Hey everybody. Sorry for the radio silence. I went to Dragon*Con over Labor Day weekend, followed by a big-ish project for grad school, coupled with a nasty case of con-crud (lasted about a week!). After that, I just didn’t feel like getting back to this. As much as I enjoy doing this, can you really blame me for avoiding it?
But now I’m back, and I’ll try to keep the intervals between postings shorter. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Anyway, quick refresher about what’s happened. But first, this:
Think of that as the spoonful of sugar.
So far, we’ve spent several chapters focusing on a sub-plot about Simon becoming a vampire. Last chapter, Clary finally visited her mother, but only as a means of going “poor me”. Luke acted as intended audience surrogate and explained to Clary that what happened to Simon totally wasn’t her fault, even though it kind of was. He also said he would totally be there if Simon needed a sympathetic ear, but as per every other time he has to take responsibility for others, ran off with his tail between his legs. Also, he proposed Simon use a “coming out to your parents” pamphlet to explain what’s happened to him to his mom, which was treated with all the respect it deserved (i.e. none at all).
Then the plot literally crashed on the front lawn in the form of a demon attacking Maia, the werewolf girl who hasn’t been seen since… I don’t even remember. Chapter four? Whatever. Now Luke’s in the other room performing impromptu surgery to get some of the demon’s teeth/spines/whatever-because-CC-doesn’t-understand-biology out of Maia on his own because for some reason Maia’s more concerned with her rep than not dying, and thus Clary and Simon were told to call the Institute because… I guess there’s no one else they can call about this.
Chapter twelve begins with us in Simon’s POV. Normally, this would be a breath of fresh air, but CC has a sort-of reverse-Midas’ touch when it comes to characters.
So, what’s Simon doing? Worrying about his new friend who could be dying in the next room? Frantically searching for the Institute’s phone number? Trying to make Clary calm the fuck down?
Nope. He’s oggling Clary.
Simon watched Clary as she leaned against the refrigerator, biting her lip like she always did when she was upset.
Our “Heroes”: 1
First. Fucking Sentence.
Simon goes on to think about how small and tiny and delicate Clary is, and how much he want to hold her and comfort her, but he can’t because he has super vampire strength now and might accidentally hurt her. Here’s my response to that:
And just to rub salt in the wound, Simon’s thoughts then turn to Jace. And because misery loves company, you all get to see it, too:
Jace, he knew, didn’t feel that way. Simon had watched with a sick feeling in his stomach, unable to look away, as Jace had taken Clary in his arms and kissed her with such force Simon had thought one or both of them might shatter. He’d held her as if he wanted to crush her into himself, as if he could fold the two of them into one person.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 1
Jesus tap-dancing Christ, CC. We get it. The Big Kiss from chapter eight was the most Epic of all Epic Kisses, putting even Wesley and Buttercup’s from Princess Bride to shame. Can we please move on now?
(Also, this kinda makes me wonder what her relationship with her SO is like, if for her Hot and Passionate trumps easy and comfortable. Sometimes you just want someone you can eat pizza and watch a movie with, you know?)
But then we get to this:
Of course Clary was strong, stronger than Simon gave her credit for.
And my reaction:
Yeah, he might be referring to physical strength, but it’s still hilarious. Clary is one of the weakest, most pathetic characters, let alone protagonists, that I’ve ever seen. The only times she ever stands up to anyone are in matters where either Jace (her main love interest) or Simon (her back-up love interest) are somehow concerned. Even then all she ever does is whine and stamp her foot like a toddler, not bothering to actually contribute to solving the problem (no wounding that one werewolf in the previous book doesn’t count). She could be excised from this whole series and nothing would change.
So Simon’s train of thought goes into describing the current status of their relationship, and how he’d react if it fell apart.:
what they had between them was still as fragile as a flickering candle flame, as delicate as eggshell— and he knew that if it shattered, if he somehow let it break and be destroyed, something inside him would shatter too, something that could never be fixed.
So apparently if Clary broke up with him for some reason, Simon would become the most emo of all vampires, and probably start writing lots of sad poetry that he’d post on Facebook. He just luuuurvs Clary that much, because she’s just that amazing and wonderful and awesome.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 2
The things I put myself through for you people.
And that’s the first three paragraphs. Yeah, it’s gonna be one of those chapters.
And just to prove my point, here’s the next bit, and it’s the first piece of dialogue:
“Simon.” Her voice brought him back down to earth. “Simon, are you listening to me?”
Yep. Simon was so preoccupied thinking about how hot Clary is and how he’d just die (again) if she ever left him, that he completely zoned out and forgot that there’s an injured girl in the next room and they were supposed to be calling for help.
*Our “Heroes”: 2
What the fuck have you done to him, CC?
Simon tries to cover his behavior and says that he’s totally listening, and then this happens (sorry for all the quotes, but a mere description couldn’t do this justice):
He leaned against the sink, trying to look as if he’d been paying attention. The tap was dripping, which momentarily distracted him again— each silvery drop of water seemed to shimmer, tear-shaped and perfect, just before it fell. Vampire sight was a strange thing, he thought. His attention kept getting caught by the most ordinary things— the glitter of water, the flowering cracks in a bit of pavement, the sheen of oil on a road— as if he’d never seen them before.
Now, I get what CC’s going for – as a vampire, Simon now has senses far more acute than he’s used to, so little things that he previously ignored are now more noticeable. Hell, Louis in Interview With a Vampire got distracted staring at Lestat’s buttons after he got turned. But in that situation, I’m pretty sure that A) Louis had just become a vampire, whereas Simon’s had at least a little while to adjust (why wasn’t he this distracted in the previous chapter?), and B) Lestat wasn’t talking to Louis (I could be wrong about that – it’s been a long time since I read Interview, and I never finished it).
Regardless, Simon gets yet another one of these:
Our “Heroes”: 3
But Clary’s not to be outdone! She yells at Simon again (I guess we actually read his thought process in real-time – maybe becoming a vampire actually kills some brain cells), and we find out what’s got her so worked up – she wants Simon to call Jace! Simon asks why she can’t do that herself, pointing out that Jace kinda hates him. Clary claims that Jace doesn’t hate Simon, but even she doesn’t believe that. Oh, and her justification for why she isn’t doing this herself? That she “[doesn’t] wasn’t to talk to him [Jace].” Right, because I guess “punishing” yourself trumps saving a girl’s life.
Our “Heroes”: 4
Also, why do we want to call Jace specifically? Wasn’t it established in the last book that he doesn’t give a shit about learning anything that doesn’t have to do with killing stuff?
Can CC not be bothered to keep her own characters’ traits straight?
So Simon calls Jace, and their conversation is filled with yet more Teen Soap Opera bullshit, because apparently CC still isn’t sick of this crap. I got sick of this when Rowling did it in Order of the Phoenix, and Harry had the justifications of being an orphan, being 15, and knowing that Magical Hitler personally had it out for him. None of which apply to this scenario.
Also, we get this nice reminder of what a catch Jace is:
“If you’re calling me up just to chat, mundane, you must be lonelier than I thought.”
Our “Heroes”: 5
Yeah, fuck you too, Jace.
Anyway, Simon explains what’s happened, and Jace agrees to come and bring Magnus and Alec with him. Now let’s think about this: of the three of them, only one has to this point demonstrated any acumen with healing people – Magnus. So why the heck are Jace and Alec coming?
Simon tells Clary. She’s momentarily confused as to why Jace was with Magnus, and then remembers that – oh yeah – Jace is supposed to be under house arrest or something. Once again, Magnus is demonstrating how ill-suited he is for this position.
At this point, Maia cries out in pain, reminding us all that she still exists. Simon reassures Clary that “Luke wouldn’t hurt Maia.” Which leads to Clary having a freak-out:
“He is hurting her. He has no choice,” Clary said. She was shaking her head. “That’s how it always is these days. There’s never any choice.” Maia cried out again and Clary gripped the edge of the counter as if she were in pain herself. “I hate this!” she burst out. “I hate all of it! Always being scared, always wondering who’s going to get hurt next. I wish I could go back to the way things used to be!”
Yeah, nice try CC. I’d maybe buy this if Clary had ever demonstrated any concern for other people that either lasted longer than a chapter, or wasn’t either Jace or Simon. And it doesn’t help that, rather than Clary focusing on Maia, she’s instead turning the focus back to herself – how much she hates this, how scared she is, how scared she is.
Our “Heroes”: 6
I’m sure that wasn’t what CC was going for, but given how she’s written Clary so far, it’s hard not to read it like that. Especially given how she eager she’s been to embrace being a Shadowhunter.
Also, nice use of passive voice there, CC.
You Keep Using That Word: 1
Yeah, it might not be “wrong” per-say, but it should still be avoided.
So Simon points out that at least she can go out in the sunlight, which makes Clary feel upset for a moment, and then Simon goes to check on Maia.
Maia’s not looking so good, no doubt due to major blood loss. Guess Luke didn’t bother with a tourniquet. Why am I not surprised.
Simon asks where Luke is, and Maia explains that he’s moving the truck. I get that he’s only going out for a minute, but you’d think he’d tell either Clary or Simon to keep an eye on Maia, what with her being injured and all.
Maia says she’s thirsty, so Simon gets her some water, but when he hands her the glass, she realizes he’s a vampire. And since the characters in this book can’t be reasonable, Maia completely ignores their previous interaction and common sense, and instead gets all pissy about it. Simon tries to explain, but Maia attacks him, scratching his face and dropping the towel covering her wounds. The blood causes Simon to start to lose control, and Maia gets ready to pounce, when Clary of all people bursts in and actually does something useful.
Yeah, I know. So yeah, Clary bursts in and chucks a knife at Maia, neatly pinning the other girl’s sleeve to the couch. It seems that the only thing Clary can actually do is throw knives at werewolves.
We have a scene break, and suddenly we’re in Clary’s POV. Joy.
There’s a brief explanation of where Clary got the knife (Luke keeps a stash of weapons in his office. No, I don’t know why), and she scolds Maia, and vampires and werewolves in general for fighting, because “you’re both Downworlders.”
Now admittedly, she does kind-of have a point – both groups are groups being oppressed by the Shadowhunters, and fermenting division among oppressed groups is a good method of keeping them from uniting and overthrowing their oppressors. Except that I’m sure CC didn’t intend for the Shadowhunters to be viewed as oppressors.
But on the other hand, Clary knows little to nothing about either group, and has never shown any interest in learning about either group. And yet she’s arrogantly telling them how they should behave, as if she has any authority or expertise on the matter.
Well Maia points out that vampires, unlike werewolves, kill people, and reminds them both of the werewolf kid that got attacked back in chapter 2.
Clary points out that that particular incident wasn’t a vampire. Because I guess Maia was just supposed to know that. Except that the only people who do know that are the main characters, and they haven’t exactly told any authority figures what they’ve learned. Also, just because that one incident wasn’t caused by a vampire doesn’t suddenly make them completely innocent.
Oh, and then she says this:
“And if you could stop blaming each other all the time for every bad thing that happens Downworld, maybe the Nephilim would start taking you seriously and actually do something about it.”
Really? You’re going to put all the blame for the Shadowhunters ignoring the concerns and problems of the Downworlders on the Downworlders? When the Shadowhunters are supposed to be the ones keeping the peace?
Hell, let’s provide an object lesson. We’ll use the example Clary provided – the werewolf kid who got murdered back in chapter two. Now, at that very moment, Jace – the designated hero and epitome of what a Shadowhunter should be – was in that very bar. And what was his response to this news? Did he leap into action, reassure everyone that he would take care of it, and look for the murdere?
In fact, here are some of his exact words:
“I think it’s a little too late for him to need protection,” said the boy, “if he’s already dead.”
And upon being asked if he was going to actually do anything:
“I’m going to finish my drink,” said the boy, eyeing his halfempty glass, still on the counter, “if you’ll let me.”
Oh, and let’s not forget this little gem:
“How like Downworlders,” he said, “expecting the Clave to clean your mess up for you. As if we could be bothered just because some stupid cub decided to splatter-paint himself all over your alley—”
And remember, Jace received no punishment for this. At all. In fact, everyone seems to have completely forgotten what an ass he was. Even Maia, who had a front row seat for it all, only mentioned the dead kid. Because I guess Jace’s behavior wasn’t all that exceptional.
Yeah, Clary, clearly the Downworlders are to blame for it all.
*Our “Heroes”: 10
Because she pissed me off that much. Shove your holier-than-thou attitude up your ass, you racist, self-centered, victim-blaming bitch.
(And no, I’m not apologizing for calling her that.)
Moving on, Clary asks Simon if he’s alright, which he is. And then she goes right back to scolding Maia:
Clary turned back to the werewolf girl. “You’re lucky he’s not as much of a bigot as you are, or I’d complain to the Clave and make the whole pack pay for your behavior.”
Gods, it’s like she hasn’t paid any attention to how Jace, the Lightwoods, or any other Shadowhunter treats Downworlders, let alone mundanes.
Our “Heroes”: 11
Maia starts to explain things, beginning with the demonic energy/illness/whatever responsible for creating vampires, only for Clary to interrupt to say that while she, “might not know much” (understatement of the fucking year, not that it’s stopped you from acting like an expert) she does know that.
Our “Heroes”: 12
I’m feeling spiteful. Sue me.
Instead of slapping Clary upside the head for her behavior, Maia explains that vampires and werewolves were created by two warring races of demons, so the animosity between the two groups is practically genetic. In a little while, Simon will hate werewolves like Maia and Luke.
Now, I’m going to pause here for a minute, because so far Luke has had no response whatsoever to Simon being a vampire. Now, I’m willing to chalk Maia’s reaction up to her suddenly realizing it, but Luke already knew – remember, he’s the one who provided the offensive pamphlet. He even offered to be a sympathetic ear if Simon needed one (just ignore how he actively avoided doing so). That’s not the kind of thing you do for someone when you have a hatred for them practically programmed into you.
So this whole “warring demons” thing feels like a quick fix CC added in to justify her werewolves and vampires disliking each other. Because having them be neutral or even friendly would just be weird.
Shoddy World Building: 1
Back to the book. Simon is shocked by this idea, but before we get much of a reaction, Jace bursts in with Alec and Magnus. I imagine them doing Charlie’s Angels-type pose, because it amuses me. Also, Jace’s attire (and armament) is described in detail, Magnus’s gets a quick mention, and Alec gets none. I guess we can see where CC’s focus is.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 3
Oh, and we get a reminder of what color Jace’s eyes are. Because that’s relevant.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 4
Anyway, Jace notices Clary’s holding a knife (she pulled it out after the scene break/POV switch) and asks what happened. Clary’s explanation?
“We had an incident. I took care of it.”
Well, for a given definition of “taken care of”. Yes, you kept Maia from ripping apart
your back-up love interest Simon, but then followed it up with insulting her and Downworlders as a whole. So we’ll call it a wash.
Jace gets smarmy and sarcastic, just to remind us what a great guy he is.
“Do you even know how to use that knife, Clarissa? Without poking a hole in yourself or any innocent bystanders?”
I’m torn – on the one hand, he’s expressing my exact sentiments. On the other, that means I’d be in agreement with Jace. I feel unclean.
Maia explains that Clary only damaged the couch, and we learn that she’s looking a bit rough. Guess CC remembered that Maia was wounded.
So Magnus gets to work on Maia, but not before telling Simon to get out of the way and referring to him as “mundane.”
*Our “Heroes”: 13
Because no character can survive CC’s attentions unscathed. Also, given that Magnus was there when Simon came out of the ground, you’d think he’d know better.
So Magnus gets to work on Maia, and Jace actually asks a good question:
“Where,” he asked, “is Luke?”
I wouldn’t have broken it up like that, but I’ll give it a pass. Simon says that Luke should be outside, moving his truck, but apparently doesn’t think he’s been gone a little too long. I guess CC wasn’t liking Simon much at this point.
In the ensuing conversation, we learn that Luke isn’t downstairs (I guess we’re on the second floor?), his truck is in the driveway, and the type of demon that attacked Maia travel in packs.
Jace, probably excited by the idea that he might get to kill something, says he’s going to go out to find Luke, and tells Alec to stay inside and protect everyone. Given that in the two fight we’ve seen Alec in (one of which barely counts as a fight) he was less useful than Clary, I have to wonder if Jace is doing this just to keep Alec out of his way.
Clary decides that she’s going to go with Jace, despite her having absolutely no training whatsoever and only ever managing to accomplish anything action-related via authorial fiat. Jace doesn’t like this idea, and they argue a bit, which leads to this bit:
“Clary,” he said in a low voice, and the sound of her name in his mouth was so intimate that a shudder ran up her spine. The gold in his eyes had turned hard, metallic. She wondered for a moment if he might actually spring at her, what it would be like if he struck her, knocked her down, grabbed her wrists even. Fighting to him was like sex to other people. The thought of him touching her like that brought the blood to her cheeks in a hot flood.
… Okay, I think we have some definitive proof that Clary (and possibly CC) has a bit of a fetish. And far be it from me to judge what mutually consenting parties choose to do behind closed doors. No, what bothers me isn’t Clary possibly being into S&M, but that A) she’s thinking about Jace deliberately hurting her (and not in a sexy fun way), B) that her thought process includes the statement that, for Jace, fighting is like sex, and C) Clary is aroused by the idea.
That’s kinda fucked up.
So let’s do the counts and move on. One for… that:
Both Hands, Ma’am: 5
And another for the mention of Jace’s eyes.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 6
Anyway, Clary makes the argument that Luke is her uncle, which Jace counters with the double points that, “Any uncle of yours is an uncle of mine,” and that “he’s no blood relation to either of us.”
Dude, you’re kinda missing the point – Luke is the only real family Clary has at this point. But then, considering Jace was raised by a knockoff version of Voldemort and a weird crossing of the Malfoys and the Weasleys, I suppose he doesn’t really get the idea of “family”.
Clary tries to argue, but Jace throws yet another point against her coming, and it actually makes sense: if they’re going after Luke, they need to go now (I know – they haven’t shown any sense of urgency in any other case, but just go with it), so Jace doesn’t have time to give Clary any magic tattoos, and considering that leaves her armed with just a knife, she won’t be of much use (not that she ever is, but again, just go with it).
You Keep Using That Word: 2
For use of Pointless Capitalization.
So Clary points out that Jace has two magic not-lightsaber knives (compensating much, dude?), so why not give her one, and then Simon butts in and is sensible:
“Oh, for the love of—” It was Simon, hands jammed into his pockets, eyes burning like black coals in his white face. _“I’ll go.” _
Clary said, “Simon, don’t—”
“At least I’m not wasting my time standing here flirting while we don’t know what’s happened to Luke.” He gestured for her to move aside from the door.
Look, CC, I get that you want your high school love triangle drama, but there is a time and a place for it, and in the midst of trying to thwart the villain’s Evil Scheme TM is neither. I’d hoped that the end of the last chapter meant we’d be moving away from that, but evidently not.
So Jace gives in and says they’ll all go, and gives Clary one of his magic knives. They head out and see that Luke left the car door open, and we get this wonderful bit of interaction:
Jace frowned. “The keys are in the ignition. The car’s idling.”
Simon shut the front door behind them. “How do you know that?”
“I can hear it.” Jace looked at Simon speculatively. “And so could you if you tried, bloodsucker.” He loped down the stairs, a faint chuckle drifting behind him on the wind.
“I think I liked ‘mundane’ better than ‘bloodsucker,’” Simon muttered.
“With Jace, you don’t really get to choose your insulting nickname.”
Alright, let’s go through this point by point:
First: I have to wonder how much experience CC has with cars. And how far away they are from the truck. Because the sound of a running engine isn’t exactly quiet. It’s not super loud, but you hardly need super-hearing to notice it. So really, this looks like CC trying to make Jace more awesome. By giving him the ability to hear… like a normal person.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 7
Second: while it’s nice that someone finally recognized that Simon is a vampire, it would of course be Jace, and only to address him with yet another racist epithet. Because that’s basically half of his character – the other half being a sociopath.
Our “Heroes”: 14
Finally: Clary, stop treating Jace’s behavior like it’s just a weird quirk. Simon the only person Jace routinely refers to by something other than their name – it’s not an insulting nickname, it’s racism.
Our “Heroes”: 15
So they walk over to the car, and Jace pulls out his magical hand-held ham radio, the name of which is still Pointlessly Capitalized.
You Keep Using That Word: 3
The Sensor (I hate having to use that word) is described as making noises like a Geiger counter, so I guess we have a new term for the thing. Anyway, it goes nuts, which leads to Jace concluding that there are more demons nearby. He quite sensibly tells Clary and Simon to go back inside and to send Alec out, but before that can happen Clary sees something across the street by the river bank (I seriously have no sense of this place’s geography), which she points out.
They run over to find that it’s Luke, and he’s getting nommed on by a pair of demons, which Jace helpfully informs us are “Raum demons” as if that’s supposed to mean something.
Quick sidebar – I did look this up on Wikipedia, and Raum is the name for one of the many, many members of the aristocracy of Hell in demonology. I’d commend CC for doing such through research, except for two problems.
First, most people aren’t going to know that, so you just look like you’re making up names. Because it’s not like you aren’t doing that, too – when I enter “Drevak” (you know, the type of demon that attacked Maia) you know what hits I get? This series, and a group of Czech photographers.
Second, there are plenty of demon-like monsters from cultures around the world, so why not use some from non-western cultures? Why do the heroes not go up against some ghouls (Arabian), or oni (Japanese), or rakshasa (Hindu/Buddhist), or gallu (Mesopotamian)? Then you might actually live up to that whole “all myths are true” thing you kept spouting off in the last book, but dropped like a hot potato slathered in dog crap in this book.
Whatever, you still get one of these:
Shoddy World Building: 2
Simon asks if those are the same things that attacked Maia, which is weird, since he was there when Luke explained it. Seriously, CC, can you not maintain canon between chapters?
Anyway, Jace whips out his weapon (not that one, you pervs. Though given that comment about how he feels about fighting…) and attacks the demons. To his credit, he did have the sense to tell Clary and Simon to keep back, so at least he probably won’t hit them by accident. And we’re once again told about how super-fast Jace is, because I guess that’s supposed to be impressive or something.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 16
So Clary and Simon watch the slaughter, even gagging when some bits of demon land next to them. Clary briefly considers trying to help Jace (how?), when Simon yells at Clary and she starts paying attention again just long enough to notice one of the demons lunging for her before we go to commercial.
A Word From Our Sponsors: 1
When we come back, the demon manages to grab Clary with one of its tentacles (yes, they have tentacles – again, keep your minds out of the gutter), but instead of killing her, the demon lets her go. For some reason.
So then Clary whips out her borrowed magic angel knife and turns it on, and the demon backs off. Again, for some reason.
Jace and Simon (now armed with a metal pipe) show up, the demon makes a beeline for the river and escapes. Jace asks what happened, Clary explains, and apparently none of them think this is at all odd, because instead of focusing on the fact that the demon just ran off for no apparent reason, because instead of wondering about that, Jace asks (no, wait, demands) to know where Simon got the pipe. Because that’s what’s important here.
“Where did you get that?” Jace demanded.
“I wrenched it off the side of a telephone pole.” Simon looked as if the recollection surprised him. “I guess you can do anything when your adrenaline is up.”
“Or when you have the unholy strength of the damned,” Jace said.
Our “Heroes”: 16
Rapier Twit: 1
Dude, would it kill you to acknowledge that Simon did something impressive? Oh wait, last time you treated Simon like he was a human being was after he saved your ass, so I guess that’s the only time you’ll vaguely complement him.
Clary interrupts the pissing contest and reminds them that Luke needs help. So they get him back to the house and Magnus gets to work on him. Then Clary zones out a bit while staring at Simon.
Without the glasses, his eyes seemed twice their size, and very dark, more black than brown. His skin was pale and smooth as white marble, traced with darker veins at the temples and the sharply angled cheekbones. Even his hair seemed darker, in stark contrast to the white of his skin. She remembered looking at the crowd in Raphael’s hotel, wondering why there didn’t seem to be any ugly or unattractive vampires. Maybe there was some rule about not making vampires out of the physically unappealing, she’d thought then, but now she wondered if the vampirism itself wasn’t transformative, smoothing out blotched skin, adding color and luster to eyes and hair. Perhaps it was an evolutionary advantage to the species. Good looks could only help vampires lure their prey.
Right, now the Simon is being treated as a viable (yeah, right) love interest, CC has decided to tell us how pretty he is.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 17
And of course we have to point out that Simon’s sudden attractiveness is entirely due to him becoming a vampire, not a change in Clary’s perception of him. Because only supernatural people are allowed to be hot.
Our “Heroes”: 17
Clary comes out of it just in time for Magnus to finish with Luke (how convenient) and she calls the others over. Simon asks Magnus if he’s sure Luke is alright, to which Magnus responds by saying, “I’m the High Warlock of Brooklyn; I know what I’m doing.”
Again with the “High Warlock of Brooklyn” shtick. I’m seriously thinking it’s like the whole “Star-Lord” thing from Guardians of the Galaxy. Only that was actually funny, because it was treated with the seriousness it deserved – i.e. none.
But Magnus actually sort-of redeems himself for a bit (don’t get excited, he’ll ruin it soon enough), because he asks how they’re going to pay him. Clary’s aghast that he would do such a thing, because “Luke is a friend!” Magnus quite accurately points out that Luke and he are really only acquaintances, and that there are plenty of other warlocks around they could have called.
So Jace comes to the rescue (because of course he does) with this:
“No,” he said now, “but you are the only warlock we know who happens to be dating a friend of ours.”
So, at best, they’re taking advantage of this relationship. At worst, they’re blackmailing Magnus and/or Alec. How… unsurprising.
Our “Heroes”: 18
This “revelation” (if you can even call it that, given how CC’s been practically shouting it from the rooftops) gets Alec all flustered, and he tries to tell Jace that he and Magnus totally aren’t dating, which Jace treats like “evidence that he’s just that brilliant a detective.”: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/INeverSaidItWasPoison Dude, anyone who was actually paying attention figured this out a long time ago – it’s not that impressive.
But Alec’s reaction makes Magnus angry, because high school soap opera. Alec very clumsily tries to tell Jace that he totally isn’t gay, leading to Jace giving a little speech about how he doesn’t really care, which I find a bit disingenuous – I’m supposed to buy that the kid raised by an Urban Fantasy version of Hitler would be just fine knowing that his bestest-buddy was gay? And let’s not forget, it’s been established that Shadowhunter society is hyper-conservative – though from what I’ve read, that’ll change soon enough, and for no apparent reason.
Maybe he’d change his mind if he knew that Alec had been pining after him for years.
Anyway, Clary tells Jace to drop it, and Luke’s suddenly awake and wants to know what they’re talking about. Clary asks what Luke remembers getting attacked, but the last thing he remembers is going out to the truck. He asks again what they were arguing about, and we get this bit of “comedy”:
“Nothing,” chorused Clary, Simon, Alec, Magnus, and Jace, in surprising and probably never-to-be-repeated unison.
Rapier Twit: 2
God, I can practically hear the laugh track.
Luke clearly doesn’t buy that, but is smart enough not to press, and the scene ends.
This scene break actually serves a purpose – skipping over the boring bits. For a given definition of boring, at least.
Maia’s still out of it, so she gets to sleep in the bed. Luke decides to take the couch. Clary offers him her bed, but he says no. I’m actually impressed by this display from Clary – it’s like she actually cares about Luke.
And then she bumps into Jace. Because apparently he’s still here. Which leads to them to talking. Great.
In summation: Jace whines about how much he’s missed Clary, and how miserable he is being trapped in a nice apartment (as opposed to a tiny cell). There’s a brief description of his hands for no apparent reason.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 18
(And not like that, CC!)
Then Jace starts talking about how much he wants to hate Clary, but just can’t.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 19
And then he goes on for a bit about how he never knows how Clary feels, which I find hilarious.
But then Simon pokes his head up, sees what’s going on, and heads for the door. Clary gets flustered and goes after Simon. She catches up, and they have it out in the front yard (or wherever).
Now, I have mixed feelings about this bit, but first I’m going to let you guys read it for yourselves:
He smiled at her. It was a sad smile with something else underneath. “You know what the worst thing I can imagine is?”
She blinked at him. “No.”
“Not trusting someone I love.”
She put her hand on his sleeve. He didn’t move away, but he didn’t respond to her touch, either. “Do you mean—”
“Yes,” he said, knowing what she was about to ask. “I mean you.”
“But you can trust me.”
“I used to think I could,” he said. “But I get the feeling you’d rather pine over someone you can never possibly be with than try being with someone you can.”
There was no point pretending. “Just give me time,” she said. “I just need some time to get over— to get over it all.”
“You’re not going to tell me I’m wrong, are you?” he said. His eyes looked very wide and dark in the dim porch light. “Not this time.”
“Not this time. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” He turned away from her and her outstretched hand, heading for the porch steps. “At least it’s the truth.”
Now, on the one hand, this is actually good writing. But then, most scenes between Clary and Simon tend to be better than everything else. And I also love that Simon’s taking Clary to task for her behavior – she would rather sit and pine for Jace than try to find happiness with Simon, as has been demonstrated throughout this book, and I’m glad that Simon’s gotten sick of it and seems to have decided that Clary is a lost cause.
But, this is also still yet more high school soap opera love triangle drama. Which I am sick of. Seriously, we have real stuff that needs dealing with – Valentine has sent multiple demons after them, he still has the MacGuffin sword, and for all we know, has already completed his ritual. But we’re not focusing on that – we’re focusing on these idiots and their personal drama. It also doesn’t help that I can’t shake the feeling that I’m supposed to be on Clary’s side, not Simon’s.
In recognition of the good stuff, I’m not giving it any points. You didn’t make me angry, CC, you did something worse – you disappointed me.
So Clary stands there and watches Simon walk off, ending the scene.
The next bit is the last scene in the chapter, it’s only two paragraphs long, and there’s no dialogue. Yay.
Magnus has decided he needs to hang around for a few more hours to keep an eye on Luke and Maia, meaning Jace has to stay as well. Clary decides to go to bed early.
In bed, she thinks about Simon and Jace for a bit (not like that), then turns to Magnus and Alec (again, not like that). No, it’s about how Magnus must really care about Alec, because he’s willing to keep secret the fact that Alec is still in love with Jace. Because that’s a real sign of love – being willing to ignore the fact that your SO has feelings for someone else, and not reveal said feelings to the third party.
Methinks she’s trying to convince herself that Simon didn’t actually love her. If he really loved her, he’d be willing to put up with her pining for Jace.
And the chapter ends with this lovely note:
Maybe it was true what the Seelie Queen had said, after all: Love made you a liar.
Um, no Clary. It’s one thing to lie to protect a loved one, but that doesn’t mean you lying to yourself about your loved one.
So that was chapter twelve. And as much as I like certain parts of it, other bits really pissed me off. And despite having an actual run-in with more demons, it still feels like the plot is in a holding pattern.
There’s only one chapter left before part three, which I hope to get out before November. We’ll see if I can meet that goal.
Entirely Pointless: 0 (Total: 29)
Un-Logic: 0 (Total: 28)
You Keep Using That Word: 3 (Total: 55)
Shoddy World Building: 2 (Total: 29)
Rapier Twit: 2 (Total: 44)
Our “Heroes”: 18 (Total: 110) TRIPLE DIGITS! WOOOO!!
No Shit Sherlock: 0 (Total: 6)
Both Hands, Ma’am: 19 (Total: 79)
A Word from Our Sponsors: 1 (Total: 6)