Hello, folks. Well, this is it – the last chapter of part 2. Think of this as my Halloween treat to all of you.
But first things first – they’re making a TV show based on these books. I’m not sure why, exactly – the movie only has a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and even the audience ratings only average out to 3.5/5. And while it might have made back its budget, there was only a 50% profit, which is probably why the sequel got canceled. And it’s not like the same thing with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the creator’s initial idea got ruined by executive meddling – from what I’ve seen, the movie is an accurate adaptation in many respects. Hell, it even improved on the book in a few places.
I can only really come up with one explanation – CC has a lot of connections, and is willing to leverage them.
But enough about that – let’s get to the sporking.
No recap this time, so we’ll jump right in.
We’re now in Jace’s head, right around the end of the previous chapter. Like I needed any more reasons to avoid this book for a month.
We learn the piano piece Jace was playing – Gaspard de la nuit by Maurice Ravel. It’s a three-movement piece, each of which is based on a poem from Aloysius Bertrand’s poetry collection, Gaspard de la Nuit — Fantaisies à la manière de Rembrandt et de Callot. None of this (save the fact that the piece has three movements) is mentioned; I just thought I’d share it with you guys.
Why CC felt the need to tell us what Jace was playing, I have no idea. These details don’t really add anything to the scene – it’s not like this is particularly well-known piece of music. Looking up each of the movements and the summaries of the poems, there are some supernatural elements to each, but that’s hardly relevant, because it’s not like CC’s audience is likely to know any of this. Really, it just reads like she’s going, “look how cultured I/Jace am/is! I/He knows music you’ve never even heard of!”
Both Hands, Ma’am: 1
Anyway, Jace plays for a bit, killing time while waiting for everyone else to go about their business, goes and makes a phone call on Luke’s line (because he’s a nice guy like that), then goes back to playing until he sees headlights moving into Luke’s driveway.
It’s Raphael, driving one of the magic flying motorcycles (that CC totally didn’t crib from Harry Potter, no sir). The motorcycle itself gets a verging-on-purple description of how it looks like it’s alive, but it takes Jace acknowledging Raphael by name for us to learn who’s driving it. I mean, yes, there’s really only two vampire characters in this book, but being coy about it serves no purpose at all.
Raphael asks why Jace needs one of the vampires’ motorcycles, and brings up the fact that he has one, not mentioning that he stole it from them in the last book. I am glad that CC acknowledged this fact, even if she dropped the bit about the bike being stolen. Jace explains that the bike he
stole has is at the Institute, so getting it would be difficult. Because I guess calling Isabelle is just out of the question – she’d get her girl-germs on it or something.
Note that Jace doesn’t explain why he needs the thing, just why he can’t use the one he stole. Because CC wants to maintain the suspense or something.
Raphael finds it funny that neither of them are welcome at the Institute. I don’t know why. And Jace doesn’t help with this comment:
“You bloodsuckers still on the Most Wanted list?”
You know, Raphael doesn’t have to help you, Jace. He could still just ride off into the night and leave you high and dry. You might consider showing him some basic level of courtesy. Like, say, not referring to him and his people by a racial epithet.
Our “Heroes”: 1
Raphael talks about how stupid the accusations are, particularly the warlock, because apparently warlock blood tastes funny and does weird things to vampires. Jace asks if he’s told Maryse this, but apparently the Inquisitor has taken over the investigation. Why this should be surprising, I don’t know – not only does she outrank Maryse, Maryse is a known accomplice of the man who tried to start a race war between the Downworlders and Shadowhunters. She’s not Molly Weasley – she’s Bellatrix fucking Lestrange. Or at least Narcissa Malfoy. Or something like that. Why does everyone keep ignoring this?
But no, the Inquisitor taking over is “a bad situation”. Because… um… reasons.
Wow. Haven’t seen one of those in a while.
Anyway, during their little chat, Raphael inadvertently refers to Jace as his “friend”, so of course Jace has to clarify that they aren’t friends, and that the only reason he hasn’t told the Clave about Simon being turned is because he needs Raphael’s help.
Ah. So it’s blackmail.
Our “Heroes”: 2
Or do you prefer the term ‘extortion’? The X does make it sound cool.
Raphael insists that Jace likes him, and then this happens:
“It is odd,” he reflected. “I would have thought you would seem different now that you are in disgrace with the Clave. No longer their favored son. I thought some of that arrogance might have been beaten out of you. But you are just the same.”
“I believe in consistency,” Jace said.
Rapier Twit: 1
Yeah, good luck trying to deflate that ego – Jace is the center of this universe and he knows it.
Raphael hops off the bike and asks how he’s supposed to get home, and Jace kindly offers Luke’s cellar if it gets too close to dawn. Again, what a wonderful person: abusing other people’s hospitality, blackmail – hard not to see why so many girls love this guy.
Our “Heroes”: 3
Jace hops on the bike, and the scene ends with this exchange:
“So are we even for Simon now, Shadowhunter?”
Jace gunned the bike, turning it toward the river. “We’ll never be even, bloodsucker, but at least this is a start.”
Our “Heroes”: 4
Raphael, you seem to have fundamentally misunderstood the situation – you didn’t hurt one of Jace’s friends, and this will make things square. Jace is blackmailing you – he just admitted that he has no intention of ever letting this go. This is why you’re not supposed to give in to these kinds of demands – it starts small, and will only get worse with time.
Also, Jace probably doesn’t give a shit about what you did to Simon. Hell, by the (incredibly stupid) rules of this society, you didn’t do anything wrong – Simon came to you! And, as established in the last book, anyone (especially mundanes) who enter vampire territory are fair game. Except that that rule has either been forgotten or ret-coned out of existence because it interferes with CC’s plot.
Arg. One scene, maybe a page long, and I’m already losing it. Goddamn you, Jace.
After the scene break, Jace is flying over the city. He is cold, because he didn’t think that maybe he should wear something a little heavier than a light jacket if he was going to go flying. I don’t care.
The city is described, and it’s not bad, given that it’s only a single 60-word paragraph. As I’ve said before, CC’s penchant for description is quite good, when she’s not buys waxing poetic about Jace’s nostrils.
And then the effect is ruined by Jace thinking back to the last time he flew on one of these bikes – namely, with Clary.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 2
And given that we’re told that he didn’t feel cold that time, I have to wonder why that paragraph describing New York was included. Ideas should flow logically from paragraph to paragraph – that’s writing 101. This is stuff most kids learn when first learning how to write essays (even in the much-maligned public schools in the US). Here, it’s like literary ADD – ‘Wow, it’s cold. Oh, look how pretty the city is! I wasn’t cold when I went for a ride with Clary.’
It doesn’t work. CC should know better than this.
Anyway, Jace follows the river. CC doesn’t tell us which river, either because she doesn’t realize that there are only about four ‘rivers’ that pass through New York City, or because she expects everyone to just know the geography of NYC. I’m kind of leaning towards the former, given that she apparently thought “Brooklyn” was sufficient for a cab driver way back at the end of chapter 1 of CoB.
Whichever it is, Jace easily finds what he’s looking for – a ship anchored… somewhere. Now, given that NYC is on one of the largest natural harbors in the world, I doubt you’d be able to just park a ship anywhere. Especially one that’s painted black and doesn’t have any lights on it. I get that CC’s trying really hard to make it menacing, but I have to wonder how this ship has simultaneously avoided being spotted while also not gotten hit.
Jace lands the bike, and we’re told it feels “more as if the ship were lifting itself to meet him” than him descending to the ship. Which tells me that Jace might have some kind of inner-ear problem, because that’s not how falling works. You can feel it when an airplane is making a landing. Hell, you can feel it when an elevator goes down.
Anyway, Jace hops off to look around the ship, then looks back at the bike, and feels that it’s “glowering at him, like an unhappy dog after being told to stay.” So of course he reassures it, because the only reason for this is that it’s unhappy Jace Wayland isn’t riding it any more.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 3
Even inanimate objects love Jace!
Personally, I think the word CC was looking for was “glaring”. Like, the bike is going, “you try to get on me again and I will drop your ass to the street.” It’s a fucking demon motorcycle, for god’s sake – why should it like a Shadowhunter?
Jace takes in the sight of the ship (Jace refers to it as a “boat”, but I have more respect for it than he does). It’s about a hundred yards long, and painted black, because Valentine thinks subtlety is a drink you get at Chinese restaurants. Oh, and it’s Valentine’s, a detail which is just casually mentioned. Though it does raise the question of how Jace knew this ship would be here, and throws his claims of innocence into question.
So Jace walks around for a bit, then looks up-river, and I think it’s the East River (Jace sees Manhattan and Long Island on either side), not that CC tells us that, because I guess “the river” is enough in her mind. Jace briefly impersonates Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, and then has a flashback, which I’m going to share with all of you:
There had been a lake by the manor house in Idris. His father had taught him to sail on it, taught him the language of wind and water, of buoyancy and air. All men should know how to sail, he had said. It was one of the few times he’d ever spoken like that, saying all men and not all Shadowhunters. It was a brief reminder that whatever else Jace might be, he was still part of the human race.
That last bit would mean a lot more if Jace hadn’t worked so hard making it clear that he actually considers regular humans to be less than scum. So, rather than this being a happy memory, I feel that this is actually quite negative for Jace.
Also, it’s really hard for me to buy that his life was just so terrible when his dad taught him how to sail on their private fucking lake.
Now that he’s done looking around the largely open deck area, Jace decides to investigate the ship’s interior. The door leading in is locked, so he pulls out his not-wand and draws some “Opening” runes. I assume these are the same ones that melted the lock in the last book. If so, I must again point out that destroying the lock kind of defeats the purpose of having the an opening spell in the first place.
Jace goes inside, and the door slams shut behind him. I might be mildly concerned, but since he probably melted the lock, it’s not like there’s anything keeping the door shut. He pulls out his own magic glowing rock and explores a bit, and then his spider-sense goes off.
And then he sees Clary. There’s a brief moment where Jace acts like a normal person and wonders how the hell she managed to get there, but then he’s suddenly overwhelmed by fear and sees that Clary’s hands are covered in blood. And it happens in that order, too – he feels fear and then notices the blood, not the other way around.
Jace rushes forward to catch Clary as she collapses, and there’s a whole bit about her not smelling right which I’m sure CC intended to be romantic or something but just feels creepy.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 4
Jace reacts to seemingly-dead Clary in the expected over-wrought fashion. Then Clary’s eyes open, but they’re glowing, and then Jace passes out, ending the scene.
Yeah, turns out the obviously not Clary wasn’t Clary. And that poking around the would-be Evil Overlord’s lair at night is kind of a stupid thing to do.
The next scene picks up with Jace waking up. Or rather, him just suddenly being awake. Don’t ask me why he isn’t waking up, an act that would make sense given the ending of the previous scene, because I don’t know.
Anyway, Jace is laying down on the deck of the ship, and can see the outline of the Brooklyn bridge against the night sky. Valentine is also there, and asks if Jace is alright. Jace sits up, and from the description of how this makes him feel I believe he might have a concussion. Not that I care. Oh, and despite Jace making it pretty damn clear that he’s not on Valentine’s side, ol’ Val has done nothing to restrain the kid. So he’s not even a competent villain any more.
We’re told Valentine is wearing a suit, which apparently looks like something he would have worn back when he was still posing as Michael Wayland. Um, why? Why would Shadowhunters dress in modern clothing in their own homeland? I get them dressing like mundanes when out and about (when not being invisible) but I have problems believing they would adopt mundane fashions.
Shoddy World Building: 1
Moving on, Valentine asks Jace the question I’ve been wondering since he first got to the ship – how did he know it was there? Jace’s answer?
“I tortured it out of your Raum demon,” said Jace. “You’re the one who taught me where they keep their hearts. I threatened it and it told me— well, they’re not very bright, but it managed to tell me it had come from a ship on the river. I looked up and saw the shadow of your boat on the water. It told me you’d summoned it too, but I already knew that.”
When did this happen? Last chapter? When you were busy ripping those things to shreds with your “sooper-awesome” speed? I’ve complained before about how CC sucks at depicting the passage of time, but that fight couldn’t have taken more than a few minutes. Are you telling me that Jace somehow had time to torture information out of one of those things in the minute or so it took for him to take most of them down? And that both Simon and Clary somehow missed it?
Yeah, I smell ret-con. And bull shit. Same thing, really. CC needed Jace to be here, so slapped on this explanation, because she needs the plot to go exactly how she wants it, but can’t be bothered to make it work properly.
Also, note that word – “torture.” Even Jace admits that that’s what he did. Now, anyone with any sense would know that torture is probably the worst way to extract information. Even if it “works”, there’s no way to be certain that the information is true or accurate, because it’s quite likely the subject was just telling the interrogator whatever they wanted to hear. Hell, in the last book, anime-hair demon told them about Valentine while under torture, and Jace dismissed it out of hand. So really, I can only come up with one explanation for why Jace would do this – to get his rocks off. It’s been a while since he’s killed or even beaten up anything, what with being locked up and then under minimum-security house arrest. But the killing and torture ought to hold him for a while.
Our “Heroes”: 5
Anyway, turns out the obvious demon impersonating Clary was a demon, and somehow Valentine is already using the MacGuffin Sword to summon them up. So why does he have to go through with this whole magic ritual thing, then? Oh, right – plot.
Valentine is surprised to find out that Jace thought he saw Clary, and we’re told how manipulative and evil Valentine is:
But this was Valentine. He looked at everything closely, studying it, analyzing in what way it could be turned to his advantage. In that way he reminded Jace of the Queen of the Seelie Court: cool, menacing, calculating.
How is this any different from Jace? You know, the guy who earlier this chapter blackmailed one of the city’s major vampires into loaning him a flying motorcycle, and made it pretty damn clear that he’d do it again? Does CC just not read what she writes?
And to no one’s surprise, it turns out that what Jace ran into was the
Digimon demon Valentine had summoned in the prologue. And Valentine (in classic villain form) explains exactly what it does:
“What you encountered in the stairwell,” Valentine said, “was Agramon— the Demon of Fear. Agramon takes the form of whatever most terrifies you. When it is done feeding on your terror, it kills you, presuming you are still alive at that point. Most men— and women— die of fear before that. You are to be congratulated for holding out as long as you did.”
And you know, a demon that takes the shape of its victims’ greatest fear would make an interesting villain. If only it weren’t leashed to this moron.
Also, what Jace saw wasn’t really the kind of thing that frightens people to death. And, given that this demon is known to kill its victims after feeding, is it really that surprising that Jace didn’t die of fear? Is it really praiseworthy? God, this is like a parent posting their child’s crappy art on the fridge. Only the child is in high school.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 5
But then Jace dazzles us with this brilliant insight:
“Agramon?” Jace was astonished. “That’s a Greater Demon. Where did you get hold of that?”
Uh, Jace? You do remember that he sent one after the MacGuffin Cup in the last book, and that it possessed the too-awesome-for-this-world Madame Dorothea, right? Or have you blocked that out, because that was when Simon – the filthy mundane – saved your ass?
Why do bother asking questions I already know the answers to?
And again, because Valentine has never heard of the Evil Overlord List, he explains how he duped that warlock kid into doing it. But here’s the best part – he explains how his Greater Digimon manage to get out of the circle:
“I paid a young and hubristic warlock to summon it for me. He thought that if the demon remained inside his pentagram, he could control it. Unfortunately for him, his greatest fear was that a demon he summoned would break the wards of the pentagram and attack him, and that’s exactly what happened when Agramon came through.”
HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT WORK?!?! You just explained that this thing “takes the form” of its victim’s greatest fear – but in this case, it somehow made it happen. If it can do that, then shouldn’t Clary be dead? After all, that’s apparently Jace’s greatest fear.
Oh, wait, I know why this thing’s powers make no goddamn sense – because Plot.
So Jace tries to point out that Valentine is horrible because he didn’t even know the warlock kid’s name, but it fails because he himself didn’t give a shit about the dead werewolf kid. I will never let that go. Ever.
Blah, blah, more talking and explaining things for those who hadn’t already figured out what happened – namely, that Valentine sent those demons to Luke’s place to grab Maia, though I’m left wondering how he knew she’d be there.
Oh, there’s some hand-waving about Valentine wanting to get back at Luke, but it’s still crap.
They walk over to the side of the ship and stare at the skyline for a bit. Valentine brings up Paradise Lost, which he apparently made Jace read several times, either because CC wants to impress us with how literary she is, or because she wants to show how literary Jace is. Either way,
Both Hands, Ma’am: 6
There’s more talk and description that I’m fairly sure is there just to fill space, and Jace brings up the question the Seelie Queen wanted him to ask:
Jace looked out at the water. “The Queen of the Seelie Court wanted me to ask you a question,” he said. “She told me to ask you what blood runs in my veins.”
Surprise passed over Valentine’s face like a hand smoothing away all expression. “You spoke with the Queen?”
Jace said nothing.
“It is the way of the Folk. Everything they say has more than one meaning. Tell her, if she asks again, that the blood of the Angel runs in your veins.”
“And in every Shadowhunter’s veins,” said Jace, disappointed. He’d hoped for a better answer.
And of course Jace doesn’t like that answer – it implies that he is not, in fact, special. And that’s just the worst thing ever.
Our “Heroes”: 6
But, since this series is just that predictable, I have no qualms about spoiling this – Valentine isn’t being metaphorical. Because Jace has to be even more special than he already is in order to be worthy of
Valentine asks why Jace is here. That’s a good question, since it clearly isn’t to foil Valentine’s plans. No, Jace is here because he needs to talk to somebody about his feelings, and has (or believes he has) alienated just about every possible option. I’m not quite sure what it says about Jace that he feels his best option for unburdening himself is to go to his racist, genocidal father, but it can’t be anything good.
Then this happens, which just makes it worse:
“And your sister?” Valentine said. “What about Clarissa?”
Why do you have to ruin everything?
Yes, because your relationship with her was just so deep and meaningful. I mean, you guys just connected on so many levels! You both… uh… well, there was that time when you…
Yeah, this relationship is based entirely on physical attraction. Which I suppose is appropriate, given how both of them are basically cardboard cut-outs, rather than characters.
Then, for some reason, Jace starts asking about what Valentine’s plan is. Because it’s just so hard to figure out, what with us already determining what he’s going to use the MacGuffin Sword for and all.
But then we get this little exchange:
“You know what I want. The Clave is hopelessly corrupt and must be destroyed and built again. Idris must be freed from the influence of the degenerate races, and Earth made proof against the demonic threat.”
“Yeah, about that demonic threat.” Jace glanced around, as if he half-expected to see the black shadow of Agramon hulking toward him. “I thought you hated demons. Now you use them like servants. The Ravener, the Drevak demons, Agramon— they’re your employees. Guards, butler— personal chef, for all I know.”
Valentine tapped his fingers on the railing. “I’m no friend to demons,” he said. “I am Nephilim, no matter how much I might think the Covenant is useless and the Law fraudulent. A man doesn’t have to agree with his government to be a patriot, does he? It takes a true patriot to dissent, to say he loves his country more than he cares for his own place in the social order. I’ve been vilified for my choice, forced into hiding, banished from Idris. But I am— I will always be— Nephilim. I can’t change the blood in my veins if I wished to— and I don’t.”
Now I’m going to dissect this thing.
First, I totally buy, and even agree with his claim about the Clave being corrupt. Just look at the “punishment” the Lightwoods received – being sent far away and with no real supervision, despite literally being part of Valentine’s inner circle. And all because they had “connections”. As much as many powerful/influential/famous people tend to get treated lightly by the justice system, at least there’s the pretense of the system being fair.
But that bit about “the influence of the degenerate races”? Yeah, that’s straight-up Hitler, right there. Sorry, Val. You almost had me rooting for you for a second.
Second, I find it hilarious that Jace is pointing out the obvious plot hole I’ve been going on about for a long time now. Knowing Valentine’s beliefs and motivations, it makes no damn sense for him to be doing what he does. Well, now CC has the chance to finally explain it. And what happens?
Valentine ignores the question. Nothing in his response even remotely addresses the question (I guess that’s where Jace learned it). I could accept something as simple as him claiming that the ends justify the means, but he doesn’t even bother with that.
No, instead he goes into an obviously prepared speech about how he’s a true patriot, and how he’s loyal to the Shadowhunter ideals. A speech which I’m sure would have played very well to the Shadowhunter community. Now I’m wondering why Valentine didn’t just go into politics.
Valentine asks if Jace would be a Shadowhunter if he had the option not to. Given that it’s the only way Jace can kill things without being locked up for it, he says yes. This pleases Valentine, and he starts going on about a war coming, and needing to choose sides.
Jace points out that there’s really no choosing sides, as the fight is between the inhabitants of Earth and the demons. But Valentine says that’s not so, because if it were, why would he be fighting the Clave? Jace actually has a moment of clarity when he thinks that Valentine is only fighting to gain power for himself, but is smart enough not to say anything. Unfortunately, this allows Valentine to quote his manifesto a bit more:
“If the Clave goes on as they are,” Valentine said, “the demons will see their weakness and attack, and the Clave, distracted by their endless courting of the degenerate races, will be in no condition to fight them off. The demons will attack and they will destroy and there will be nothing left.”
Yes, CC, we get it – Valentine is Hitler.
And I’d point out how much a zealot Valentine must be if he thinks the way Shadowhunters treat Downworlders now is too nice, but again, he’s Hitler.
But the repeated use of the phrase “degenerate races” brings back warm fuzzy memories for Jace, and does nothing to improve my opinion of him. I don’t care that he associates it with other things – that doesn’t make it not horrible.
Our “Heroes”: 7
Jace tries to say something about Luke not being “degenerate”, which Valentine counters by pointing out that he used to be a Shadowhunter. And then he goes on to talk about how it’s not about individuals but rather race, and how the Shadowhunters being the divinely chosen saviors of the world, and I swear all he has to do at this point is to grow a little mustache and talk about the Shadowhunters needing living space to make it more obvious. We get it, CC. Kindly put down the sledgehammer.
But Val isn’t done. He goes on to talk about the whole Garden of Eden story, and somehow this segues into him needing Jace around to keep him from getting to prideful. How that’s going to work, I don’t know, seeing as Jace is basically a walking, talking ego.
And then Jace points out what I did several paragraphs ago – that Valentine didn’t really explain why he’s so okay working with demons. Maybe he just got so enthralled by Valentine’s speech. Or Valentine used to slap Jace around if he interrupted one of his speeches.
Anyway, this time Valentine actually answers the question this time. Let’s see what it is:
“The Clave won’t yield to reason, only to force. I tried to build an army of Forsaken; with the Cup, I could create an army of new Shadowhunters, but that will take years. I don’t have years. We, the human race, don’t have years. With the Sword I can call to me an obedient army of demons. They will serve me as tools, do whatever I demand. They will have no choice. And when I am done with them, I will command them to destroy themselves, and they will do it.”
Try not to think about the logic of that too hard. Basically, Val needs an army because he couldn’t convince the Clave to listen to his crazy ramblings. Not surprising, really; I’ve heard that Mein Kampf is also pretty poorly written.
And I could point out how using force to make the Clave bow to Valentine’s wishes (or solve almost any problem) is stupid, but why do that when I can use the words of wiser and more eloquent people instead?
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. – Isaac Asimov, Foundation.
Or how about this one?
An autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates. For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels. – Albert Einstein, Mein Weltbild
Oh, here’s a good one, one that Valentine should be familiar with!
Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe. – John Milton, Paradise Lost
On top of that, Valentine’s big plan basically boils down to this:
Step one: Summon demon army.
Step two: Use demon army to conquer Idris.
Step three: ???
Step four: Profit!
And here’s the big problem – how does he intend to keep form being killed by the other Shadowhunters the minute his unstoppable demon army is gone? Or am I seriously supposed to buy that Shadowhunter society works on the honor system? He, and consequently CC, clearly didn’t put all that much thought into this plan. But having Valentine be logical would be counter-intuitive – he’s the villain, therefore he does villainous things.
Anyway, Jace says that Valentine is underestimating how much the Shadowhunters hate him, but Valentine insists that they’ll choose “survival” (read: following him) over killing a genocidal psychopath. And to prove this, he… pulls out the MacGuffin Sword and offers it to Jace.
Yeah, I’m not sure what he’s doing. Let’s just see where he’s going with this.
So Jace takes the sword and has a sort of drug trip or something. And he starts seeing demons. Like, everywhere. And they’re Valentine’s army. So, this wasn’t Valentine showing Jace a threat, it was him making one. Now Valentine asks if Jace thinks the Clave will give up. And here’s Jace’s response:
Jace closed his eyes and said, “Not all of them— not the Lightwoods—”
Again with this crap. Look, if anyone is likely to come rushing back to Valentine’s side should he demonstrate any real power, it’s the Lightwoods. Yes, they got pissed that he abandoned and tricked them, but they never indicated that they disagreed with his beliefs! I’m sure they’ll come running back to Valentine if he offers them a position of authority in his New Order.
So now Valentine does another Vader impersonation, this time trying to get Jace to go over to the Dark Side or whatever. And Jace briefly talks about how he’s responsible for all the suffering of all the people he cares about (read: probably wouldn’t stab for a donut).
And Valentine agrees with this. Oh, not because Jace is the son of their version of Hitler, oh no. No, it’s because they’re chosen by fate, or something. Look, I’ll let him explain:
“We are meant for a higher purpose, you and I. The distractions of the world are just that, distractions. If we allow ourselves to be turned aside from our course by them, we are duly punished.”
Yeah, it’s more Vader aping – join me, it is your destiny, etc. Along with a hefty dose of Because Destiny Says So. Or something like that. Personally, I’m not a fan of that idea – I prefer to think that free will is a thing.
Okay, we’re almost done.
Jace starts asking about his various “friends” and “loved ones”, and Valentine promises to “protect” them if he switches sides. And the chapter (and this part of the book) ends with this:
Jace opened his eyes. The starlight was a white burst against his irises; for a moment he could see nothing else. He said, “Yes, Father. I’ve made my decision.”
Yes, it’s all very dramatic and all, what with the implication that Jace might in fact switch sides and join Valentine yet again. And if you believe that, I have a bridge in New York I’d like to sell you.
Seriously, given how CC has refused to address let alone treat any of the horrible things Jace has done the way they should be, what do you think the chances are that she’d actually go through with having him become a villain? Hell, the only reason she claims Jace worked with Valentine in the first book was because he didn’t know his daddy was magical Hitler.
As for the rest of this chapter, it’s just so pointless. It’s a lot of talking, most of it about stuff that we either already know or could figure out. Yes, there’s some speeches clarifying Valentine’s motivations, but they all boil down to him being a racist psychopath. And his brilliant plan? The thing he needs this demon army for?
Beyond that, I have to wonder what the point of this chapter was. That big “dramatic” ending? Who cares? There should be enough tension as is – Valentine is still out there, he still has the MacGuffin Sword, and he’s still half-way to flipping its morality switch. This is totally unnecessary.
Or rather, it should be. But then again, all that stuff I just pointed out has been completely ignored by the entire main cast for the last third of the book, because they’ve been too busy dealing with their own petty teenage drama. If they can’t be bothered to be invested in this plot, then why should I?
Also, I once again have to wonder what the title has to do with the chapter, aside from maybe being a Milton reference. You can’t just toss this crap in whenever you feel like it, CC – either make the chapter names have a real, direct connection to the events depicted in them, or leave them out all together.
This will probably be the last you’ll see from me until December. As in previous years, I’m doing NaNoWriMo, and combined with school work, I’ll probably be under enough stress as it is.
So, happy Halloween to you all. When I come back, I’ll hopefully be rested and recharged, or at least frustrated enough to need a good target.
Entirely Pointless: 0 (Total: 29)
Un-Logic: 8 (Total: 36)
You Keep Using That Word: 0 (Total: 55)
Shoddy World Building: 1 (Total: 30)
Rapier Twit: 1 (Total: 45)
Our “Heroes”: 7 (Total: 117)
No Shit Sherlock: 0 (Total: 6)
Both Hands, Ma’am: 6 (Total: 85)
A Word from Our Sponsors: 0 (Total: 6)