Hur, hur. I c wut u did thar.

Rapier Twit: 1

Seriously, that’s a record – a count from the chapter’s title.

The chapter proper begins with our protagonists arriving at the church Bane told them about at the end of the previous chapter. It has a nice fence around it which is, unsurprisingly, locked. A fact that Clary feels the need to point out immediately after the narration mentions the nice big padlock.

No Shit Sherlock: 1

Two counts, and we’re only a paragraph is, folks!

But Jace pulls out his wand and goes to work on the lock, because that’s so much simpler than, I don’t know, hopping the fence like a normal person.

Oh, wait, here’s the reason – it gives Clary/CC another chance to ogle Jace.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 1

Way to kill any sense of urgency, CC.

The lock falls to the ground, and it appears to have been melted. Jace, of course, is unduly proud of this. I’m going to go through this next bit a piece at a time.

The padlock hit the ground with a clang, a twisted lump of metal. Jace looked pleased with himself. “As usual,” he said, “I’m amazingly good at that.”

Jace, it doesn’t count if you destroy the lock in the process of picking it.

Clary felt suddenly annoyed. “When the self-congratulatory part of the evening is over, maybe we could get back to saving my best friend from being exsanguinated to death?”

Really Clary? Not two paragraphs ago you were swooning over the “swell of muscles” under his shirt. Or are you just now starting to realize that Jace is only attractive when he’s not speaking?

“Exsanguinated,” Jace said, impressed. “That’s a big word.”

CC, having your characters point out your thesaurus abuse doesn’t excuse it.

“And you’re a big-”
“Tsk, tsk,” he interrupted. “No swearing in church.”

Well, I’m not in a church, so I’ll just say what we’re all thinking – Jace, you’re a narcissistic dick. Please do the universe a favor and go fuck yourself in the ass with a chainsaw. That’s on fire.

They walk up to the church’s doors, and only now does Clary consider that breaking into a church is morally iffy at best. But only the church itself, it seems, as she’s perfectly alright with breaking into church property.

We get an oddly detailed description of Jace’s hand as he puts it on the door

Both Hand’s, Ma’am: 2

and he gives the Super Secret Shadowhunter Password, and the doors open.

I know they aren’t technically breaking in, but they are still gaining access to the building by means that aren’t, strictly speaking, legal. So, no, just because Jace didn’t melt the lock, I’m still calling it breaking and entering. Congratulations, CC – you’re heroes are felons twice over.

Blah blah, they go inside. It seems Clary’s never been inside a church before, because all her points of reference are from entertainment. CC tries to gain some nerd cred by mentioning that a scene from one of Clary’s favorite animes was in a church, but I won’t bite because CC lacks either the conviction or the knowledge to just say that Clary likes Hellsing.

Too little too late, CC. Clary’s a mono-dimensional self-insert and we all know it.

We then get a conversation covering all that again, minus the anime stuff. Because Clary doesn’t want to look like a nerd or anything in front of Jace.

Jace then proceeds to give a mini-lecture on church architecture. Am I supposed to be impressed by this? And then he starts poking around the alter looking for those weapons they came for. Clary asks if the Shadowhunters have a special deal with the Catholic Church, but Jace says that, since demons are a world-wide threat, Shadowhunters use pretty much any religious site as storehouses for weapons.

This conversation also contains more world building fail on CC’s part. Jace pretty much says that Greek daemons, Persian devas, Hindu asuras, and Japanese oni are all different terms for the same thing. Oh, the problems with this.

First, daemons are more or less nature spirits in Greco-Roman mythology. And they’re actually pretty nice, at least as far as Greco-Roman mythology goes.

Second, devas aren’t Persian, or at least not just Persian. Because they’re also Hindu, where they are, again, nature spirits. And the asuras are spirits of moral/social constructs, like marriage. It’s only later that asuras become evil. Conversely, in Persian/Zoroastrian belief, devas become evil, while the asuras/ahuras are good.

(Full disclosure: all my information about devas and asuras comes from wikipedia, so if anyone knows more about Hindu beliefs regarding them, feel free to correct me. /Ignorant White Guy)

So, yeah. Looks like CC skimmed around a couple mythologies, said “these are bad/evil spirits” and decided to say they’re the same as demons, without bothering to look into the context. Or, in the case of the daemons, picked a word that sounded similar.

Oh, and apart from “daemons,” the other terms are italicized for no reason.

Weird Word Choice: 3

Plot Hole: 3

Also, all these various religions “assist” the Shadowhunters by letting them stash weapons in their places of worship. How they managed to set this up for religions outside of Europe is never gone into.

Plot Hole: 4

So after poking around for fie minutes, Jace finally finds the stash. What’s in there? You’re basic monster hunting kit: holy water, blessed knives (both steel and silver), electrum wire, silver bullets, protective charms, and religious paraphernalia including crosses and Stars of David.

A quick point – why is some of this stuff kept in a hidden alcove? I mean, I haven’t been in many Catholic churches, but don’t they usually have a font near the front door full of holy water? Why not just fill up there? Same for the religious apparel – these things aren’t hard to find, so why keep them in there?

Clary responds to all this stuff with an exclamation of, “Jesus.”

Which Jace makes a joke about.

“I doubt he’d fit.”

Rapier Twit: 2

Dude. Your in a church. Have some decorum.

Clary makes the same point I just did, but Jace brushes it of by saying that, hey, he’s not a believer, so that makes it okay.

Um, no, no it doesn’t. I don’t care that you’re the only ones there, but making that joke is disrespectful to the institution and the religion behind it. I’m not a Muslim, but I wouldn’t make a joke about Mohammed in a mosque, even if it was empty. You know why? BECAUSE I’M NOT A SOCIOPATH!

Clary has a brief moment where she fawns over Jace’s hair (Uh, Clary? Remember Simon? Exsanguination? No?)

Both Hands, Ma’am: 3

and then points out that the existence of demons kind of implies the existence of God/angels, or some similar being, as has been mentioned before. Or at least it would, if this setting’s cosmology wasn’t all fucked up.

And Jace’s argument for being an atheist, or at least an agnostic, pretty reasonable – he’s seen demons, fought them, and even killed them (and yes, he has kept count – over five hundred). But in all that time, he’s never seen an angel, nor has he met anyone who has. Clary points out that, according to Shadowhunter lore, they were created by an angel (never mind the warlock that summoned the angel; he was just a filthy Downworlder, after all), but Jace shrugs that off as a story.

Now, I’ve seen this kind of thing done in other urban fantasies, specifically the Dresden Files series and the TV show Supernatural. In both works, the existence of demons was established, but for a while no one gave any kind of word on whether angels were real in those settings. And both works did eventually establish that angels did in fact exist.

But here’s the critical difference between those series and this one – in both the Dresden Files and Supernatural, the angels tended to be very hands off with regards to our world , or at least more focused on events at a more cosmic level.

Here? One of them literally came down from on high to create these people. It’s part of their lore, their history. It’s only been a thousand years. Was no one keeping records at the time? Or were all the first generation Shadowhunters illiterate peasants?

And it’s not as if Jace provides an alternate explanation for how the Shadowhunters came into being. Does he just assume they randomly popped into existence in the middle of the Low Countries?

On top of all that, it’s implied that holy ground and sacred symbols have some kind of influence over demons/Downworlders. A few chapters ago, you wrecked a vampire’s demonic motorcycle by pouring holy water into the gas tank. Doesn’t all that kind of imply that there’s something behind all this stuff?

Plot Hole: 5

For some random reason, Clary decides to obsess Jace’s lack of religious conviction, but doesn’t bring up any of the points I mentioned above (they’ve completely forgotten about Simon at this point), and Jace gives us some more of his crappy back story.

Turns out his father really gung ho about fighting Downworlders. Jace even gets a bit of Latin right for once, claiming that his father’s motto was “Deus volt” or “God wills it,” just like the Crusaders. But when Papa Wayland got shanked, baby Jace came to the conclusion that either God doesn’t exist, or that He just doesn’t care.

Aw, boo hoo. Your daddy got killed, so you lost all faith in a higher power. How very Hollywood of you. And I hate to break it to you, Jace, but from what we’ve learned about your dad, he was kind of a sick bastard. The whole “Deus volt” thing adds just that hint of religious fanaticism to him to make him really creepy.

Gee, who else have we heard of that has an almost zealous hatred of Downworlders? Ah, never mind. I’m sure it’ll come to me later.

Scene break and they’re on the subway. They haven’t said anything the whole trip, and Clary’s just so worried about Simon. I’d feel more for her if I wasn’t convinced that I could jangle my keys in her face and make her forget about her so-called best friend.

They get off the train and wander around a bit before reaching their destination – the hotel’s all boarded up and abandoned, and someone painted on the sign, changing it from “Dumont” to “Dumort.” And thus we are given our chapter title. At least this time it’s appropriate.

Jace points out the stupid joke, and because CC seems to understand the intelligence of her audience, Clary explains it. Turns out “du mort” is French for “of death.”

No Shit Sherlock: 2

Considering that we’ll soon learn that this is probably a Hispanic neighborhood, that’s just stupid.

Clary starts to point out that the building is condemned, but even she’s not stupid enough to think that vampires would hang out in a normal hotel. Instead, she asks how they get inside. The answer is (derp) that they fly in.

Her brain overtaxed by all this hard work, Clary points out that, hey, they can’t fly. Jace’s explains that they’re going to break in and starts heading around to the back. Well, they’ve already broken into a church tonight, why not a condemned hotel?

Clary starts to get a little hot n’ bothered by Jace’s gung ho attitude, and remembers that he’s got the record for most demon fatalities in his age group. You know, I remember hearing once that insanity might be genetic. That would explain so much here. That and the brain damage.

Jace actually has to explain to Clary to stay out of the light from a nearby hose, what with it being four in the morning and them trying to break into an abandoned building, along with not looking up, because that might alert any vamps watching from the upper levels of the hotel. You know, they’re probably going to figure out what you’re doing anyway, so why bother?

They head down the alley, and Clary notices that there are a lot of small bones in among the typical debris of an alley in New York. It’s a nice detail, and deserving of a better book. One where the main characters are actually interesting. They get to the back, but that’s just as impregnable as the front. Jace points out that any deliveries from when the building was actually a hotel would have been brought to the back, so there has to be a way in. This gets Clary thinking about various places she’s seen getting deliveries on her way to school, and how said places tend to have doors leading below street level for deliveries.

Except there’s a problem with this – all those places have service entrances at the front of the building, not the back. Hence why the service entrances lead underground. Of course, I could be wrong, but it seems a bit pointless to have doors leading down at the back of a building.

But logic has no place in CC land, so Clary shares her supposedly brilliant revelation, and speculates that the vamps might have hidden the service doors under the copious piles of garbage. Jace is hesitant to start moving the dumpster and digging through trash, because then he might get dirty. Oh, he says something about maggots, but that just comes across as him being even more prissy. He starts telling another story about one of the many demons he’s killed, when this happens:

“Don’t.” Clary raised a warning hand. “I’m not really in the mood right now.”
“That’s got to be the first time a girl’s ever said that to me,” Jace mused.
“Stick with me and it won’t be the last.”

Rapier Twit: 4

One for both of them. Jace, it doesn’t count if you paid the girl beforehand, and Clary, you’ve done everything except hump his leg almost from the minute you woke up at the Institute. In short: I hate you both. Please die in a fire.

Because CC needs to pad out her word count some more (God knows why), they start arguing over whether they should tip the dumpster over or try rolling it out of the way. This continues until a random Latino kid stumbles on to them. The kid immediately deduces that they aren’t from that neighborhood. Considering that Jace looks like he should be in advertisements for the Hitler Youth and Clary’s a frikkin’ ginger, I can only assume our Latino friend has at least a functioning brain stem, putting him above most of our cast in terms of intelligence.

Jace admits that they are, while still being prepared to pull a knife or whatever on the kid. Normally, I’d consider this caution bordering on paranoia, but this is Jace we’re talking about. Latino boy tells them the blatantly obvious – they shouldn’t be here, because this place is dangerous. Which Clary decides to explain further.

He means it’s a bad neighborhood.

No Shit Sherlock: 3

Gee, ya think? Did you expect the condemned hotel inhabited by a gang of biker vampires to be in a nice neighborhood?

Clary tries to cover for them, claiming that they’re lost. The Latio Wonder then asks why they were trying to move the dumpster. And it’s at this point that Clary goes “Oh, crap,” because she sucks at making up lies while under pressure. Then why did you lie like ten seconds ago?

Plot Hole: 6

CC, making up character traits on-the-fly only works during the first draft.

Luckily, Jace has absolutely no problems coming up with a story. Unfortunately, his story doesn’t line up with Clary’s. What’s his reason for moving the dumpster? They were looking for a way into the hotel.

You know, I’ve heard that the best lies are the ones with a little bit of truth, but this is just idiotic.

Latino Heat swears in Spanish (guess CC learned something thing from watching Joss Whedon shows), and asks why they’d do something stupid like that.

Jace’s answer? For fun.

The Latino kid tries to convince them to go back to the subway, even offering to lead them there for protection, but Jace is having none of it. And Jace apparently has psychic detective powers, because he’s somehow managed to deduce that our new friend is working for the vampires. The Latino guy tries to play dumb, but Jace doesn’t buy it. They posture at each other for a bit, and we finally get a name for our latest character – Raphael.

I’m tempted to make a Ninja Turtles joke, but I won’t.

Raphael gives us the back story – the vampires have been living in the hotel since before it closed, and the whole neighborhood knows. But they can’t do anything, because no one would believe them.

This would actually be a good setup for a story. Unfortunately, it also makes the Shadowhunters look like they’re either incompetent or lazy. Two chapters ago, Jace said Shadowhunters were willing to condone mind rape as a means of maintaining the Masquerade, but now they can’t be bothered to tell a bunch of vampires to keep things on the down low. The fucking Volturi are better at maintaining secrecy than this. At least they make threats (which they pretty much never follow up on, but still).

Plot Hole: 7

CC just made me praise Stephenie Meyer’s writing. Think about that for a minute.

Jace decides to interrogate Raphael some more. Turns out some of his buddies tried to pull a Lost Boys on the vamps, but didn’t make it out. See what I said about this being a good premise? I’d rather read a book about them than this crap.

Raphael tries to warn them off again, but Clary tells him that Simon’s inside, and Jace whips out his not-lightsaber and says he knows how to kill vampires. Raphael is all impressed, and says that he’s heard about about people like Jace.

Goddammit, why is there even a Masquerade at this point?

Clary spouts off that “all stories are true” line of bullshit, just to piss me off some more. Raphael says he wants to go in with them, but Jace puts the kibosh on that, so Raphael shows them how the guys from earlier got in – a loose grate in the ground.

Jace dives through in a very purple manner,

Both Hands, Ma’am: 4

and Clary soon follows after, with Jace catching her.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 5

They’re in what looks like a basement, and they start poking around a bit, when Raphael drops in on them. Jace gets pissed, but Raphael doesn’t care, and points out that he can’t go back and Jace can’t leave him there. In a surprising show of restraint, Jace admits he can’t, though he is, “thinking about it.”

Personally, I’d prefer to take my chances with the vampires.

Raphael takes the lead, and we get this wonderful comment from Jace:

“I’m really starting to hate mundanes,” he said.

Wait, you mean you didn’t hate them already? Like, you were actually being nice to Simon? Jesus, man, you make pre-near-death experience Belkar Bitterleaf look nice.

Scene break and they’ve explored most of the basement. Seems that the vamps have destroyed most of the staircases, making it difficult for people who can’t fly to move between floors. And Clary can’t seem to grasp this fact.

Seriously, the whole “brain damage” thing is looking more and more plausible by the minute.

They manage to find an intact set of stairs and head up to the main floor. Along the way, Clary stirs up some dust, making her cough. Raphael tells her to keep quiet, because the vampires are close. Clary asks how he knows, and is also offended at being told to be quiet, because how dare someone other than Jace order her around! Look:

[Raphael] wasn’t even supposed to be here. What gave him the right to lecture her about noise?

Bitch: 1

Maybe the fact that you’re the one making the most noise?

Anyway, Raph tells them that he can just sense the vampires, but all Clary feels is cold. I’d say this would have interesting implications, but I know what’s coming.

They reach the lobby, and it’s empty. There’s an exhaustive description of the place, including Clary mentally comparing a broken stairway to the works of René Magritte. Having just looked at some of his works online, I somehow doubt that CC has ever seen any of his work.

First of all, Magritte was a surrealist, not an abstract artist, despite what CC claims here. That took me about ten seconds on wikipedia to find out. And it’s not like surrealist art is really similar to abstract art. CC, you fail. Doubly so, because it makes Clary, who’s supposed to have art be her “thing” look stupid.

The sight of this prompts Clary to just ask what’s up with the stairs. Jace tells her exactly what I said above – they don’t need them, so they tear them apart. Raphael says it’s sort of a way for the vampires to mark the hotel as their territory.

For some reason, Jace asks if Raphael’s ever actually seen a vampire. He gives a pretty standard description of vampires in modern fiction. And Clary, mistress of stating the blindingly obvious, asks where the frikkin’ vampires are. Jace says that, unlike most modern vampires, CC’s vampires are like bats, and sleep high up. The Lost Boys vibes are getting pretty strong. I just hope a half-senile senior citizen ends up driving through the wall in a truck with giant stakes strapped to the hood.

Clary and Raphael both look up at the same time, but since this isn’t a cheap horror film, the vampires don’t immediately drop down on them. Much to my dismay. Clary notices a scar on Raphael’s neck, but doesn’t think anything of it. This will be important very soon, and it will also make Clary look stupid. I mean, more so than she already does.

Clary says she’s feeling a bit exposed standing in the middle of the lobby and opts for going back to the service stairs. Jace agrees, and there’s a sudden scream. Raphael’s disappeared, and Jace and Clary go looking for him.

They find Raphael’s in another large room, but that’s all. Making this whole bit entirely pointless. Jace tells Raph that they’re going back to the stairs to go up to the next floor, and Raph agrees. He takes the lead, and then Jace chucks a knife into Raphael’s chest.

Clary is shocked by this. I would be too, except I actually pay attention to how Jace behaves. See, not everyone buys into Beauty Equals Goodness, CC.

But this isn’t the real world, so it’s quickly revealed that Raphael isn’t what he appears to be, what with him pulling the knife out instead of bleeding out on the floor. Yep, turns out that Raphael is actually a vampire. And since this is crap fiction, he starts talking to Jace rather than, you know, just attacking him.

It seems Jace thought Raph was a vampire from the minute he showed up, only doubting it when Raph didn’t attack them once they were in the hotel, but switched back again when Raph didn’t leave any tracks from the lobby. Plus, there’s the scar on his throat from the crucifix around his neck. Now, one could say this is proof that Jace is a half-way decent detective, but this is Jace we’re talking about, so I’m just going to chalk this up as him being a paranoid psycho.

More random, stupid exposition. We’re just over half-way through the book, and CC is still explaining things. During a supposedly tense scene. Why didn’t Raph just attack them in the ally? Because that would have been a violation of the stupid obscure rules these people follow. But once Jace and Clary were inside the hotel, the vamps were free to kill them. This is an incredibly stupid rule, for obvious reasons – namely, they’re pretty much killing a cop, or a foreign national. Just because they’re “in your territory” doesn’t mean there won’t be reprisals for this.

But CC needed to find a way to force in another action scene, so that’s what we get.

Clary puts together that Raphael was one of the guys who tried to wipe out the vamps. She might take a while, but she gets there eventually.

Raph congratulates them for being so “clever,” but points out that they also forgot one important thing, and tells them to look up. Jace doesn’t take his eyes of Raphael, but tells Clary to look.

Pop quiz, people! What critical piece of information could our heroes have forgotten to account for during this little exposition dump? You have 30 seconds to come up with an answer.

BZZT! Time’s up. If you said that they’re currently standing in a frikkin’ vampire lair, congratulations! You are more intelligent than a Cassandra Clare character. Which isn’t really much of an accomplishment, what with the bar being set so low. Still, it’s higher than 80’s Slasher Movie character.

Yep. Those vampires that were suspiciously absent before? They’re here now. Raphael somehow managed to call them, and they’ve set up a little ambush for our heroes. This would be an impressive accomplishment if our heroes were, say, competent.

Raphael points out that Jace and Clary are outnumbered several dozen times over, but Jace still has to be talked down by Clary. See, she has a plan!

I’d take Private Baldrick over Clary Fray any day of the week.

So, what is her brilliant plan to get them out of this? To take Raphael hostage. We’ll get to the huge gaping flaw in this plan momentarily.

Even Jace thinks this is a dumb idea, but as its the only other option, he decides to go along with it. Jace lifts Raphael up (when did they walk over to him?)

Plot Hole: 8

and holds a knife to his back. Clary tells the vamps to back off, but they laugh at her.

And now we get to the problem with this plan. Well, several actually.

First, Clary is assuming that vampires would care about one of their fellows being threatened. These are soulless, bloodsucking creatures of the night. Somehow I doubt they’d be all that bothered if you kill one of them.

I suppose that’s not entirely true, as it brings us to the second problem: killing a somewhat innocent vampire, especially on their own turf, is a monumentally stupid idea. “Starting a war” level stupid. Even if Raphael isn’t killed, a pair of Shadowhunters have entered their home and threatened one of them for no apparent reason.

Third is the fact that it’s Clary and Jace behind this. The former is a sixteen-year-old wisp of a girl who couldn’t intimidate a kitten. The latter is a borderline sociopathic man-child with daddy issues. Larry, Moe, and Curly have better chances of pulling this off.

But Clary is the author’s self-insert Sue, so of course one of the vamps recognizes them from the party and tells the others that Clary and Jace are Shadowhunters, so they’ll totally do it, guys.

We get a description of one of the vampires (Asian girl), followed by this:

Clary wondered if there were any ugly vampires, or any fat ones. Maybe they didn’t make vampires out of ugly people. Or maybe ugly people didn’t want to live forever.

I need a minute.

Okay, CC? In all seriousness, that is one of the most horrible, insensitive, and shallow things I have ever read. That is Twilight-level shallow. “Maybe ugly people didn’t want to live forever”? Really? That is most definitely not okay. It is not funny in any way, shape, or form. It is offensive, and shows a profound lack of basic human empathy.

Now, in a certain context, said by a certain character, saying something like that could be a little funny. But this is your self-insert thinking this. Which tells me that you might have thought, or even believe this. And because of that, I now have reason to suspect that you are truly a horrible, horrible person. I’ve certainly made jokes at your expense, but those are directed at you as an author. You might be a bad author, while still being a nice person, and vice versa. But This? This has me wondering about you as a person.

This woman has published nine novels, people, with more on the way. People actually purchase her books and enjoy them.

I’m going to need another minute.

Alright. Well, if nothing else, we now have a prime example of Sturgeon’s Revelation in action.

So, back to this so-called plot. The vamp from before that… digression points out that Clary and Jace are on their territory, so by the idiotic rules this society operates on, they’re free game. Plus, Shadowhunters have killed plenty of vampires, so turnabout is fair play.

But this is logical, and logic has no place in Clare-land. Jace asks to see their leader. The smart vampire tries to point out that Jace doesn’t have a leg to stand on, but gets shot down by the one from the party. Turns out that the head vampire is off in Shadowhunter Land. Jace asks to see the second in command.

And irony of ironies, Raphael is the second in command.

Of course he is. If he wasn’t, then this moronic plan wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of working.

Clary offers a trade – Raphael for Simon. They’re a bit surprised to find out that Simon was turned into a rat, but it turns out that one of the vamps mistook Simon for one of their buddies. Also, Simon bit the vampire several times. Go Simon. And said vampire is entirely willing to just give Simon back, no muss, no fuss.

Stated like that it almost makes this whole series of events seem stupid and pointless.

But smart vamp stops the exchange, pointing out that there’s nothing to stop Jace from killing Raphael once Clary has Simon. She seems to be the only smart one. Why isn’t she in charge?

Clary says that they’ll promise not to hurt Raphael, but Lily (the smart vampire) wants them to super-duper-pinky swear. Jace is hesitant. Observe:

“Swearing for us isn’t like it is for you mundanes,” he snapped back angrily. “I’ll be bound forever to any oath I make.”
“Oh, yeah? What would happen if you broke it?”
“I wouldn’t break it, that’s the point-”

Okay, first? Could you please decide whether Clary is a mundane or not?

More importantly, why is this such a big deal? Yes, in Harry Potter, there was the Unbreakable Vow. Except that has very clear and explained consequences for breaking it – namely, death.

Another example: in the Dresden Files universe, wizards and other supernatural beings will sometimes swear on or by their power. The meaning here is that, if they violate that promise, they will no longer be able to use their abilities.

Here? There’s certainly similar implications, but it just looks like an honor thing.

Whatever. The vamps push for Clary and Jace to swear not to hurt Raphael, and Clary says she swears. But Lily, again proving that she’s the only one in the room with a functioning brain, wants them to do it properly.

Jace, being an idiot, tells the vampires to go first. There’s some back and forth to CC can pad out her word count a bit more, and the vamps defer to Raphael. Having not been lobotomized, he agrees with Lily.

Jace moves to stab his hostage (wonderful negotiating skills there), and we get a description of his muscles moving under his shirt.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 6

CC, just get a frikkin’ vibrator. Hell, glue a picture of Tom Felton on it if makes you happy.

Jace points out that Simon is just a mundane, threatening them with the full force of the Law

but Raphael counters that Simon technically trespassed on their territory. Yes, it’s a technicality, but who gives a shit. And then he starts monologing again.

Seems someone pointed out to CC that the whole plot with Valentine seems to have dropped off the radar, so Raphael gets to cram that back in. Yes, the Downworlders know that Valentine is back, and that he’s going to tear down the whole moronic system. He’s the one behind the gatorpede at Clary’s apartment, and the not-Hulk. And Raphael is just so damn giddy about the whole thing.

Plot Hole: 9

So, did CC totally forgot that not!Voldemort planned to kill all the Downworlders? Because this would make sense if, say, Valentine were trying to lead them in an uprising or something. As is, this just makes no damn sense.

Also, this is tremendously bad writing. The audience has probably already figured out that Valentine was behind all of that stuff, so having some random mook explain all of it is just dumb.

But I guess actually having the heroes have to do actual work is just too boring, so we’ll just have the whole thing explained to them. That way CC can get back to the important stuff, like talking about Jace’s fingers or something.

Clary grabs Simon, but since CC has decided that she’s now a distressed damsel, she get’s mobbed. Jace, of course, leaps to her rescue.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 7

Just on principle.

Raphael almost manages to get the drop on Jace, but Simon proves that he’s a hundred times more heroic than Jace by leaping onto Raph and biting the vampire in the arm.

Based on that alone, I’m not entirely certain that he needed to be rescued in the first place.

Simon gets thrown off Raph’s arm but gets back to Clary, and they make a run for it. Or at least try to. They’re completely surrounded, so they’re pretty much screwed. Clary asks if they should stand back-to-back. Jace, possibly realizing that Clary’s about as useful as a screen-door on a submarine, says no, and asks why they would do that. Clary says that that’s what they do in movies when this sort of thing happens.

Rapier Twit: 5

That one’s for CC. This is really not the time for more of your Bad Comedy.

But since Clary referred to what’s going on as a “situation,” Jace comes back with this little gem:

“This isn’t a situation, okay? I save that for when things get bad.”

CC, this doesn’t make Jace look brave or skilled, it makes him look deluded. At this point, he and Clary are almost certainly going to die. You could generously call it “bad.” More accurately, you could call it “a clusterfuck.”

But authorial intervention once again rears its ugly head, because right as the vampires are about to attack and put both the characters and me out of our misery, the werewolves show up, ending the chapter. But first, we get this:

“Now this,” said Jace, “is a situation.”

Rapier Twit: 6

Ha. Fucking. Ha.

This whole damn chapter demonstrates more of the fanfic-ness of this book. The piss poor worldbuilding, the paragraphs of padding, the lazy writing, the bad, forced comedy, and topped off with a deus ex machina.

You know what I would have preferred? Clary and Jace go to the vampires’ lair, knock on the front door, and very nicely ask for Simon back. It might not have been very exciting, but it would have shown that Downworlders and Shadowhunters can in fact be civil to one another. Yes, there’s still tension between them, but they don’t have to be at each others’ throats all the time.

Speaking of, how exactly did the Shadowhunters manage to do any negotiating with the vampires in the first place if the vampires can kill anyone who enters their territory? And why would that kind of thing be allowed in the first place?

Yeah, CC (and many other writers, for that matter) could really have benefited from having a friend tell her when her ideas are stupid and don’t make sense.

On the upside, we have almost definitive proof that Simon is Too Awesome for this series. It’s hard to top attacking a vampire after you’ve been turned into a rat, but he still manages. And yet he still does. We’ll get to that later, though.

And as for… that line, I’m going to move on. However, I will add that to my ammunition to be used against anyone praising this series. Hopefully only as a Nuclear Option, though.

Well, July is over, so I can now turn to other projects, like this sporking. Things will hopefully get back on track. See you guys next time!

Counts:

Weird Word Choice: 3 (Total 65)
Rapier Twit: 6 (Total 39)
No Shit Sherlock: 3 (Total 27)
Plot Hole: 9 (Total 54)
Random Scene Break: 0 (Total 7)
Both Hands, Ma’am: 7 (Total 15)
Bitch: 1 (Total 15)

Tagged as: ,

Comment

  1. Asahel on 4 August 2013, 13:39 said:

    CC tries to gain some nerd cred by mentioning that a scene from one of Clary’s favorite animes was in a church, but I won’t bite because CC lacks either the conviction or the knowledge to just say that Clary likes Hellsing.

    Well, a scene from one of my favorite animes was also in a church, but it was Cowboy Bebop. Man, that was an awesome scene.

    I agree, though, that it’s odd that she wouldn’t specify. As you said, probably either lack of conviction or knowledge.

  2. Apep on 4 August 2013, 14:18 said:

    I’m tempted to go with the former, as she also mentions a vampire priest, implying that CC has either seen or at least heard of Hellsing. But we can’t go mentioning that sort of thing by name, because that would make her a nerd.

    Never mind that Simon is a nerd and way, waaay cooler than Clary could ever hope to be. Really, he’s doing her a favor by hanging out with her.

  3. Juracan on 4 August 2013, 16:07 said:

    This conversation also contains more world building fail on CC’s part. Jace pretty much says that Greek daemons, Persian devas, Hindu asuras, and Japanese oni are all different terms for the same thing. Oh, the problems with this.

    I think I’d have no issue (or at least less of one) if it was explained that these were different types, species or races within a certain class of creature, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that they’re all the same.

    A quick point – why is some of this stuff kept in a hidden alcove? I mean, I haven’t been in many Catholic churches, but don’t they usually have a font near the front door full of holy water? Why not just fill up there? Same for the religious apparel – these things aren’t hard to find, so why keep them in there?

    There’s at least a little thing to dip your fingers in. A lot of churches do have a font to gather for filling vials and the like; some churches have this a bit harder to find. But yes, generally they’re not hidden, and if you have access to a Catholic church you should know where those generally are.

    But why are there crosses AND Stars of David? Wouldn’t a sufficient amount of one or the other work? And would either of those work if the person isn’t religious in either of those faiths?

    Raphael tries to warn them off again, but Clary tells him that Simon’s inside, and Jace whips out his not-lightsaber and says he knows how to kill vampires. Raphael is all impressed, and says that he’s heard about about people like Jace.

    …is killing a vampire really that difficult of a concept? I mean, yes, it’d be more difficult, but I imagine that decapitation would work, which I’ve figured is a pretty good fallback plan when dealing with supernatural creatures…

    Jace says that, unlike most modern vampires, CC’s vampires are like bats, and sleep high up.

    I don’t know how original this is, but this is interesting. If CC had made her vampires explicitly very bat-like, along with the fact that Raphael is Hispanic, this could have been a really interesting idea tying vampires to vampire bats and Central and South America.

  4. Asahel on 4 August 2013, 20:59 said:

    I just thought of another reason for CC not to reference Hellsing by name. Remember what Mike Nelson said about the clip of Casablanca shown during Overdrawn at the Memory Bank: “Never show a good movie in the middle of your crappy movie.” Same principle applies.

    Also:

    Clary spouts off that “all stories are true” line

    I presume a Japanese spirit with an eyeball in its anus shows up at some point? I mean, after all, if all the stories are true…

  5. swenson on 5 August 2013, 08:19 said:

    along with not looking up

    …how would looking up attract attention? If someone’s going to notice you breaking into an abandoned building, they’re going to notice it no matter which way your pretty nose is pointing.

    Clary wondered if there were any ugly vampires, or any fat ones. Maybe they didn’t make vampires out of ugly people. Or maybe ugly people didn’t want to live forever.

    As I said on the forums, the first half sounds like something I’d sarcastically say to my sister. “Guess ugly people’s blood doesn’t taste good” or something, if all vampires were oddly beautiful. The second half takes it from slightly funny to bizarrely unfunny. Do people even choose to be vampires in this setting? Hasn’t seemed like it so far.

    I would complain about the plotholes, but you’ve done a splendid job of it already, so it will suffice to say boy the stupid is strong with this one.

  6. Maria on 5 August 2013, 16:32 said:

    I guess she didn’t name a specific anime because she didn’t want it to get dated after some time. It’s kind of like when you read some novels that try to add a lot of details, and they end up sounding dated because they refer to pop cultural things that were big at the time but faded from most people’s minds years later?

  7. Apep on 5 August 2013, 17:26 said:

    I think I’d have no issue (or at least less of one) if it was explained that these were different types, species or races within a certain class of creature, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that they’re all the same.

    If “demon” were used as a catch-all term, I’d be fine with it. From the variety we’ve seen so, it would even make sense. Except that would also require them to have different strengths and weaknesses, which they don’t.

    And would either of those work if the person isn’t religious in either of those faiths?

    If the rules for this setting made sense, I’d say no, but that would require the rules to make sense.

    …is killing a vampire really that difficult of a concept?

    Just think of it as CC trying to make Jace look more like a badass. She keeps trying. One of these days it might even work. Or not.

    I don’t know how original this is, but this is interesting. If CC had made her vampires explicitly very bat-like, along with the fact that Raphael is Hispanic, this could have been a really interesting idea tying vampires to vampire bats and Central and South America.

    It is an interesting idea. And like most interesting ideas, CC does absolutely nothing with it. The only reason I can see to Raphael being Hispanic is because he’s from a Hispanic neighborhood. The vampires are pretty racially diverse – Raphael’s Hispanic, Lily is Asian, the guy holding Simon is black, and there’s at least one white guy. They’re very inclusive, unlike the Shadowhunters.

    I just thought of another reason for CC not to reference Hellsing by name. Remember what Mike Nelson said about the clip of Casablanca shown during Overdrawn at the Memory Bank: “Never show a good movie in the middle of your crappy movie.” Same principle applies.

    Good point.

    I presume a Japanese spirit with an eyeball in its anus shows up at some point? I mean, after all, if all the stories are true…

    That’d be cool, but given that CC’s idea of “all stories” seems to mean “all the stories that she likes,” I doubt it.

    As I said on the forums, the first half sounds like something I’d sarcastically say to my sister. “Guess ugly people’s blood doesn’t taste good” or something, if all vampires were oddly beautiful. The second half takes it from slightly funny to bizarrely unfunny.

    Pretty much. If it weren’t for that last sentence, it would just be another stupid CC joke.

    I would complain about the plotholes, but you’ve done a splendid job of it already, so it will suffice to say boy the stupid is strong with this one.

    Thank you!

    I guess she didn’t name a specific anime because she didn’t want it to get dated after some time. It’s kind of like when you read some novels that try to add a lot of details, and they end up sounding dated because they refer to pop cultural things that were big at the time but faded from most people’s minds years later?

    Maybe, but she included enough details to specify that she’s talking about Hellsing, rather than some random anime. And in the next book, she name-drops some anime and manga, and she name-dropped Shonen Jump back in chapter 3, so I can’t help but wonder if CC was just afraid of alienating some of her audience by having Clary be too nerdy.

  8. Pryotra on 5 August 2013, 17:55 said:

    Does he just assume they randomly popped into existence in the middle of the Low Countries?

    Spite fic~

    “So…exactly why are you guys the magic police?” Clary said. She had folded her arms.

    Jace was surprised at the statement. Everything seemed to have been going so well up until that point. He’d been hoping for some action eventually even. After he saved her stupid little Mundie friend, which was completely annoying and pointless.

    “Obviously, we’re more stylish than they are,” Jace said, smirking at her.

    But this time, she didn’t smile, and the look of awe that he was starting to enjoy on her face (it was a good thing she wasn’t a Mundie, he might have had to start wondering if he was some kind of deviant like Alec) didn’t show up. She looked at him coldly.

    “So, you have no right to go about demanding that these people follow your laws, feeling superior to them and not even bothering to lift a finger when one of the people who you’re supposed to be protecting goes missing. After all, there was no angel. Shadowhunters just popped out from the ground like daisies. They must be superior to everyone and everything,” Clary said, she had stepped forwards, and it seemed to Jace that for a moment there was more red in her hair than before.

    “Oh, come on, Clary. It’s good for them to be knocked down a peg or two. They get uppity without someone to remind them whose boss. Are you really that upset that I don’t happen to have the safe little beliefs that you were raised with. I happened to see just how worthless they were. My father-” Jace’s voice broke. “He believed, and they killed him. He believed everything was God’s will!”

    Clary made an indifferent noise, and for the first time, Jace was honestly confused. Usually, when he told girls about his father, they tended to do that he wanted them to. He didn’t really get it, only that they were spoiled and any real parenting seemed like abuse to them or something.

    “So…you’re basically saying that… Might makes right, right?” Clary asked, and suddenly, she was grinning, and suddenly Jace noticed something strange about her shadow.

    It looked like it had tails.

    But that made no sense. No demon like that existed, and that was outside of the powers of the faeries. It must be a trick of the light. But then, he noticed something. The statues that had been in the sanctuary had moved. They were suddenly very close around him. Jace’s Shadowhunter instincts, better than any mere Mundie’s kicked in, and he kicked out at one of the obvious illusions, his stele glowing as he drew the rune to dispel it.

    The statue of St. Michael’s hands closed on his leg and yanked him to it, holding him fast.

    “What?” Jace gasped.

    He turned around to see Clary watching and smiling. Only it wasn’t Clary anymore. Clary didn’t have seven fox tails that waved and twitched as she laughed.

    “You’re right you know,” ‘Clary’ said, smiling as she walked up. “Sometimes, it’s just good for ‘uppity’ people to be knocked down a bit. To remind them of their place. Of a very small human in a very big world.”

    Jace jerked awake, jumped to his feet and took out his stele, but there was no one there. He was sitting outside the church, but Clary and the statues were completely gone.

    “W-wha-” he started.

    “Jace!” he heard someone calling and sighed in a mix of relief and exasperation when he saw Clary running up to him. Stupid girl. He was going to have to teach her how to overcome her Mundie upbringing if she was going to be one of them.

    Or maybe he could get Alec to do it…

    “Jace what were you thinking running off like that you-” Isabelle started, but stopped and started to giggle.

    Alec also stopped, but he was looking in horror, along with Clary.

    Jace scowled at her.

    “And what do you find so amusing?” he said.

    “Your head,” Isabelle said between giggles.

    Raising one hand to his head, Jace’s scowl suddenly turned into a look of horror and he screamed.

    He was bald.

    That felt so good. I’m tired now though, so I think I’ll finish my comments later.

  9. Maria on 5 August 2013, 20:50 said:

    Maybe, but she included enough details to specify that she’s talking about Hellsing, rather than some random anime. And in the next book, she name-drops some anime and manga, and she name-dropped Shonen Jump back in chapter 3, so I can’t help but wonder if CC was just afraid of alienating some of her audience by having Clary be too nerdy.

    Oh, that’s a good point. I forget about those other references.

    It is an interesting dynamic though — this is an urban fantasy book about vampires, demons, and sorcerers. It doesn’t really have a lot of room to look down on fantasy anime like Hellsing or many of the YA anime featured in Shonen Jump since it’s the same genre and similar tropes, just a different medium. If people think that those other works are too nerdy to enjoy, they probably wouldn’t be reading Cassandra Clare’s books or her fanfiction in the first place, right?

    It would be like finding out that football fans look down on basketball fans as unsophisticated goons, or finding out that fans of “Supernatural” think that shows about angels and demons are stupid.

  10. Potatoman on 6 August 2013, 04:29 said:

    Turns out “du mort” is French for “of death.”

    Wait… Hotel Dumort… of death… HOTEL OF DEATH?! How melodramatic does this book need to get? No substance at all, and Jace is a dick. Are we supposed to like this guy? REALLY?!

    Jace, you’re a narcissistic dick. Please do the universe a favor and go fuck yourself in the ass with a chainsaw. That’s on fire.

    I read this yesterday and I’m still struggling to contain my laughter. I’m surprised that this is a bestselling novel. Well, at least it seems to make my stupid attempts at novel writing seem a tad better.

  11. merlitaru on 6 August 2013, 13:28 said:

    Am I the only one who looked at Dumort and instantly thought Voldemort? No? Just me? I also really want to punch Jase, hard. Seriously, if this book wasn’t so stupid, he’d be more of antagonist. At least Simon is something to look forward to in these sporks.

  12. Aikaterini on 6 August 2013, 15:09 said:

    Jace pretty much says that Greek daemons, Persian devas, Hindu asuras, and Japanese oni are all different terms for the same thing.

    I notice that Claire does a lot of this type of generalizing in this book. When Clary tells Jace, “I’m sorry” to console him, he snipes back, “I don’t understand why mundanes always apologize for things that aren’t their fault.” Later, Valentine says, “I had forgotten how incredibly lax mundane education is.”

    American mundanes? American mundane education? Nope, just mundanes. Because we all know that “mundane culture” is just one big monolith of the exact same language, customs, educational practices, religions, mythologies, etc. Never mind that some languages have the phrase for “I’m sorry” translate into something else (ex. “I feel sad”). Never mind that countries have their own different educational standards and systems. Never mind that different religions have their own separate concepts and values. Nope, according to Jace and Valentine, human culture is exactly the same in every way.

    So, not only does this assumption on Jace’s part make him look incredibly ignorant, arrogant, and offensive, it makes him look incredibly STUPID.

    Jace brushes it of by saying that, hey, he’s not a believer, so that makes it okay.

    What an arrogant tool. Earth to Jace, when I travel to another country or attend a religious site to whose faith I don’t belong, I make sure to follow their rules and etiquette, even though I’m not a native or worshipper. It’s called basic courtesy, a concept which is clearly alien to you.

    CC just made me praise Stephenie Meyer’s writing.

    Did you know that Meyer is reportedly a fan of this series?

    “I’m really starting to hate mundanes,” he said.

    Even though, as we’ll see, Raphael is NOT mundane. And yet Jace will never be called out for this stupid, bigoted, and downright WRONG comment.

    It seems Jace thought Raph was a vampire from the minute he showed up

    So, what was with the stupid “I’m really starting to hate mundanes” comment? Did Claire just forget what she had written barely a page ago?

    In all seriousness, that is one of the most horrible, insensitive, and shallow things I have ever read. That is Twilight-level shallow.

    No wonder Meyer likes these books. No, Claire doesn’t get to play this line for laughs when every single “good” character in her books is extremely good-looking and their looks are outlined and glorified every five minutes.

    Could you please decide whether Clary is a mundane or not?

    You know what, I’ve concluded that Jace is just so racist that he’ll forget whether or not people are mundane just so that he can bait them. It’s like anti-Semites who call people that they don’t like “Jew,” regardless of whether or not those people are actually Jewish. Jace knows that Clary and Raphael are not mundanes, but he’ll call them mundane anyway and sneer at them because he’s a racist pile of filth.

    Simon proves that he’s a hundred times more heroic than Jace by leaping onto Raph and biting the vampire in the arm.

    While he was a RAT. Proving that he’s a hundred times more heroic than Clary, our supposed protagonist.

    CC, this doesn’t make Jace look brave or skilled, it makes him look deluded.

    And it deflates the tension of the scene. Why should the readers care if Jace is in danger if he doesn’t?

    @Pryotra: Thanks so much for the spitefic!

  13. swenson on 6 August 2013, 17:17 said:

    Did Claire just forget what she had written barely a page ago?

    I think we all know the answer to this question.

  14. Asahel on 6 August 2013, 18:19 said:

    Never mind that some languages have the phrase for “I’m sorry” translate into something else (ex. “I feel sad”).

    I’d also add that, even in English, the phrase “I’m sorry” has more than one sense. Sometimes it’s used in the sense of “I regret the outcome of this thing I’m responsible for.” Even more often it’s used in the sense of, “I feel sympathy for your situation.” Somehow, it’s become “hip” or whatever to only interpret it in the first sense and then mock people who use it for the sense (thus the stupid, “Why are you apologizing? You didn’t do anything!” type of retorts).

  15. Pryotra on 6 August 2013, 18:35 said:

    Jace pretty much says that Greek daemons, Persian devas, Hindu asuras, and Japanese oni are all different terms for the same thing.

    No, they’re really not. You’re pretty much right with devas and asuras, and oni…well…it would be more accurate to call the ogres. The word closest to demon in our sense of the word would be Akuma. Wrong again, Clare. That’s what you get for not bothering to research.

    On top of all that, it’s implied that holy ground and sacred symbols have some kind of influence over demons/Downworlders. A few chapters ago, you wrecked a vampire’s demonic motorcycle by pouring holy water into the gas tank. Doesn’t all that kind of imply that there’s something behind all this stuff?

    Do not bring logic into this. Jace’s good looks should have made your brain melt already.

    But when Papa Wayland got shanked, baby Jace came to the conclusion that either God doesn’t exist, or that He just doesn’t care.

    Personally, I’d take this as evidence of a higher power, but that’s just me. Honestly, I’ve always hated this motivation for atheism in fiction. It tends to ring hollow and start sounding like they’re whining. And also…it’s been…what six or so years since Daddy got his comeuppance? Really, I don’t think that Jace would be in the denial stage anymore. It would be more realistic that he uses it to make people feel sorry for him.

    Raphael almost manages to get the drop on Jace, but Simon proves that he’s a hundred times more heroic than Jace by leaping onto Raph and biting the vampire in the arm.

    He really should have been the main character. He’s already done to prove his worth than Clary.

    I presume a Japanese spirit with an eyeball in its anus shows up at some point?

    Nope, when she talks about all myths, she’s really just saying movie vampires, movie werewolves, her version of fairies and her version of demons. Nothing actually from mythology or folklore.

    I guess she didn’t name a specific anime because she didn’t want it to get dated after some time. It’s kind of like when you read some novels that try to add a lot of details, and they end up sounding dated because they refer to pop cultural things that were big at the time but faded from most people’s minds years later?

    Hn, she already dated her work a few times. Besides Helsing is a classic. It’s not like she’s referencing Legend of the Legendary Heroes or anything that actually obscure. I’m more with the fact that she wants Clary to be kind of nerdy, but not too nerdy as to make some of her fanbase not think she was cool. Or something.

    @Pryotra: Thanks so much for the spitefic!

    You’re quiet welcome. It was really fun to write about him facing something that isn’t a part of this stupid little world view, but totally a part of folklore.

  16. Maria on 6 August 2013, 20:58 said:

    He really should have been the main character. He’s already done to prove his worth than Clary.

    Heh, based on his description from the first chapter he’s basically Harry Potter. If that’s true, he’s probably being so aggressive because he’s trying to move the plot along.

  17. Apep on 6 August 2013, 21:42 said:

    How melodramatic does this book need to get?

    I’m not sure if it’s melodrama or just bad comedy.

    I read this yesterday and I’m still struggling to contain my laughter.

    I’m glad to know that I’ve entertained you.

    At least Simon is something to look forward to in these sporks.

    Unfortunately, now that he’s human again, he’s forced to moon over Clary some more. He does get one more moment of awesome, though.

    Did you know that Meyer is reportedly a fan of this series?

    I’m not surprised at all. At. All.

    Jace knows that Clary and Raphael are not mundanes, but he’ll call them mundane anyway and sneer at them because he’s a racist pile of filth.

    You might be on to something there…

    While he was a RAT. Proving that he’s a hundred times more heroic than Clary, our supposed protagonist.

    Which just makes it even better. Seriously, Simon should have just been given his own series.

    And it deflates the tension of the scene. Why should the readers care if Jace is in danger if he doesn’t?

    The next chapter is even worse.

    No, they’re really not.

    You know that, I know that, anyone willing to do basic research knows that. Unfortunately, that does not include writers like CC.

    It would be more realistic that he uses it to make people feel sorry for him.

    That wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    I’m more with the fact that she wants Clary to be kind of nerdy, but not too nerdy as to make some of her fanbase not think she was cool.

    Considering that she only seems to have one friend (Simon), I find that really hard to buy.

  18. swenson on 6 August 2013, 22:41 said:

    Honestly, I’ve always hated this motivation for atheism in fiction.

    Me too. I have no doubt that some people in the real world have turned to atheism after suffering a deep personal loss, but I find unbelievable that so many fictional characters have done so. Plenty of people suffer terrible loss and end up clinging to their faith instead, you know—but where are these types in fiction?

    Actually, where are religious types in fiction at all? I’m not asking for preaching here, just a few depictions of devoutly religious people who are perfectly fine and lovely individuals, not secretly evil, idiots, sadly out of date, etc. And I don’t mean someone who follows some sort of vaguely paganistic/Wiccan/earth mother Rent-A-Religion because it’s Cool. But that’s a whole ‘nother rant.

  19. Maria on 7 August 2013, 00:28 said:

    Actually, where are religious types in fiction at all? I’m not asking for preaching here, just a few depictions of devoutly religious people who are perfectly fine and lovely individuals, not secretly evil, idiots, sadly out of date, etc. And I don’t mean someone who follows some sort of vaguely paganistic/Wiccan/earth mother Rent-A-Religion because it’s Cool. But that’s a whole ‘nother rant.

    I feel like this is a trope that is specifically native to YA fantasy and urban fantasy novels.

    As far as the, “I’m an atheist because bad things happened to me,”… it’s not quite as offensive as saying, “I’m gay because I was sexually abused,” but it’s still pretty bad. It kind of implies a dog psychology approach to religious faith; if X happens, you become an atheist; if it doesn’t, you’re religious. It gets kind of weak though as Apep notes that the origin story of the Shadowhunters involves the angel Raziel, and it turns out that magic users can actually summon and enslave angels in the sequels — it’s kind of like if Sam and Dean Winchester in season 8 absolutely refused to believe in the existence of angels. It’s not like these creatures haven’t been featured yet — they appear regularly in the series. Jace never put any thought into that?

  20. Juracan on 7 August 2013, 11:59 said:

    Actually, where are religious types in fiction at all? I’m not asking for preaching here, just a few depictions of devoutly religious people who are perfectly fine and lovely individuals, not secretly evil, idiots, sadly out of date, etc. And I don’t mean someone who follows some sort of vaguely paganistic/Wiccan/earth mother Rent-A-Religion because it’s Cool. But that’s a whole ‘nother rant.

    coughMichaelCarpentercough

    It gets kind of weak though as Apep notes that the origin story of the Shadowhunters involves the angel Raziel, and it turns out that magic users can actually summon and enslave angels in the sequels — it’s kind of like if Sam and Dean Winchester in season 8 absolutely refused to believe in the existence of angels. It’s not like these creatures haven’t been featured yet — they appear regularly in the series. Jace never put any thought into that?

    Truth be told, though, the first couple seasons of Supernatural had Dean saying he didn’t believe in God despite fighting demons with holy water and Catholic exorcisms that called on the name of God. His excuse was along the lines of, “Bad things happen to good people, so therefore God can’t be real.” Granted, some excuse was given outside of the show, but it would have been nice if there had been more added to it.

    That being said.. is God ever mentioned in this series? I know angels are, but are Heaven, the afterlife, or the Creator discussed at all?

  21. Apep on 7 August 2013, 12:38 said:

    coughMichaelCarpentercough

    That would have been my first recommendation (seriously, Dresden Files is so awesome). Also, Galahad from Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord trilogy is also pretty good. Then again, most Christians in those books aren’t shown in a very positive light. But that’s hardly surprising given Cornwell’s childhood.

    That being said.. is God ever mentioned in this series? I know angels are, but are Heaven, the afterlife, or the Creator discussed at all?

    Not to my knowledge, but I’ve only read to about half-way through the second book. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, though. On the one hand, it’s a huge elephant in the room. On the other, finding out that the Shadowhunters are divinely sanctioned would give anyone a crisis of faith.

  22. Rachel on 7 August 2013, 13:30 said:

    On the other, finding out that the Shadowhunters are divinely sanctioned would give anyone a crisis of faith.

    You know what would actually be a nice twist? Finding out that Raziel wasn’t really an angel at all, but a demon disguised as an angel. I mean, Lucifer used to be the angel of light, right? So it would make sense that his demons could disguise themselves in their previous angelic forms to better deceive and control humanity. Plus, demon!Raziel would mean that the Shadowhunters are not divinely sanctioned at all, but actually human emissaries of Satan who truly believe they are working toward the greater good.

  23. Pryotra on 7 August 2013, 13:55 said:

    That being said.. is God ever mentioned in this series? I know angels are, but are Heaven, the afterlife, or the Creator discussed at all?

    Yes, He is. Raziel mentions him specifically in City of Glass. This doesn’t lead to any real discussion or consideration in the book. Though I’m not sure if she manages to be smart to take the opportunity for character development in the next trilogy. I doubt it.

    That would have been my first recommendation (seriously, Dresden Files is so awesome)

    Seriously. That entire series is made of awesome.

    As far as YA goes, I can’t really think of any that aren’t either evil or stupid. It’s funny, but a lot of the newer urban fantasy seem to be able to show Christians as being a religion and not evidence of membership to the Club of Evil.

  24. swenson on 7 August 2013, 17:06 said:

    I was going to mention Michael Carpenter in my original post, actually! He’s one of my favorite examples, primarily because the main character doesn’t have the same beliefs as him… but still respects those beliefs. When I first read the Dresden Files, Michael was shocking to me simply because I kept waiting for him to be shown as sadly deluded, secretly an idiot, etc., but it simply never came.

  25. Juracan on 7 August 2013, 17:09 said:

    You know what would actually be a nice twist? Finding out that Raziel wasn’t really an angel at all, but a demon disguised as an angel. I mean, Lucifer used to be the angel of light, right? So it would make sense that his demons could disguise themselves in their previous angelic forms to better deceive and control humanity. Plus, demon!Raziel would mean that the Shadowhunters are not divinely sanctioned at all, but actually human emissaries of Satan who truly believe they are working toward the greater good.

    So… like Devil May Cry 4. Where the members of an extremist society think they have angelic powers, but are really due to consorting with demons.

    As far as YA goes, I can’t really think of any that aren’t either evil or stupid. It’s funny, but a lot of the newer urban fantasy seem to be able to show Christians as being a religion and not evidence of membership to the Club of Evil.

    Which is quite refreshing, as having people repeatedly shout that “religion is the opiate of the masses” got kind of old after a while. I hate to keep bringing up Dresden Files, but it really handled it well when the reader was introduced to Sanya, a warrior chosen by God who was and continues to be agnostic, and gives a fairly solid reason behind his choice to be so.

    If I was handling Jace as an atheist here, I would have just had him be raised without any real religious leanings. He would believe there are higher powers, just not necessarily that they’d be worth worshiping.

    Then again, I’d try to make him less of a psychotic kill-happy maniac. And less arrogant. And I probably wouldn’t make him the love interest. Also, he might get violently murderized.