Sorry to leave you guys hanging like that. Like I said at the end of the last chapter, I went to Dragon*Con Labor Day Weekend. In short, it was awesome. The con was followed up by a nasty case of Con Crud, and an aunt coming to visit. But I’m feeling much better, so back onto the horse I get.
Looking at this chapter’s title, I can only hope it won’t be like chapter 11. You know, the one where the thing the chapter was named for didn’t even show up?
We get a bit of a change of pace this time, because this chapter begins with the focus on Jace. Why the focus of the third-person narration suddenly switched, I don’t know.
Anyway, Jace is in his room, laying on his bed and pretending to sleep. Yes, he’s a sullen, angst-ridden, overly-hormonal teenager sulking in his room. There’s a knock at the door, and when he moves the narration kindly informs us that despite his “tough guy” act, he’s actually in quite a bit of pain.
And I don’t care, for several reasons. The big one is that Simon was probably in a lot more pain – remember, we found out just two chapters ago that at least one of his bones had been broken when Jace crashed that stolen motorcycle. So yeah, all those bruises and whatnot kinda pale in comparison to actual broken bones.
Secondly, if he’s in such pain, then maybe he shouldn’t have left the infirmary. Or, failing that, taken something for the pain. Like, say, aspirin or something. Or – here’s a thought – maybe Hodge has some herbs or something to dull the pain. Oh, wait, Jace doesn’t think he needs to know anything about plants. Never mind. Let him suffer.
Jace gets up and I feel you should see what he’s thinking.
He knew who it was going to be before he opened the door. Maybe Simon had managed to get himself turned into a rat again. This time Simon could stay a goddamned rat forever, for all he, Jace Wayland, was prepared to do about it.
Our hero, ladies and gentlemen. Why am I supposed to like him again?
Also, why is his name randomly inserted in there? Was CC afraid we were going to forget whose head we were in? Or was it just to avoid pronoun confusion? I could see that, but it’s still really awkward.
Plus, it makes him look really arrogant. Seriously, who identifies themselves with their last name in their own head?
Weird Word Choice: 1
For lack of anything else to count that as.
Yeah, it’s Clary at the door, sketchpad in hand. Of course, we’re not told it’s Clary at first – she’s only referred to as “she” for the bulk of the paragraph. How is it that we went from over-clarifying pronouns to under-clarifying pronouns in a single paragraph? Seriously, was the editor drunk or high or something?
And while I hate to drop another quote on you guys so soon, I also feel you need to see this:
He leaned against the door frame, ignoring the kick of adrenaline the sight of her produced. He wondered why, not for the first time. Isabelle used her beauty like she used her whip, but Clary didn’t know she was beautiful at all. Maybe that was why.
Yeah, as near as I can figure, this is the only reason for the POV switch – it’s not enough that Clary we’ve seen that guys are attracted to Clary, we have to be told that she is indeed pretty, and she just doesn’t know it.
I don’t like this trope. The main problem I have with it is the implication that a girl/woman cannot be attractive and think of herself as attractive, and also be truly desirable. As much as people complain about Barbie giving girls body image issues, this trope is probably just as bad.
I understand the reasoning behind it – if she thinks she’s beautiful, she’ll be arrogant about it. But doing the opposite isn’t fixing the problem.
I could go further into this, but this isn’t the place for it.
But before I go on, I just need to point this out: “kick of adrenaline,” CC? Come on, we all know what you really mean. Say it with me, folks:
Jace has a boner. A stiffy. Wood. An erection.
Serious discussion of women’s issues in literature, followed up by a dick joke. Yep, I’m real classy.
Jace isn’t happy at Clary’s sudden appearance, especially after their last conversation. And again, I’m sorry for the slew of quotes, but then again, this is the only time in this book that we’ll be able to really get inside Jace’s head.
He could think of only one reason for her to be there, though it made no sense after what he’d said to her. Words were weapons, his father had taught him that, and he’d wanted to hurt Clary more than he’d ever wanted to hurt any girl. In fact, he wasn’t sure he had ever wanted to hurt a girl before. Usually he just wanted them, then wanted them to leave him alone.
So yeah. Straight from the author’s own writing – up until now, Jace has treated every girl he’s been involved with as a disposable tool to satisfy his needs. No relationships, no emotional attachments, nothing. And as near as I can tell, this is supposed to make him more appealing.
And yet, when Isabelle does more or less the same thing, she’s a horrible skank. Double standard much?
Maybe it’s just more of that “jerk with a heart of gold” crap CC keeps pushing. “Clary is the first girl that Jace has ever cared about! Isn’t that just sooooo dreamy?”
Also, further confirmation that both Jace and his father are both sociopaths.
Jace finally pulls his head out of his ass and says something – he makes a joke about Simon getting turned into an ocelot and Isabelle wanting to skin Simon.
Rapier Twit: 2
Double because A) referencing what might have been a really traumatic experience is apparently funny, and B) talking about killing someone and wearing their skin is always good for a laugh.
But Jace couldn’t give any fewer fucks because – and I’m not joking – he’s already in his pajamas.
But as infuriating as that might be (for several reasons), I can’t help but picture Jace in a giant pair of feet-pajamas, and it’s pretty funny. Seriously, how many teenage boys actually have a set of pajamas?
But Clary ignores Jace’s lack of concern, because she needs to tell him something important. Again, Jace makes light of it, saying that if Clary needs someone to model nude for her, she should ask Hodge.
Rapier Twit: 3
It’s at this point that Clary finally snaps at Jace.
“JACE!” she interrupted him, her voice rising to a scream. “JUST SHUT UP FOR A SECOND, WILL YOU?”
And he does. Jace is just so floored by someone telling him to shut his damn trap that he actually does. Given that he spouts crap like a sewer drain, I can’t imagine why no one’s told him to shut up before.
Jace then gets an odd urge to hug Clary, but he doesn’t. Maybe his dad actually was abusive, and he associates this kind of behavior with affection? Who knows.
Clary tells him what CC Deus Ex Machina-ed into her head, namely that the MacGuffin Cup is hidden in a picture.
And then we get a commercial break
Random Scene Break: 1
When we come back, we’re back in Clary’s head. Why was that first bit from Jace’s perspective? Well, apart from the obvious praising of the author insert, the only possible explanation I can come up with is to preserve what passes for suspense in this book.
Jace is understandably confused by what Clary said, but she says she needs to show him something, but only if she can come into his room.
I have a question – why? Why does this need to happen in Jace’s room? I mean, yeah, it’s rude of him to have not invited her in yet, but Jace being an asshole is kinda par for the course by this point.
Also, why is Clary going to Jace with this? He’s not the one in charge, or at least he’ not supposed to be. Shouldn’t she be going to Hodge with this, what with him being the responsible adult?
Plot Hole: 1
Back to the sporking. Clary comes into Jace’s room, and we’re once again told just how utterly spartan it is.
The clothes he’d been wearing earlier were flung across the covers, but the rest of the room was neat as a monk’s chamber. There were no pictures on the walls, no posters or photos of friends or family. The blankets were white and pulled tight and flat across the bed. Not the typical teenage boy’s bedroom.
That’s… actually kinda creepy. Yes, on the one hand it shows an almost OCD like need for control, but on the other hand it shows just how little attachment Jace seems to have to the place. People tend to personalize their living spaces, even temporary ones. Jace has lived in this room for years, and yet he could leave right now and there would be no evidence that he ever lived there.
Also, how can his sheets be perfectly flat? He was just laying on them. They should be at least a little rumpled.
Plot Hole: 2
Yes, I’m nitpicking, but I don’t care.
Clary shows Jace the cup she drew, and he’s not all that impressed. Could we please stop dragging this out?
Well, what do you know, the characters heard me. Clary reaches into the drawing and pulls the cup out. And then we get another example of CC’s “humor”.
She had imagined Jace leaping from the bed in astonishment and gasping something like “Egad!” This didn’t happen – largely, she suspected, because Jace had seen much stranger things in his life, and also nobody used the word “Egad!” anymore.
Rapier Twit: 4
Now, this could have been funny. You can even see how. And if this book were a bit more lighthearted, it would have been. The problem here is that, with everything else in this book being so damn serious, stuff like this just feels awkward and out-of-place.
Also, just because he’s seen a lot of weird stuff doesn’t mean Jace needs to be jaded. Yeah, he’s a seventeen-year-old boy so of course he has to have this whole affected facade of not giving a crap, but come on! She just pulled something out of a drawing!
But no, all we get is his eyes widening. Mr. Spock demonstrates more emotional range than this jack-off.
He asks all the expected questions, including just how the hell Clary managed to do it. And her answer is just as unsatisfying as you’d expect.
She shook her head, fingering the now blank page. “I don’t know. [The runes] came into my head and I drew them exactly as I saw them.”
Yeah. They literally just popped into her head. Oh, CC tries to hand wave this away by Jace figuring that her mom must have taught her, and then made her forget, and now that Bane’s mind whammy is wearing off, Clary’s just remembering it.
Why?! Why would she do that?! What possible reason could there be for Jocelyn, who wants as much to do with magic as the Dursleys, to teach her daughter how to do this?!
Oh, wait, I know why – the plot demands it, rationale be damned.
Plot Hole: 3
Jace talks about how “it’s probably against the Law to use runes like that unless you’ve been licensed,” but who gives a shit about that?
Weird Word Choice: 2
And while I can understand waving away potential ramifications of what Clary’s done with something like “extenuating circumstances”, I can’t help but feel that there’s a nasty double-standard at play here.
Then we’re suddenly in a bad episode of Scoobie-Doo, because Clary and Jace walk us through the mystery of where Jocelyn hid the MacGuffin Cup. Short answer? Mme. D’s tarot deck. Specifically, in the Ace of Cups card.
And why does Clary know this? Because the cup on the card is exactly like the one the angel statue was holding back in chapter ten.
This really feels like an ass-pull. Or makes Clary look really stupid. She saw both cups within hours of the other, but only now does she go “OMG! They’re totes the same!”
Also, why the Ace of Cups? Yes, it’s the card where the cup is most prominent, but it’s not the only card with a single cup on it. Take a look:
Those are the Page/Jack/Knave, Knight, Queen, and King of Cups, respectively, from the Rider-Waite tarot, the most popular version of the tarot in the English speaking world. Notice that all three have a single cup in the picture. And on top of that, the first three would arguably fit with certain characters better than the Ace. Here’s what wikipedia has to say about each of them.
This card can represent a sweet-natured child who loves home life and family but may struggle in school. This child enjoys the arts and is very spiritual. The child may be psychic.
This page has a powerful imagination, as well. Creativity and vision are among this person’s blessings.
As a situation it represents an opportunity for artistic or creative learning and expansion.
This could refer to Clary herself, or at least how CC wants us to view Clary.
If the card is upright, it represents change and new excitements, particularly of a romantic nature. It can mean invitations, opportunities, and offers. The Knight of Cups is a person who is a bringer of ideas, opportunities and offers. He is constantly bored, and in constant need of stimulation, but also artistic and refined. He represents a person who is amiable, intelligent, and full of high principles, but a dreamer who can be easily persuaded or discouraged.
Reversed, the card represents unreliability and recklessness. It indicates fraud, false promises and trickery. It represents a person who has trouble discerning when and where the truth ends and lies begin.
This could be a good description of Jace (or at least CC’s idea of Jace), and the role he plays in Clary’s life.
And last but not least, the Queen:
The card depicts a mature woman of fair-complexion and golden hair who holds a lidded cup. She is described as a model of a loving virtue, one who is purer of heart than most, a loving mother and a loyal friend. The inverted card may warn the querent of a false lover or a deceitful friend or companion who pretends to be of a pure heart but is treacherous and manipulative.
This description could fit Jocelyn, if stretched a bit.
Any of these would tie into the characters and the story much better than the Ace.
But no. CC wanted it to be “the love card,” so of course that’s what we get.
They talk about how what Jocelyn did was a good idea, and I’ll admit, it was pretty smart. And then Clary suddenly wishes her mom hadn’t been so clever, because then Jocelyn wouldn’t have been kidnapped. And Jace kindly points out that, had the baddies been able to find the Cup, they probably would have killed her.
A quick scene change and we’re in the library. The whole gang’s been gathered, and most of them are a bit peeved about being woken up at Fucking Early o’clock. All except for Jace, of course.
Alec asks why any of this is their concern, since they’re off the case and all. And here’s Jace’s answer:
“It’s just better if we do this ourselves,” said Jace impatiently. “Hodge and I already discussed it and that’s what we decided.”
So why didn’t we get to see that conversation? And why is Jace implying that he and Hodge are somehow equals in this? Isn’t this technically Hodge’s call to make?
Oh wait, Jace is the Leader while Hodge is the Mentor. Never mind.
Isabelle’s all for going after the MacGuffin Cup, but Alec’s still against it, pointing out that there are already Shadowhunters in New York looking for it, so they shouldn’t get involved. And while I hate to agree with the asshole, he’s got a point.
Jace argues against this and Alec says that this is all about Jace’s “addiction to danger.”
Weird Word Choice: 3
Alec, or rather CC, that is not what Jace has. Jace is not an adrenaline junkie – he’s a glory hound. He’s all for this because it’ll make him look good. Jace didn’t go into that vamp lair to get a fix, he did it to impress Clary. Remember, he’s the one who decided that they needed to break in, and he’s the one who threw the first punch. Or rather, knife.
Jace naturally doesn’t get why Alec isn’t supporting him in this. “Closer than brothers” my ass. And naturally Clary has to remind us that it’s because Alec is in love with Jace.
No Shit Sherlock: 1
She wonders why Jace doesn’t see it, and then compares it to her own obviousness to Simon’s feelings. Yeah, don’t remind me of that.
Then someone, I assume it’s Jace, explains that Mme. D doesn’t trust the Clave. Given that their idea of punishing known terrorists is effectively to slap them on the wrists, I don’t blame her. However, Mme. D has shown that she trusts our heroes.
Clary finally says something, namely clarifying that Mme. D trusts her, not the rest of them. Jace ignores this, like anything else he finds inconvenient, and tries to win Alec over by talking about how famous they’ll be when they find the MacGuffin Cup. See? I was right about that glory hound thing.
But Alec says that he doesn’t care about any of that, and only wants to “not [do] anything stupid.” Well, I hate to tell you this, but with Jace “anything for glory” Wayland as one of the principle members of your team, “stupid” pretty much describes a lot of what you’ll be doing. Again, see his attempt to rescue Simon.
Hodge finally wades in and agrees with both Jace and Clary, saying that clearly Jocelyn intended that only her daughter be able to find the Cup. In response, Alec says that Clary can get it on her own.
This blatant demonstration of Alec’s Scary Sue nature shocks everyone. I’m not sure why, they were perfectly willing to let him be a dick to Simon. Wait, Simon’s a Mundane, and thus not a real person to them. Oh, this is how Jace is described.
Only Jace, Clary thought, could look cool in pajama bottoms and an old T-shirt, but he pulled it off, probably through sheer force of will.
Yeah, that’s not happening. CC, the more you tell me about how big of a badass Jace is, the less I believe it. No one can look “cool” or intimidating in their jammies. You’re trying waaaay too hard. Also, that gets you one of these.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 1
So Jace basically calls Alec a coward, Alec says he’s totally not, and that pretty much ends the whole argument. I’m not sure which is sadder – that Jace resorted to school-yard level tactics to win that fight, or that they worked.
Clary of course agrees to the plan, but Hodge interjects, saying that she doesn’t have to go if she’s afraid. Umm, dude, not two minutes ago you were talking about how Clary’s the only one who can get the Cup, and now you’re saying that she doesn’t have to go? What?
Plot Hole: 4
But Clary insists that her mom wanted her to find the Cup, so she has to go.
Plot Hole: 5
I highly doubt that Jocelyn wanted anyone to find it, let alone her daughter who she spent over a decade and a half keeping away from any of this.
And you know what? Here’s a crazy thought – leave the Cup where it is. I was under the impression that the real concern was stopping Valentine, not finding the MacGuffin Cup. I mean, yes, he wants to find the Cup, so obviously them finding it first would go a long way towards stopping him, but actually capturing Valentine would be ideal. Why not focus on that instead? The Cup’s been perfectly safe for over fifteen years, why not leave it there? It’s not like in Raiders of the Lost Arc where the bad guys are close to finding the thing. And at least there Indiana Jones had the excuse of the Arc being an important historical artifact to justify taking it out of its hiding place. There’s no such excuse here. And don’t talk to me about how the Shadowhunters’ numbers are dropping – as far as I can tell, most of the tensions in this world are their fault in the first place.
You know there’s a problem with your plot when “do nothing” is not just a valid option, but also probably the best thing the heroes can do.
They finally get down to the nitty-gritty parts of the plan, namely how they’re going to get to and from Mme. D’s place. Jace says that they’ll need a car, but Isabelle points out that they’ve never needed one before. Jace’s answer is that it’s not safe to carry the MacGuffin Cup on the subway.
Yeah, but only if you’re actually planning on carrying the Cup itself with you. At present, it’s conveniently two-dimensional and would probably fit in your pocket. What’s the problem with just taking the card?
But there I go injecting logic where it clearly isn’t welcome.
Isabelle then suggests that they take a cab or rent a van, but Jace shoots that idea down as well, because “[He doesn’t] want to deal with taxi drivers or mundane rental companies when [they’re] doing something important.”
Yeah, if that doesn’t scream “racist” I don’t know what does.
And then, well, this happens.
“Don’t you have a driver’s license or a car?” Alec asked Clary, looking at her with veiled loathing. “I thought all mundanes had those.”
“Not when they’re fifteen,” Clary said crossly. “I was supposed to get one this year, but not yet.”
“Fat lot of use you are.”
Okay asshole, while Clary might not be terribly useful in this regard, you’re just as useless. Because I doubt that any of the Shadowhunters know how to drive a car.
And on a slightly more realistic note, this is New York City we’re talking about. It’s not exactly a driver-friendly city. And with the sprawling mess that is the New York Subway system, having a car is not exactly as critical as in some other places.
But then Clary says that Simon has a license.
I know it was probably just a knee-jerk reaction, but volunteering a friend who not only isn’t present, but also hates at least one of the people in this group is at the very least insensitive of her. What the hell, Clary?
But regardless of Simon’s feelings, Jace latches onto this idea. Clary actually acts like a decent human being and tries to pull Simon’s ass out of the fire by explaining that while he has a driver’s license, Simon doesn’t have a car.
Upon being pressed, Clary informs them that Simon usually borrows his friend Eric’s van whenever he needs a car, including for dates. This elicits an interesting reaction from Jace. So interesting that I’m going to go through the entire ensuing conversation.
Jace snorted. “He picks up his dates in a van? No wonder he’s such a hit with the ladies.”
Well, while it might not be as impressive as a sports car, a van does have certain advantages. Namely a lot of space in the back.
“It’s a car,” Clary said. “You’re just mad Simon as something you haven’t got.”
Oh, so now Clary defends him. Why can’t you do this when he’s in the same room?
“He has many things I haven’t got,” said Jace. “Like nearsightedness, bad posture, and an appalling lack of coordination.”
And here’s some other things Simon has that Jace doesn’t: a sense of humor, a good personality, actual friends, and at least another half a dimension’s worth of character. Feel free to add to the list, by the way.
“You know,” Clary said, “most psychologists agree that hostility is really just sublimated sexual attraction.”
Yeah, that sounds like a load of crap.
“Ah,” said Jace blithely, “that might explain why I so often run into people who seem to dislike me.”
Or because you’re an arrogant douchenozzle who throws knives at people. Just a thought.
“I don’t dislike you,” Alec said quickly.
“That’s because we share a brotherly affection,” said Jace.
Yeah, as someone with two brothers, there is no way to look at this relationship where it looks “brotherly.” See, brothers don’t constantly argue or ignore the other, nor does one of them want to have sex with the other.
Rapier Twit: 9
That’s three for Jace, and one each for Clary and Alec.
Jace grabs the phone, holds it out to Clary, and practically orders her to call Simon. She asks why they don’t try calling up a Shadowhunter who has a car. This is a good idea. Here’s how CC deals with that problem.
“In New York?” Jace grinned. “Look, everyone’s in Idris for the Accords, and anyway, they’d insist on coming with us. It’s this or nothing.”
Plot Hole: 6
All of them? Including the one’s who’re looking for the MacGuffin Cup? The ones Alec mentioned back when this scene started? Did this book even see an editor?
And once again we get proof that Jace is a giant glory hound – we can’t get the actual authorities involved! Then they’ll get all the credit!
Clary breaks down and calls Simon, and he’s understandably upset that she’s calling him. It also doesn’t help that it’s Fucking Early o’clock, either. Clary doesn’t waste too much time, and flat-out says that they need a ride. And Simon is once again in top form with his response:
He laughed again. “Sorry, are you telling me that your demon-slaying buddies need to be driven to their next assignation with the forces of darkness by my mom?”
See, this is how you do humor in Urban Fantasy – you acknowledge the absurdity of it.
Still, “assignation” Simon? What teenager uses words like that?
Weird Word Choice: 4
But Clary says that she wants him to pick them up, and that she plans to trade the MacGuffin Cup for her mom. Simon is a bit incredulous about that, but she manages to talk him into helping them, saying that she’ll do whatever it takes to save her mom, just like she did with Simon.
Clearly Clary’s recollection of her “rescue” of Simon is skewed – as I remember, at best she helped to carry Simon around. Beyond that, she was dead weight. Only Jace was less useful, and only because he actively made the situation worse.
Still, with Simon wrapped around her finger, all Clary has to do is bat her eyes and he’ll come running, so of course he agrees. But at least he has enough sense left to hang up on Clary while she’s trying to make nice.
There’s a quick scene change, and Clary and Hodge are alone in the library, with her staring out the window at the rain for some reason.
Random Scene Break: 2
For some reason, Hodge starts talking about Clary’s relationship with Simon, and how it’s similar to the one between Jace and Alec. Namely, that because both Simon and Alec have feelings for the other that aren’t reciprocated, it’s really easy for Clary and Jace to take advantage of the other. Hodge also warns her that, if pushed too far, Simon might grow to hate Clary.
Of course, Clary doesn’t understand how Simon could possibly hate her, but considering how oblivious she was to Simon’s feelings, this isn’t surprising.
And then Hodge moves on to another similar relationship, namely that between Luke and Jocelyn. Yep, he’s telling us what we’ve already figured out – Luke was the previous generation’s Simon, hopelessly in love with a girl who had him so thoroughly in her Friend Zone that she didn’t even consider that he might feel different.
No Shit Sherlock: 2
When Jocelyn hooked up with Valentine, Luke disappeared for a while, and only showed up again when Jocelyn went on the run.
Clary then asks why Luke never said anything, but Hodge explains that Luke was at least smart enough to know that, despite everything, Jocelyn didn’t love him, but still hoped that her feelings might change. Then Clary asks why Luke told Valentine’s cronies that he didn’t care about her mom, because she doesn’t get how Luke could have both loved and hated her mom. So Hodge spells it out for her – Luke was tired of Jocelyn’s crap, but still can’t bring himself to actively hurt her, so probably threw her to the wolves.
But Clary doesn’t believe any it, and quickly changes the topic to how they’ll reach Valentine once they have the Cup. Hodge’s answer is that his raven will find Valentine.
Now, this could have been an interesting conversation – someone reasonably objective is telling Clary that if she doesn’t change how she treats Simon, it will only end badly. She’s even given an example of a similar relationship ending badly. Luke is like Palamedes) if he actually got pissed at Isolde. With any luck, this should lead to Clary reevaluating her treatment of Simon, altering how she treats him, and possibly changing how her perception of him.
We’ll see how this goes.
Clary runs off to find a jacket to let everyone else gather in her absence. While looking for a jacket, she finds the old photo of the
Order of the Phoenix Deatheaters Circle and shoves it in her pocket for some reason.
When she comes back, everyone’s in the library, all geared up and putting on their henna tats of war. Jace has his stuff, Isabelle has her boots and whip, and Alec is ready to use a bow, because despite his biological gender, he’s still a girl. (Don’t get me wrong, I respect archers and anyone skilled at archery. I’m just pointing out that, of the three of them, it’s the gay guy that has a bow.)
Jace is trying to scribble on one arm with his magic stick and having trouble, so Alec takes over. And like the pansy-ass bitch that he is, Jace starts complaining about how much it hurts. Hey, Jace, I’d like you to meet a friend of mine, Tallahassee. Mr. Florida, do you have something to say about Jace’s behavior?
What’s that? You have more to say?
He is at that.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 2
Because there’s mention of Jace’s “bulging muscles” as he winced in pain.
They finally notice Clary’s in the room, and Jace asks she still has that knife he gave her. Clary reminds him that, no, she was an idiot and chucked it at a werewolf. Of course, it isn’t phrased like this. No, instead it’s Jace praising Clary’s improbable (and illogical) knife-throwing abilities. Which then leads to this:
Isabelle, who had been standing by the window, rolled her eyes. “I forgot that’s what gets you all hot and bothered, Jace. Girls killing things.”
“I like anyone killing things,” he said equably. “Especially me.”
Rapier Twit: 10
Even if it’s a joke, someone getting turned on by violence probably isn’t healthy. Seek professional help, dude.
They head downstairs to wait for Simon to show up, Hodge gives them the Shadowhunter version of “May the Force be with you,” and the scene ends.
Random Scene Break: 3
We fast forward about five minutes to when Simon shows up. Jace is unimpressed, saying that it looks “like a rotting banana.”
Okay, dude, unless you can pull a fucking SUV out of your ass, you don’t get to complain. Plus, shitty-looking cars have certain advantages, namely that they’re less likely to get stolen.
And of course, since Simon is technically in the scene, Clary can’t defend him, so she doesn’t.
They open the doors, and the van’s interior is just as unimpressive as the exterior. Isabelle asks if the seats are safe to sit on, and Simon says that they’re safer than the roof, but she’s free to try that if she prefers. Nice to see that someone isn’t taking any crap from these people. Simon then says hey to Jace and Alec, and Jace replies with “Hey indeed.”
Weird Word Choice: 5
Dude, who does that?
Anyway, Jace stows their gear, and Clary calls shotgun. Alec doesn’t get it, and Jace explains that she wants the front seat.
Plot Hole: 7
Okay, how much do Shadowhunters actually know about mundane culture? I know that the phrase ‘riding shotgun’ goes back a long way, but it’s still a colloquialism. Again, Shadowhunters’ knowledge of the mundane world relies entirely on what CC thinks is appropriate for the moment.
Alec pulls out his bow and straps it to his back, and Simon complements it. Which then leads to a really awkward moment from the Shadowhunters.
“That’s a nice bow,” said Simon, with a nod towards Alec.
Alec blinked, rain running off his eyelashes. “Do you know much about archery?” he asked, in a tone that suggested that he doubted it.
“I did archery camp,” said Simon. “Six years running.”
The response to this was three blank stares and a supportive smile from Clary, which Simon ignored.
Okay, so Clary, through sheer dumb luck, manages to throw a knife with perfect accuracy and gets praised for it, but Simon spends six summers straight learning how to shoot a bow and gets nothing but blank stares. What, just because he didn’t learn to kill with one it somehow doesn’t count?
Oh, and we’ll see just how awesome Alec is with a bow next chapter. Just wait.
They get going, and while the other three are busy “strategising,” Clary strikes up a conversation with Simon, asking about him saying “hey” to Jace, rather than “hello.” I really don’t see why this is an issue, but CC actually manages to pull off some decent comedy with this.
“‘Hello’ is girly,” he informed her. “Real men are terse. Laconic.”
“So the more manly you are, the less you say?”
“Right.” He nodded […] “That’s why when major badasses greet each other in movies, they don’t say anything, they just nod. The nod means ‘I am a badass, and I recognize that you, too, are a badass,’ but they don’t say anything because they’re Wolverine and Magneto and it would mess up their vibe to explain.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Jace said from the backseat.
See? Jace was actually funny there, because we’re acknowledging that Simon was kind of babbling.
Weird Word Choice: 6
CC, the only time a teenager would use the word “laconic” is in an essay, and then only to sound smart.
Clary’s a bit self-satisfied with Jace’s answer, but Simon’s smirking a little, so presumably their relationship is on the mend. Yay, I guess.
And I guess the drive to Clary’s house was either really short, or no one said anything after that, because the scene just ends there, and we’re suddenly at the house, and the rain has stopped.
Random Scene Bread: 4
Simon and Clary are told to stay in the car while the other three check the area’s “‘demonic activity levels.‘”
Now, to me, that just sounds stupid. And I’d expect Simon to make mention of this. But alas, even he isn’t beyond CC’s character warping grasp.
“Demonic activity levels? Do they have a device that measures whether the demons inside the house are doing power yoga?”
“No,” Clary said […] “The Sensor tells them how powerful the demons are – if they’re are any demons.”
Simon looked impressed. “That is useful.”
Goddamnit, Simon. Stop being impressed by this crap. The Sensor isn’t a tricorder – it’s a scouter.
And given how demons seem to be neatly cataloged, including how powerful they are, why would they even need a piece of equipment to tell them how powerful a given demon is? Shouldn’t they just know this sort of thing? Maybe been taught it in class?
Wait, I’m pretty sure that both Alec and Jace fall asleep in or ignore classes regularly. Never mind.
Weird Word Choice: 7
But that word still shouldn’t be capitalized.
Clary starts apologizing for her response to Simon confessing his feelings, and Simon says that he’d always wanted it to play out like it did between Han and Leia in Return of the Jedi, and Clary laughs because Star Wars is such a geeky thing to reference.
Okay, time for a geek aside. First, anyone who’s seen the original trilogy knows that that conversation is echoing one from near the end of Empire, only with the characters swapping lines. The first time, Han sounded like a badass, because badasses don’t say “I love you, too.”
Second, by that point, Han and Leia were already kind of together. They might not have spent much time together, but they clearly had very strong feelings for each other. Heck, Leia risked her life to rescue Han in the beginning of Jedi.
Third, this book came out in 2007, so we can assume it’s set in that year. That’s two years after Revenge of the Sith came out. I think it’s safe to say that, by this point, Star Wars was no longer this thing that only geeks were really interested in. Yes, not everyone might be into it, but the Star Wars franchise had cemented its place in the cultural zeitgeist.
Back to the book. Simon asks Clary to really look at him, and after a minute, Clary wonders if her problem was that she wasn’t aware of Simon’s feelings or is she just didn’t know how to respond to them. Now, this could have been an interesting moment for Clary’s character, and her relationship with Simon.
Except that we’ve seen how Clary feels about Simon – she either ignores him or uses him, unless there’s some other girl that might take him away from her. If Clary had seen the contradiction in this, then it would be interesting. But as far as I can tell, she never did.
But Simon’s comment leads to an interesting conversation.
She sighed. “Seeing through glamour is easy. It’s people that are hard.”
“We all see what we want to see,” he said quietly.
“Not Jace,” she said, unable to help herself, thinking of those clear, impassive eyes.
“Him more than anyone.”
Aww, CC. You were doing so well there. But you had to add that bit about Jace’s eyes.
Both Hands, Ma’am: 3
And given how he’s completely oblivious to Alec’s feelings, saying that he isn’t under any illusions is a bold-faced lie. And if he is aware of Alec’s feelings, that makes him even crueler. Remember, this is the guy that finds unrequited love amusing.
Clary is of course baffled by Simon’s last comment, but Jace chooses this moment to reenter the scene. They’ve checked the whole area, and there’s nothing there. Big surprise.
Alec is really pumped up for this, so much so that even Jace finds his sudden enthusiasm a bit weird. What’s even weirder, though, is that Alec tosses his bow aside and pulls out what CC refers to as a “featherstaff.” I’m not entirely sure what kind of weapon that is, but the nearest I can figure is that it’s a brandistock, a type of spear with retractable blades. Isabelle is especially shocked by this. I can’t blame her – Alec’s speced for bow. Him being put on the front line is a recipe for disaster.
And Clary derided RPGs.
Simon asks the obvious question of why he can now see them, since they should be invisible, and Jace says that Simon “[knows] the truth of what [he’s] looking at.”
Weird Word Choice: 8
While that is a good answer, it’s also phrased awkwardly.
Jace also tells Simon to wait in the car, since having a getaway vehicle would be good. Because, while demons are apparently vulnerable to sunlight, the zombie-Hulk Forsaken aren’t. That, and if the van gets towed, they’re kinda screwed.
Why is it that Jace is only funny now?
Simon agrees to stay, much to Clary’s relief, and the rest of them head inside. And while I can understand leaving Simon behind, Clary is just as much a liability. But she’s the main POV character, so we can’t have her sitting out on the action.
The walk through the door, and from the noxious smell of the place they can tell that demons have been there. Nice to know that the Sensors are completely pointless.
Our heroes chat about the demons for a bit to pad out the word-count before entering Mme. D’s place.
Dorothea’s in her apartment, and is happy to see Clary in one piece. She asks where Clary ended up, and when Clary tells her she ended up in Williamsburg, Mme. D responds with this:
“And they say there’s no convenient public transportation in Brooklyn.”
Not great, but it’s at least worth a chuckle.
The rest of the crew comes in, and Dorothea and Clary catch up. Yeah, turns out Mme. D knew all about Clary’s mom and her past, and Dorothea says that Valentine’s love for Jocelyn went wrong. Jace laughs at this, asking what Mme. D knows about love. Because, since she’s old and unattractive, Dorothea must have always been unattractive, and what would ugly people know about love?
This prompts Dorothea to remember reading Jace’s tea leaves, and asks if he’s fallen for the wrong person yet. Which leads into the following conversation.
Jace said, “Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself.”
Dorothea roared at that. “At least,” she said, “you won’t have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland.”
“Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep things interesting.”
Dorothea roared again.
Rapier Twit: 11
See, that started out mildly funny. But Jace’s second comment destroyed that. Along with Mme. D’s overdone response. I’m kinda worried about her, guys, because nothing Jace said deserved that level of laughter.
They finally get around to the reason why Clary and the others are there. Dorothea reminds the reader of the MacGuffin Cup’s back story, because either CC forgot or thought the audience needed reminding. Either way, it’s just more pading.
Mme. D wonders why Jocelyn would have the Cup, and then puts together that Jocelyn was Valentine’s wife.
Wait, I thought she already knew that. She said she knew about their relationship when Clary brought it up. Bbut… didn’t… how…
Plot Hole: 8
Fuck it. Moving on.
They finally get around to saying that they think the Cup is in Mme. D’s place, but Dorothea doesn’t believe it. Rather than just explain the situation, Jace dances around it, so much so that everyone else in the room wonders if he’s getting some kind of perverse thrill from the whole thing. It even get’s Clary to think this:
Why did Jace have to antagonize everyone?
Uh, because he’s an asshole? Didn’t we already establish this?
Jace does his little song and dance a bit more until Clary finally jumps in to explain things to the increasingly upset Dorothea. There’s even more of Jace being vague for the sake of vagueness, but Mme. D eventually passes over her cards.
Clary pulls out the Ace of Cups, and uses Jace’s magic drawing stick to get the cup out. This takes six paragraphs to accomplish. And with Clary standing there, MacGuffin Cup in hand, the chapter comes to merciful end.
Holy crap that took forever. I know there are some chapters of this book that shuld have been trimmed and combined, but this one is the opposite – it should have been divided. There’s so much going on, and it’s all happening at the same time.
Not that there isn’t stuff that should have been cut – namely everything from Jace’s POV. It doesn’t add anything, and it’s relatively short, so there’s no reason that bit couldn’t have been from Clary’s POV instead.
Still, there were a number of good bits. I liked Hodge telling Clary about her mom and Luke’s past, while also warning her about how she treats Simon, if only because someone was finally calling Clary on her shit. Clary and Simon’s talk was also good, and if it wasn’t blindingly obvious that Clary is going to end up with Jace, this might have encouraged the love triangle CC clearly wants to establish.
So yeah, despite everything, if the rest of this book were more like this chapter, I might not have found this book so infuriating.
And hey, at least the title actually had something to do with the chapter this time. That’s a good thing, right?
Weird Word Choice: 8 (Total 90)
Rapier Twit: 11 (Total 63)
No Shit Sherlock: 2 (Total 37)
Plot Hole: 8 (Total 71)
Random Scene Break: 4 (Total 15)
Both Hands, Ma’am: 3 (Total 28)
Bitch: 1 (Total 22)