Hello, gentle readers. I do have what I feel are decent excuses for the wait between entries, but at least some of that edges into my personal and family life, so I’ll just say that stuff’s been a bit crazy.

Anyway, last time, most of the main cast got reunited. Shadowhunter City has basically been overrun by demons. Sebastian is very obviously a bad guy, but the rest of the cast is too dense to figure that out, and that wouldn’t be nearly as obvious if CC actually understood how to maintain any kind of tension. So now the protagonists are off to rescue the members of the cast that were left behind for various reasons.

But first, the chapter title – “De Profundis.” It’s Latin for “from the depths.” I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a reference, or if CC is just following that old bit of advice, “Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur” (“Anything said in Latin sounds profound.”)

We start in Simon’s POV. This is good, if only because it means we might actually get some decent writing.

Simon’s made some attempts at escape, with the only result being burns to his hands, but his super vampire healing dealt with that. Meanwhile, Samuel is busy praying. Simon reflects on his inability to do the same, and how it’s a bit weird that he can withstand direct sunlight, but still can’t say “God”.

This is actually a bit of good writing. It’s nice to see Simon reflecting on what he’s lost, and how becoming a vampire has affected him. It also implies, at least to a certain degree, that his religious beliefs were somewhat important to him.

Moving on, there’s a fire somewhere down the hall. Now Simon thinks about how it really kinda sucks to become a vampire, yes somehow still end up dying at 16.

Then Clary shows up at the window. There’s a brief moment where Simon thinks he’s hallucinating, only to discover that he isn’t. I can’t help but think this might work better if we’d had him hallucinating before, so there might be a reason for Simon’s initial doubt.

Well, if nothing else, this means we won’t have to jump over to her and the rest of the Scoobie gang making their way there.

Clary says they’re going to get him out, but Simon is understandably skeptical. Then Jace reaches in – side note, he’s described as having “pianist’s fingers”

Both Hands, Ma’am: 1

(Yes, I know that’s an actual thing, but come on. There’s no way CC chose that particular wording other than to remind readers that Jace plays piano.)

and Jace just rips the bars out. Because I guess he can do that now. I guess Jace is now just early Superman, but blond.

Simon gets pulled out the window and, not missing a beat, we get this line from Jace:

“You look like crap, vampire.”

First, this:

Our “Heroes”: 1

Second, he’s been locked up for how many days now? Three? Four? More? And I doubt they were providing him any kind of clothes or cleaning supplies. So, yeah, he’s gonna look pretty rough. Just because you have the author’s blessing of never looking bad doesn’t mean you get to rub everyone else’s’ faces in it.

But before Simon can point any of this out, Clary runs in and hugs him, and starts going on about how she didn’t know he was there. Simon points out that he didn’t know Clary was there, either, even specifying that Jace very deliberately told him that.

So Jace, being a sociopath, covers his ass with a technicality:

“I never said that,” Jace pointed out. “I just didn’t correct you when you were, you know, wrong. Anyway, I just saved you from being burned to death, so I figure you’re not allowed to be mad.”

Our “Heroes”: 2

Again, you utter fucking sociopath.

First, you very deliberately didn’t tell Simon, or Clary for that matter, despite having no reason to do so, except to cover your own ass. And you very clearly had no intention of informing either of them of the other’s presence. Because evidently preventing any negative feelings towards you is more important than the lives and safety of your supposed “friends.”

Second, Simon saved your ass from a demon that was going to eat you. And since, you have only rarely addressed him by name. At best, this makes you even. And you’re still a colossal douche-bag.

Simon – of course – doesn’t point any of this out. Because we can’t have the main characters calling out Jace. So instead, Simon looks around and notices that, yep, the building is indeed on fire. And because he’s not a massive dick, Simon wants to save Samuel.

Clary and Jace aren’t quite so willing, and when Simon tries to talk to Samuel, the guy just shouts back for Simon to leave him. And at this point Jace actually does something that I will agree with, and decides to ignore Samuel’s request.

Of course, he also uses his newly developed super-strength to kick in the bars to Samuel’s cell, making me once again wonder just when he developed this particular super power. And which no one has commented on.

Nevertheless, Samuel continues to protest, and we get this bit from Jace:

Jace shook his blond head in exasperation. “You had to make a crazy jail friend, didn’t you? You couldn’t just count ceiling tiles or tame a pet mouse like normal prisoners do?”

Rapier Twit: 1

Now, I’m reasonably certain that “pet mouse” bit is in reference to the Stephen King novel The Green Mile, or film adaptation starring Tom Hanks and the late, great Michael Clarke Duncan. But I’m also a bit concerned that Jace thinks it’s “normal” for prisoners to completely isolate themselves or something.

Fun fact: there’s actually evidence that solitary confinement not only doesn’t work, but is actually so bad that it could be considered a form of torture.

So, with Samuel continuing to refuse to escape, Jace goes in after him. This upsets Clary, who decides to blame Simon for this, because it’s not like Jace is capable of making stupid decisions all on his own or something.

And I guess she’s now completely forgiven Jace for lying to her about Simon.

Our “Heroes”: 3

Alec, unsurprisingly, tries to cover for Jace, making the argument that Jace is just such a natural hero that he just couldn’t stand by and let someone die. I mean, it’s not like his immediate reaction to rescuing Simon was to try and shift blame away from himself for his own actions, rather than asking if there was anyone else in the building who might need rescuing.

Oh, wait.

Also, Alec? Please, for your own sake, stop defending Jace. He’s never going to be into you. Pretty sure Magnus explained this to you. So stop chasing after Jace.

Jace shoves a limp Samuel out the window, and shortly follows. To his credit – though not much – his first words are expressing actual concern for the guy he just shoved out of the burning building.

Samuel is curled up in a ball like he’s having a mental break-down. Alec tries to touch him, but Samuel tells him to leave him alone. And he also refers to Alec by name.

Everyone else freaks out about this, and Alec wants to see Samuel’s face. The guy says no, and Simon sticks up for the guy, but is the only one to do so.

Jace decides to get involved, and we get this almost Freudian bit of narration as Clary stops Simon from getting in Jace’s way:

[Clary’s] eyes were on Jace – when weren’t they? – as he moved to stare down at the crouched figure of Samuel.

Indeed, CC. When is Clary ever not staring at Jace when in his presence?

Anyway, Jace orders Samuel to show them his face, and of course, this time Samuel complies.

Side-note: Jace doesn’t refer to him by name, instead addressing Samuel as “Shadowhunter,” and I can’t help but feel that there’s something vaguely dehumanizing about that. As if he’s not a person, or at least not an individual.

Unsurprisingly, Samuel looks pretty rough – he’s thin, old, his eyes are sunken, and he could do with a shave.

And it’s at this point that Jace reveals the big secret – Samuel is actually Hodge.

You guys remember Hodge, right? Guy from the first book? Played a quasi-Dumbledore role, only to turn out to be Valentine’s lacky around the end of the second act? Ran off and conveniently disappeared?

Well, looks like someone may have reminded CC of that particular dangling plot thread.

And that’s the end of the scene.

But, since basically all the POV characters are here, and they have nowhere to go, we pick up right where we left off.

A Word From Our Sponsors: 1

But I think we’ve switched to Clary’s POV. It’s a bit hard to tell, since the first mention of her is in passive voice. Kinda like Clary herself.

Sorry. Moving on.

Everyone’s mad, especially Alec, because he apparently feels that Hodge betrayed them. I feel compelled to point out that both Hodge and his parents were part of the same not-Death Eaters group, and that they got off with a much lighter sentence because they were rich, so I’m having a little trouble seeing any justification for these feelings.

Hodge apologizes, but Jace is having none of it. He’s also convinced – for no apparent reason – that Hodge knew about Valentine’s experiments on Jace. Seriously, I have no idea how Jace could have come to this conclusion.

But of course, like all of Jace’s leaps of logic, he turns out to be correct. Because we can’t have Jace ever be wrong about something.

So there’s much back and forth, and much angsting from Jace. I’ll grant him this – he does have the right to be upset about Hodge keeping all those secrets, especially about Jace’s parentage and what Valentine might have done to him. However, Hodge is also right, in that since all he got from Valentine was a claim that V was Jace’s dad, and well, Valentine lies.

We also get the point emphasized again that Jace doesn’t look like Valentine, even though their descriptions are similar.

There’s yet more angsting from Jace about him having demon blood, and how that absolutely means more than his upbringing. And this would be an interesting way to explore the nature vs. nurture argument, but I’ve read this book, so I know what side CC decides to come down on.

And now Alec gets in on the pile-on-Hodge party. He’s not just mad about the betrayal, he’s mad that Hodge chose to run. Because why would an escaped fugitive go on the run or something.

And to his credit, Hodge brings up the point I made earlier – despite all of them being part of the same group, the Lightwoods received special treatment, while he was locked up and made a pariah and locked away to rot.

But Jace doesn’t care. And when Simon tries to intervene, Jace tells him to shut up. And calls him “vampire” again.

Our “Heroes”: 4

We finally get around to something vaguely relevant when Hodge starts explaining why he came back to Shadowhunter-land. Seems he has an idea of where the las MacGuffin is. Of course, none of the kids believe him at first, because that would make things move a bit faster.

So Hodge basically explains how he figured it out, and it sounds a lot like something out of The Da Vinci Code. Except that, for all its many faults, The Da Vinci Code was actually kinda good at laying out evidence that’s in plain sight.*

*Note: much of said evidence is in fact wrong, but that’s beside the point.

Short version – the magic angel mirror is the lake.

Clary responds to this by basically going, “oh, yeah, that makes sense.” Because, you know, it’s actually pretty obvious. Kind of amazing that it took a presumably pretty smart guy several years of study to put it together. Guess that’s what centuries of in-breeding gets you.

We’re briefly reminded that this conversation is happening next to a burning building by one of the towers collapsing. Of course, this doesn’t cause anyone to go, “hey, maybe we should move this discussion to a safer locale,” or anything, so I’m wondering if it’s there because one of CC’s beta readers went “aren’t they still in front of a burning building?”

Entirely Pointless: 1

Alec, being the resident good-boy, figures that they should probably tell the folks in charge about all this, and pulls Hodge up so they can get moving.

But Jace isn’t having any of that. No, he wants to skip ahead and get Valentine’s whole plan laid out now. And under normal circumstances, I’d be fine with this. Except that a) they’re still in front of a burning building, and b) in this book, Jace doesn’t trust the people in charge, because reasons.

So instead, he pulls out a knife and threatens to start cutting off Hodge’s fingers if he lies. Exactly how Jace will know Hodge is lying is unclear. Of course, knowing this series, he’ll just magically intuit it.

Our “Heroes”: 5

But yeah, the whole “Jack Bauer” thing is not a great look.

Alec is, understandably, a bit freaked out by this. Of course, Clary justifies Jace’s sudden turn into being an open violent sociopath with the “demon blood” card.

Our “Heroes”: 6

Funny how Jace is only behaving this way now, by the way. Almost as if he suddenly has an excuse to act on his urges.

Also, keep this whole bit in mind for the end, because ooooh, boy.

Luckily for Hodge, Clary decides to not sit like a bump on a log while Jace tortures him, and lends her support to Alec’s argument.

But Jace is unmoved. So, like any conspiracy theorist worth their tin-foil hat, he frantically scrambles for a justification for continuing with the course of action he’s already set on. What is it? If what Hodge said was really true, he’d have told the Clave already.

Nevermind that less than a minute ago, Jace didn’t trust the Clave. Or that he has no evidence that Hodge hasn’t told them.

But again, we can’t have Jace be wrong. No, instead, Hodge starts going on about how Valentine has spies in the Clave, and that’s why he never said anything. This strikes me as a bit odd, considering that the membership of Valentine’s little club from back in the day is kind of public knowledge, so he would have needed to recruit new people, which I imagine would be difficult what with either the ‘pretending to be dead’ thing, or the ‘returned and back to his old antics’ thing.

Before Hodge can explain too much (like how he learned about any of this), a knife suddenly appears in his rib cage, and he dies.

Alec understandably freaks out and blames Jace, but of course it wasn’t Jace. So the camera pans around to reveal that it was…

SEBASTIAN!!

And credit where it’s due, I suppose, Sebastian actually tries to pull the “he was armed and dangerous” argument. Unfortunately for him, he’s using this argument on the actual witnesses.

Alec tells Jace to try their standard Cure Minor Wounds spell, but dude, Hodge had like, maybe 3 HP left and just got hit with a nat-20 max damage Sneak Attack. He dead, son.

Simon, being a vampire, decides that he needs to be as far away from the blood as possible. But, Clary being Clary, she clings to him like a toddler with a safety-blanket. After a minute, Simon manages to get free and books it for the treeline. And Clary has a sad.

And somehow, Hodge is still just barely alive, if only to mutter a few cryptic last words (“Jonathan”, “Not you” in response to Jace, and “You were never”) before finally croaking.

Clary dwells on watching Hodge die for a moment, reflecting on how it’s not like it is in the movies. Of course, we also don’t mention Hodge soiling himself as his bowels loosen, so that’s a bit of a wash.

Then everyone gets pissed at Sebastian, which is fair, though I have to wonder whether Alec would describe doing something similar to a non-Shadowhunter as “murder”.

Sebastian defends himself by bringing up all the stuff Hodge did, both back in the day and more recently – you know, the same stuff the “heroes” used to justify their behavior. But this time it’s bad, because I guess that’s only okay when the heroes do it.

*Our “Heroes”: 7

There’s a bit of back-and-forth, and it gets nicely derailed when Sebastian points out that Jace had just said that he was going to torture Hodge to get information. Glad at least someone was both paying attention and not excusing that.

Then he taunts Jace about kissing Clary, and how their relationship is really pretty fucked up. And for a minute – just a minute – I really, really like him.

And then Sebastian has to ruin it by admitting that he’s with the bad guys, because why even bother with attempting to be subtle at this point?

I can never have nice things.

Clary goes back over everything Sebastian just said, laying it all out, presumably for the especially slow readers. At least Sebastian calls her out for being such a moron.

Jace attacks Sebastian, but whoops! Looks like Sebastian also has super speed. He then proceeds to kick Jace’s ass. Guess the little shit goblin wasn’t all that good of a fighter after all.

Clary jumps in, and it goes about as well as you’d expect an artsy kid with about five minutes of training going up against someone who does this shit for a living would. For once.

Alec threatens Sebastian with his bow, but that fails, too. Sebastian closes, snaps the bow, and starts gloating about getting to take down two Lightwood in one day.

But just as Sebastian is about to off Alec, Simon comes in yet again with the save, even biting Sebastian’s arm.

Meanwhile, Clary has once again gone into slug-mode.

Sebastian and Simon tussle for a bit, and this gives Jace enough time to get off his ass. He threatens Sebastian a bit, and Sebastian decides to book it. After all, we still have a little over half the book left, so we can’t go offing the only decent, credible threat we’ve seen thus far just yet.

Side note: why the hell has it taken until book 3 to finally have a villain who’s a demonstrated, on-screen threat to the protagonists for more than a single scene? This whole series has been obsessed with showing Valentine as a threat, but when he shows up, he never does anything really threatening.

But I’m going to can-of-worms this, because this is a discussion worth focusing on, and we’ve still got a ways to go.

Clary tries to get up, but can’t, so Jace runs over to her. As she looks up at him, she sees a weird shiny aura around him, which of course has to be caused by her vision blurring, and definately isn’t a hint at something. Nope.

Jace figures Clary probably has a concussion, and figures based on his non-existent medical expertise that one of their Cure Minor Wounds spells should fix it, but they should probably get her to the hospital, though of course it’s not called a “hospital.” It’s “the Basilias,” and no, I have no idea where that name is derived from.

Side-note – why is it that the spell Jace felt was good enough to heal a stab wound to the heart isn’t good enough to deal with a concussion? I mean, I’m not a medical expert, but how does the latter require more specialized treatment than the former?

Oh, wait, because it’s Clary. Moving on.

Now that he’s established that Clary isn’t going to die, though, Jace starts berating Clary for getting involved in the fight with Sebastian. Alec comes to her defense, pointing out that Sebastian was kinda kicking Jace’s ass.

Jace starts making excuses, because he can’t just accept that maybe he’s not quite as super-special-awesome as he thinks he is.

Meanwhile, Simon is less bothered by what happened, but does note that Sebastian is pretty damn strong – Simon’s prettys sure Sebastian broke a few of his ribs. Luckily for Simon, vampires heal fast. And probably don’t need to breathe that much.

A more pertinent detail, though, is that Sebastian’s blood tasted gross. This detail is, of course, immediately dismissed by Jace, because why would he listen to Simon about anything?

They start heading back to base, because there’s definitely nothing else they should maybe be worried about. You know, it’s not like one of them left their siblings with the guy who just tried to kill them, and explicitly mentioned killing one of said siblings during the fight, so it might be a good idea to try and track down said siblings.

Nope. Nothing else to worry about.

There is walking, and talking, and thinking.

Alec tries to tell Jace that just because his dad is a psycho, that doesn’t mean he too needs to act like a psycho. Jace doesn’t respond well to this.

Clary spends a good paragraph or so trying to figure out Sebastian’s deal, and if she’s really just that oblivious.

No, Clary, in this one instance, I’ll say that it’s not your fault – it’s CC’s fault.

The four of them apparently walk through the streets for a good few minutes before realizing that there don’t appear to be any demons around. Odd, that.

They get back to the big city hall to find it lit up like a Christmas tree. Inside, everyone else is just as confused about the demons’ disappearance as they are, or at least should be.

Also, the Lightwoods have made it, including Isabelle.

And to top it off, Max is now dead. Because there’s no cheaper way to pull at people’s heartstrings than killing a kid. Except maybe for killing a dog.

Alec and the other Lightwoods are grieving, but Jace is all stoic. So, of course, Clary can only think about how she wants to comfort Jace, because of his man-pain or something.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 2

But instead of doing that, Clary runs outside for some reason, and without tripping or stumbling once, despite all the trouble she apparently had just a few minutes ago.

End chapter.

You know, I’m honestly kind of amazed that there’s still so much of this book left. Then again, it’s kind of amazing how much of it I’ve already covered, given how little has actually happened. But that’s what comes from focusing so much on teen drama angst instead of the actually important stuff, like the whole “save the world” plot.

I’ll see you guys whenever I get around to slogging through another chapter. Which will hopefully be soon, if I can just get motivated.

Counts

Both Hands, Ma’am: 2 (Total: 50)
Entirely Pointless: 1 (Total: 10)
Our “Heroes”: 7 (Total: 67)
Plot Hole: 0 (Total: 8)
Rapier Twit: 1 (Total: 6)
You Keep Using That Word: 0 (Total: 102)
Shoddy World Building: 0 (Total: 27)
No Shit Sherlock: 0 ( Total: 2)
A Word From Our Sponsors: 1 (Total: 8)

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Comment

  1. Juracan on 7 July 2019, 20:14 said:

    But first, the chapter title – “De Profundis.” It’s Latin for “from the depths.” I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a reference, or if CC is just following that old bit of advice, “Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur” (“Anything said in Latin sounds profound.”)

    The famous usage of the phrase “De Profundis” is probably the letter by Oscar Wilde. It’s a heartbreaking composition written during the time he was in jail for being publicly outed as having a sexual relationship with another man (said other man didn’t go to jail because his dad had connections). So it’s… uh, a bit strange to say the least, when CC uses the title for a chapter about the heroes breaking Simon out of jail, interrogating Hodge, and Sebastian revealing he’s evil. The closest I can figure is that it’s supposed to mean

    A) Simon is coming “From the Depths” by being sprung out of jail or

    B) this is supposed to be about Hodge being wrongfully imprisoned?

    Either way, I’d say it’s pretty darn insensitive to draw a connection between the depression of a queer man being trapped in a jail due to the injustice of society and… this, which is nowhere near as deep or dark or has anything to do with oppression or inequality. The person in this situation most likely to be suffering injustice is the reader for having to do through this.

    [Huh. Knew that Oscar Wilde course would come up in handy someday…]

    Alec, unsurprisingly, tries to cover for Jace, making the argument that Jace is just such a natural hero that he just couldn’t stand by and let someone die.

    Jace is the opposite of a natural hero. He’s a dick to everyone he meets from the start. I know that this is character shilling in its purest form, but it really makes me ask “Have you met Jace?”

    Because, you know, it’s actually pretty obvious. Kind of amazing that it took a presumably pretty smart guy several years of study to put it together. Guess that’s what centuries of in-breeding gets you.

    I snorted at this last sentence.

    Of course, Clary justifies Jace’s sudden turn into being an open violent sociopath with the “demon blood” card.

    And of course, I bet she still wants to get in his pants despite the demon blood thing. And, y’know, she thinks it’s HER BROTHER.

    And to top it off, Max is now dead. Because there’s no cheaper way to pull at people’s heartstrings than killing a kid. Except maybe for killing a dog.

    Oh great, he was killed off-screen. That doesn’t feel cheap at all, right?

  2. The Smith of Lie on 8 July 2019, 03:47 said:

    Then Jace reaches in – side note, he’s described as having “pianist’s fingers” –

    I can sort of understand, if not excuse, how Jace’s looks get in the way when we’re in Clary’s PoV. She’s the shallow, obsessive teen with hots for her (presumed) brother, so it’s not that weird when it comes from her PoV. But why the hell do we need to be subjected to it when we’re with Simon?

    But before Simon can point any of this out, Clary runs in and hugs him, and starts going on about how she didn’t know he was there.

    One has to wonder if she’d care if she knew. I guess even CC isn’t so callous to have her heroine just shrug off her supposed best friend being imprisoned by bigots. Maybe. Possibly. We’ll never know.

    “I never said that,” Jace pointed out. “I just didn’t correct you when you were, you know, wrong. Anyway, I just saved you from being burned to death, so I figure you’re not allowed to be mad.”

    Because lie by an omission is not a thing…

    And at this point Jace actually does something that I will agree with, and decides to ignore Samuel’s request.

    Wait a second. If I get the order of events right, at first Jace is at least considering leaving Samuel to burn (given he and Clary are not as willing to save him) and only takes action to save his life when Samuel expresses that he wants to beleaft for dead? Man, Jace can even turn straight up saving someone’s life into expression of douchbaggery.

    The guy says no, and Simon sticks up for the guy, but is the only one to do so.

    Funny, how the only decent human being in the group is a literal undead abomination…

    [Clary’s] eyes were on Jace – when weren’t they?

    It’s like CC’s writing gets those little moments of self-awarness from time to time, when a comment by a character or a snippet of narration shows what the characters and narrative are really like. And then the usual re-eatablishes itself.

    Side-note: Jace doesn’t refer to him by name, instead addressing Samuel as “Shadowhunter,” and I can’t help but feel that there’s something vaguely dehumanizing about that. As if he’s not a person, or at least not an individual.

    Well, nice to see that he is like this towards everyone, not only vanilla mortals and “downworlders” (ugh, I hate that word). See, he’s not a bigot, just a giant arsehole.

    But of course, like all of Jace’s leaps of logic, he turns out to be correct. Because we can’t have Jace ever be wrong about something.

    I was about to comment something along these lines, but it turns out the pay-off was immediate. My theory is that in addition to super jumping and super strength Jace is also in some way prescient. Either that or he has the most impressive superpower on his side, the power of Authorial Fiat!

    But Jace doesn’t care. And when Simon tries to intervene, Jace tells him to shut up. And calls him “vampire” again.

    To no reaction from Clary I assume? I mean given how much she worships Jace I wouldn’t be really surprised if she shifted into calling Simon “vampire” as well…

    Guess that’s what centuries of in-breeding gets you.

    You know what? My new head canon is that all Shadowhunters, bar none, have those glorious Habsburg Chins.

    Then everyone gets pissed at Sebastian, which is fair, though I have to wonder whether Alec would describe doing something similar to a non-Shadowhunter as “murder”.

    And of course if Jace pullef off something like this everyone would jump to making excuses and justifying his actions…

    Sebastian defends himself by bringing up all the stuff Hodge did, both back in the day and more recently – you know, the same stuff the “heroes” used to justify their behavior. But this time it’s bad, because I guess that’s only okay when the heroes do it.

    Moral Myopia is a hell of a drug.

    Clary tries to get up, but can’t, so Jace runs over to her. As she looks up at him, she sees a weird shiny aura around him, which of course has to be caused by her vision blurring, and definately isn’t a hint at something. Nope.

    Hamfisted foreshadowing attempt aside, why is Clary suddenly capable of percieving the angelic aura of Jace? Do we just chalk it off under her “speshul” Mary Sue status?

    Jace starts making excuses, because he can’t just accept that maybe he’s not quite as super-special-awesome as he thinks he is.

    [Witcher sags SPOILER] Man I wish this fight was a Vilgefortz moment for Jace. Getting his ass kicked three ways to Sunday and needing a long recovery could only do Jace some good.

    You know, I’m honestly kind of amazed that there’s still so much of this book left. Then again, it’s kind of amazing how much of it I’ve already covered, given how little has actually happened. But that’s what comes from focusing so much on teen drama angst instead of the actually important stuff, like the whole “save the world” plot.

    I was tempted that this whole demong attack debacle had the feeling of a climax back when you mentioned there’s still half a book. But then I tried to think about what has happened so far and it occured to me, that it makes sense it isn’t the big climactic finale, because nothing really happened to set it up as such. Even just from the sporks the pacing of this books feels bad…

    [Juracan] Jace is the opposite of a natural hero. He’s a dick to everyone he meets from the start. I know that this is character shilling in its purest form, but it really makes me ask “Have you met Jace?”

    I guess that when you have nothing to show, you need to fall back on thelling.

    And of course, I bet she still wants to get in his pants despite the demon blood thing. And, y’know, she thinks it’s HER BROTHER.

    Are you kidding? I bet the demon blood is an additional turn on for her.

    It now occured to me it’d be hilarious, in a disturbing kind of way, if after the big reveal that they are not siblings after all, Clary lost all interest in Jace. Taboo is gone? So is her involvment.

  3. Aikaterini on 8 July 2019, 10:30 said:

    Then Jace reaches in – side note, he’s described as having “pianist’s fingers”

    If I wanted to play Devil’s Advocate, I would say that this is supposed to provide contrast to the image of Jace ripping out the bars with his bare hands. But I won’t, because 1) how on earth is Jace able to rip out the bars to begin with and 2) why on earth would Simon, whose POV we are in, describe his hands that way?

    “You look like crap, vampire.”

    Is it a law written in stone that Jace is incapable of addressing Simon by his name? But don’t worry, guys, it’s the villains who are racist and bad and horrible. Not perfect Prince Jace.

    Just because you have the author’s blessing of never looking bad

    Well, he does get to look suitably hurt whenever Clary/the narration wants to moon all over him. Jace nearly killed Maia’s werewolf pack? Who cares, he has a bloody face and bruises!

    Simon saved your ass from a demon that was going to eat you. And since, you have only rarely addressed him by name.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Clare forgot about that scene, so the characters forget about it too. Just like how the narrative conveniently forgets about Jace’s attempted murder of the werewolves.

    And isn’t it wonderful how Jace assumes that because he did something decent (and only after Clary made a fuss about it), Simon isn’t allowed to be mad? He’s not just forbidden from calling out Jace on his behavior, he’s not even allowed to be angry with him.

    You know, Fitzwilliam Darcy went to a lot of trouble to rescue Elizabeth Bennet’s family from scandal and possible ruin by tracking down Lydia, convincing George Wickham to marry her, and paying for their wedding. All while forbidding Wickham and Lydia and the Gardiners to mention a word of his involvement to anyone, especially Elizabeth. He didn’t want Elizabeth to feel obligated to him. He didn’t want her to agree to marry him just out of gratitude. As far as he was concerned, he had no chance of ever marrying her and it was only once his aunt told him about the argument that she had with Elizabeth that he got his hopes up again. He rescued Elizabeth’s family because he felt that it was the right thing to do, not because he was expecting Elizabeth to fall all over him.

    And if you told this story to Jace, he probably wouldn’t understand a word of it. The narrative that has been slobbering all over him wouldn’t understand a word of it either. Wow, a man doing something nice for a woman because it’s the right thing to do and not to win brownie points with her? Not so that he can wave it as a Get Out of Jail Free card for his earlier arrogance? Not so that he can rub it into other people’s faces? What nonsense is this?

    This upsets Clary, who decides to blame Simon for this, because it’s not like Jace is capable of making stupid decisions all on his own or something.

    Ah, I see that she’s learned from CoB!Alec. And here I was thinking that I’d seen the last of that victim-blaming creep.

    When is Clary ever not staring at Jace when in his presence?

    And yet somehow we’re not supposed to see this as ridiculous in any way.

    he pulls out a knife and threatens to start cutting off Hodge’s fingers if he lies.

    But remember, guys, Jace is totally not a villain! He’s totally not similar to Valentine, who kept a tortured angel locked in a basement or who hurt Maia and Simon. No, when Jace threatens to cut off a man’s fingers, he’s just being edgy and cool and a hardcore warrior! When Valentine tortures people, he’s a sadistic villain who needs to be stopped.

    Of course, Clary justifies Jace’s sudden turn into being an open violent sociopath with the “demon blood” card.

    Which will come back to bite her. That is, if Clary/the narrative had a hint of self-awareness.

    Funny how Jace is only behaving this way now, by the way. Almost as if he suddenly has an excuse to act on his urges.

    Almost as if the narrative is lazy and wants to give an excuse for making Jace act like a psycho, only to retract that excuse later on, making this attempt completely pointless and stupid.

    Clary dwells on watching Hodge die for a moment, reflecting on how it’s not like it is in the movies.

    Are we sure that Jace is the only sociopath here?

    it gets nicely derailed when Sebastian points out that Jace had just said that he was going to torture Hodge to get information. Glad at least someone was both paying attention and not excusing that.

    Yeah, if Clare really doesn’t want us to notice what gigantic hypocrites her ‘heroes’ are, it would be better if she didn’t have other characters notice it. No, I don’t care that Sebastian’s a villain. He’s right.

    Simon comes in yet again with the save, even biting Sebastian’s arm.

    And let me guess, this will inspire no gratitude or realization or anything resembling character development for our ‘heroes.’

    Jace starts making excuses, because he can’t just accept that maybe he’s not quite as super-special-awesome as he thinks he is.

    Oh, my Lord, shut up. Just shut up, you pathetic, insufferable, egotistical blowhard. Sebastian is stronger than you. Simon saved your sorry rear. You’re not the best at everything. Just get over yourself and shut up!

    We’re three books in and Jace has learned nothing. He’s still the worthless, brainless moron that he was in the first book.

    Because there’s no cheaper way to pull at people’s heartstrings than killing a kid.

    And to make the villain look worse than Jace. Yeah, just forget about how Jace tried to kill Maia’s entire pack, which included kids and teenagers. He was interrupted before he could do it, so that doesn’t count. Just like he was interrupted before he could follow through on his threat to torture Hodge, so that doesn’t count either.

    So, of course, Clary can only think about how she wants to comfort Jace, because of his man-pain or something.

    Because it’s not like Max is Isabelle and Alec’s brother. No, please don’t ask Clary to comfort Alec or – heaven forbid – Isabelle. They don’t count. Only Jace’s discomfort matters.

    it’d be hilarious, in a disturbing kind of way, if after the big reveal that they are not siblings after all, Clary lost all interest in Jace. Taboo is gone? So is her involvment.

    Nah, Clary was interested in him from the moment she saw him because he’s the Designated Love Interest and the Plot Says So. Everything that we’ll learn about Sebastian will make him look like the perfect love interest for Clary if you apply the narrative’s standards for Jace to him. But, no, he can’t be Clary’s true love, because he’s not the Designated Love Interest.

    I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Sebastian only exists as a Get Out of Jail Free card for Jace x Clary after Clare’s editors told her that she couldn’t get away with the incest.