I’m not even going to try to figure out what that could possibly refer to. Every title since chapter ten has been steadily less relevant than the last.
We pick up about two seconds after the end of chapter twelve, with Clary’s reaction to the not-at-all-surprising revelation that her mom had her whammied to not see anything supernatural. To absolutely no one’s surprise, she doesn’t understand why. Because her mom being on the run from her genocidal ex couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it.
Bane explains that he doesn’t ask questions like that, he just does the job, within the entirely arbitrary Shadowhunter laws. Clary gets indignant about the Shadowhunters being okay with “mind-rape,” but promptly forgets about the greater implications of such a thing, instead asking how many times Bane has done this to her.
Bane goes into an exposition dump about the whole situation – Clary’s mom brought her there to get this done, and has had it re-done every two years. Oh, and putting this particular whammie on Clary might have caused brain damage.
Bane was scheduled to give Clary another tune-up, but that just happened to fall on the night that she got into a fight with her mom and ran out with Simon. Remember that guy she sorta saw back in chapter two? That was Bane.
Clary asks what will happen when the spell’s removed, but Bane says he can’t remove it. This naturally pisses off Jace, who starts making threats again. Thankfully, Bane is back in his “don’t give a shit” mode, and utterly shuts him down. Bane explains what should have been obvious once his two-year check-ups were mentioned – the spell’s already wearing off, and in time, it’ll be gone.
No Shit Sherlock: 1
That whole “Clary might have brain damage” thing explains so much.
Clary goes into a whole thing about how she’s always thought there was something wrong with her, but Bane doesn’t feel like putting up with any more of her crap, and tells her that every teenager feels like that. Then he gives a bit of his own history for perspective – his mom hanged herself, and his dad tried to drown him, and Bane accidentally killed him. Gotta say, this is really, really dark. Not to mention really out-of-place.
But while Bane can’t actually remove the spell, he can give Clary a little something to help her out, and pulls out a random book. Jace and Alec get all excited about it, and refer to it as “the Gray book.” Clary points out that the book is green, and Jace gets snarky:
“If there was such a thing as terminal literalism, you’d have died in childhood.”
Rapier Twit: 1
So, why did CC put this in here? Why, to give us another vocabulary lesson. Apparently, “Gray” is short for “Gramarye,” which wikipedia helpfully informs me is just a variant spelling of grimoire.
Weird Word Choice: 1
Whoop-di-do, CC. You can look up a word’s etymology.
But rather than just say this, Jace has to give us a definition and explain what makes the book so special, so we can all be properly impressed with his “knowledge.” Alec, being so infatuated with Jace, is properly impressed, so of course Jace as to snark at him. They continue this until Bane tells them both to shut up, because no one gives a shit, including the reader.
Bane shows Clary a particular rune, and tells her to look at it until something happens in her head. Good luck with that.
She looks at the pretty picture, and something happens, and it is described in a very purple fashion. Clary starts flipping through the book, but Bane stops her before she gets too far. Turns out that if you read too many runes at once, bad things will happen. Even the Almighty Jace admits that he doesn’t have the entirety of the book memorized. Bane isn’t terribly impressed by this.
I like doesn’t-give-a-shit Bane. He’s more fun than buckle-under-pressure Bane.
Unfortunately, Clary still doesn’t remember anything about the MacGuffin Cup, and Bane explains that she’s never known anything about the MacGuffin Cup, or any of the other MacGuffins. Making this whole trip entirely pointless.
Why am I not surprised?
They theorize a bit more about Valentine’s goals, and we find out that Bane was at the last signing of the Accords, and we get a peek into a Downworlder’s perspective.
“I killed a number of your folk.”
“Circle members,” Jace said quickly. “Not ours-”
“If you insist on disavowing that which is ugly about what you do,” said Magnus, still looking at Alec, “you will never learn from your mistakes.”
It’s like the book’s almost sporking itself.
Unlike our heroes, Bane isn’t all that surprised to find out that Valentine is still alive. Jace asks if he’ll help, but Bane says he doesn’t know anything about the MacGuffin Cup, and even if he did, he wouldn’t help them. Alec gets upset about this for… reasons, and points out that if they don’t get the cup back, they can’t make more Shadowhunters (because they just use it so frequently, and all).
And once again, we get to see this from the other side, and it is wonderful:
“Perhaps not everyone regards that as quite the disaster that you do. Mind you,” [Bane] added, “if I had to choose between the Clave and Valentine, I would choose the Clave. At least they’re not actually sworn to wipe out my kind. But nothing the Clave has done has earned my unswerving loyalty either. So no, I’ll sit this one out.”
It’s like CC’s subconscious knows that the Shadowhunters are dicks, but her conscious mind just won’t accept it.
But seriously, if the best reason to keep the your heroes around more or less amounts to them being the lesser of two evils, you might want to re-think your story.
With that, Bane tells them he needs to get back to the party before something bad happens, but Jace and Clary insist on having another little moment, but Bane breaks it up, saying that, *“The only person who gets to canoodle in my bedroom is my magnificent self.”*0
This leads to more of CC’s “comedy,” with Clary going “Canoodle?” CC then ruins the joke by explaining it (side note: even Word recognizes it, so what’s your excuse?), and then drives it into the ground by having Jace say “Magnificent?”
Rapier Twit: 2
CC, Mel Brooks did the same gag. Except when he did it, it was funny.
And yes, Jace, Bane is magnificent. Or at least more magnificent than your punk ass has any hope of being.
Bane finally just tells them to GTFO, and they do. We get another description of the party, and how Clary can now see things even more clearly because shut up, and only now do any of them ask where Isabelle or Simon are. Bane makes a comment about some faeries being bisexual, Jace is a dick in response, and Isabelle finally comes back into the narrative. Unfortunately, she brings with her a stupid sub-plot.
Clary asks where Simon is (oh, don’t pretend you actually give a shit), and Isabelle explains that he’s been turned into a rat. The whole thing gets dragged out for way too long, with Alec becoming a stereotypical older brother, Jace thinking she’s drunk, and Clary being a moron. Isabelle has to explain this little “twist” three fucking times, which is two too many.
This gets dragged out into even more “comedy” as Alec and Jace focus on how Isabelle’s going to get in trouble for this, because Alec’s “pretty sure that turning mundanes into rats is against the Law.”
Weird Word Choice: 2
Nice to know that they might give a damn. Oh, but Jace is there to console Alec, because, “The worst [Isabelle] could be accused of is negligence.”
Rapier Twit: 3
Because this is just so fucking funny, isn’t it? You gotta love how they seem to view being a mundane as some kind of mental deficiency. And by “love,” I mean “hate with all fiery anger of a thousand suns.”
But Clary doesn’t care about the Law, no sir!
Weird Word Chioice: 3
CC, every time you Capitalize a Word, it looks Stupid. To keep myself from Killing a Small Animal, I’m going to pretend they’re all saying “Law” like this.
Clary’s all mad now because “[her] best friend is a rat!”
CC, stop trying to convince me that Clary gives two shits about Simon when she very clearly doesn’t.
But this whole thing is obviously Isabelle’s fault, for Clary hath declared it so, and she is the Author Avatar. She gets mad at Isabelle for going for looking for help, and then calls Isabelle a bitch.
How is it her fault? You three were the ones wasting everyone’s time by stating the blindingly obvious and staring at pictures! And not accomplishing a damn thing to move the plot along!
Clary dives under the bar to find Simon, and actually has to psych herself up to pick him up, and wishes that he’d been turned into a hamster instead.
Yes, cares so much about him, but eww, he’s a rat. Fuck you, Clary.
She manages to get Simon out and starts hugging him, and Jace makes a comment about how that’s probably the closest Simon’s gotten to second base.
Rapier Twit: 4
Well Jace, it’s also a lot closer than you’re ever likely to get without money changing hands. A lot of money.
Clary’s still trying to fake giving a damn about Simon, and tells them to get Bane to fix it. Jace makes a joke about how Simon looks better as a rodent.
Rapier Twit: 5
There’s only two good things that come out of this “joke” – first, Clary finally calls Jace what he is (a bastard), and second, Simon tries to bite said bastard.
Everyone starts jumping on the “Isabelle is a bitch” wagon when Jace tells her to find Bane. Even the narration gets in on it, describing her as “petulant.”
Jace more-or-less gives the same excuse that the narration has been giving about how this whole thing is her fault, but refers to Simon as “the mundane,” which only now gets Clary to wonder why they almost never call him by his name. Except for Isabelle. And yet she’s the one who gets bashed the most. Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Clary really does have brain damage.
Isabelle rightly points out that the only reason Jace is faking concern is to get into Clary’s pants, but Clary gives no shits, and blames Isabelle once again.
“I can’t believe she let you drink that blue drink,” Clary said to rat-Simon. “Now you see what you get for being so shallow.”
Because clearly this is all Isabelle’s fault, because Simon is just so stupid. And you’re one to talk about being shallow, Clary. Pot, meet kettle.
Bane shows back up, takes one look at Simon, and says there’s no point in using a spell to change him back. Jace, being an asshole, is unduly pleased with this pronouncement. Clary, on the other hand, is pissed. Then Bane explains that the transformation will wear off in a few hours, and using another spell to change Simon back would probably do more harm than good.
But Clary insists that Bane should help them, so he pulls out his ultimate trump card – he doesn’t work for free, and Clary can’t afford his services. Clary tries to argue that she can’t just carry a rat around on the subway, but Bane’s had enough of her shit and leaves.
Clary’s upset, Isabelle voices my opinion of the “plots” of the last four chapters, and Alec points out the bleeding obvious: Clary has a backpack, just put Simon in there. And thus the real reason for why Clary had to bring her backpack is revealed – so she’d have a convenient way to carry rat-Simon around. I’d consider this good writing if it weren’t so damn stupid.
That done, we get another yet another wonderful conversation wherein Jace demonstrates that he’s a sociopathic asshole:
[Simon] curled up atop [Clary’s] wallet, looking reproachful. “I’m sorry,” she said miserably.
“Don’t bother,” Jace said. “Why mundanes always insist on taking responsibility for things that aren’t their fault is a mystery to me. You didn’t force that cocktail down his idiotic throat.”
“If it weren’t for me, he wouldn’t have been here at all,” Clary said in a small voice.
“Don’t flatter yourself. He came because of Isabelle.”
God, I hate these two. Of course Jace doesn’t understand why people would feel sorry for things they didn’t do – he doesn’t feel sorry for the things he does, so why should anyone else?
And no, Clary’s not getting off either, because 90% of the time she hasn’t spared a single thought for Simon, so this whole thing feels like her begging to be pitied and told it’s not her fault. Well fuck that – yes, Clary, this is your fault. You’re the reason everyone else came to this party, you’re the reason Simon got involved with these assholes in the first place, and I’d be willing to bet that you’re the reason for most of the problems in Simon’s life, because if it weren’t for you, he’d probably have hooked up with that blonde girl back in chapter three.
Sorry, I just hate it when Sues (or their authors) have to somehow turn everything back around to them.
They start for the door, and they pass by a group of drunk vampires, and yes, their drink of choice was Bloody Marys, with real blood.
Rapier Twit: 6
I don’t care if that was supposed to be a joke or not, it was still stupid.
The vamps are complaining about their bikes, and rightly so, but Bane says they need to be gone by morning. And at this point Bane’s had enough, and promptly decides that the party’s over. Considering all the crap he’s been put through since Jace showed up, I can’t blame him.
They bump into another vampire on the way out who flirts a bit with Clary. This gets Jace pissed, and he tries to shut this guy down, but the vamp is entirely unimpressed. Bane makes a comment about vampires being prima donas (yeah, vampires are the prima donas here), and we find out that his cat’s name is Chairman Meow.
Rapier Twit: 7
CC, that might have been cute when you were in high school, but now it’s a stupid reference that’s going to go right over you’re intended audience’s head like a 747.
We get one last good bit from Bane before things go to hell:
“You on your way out?”
Jace nodded. “Don’t want to overstay our welcome.”
“What welcome?” Magnus asked. “I’d say that it was a pleasure to meet you, but it wasn’t.”
And then CC promptly ruins everything nice about Bane by having him hit on Alec. Who is, let me remind you, about sixteen.
Just before they leave, Bane pulls Clary aside and tells her that her mom didn’t want her getting involved with all this, and if it meant Clary would be safe, she wouldn’t want to be rescued. And, big surprise, that Jocelyn wasn’t on the run from werewolves, or warlocks, or faeries, but from Shadowhunters.
And this would be an interesting bit of information, if CC had actually had the ovaries to follow through and had the Shadowhunters be more morally ambiguous, instead of making them more or less the undisputed good guys, despite all the evidence indicating that they are, at best, the Stalin to Valentine’s Hitler.
One scene break later, and they’re outside.
Random Scene Break: 1
We get a two sentence description of what Jace is doing – leaning against a wall, yet again. For comparison, Alec get’s half a sentence, and Isabelle one and a half. Really demonstrates CC’s priorities.
And the only reason Isabelle get’s a whole sentence to herself is to point out that she’s visibly upset about what’s happened to Simon. Which of course pisses Clary off, because Simon’s her not-boyfriend!
So wait, five minutes ago you were mad at her and saying its all Isabelle’s fault, and now Clary’s mad that she feels bad? Can CC not maintain her self-insert’s motivation for longer than one scene? And really, Clary’s quite clearly just mad that Isabelle’s the center of attention. Want proof? Observe:
Clary was the one who had the right to be carrying on, not the Shadowhunter girl.
Jace once again “unhitches” from the wall and comes over to Clary.
Weird Word Choice: 4
Seriously, does he have a hook on his back or something?
They start heading off. Isabelle is once again the most three-dimensional, and is fishing for some comforting words from her brother. Too bad her brother’s Alec, who is currently tied for second-place with Clary for not caring about Simon (Jace is in first place, if you’re curious), so he can’t be bothered to give a shit. And he apparently finds it odd that his sister actually cares about someone she’s only known for only two days.
I’m starting to wonder if sociopathy is a Shadowhunter cultural trait, with Isabelle and Valentine on opposite ends of the bell curve.
Their conversation somehow segues into whether Alec is attracted to Bane, because CC sucks at transitions.
And apropos of nothing, Clary decides to check her bag. It’s open, and Simon’s gone. Jace takes a look at the bag and notices that the bag was ripped open. Now, I’ve ripped stuff in the past, and it’s not exactly silent. Makes you wonder how Clary missed it happening. Then again, she has apparently suffered brain damage, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.
For some reason, Jace tells Alec and Isabelle to go on without them, rather than telling them what happened. Why does he do this? Well, mostly it’s another contrived excuse to get Clary and Jace alone yet again. We’ll see why in a few chapters.
They head back to Bane’s apartment and buzz his room. Bane does a halfway decent impression of the Wizard of Oz until Jace mentions he’s one of the Shadowhunters. Bane asks if he’s “the one with the blue eyes,” and Clary helpfully clarifies that Bane’s talking about Alec.
No Shit Sherlock: 2
Somehow I find it hard to believe that Jace needs to be told that Alec has blue eyes. Then again, he’s an narcissistic dick, so he might not have noticed. Case in point:
“No. My eyes are usually described as golden,” Jace told the intercom. “And luminous.”
Weird Word Choice: 5
Both Hands, Ma’am: 1
Eyes should be described as “luminous” is if they’re actually glowing. And I personally would view a character with glowing eyes as someone to run from, not swoon over, CC.
Bane’s not happy about them returning, but lets them in anyway. We get a random scene-let concerning Bane’s cat (because that was just so damn important) before Bane has to force the plot-train back on the rails. They tell him that Simon’s missing, Bane calls Simon stupid, which pisses Clary off because only she, Jace, and Alec get to belittle Simon, and Jace gives Simon a backhanded complement:
“It’s true,” Jace agreed. “He just looks dim-witted. Really his intelligence is quite average.”
Rapier Twit: 8
Says the guy who doesn’t know about the Internet. Jace, just because he doesn’t know what you know doesn’t make him stupid. Plus, Simon at least has some initiative. If Clary hadn’t dragged your ass back to her apartment back in chapter six, you would probably would have spent the last two days playing with your knives and jerking off. Probably at the same time.
We explain again how Clary somehow managed to miss a guy tearing open her book bag, and Bane is once again awesome because his initial response is essentially to go “How is this my problem?”
But the plot won’t move unless he cooperates, so they flatter him a bit and he tells them that he saw one of the vampires carrying a rat on his way out.
(Sidebar: For some reason, Bane keeps referring to vampires as “Night’s Children,” and earlier he called werewolves “Moon’s Children.” It’s annoying, because it sounds fucking pretentious and makes me think that they’re just a bunch of Otherkin or something, which is just sad. And pathetic.)
Jace starts pestering Bane to be a good little stool-pigeon and give up the location of the vampires’ lair, but Bane ain’t no rat (that would be Simon rimshot).
Sorry, I had to.
Meanwhile, Clary is busy wondering why a vampire might want to steal her rat. Bane has to spell out to her that they probably believed that she was a Shadowhunter, and thought that Simon was her pet, and that it would be funny to kill him because pets aren’t covered by the Accords.
No Shit Sherlock: 3
So hey, we learned something about the Accords: killing pets does not qualify as a violation. Which doesn’t bode well for Simon, but Bane gives zero fucks.
But the prospect of killing something has been made, so Jace won’t give up on hunting down the vampires, and he continues to pester Bane for their location. It goes about as well as expected.
Then Clary wades in and says that, since Bane messed with her memories, he owes her. Rather than pointing out that he was getting paid to do that, and by Clary’s own mom, Bane caves and gives them the location – the Hotel Dumont. Which for some reason Jace knows the location of.
Sure, fine, whatever.
Clary goes one step further and asks if Bane has a handy portal they can use. Thankfully, he doesn’t; seems that there are only two portals in all of New York (this will be important later), and both of them are too far out of the way for their needs.
Jace imposes one more time before Bane can give them the boot by asking if there’s a holy place nearby. Bane assumes it’s so he can pray, but that’s not it; Shadowhunters use religious sites as weapons caches. Which I can kinda see making sense, if they ever acknowledged the existence of some form of higher power.
Bane tells him there’s a Catholic church nearby, and slams the door on their faces, like he should have done in the first place, which ends this chapter.
It’s kinda hard for me to wrap this one up. I mean, what really happened? Clary looked at a book, acted like a horrible shrew to Isabelle, somehow managed to lose track of her “best friend,” and harangued a gay wizard into telling her where a group of vampires hang out. I just summed up a good twenty-ish pages of text in under forty words.
And the worst part is that everything resulting from Simon being transformed into a rat will have no real bearing on the overall plot. That’s right – this whole incident, which lasts around two and a half chapters and more than forty pages, does nothing to advance the plot of this book, namely stopping Valentine and rescuing Clary’s mom.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Postings might get a little less frequent, as I’m now doing Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’ll try to keep working on this.
Weird Word Choice: 5 (Total 62)
Rapier Twit: 8 (Total 34)
No Shit Sherlock: 3 (Total 24)
Plot Hole: 0 (Total 45)
Random Scene Break: 1 (Total 8)
Both Hands, Ma’am: 1 (Total 8)
Bitch: 7 (Total 14)