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!”

So, yeah.

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.

Un-Logic: 1

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.

Un-Logic: 2

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.

Un-Logic: 3

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.

Un-Logic: 6

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.

Un-Logic: 7

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 CC Clary.

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.

Un-Logic: 8

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.”

Dun dun duuuun.

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.

Counts

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)

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Comment

  1. Akkakieron on 30 October 2015, 20:14 said:

    Blackmails, tortures, is a massive racist, and thinks he’s above the rules. Are we sure Jace isn’t Valentine’s son? I see a lot of him in Jace only Valentine’s supposed to be the villain.

    You know, the fear demon sounds an awful lot like Barbas from Charmed. Feeds on your fear to get stronger, takes its form so you’ll die of fear. Or a Terror demon from Dragon Age. Either way, I want it to end Jace so we’ll have Simon as the leading man.

    Valentine, I was with you until you started saying ‘degenerate races’ and the hypocrisy of your plan began to show. Like Apep said, you killed your big ass demon army after overthrowing the Clave, what’s stopping the other Shadowhunters from simply stabbing you? You just lost your advantage over them, dude. Hell, what’s to stop the Downworlders from taking over after a costly war that killed many Shadowhunters? So many logical problems that CC could’ve fixed if she wasn’t fixated on Jace’s eyelashes.

  2. Juracan on 30 October 2015, 21:16 said:

    On the subject of the TV series: I think they had thought about making a sequel movie, but after realizing how much the business of making books into television series was these days, they decided they might get much more success there instead. According to this article, there were plans to start production of City of Ashes the week after City of Bones was released in theaters. They had that much hope that it’d be a hit.

    Whoopsie-daisy.

    [In all honesty though, I usually feel pretty crappy when big budget movies do badly, even if they were bad (which is why I don’t make a good movie critic)f. A lot of people put a ton of work into big budget films, and they deserve some sort of recognition for that.]

    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.

    Do we meet any adult Shadowhunters who aren’t complete douchenozzles? This is a serious issue that CC needs to address. Because all the adults we’ve met in the Shadowhunters are either former Death Eaters or… the Inquisitor, I guess. The Inquisitor seems like she could be alright, though she’s got a one-track mind and hasn’t killed Jace yet. Also, if she’s Internal Affairs, and the Lightwoods are still walking free, she’s clearly not too good at her job.

    But I have a serious question that came up in my head the other day and this sporking going up has presented me the chance to ask it: why is it that everyone refers to Valentine as… well, as “Valentine?” That’s his first name, right? You’d think that everyone would call him by his last name (Morgenstern), especially the teenagers, and double especially after he actually brings up its thematic significance in the last book. Having a bunch of people refer to a supervillain by his first name, especially when it’s one as innocuous as “Valentine” just feels a bit silly.

    So yeah, my question is this: is there any reason to call him by his first name other than that it’s a name that sounds more like Voldemort than Morgenstern?

  3. Aikaterini on 30 October 2015, 21:35 said:

    it even improved on the book in a few places.

    Yes, I agree. The writers massively toned down Jace, Simon wasn’t bullied by the Shadowhunters, and everyone (except Alec) got to do something during the climax.

    I can only really come up with one explanation – CC has a lot of connections, and is willing to leverage them.

    I think that can explain a lot in terms of this series.

    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?

    Because Clare does. She wanted the Lightwoods to have ties to Valentine and she didn’t care how that would affect the Lightwoods’ relationships with the people that they tried to overthrow. Maybe she thought, “Oh, well, the Lightwoods turned on Valentine, so the good guys will automatically trust them now!”

    “It is odd,” he reflected. “I would have thought you would seem different now that you are in disgrace with the Clave.

    Yes, that’s something called character development, Raphael. Something that your author isn’t very good at writing. Or she doesn’t want to write it for Jace, because in her mind, his loathsome, racist, and psychopathic self is perfectly fine the way it is.

    No longer their favored son.

    Wait, now the Lightwoods = the Clave? Since when was Jace the favored son of the Clave? When was he the darling of his people’s government?

    I thought some of that arrogance might have been beaten out of you. But you are just the same.”

    Wow, one of her characters just said that Jace is exactly the same insufferable twit that he was in the first book. No character growth, no change, nothing. And yet Clare doesn’t even notice or care.

    “I believe in consistency,” Jace said.

    Yes, that’s why you keep calling Clary and Simon “mundies” even after you find out that they’re not. Because you’re an idiot.

    we’re told it feels “more as if the ship were lifting itself to meet him”

    Right, because everything has to be at the beck and call of King Jace.

    Though it does raise the question of how Jace knew this ship would be here, and throws his claims of innocence into question.

    Oh, you’re acting as if the “good guys” will care about that inconvenient little detail. Jace could put up “Vote for Valentine” posters all across town, lead Valentine’s army into the heart of the Clave, and personally crown Valentine himself, and those Jace-worshipping idiots would still blather on about how Saint Jace had done nothing wrong and how the Inquisitor is totally nuts to believe that he supports Valentine.

    It was a brief reminder that whatever else Jace might be, he was still part of the human race.

    As are mundanes. And yet you consider them to be trash. Hypocrite.

    Why would Shadowhunters dress in modern clothing in their own homeland?

    I think that this may be a confusion borrowed from Harry Potter, where both Barty Crouch Sr. and Tom Riddle wore suits in the wizarding world.

    note that word – “torture.” Even Jace admits that that’s what he did.

    And we’re still supposed to like him. We’re still meant to think that he’s not on Valentine’s side, that he’s the hero, that it makes perfect sense why Clary swoons over him, etc.

    It’s one thing to think that a character is awesome and hardcore and cool when he beats up bad guys with ease. It’s another thing to think that even after he admits to torturing someone. And no, I don’t care that that someone was a demon. Especially since torture is something that you would expect a demon to do, not our so-called “hero.”

    Does CC just not read what she writes?

    Or she doesn’t care. Jace can torture people, but that’s okay because he’s hot. Valentine can torture people, but that’s bad because he’s the villain. I wonder what would happen if Clare met Terry Goodkind.

    Also, what Jace saw wasn’t really the kind of thing that frightens people to death.

    I don’t believe that that would be his greatest fear, because Clare still hasn’t convinced me that Jace gives a darn about Clary.

    Now I’m wondering why Valentine didn’t just go into politics.

    Probably because Voldemort didn’t.

    Jace tries to say something about Luke not being “degenerate”

    Right, because Jace cares so much about Luke. Good thing that Valentine’s here to be a stand-in for Hitler, so that we can all forget how appallingly racist Jace and his friends are.

    So now Valentine does another Vader impersonation, this time trying to get Jace to go over to the Dark Side or whatever.

    Even though he already did that in the last book. Why does Clare keep forgetting that?

    And Jace briefly talks about how he’s responsible for all the suffering of all the people he cares about

    But he won’t actually do anything to alleviate their suffering. He won’t try to be a better person or anything like that. No, he’ll just whine about it and hope that his audience pays more attention to his words than to his actions.

    Happy Halloween!

  4. Apep on 30 October 2015, 21:47 said:

    Blackmails, tortures, is a massive racist, and thinks he’s above the rules. Are we sure Jace isn’t Valentine’s son? I see a lot of him in Jace only Valentine’s supposed to be the villain.

    As far as I’m concerned, Valentine is Jace’s father in every way that counts – he raised Jace, taught him pretty much everything he knows, and was his role model. The only thing he didn’t contribute is DNA, and that’s only to make Clary/Jace acceptable.

    you killed your big ass demon army after overthrowing the Clave, what’s stopping the other Shadowhunters from simply stabbing you?

    Fun fact: I didn’t realize that when I first got to that section. Originally, that (and the “Valentine’s plan” bit) was in my conclusion. I moved it there because it fit better.

    And I’d guess that the reason the Shadowhunters wouldn’t just kill Val afterwards ties back to Jace’s comment about how he’d never break his word in the first book. It made no sense then, either – there’s no consequences, so I assume it’s supposed to show how “honorable” Shadowhunters are. Which doesn’t mean much, considering their behavior.

    According to this article, there were plans to start production of City of Ashes the week after City of Bones was released in theaters. They had that much hope that it’d be a hit.

    I was reading about the movie on Wikipedia, and that said they were planning to begin filming a month after CoB was released. Yeah, they were really confident it would be a hit.

    [In all honesty though, I usually feel pretty crappy when big budget movies do badly, even if they were bad (which is why I don’t make a good movie critic). A lot of people put a ton of work into big budget films, and they deserve some sort of recognition for that.]

    Well, it did make back its budget, so presumably the only people who really suffered were the producers and anyone who would get a cut of the profits. So most of the people listed in the credits got paid.

    The Inquisitor seems like she could be alright, though she’s got a one-track mind and hasn’t killed Jace yet. Also, if she’s Internal Affairs, and the Lightwoods are still walking free, she’s clearly not too good at her job.

    They had “connections” with the Shadowhunter higher-ups. Valentine was totally right about the Clave being corrupt, if nothing else. I have no doubt that the Inquisitor would have locked all of the Circle up, if not executed them, if she’d had her way. Dura lex sed lex, indeed.

    So yeah, my question is this: is there any reason to call him by his first name other than that it’s a name that sounds more like Voldemort than Morgenstern?

    Partly that, but also probably because too many readers would have guessed the “big reveal” if they’d done that. Teens and tweens aren’t that stupid, despite what some people might think.

    I don’t believe that that would be his greatest fear, because Clare still hasn’t convinced me that Jace gives a darn about Clary.

    Oh, I believe he cares about Clary – at least in so far as wanting to tap that.

    Even though he already did that in the last book. Why does Clare keep forgetting that?

    He did it with Clary in the last book. Now he’s doing it with Jace – totally different.

  5. Shell on 31 October 2015, 00:04 said:

    The only positive thing I had to say about this chapter was at least Jace’s worst fear wasn’t the total cliche of Clary in Simon’s arms or some bullshit like that. Although that’s probably because Simon is barely a blip on Jace’s radar. Everything else was awful. How does anyone enjoy these books? How did I enjoy these books in high school?

  6. The Smith of Lie on 31 October 2015, 11:16 said:

    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.

    My guess is that any time Valentine would look at Jayce he’d think “HOLY FUCK! Am I really acting like that? Need to be more humble, need to more humble…”

    And for the new installment “how this part of series could have made sense”. In today’s episode – Valentine’s Plan.

    So he wants to use demon army to browbeat Shadowhunters into following him, so they’ll be ready to repel demon army when it comes. Sounds ridiculously circuitous for me.

    But lets look at it like this – Valentine supposedly believes that only his leadership (and genocide) can make Shadowhunters ready for war. Shadowhunters meanwhile grew conceited, corrupt and shiftless.

    Here’s how I’d go about claiming power after my failed coup. Summoning army of demons is decent start, but we’d need it to be more subtle. Maybe drop the whole forced entry to the City of Bones and use infiltration instead, grab the sword without anyone noticing. Then use Mortal Cup to make some new shadowhunters and once ready sic the demons at Idris. When things start looking bleak step in with your New Order, save the day in heroic effort and play a reformed man, a prodigal son returned to save his home.

    Now that Shadowhunters consider you the best thing since sliced bread, start the campaing tho convince them that the demon horde that you just helped repel was result of ther slothfulness in opressing degenrate races. Voila, you got your own Reich!

    But of course then I’d complain it was a cheap knock off of Man with Golden Eyes plot from Skulldugger Pleasant. Except he played it with even more subtlety and patience.

  7. Sarah Syna on 31 October 2015, 12:12 said:

    I must admit, I am hesitantly excited for the TV series. Some of the casting is really good! Well, Alec and Isabelle’s is! And the lady playing Isabelle is Latina, which means a mixed family, so there’s even a bit of colour in the main cast! And they’re both freaking adorable.

    Not to mention that these books were always paced for freaking TV anyways. Plus, apparently CC isn’t having much to do with it.

    (That I have someone who is willing to watch and mock along with me is also part of my tentative excitement though.)

    Why is it that everyone refers to Valentine as… well, as “Valentine?” That’s his first name, right? You’d think that everyone would call him by his last name (Morgenstern), especially the teenagers, and double especially after he actually brings up its thematic significance in the last book.

    THANK YOU. THIS HAS BOTHERED ME THE WHOLE TIME
    Not to mention that it’d show a really nice contrast between the teens going Morgenstern and the adults saying Valentine. As it is, Valentine don’t even register as a frigging first name.

  8. Apep on 31 October 2015, 17:07 said:

    How does anyone enjoy these books? How did I enjoy these books in high school?

    Well, you were in high school, which is another way of saying “young and stupid.”

    @ Smith of Lie:

    I could totally get behind Valentine doing some kind of false-flag operation to get the Shadowhunters on his side. Being devious like that would make him a great villain, rather than just being a Voldemort knock-off.

    Not to mention that these books were always paced for freaking TV anyways. Plus, apparently CC isn’t having much to do with it.

    Yeah, but I still feel that the quality of the source material is an issue. It doesn’t matter how much you polish a turd, it’s still a turd.

    Though there are two outcomes I’d be happy with: either they stick closely to the books and the fans complain, only for anti-fans to point out that what they’re complaining about is exactly like that in the books (similar to the Twilight movies showing how creepy Edward is); or, they change so much that the fans stop watching and complain that the show makers are “ruining” it.

  9. Castor on 31 October 2015, 19:52 said:

    I mean, I’m pretty sure they just call him Valentine because he’s literally just Voldemort.

    I’m just not intimidated by a guy named “Valentine.” When I read the first book I just pronounced it “val-en-teen” because it seemed a little less silly, I guess. Calling him Morganstern would be an improvement, I think.

  10. Akkakieron on 31 October 2015, 22:43 said:

    You know what would be funny? If ‘Valentine’ was just a legal name change and his real name was Bob. He wanted to be cool so changed it to Valentine, but then some people didn’t take him seriously, saying things like ‘Could you be my Valentine?’ and every nickname he came up sounded lame so he had stick with it.

    With the show, if the writers address some of the issues, like have Clary call out the racist Shadowhunter society and make Jace an actual human being that I don’t want to punch in the face, it might be somewhat decent. It could be worse, it could be a show about House of Night…What do you mean it’s being made into a movie?

  11. Juracan on 2 November 2015, 09:43 said:

    I mean, I’m pretty sure they just call him Valentine because he’s literally just Voldemort.

    Except Voldemort was actually interesting.

    Yeah, he was obviously a fascist evil overlord, but Rowling used some subtlety to weave how he came to be. From him building up a cult of personality around himself at the age of at least sixteen, to declaring himself the heir of an ancient long-dead figure to establish a power base. The magic he did wasn’t quite summoning demons, but it was strange and evil and quite disturbing at times (mutilating his soul and the resurrection in the graveyard scene).

    And he had a character that made sense! He’s a man who is so terrified of normalcy and mortality that he endeavored to make himself immortal no matter the cost, and insists on making a big show of everything. The reason he’s able to be beaten is that he’s got this enormous ego that makes him do things in a complicated fashion instead of just stabbing Harry in his sleep.

    Valentine is just… generic Hitler guy. It’s as if CC fished a Voldemort knockoff out of the bargain bin at Villains R Us. And it shows.

  12. Castor on 2 November 2015, 16:12 said:

    Valentine is just… generic Hitler guy. It’s as if CC fished a Voldemort knockoff out of the bargain bin at Villains R Us. And it shows.

    Is this how she treated Voldemort in the Draco trilogy? I haven’t read it, but I’m curious to see if this is because she misinterpreted Voldemort’s character from the beginning, or if she tried to change him enough to become Valentine and just failed to develop him into an actual character.

  13. Apep on 2 November 2015, 16:29 said:

    Is this how she treated Voldemort in the Draco trilogy?

    Sort of? I haven’t read it myself either, but from the one partial-sporking I did read, CC took Voldemort’s need for convoluted schemes up to 11. In the first book(the only one where he actually appears, I believe), his plan involves turning Harry into some kind of psychotic killing machine (or something) and setting him loose on the wizard world. Somehow this is supposed to convince everyone that Voldemort is the real hero, and not a racist psychopath.

    No, I don’t understand the logic there, either. CC seems to use the Underpants Gnomes method of villainy:

    Step One: Do something Evil
    Step Two: ???
    Step Three: Profit

  14. The Smith of Lie on 2 November 2015, 17:25 said:

    Since I had already crossed the Mortal Instruments with a good Urban Fantasy in previous spite fic, why not continue the trend?

    Nicodemus Archleone barely stopped himself from shoving his palm against his face. What he just heard was probably the stupidest plan he ever heard of. And during last two thousand years he heard some stupid plans. “So, you are basically saying that you want an army of demons to attack organization of demon hunters to gain control over it and make humanity ready for war against demons?” He felt dumber just by saying this aloud. But Valentine nodded. “You simplify it terribly, but that is the gist of it. I also want to reconnect with my estranged daughter.” Now that was something Nicodemus could get behind. He loved Deidre. It was more of Eros than Storge, but he loved her nonetheless.

    “Oh, by the way. I told the whole plan in detail to my adoptive son who sort of is still on side of Clave, but I’m sure things will work out in the end.” Nicodemus pinched the bridge of his nose. This called for remedial classes. “Ok Valentine, we’re gonna do it differently.” The man cocked his head curiously. “How so?” “First a little demonstration. Can you call that fear demon of yours up to the deck?” “But your men are still here…” Nicodemus just smiled.

    After the hail of gunfire stopped there was a sort of red, sticky stain where a fear demon used to stand. “HOW?!” Valetine could not believe his eyes. “They are just mundanes!” “Discipline, zealotry and lots of firepower. You Shadowhunters have been underestimating mortals for too long, they are very useful tools if directed properly.”

    “He did what?” Maryse could not believe what she just heard. “He showed up, gave up the Mortal Cup and the Sword, apologized, said that Jayce’s insistence showed him the error of his ways and he left.” Inquisitor could scarcely believe what she was saying either. “So why didn’t you stop him?” “Actually I was too surprised to do anything…”

    1 year later.

    Luke was watching the news with growing horror. “A bizzare terrorist attack happened today in New York. Unknown perpetrators destroyed an abandoned Hotel Dumort. According to police building was destroyed in series of explosions. First the high explosives caused the structural collapse, then large amounts of incendiaries caused a long lasting fire. According to some eye witness accounts the burning building was shot at with what seemed like white phosphorous charges…” This looked like an assault aimed at vampires, but Shadowhunters would never do anything so obvious. “It can’t be… Mundanes are not able to…” He didn’t even notice that he was rambling under his breath. Not until he was interrupted by sound of breaking glass. He turned and saw man in combat gear entering through the window. Before he managed to turn into wolf the attacker pulled the trigger. Bullets hit Luke’s chest with wet, disgusting thumps. “Think of it as a mercy old friend.” He would always recognize this voice, even in his dying moments. But Valentine, using mundane technology and methods…

    Maryse stood in front of the Clave. “Underworlder enclaves in 8 major cities so far had been eradicated. New York, Berlin, Calcutta, Warsaw, Beijing, Cape Town, Vladivostok and Cairo. And it seems the attackers are mundane.” No one seemed interested in ongoing purge until that last detail. In that moment the room erupted in disbelief and outrage. It took good five minutes before Clave members calmed enough for her to continue the report. “Underworlder communities refused to believe we are not responsible. They claim mundanes could not accomplish this on their own, so it follows they have our support. As of this morning we are at war…”

    “See Valentine? You don’t need to smash heads to get what you want.” Nicodemus was pretty happy with how this one worked out. He decided to hold on to Lasciel’s coing until someone less incompetent came by, but it was a fun distraction to help the man accomplish his genocidal goal. “It’s like Kansas City shuffle, when they look right, you move to the left.” Valentine nodded. He didn’t like to admit it, but he learned a lot in the last year. He looked at fires of besieged Idris. “Get ready men, we’re moving in and reinforcing the Shadowhunters. Go, go go!”