Alright, folks, it’s the last chapter of the book. Everything’s been building to this moment: the villain’s diabolical plan has been revealed, the last of the big twists have been done, and most of the plot threads have been tied off.

So, who wants to bet that CC somehow manages to give this mess a smart and satisfying conclusion?

Come on, I’ll give you ten-to-one against.

No takers? Yeah, can’t say I blame you.

Well in that case, onward with the sporking. Once more unto the breach, and all that.

The chapter begins with Valentine establishing himself as probably one of the best characters in the whole book, because despite the fact that Clary drew a knife on him, he isn’t even remotely intimidated by her. Nice to have confirmation of that.

Instead, he asks Jace who she is, but again he couldn’t care less, because his focus immediately goes to the knife Clary’s holding. Not because he’s surprised that she’s got a knife, but because it’s got the Morgenstern family crest on the blade, and presumably used to be his. And the fact that the Lightwoods never noticed this is hand-waved by Jace.

Oh, and V specifically calls the knife a “kindjal” and explains that it’s a “Circassian dagger”, because CC once again feels the need to demonstrate how “worldly” she is. And yes, “kindjal” is italicized every time it’s used, just to draw extra attention to it.

Weird Word Choice: 1

Now, just to be clear, you know what happens when I type “kindjal” into Wikipedia? I get redirected to “dagger”. And after Googling the word and looking at some of the images that pop up, I fail to see what makes this particular type of dagger unique. If any of the weaponry experts want to clarify this, feel free.

Also, the Circassians, or Adyghe, are a people who used to live in a region called Circassia, along the north-east coast of the Black Sea. That is, until the Russian’s conquered the region over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Now, none of this has anything to do with what’s going on in the book, but since Valentine got to give out pointless information, so do I.

Meanwhile, Jace is mindlessly doing whatever Valentine tells him. Guess we’ve finally found someone he won’t snark at. So on top of everything else, Jace also has Daddy Issues.

Why am I not surprised?

Valentine goes into his Gracious Host Villain act, because that’s the only way to keep him from killing her outright, like a sensible villain. Meanwhile, Clary is freaking out. Not because she’s certain he’s going to kill her, but because she’s certain he knows she’s his daughter. Even though, as far as we know, Valentine wasn’t even aware Jocelyn was pregnant when he faked his death, and Clary was born after that.

Oh, but then she figures it out – Valentine’s waiting to reveal that particular piece of information so he can utterly devastate Jace. Because he’s Evil^TM^. Or something.

But for some reason (I think we can all guess why), Clary refuses to believe that Valentine is Jace’s father.

“You’re not Jace’s father,” she said. “You’re trying to trick us. Jace’s father was Michael Wayland. The Lightwoods know it. Everyone knows it.”
“The Lightwoods were misinformed,” said Valentine. “They truly believed – believe that Jace is the son of their friend Michael. As does the Clave. Even the Silent Brothers don’t know who he really is. Although soon enough, they will.”
“But the Wayland ring-”
“Ah, yes,” said Valentine, looking at Jace’s hand, where the ring glittered like snake scales. “The ring. Funny, isn’t it, how an M worn upside down resembles a W? Of course, if you’d bothered to think about it, you’d probably have thought it a little strange that the symbol of the Wayland family would be a falling star. But not at all strange that it would be the symbol of the Morgensterns.”
Clary stared. “I have no idea what you mean.”
“I forget how regrettably lax mundane education is,” Valentine said. “Morgenstern means ‘morning star’. As in How are thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”
A small shiver passed over Clary. “You mean Satan.”


You almost had me, CC. The fact that all those people only have Jace’s word as to who his father is? Clever twist. That bit about the ring? Very clever. It kinda raises the question of how no one else (namely the Lightwood parents) noticed it, but hey, I’m willing to let that slide.

But then you had to have Valentine start quoting scripture, hammering home that not only do your characters not grasp subtlety, but apparently neither do you. There really isn’t any more blatant way for a character to proclaim “I’M EVIL!!” than essentially comparing him-or-herself to the Devil. The only time that worked was in Paradise Lost, and that’s because the protagonist actually was the Devil. And even then, you’re not supposed to like him.

I’ve said it before – subtle like a brick through a window.

And while Clary was stupid for needing all this explained to her, but blaming it on ‘lax mundane education’? Yeah, sweeping generalization. Morgenstern is German, so obviously anyone from a country where German is a major language, like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, parts of Italy and Belgium, as well as any number of other countries, would know what it means. (Oh, wait, according to CC, at least two of those countries don’t exist.) So really, he’s talking about American education. But even then, I’m sure that there are plenty of schools that offer German as a foreign language. So he’s just ragging on public schools. How very mature

Still, it’s interesting that the only character with an appropriate surname (i.e. German) is evil. I get that CC is Jewish, so she might have some residual animosity towards the German people, but come on. After all, CC, you’re the one who put Shadowhunter Land “between France and Germany”.

Also, the “morning star” usually refers to Venus, which is visible in the eastern sky shortly before sunrise. Yes, the therm is used to reference the Devil in Judeo-Chrisitan belief, but honestly, there are much better things Valentine could have gone with, all of which would have elicited a better response.

Valentine then goes on about how he’s also talking about losing power by refusing to serve others. He starts to gain some of my sympathy by pointing out that the Shadowhunter government was corrupt, and that he lost everything because of it. Clary’s retort is that the Uprising was Valentine’s fault, and refuses to listen to anything he has to say. She is the Sue, and has determined that everything Valentine says is a lie. There are no extenuating circumstances, no differing perspectives. Clary is the ultimate arbiter of truth in this universe.

Jace then finally comes out of his coma and is surprisingly reasonable for once, asking Clary to listen to Valentine’s side. But again, Clary is absolutely certain he’s wrong. Jace says that Hodge was behind the attack on Clary’s mom, Clary says Hodge didn’t. Jace says that Hodge wanted the MacGuffin Cup to break the curse on him, Clary points out that Valentine was the one who undid the curse. Valentine actually intervenes at this point, and says that he only did that out of pity for Hodge. Clary of course doesn’t believe this because Valentine is Evil^TM^. This pisses Jace off and he basically says “don’t say that about my dad!” Clary brings this whole thing full circle by proclaiming once again that Valentine isn’t Jace’s father.

Wonderful. CC’s managed to put down several pages of text without actually saying anything. But then again, she’s already got whole chapters like that.

Jace asks the question he should have asked the first time she said that – why is she so insistent that Valentine isn’t his father? And of course Valentine, having only met Clary about ten minutes ago, has figured out what Jace, who’s known her for about a week, hasn’t realized – Clary’s in love with Jace.

And Jace is, of course, utterly flabbergasted that the girl who has spent most of their time together drooling and making goo-goo eyes at him actually like-likes him. He’s just as oblivious to Clary’s feelings (and Alec’s, of course) as Clary was to Simon’s. They clearly are made for each other.

But Valentine continues, explaining to Jace that Clary obviously thinks Valentine’s somehow brainwashed him or something, but of course Valentine hasn’t, and if Clary would just search her feelings memories, she’d realize this.

Yeah, I don’t even know how that works. And don’t tell me that those memories are just magically suppressed. Even if she’d been alive when her mom went on the lam, she’d have been what, a few months old? Maybe a year at most?

Jace tries to say something, but Valentine tells him to sit down and let Clary work it out for herself. I’m not sure if he’s being nice or just wants to see how long it takes her to put it all together on her own.

But then he runs the whole thing by calling Jace “Jonathan”, which causes everything to snap into place for Clary. Sort of.

She asks why Valentine called called Jace that, and he explains that “Jace” is a nickname based on his initials, J.C., which of course stand for Jonathan Christopher.

Okay, quick sidebar. How exactly do you go from “J.C.” to “Jace”? Am I just pronouncing it wrong? Because I’ve been pronouncing it like a shortening of “Jason”. And if it’s supposed to be pronounced like “J.C.”, why isn’t it rendered like that? Finally, why doesn’t he just go by “J.C” instead? Just to prolong the mystery?

I don’t think CC understands how nicknames work.

Jace is, once again, flabbergasted that Clary knows his real name, and Valentine jumps in once again and explains that Jace’s mom isn’t really dead, and eventually explains that Jocelyn is his mom, making Clary his sister.

Okay, another sidebar. Wasn’t it already established that Valentine and Jocelyn were married? Like, way back before the half-way point? So how is it that Jace learned that his dad is actually Valentine, but didn’t figure out that Jocelyn must have been his mom? And that Clary would at the very least be his half-sister?

I guess these two are more alike than I thought.

And that reveal was so dramatic that CC decided we needed a break, even though even though all but the densest of readers would have figured this “secret” out at the end of the last chapter.

Then again, there is the distinct possibility that I’m overestimating CC’s fan base.

Random Scene Break: 1

When we come back, it’s now Jace’s turn to go into rampant denial. Because going through this song and dance yet again is just what this book needed.

After Clary explains that, to her knowledge, what Valentine just said was true. But he’s still a liar, because he’s Evil^TM^. Valentine finally gets fed up with Clary’s crap, and decides to explain the whole thing, because that’s the only sure way to make sure she’ll understand anything.

The real Michael Wayland died during the Uprising, and since he didn’t have any real friends or relatives (apart from the Lightwoods), so Valentine didn’t have any problems stealing his identity, and since Wayland would have “been in disgrace” because of his involvement in Valentine’s coup, living like a hermit would have made sense. Because once again, the Shadowhunter government is both thoroughly corrupt and completely incompetent.

Really, if these people can’t even police themselves, how are they supposed to police the supernatural world?

Who Watches the Watchers indeed.

And this doesn’t even address how Valentine managed to maintain his cover with the house’s staff. I mean, they at least had to know that he wasn’t the real Michael Wayland.

And like all the other book-breaking questions will not be answered.

Plot Hole: 1

Oh, and it’s randomly mentioned that Valentine is also left-handed. Because that kind of thing is apparently genetic or something.

(Turns out that there is a 26% chance that a child will be left-handed if their parents are. Both parents, that is.)

Anyway, a couple years later, Valentine got a letter from some anonymous party claiming to know who he really was, and threatening to reveal his true identity if Valentine didn’t do something. But rather than do whatever this person wanted, Valentine decided to fake his own death again.

You know, as escape plans go, faking your own death isn’t bad. But that’s the kind of plan that you can only use once, otherwise people won’t fall for it.

And Clary’s reaction to this is to say how horrible Valentine is for making his son think he was dead. Because Valentine is Evil^TM^ and everything he does is wrong.

But rather than point out how judgmental Clary’s being, Valentine explains that the only way the Lightwoods would accept Jace was if they thought he was Wayland’s son, and the only way to be sure Jace’s story would remain intact was for him to think his father was dead. Clary tries to argue that they might have cared for Jace regardless, but Valentine points out that he knows them far better than Clary does.

Clary, considering what Luke, who you do trust, said about the Lightwoods, Valentine’s probably right. In all likelihood, they’re probably more villainous than Valentine ever was.

The conversation then turns to Clary’s mom. According to Valentine, Jocelyn abandoned him after the Uprising, and seems to be pretty hurt by it. But Clary certain he’s faking, and even calls Valentine a “manipulative creep.”

You know, CC, it’s okay to let your characters, especially your main characters, have doubts. It’s even okay for them to be wrong from time to time.

Let’s go with an example from the fandom that got you famous in the first place. Harry Potter never knew his parents, so it’s not unsurprising that he’d grow to idealize his father when he learned that the Dursley’s had led him to believe. So whenever Snape would talk about what a stuck-up, pompous ass James Potter was, Harry just assumed that Snape was being biased.

But then, in Order of the Phoenix, Harry got to see how his father treated Snape when they were both students. Yes, James eventually grew out of being an ass, but by then he’d already spent the better part of seven years making Snape’s life as horrible as possible. Snape having reasons to think James Potter was an asshole and a bully didn’t make Harry any weaker for not believing him at first.

But Harry actually had reasons not to believe Snape – namely that the bulk of what he heard about his father was coming from sources that were strongly biased towards James Potter. Clary, however, doesn’t have that excuse. Yes, she knows her mom after she left being a Shadowhunter behind, but until about a week ago, Clary literally knew nothing about her mom’s life from before she was born. So this conviction that Valentine must be lying doesn’t make Clary look smart or perceptive, it makes her look childish. Not exactly an attractive trait in a protagonist, even if she is sixteen.

Anyway, Valentine explains why he nabbed Jace – he wants to go back to Shadowhunter Land and live like a family again. Even Clary realizes how utterly stupid this is:

That sounds terrific, thought Clary. Just you, your comatose wife, your shell-shocked son, and your daughter who hates your guts. Not to mention that your two kids may be in love with each other. Yeah, that sounds like a perfect family reunion.

So it’s not all that surprising that Clary turns down Valentine’s offer.

Jace, on the other hand, is totally behind it, as it would provide an opportunity for them to work out all the drama Clary just covered.

Thankfully, the plot finally escapes from the box CC locked it in, and it’s pissed. Luke kicks open the door, and he’s covered in blood.

People, I think this is just might get awesome.

Clary of course freaks out and runs over to him, but Luke assures her that none of the blood is his. So while he might be a terrible leader and probably a bit of a racist, but Luke is also a complete badass.

Valentine asks whose blood it is, and Luke confirms that it’s Pangborn’s. Well, I’m sorry that one of the few intelligent characters is dead, but I’m certain he went down fighting.

Farewell, Pangborn. We barely knew you, but you were leagues above most of this book’s characters.

It seems that Valentine is just as upset by this news as I am, and assumes that Luke ripped Pangborn’s throat out with his teeth. Honestly, that would be pretty awesome. But no, apparently Luke used the dagger he was using outside.

Wait, I thought he was using a sword?

Plot Hole: 2

Oh, and it’s the other half of the matched pair of daggers kindjals Valentine was talking about. Guess CC forgot what she wrote and didn’t fix it later. Again.

Yeah, turns out that the knife Luke has is also the one Valentine gave him to commit suicide with. Because that makes sense.

Wait, maybe that plot hole was premature, because the narration describes the length of Luke’s weapon as “somewhere between a dagger and a sword.” You know something, CC? I’m pretty sure there’s a term for that – short sword.

Whatever. Luke tries to lay some guilt on his former lover Valentine, but V doesn’t give a shit. He even thinks that he was doing Luke a favor, saying that he was giving Luke a chance to die as a man. Then Luke tries to turn that comment around on Valentine, and the narration pretty much confirms that Luke and Valentine used to be lovers. See for yourself:

“Like you?” asked Luke, and in that moment Clary saw something in him of the Luke she’d always known, who could tell when she was lying or pretending, who called her on it when she was being arrogant or untruthful. In the bitterness of his voice she heard the love he’d once had for Valentine, curdled into a weary hatred.

See? Theory confirmed.

Also, if Luke’s been calling Clary on her bad behavior, he’s clearly been doing a piss-poor job of it.

Anyway, he goes on to call Valentine a coward, what with chaining Jocelyn to that bed and torturing her. (Again, I think she’s just kinky) Valentine claims that he didn’t torture Jocelyn, and that the chains are for her own protection. (So, not kinky sex then?) Oh, but first Clary sees “the seizure of anger that momentarily [twists] Valentine’s features” just to make it clear that Valentine is Evil^TM^. In case we forgot or something. Or maybe he’s just pissed that this jackass is accusing him of abusing his wife.

They argue for a bit, because that’s what the readers want at this point – more talking. Luke doesn’t buy Valentine’s excuse. Valentine says that he loves Jocelyn, and besides, Luke was the one who turned her against him. Luke argues that he had nothing to do with Jocelyn’s change of heart.

This finally pisses Valentine off enough to get him off his ass. He pulls out his sword (because I guess he has a sword) and… points it at Luke’s heart. That’s it.

Well, that was disappointing.

Jace tries to say something, though I honestly don’t know what he could do in this situation, but Valentine does exactly what I would and tells him to shut up. And also refers to Jace as Jonathan, because now that that particular cat is out of the bag it needs to be shown off as much as possible. To his credit, Luke doesn’t take nearly as long to solve that particular puzzle as Clary did. However, he is still shocked by this revelation, because CC thinks that this plot twist is just so darn clever.

Ma’am, if you want it to be unexpected, maybe you should avoid dropping anvil-sized hints in the chapters leading up to it.

But it seems that Jace finally grew a pair and isn’t taking any more crap from his papa. Aww, they grow up so fast.

Jace tells Valentine not to call him Jonathan, and threatens to commit suicide if he does.

Oh, please, CC. Like Jace could actually bring himself to committing suicide. To quote the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film:

“Suicide is not in his repertoire. He’s far too fond of himself for that.”

Only replace “fond of” with “infatuated with”.

Luke then tells Jace how proud his mother would be to hear that, but Jace says that since he thinks Jocelyn abandoned him, he doesn’t have a mother. Luke counters that Valentine had more to do with Jace not having a mom than Jocelyn, and then criticizes Valentine for doing so.

Hey, Valentine? You have that sword hovering right over the most vital of Luke’s vital organs. Why don’t we have less of the talky-talk and more of the staby-stab? Huh? Huh?

No, of course not. That would be interesting or rational. No, he tells Luke to let Clary go, and then threatens him. And it seems that Clary also evolved a spine, because she does pretty much the same thing Jace did. The “not my parent” thing, not the “threatening suicide” thing. There wouldn’t be much point in the latter – the only reason Clary’s still alive at this point is because of Authorial Intervention.

Luke does the sensible thing and tells Clary to leave, because she’s completely useless in this situation. So of course she refuses, because Clary is an idiot. Then Luke mentionsthe word “fight”, so Clary heads for the door.

But then Jace moves to block the way, giving CC another chance to talk about how fast he is. For some reason, she describes him as “quick as water.”

Weird Word Choice: 2

What does that even mean? Also,

Both Hands, Ma’am: 1

Yeah, I’m betting Jace is fast in more ways than one.

So why did Jace stop Clary? Well, someone knocked down one of the walls downstairs (yeah, no one’s going to notice that), so there’s a good chance Valentine’s hulk-minions are down there. He’s just that concerned about her safety. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he got handed his own ass by just one of those things has nothing to do with it.

Of course, the idea of them leaving together doesn’t occur to either of them. But again, Jace totally isn’t afraid of the Forsaken, guys. Totally.

Meanwhile, Luke and Valentine are doing what they should have been since Luke first showed up – fighting each other. And I have to show you guys Clary’s reaction to this:

“Oh, my God,” she whispered. “They’re going to kill each other.”

No Shit Sherlock: 1

Um, yeah, Clary. You didn’t pick up on that? I know your author has an annoying tendency to have people start talking when they should be fighting, but honestly, how did you miss all the sexual tension hostility between those two?

Jace more or less says the same, only with less amazement at Clary’s idiocy and more of his usual arrogance.

Luke manages to score a hit on Valentine, so V decides that now is the perfect time for some more banter. And not in a good way, either. You know how in movies the two combatants will talk while they’re fighting? That doesn’t happen here. Instead, the fight comes to a complete halt so that these two can have another argument. And it sucks. It’s not even good banter, either; just more of the same from before.

And for some reason, Clary decides that now is the time to deal with Jace’s abandonment issues with his mother. She brings up the box her mom has (remember that? I told you it would be important), and this is Jace’s response:

“So she has a box,” said Jace. “Lot’s of people have boxes. They keep things in them. It’s a growing trend, I hear.”

Rapier Twit: 1

CC, this is the big action-packed climax of your friggin’ novel. NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR YOUR LITTLE MASTURBATORY FANTASY BOY TO BE THROWING OUT FUCKING QUIPS!

Clary goes on about the junk in the box, but since CC has given this scene mood-whiplash so bad my neck almost snapped, I couldn’t care less. Short answer – Clary manages to convince Jace that his mother isn’t dead.

And then we come back to the epic duel going on in the background. Not that it’s important or has such wonderful dramatic implications or anything. I mean, to former lovers best friends going at it, how could that possibly compare to dealing with the psychological problems of the hot guy?

Gods, how I hate this book.

Valentine stabs Luke, then disarms him (figuratively, not literally. Though that would be awesome.), and Luke collapses to the ground. Like you do. Valentine is in the standard “strike the final blow” position, and then for some reason the narration focuses on how pretty his sword is. In fact, here’s Clary’s thought looking at the sword:

how could anything so deadly be so beautiful?

Clearly Clary and/or CC doesn’t know much about nature. All those pretty animals with the bright colors? Yeah, those colors are their way of saying “STAY AWAY”.

And then, for maybe the second time in this entire book, Clary does something useful. In what I’m certain CC pictured happening in super-slow-motion, Clary runs across the room and leaps on top of Luke, getting between him and Valentine’s weapon. It’s so dramatic I won’t even bother to point out how absurd it is that she somehow managed to cross the entire room (how big is it again?) before Valentine could stab the guy he’s literally standing over.

Oh, wait, I just did.

But lest you think that Clary will be so much as wounded in her attempt to save her surrogate father-figure, remember that she’s still he author’s self-insert Mary Sue, so the mere act of attempting to sacrifice herself should be more than enough to prove her status as heroine.

Because instead of getting stabbed as logic would dictate, Jace, in an even smaller fraction of a second that it took Clary to cross the room, grabbed a knife and threw it at Valentine’s hands, causing his weapon to fly across the room.

And now that CC’s totally satisfied that she’s put enough dramatic action into this scene, it’s time for yet more talking. Jace is shocked at his own actions and tries to apologize (guess his newly-grown testicles fell off or something), but since he’s the Gary Stu love-interest, he shares the same immunity to criticism that Clary does. That’s right, Valentine complements Jace on the throw, even though his hand is now bleeding.

And instead of yelling at Clary for getting in his way, Valentine starts saying that he totally would have been able to stop before he hurt her. Given how slowly he was apparently moving at the time, I’m inclined to believe him. But of course Clary doesn’t believe him, because as the Mary Sue she is always right and never deceived. Unless it advances the plot.

Clary then asks for some bandages so she can start treating Luke’s wounds (see, I knew him leading this attack was a bad idea). I’m not sure what she thinks she’s going to accomplish, though. I mean, does she honestly believe that Valentine’s going to let her help the guy he was just trying to kill?

And what do you know, for once logic prevails! Valentine tells the freshly castrated Jace to stay, and then starts speaking to Clary “in a voice as oily as steel slicked with butter.”

Weird Word Choice: 3

Seriously, CC, where did this crap come from?

Anyway, Valentine starts going on about how Luke’s an enemy of their family and the Shadowhunters, and being a Shadowhunter sometimes means killing people. Clary counters that they’re only supposed to kill demons, because she’s drunk the Shadowhunter Kool-Aid and has completely forgotten that Jace was downright eager to start that fight with the vampires, despite knowing full well that in this universe, vampires are not demons.

Valentine says right out that Luke, being a werewolf, effectively is a demon, and then points out how deceptive Downworlders are, because Luke just tried to kill him, even though Valentine spared Luke’s life all those years ago.

You know, for a minute there, you actually had me, V. I really like the “doing evil for the greater good” thing, I really do. Something about pure sparkly goodness just doesn’t appeal to me. But while you did technically spare Luke’s life, you also took him out to the woods, game him a knife, and said he should kill himself. So while you weren’t a murderer, you would have been an accessory.

Back to the book. Clary does the standard “you’re the real monster” bit, which just shocks Jace. For once, Clary ignores him, instead listing the people Valentine did kill, and then going on the speculate about other people he might have killed, namely the real Michael Wayland and his son, and then saying that Valentine didn’t give a crap about the “purity” of their blood when it came down to his life.

This really pisses Valentine off (which of course is presented as confirmation of Clary’s accusations), and he orders Jace to get Clary out of the way or he’ll kill her and Luke. So of course Jace complies, telling Clary not to struggle. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t really care if Luke got killed because, hey, he’s just a Downworlder. It’s not like he’s a real person or anything.

And for no apparent reason, Valentine doesn’t just stab Luke. No, CC has to drag this out as long as possible. So while Clary is whining and crying, Valentine’s busy gloating over Luke. Luke tries to get an “honorable” death, but Valentine swings back to being logical just long enough to deny him that. And then immediately goes back to mustache-twirling so Clary can once again save the day by-proxy.

For no apparent reason, she accuses Jace of lying to himself (um, how?), so that Jace can talk about how he doesn’t want to lose his family again. This allows Clary to give a whole spiel about how he already has a family, blah blah blah, which of course convinces him.

Meanwhile, Valentine’s taking his sweet fucking time with killing Luke.

So now that Jace has once again switched sides, he saves Luke. Using his ultra-super-mega speed that’s totally awesome

Both Hands, Ma’am: 2

he tackles Luke, getting him out of the way of Valentine’s sword/dagger/whatever. Because I guess tackling the guy holding the weapon would just make too much sense.

Valentine starts yelling at Jace, so now Jace does the whole “you’re not my real father” spiel, and tries to order Valentine around. Valentine, however, isn’t intimidated by Jace. So Jace whips Valentine’s sword around and points it at Valentine’s throat. Guess neither one can just commit to killing their opponent right out. Like father, like son.

Clary, meanwhile, stares on in horror. Because that’s all she’s really good for.

Jace starts going on about how well Valentine trained him, so Valentine knows what he’s capable of. In a good book, this would be the point where Valentine says something like “Do you really think I taught you everything I know?” and then proceeds to fight Jace.

But, as has already been established, this is not a good book.

Instead, Valentine says he knows that Jace won’t kill him, because Jace is too soft. That’s what she said.

Sorry. This is just so boring.

So then Luke chimes in and says that he’ll totally kill Valentine, because having the shit beaten out of him twice in one day isn’t enough to convince him to just stay down. Valentine tries to use Luke’s threat to bring Jace back to his side, referring to Luke as “it” and calling him a monster. This doesn’t work, and Jace says that he probably couldn’t stop Luke if he wanted to, but any points in Jace’s favor are preemptively detracted when he also calls Luke and “it”.

Valentine compares Jace to Jocelyn and says they both betrayed him, Jace says that Valentine abandoned him, Valentine says he did it to keep Jace safe. Then Calry brings up Valentine killing Jace’s grandparents, but Valentine says that they sided against him, so it was okay. Then Luke says that Jocelyn was going to leave Valentine, and that Valentine knew it. This really pisses off Valentine, and leads to him admitting that yes, he set fire to the house, killing Jocelyn’s parents. Which makes Jace angry, even though he already knew this.

Plot Hole: 3

Seriously, in the same conversation. Who edited this piece of crap?

Luke steps in and tries to calm Jace down, whit questionable success. Clary starts freaking out again, because Jace is totally going to kill Valentine.

No Shit Sherlock: 2

Again Clary, why does this surprise you? Why else would Jace be pointing the business end of a sword at Valentine’s throat? I mean, obviously Jace isn’t going to go through with it, because he’s a pussy there wouldn’t be any more books he still sees Valentine as his father, but come on! This does not deserve the response you’re giving!

But she steps in to point out that they still don’t know where the MacGuffin Cup is, or what Valentine was planning to do with it.

Um, Clary? Did you forget the parts where what the Cup does, and what Valentine was going to do with it were spelled out? Very explicitly? Because I sure do. I’ve only read it about a dozen or so times already.

Plot Hole: 4

I just…

Whatever. Jace asks where Valentine hid the Cup, and V says it’s in Shadowhunter Land. Personally, I would have said something like “Fuck you” but then again I wouldn’t write all the characters as being imbeciles.

Still, credit to CC – that’s probably the last place anyone would think to look. And at least Valentine leaves it somewhat vague.

Jace tries threatening Valentine some more, because it’s worked out so well already, but Luke asks Jace to hand over the sword again, and Clary encourages it. This leads to a quick argument between the three of them, ending with Jace handing the sword over, because CC still needs to pad out her word count.

Oh, and there’s some noise from downstairs, but who cares about that?

So then Luke starts ordering Valentine to take him to Idris so they can get the Cup (because apparently magic portals are two-way now), and he also tells Jace and Clary to leave. Jace tries to argue, but Luke’s having none of it, and then tells Valentine to open the portal or he will kill him. Given that Luke was just trying to do that, Valentine doesn’t try to bluff his way out of this.

But then something finally happens. I guess CC ran out of stuff for everyone to talk about. I this case, a werewolf bursts through the door. Specifically, Alaric. I guess CC didn’t want to come up with yet another character.

Jace, being Jace, whips out his not-lightsaber and is totally ready to kill Alaric without even the slightest provocation. Good to know that, underneath it all, Jace is still a violent racist.

But Alaric’s sudden appearance is enough to distract Luke, and Valentine goes for his dagger. Guess no one thought to disarm him. Why am I not surprised?

And then we go into another one of those super-slow-motion moments where a lot of stuff is happening at the same time, even though that probably violates a couple laws of physics.

Clary starts to think about screaming a warning, but again Jace beats her to it. Luke spins around just in time to see Valentine moving to stab him and starts to try to block it, but once again someone gets between Valentine’s weapon and his intended target. This time it’s Alaric, and just like the death of Gretel, it doesn’t really mean anything because the audience doesn’t know the character.

Come on, CC – just because you give them a name doesn’t make them not red shirts.

Valentine (now having lost what intelligence he had) decides to gloat about killing Alaric, and simultaneously points out what a horrible leader Luke is. Well, can’t argue with that.

Valentine finally starts to run for it, while Luke collapses in grief (sure, why not). Jace tells Clary to stay while he goes after Valentine, but given how well she’s taken instructions so far, I don’t know why. And hey, I’m right – she grabs the other dagger (btw, one’s hilt is red and the other blue, just so you know) and goes after Jace. Valentine stops in front of a mirror and Clary’s not at all unexpected appearance distracts Jace.

Jace says he’ll go with Valentine to get the Cup, but Clary’s against that idea. And then for some reason Valentine pretty much explains that the mirror is the portal. But just in case the audience couldn’t figure it out, Jace just blurts it out.

Jace’s eyes narrowed. “The mirror is the Portal.”

No Shit Sherlock: 3

Oh, also this.

Weird Word Choice: 4

Valentine opens the portal, but doesn’t hop through. No, he has to make yet another attempt to bring Jace back to his side. Dude, just give up already. Yeah, quitters never win and winners never quit, but if you never win and you never quit, you’re just being an idiot.

Jace of course refuses, so Valentine finally hops through the magic mirror-protal. Jace starts to go after him, but Clary stops him. Because if he does, there won’t be any more books Valentine will kill him, and then who will she lust over?

And just to prove it, Valentine reaches back through the portal, grabs Jace’s wrist, and hold’s Jace’s weapon against his own heart, daring Jace to kill him.

But Jace once again pusses out, so Valentine calls him weak again, and somehow breaks the mirror from the other side. I’m not quite sure how you do that, but whatever.

And then CC decides we need another breather.

Random Scene Break: 2

Jace briefly goes catatonic, and then picks up a sliver of the glass on the floor. Clary tries to comfort him, telling Jace that it’s totally not his fault.

Seriously, Clary?! It’s “not his fault”?! He was literally inches away from killing Valentine, and he couldn’t do it! At this point, Valentine’s escape is entirely his fault!

Oh, wait, he’s the hot Gary Stu love-interest, so he can’t get blamed for anything. Even when it’s his fault.

Jace points to the bit of mirror, where Valentine can clearly be seen running away, not that this will lead to anything.

The idi her idiots return to Luke, and hey, Alaric’s dead. Can no one in this book be even remotely useful? Or are Gretel and Simon the only competent characters?

They tell Luke that Valentine got away, and of course he doesn’t blame Jace.

And then he leaves them alone so Clary can comfort him some more. Please, Clary, I know you just found out that he’s your brother, but could you please keep your hands to yourself for five minutes?

Blah blah, Clary comforts him, Jace fishes for some more pity (seriously, dude? She’s your sister!), so Clary comforts him even more with this line.

“The only way you would have failed,” she said, “is if you had.”

Jace cuts his hand on the bit of glass, Clary makes a joke about it

Rapier Twit: 2

and Jace starts crying. Chapter ends.

Sweet tap-dancing Christ this chapter was horrible. My god, this is supposed to be the big action-packed climax, but instead it’s exactly like the rest of the fucking book – little snippets of action sprinkled through huge chunks of characters talking about anything and everything. I swear, if all the inconsequential dialogue was cut from this book, it would only be half as long.

There’s just a little bit left. Because CC decided that this book needed an epilogue. Couldn’t have just added another chapter, nooo, she has to prove how “literary” she is by having an epilogue.

See you next time when I wrap this sucker up.


Weird Word Choice: 4 (Total 106)
Rapier Twit: 2 (Total 70)
No Shit Sherlock: 3 (Total 48)
Plot Hole: 4 (Total 89)
Random Scene Break: 2 (Total 23)
Both Hands, Ma’am: 2 (Total 30)
Bitch: 0 (Total 26)

Tagged as: ,


  1. Alchemist64 on 28 October 2013, 10:15 said:

    89 Plot Holes
    89 Plot Holes

  2. swenson on 28 October 2013, 12:44 said:

    Before I read this spork, I’m going to make some predictions:

    1. there will be no actual combat at the climax, or at least it will be boring combat; the actual resolution will come about during a conversation.

    2. there will be yet another long infodump, even though the climax is literally the worst possible place to put it.

    3. there will be implications that Jace and Clary should totes still be together even though they’re (apparently) brother and sister.

    4. I will hate Jace even more.

    5. everyone will praise Clary even though she didn’t do anything.

    6. everyone other than Clary and Jace will basically be ignored as unimportant.

    Let’s see how I do!

    [reads the spork]

    Huh. Luke was actually important in the climax? Didn’t see that one coming.

    But 1 and 2 were still more or less spot on (all the parentage stuff that WE ALL KNEW ALREADY GAH as well as Luke dramatically kicking down the door, followed by eons of talking instead of fighting and then talking while fighting and then boring fighting while still talking). That whole scene is the complete opposite of tense and exciting.

    3 – presumably? You didn’t really mention anything about Clary dealing with the revelation that she’s in love with the guy who just turned out to be her brother, so I’m assuming that it was basically ignored in favor of their relationship not changing at all.

    4 – YEP YEP YEP. Between him instinctively trying to kill something because it’s a different species and LETTING VALENTINE GO and just plain being Jace, I loathe him more than ever. Edward at least had some redeeming qualities, but I just hate Jace.

    5 and 6 – didn’t realize we had an epilogue still, but I foresee these showing up there even more than they did here.

    I just… really dislike Clary and Jace. Really thoroughly. Blech.

  3. Aikaterini on 28 October 2013, 18:30 said:

    Jace is mindlessly doing whatever Valentine tells him.

    Because he’s an idiot (and because Clare completely misunderstands the scene from “The Empire Strikes Back” that she’s ripping off). And it goes to show that, aside from his looks, he has absolutely no redeeming qualities. Before, you could say that as much of a horrible racist Jace was, he was at least opposed to genocide. He was, at least, supposed to be protecting humanity and Downworlders.

    But now? Throw that all out the window, because now we see that Jace blatantly doesn’t care. He’s all set and ready to join Valentine, a genocidal despot whom he’s opposed all his life. Which means that he really has no problem with Valentine’s plan and that the only reason why Jace loves being a Shadowhunter is because it makes him look good. That’s it. If being a Shadowhunter meant killing mundanes, instead of demons, he’d still be gung-ho for it. And yet we’re still supposed to regard him as the hero?

    has determined that everything Valentine says is a lie.

    Because, despite being completely oblivious to how her childhood friend felt about her, Clary is the ultimate authority on this man that she has never known a day in her life. She somehow senses that he is a lying fiend and she somehow sensed that he “really, really liked” her mother when looking at the photo of him and the Circle in their younger days.

    This pisses Jace off and he basically says “don’t say that about my dad!”

    Jace: Yeah, don’t say that about my dad, whom I’ve sworn vengeance on for all my life!

    Man, this is so stupid.

    And Jace is, of course, utterly flabbergasted that the girl who has spent most of their time together drooling and making goo-goo eyes at him actually like-likes him.

    This is another case of Jace’s characterization being totally backwards. Because Clare wants to have it both ways. She wants Jace to be the charming and careless bad-boy whom all the girls swoon over, and who’s dated others before the heroine, and who flirts with the heroine and gets all up in her face…but she also wants him to be the aloof and brooding loner who’s waiting for the one special woman to unlock his sad heart. Pick one or the other. You can’t have Jace be so cocky about pursuing Clary and then suddenly have him stammer: “Y-You mean, you actually LIKE me?”

    So how is it that Jace learned that his dad is actually Valentine, but didn’t figure out that Jocelyn must have been his mom?

    Well, in order to do that, he’d have to actually remember that Jocelyn existed. When was the last time that he asked Clary about her or mentioned her to anyone?

    since he didn’t have any real friends or relatives (apart from the Lightwoods), so Valentine didn’t have any problems stealing his identity

    Really. Michael Wayland had no friends or family and was apparently such a hermit that nobody noticed that he was dead and that Valentine wasn’t him. How wonderfully convenient.

    It’s even more convenient and contrived when one remembers Hodge’s photo. Both Valentine and Michael Wayland are in the picture and the mere existence of the photo confirms that the Shadowhunters do have photography. So, answer me this:


    Was Hodge’s photo the ONLY photo that ever existed of Valentine? Did Jace go through his whole life without knowing what Valentine looked like? Even though Jace was convinced that Valentine killed his father and swore revenge as a result? Did the Lightwoods have no photos of Michael Wayland or Valentine lying around? Besides, Isabelle told Clary that Jace saw Valentine kill his father when he was ten. So, how exactly did Valentine set that whole thing up? How convenient that there was never a moment where Jace saw a picture of Valentine and said, “Hey, that’s my dad!” while the Lightwoods were in earshot. None of this makes any sense.

    Valentine says that he loves Jocelyn, and besides, Luke was the one who turned her against him. Luke argues that he had nothing to do with Jocelyn’s change of heart.

    <rolls eyes>

    Anakin: You turned her against me!

    Obi-Wan: You have done that yourself.

    Valentine does exactly what I would and tells him to shut up.


    Jace says that since he thinks Jocelyn abandoned him, he doesn’t have a mother.

    Jace, Valentine faked his own death and left you with the people who jumped ship. Yet you’re still so quick to buy his talk about Jocelyn, a woman you’ve never met and who also happens to be your girlfriend’s mom and the person that she was searching for all this time.

    how could anything so deadly be so beautiful?

    So, while Jace’s problem is that he ignores everything that’s going on around him just so he can make quips like a gigantic twit, Clary’s problem is that she ignores everything that’s going on around her just so she can gape at beautiful things or people like a gigantic twit. Not only do Jace and Clary’s idiotic “observations” kill the mood, but they also suspend disbelief about the characters themselves. Jace and Clary come off as MST sporkers from afar, not characters who are involved and present in the story. I mean, come on, in what reality would a person in this situation stand still and make a stupid quip about a box or wonder about a sword’s beauty? They wouldn’t. They’d react and act accordingly to what’s happening.

    So of course Jace complies, telling Clary not to struggle.

    Our Hero, ladies and gentlemen. He’ll enable the villain and act like a good little henchman by telling the heroine to stand aside and let her family friend be murdered. Yeah, I can totally see why Clary prefers him to Simon.

  4. Juracan on 28 October 2013, 20:13 said:

    Morgenstern means ‘morning star’. As in How are thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

    Um… yes? And? This seems to be a common thing these days, but… the Morning Star has a crap ton of meanings in mythology. Yes, in modern occultism it’s often referring to Lucifer, but I’ve seen it refer to the goddess Venus, the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, Saint John the Baptist and even the Virgin Mary. So Valentine?

    He pulls out his sword (because I guess he has a sword) and… points it at Luke’s heart. That’s it.

    So I know that I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but seriously— why don’t you people use guns?! You’d think Valentine, the genocidal maniac who is looking for a faster way to kill large groups of people, would consider the advantages of firearms! But no! They just swords! They don’t even have crossbows!

  5. Apep on 28 October 2013, 20:45 said:

    5 and 6 – didn’t realize we had an epilogue still, but I foresee these showing up there even more than they did here.

    I can neither confirm nor deny those predictions.

    Besides, Isabelle told Clary that Jace saw Valentine kill his father when he was ten.

    To be fair, Jace said his dad was killed by Valentine’s flunkies, not Valentine himself. Again, I’m more bothered that none of the staff ever mentioned this.

    None of this makes any sense.

    This book hasn’t made sense for a long time.

    So I know that I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but seriously— why don’t you people use guns?!

    According to tvtropes, their not!magic interferes with stuff like that. No, I don’t understand the reasoning behind this (other than “because Harry Potter did it”). I don’t know when it’s brought up, but it isn’t in this book.

    They don’t even have crossbows!

    Actually, they do – in Story Time with Luke, we learned that Luke’s weapon of choice was a crossbow. Which is a really bad choice for close-quarters combat, unless you happen to be a really good shot.

  6. Juracan on 28 October 2013, 21:06 said:

    Actually, they do – in Story Time with Luke, we learned that Luke’s weapon of choice was a crossbow. Which is a really bad choice for close-quarters combat, unless you happen to be a really good shot.

    I was really imagining the pistol-crossbows that the coppers carry in Ankh-Morpork, but I guess having crossbows period is something.

  7. Rachel on 28 October 2013, 22:17 said:

    According to tvtropes, their not!magic interferes with stuff like that. No, I don’t understand the reasoning behind this (other than “because Harry Potter did it”). I don’t know when it’s brought up, but it isn’t in this book.

    And I suspect that Rowling did it that way because guns are illegal in Britain, thus making it less likely for a single mother to own one, and less likely for her to want to work it into the story somehow. If it isn’t a part of your daily life, you probably won’t write about it.

    Had Rowling been an American author from, say, Texas or Wyoming, Harry probably would have simply drawn the pistol Hagrid bought him in Diagon Alley (for Firearms Use, a class taught by Hagrid himself), shot Quirrell in the leg, and run off to the safety of an unusually well-armed student body. :P

  8. Epke on 29 October 2013, 15:38 said:

    And I suspect that Rowling did it that way because guns are illegal in Britain, thus making it less likely for a single mother to own one, and less likely for her to want to work it into the story somehow. If it isn’t a part of your daily life, you probably won’t write about it.

    I think firearms, which are mechanical things, works in a magical environment. It’s things that use magnetism, electricity, advanced technology (mobile phones) and such that doesn’t.

    And everyone has really said everything there is to say. This chapter is stupid, CC can’t and shouldn’t write and our hero(es) are dumber than a bag of hammers.

  9. Apep on 29 October 2013, 15:58 said:

    I think firearms, which are mechanical things, works in a magical environment. It’s things that use magnetism, electricity, advanced technology (mobile phones) and such that doesn’t.

    That makes sense if you’re assuming that magic is somehow related to electricity/magnetism, or just have magic and technology not get along (ex: Dresden Files). And that’s assuming you want magic and tech not to get along in the first place.

    I’m fine with CC having reasons for her supernatural monster-hunters to not use guns – it’s her world, it can run on whatever rules she likes. I just want those reasons to be explained, and not in some interview after the fact. Lord knows she’s perfectly willing to explain everything else in-text.

  10. Ziggy on 30 October 2013, 01:08 said:

    I don’t think CC understands how nicknames work.

    Do even real nicknames ever make sense? Dick for Richard, Kit for Christopher… at least J.C. is recognizably similar to Jace.

  11. Epke on 30 October 2013, 06:14 said:

    That makes sense if you’re assuming that magic is somehow related to electricity/magnetism, or just have magic and technology not get along (ex: Dresden Files). And that’s assuming you want magic and tech not to get along in the first place.

    I think, not entirely sure, that Rowling stated that magic interferes with electrical equipment, though in some cases, like radios and cameras, the device can run on magic instead.

    Do even real nicknames ever make sense? Dick for Richard, Kit for Christopher… at least J.C. is recognizably similar to Jace.

    “Dick” from Richard comes from the old use of shortening names and then rhyming them, a common practice back in the day. Richard, Ritch, Hitch, Rick, Hick, Dick.

    I think Apep’s dislike for “Jace” from J.C. is that it’s a lazy way of saying J.C. Jaycee. Jace. Writing J.C. would’ve made more sense, but seeing as this is a Cassandra Clare book, sense goes out the window.

  12. Apep on 30 October 2013, 09:59 said:

    My problem with “Jace” is that I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be pronounced – is it like J.C., or like a shortening of Jason? If it’s the former, why isn’t it written as J.C.? If the later, how is that derived from J.C.?

    Also, I’m really bothered by Clary not being able to figure out that “Jace” wasn’t his real name. The only reason for it is to make the big reveal more dramatic.

  13. Ziggy on 31 October 2013, 10:56 said:

    That makes sense. I guess I’m just willing to be lenient here because it’s often hard to trace the logical progression from a name to a nickname. As far as why she eschewed, “J.C.” I think it’s just her not wanting to telegraph the mystery that much. If his name was J.C., the reader would wonder what that stood for. “Jace” could be a name by itself.

    It’s still lame though, don’t get me wrong, but I think it has a lot to do with Clare’s inability to write a compelling mystery that isn’t either totally opaque (so opaque that the characters can only solve it by having sudden flashes of inexplicable insight) or completely transparent (so much so that the only reason the characters haven’t solved it yet is because the author won’t let them).

  14. Apep on 31 October 2013, 11:21 said:

    The whole mystery around the Cup was almost perfect. A bunch of Jocelyn’s paintings were either missing/destroyed by Valentine’s mooks, Clary did pull out the card it was hidden in when Mme. D gave her a reading, and the fact that those cards were originally a gift from Jocelyn makes it all hang together neatly.

    The only problem is Clary inexplicably being able to do the same trick. There’s no reason for her mom to have taught her how to do that. In fact, here’s how it should have gone:

    When they figure out that Valentine’s looking for the Cup, they all go back to the apartment to look for clues, with no luck. Later, they mention the paintings to Hodge, and he explains that Jocelyn figured out a way to hide stuff in paintings – she helped the Circle by hiding some of their stuff that way. Then Clary remembers Mme. D saying that her tarot deck was a gift from Clary’s mom, and figures that the Cup might be hidden there. They go to get the deck, and the plot proceeds from there.

    Not only does this work better, it also helps to fill out the word count, so there’s less padding.

  15. Jade on 17 July 2016, 02:54 said:

    Apparently it’s Jace like a shorthand for Jason but… JC is “Jay-see” like “Jasie” and even the shorthand must be shortened… I’ve heard DJ shortened to “Deej” but I don’t think it becomes the name everyone uses at all times…

    Clary goes on about the junk in the box

    Didn’t Clary in like the second chapter say that the box had medals that belonged to her “father” in it. Was that mentioned in the box here, or just what she was told was in it and yet said it like she’d seen them. I’d believe either way.


    I looked into the books and was thus led here because I watched the TV show (and saw bits of the movie long before that but that in no way made me want to look up the books). The show’s not the greatest but… I now see that it worked it’s ass off trying to patch up some of this mess. The character’s are actually really likeable! Well… Clary’s still… ugh. But everyone else!

    So far, no archer!Simon but the club scene takes place in a kinda VIP section and Izzy actually wearing a club dress. Still White, to I guess resemble the book, but leather. It was more of an investigation deal than “random demon they somehow knew would be there” And the whole “how the fuck did Jace mistake these two guys, did he not ever see pictures?” thing is sidestepped with glamours that actually change how you look(like they usually do) and not just make you invisible. Also, Luke seems to embrace the werewolf thing a bit more.

    Jace is still a bit of a dick, Alec too, with the whole ‘mundane’ shit with Simon. But Izzy’s gets involved in relationships with Downworlders that while looked down upon by her mom, her mom is seemingly supposed to be seen as a bitch so… Clary and Jace still do fucking stupid shit that wouldn’t have happened if sometimes they LISTENED TO ALEC. ALec’s the voice of damn reason in the show. I didn’t realize how much of an ass he was in this book.

    Stupid shit still happens. So fucking much… but I now see how much worse it could have been. They are really trying to fix shit in that show. Not always successful but you work with what you got.