valentine (high-pitched voice): You’re siiiiibliiiings!
    Clare: OMG! That’s so weird!
    Jace: Yeah. Wanna make out?
    Clare: M’kay.

    Come on! Give us the internal struggle of Clary as she fights on one hand the attraction she feels for Jace and on the other the social norms that tells her ‘No!’.* No, instead we get the usual “But he’s h4wt” tripe and all is right with the world. Sigh… I would just like one scene, one scene where either Jace or Clary thinks about kissing the other and finds themselves repulsed.

    Whenever I watch a crime show on TV and a child is killed or abandoned or just treated poorly, I usually choke up and have to look away. It’s simply sad and horrible to think that anyone would harm a kid: that Clare brutally murders one and uses it as an excuse for her Dynamic Duo of Incest to cuddle makes me want to hurt someone. It’s not right, it’s not good writing and it’s simply treated as an “Oh well” situation.

    I can’t help but notice some striking similarities between (get ready for the irony) the Shadowhunter organization and the Shinigami of Soul Society in Bleach. Maybe that’s why Clare is bashing anime…

    About the climax… anyone else got a Jonathan Stroud vibe when Valentine drew a “special circle” to contain the entity known as Raziel (Uraziel?) who just magically turned the bad guy into mush? Well, at least Bartimaeus is funny.

    *This brings to mind a native soap opera that ran many years ago in my country and one of the earlier seasons’ plots were the budding relationship between a man and a woman: they fell in love and were like this close to hopping in the sack when the man’s fostermother, through tears and shouts, finally blurted out the Big Secret she had sworn never to tell: that the man and woman were siblings (twins). Incredibly well-handled and the following episodes dealt with the love between the siblings and what it meant for them.

  11. swenson on 27 September 2012, 19:10 said:

    I thought there was some connection between vampires and Lilith? But I could be confusing my myths here. For a Christian, I’m not very familiar with the weirder parts of Christian mythology (because I don’t believe in them).

    Anyway, the idea of Grendel and his mother being descendants of Cain is an interesting one in Beowulf. The poem can be read as being about paganism versus Christianity, with the light of Christianity (Beowulf) triumphing over ancient pagan beliefs tied to the cursed line of Cain (Grendel and his mother). I’m not usually the one to rip things apart to talk about THEME and whatnot (I read for entertainment first and foremost!), but in this case I do find it quite interesting. This is somewhat off-topic, though. :)

  12. Tim on 27 September 2012, 19:28 said:

    It’s not Christian anyway, it’s Jewish apocrypha. IIRC the sons of Lillith and Samael were night spirits called Lilin or Lilim who were a bit like vampires. Since Lillith isn’t part of the Judeo-Christian canon, it only matters if you’re pillaging obscure mythology for story ideas.

  13. Epke on 27 September 2012, 19:31 said:

    I thought there was some connection between vampires and Lilith?

    Well, I know that in Jewish tradition, Lilith was the first wife of Adam, but because she would not defer to him (basically, she wanted to be on top while Adam preferred missionary) and so was put aside in favour of Eve who was all submissive. Lilith is also said to steal little boys from their beds, which is why Jewish mothers often let their sons grow their hair long for the first couple of years so that Lilith will think it is a girl. I know that many versions of the Bible (prior to KJV) preserved the use of “lamia” to describe Lilith, which is a word commonly used for “vampire” in Greek, but other than that and in occultism (and various texts which describe Lilith as a demon), I know not of Lilith being a vampire.

  14. Danielle on 27 September 2012, 19:44 said:

    Gah.

    I don’t know if angels can die, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t kill themselves. Especially if they’d just been rescued. Although, if I were an angel who had just been saved by an incestuous brother-sister duo, I might kill myself too.

    Heck, if I woke up to find I was trapped in a Cassandra Clare novel, I might kill myself. Just to spite her.

    Congratulations on sticking with it, Pryotra. Brain bleach?

  15. Asahel on 27 September 2012, 20:34 said:

    I know that many versions of the Bible (prior to KJV) preserved the use of “lamia” to describe Lilith, which is a word commonly used for “vampire” in Greek,

    Which verse references either Lilith or Lamia and in which version?

  16. Tim on 27 September 2012, 21:14 said:

    I don’t know if angels can die

    I don’t think they can under most interpretations that include Satan being a fallen angel, since you’d think if Satan and his hosts could be killed God would just do that rather than casting them out and later imprisoning them forever.

  17. Licht on 27 September 2012, 21:24 said:

    Isn’t Jesus technically rather vampire-ish as well? He looks pretty undead to me, can bring dead back to life and stuff, offers his blood to his followers to drink…

    Thanks for the info on Cain. You impish people teach me things. :D

  18. Juracan on 27 September 2012, 21:54 said:

    Valentine says that because he draw a Super Special Awesome circle, Raziel has to do what Valentine says. Raziel points out that Clary had just crossed out his name and added hers. At this point, Raziel obliterates Valentine, which is kind of a cop out.

    Admittedly, this scene actually sounds kind of cool. It’d be better if Raziel obliterated Valentine of his own accord because, you know, Valentine’s an evil douchenozzle, as Raziel is supposed to be a freaking archangel.

    Surprised you didn’t mention this one, although it’s the fault of the summary writer and not Clare herself. I’m not familiar with Catholic canon (or other branches that believe in “mortal sins”), but I’m almost entirely certain no one believes that love is in and of itself a mortal sin. Except for the Jedi.

    Technically, it wasn’t until the later days of the Old Republic, seeing as the Jedi came to believe that too strong of an attachment, as in romantic love, would make one too easy to lead to the Dark Side.

    [cough]

    …I know I’m a Star Wars nerd.

    Wait, so Jace and Clary are both half-angels? I hate this so much. ANGELS AREN’T PHYSICAL, YOU MORON. THEY’RE SPIRITS. SPIRITS DON’T HAVE BLOOD. AND THEY DON’T HAVE SUPER-SPECIAL ANGEL GENES THAT GRANT SUPERPOWERS, EITHER. I could go on about the enormous significance of why spirits don’t have blood—that’s one reason for the Incarnation, for crying out loud—but I don’t want to get into theology in the comments other than to say that Clare’s fails miserably on a number of levels.

    This is hardly the first time in fiction that angels are described as physical beings. Even if they’re non-coporeal, there are ways around that— the blood of a host they possess or something (which is what Supernatural does). I don’t necessarily agree with Clare’s interpretation, but I don’t mind as much because I’m willing to give authors creative liberties with this kind of thing.

    I’m honestly more disturbed that the angel killed itself. Like I said, this isn’t the first story I’ve seen that angels are killable, but… how does an angel kill itself? Given the conditions you described it being in, it seems pretty resilient…

    About the climax… anyone else got a Jonathan Stroud vibe when Valentine drew a “special circle” to contain the entity known as Raziel (Uraziel?) who just magically turned the bad guy into mush? Well, at least Bartimaeus is funny.

    I’m pretty sure Uraziel/Raziel is taken from folklore surrounding King Solomon…

    And of course, the premise for Jonathan Stroud’s work is the idea of summoning and binding spiritual forces (specifically, he was inspired by Ariel in The Tempest ), so it would be similar vibes I imagine. I’m also fairly certain that Jonathan Stroud did it much better.

  19. swenson on 27 September 2012, 22:05 said:

    Which verse references either Lilith or Lamia and in which version?

    As far as I’m aware, none. Lilith is not part of the traditional Biblical canon (at least not the Protestant one—does she show up in the Apocrypha?).

  20. Master Chief on 28 September 2012, 02:00 said:

    I just love these theological discussions that go nowhere

  21. Tim on 28 September 2012, 03:38 said:

    Thank you for your sparkling contribution.

  22. Master Chief on 28 September 2012, 04:00 said:

    welcome!

  23. Epke on 28 September 2012, 06:18 said:

    Which verse references either Lilith or Lamia and in which version?

    Isiah 34:14, it’s the part about Edom.

    I’m pretty sure Uraziel/Raziel is taken from folklore surrounding King Solomon…
    And of course, the premise for Jonathan Stroud’s work is the idea of summoning and binding spiritual forces (specifically, he was inspired by Ariel in The Tempest ), so it would be similar vibes I imagine. I’m also fairly certain that Jonathan Stroud did it much better.

    That he did, that he did. Though I think he simply combined angelic names for Uraziel.

  24. Tim on 28 September 2012, 07:34 said:

    Isiah 34:14, it’s the part about Edom.

    Depends, a lot of Bibles say something like “Night-monster” there and the King James doesn’t have it at all.

  25. Epke on 28 September 2012, 07:47 said:

    Depends, a lot of Bibles say something like “Night-monster” there and the King James doesn’t have it at all.

    Which is why the “prior to KJV” :) Though I believe owls are used as substitute for her in that version. However, many older versions than KJV preserve the use of “Lamia” and many newer versions as well (Jerusalem Bible for example), which was my point. Then there’s the Dead Sea Scrolls, but that’s closer to the Jewish corner so I’ll leave it at that.

  26. swenson on 28 September 2012, 09:07 said:

    It should be pointed out, however, that regardless of translation, that verse doesn’t say much about the creature’s qualities, whether it’s an owl or other bird, a “night creature” or “monster”, Lilith of the myth, a lamia, etc. In context of the full chapter, it’s basically saying that after the day of the Lord’s vengeance, the land will be laid to waste and it’ll be inhabited by wild animals or strange creatures other than people, one of which is the variously translated Lilith/night monster/night creature/screech owl/whatever and is referred to with a female pronoun.

    The issue arises because the Hebrew word in the original is poorly understood (it’s the only time it comes up in the Hebrew Bible), so some translations leave it as is, some translate it as “night creature” or “night monster” or something of that ilk, and some translations try to figure out what real animal it is (based on the assumption that other words in the passage refer to real animals). The Vulgate went the opposite route by instead translating everything in that verse as being a monster.

  27. Fell_Blade on 28 September 2012, 13:51 said:

    Clare shows some terrible fail in an Ivanhoe conversation between Clary and Jace…
    Clary says that Ivanhoe should have chosen Rebecca instead of Rowena, implying that there was a love triangle and a choice involved.

    Blasphemy!!! She shall be burned at the stake for this outrage!

    Ok, so it’s been a little while since I read the book (more like a decade or so), but I remember enough of it to know that there was no way these two characters could ever be together. While I respect all of the actors who made the 1984 Ivanhoe and admire the work they did, that was one point that always irked me. The racial feelings were so strong at that point that neither of them really had any choice in the matter. Consider the tournament that Ivanhoe won. When he presented the crown to Rowena, choosing her over the Norman ladies in attendance, it was a slap in the face to the Norman rulers. If he had bestowed this honor on Rebecca, all hell would have broken loose from both Saxons and Normans. He would have been stripped of his victory, knighthood, and status as a “Christian” until he repented of such actions. And that’s just handing the crown to someone at a sporting event.

    What was the point of Clare including this discussion in her book (if she in fact had a point)???

  28. Deborah on 28 September 2012, 14:14 said:

    About Ivanhoe: I think Rebecca did have feelings for Ivanhoe, but she knew that because of their different religions they could never be together, so she decided to try and forget those feelings and move on with her life. Which is something I wish more modern heroines would do. I was always a huge fan of Rebecca. :)

  29. Fell Blade on 28 September 2012, 14:57 said:

    I believe that you’re right about her feelings, but if I remember the interest seemed more one sided in the book than in the film.

  30. Deborah on 28 September 2012, 22:48 said:

    Yes, in the book it was like, “oh, you’re hot. You’re a Jewess? Uh, not interested.”

  31. Pryotra on 29 September 2012, 09:57 said:

    If he had bestowed this honor on Rebecca, all hell would have broken loose from both Saxons and Normans. He would have been stripped of his victory, knighthood, and status as a “Christian” until he repented of such actions. And that’s just handing the crown to someone at a sporting event.

    You’ve probably just put in ten times more thought into than time than Clare probably did. Knowing her, she probably has no idea about the racial tensions at the time.

    What was the point of Clare including this discussion in her book (if she in fact had a point)???

    I think that the point was something similar to SMeyer’s thing about New Moon about how all other literary heroes/heroines were stupid compared to hers.

    “oh, you’re hot. You’re a Jewess? Uh, not interested.”

    Yeah, pretty much.

  32. Nate Winchester on 29 September 2012, 14:50 said:

    And how guilty he felt about giving baby Sebastian demon blood because that made her mother really, really messed up. He’s also sorry that he started giving her mother angel blood when she was pregnant with Clary. So she’s half angel too.

    It would have been interesting had that been reversed. The first child was angelic and it was Clary that was demonic, adding further conflict for her relationship with Jace.

    This little ass is actually supposed to be extremely empathetic when he never seems to note, and sometimes flat enjoys, other people’s pain. His character is static from the first book onwards, and honestly, he’s pretty boring.

    Ya know… could be interesting, in that he acts so closed off because it’s the only way to survive the onslaught of emotion he’s constantly feeling. Geez people, stop wasting potential.

    Sebastian is a new character. That’s not his name, since he’s the real Jonathan Wayland. He actually has the possibility of being an interesting character. The problem was, the moment that he it’s revealed that he had demon blood in him, he was one dimensional. He was evil, and the subplot of Valentine kind of liking Jace better and Sebastian being jealous really, as far as I was concerned, came to not. He’s pretty much there to make sure that the earth shattering love between Jace and Clary wasn’t incestuous, dies after explaining Valentine’s whole stinking plan, and doesn’t really do much of anything other than that. He’s a wasted character.

    Another possibility? The actual J. Wayland was lost at birth, and so an adopted child (Jace) was put in his place (maybe dad wanted to spare mom’s feelings). Only… the kid turned out to be alive after all or something. When did we insist on our drama being so… boring?

    Clare, girls can be geeks, gamers, otakus (both the American and Japanese versions) and nerds. It’s not a male only group.

    Yes, though we need more ladies.

    Cassandra Clare could have written a good book. There are times when she actually shows talent. However but to write that book, it would require more work, more research and more knowledge than what she’s showing.

    Which is why I always say, you need to find an editor that will be hard on you because rough stones sharpen knives. That’s the only way your talent will improve.

    Yeah, the closest translation of “otaku” isn’t “fan,” it’s “fanatic.”

    Uh…. doesn’t “fan” come from “fanatic”?

    Isn’t Jesus technically rather vampire-ish as well? He looks pretty undead to me, can bring dead back to life and stuff, offers his blood to his followers to drink…

    [sigh] Backwards. “Vampirism is a corruption of euchrist”:

    (which is what Supernatural does)

    WTH? I used to be the only SPN fan around here. [puts on hipster glasses] When did the rest of you posers show up?

  33. Pryotra on 29 September 2012, 15:37 said:

    Geez people, stop wasting potential.

    That should be this book’s tagline. I’d agree. The idea itself is actually interesting. If you played Jace’s character right, he could have been extremely sympathetic. Since the only way to keep from trying to help everyone around him would be trying to avoid everyone.

    Uh…. doesn’t “fan” come from “fanatic”?

    Well, it would be fanatic in the most negative sense. Otaku are pretty much seen as perverts and potential psychos from what I’ve read.

  34. Tim on 29 September 2012, 16:15 said:

    Uh…. doesn’t “fan” come from “fanatic”?

    Yes, but it doesn’t have the same connotations. You don’t talk about religious fans blowing up buildings or fan supporters of a regime torturing political enemies or whatever.

  35. Juracan on 30 September 2012, 10:38 said:

    WTH? I used to be the only SPN fan around here. [puts on hipster glasses] When did the rest of you posers show up?

    Er… fairly recently if ‘rest of you posers’ refers to me. I just needed an example of a story in which angels are non-corporeal, though now that I think about the Space Trilogy might have been a better example…

  36. Thea on 2 October 2012, 18:48 said:

    I’m surprised I didn’t see any mention of exactly how problematic the ‘mark of Cain’ reference can be: it has been used as a justification for slavery, because black skin was called the ‘mark’. I don’t know that it was every particularly common, but I still don’t know that I’d want to tangle with those issues…not that that’s ever stopped Clare.

    Was there a reason the angel couldn’t resurrect Max?

  37. Pryotra on 2 October 2012, 19:02 said:

    I’m surprised I didn’t see any mention of exactly how problematic the ‘mark of Cain’ reference can be

    Honestly, the mark of Cain is rather like opening Pandora’s box. I know that it’s been used as a justification for some of the treatment of mentally ill people, and somewhat with racism (that was also attributed to Noah’s kids too) and honestly, Clare brings up so many issues that are really, really messy, that I was worried that ranting about them would just make the review too long.

    Was there a reason the angel couldn’t resurrect Max?

    It must have slipped her mind. As well as the many other children and other innocents who the demon attack probably killed.

    After all, only her twu wuv was really important.

  38. Tim on 2 October 2012, 21:42 said:

    I’m surprised I didn’t see any mention of exactly how problematic the ‘mark of Cain’ reference can be: it has been used as a justification for slavery

    Actually the bit used to justify slavery in the Bible is Noah cursing Ham’s line to be “servants of servants;” it has nothing to do with Cain, it’s Canaan.

  39. Thea on 9 October 2012, 13:14 said:

    I’m pretty sure it was a old tenant in the Mormon texts (but it’s been removed, IIRC), and in the South during the late slavery period, because you can never discount all the different ways people will find to support their prejudices…anyway it’s never been all that wide-spread, I’m just saying it has been used that way.

  40. simon forever on 23 December 2012, 12:30 said:

    As always, your criticism perfect.
    Clary is a bitch whining drooled over the Jays did not care about anyone. Especially her best friend happens thrown into prison and dying and tormented by people that remind Julian the Nazis.
    Jace is cocky retard most Gdoh benefits that has brought shame that he died he came back to life. Seriously my friends cried he died, only I was happy I jumped on the couch and Htmalti energy. Until of course, he came back to life and he and Clary drooling on each other were daubed it is just kissing and Kiimon sex. Ugh.
    And as always Simon perfect, he is a hero, caring, kind, consoling Easy, loyal and like I said – perfect. That’s why I’m reading the sequel.

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