Another November has passed, and another NaNoWriMo with it. And while I may have had a few rough patches, I have come through with another 50,000+ words written, and my sanity mostly intact.
Well, we can’t have that, so of course I’m delving back into the madness that is is City of Bones.
Fun fact – this chapter was the first thing I ever sporked. It was for the group sporking over on the Das Sporking LiveJournal community, and I wrote that way back in September of 2012. Ah, I was so young and… well, not ‘innocent’, but at the very least I hadn’t spent so much time actively dissecting CC’s work, so at the very least I had less direct exposure its stupidity. Anyway, feel free to poke around over on Das Sporking when you’re done with this, and maybe compare this sporking to the earlier version.
But that’s enough shameless plugging, you guys came here to watch me rip this book apart. And I’ve had plenty of time to rest up, so let’s get on with it.
Last time on Draco the Demon Slayer:
After Jace demonstrated what a horrible, horrible person he is, Luke swooped in and stopped his pack from lynching Jace, which was I suppose was the smart political move, even if the little bastard deserved it. Luke then called Clary, because for some reason she’s the only person Jace will listen to (read: gave any indication of caring about her thoughts and feelings because he wanted to get in her pants). Clary decided to drag Simon along with her, for purely contrived reasons, as Simon served no purpose in the scene, other than to be a target for Jace’s racism. Clary and Luke managed to convince Jace to go back to the Institute, bringing the whole sub-plot about him leaving more or less to a close. And at the very end, we saw just why Simon had to be brought along, even though he had no reason to be there in the first place – so he could meet Maya, a young werewolf from Luke’s pack. And based on their one, brief interaction, there is way more chemistry between Simon and Maya than between either Clary and Simon or Clary and Jace.
Now, on to Chapter 3 – The Inquisitor. And just to get this out of the way now, the Inquisitor’s presence is most definitely not unexpected.
CC has mercifully decided to skip the trip from the Hunter’s Moon to the Institute. I’m sure that Jace would have made nasty comments about Luke’s truck, even though Luke is kind enough (read: Shadowhunter stooge) to give him a ride. Instead, we open with a quick description of the Institute, and how Clary’s gotten used to seeing through illusions. I’d say this was impressive, given that she couldn’t do that two weeks ago, but she is the author-avatar, so of course everything must come easy to her.
Luke is less than pleased to be here, which shouldn’t be surprising given that A) the people in charge of the place are basically former Nazis, and he’s basically a Jew, and B) Shadowhunters in general don’t have that great a relationship with Downworlders, and seem to have no desire to improve their relations with them.
Jace then demonstrates that, on top of being a horrible waste of skin, he’s also kind of an idiot, because he totally forgot that he didn’t have his keys. Now, I suppose I can sort of get that – I’ve accidentally left important things behind, like keys and my wallet, and only realized I didn’t have them until I needed them. But his reaction still bothers me, because instead of cursing or grumbling, he laughs about it. And I don’t care if it’s “without any mirth”, because he’s still laughing.
Luke’s too busy reminiscing to respond to this, though. Instead, he’s touching the stuff carved into the door frame, and CC uses this opportunity to show how educated she is by referring to it as the “architrave.”
You Keep Using That Word: 1
What the hell is an architrave, you ask? Well, dictionary.com defines it at “a molded or decorated band framing a panel or an opening, especially a rectangular one, as of a door or window.” Why CC couldn’t just call it the door frame, I don’t know.
Luke continues to reminisce, explaining that the doors look “just like the ones at the Council Hall in Idris” and that he “never though [he] would see their like again” Okay, and? Is there something special about them, like they were made by the same craftsmen? Or are they just a complete replica? Because I have to say, there’s a big difference between seeing the real thing, and seeing a replica.
Clary actually manages to be the sensible one, and asks how they’re going to get in. Now, a sensible person might point out any number of options available to them. Off the top of my head, I can think of two. First, call someone inside – Clary could easily get Isabelle’s phone number from Jace and tell her what’s up. Second (and I know this might sound crazy), try knocking – keep it up long enough and someone will come and check it out.
But of course either of those would be far too easy and mundane for CC. So instead, she has them do something really, really weird, and kind of stupid.
See, apparently there are special spells placed on Institutes or something that will unlock the door to any Shadowhunter who “[means] no harm to the inhabitants.”
And then for some reason Jace asks what would happen if the people inside are hostile to the people trying to enter, and Luke says that it probably doesn’t matter. Then Jace says that “the Clave always stacks the deck its way.”
What? Is he implying that that’s cheating? That, if someone inside wants to hurt him, then Jace should get some kind of warning? Because that’s not cheating – that’s just basic tactics. A trap doesn’t work all that well if the intended victim gets warned about it before hand. Or is it only unfair because Jace is on the receiving end this time?
Then again, this whole security system is kind of stupid anyway. Because what if a bad guy (like, say, Valentine) manages to get inside, and the people after him don’t have keys? While he might be trapped inside, the people outside still can’t get to him, because they’re his enemies. Or, what if a bad guy tricks someone else into opening the door for him? Hell, by this logic Valentine could have just walked right into the Institute in the last book – he didn’t actually want to hurt anyone inside, so why did Hodge have to open a portal to let him in?
Moving on. For some reason, Clary now notices that Jace hasn’t healed his incredibly minor injuries. Oh, but they’re to his face, so that automatically upgrades them to a major concern. All those werewolves he almost killed at the bar? Not important. The dead werewolf boy in the alley? Who cares. Jace has a black eye? CALL AN AMBULANCE!
Our “Heroes”: 1
Also, I’m giving it one of these
Both Hands, Ma’am: 1
because as far as the narrative is concerned, his injuries are entirely cosmetic.
And here’s the part where I think CC demonstrates how far she’s come from her fan fic writing roots, i.e. not as far as she thinks. Take a look:
“Did she take your stele, too?”
“I didn’t take anything when I left,” Jace said. “I didn’t want to take anything the Lightwoods got for me.”
Luke looked at him with some concern. “Every Shadowhunter must have a stele.”
Question – why? Why must every Shadowhunter have a magic not-wand? Yes, they’re an important part of the Shadowhunter arsenal, and used to draw their magic tattoos, but if anything that makes them more of a crutch than an asset. Look at the first book – Simon managed to take down Abbadon on his own (because let’s face it, none of the ‘expert demon killers’ managed to accomplish a damn thing in that fight), and he was plain vanilla human. Adding a reliance on runes and whatnot is forcing them to follow the law of the instrument for no reason.
But of course, I think we can all figure out why this was here – because while CC might have filed off the serial numbers, she couldn’t get rid of everything from Harry Potter. And in the Potter-verse, wizards are pretty much helpless without their wands. The only difference is, a wizard’s wand isn’t a hammer – it’s a Swiss Army knife crossed with a multi-tool. But that’s not the case here – the Shadowhunters have a wide variety of tools at their disposal, and their not-wands are only a small part of that. But I guess since they’re the stand-in for HP wands, the characters have to act like these things are just that important.
Shoddy World Building: 1
Ugh. I’m spending too much time nitpicking the little things, when there are bigger problems to deal with.
So, Jace puts his hand on the door, and begins to recite what I guess is the Shadowhunter oath, asking to be let in, and then asking for divine assistance in his mission, but before he can actually say what that mission is, the doors open. Instead of being impressed by this, Jace – being Jace – decides to make a stupid joke about how easy it was.
Rapier Twit: 1
Ah, Jace’s ‘humor’. Not something I missed.
Anyway, Luke jumps in to explain what happened – see, the Angel
You Keep Using That Word: 2
(stop capitalizing that, damn it)
already “knows” what his mission is, so Jace doesn’t actually have to say it. Which just makes me wonder why he had to say anything in the first place.
Plot Hole: 1
And if you’re going to say that intent is the more important than the actual words, then Jace shouldn’t have been let in anyway. His whole little speech struck me as having about as much conviction behind it as a fifth grader reciting the Pledge of Allegiance – it’s just empty words. We know for a fact that Jace doesn’t believe in angels or God, so asking for something in their name doesn’t mean anything to him.
Plot Hole: 2
And again, since Valentine’s goals are only slightly more extreme than most Shadowhunters – and he is most certainly far more devout than his jackass spawn – what’s to stop him from waltzing into any Institute on the planet?
Plot Hole: 3
Gong back to what happened, this could be an interesting moment for Jace’s character – this could be viewed as a sign that all that angel-stuff he’d been taught might actually be true. It’d be a really subtle way to maybe lead him to developing some kind of faith.
But we all know that’s not going to happen, because Jace’s ego is only slightly better (and way more annoying) than Vegeta in this clip.
So instead, Jace just reacts to Luke calling him Jonathan by pouting, and the scene ends.
Okay, did that scene accomplish anything, apart from filling up a few pages? No. Which makes this whole scene (say it with me now)
Entirely Pointless: 1
And since the next scene begins literally two seconds later, we get another modified count. Since CC seems to break up scenes and chapters as if writing a script for a TV show, Random Scene Breaks will now be re-christened A Word from Our Sponsors.
A Word from Our Sponsors: 1
We pick up literally thirty seconds later, with Clary, Jace, and Luke having walked from the front door to the elevator. Luke makes a comment that the elevator (which is describes as looking like a “gilded birdcage”) must have been installed at Maryse’s behest, because it fits with her taste. Which really makes me wonder how the Lightwood’s being here is supposed to be a punishment, if they can get shit like fancy elevators installed.
Jace tells Luke that the elevator’s been in the Institute at least as long as he has, which doesn’t mean a damn thing, as the Lightwoods were living there for at least a good decade before he showed up, and has nothing to do with what Luke said in the first place, unless Jace is trying to imply that it’s always been there. Either way, his comment serves no purpose.
Entirely Pointless: 2
While riding the elevator, Clary thinks about Simon, and feels guilty about telling him to leave, but justifies it because “she couldn’t imagine having him— a mundane— here while Luke petitioned Maryse Lightwood on Jace’s behalf; it would just make everything awkward.” And I can sort of see that – given how Jace and Alec treated Simon in the last book, and that Maryse used to be part of the supernatural SS, she probably wouldn’t take too kindly to Simon’s presence. But do you see the critical thing that Clary doesn’t consider?
That she could have gone with Simon instead. Again, Clary is perfectly willing to abandon her best friend/possible-boyfriend in order to hang out with Jace. Because that’s where her priorities are now.
*Our “Heroes”: 2
Yes, I get that she felt obligated to talk to Jace at the Hunter’s Moon, but since he’s been convinced to go home and make nice, and Maryse Lightwood hasn’t even met Clary, there is literally no reason for Clary to be here.
They get off the elevator to find Church the cat waiting for them. Jace, in a rare display of empathy for another living being, pets the cat and asks where Maryse is. I’m starting to think that the only reason Church exists is to lead people around the Institute.
As they follow the cat (a good idea, considering it’s probably the smartest character in the scene), Luke continues to gawp at everything like a tourist. It’s again reiterated that he didn’t expect to be in an Institute again, and we learn that he’s been to both the London and Paris Institutes, but this one is “Colder.”
Well, that might have something to do with who’s in charge. Just sayin’.
Maryse is, of course, in the library. Because despite it’s supposed size, there’s really only a handful of actual locations in the Institute – the library, the armory, the bedrooms, the hospital, and the rooftop gardens. They hear people talking inside, and Jace (being a rude asshole) just opens the door and walks right in. The people inside are startled by his appearance, as is to be expected.
Then, for some reason, Clary thinks back to Hodge.
I guess it’s understandable, considering the library is where she saw him most of the time, but she knew him for less than a week. It’s not like she knew him for years and years, and thinks of that as his place.
Personal story – my grandmother passed away in 2012. Since then, there have been several times where I stayed at her house for a night or two, for various reasons. And even though it’s been over two years since her passing, I still think of it as being her house, and it still occasionally feels weird that she’s not there. In fact, in all this time, I’ve maybe gone into her bedroom once.
But again, Clary doesn’t have that kind of history with Hodge, and it’s even pointed out that the voice coming from the library isn’t Hodge. So there’s only one reason I can see to even bother mentioning him in the first place – to remind the readers that he existed.
Clary goes into the library, and we get something of a description of Maryse – she has her daughter’s hair, and her son’s build. So, not quite generation Xeroxing, but a little too close for my comfort.
But Maryse isn’t alone – Raphael is also in the library. For those of you who don’t remember, Raphael was the Latino vampire Jace tried to kill for no reason back in the first book. He immediately earns some of my respect by saying that Jace “[looks] as if a pack of wolves tried to tear [him] apart.”
And of course makes a quip about it, saying that Raphael either made a good guess, or has good informants.
Rapier Twit: 2
Dude, stop trying to ride the coattails of other people’s jokes. It never works. Oh, and Raphael confirms that it’s the latter, in case anyone’s interested.
And for some reason, Maryse has completely reversed her opinion of Jace; instead of being distant and hostile, she’s now oh-so concerned about him possibly being injured. And CC apparently decided to ret-con some things, because it seems Maryse was under the impression that Jace was going to stay with someone else, and didn’t actually kick him out. Way to make Jace look even more like a petulant child, CC.
Our “Heroes”: 3
Maryse then notices Clary and Luke, and asks who the heck they are. Clary says that she’s Jace’s sister, and Maryse immediately accepts this explanation, even saying that Clary looks a lot like Valentine. Even though everything we’ve seen indicates that she looks more like her mother than her father.
Plot Hole: 4
Maryse then turns her attention to Luke, and mistakenly assumes that he’s a mundane, but Luke quickly steps forward to correct that assumption. She takes a closer look, and finally recognizes him. Which just makes me wonder if she needs to see an eye doctor. I realize it’s probably been at least the better part of twenty years since they last saw each other, but unless his appearance has significantly changed since then, she should probably still recognize him.
And on this note, CC decides to end the scene.
A Word from Our Sponsors: 2
(I’m starting to think I should insert old commercials on Youtube every time one of those pops up. What do you guys think?)
That count is even more appropriate here, because the next scene literally picks up maybe half a second later. The break is only there so the scene ends of a dramatic note – you can practically hear CC going “dun dun duuuun.”
It seems that Luke’s sudden appearance caused Maryse’s brain to crash, and when she finally reboots, she identifies Luke by his old name, Lucian Graymark. This revelation causes Raphael to perk up, and he comments that Luke is the guy who killed Gabriel. Clary wonders who Gabriel is/was, because CC finally remembered that she’s actually there. Luke shrugs, and tells Raphael that, yes, he did kill Gabriel, as that’s how dominance of a werewolf pack gets passed on.
Unless you decide to just up and abandon your pack that is. And no, I am not going to let that go. Ever.
Raphael says that they need to talk, but decides that right now is clearly not the time for it, and Luke agrees to have his people arrange a meeting with Raphael’s. None of which we will ever get to see, because CC is far more interested in discussing Jace, Clary, and their bullshit drama instead of the legitimately interesting supernatural politics.
Raphael turns his attention to Maryse, and asks if they’re done. It seems he came to the Institute to tell Maryse that the vampires aren’t responsible for any of the mysterious deaths, and she agrees to take him at his word, at least for now.
Wait, she was actually doing her job? And acting like a professional? And treating the head of one of the major Downworlder factions with the respect he deserves?
Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS here is actually better at being a Shadwohunter than Jace, the primary male protagonist.
CC, did you honestly not realize how much of an immature, self-centered, racist brat this makes Jace look like?
What am I saying, of course you didn’t. Jace is pretty and has a “tragic” back story, so that excuses everything.
Anyway, Raphael makes a really, really dumb joke about Maryse using the phrase “come to light”
Rapier Twit: 3
and then disappears in a cloud of sparkly, purple prose. Seriously, I just said in maybe three words what takes CC the better part of a paragraph to explain. I get that she had a particular image in mind, but come the fuck on.
Clary freaks out at this sight, and asks if Raphael is dead, because she’s a moron. Jace explains that what they saw was an astral-projection of the vampire, which I’d think would have been fairly obvious.
No Shit Sherlock: 1
Clary then asks why Raphael couldn’t just come himself, and Maryse reminds her that the Institute is on holy ground, and Raphael is a vampire.
No Shit Sherlock: 2
You’d think that stuff like this would be seen as definitive proof of some kind of higher power, but no.
Look, CC, you can have supernatural stuff and still be vague about capital-G God. Just as an example, in the Highlander franchise, Immortals have a taboo about fighting on holy ground. It’s never actually explained why, though. It could be that there might be consequences if they do, or just a hold-over from their ore-immortality days (most of them are pretty old).
Anyway, Maryse makes a comment about Luke being the local werewolf alpha, which I think you guys need to see for yourselves:
“You, head of the pack here?” she asked. “I suppose I should hardly be surprised. It does seem to be your method, doesn’t it?”
I just… what does that mean? Yeah, this is the second time Luke’s become the leader of a pack of werewolves, but how is that a “method”? A method for what? Did CC accidentally remove the context for that statement while editing? Did no one notice that that statement makes no damn sense?
Moving on. Luke asks if Raphael was there because of the dead werewolf boy (oh, so now you give a damn about him?), and Maryse explains that a young warlock was killed a few days ago and drained of blood. Yeah, remember that idiot who was carving a circle in the floor back in the prologue? That kid.
Apparently Raphael figured that everyone would assume the vampires were behind it, and being a good leader, decided to head the kerfuffle off before things got out of hand. Which kinda makes me wonder how long these chuckleheads spent in the back room of the Hunter’s Moon, if Raphael had enough time to learn about the dead werewolf and contact Maryse before Luke, Jace, and Clary could get back to the Institute. I know that traffic in New York can suck, but come on.
Oh, and this whole time Maryse has been calling vampires “the Night Children”, because that doesn’t sound totally pretentious and stuck-up at all.
You Keep Using That Word: 3
Double because she’s done it twice. It’s like the reverse of Atomic Robo – they’re vampires in every respect, but for some reason we won’t call them that.
Jace asks if Maryse believes Raphael, but she says she isn’t going to discuss official Shadowhunter business with him, and especially not with Luke present. Although she continues to call him Lucian, prompting Luke to correct her.
Maryse says that Luke looks like a mundane now, he points out that that’s kinda what he was going for, there’s a bit about everyone believing he was dead, and then they finally get to the reason why they’re all here. Jace wants to prove his innocence re: Valentine, and Luke is willing to vouch for him. Maryse says she doesn’t trust Luke’s word, which is either incredibly racist or hypocritical of her. Either way, it once again makes me wonder why she’s here, and not spending the rest of her days on the Shadowhunter equivalent of Saint Helena.
Luke ignores the implications of her comment, saying that he’s still a Shadowhunter. Which again reminds me of how appropriate the Uncle Tom’s Cabin comment from waaay back in chapter two of the first book is. Luke even says he’s willing to by “tried by the Sword” to prove his sincerity.
You Keep Using That Word: 4
Clary once again pipes up to serve the only real reason she’s here – to provide a convenient excuse for having everyone explain things that they know, but the audience doesn’t. But instead of just asking what Luke’s talking about, she looks over at Jace for… some reason.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 2
Jace explains what you’ve probably already figured out – the Sword Luke’s referring to is the Soul-Sword, the second of the bafflingly named Mortal Instruments. Unfortunately, trial by Sword is not some kind of awesome duel. The Sword’s special power is that it can be used to determine whether or not someone is lying.
And I have to say, that’s a pretty lame power for a sword. I mean, most magical swords at least have something that makes them useful in a fight. But that’s not all – we’ll get to how it’s doubly useless in a moment.
Maryse gets huffy, saying that Luke totally isn’t a Shadowhunter, and he’s ignored the Clave’s rules. Luke shoots back that she did the exact same thing, and that she really should have let this crap go by now.
And here we get to why Maryse is so damn bitter: way back in her
Death Eater Circle days, Valentine managed to convince all of his followers that he was just as dedicated to the group as they were, and that the Putsch Uprising would be super easy – just a few unarmed ambassadors, nothing to worry about. But both Jocelyn and Luke knew that there’d be about five hundred armed Downworlders there, and that they should have warned the Circle.
Luke rightly points out that he tried to tell them Valentine was nuts, but that’s not what Maryse is upset about – no, she’s mad that Luke and Jocelyn let them walk right into a slaughter. Again, Luke points out that Maryse and the others were all gung-ho to kill unarmed ambassadors, so it’s not his fault.
Then Maryse goes into this whole spiel about how Valentine wasn’t there, and they all thought he was dead, and the only reason she didn’t lay down her life right then and there was because of little baby Alec.
Yeah, I’m sure I’m supposed to feel sorry for Maryse, or think that this somehow demonstrates what a good mother she is, or some shit, but I just can’t get past the fact that she was a member of a radical, racist organization intent on committing genocide. It’s gonna take a hell of a lot more than her going “oh, my poor baby” to get me on her side.
Luke tells her she made the right decision, which sets Maryse off again, because, again, she’s convinced that the whole thing is Luke’s fault, and I’m really starting to doubt that she’s as reformed as she claims to be. Seriously, why isn’t she locked up?
But Clary finally decides to actually participate in the scene, and comes to Luke’s defense, saying that it’s Maryse’s own damn fault for trusting Valentine in the first place.
And now we get to the critical flaw with the Soul-Sword. Maryse starts talking about how the members of the Circle were interrogated, and she mentions that the Sword would only tell if they were lying, but not to actually tell the truth. Meaning that the Über-awesome magical sword… can be defeated by just not saying anything.
Shoddy World Building: 2
The problems with the Shadowhunter justice system are starting to make sense now.
The authorities finally managed to get the surviving members of the Circle to talk by revealing that, not only did Valentine not die in the
Putsch Uprising, he was never there to begin with. And when the Circle members start talking amongst themselves, they find out that he told each of them that they were the one he trusted the most. My, how very devious of him – using the same methods as any parent with more than one child.
Seriously, how were these morons ever a threat?
Jace then makes a snide comment about hell and scorned women, because he’s an ass.
Rapier Twit: 4
And somehow Maryse came to the conclusion that everything Valentine’s done – faking his death (twice), sending Jace to live with the Lightwoods, etc. – has been part of some elaborate plan of his to get the Mortal Cup, and that’s why she can’t trust Jace.
I probably shouldn’t have to explain who utterly insane that is, but I will anyway, because that’s what I’m here for.
I mean, how many utterly contrived coincidences had to occur for this “plan” to work out as it has? Let’s see: the Lightwoods had to survive, instead of laying down their lives like the fanatics they were/are; they had to end up being assigned to New York, instead of being locked up or executed; Jocelyn (who actually had the Cup, remember) had to come to New York, rather than literally anywhere else on the planet; Jace had to get sent to live with the Lightwoods, rather than being sent off to some relative of the real Michael Wayland or sucked into Shadowhunter child services. And that doesn’t even bring in Hodge and the possibility that he might have decided to switch sides.
And if just one of those things didn’t happen, none of this would be going on now. Look, I can maybe buy Valentine as a master of Xanatos speed chess, but he is not this great, Machiavellian schemer.
Then again, maybe they just think that because he’s the only person in this whole book with any ability to plan ahead.
Luke asks what Maryse thought Jace would go after leaving the Institute, and she starts to say that she figured he’d stay with Clary, what with them being siblings, only for Clary to once again pipe up and give a little speech about how the Lightwood kids are more Jace’s family than she is. Which I would totally buy, except for Jace being just as much of an ass to them as he was to pretty much everyone else.
Maybe CC just thinks that’s how family treats each other.
Oh, and Clary says that Alec, Isabelle, and Max will totally hate Maryse for ever and ever if she kicks Jace out. Maryse asks just how Clary came to that conclusion, and here’s her response:
“I know Alec and Isabelle,” said Clary. […] “Family is more than blood . Valentine isn’t my father. Luke is. Just like Alec and Max and Isabelle are Jace’s family. If you try to tear him out of your family, you’ll leave a wound that won’t ever heal.”
Really? After knowing them for maybe a week, Clary somehow knows Alec and Isabelle better than their own mother? Bullshit. Isabelle was constantly being slut-shamed for daring to be more attractive than Clary, and Alec was either an elitist douche or being a Clingy Jealous Guy over Jace. Yeah, they’d probably be angry with their mother, but they might get over it once she explained her actions.
Because as much as I may believe that Maryse is being stupid regarding Valentine’s “plotting”, she did make a smart decision by kicking Jace out – she has no reason to believe that he’s not still working for Valentine, and neither do her kids. While she might still care for Jace, she can’t be sure that he won’t use those feelings against her, so she did the only thing she could to ensure that he wouldn’t threaten her or her family.
But because she’s doing this to Jace, I’m supposed to view her as being in the wrong. She’s clearly just confused, and once everything’s explained, she’ll welcome Jace back with open arms. Hell, she’ll probably ask him to forgive her.
And as much as I can get behind family not being about genetics, that doesn’t quite apply here. Yes, Jace has spent the last several years living with the Lightwoods. But unlike Clary, he actually was raised by Valentine, and clearly thought of him as his father, as demonstrated in the last book. Jace wasn’t brainwashed, or under some kind of spell, or tricked in any way – he willingly and eagerly worked with Valentine. That alone makes him worthy of suspicion.
To my surprise, Jace actually steps in to tell Clary to back down. Then Clary, using information she’s only just learned, comes up with a solution which should have been obvious to any of the other people in the room – use the magic lie-detecting sword on Jace.
Jace is totally in favor of this, and says to call the Inquisitor right now, because he’s an impatient little shit. Luke is against this for… reasons, but Maryse says that the Inquisitor is already coming, hence my earlier joke.
Luke gets indignant, asking Maryse if she sent for the Inquisitor, but Maryse (again being the smartest person in the room, which isn’t saying much) points out that, given everything that happened in the last book, it only makes sense that the Clave would send someone to look into things. And of course Maryse was all worried about what would happen to Jace, mentioning punishments such as prison time or taking away his Marks.
You Keep Using That Word: 5
I’m not seeing how the latter is much of a punishment, considering Jocelyn was doing just fine without them. Wait, it would mean having to live as a filthy mundane, which is just the worst-est thing ever.
I can see how jail time would be bad for Jace, though – he’d end up being someone’s bitch in five minutes.
Clary, once again in “ask stupid question” mode, asks who the Inquisitor is, as all she can think of is the Spanish Inquisition. You’d think that knowledge and some context clues would have been enough, but she actually needed someone to explain to her that Valentine was her father, so she needs all the help she can get.
Basically, the Inquisitor is Shadowhunter Internal Affairs. She’s the one responsible for the Lightwoods being sent to New York, and Hodge being on magically-enforced house arrest, and supposedly, “has no love for [the Lightwoods], and hates [Valentine].”
Yeah, I’m sure CC wants me to think the Inquisitor is a horrible person, but given the Lightwoods’ former position in the Circle? I think she’s was being pretty damn lenient – if it’d been me, I would have had all the members of the Circle executed, or at least put under lock-down, and not in a comfy Institute.
Despite all the “evidence” of how terrifying the Inquisitor is, Jace demonstrates actual heroism, deciding to stay and face the Inquisitor, pointing out that the Lightwoods will be punished if he’s gone. And Luke has suddenly changed his mind, supporting Jace’s decision. Clary, for equally indiscernible reasons, has reversed her position, and wants Jace to leave. CC again fails at establishing a good villain/antagonist, as Clary is the only one who is in any way intimidated by the Inquisitor.
But Luke points out that, if Jace couldn’t be a Shadowhunter any more, which would just be terrible. I guess. I mean, Jace wouldn’t have any actual authority to back him, so he wouldn’t be able to get away with treating Downworlders and mundanes like shit… which would be… yeah.
Whatever. Then we get this baffling exchange:
“He does have something on his side, something the members of the Circle did not have after the Uprising.”
“And what’s that?” Maryse asked.
Luke smiled faintly. “Unlike you,” he said, “Jace is telling the truth.”
What? Was there ever the implication that the members of the Circle lied about anything? They refused to answer questions or cooperate, but that’s not the same thing. Now, if Luke had said that Jace would be cooperating, that would make sense. But as is? No, that doesn’t work. Again, this feels like something left in from a previous draft.
Maryse gets a bit huffy at Luke’s comment, but accepts that Jace is a big boy now, and if he wants to stay, then he can stay.
Clary stares at Jace for a few sentences, and the chapter ends with her thinking that he looks a lot like Valentine. Most people would consider looking like a psychotic, genocidal zealot to be a bad thing, but given who wrote this, it’s hard to tell.
So we see that CC’s tendency to give chapters titles with next to nothing to do with their content continues. Yes, the Inquisitor is discussed, but it’s not as if she’s the major topic of the chapter. I’m not even sure this chapter had a major topic. Part of it’s focused on Jace and Maryse; part of it’s focused on Luke and Maryse; and the first, what, third of it is just filler.
Really, this chapter exists solely to return things to the status quo from the end of the last book – Jace is at the Institute, Clary is still hanging around for some reason, and Valentine is still being vaguely yet ineffectually evil. Which makes pretty much makes all three chapters of this sub-plot
Entirely Pointless: 5
That’s one point per chapter. Almost nothing that has happened in these chapters will be of any importance for the rest of the book, and what did could easily have been incorporated elsewhere.
We’re now at the 15% mark. Chapter one began at the 3% mark. That means that over a tenth of this book could have been cut, and almost nothing would have been lost.
I had hoped to get this out sooner, A) I kept getting distracted by other stuff, and B) there’s just so much here that needed discussing. With the holidays coming up, I doubt I’ll be able to get another one of these done before the new year, but I will try to get back on some kind of schedule with this stuff. I don’t want this one to take over a year to finish, too.
Entirely Pointless: 5 (Total: 18)
Un-Logic: 1 (Total: 15)
You Keep Using That Word: 5 (Total: 20)
Shoddy World Building: 2 (Total: 8)
Rapier Twit: 4 (Total: 13)
Our “Heroes”: 3 (Total: 23)
No Shit Sherlock: 2 (Total: 4)
Both Hands, Ma’am: 2 (Total: 12)
A Word from Our Sponsors: 2