Hey folks, and welcome back to the City of Ashes sporking.
In case you forgot, in the first part of chapter two, Jace – obviously upset that his surrogate/adopted mother didn’t trust him after he was totally willing to sell them all out to hang out with his supposedly-dead, abusive, genocidal father (hey, Stockholm Syndrome is a bitch) – decided that the best way to deal with his feelings was to go down to the local werewolf watering hole and start a fight. Oh, and the pack? It’s the same one from the first book – you know, the one that risked and lost several members to Valentine’s Hulked-out troops all to rescue Jace? Which happened about a week ago?
Yeah. Those werewolves.
Honestly, I’m not sure who place more blame on for that – Jace for once again demonstrating how horrible a person he is, or CC for apparently forgetting her own canon. Probably both.
Either way, I’m going to just preemptively give the chapter this:
Our “Heroes”: 2
One for Jace’s utter lack of gratitude, and one for CC for not realizing how horrible this shows him to be.
Oh, and we also met a new character in part one – Maia Roberts, a half-Latino (I think) werewolf girl. She was out POV character for pat one, and nicely demonstrated that CC can only write one female POV (or possibly just one POV in general) because there was effectively no real difference between Maia’s behavior and Clary’s – they both spend most of their time sitting on the sidelines watching other characters and contributing nothing to the plot, raising the question of why they’re there in the first place, especially because the books are written in third person.
So now we move on to the second part of the chapter, which takes us to Clary’s POV.
Well, it’s a step up. A small one.
Clary and Simon have just finished searching for Jace at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was apparently Clary’s “last guess” at where Jace might have gone. Simon clarifies this assumption, saying that, what with Jace being a kill-happy psychopath (I’m paraphrasing), he might decide to hang out at the “biggest collection of weapons in the whole city” (not paraphrasing).
I have two things to say about this. First, since Clary only met Jace a little over a week ago, and most of that time was spent either running around or mooning over him, what gives her the impression that she knows anything about him? She doesn’t know a thing about him, other than the fact that he enjoys his job to an unhealthy degree.
Which leads into my second point – we, the readers, don’t know anything about Jace either. Yes, we know his back story, but all that tells us is that his father was a racist dick who was training Jace to be a weapon. Apart from being hot (which we’re told incessantly), and being a racist psychopath (which I’m sure was unintentional), Jace is a literal non-entity.
Anyway, Simon doesn’t complain about his sort-of girlfriend dragging him around to look for her brother whom she still lusts after. In fact, it’s quite the contrary – he’s always willing to visit the Met’s arms and armor collection to get inspiration for the D&D campaign he’s running. Which once again demonstrates that Simon’s life is far, far more interesting than anything involving Clary and/or Jace, because at least Simon has a life.
But of course CC has to ruin this wonderful moment by turning the focus away from Simon’s interesting (if mundane) life and back to where it belongs –
her self insert Clary.
Clary asks how Simon can still game after what they went through in the last book. Because I guess people who suddenly discover that the supernatural is real would for some reason avoid games like D&D.
To which I say bullshit. And I can provide examples to the contrary – both Harry Dresden of the Dresden Files series and Zoe Norris from the Shambling Guides series* play D&D or some variant thereof, and both of them live in worlds where the encounter things straight out of the Monster Manual on a much more regular basis than Clary or any of the Shadowhunters do, despite CC’s “all myths are true” crap.
(*For more on the Shambling Guide series, read my review of the first book, The Shambling Guide to New York City, here, and listen to the free podcast of the second book, Ghost Train to New Orleans, here.)
And what’s more, it feels like CC is using Simon’s playing D&D as short-hand for him being the “bad” kind of geek, as opposed to the “good” kind of geek she/Clary/her fans is/are, when really, the bad geeks are the ones who exclude others for one reason or another.
Getting back to the book, Clary’s brain apparently kicked back into gear, and she starts thinking about how much better RPGs are compared to her life. I think you guys need to see this:
Except in a game, the good guys always won, defeated the bad guys and came home with the treasure. Whereas in real life, they’d lost the treasure, and sometimes Clary still wasn’t clear on who the bad and good guys actually were.
Let’s take a closer look at that last sentence, shall we? Yes, Clary, Valentine did get away with the MacGuffin cup. And you know whose fault that was? Jace’s, because he just couldn’t bring himself to kill is genocidal SOB of a father. Which I’m sure CC/her fans would say is a good thing, but this is the same guy who just started a bar fight with the people who risked life and limb to save his ass less than a week ago. Oh, and it’s also your fault, Clary, because you were the one who decided that you needed to actually have the MacGuffin cup in hand, rather than leaving it nice and safe as a drawing.
And as for the second part – since when has Clary ever been in doubt about who the good guys and bad guys are? Yes, I may say that the only thing that makes the Shadowhunters better than Valentine is that they aren’t actively trying to commit genocide, and that Jace is, at best, a sociopathic hero who doesn’t even have the decency to be either charming or amusing, but I’m also the one who actually calls Jace on being a sociopath, whereas you haven’t stopped mooning over him since about five minutes after meeting him.
Moving on, Clary looks at Simon and thinks that all the crap he’s been through in the past week is entirely her fault. Under different circumstances, I’d say she was once again making everything about her, but in this case I agree. Yes, Clary, everything bad that has happened to Simon in the previous week (i.e. the last book) ultimately tracks back to you. I am absolutely certain that his life would be greatly improved if you removed yourself from it. But of course, that would mean Clary giving up her backup guy, and CC potentially leaving
her self insert Clary single, so that’s not going to happen.
Clary starts to say something, but Simon breaks up her pity-party by talking about his awesome character and what’s going on in the game. And once again I wonder why I have to put up with Clary’s boring drama when we could be focusing on Simon’s awesome life instead.
Luke then calls Clary to tell us what we already know – Jace was a douche and decided to pick a fight with a pack of half-drunk werewolves. Clary briefly wonders why Jace would do such a thing, but then says that he would “pick a fight with a Mack truck if the urge took him.”
Don’t tease me like that, CC. Also, in what universe is that kind of stupidity, impulsivity, and bull-headed stubbornness an attractive combination? It has “Darwin Award” written all over it.
And of course Clary shows no concern for anyone except Jace, which I suppose can be forgiven as Luke doesn’t mention anyone else being injured. He’s such a kind, caring leader, isn’t he? Right up there with Vidkun Quisling. It’s no wonder that Maia likes him so much.
Luke asks Clary to come down to the Hunter’s Moon and try to talk some sense into Jace, on the basis of… um… they’re siblings? I really don’t know – you’d think he’d maybe try contacting the other Shadowhunters living in New York, as they’re more family to Jace than Clary is, plus they’ve known him for years.
But let’s face it – the real reason Clary has to go is so she an Jace can be in the same room together. The plot demands it!
Simon, not being an idiot, managed to figure out that the call was about Jace. Clary starts mentally debating on whether to take a cab or the subway to the bar, and zones out for a few minutes because such thoughts must be very taxing on her, what with her limited brain power and all. She eventually comes back to reality, only to realize that Simon’s been talking the whole time, and she hasn’t heard a word of it. Simon, being the perceptive guy that he is, realizes that Clary was, once again, ignoring him. Honestly, this kind of treatment from Clary shouldn’t surprise him – it’s exactly how she behaved in the last book, even before all the weirdness started. I just wonder why Simon continues to put up with it (and no, I will not except “because he luuuuvvs her” as an excuse).
Clary justifies her lack of attention given to her “best friend”/boyfriend with the following:
“I was thinking about Jace. It sounded like he was in bad shape. Sorry.”
Uh, no, Clary – you were thinking about which would be the fastest way to get to Jace, which is very much not the same thing. Also, Luke said that Jace had “a few cuts and bruises”, which is not the same as being in bad shape. You’re just trying to justify your behavior.
Simon reacts exactly how you’d expect a guy to when his sort-of girlfriend says she’s worried about her sort-of ex-boyfriend, and again demonstrates that he’s friggin’ Sherlock Holmes compared to Clary by figuring out that she plans on going to see Jace. Clary then points out that Luke did ask her to come down, and to her credit, she asks Simon to come with her. That last part is a lie, but at least Clary seems to realize that Simon actually has feelings, so kudos to her.
Simon then rightly points out that Luke could get Jace back home without Clary’s help, but Clary says that she has a better chance of getting an explanation out of Jace than Luke does. Which I suppose is true – honestly, I’d consider Jace not spitting on Luke and calling him all kinds of werewolf-related epithets to be a sign of restraint on Jace’s part. Simon then comments that he had hoped that they (he and Clary) could go out and do something date-like, and Clary thinks back to their brief make-out session in his kitchen. She also has no emotions attached to the memory, which you’d think would lead her to realize that she has no romantic feelings for Simon, but this is the girl who needed just about every “revelation” in the last book explained to her ad nauseam.
She then gives this final justification for going to see Jace:
“He’s my brother,” she said. “I have to go.”
And I honestly can’t argue with that logic. Yes, they only just found out that they’re siblings, but being family is a special kind of bond that overrides a lot of rational thought.
Simon also realizes that there’s no point in arguing with that, and agrees to go.
A quick scene break later, and they’re walking down the back hallway of the Hunter’s Moon to Freaky Pete’s office. There’s actually a nice bit of description of the bar’s interior, and Clary tactfully doesn’t mention that there’s just a hint of wet dog in the air. I’d congratulate her for this, but praising characters for behaving like decent human beings would be setting a bad precedent.
Luke explains that Jace is in a bad mood (is he ever in a good mood? Other than when he gets to kill something, that is), and Luke locked him in Pete’s office, only now mentioning that Jace almost killed a good half of Luke’s pack with his bare hands (Luke’s words, not mine).
And yet Jace is the one we’re supposed to feel sorry for.
And again, note where Luke’s priorities are – not with the injured werewolves that he’s the leader of, but with the son of the genocidal psychopath who almost killed about half of them for no good reason.
Our “Heroes”: 4
One for Jace, for again being a violent sociopath, and one for Luke, for again showing complete disregard for the lives and well-being of the people he’s in charge of.
Clary, of course, also ignores the fact that several of the people who risked their lives to help her in the last book were brutally attacked by
the guy she has the hots for her brother.
Our “Heroes”: 5
No, instead she wonders why Jace would come to a place like the Hunter’s Moon. I’m not sure if it’s because she thinks he’s just such an upstanding guy that he wouldn’t hang around in a bar, or if it’s because she knows it’s a werewolf bar and Jace wouldn’t socialize with filthy Downworlders without a good reason. Like, say, getting some action from the waitress.
Simon, for some reason, decides to comment on the bar’s owner being named “Freaky Pete”.
Our “Heroes”: 6
Could one of you please show some concern for the injured werewolves? And don’t try to justify it as self-defense – I know what Jace said and did, and he provoked them into attacking him. He’s not the innocent victim, regardless of what CC seems to think.
And to top it all off, Luke goes and says this:
“I know a lot of people,” said Luke. “Not that Freaky Pete is strictly people, but I’m hardly one to talk.”
See, it’s comments like that, from the former Shadowhunter turned werewolf, that lead me to believe that all Shadowhunters are racist dicks, and that Valentine isn’t quite so far on the bell curve as CC wants me to think.
Moving on, Luke opens the door, only to have Jace throw a pencil so hard that it sticks in the wall near Luke’s head.
Our “Heroes”: 8
Oh, but he apologizes, because he didn’t realize it was Luke opening the door. Implying that, had it been someone else, he wouldn’t have felt bad for clearly threatening them.
Our “Heroes”: 9
And what really pisses me off is how nonchalant Luke is about this. I guess throwing sharp objects at someone’s head is just the standard Shadowhunter greeting.
Now, of course, we have to have Clary’s reaction to seeing Jace for the first time in this book:
Clary felt her heart contract. She hadn’t seen Jace in days, and he looked different somehow— not just the bloody face and bruises, which were clearly new, but the skin on his face seemed tighter, the bones more prominent.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 1
So now CC’s trying the Hurt/Comfort schtick. I shouldn’t be surprised – she is, after all, still writing fanfiction. The only differences are that now she’s getting paid to do it, and she’s done a search & replace.
Jace notices Clary and Simon and, being a racist douche, tells them he wants Simon to leave for no reason. Clary’s nasty case of Basic Human Decency flairs up again, and she actually tries to defend Simon:
“That’s hardly fair.” Clary was indignant. Had he forgotten that Simon had saved Alec’s life, possibly all their lives?
Probably. Then again, you also forgot that at least two werewolves died trying to rescue Jace, so you don’t have any room to criticize. Pot, kettle, etc.
But Jace acts like the petulant child he is (even referring to Simon as “mundane” again just to piss me off, I’m sure), and Simon decides he has better things to do than put up with this jackass and leaves. Clary starts to chastise Jace, but again sees that he’s huuurt, so of course goes back to swooning over him.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 2
Sorry, CC, but I ain’t buyin’ it. After all the crap Jace pulled in this book and the previous one, he deserves far worse than what he’s got. I seriously doubt his injuries are any worse than what any kid would get on the average playground.
But of course Jace has to try to justify his behavior:
“Unpleasant?” he finished for her. “Only on days when my adoptive mother tosses me out of the house with instructions never to darken her door again. Usually, I’m remarkably goodnatured. Try me on any day that doesn’t end in y.”
Mr. Pink, would you kindly express my feelings towards this?
Thank you. Jace, it is really hard for me to buy that you’re this broken up about Maryse kicking your ass out, especially after how you jumped at the chance to be with your abusive fuckwad of a father. And again, how does this in any way justify him taking his feeeeellllings out on Luke’s pack?
Also, don’t try to be flippant, you little turd. You wouldn’t know pleasant behavior if it jumped up and bit you in your underdeveloped scrotum.
Rapier Twit: 1
Luke decides to remind us that he’s here, expressing his doubts that Maryse really kicked Jace out. Jace of course is shocked that Luke knows Maryse. This doesn’t surprise me, as I doubt she would willingly associate with dirty, filthy Downworlders, and I don’t believe Jace knows Luke used to be a Shadowhunter. Luke doesn’t go into a chapter long recounting of his tragic back story (thank Yog-Sothoht for small favors), instead giving a very condensed explanation, along with some commentary on the Lightwoods’ current situation:
“They were in the Circle with me,” said Luke. “I was surprised when I heard they were heading the Institute here. It seems they made a deal with the Clave, after the Uprising, to ensure some kind of lenient treatment for themselves, while Hodge— well, we know what happened to him.”
I do so love (read: hate) how Luke/CC so casually brushes aside the fact that the Lightwoods were known terrorists who managed to get out of being locked up for the rest of their lives and are effectively free to go about their business unsupervised by saying that they “made a deal” with the Clave. Again, CC very clearly didn’t think through the implications of basically turning the Arthur and Molly Weasley into former Deatheaters.
Shoddy World Building: 1
So, Jace explains what happened: basically, Maryse thinks that Jace might have been working for Valentine the whole time (again, you were pretty damn eager to play Happy Family with him, so she’s got a point). Clary argues that the fact that Jace didn’t run off with Valentine when he had the chance proves where his loyalties lie, but apparently Maryse thinks Jace might still be working as a spy:
“A viper in their bosoms. Not that she used the word ‘bosoms,’ but the thought was there.”
Rapier Twit: 2
CC, your flailing attempts at humor only serve to undercut the seriousness of the situation. Not that I take it that seriously in the first place, but you know what I mean.
Thus, faced with the possibility of a cuckoo in the nest (a far more accurate comparison, I think), and getting the stink-eye from the Clave if there were any justice in this world, Maryse went with the only safe option and kicked Jace out. Or at least, that would be the explanation if this book were good and had characters who acted rationally. But sadly, it doesn’t.
No, instead Luke starts talking about how Maryse no doubt still cares about Jace because he’s like a son to her. I question how he came to this conclusion, considering he hasn’t seen or spoken to the Lightwoods since before the
Pustch Uprising. Jace, being overly literal, points out that he isn’t Maryse’s son (this despite talk in chapter one about the Lightwoods having adopted him and Alec and Isabelle being his “step-siblings”). But of course, this whole conversation is just there so that Clary can drop this little nugget of wisdom on us:
“There’s more to parentage than blood. They’ve been your parents for seven years in all the ways that matter. Maryse is just hurt.”
Because that whole bit was just so utterly contrived. It’s practically shouting “THIS IS THE THEME OF THE BOOK!!!” because CC doesn’t understand how to be subtle.
And Clary’s conveniently ignoring the first ten or so years of Jace’s life, where he was raised by a genocidal fanatic. A fanatic who Jace eagerly joined back up with at the first chance, not even bothering to consider contacting his “family”. I know I keep bringing that up, but only because everyone except the “heroes” keep ignoring that fact.
Anyway, Jace gets all indignant about the idea of Maryse being hurt, which Luke ties back to when Valentine betrayed the Circle, even saying that she “loved” Valentine.
(Which gives me all sorts of disturbing implications given how Jace’s POV referred to the Lightwood siblings. And also adds a disturbing undertone to Alec’s crush on Jace. Suddenly this series having the same name as CC’s Ron/Ginny fic makes a lot more sense.)
Luke goes on to say that Maryse clearly doesn’t want to be hurt by Jace in the same way, so he has to reassure her that he’s not, in fact, working for Valentine.
Jace, unsurprisingly, continues to act like a spoiled child, insisting that since Maryse is the adult, she should be giving him reassurances. Uh, dude? Maryse hasn’t done anything worthy of suspicion. At least not recently.
That count has never felt more appropriate.
Clary, in a moment of surprising intelligence, a) points out that people make mistakes, and b) pulls a Don Corleone on him. (without the slapping, much to my disappointment).
And Jace’s response is so very indicative of who he is:
“I don’t want to be a man,” said Jace. “I want to be an angstridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.”
“Well,” said Luke, “you’re doing a fantastic job.”
Rapier Twit: 3
Not for Luke – Luke’s line was another of those increasingly rare moments of CC actually being funny. No, that was because CC no doubt intended Jace’s line to be “clever” when in fact it’s entirely accurate.
Our “Heroes”: 11
A double dose because, a) despite (and in fact, because of) Jace’s insistence on being treated like an adult in the last book, he’s never not acted like a petulant little child, and b) claiming that he only “verbally” takes out his issues on other people. I believe there’s about a dozen or so werewolves outside who would disagree.
Clary tries changing tactics, bringing up how Alec and Isabelle will react to his disappearance. Jace is, of course, dismissive of that, because, well, they aren’t him, so their feelings don’t matter. Oh, sorry, it’s because he’s certain Maryse will cover for him. Then Clary mentions that Isabelle called her, and Isabelle sounded upset. And not only does Jace not care, he actually “pleased” at Isabelle’s distress.
Our “Heroes”: 12
And remember, this is the girl who is supposed to be more like a sister to him than his actual sister. If this doesn’t show him to be a sociopath, he’s at least acting like a child.
There’s a brief description of Jace’s bruises
Both Hands, Ma’am: 3
which are compared to Marks
You Keep Using That Word: 1
(yes, that still bugs the crap out of me), and Jace basically goes “I’m a big boy and I don’t need them!”, declaring that he can take care of himself. To which Luke (who has apparently become the embodiment of sense and wisdom for this scene) points out the obvious problems – Jace has nowhere to stay, and no means of supporting himself.
Jace gets what I assume is a smug look on his face (his eyes are described as “glitter[ing]”)
Both Hands, Ma’am: 4
and points out that he’s seventeen, which makes him “Practically and adult” and apparently adult Shadowhunters can draw a stipend from the Clave or something.
Shoddy World Building: 2
Uh, how? As near as I can tell, the Shadowhunters only do one thing – kill demons. Well, and act as an oppressive “police” force, but that’s just inferred on my part. My point is, the Shadowhunters don’t produce anything. Their whole society has one mission, and everything is geared towards that. So where would they get the money to support their operations from? Because they clearly have to interact with the mundane world – they have to pay taxes on their property, as well as water, power, and gas. So where does that money come from? Do they extort money from the Downworlders?
But we’re going to ignore that, because Luke once again is awesome:
“Any adult. But you’re not one. You can’t draw a salary from the Clave because you’re too young, and in fact the Lightwoods are bound by the Law to care for you. If they won’t, someone else would be appointed or—”
Damn it, Luke, why do you have to go and do stuff like this? Because while I like this, I can’t forget that you’ve also demonstrated that you’re a horrible, inconsiderate leader, which makes me hate you. Pick one, please.
You Keep Using That Word: 2
Why do you insist on capitalizing “law”, CC? It’s not a proper noun, so please stop doing it.
And Jace’s reaction once again reveals so much about him:
“Or what?” Jace sprang up from the chair. “I’ll go to an orphanage in Idris? Be dumped on some family I’ve never met? I can get a job in the mundane world for a year, live like one of _them_—”
I especially want to draw your attention to that last sentence. Specifically, the not-at-all subtle implication that he thinks living as a mundane is somehow degrading – that it’s something he’ll put up with. And remember, these are the people he’s supposed to be protecting.
Our “Heroes”: 13
Oh, and the fact that he’d rather do that than be forced to humble himself.
Our “Heroes”: 14
Wow that count is getting high.
But Clary shoots down Jace’s idea of living as a mundane, saying that she “_was_ one of them.” Uh, Clary, you’re still living like a mundane. From what we’ve seen, there’s no significant difference between your life now and how it was before finding out you were a super special Shadowhunter.
Also, nice to see that you’re still maintaining the conceptual distance between yourself and the “mundanes”.
Our “Heroes”: 15
Clary goes on to point out that Jace is “too young” for the kind of job he’d want, and that most of the people who share his particular skill set – i.e. killing things – are mostly criminals. Jace protests that he’s totally not a killer, but Luke slaps him down with this:
“If you lived in the mundane world,” said Luke, “that’s all you’d be.”
And that is Jace’s greatest fear, isn’t it? That he’s not special; that he’s just like hundreds, if not thousands of other people. And the frustrating part? It’s entirely true. But good luck getting CC to admit it.
Faced with this ego-shattering concept, Jace admits the real reason he won’t go back – Maryse will want him to renounce his father, that he hates Valentine, and he just can’t do it.
Really? Despite him being an abusive fuckwad the whole time you lived with him? Despite getting incredibly pissed when anime-hair-demon just mentioned that he was alive in the last book? You’re going to tell me that you just luuuvv your father?
Oh, wait, that whole “grr, I hate Valentine!” was a total act, wasn’t it? I bet the only reason Jace ever claimed to disagree with Valentine’s motives or goals was so people would like him, isn’t it? He only feels conflicted because he wants the approval of the Shadowhunters and his father, and he can’t have both.
But instead of getting upset about this, Luke accepts it, because he “loved [Valentine] once too.” Which only reinforces my head-canon of Luke and Valentine being former lovers. Also, I can’t help but think there should be a comma in there.
Jace relaxes, and Clary somehow infers that Luke’s response was the real reason Jace came to the Hunter’s Moon:
This is why he came here, to this place. Not just to start a fight, but to get to Luke. Because Luke would understand.
Uh, no Clary, I think Jace quite clearly did not come to the bar to find Luke. You know how I know? Because if he did, he would have said something like, “I’m looking for Luke, is he around?” You know, like a normal person.
But instead, he came down and immediately started antagonizing everyone. Which tells me he wasn’t looking for comfort – he was looking for a fight. And he didn’t give a damn who it was with.
CC, keep your hands off me in the future. I will hurt you.
Luke says Maryse will totally understand Jace’s reasoning (yeah, right), and Clary stares at Jace’s face, which the narration describes as, “like a book written in a foreign language she’d studied all too briefly.”
Both Hands, Ma’am: 5
No, CC, Jace is not deep, despite what you may think – Clary probably just has a mild case of Asperger syndrome. That would explain how she totally missed the fact that Simon was in love with her for so long, along with a lot of other things.
When she finally comes out of her daze, Clary asks if Maryse actually told Jace to leave and never return. He says Maryse told him he should leave for a while, but didn’t say where he should go. Now, if this were me, I might take that as a hint that something is going to happen soon, and it would be better if he weren’t around for it, but I don’t need every little thing spelled out for me like these two geniuses.
Luke also fails to pick up on that implication, and offers Jace a place to stay if he needs it, which of course freaks Clary out, because she still luuuvvs Jace. And of course Jace accepts the offer, which freaks Clary out even more.
But before this can turn into a really bad, really disturbing teen soap opera, Luke insists that Jace go back to the Institute and try to patch things up with Maryse. Jace agrees, but has some conditions of his own – he doesn’t want to go alone.
Clary, being governed by her nether regions, eagerly volunteers to go with him. Jace, being Jace, of course knew she’d do that, but he also wants Luke to come as well. And it’s just now that I’m really starting to question whether Jace’s lady-killer persona might all have been an act. I’m sure Alec would be pleased, if nothing else.
Luke tries to get out of going, pointing out that he’s never been to the Institute, and Maryse isn’t likely to be happy to see him, but Jace says the magic word (“Please”), and Clary’s psychic powers flare up again to tell her just how hard it was for Jace to say that, and of course Luke agrees.
We are almost done with the chapter, people. Just one more scene. And it’s from Simon’s POV, so it probably won’t be that bad. Probably.
Alright, so we’re now presumably flashing back to shortly after Simon made his exit. He starts thinking about how his day’s gone so far. His little freak out on seeing Dracula on the TV is brought up, and it might as well have “FORESHADOWING! THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT!” written around it in neon-pink marker for all the subtlety used. Which isn’t surprising, given the author.
But apparently that little episode somehow gave him the push he needed to finally make a move on Clary, which he apparently remembers somewhat differently than how I read it – namely, he remembers Clary returning the kiss, rather than being a living mannequin.
Simon’s thoughts then move on to Jace, and how he doesn’t like Clary being around him. Not surprising, but then CC decides to start derailing Simon’s character:
It hadn’t always been like this, even after he’d realized how he felt about Clary. He’d never pressed her, never pushed his feelings on her. He’d always been sure that one day she would wake up out of her dreams of animated princes and kung fu heroes and realize what was staring them both in the face: They belonged together.
I guess CC didn’t like some readers preferring Clary to end up with Simon, and decided to do something about it.
We then get to Simon’s feelings about Jace, with the not-so-subtle implication that it’s because he’s jealous that Clary was so attracted to Jace. It couldn’t possibly be because Jace is an arrogant douchebag, no. Oh, and Simon also thinks that Jace is “Too pretty.”
Both Hands, Ma’am: 6
Because everyone must think Jace is attractive! Even the people who hate him!
Blah, blah, Simon was happy that Clary and Jace being siblings put the kibosh on them boinking, but now he’s starting to realize that that might not be enough.
Someone asks Simon if Luke’s in the office, but for some reason we don’t get a description of them until about three lines of dialogue into the conversation, despite Simon looking right at them. CC, you fail as a writer.
I’ll save you guys the time wondering – it’s Maia, because who else could it be?
We get a more detailed description of Maia, including that she has a very curvy figure and her hair is “braided close to her head in dozens of small braids.”
You Keep Using That Word: 3
Good gods, CC, that is horrible. It’s almost as bad as when anime-demon’s sword “bent as easily as a blade of grass bending sideways.” Seriously, did no one point out how stupid that sounded?
Simon and Maia get to talking, and once again, Simon has better chemistry with someone other than Clary. They have so much in common! For starters, they both think Jace is an asshole.
Simon explains that he’s there with Clary, who he identifies both as Jace’s sister and his (Simon’s) “best friend.” Guess he can see the writing on the wall an knows that’s the best he can hope for. Maia commiserates on the topic of asshole brothers (that’s putting it mildly – both Jace and Daniel are/were complete psychopaths), and Simon explains that Clary’s probably the only person who Jace might listen to. Maia says that Jace “didn’t strike [her] as the listening type.”
Then Maia notices Simon staring at the scar on her neck, and she explains that it’s from when she got bit. Simon then figures out that she’s a werewolf, and that she wasn’t born a werewolf.
No Shit Sherlock: 1
I guess being a POV character saps your brains or something. Maia explains that werewolves are turned, and then we get to something that perfectly demonstrates why the werewolves (and probably vampires as well) are so much better than the Shadowhunters:
“That’s what makes us different than your Shadowhunter buddies.”
She smiled fleetingly. “We were human once.”
That line alone makes up for all her stupidity in the first part of the chapter. It’s like she momentarily slipped CC’s grasp to point out what’s wrong with the designated heroes.
They finally exchange names, and Simon asks how Maia concluded Jace was an asshole. She tells him Jace tore up the bar and injured a lot of her pack-mates. And the old Simon shines through, because he actually shows concern for them!
And that just makes the lack of concern from both Clary and especially Luke all the worse!
In fact, that was so awesome I’m actually going to take back the count I gave to him earlier.
Our “Heroes”: 14
Stay strong, Simon! I know you’re an awesome character! I BELIEVE IN YOU!
Anyway, the injured werewolves have been treated by a warlock, because Downworlders tend to avoid normal doctors. And apparently Downworlders, or at least werewolves, can just tell if someone’s a normal human, because their humanity “shines out” of them. Or something.
Simon offers to tell Luke that Maia wants to talk to him, but she decides to just leave a message with Simon, namely that Magnus Bane is checking out the dead werewolf boy. Oh yeah, there was a crime scene outside – you might have forgotten, given how everyone just ignored it.
Maia starts to walk off, and asks Simon if he thinks Clary will be able to talk some sense into Jace. Simon again says that Clary’s the only person Jace would listen to, and the chapter ends with this:
“That’s sweet,” said Maia. “That he loves his sister like that.”
“Yeah,” Simon said. “It’s precious.”
I’ll let Gandalf express my opinion of that. CC, please, leave the clever word-play to people who are actually good at it. That sort of thing requires a certain amount of subtlety, which you don’t have. At all.
So what did this chapter accomplish in the grand scheme of things? Well, one new side character was introduced, and plot-related stuff happened. And was promptly ignored in favor of Jace’s man-pain. We got definitive proof that Jace is a racist, violent psychopath, but that was unintentional. Luke showed that he doesn’t give two shits about the people he’s leading, but again, that was unintentional. Clary showed that she doesn’t care about anyone she doesn’t know personally, but once again, that was unintentional. Jace was also shown to be a petulant man-child, and at least that was addressed. And then there was that stuff with Simon, but I think that was mostly to a) make readers dislike him, and b) sow seeds for a potential “backup relationship” for him.
Really, the whole point of this chapter was to get Jace and Clary in the same place, because there’s no real reason for her to get involved in any of this.
Well, NaNoWriMo is coming up, so you probably won’t see anything else from me until December. But I will try to have the next chapter ready to go. See you then!
Entirely Pointless: 0 (Total: 13)
Un-Logic: 3 (Total: 14)
You Keep Using That Word: 3 (Total: 15)
Shoddy World Building: 2 (Total: 6)
Rapier Twit: 3 (Total: 9)
Our “Heroes”: 14 (Total: 19)
No Shit Sherlock: 1 (Total: 2)
Both Hands, Ma’am: 6 (Total: 10)