Hello and happy 2019, everybody. Hope this year treats you well. And with some luck, I might actually buckle down and pump out more than one of these a month (no promises).

So, last time, Jace visited Simon in prison, with the brilliant plan of breaking Simon out by… doing stuff. Simon, having a functioning brain, pointed out that that was kind of a stupid non-plan, and managed to convince Jace to sneak him blood so he doesn’t starve to death, because the Shadowhunters don’t buy into any pussy-ass nonsense like the Geneva Conventions. Also, Jace very deliberately didn’t mention that Clary was in the city, because it’s not like that would look incredibly suspicious or anything, especially given both of their previous and current feelings re: Clary.

Meanwhile, Sebastian took Clary on a horse ride outside the city, first to visit the residence of Ragnor Fell. You know, that guy Clary just had to see to get help for her mom, but instead of trying to track him down, went out to find Jace and the Lightwoods instead?

(Tangent: “Jace and the Lightwoods” sounds like a band name.)

Except at Fell’s place, they found none other than Magnus Bane. He put a whammy on Sebastian to have a private chat with Clary. He explained that someone (presumably Valentine) sent some of his minions to kill Fell, because Fell knew the location of a special magic book that Jocelyn had, and which Valentine wants. And conveniently, Fell managed to write all this down before dying, along with the book’s location and how it’s remained hidden all these years. Because why wouldn’t you just hand the main character all the answers? Then they might have to actually work for this stuff.

Although, to be fair, if Clary wasn’t walked through this every step of the way, she’d never find the damn thing.

So Magnus offers Clary a deal – she gets him the book, and he’ll whip up a cure for her mom. Clary agrees.

After Sebastian gets un-whammied, he decides to take Clary to the burnt-out ruins of her mom and Valentine’s old house. Because that’s normal. Then they made out for a bit, because CC literally has exactly 1 trick in her writing toolbox, and it’s “love triangle.”

Oh, but then Clary got a bad feeling and stopped, prompting Sebastian to start talking like a creepy, possessive, violent stalker. Ah, there’s that subtlety I’ve come to expect from CC.

But at least one good bit came from all this nonsense – Clary finally found out that Simon was in Shadowhunter City, and that Jace knew about it.

Oh, and quick side-note before continuing: last time, I ended by noting that part one was almost over. That’s not entirely true. After this chapter, there’s only one more in part one.

Now, onward!

The chapter’s title is “One of the Living.” I expect it to be exactly as relevant as any other random chapter title in this series.

Once again, we being with Simon. He wakes up to find someone stuck a metal thermos through the bars of his window. There’s even a note attached, like he’s seven years old or something. And because I love sharing my suffering, you guys get to read it, too:

Simon: This is cow blood, fresh from the butcher’s. Hope it’s all right. Jace told me what you said, and I want you to know I think it’s really brave. Just hang in there and we’ll figure out a way to get you out. XOXOXOXOXOXOX Isabelle.

Wow. Just… wow. CC really turned Isabelle’s girly settings up to 11, didn’t she? I mean, damn. That’s the kind of note a 13-year-old girl sends a boy she’s got a crush on. What happened to the ‘comfortable with her sexuality’ Isabelle from the first book?

This amuses Simon, and after he’s downed a bit of blood, gets a weird feeling. He turns around to find Raphael behind him.

Now, when I first read this, I thought it might be a hallucination. You know, Simon’s subconscious needling him or something. Alas, I proved to be more creative than CC.

Simon gives the typical response to this sort of thing, Raphael tells him not to panic, refers to Simon as “Daylighter”, and Simon says he isn’t, even though he very clearly is. We then get a quick refresher on who Raphael is, because I guess he’s just too minor a character for the readers to remember.

(And in case you’ve forgotten, dear reader, he’s the second-in-command of the New York vampires, and the one who turned Simon)

*You Keep Using That Word: 1 (“Daylighter” – yes, I’m adding it to the list, and you’ll understand why soon)

We get an answer for how Raphael is here – he’s doing that Projection thing he did in the last book.

You Keep Using That Word: 2 (“Projection” – seriously, did that need to be capitalized?)

Simon asks why Raphael is here. Apparently vampires have rules about traveling – you need to tell the local top vampire if you’re leaving. Oh, and again, Raphael calls Simon “Daylighter.”

You Keep Using That Word: 3

I wasn’t aware that we were playing by Vampire: The Masquerade rules
Wouldn’t it be more pertinent to tell the local head vampire when you enter their territory?

This brings us to the actual head vampire of New York, Camille. Who is apparently still missing. You know, that sounds like something that might be interesting. Something that, say, a group of people trying to maintain the peace between vampires, other supernatural creatures, and those who traditionally hunt said creatures might be inclined to look into.

So, of course, we’re going to just brush right past it.

Simon explains that he didn’t leave on purpose. Raphael swears (“Dios”, because he’s Hispaic, don’cha know), prompting Simon to ask how he can do that. Answer? Raphael’s older, and doesn’t really believe anymore.

He also calls Simon “fledgling,” which upsets Simon. But not Jace calling him “vampire.” Interesting.

Raphael drops the term “Child of the Night,” just to be extra-pretentious.

You Keep Using That Word: 4

And we finally get to why Raphael has dropped in – he somehow heard that Simon drank Shadowhunter blood, and that’s why Simon is immune to sunlight.

To his credit, Simon points out that, were that true, it would have been discovered a long time ago. Raphael admits that that makes sense. And then he adds that pretty much every Downworlder is after Simon now, because of what he can do. And again, calls him “Daylighter.”

You Keep Using That Word: 5

Yes, Simon is now super-special awesome, because how else could he truly be worthy of Clary’s affection?

Simon asks if Raphael wants to get ahold of him, and he admits it does. But not because he wants to figure out what makes Simon the way he is – no, he considers Simon to be an abomination, because reasons. Oh, and gotta get these in quick:

You Keep Using That Word: 7 (“Children of the Night” and “Daylighter”)

But Raphael offers Simon a deal – once he’s out, Simon disappears, cuts ties with everyone he knew when he still had a pulse, and Raphael will leave him alone.

Simon refuses. Raphael points out that, you know, he’s a vampire, so it’s not really an option. Plus, what’s he got to complain about?

And, credit where it’s due, Simon does think about what it would be like to be sixteen for eternity; how he’ll never quite finish growing, he’ll always look the way he does, and how he’ll never be able to legally get drunk. Good job, CC.

Simon points out that he heard from other vampires about how Raphael still pretends to be human, and hasn’t cut ties with his family. I guess he heard about this while he was a rat, because that’s the only time he could have.

Raphael counters by pointing out that he’s not lying to himself about still being human and alive, while Simon is. End scene.

Why is it that the rest of these books can’t be even half as well-written as this scene?

And we’re back with Clary. Joy.

She’s just gotten back the Amatis’s place, and is imagining that she’s back in New York, all the while Amatis is trying to get her attention, and not even getting an acknowledgement. I’m not going to ding this, but it is annoying.

Clary finally responds when Amatis is about a foot away. Apparently Jace has come by for a visit. Clary is very obviously upset (which I approve of), and Amatis is worried that she did something wrong. Amatis then decides to go upstairs, rather than provide any kind of adult supervision, because even though she very clearly noticed that Clary’s attitude towards Jace has changed, we don’t need a third party cluttering up the scene.

Clary, of course, can’t imagine why she might want or need Amatis’s help for, and goes to the kitchen to confront Jace. And along the way we get a description of food that Amatis seems to have set out, including backing cookies, because… I guess we needed someone to play mother-hen? I don’t know.

On to Jace, including the ever-necessary description of his appearance in excruciating detail, including the Marks under his shirt, and the bandage on his hand.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 1

You Keep Using That Word: 6

Oh, and the narration insists that Clary totally doesn’t care that Jace hurt himself. Sure. Pull the other one, CC, it’s got bells on it.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 2

Jace fakes being unconcerned about Clary being gone all day, because what kind of person expresses concern for friends/family wandering around alone in a city they’ve never been to? That’s just crazy.

Our “Heroes”: 1

Clary explains that she was out with Sebastian. And, were I not thoroughly convinced that she was only doing this to make Jace jealous, I’d actually approve. As is, it’s yet more teen soap opera shenanigans.

Anyway, Jace has come to apologize for his behavior. Of course, he still tries to convince Clary to go back to New York, so it’s less like, “I realize I was wrong, and am trying to make amends,” and more like, “I haven’t changed my mind, but will go through this ritual in the hopes that you’ll do what I want.”

As part of her counter-argument, Clary brings up Simon, and how she learned he was here. Jace tries to cast doubt on Sebastian, only to admit that he was telling the truth.

And to my amazement, Clary actually has a normal, human reaction – she starts throwing plates at Jace.

Jace explains that Simon is fine, and that he saw Simon just last night. Clary asks whether this was before or after she came by, and Jace pretended that nothing was wrong. And Jace continues to dig, by complementing his own acting skills.

This really pisses Clary off, so she jumps on him. But just as she’s about to punch him, he manages to catch her hand. Because he’s just so super fast, and we can’t have him getting any more hurt.

There’s much narration about how close the two are. Because of course there is.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 3

Jace asks why Clary thinks he did anything. Clary points out that he and Simon have never really gotten along. So Jace shows her the scar where he let Simon feed off him, which would be a good piece of evidence, except that he refers to Simon as “your vampire friend.” Because it’s not like Simon is his own separate being, or has any intrinsic value of his own.

Our “Heroes”: 3

And then Jace comes clean about what happened – why Simon was there, the attack, and why he dragged Simon along. Of course, he doesn’t explain why he didn’t tell any of this to Clary in the first place, because I guess that would indicate that his previous actions were wrong or something.

You Keep Using That Word: 7 (“Institute”, “Portal”)

Also, they let the authorities take Simon because Shadowhunter HQ is the only place in the entire microstate with a Portal.

You Keep Using That Word: 8

Of course, Clary brings up why they shouldn’t trust Shadowhunter leadership – the Inquisitor was a big meanie. I mean, she was just doing her job, but that’s what happens when your morality is based around how characters treat the hero.

Our “Heroes”: 4

You Keep Using That Word: 9 (“Law”)

Jace brings up an interesting point – Valentine used to rant about the Clave being corrupt, and maybe he was right. Of course, we don’t acknowledge that Valentine himself is even more extreme than them, meaning he essentially came to the right conclusion from the opposite direction.

There’s more PDA, which again, is kinda gross.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 5

Look, CC, I get that you maybe have an incest/taboo fetish, and that’s fine. And I’m not going to say that a YA book exploring sexuality and romance and whatnot is a bad thing. But maybe you should keep your personal kinks personal, or at least not make them a central part of your YA series, okay?

More bashing of the Inquisitor, basically implying that she’d gone rogue, even though she was literally doing her job.

Our “Heroes”: 5

We get yet more talk about how close they are. Yes, CC, we get it.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 6

Clary says she wants to see Simon, but Jace says no. Then he explains Aldertree’s plan, and that they have no plan to get Simon out. So now Clary comes up with a plan – while Jace and the Lightwoods are in a public place, she’ll get Magnus to break Simon out and back to New York. And she’ll get Magnus to do this as part of her giving him the magic book he’s after.

On the one hand, it’s not a bad plan. On the other, we’re still taking advantage of Magnus.

Clary tells Jace about her chat with Magnus (which we thankfully get to skip), and for some reason Jace concludes that Magnus is upset that some warlock is out there breaking the Law. Because he’s just shown such concern about that before, what with how he’s basically made a living doing just that, including to help them.

You Keep Using That Word: 11 (“Law”, “Lilith’s children”)

Anyway, Jace agrees to help get inside the old Wayland manor, and even knows the book they’re looking for – apparently it was the only cookbook in the library, which is totally not suspicious at all. And in exchange, Clary agrees to go back to New York, because I guess Jace deserves to get something, even though he really has no leverage here, given he lied to her about Simon.

Oh, and apparently Clary will take them there by magic, because I guess that’s just a thing she can do now, because reasons. End scene.

And we’re back with Simon again. This time, we begin with Samuel (and this might just be me, but there’ too many characters with S-names in this book) commenting on what interesting friends Simon has. Also, he calls him “Daylighter”, because everyone has to get in on this.

You Keep Using That Word: 9

Samuel also refers to Jace by his real name. More importantly, he points out that Simon having his friends sneak him blood isn’t a long-term solution, because eventually Aldertree will figure out that something’s up. Simon replies that he’s going to hope that Jace and the others figure out a way to get him out, because why should Simon play an active role in planning his own escape? And besides, he’s just got so much on his plate right now.

Simon also promises that he’ll ask his friends to break Samuel out.

Samuel is skeptical about this, but doesn’t explain why. He also says that Valentine will attack soon anyway, so Simon should maybe be more concerned with that, rather than slow death by starvation. Also, he calls Simon “Daylighter” again.

You Keep Using That Word: 10

Seriously, will no one refer to Simon by his name?

Also, I find Samuel’s shift to be very weird: first he points out that Simon’s plan of staving off starvation won’t work for long, implying that maybe he should get to work on plan, only to say that it’s all pretty much hopeless, because Valentine’s going to kill them soon anyway, with only a single paragraph of text between the two thoughts.

What the hell? Was there a cut? Did CC’s editor not catch this?

Simon asks how Samuel knows this, and we get yet more infodumping.

So, to take down the wards, you need demon blood. However, you have to be able to get past the wards to do that. But apparently Valentine figured out a way to get around that. Samuel told the Clave about this, but they didn’t believe him. Then Samuel compares their situation to the fall of Rome, with a decidedly less-than-accurate analogy. I’ll save myself some time and give you the short version of my rebuttal:

There were a number of factors that contributed to the eventual collapse of the Roman Empire, of which “invading barbarian hordes” was only one. Just as “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” it’s fall was gradual one. There was no single event that brought the empire down.
If one were to consider the Byzantine Empire to be a part or successor to the Roman Empire – a fair claim, given it was essentially the eastern half of the Roman Empire, and the Byzantines certainly considered themselves to be Roman – the Roman Empire continued to exist well into the 15th century, almost 2000 years after the establishment of the Roman Republic, and almost a thousand years after the collapse of the empire in western Europe.

So in short, either Samuel or CC has only a cursory knowledge of this particular event. And given who “Samuel” turns out to be, I’m inclined to put the blame on the later.

Also, he calls Simon “Daylighter” again.

You Keep Using That Word: 11

Ugh. End scene.

And we’re back to Clary. She’s getting shot out of a hole in space, so at least it’s somewhat amusing. Also, we got to skip finding out just how she knew where to send them, since IIRC, you have to actually know where you’re going to open a magic-door there. Then again, it’s not like CC’s rules for this sort of thing have ever been consistent, even in the first book.

Anyway, somehow Clary and Jace got split up while traveling through magic wormhole, so now Clary’s in a strange place, and all alone. This should be good for a bit of tension.

Oh, wait, Jace was in the next room. That bit of tension lasted all of [checks watch] three seconds. Which is actually pretty long for this series.

There’s a bit of gushing about how awesome Clary is for doing what she did, because of course there is.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 7

You Keep Using That Word: 12 (“Portal”)

A lot of the furniture in the house is covered in sheets caked in dust. Clary describes the place as looking like “something out of a fairy tale.” Jace (rightly) says it’s more like a horror movie. Also, I’m now wondering what kind of fairy tales Jocelyn read Clary.

Oh, wait, she never did that, did she?

Anyway, the house is cold. But it’s a special kind of cold. Here, I’ll let CC’s own words explain:

[T]he cold in the manor was more than physical cold: The place felt cold, as if there had never been warmth or light or laughter inside it.

Yep. That is some real A+ writing there. Is it any wonder that these books are such a huge success? That’s almost as good as “bent as easily as a blade of grass bending sideways.”

Jace is somehow amazed that the place is so dusty. Because why would dust gather in a place that’s been uninhabited for years? Real mystery, that is.

Jace turns on his magic glowy rock and they start exploring. And, of course, we have to get the obligatory description of Jace’s features, including the fact that all the wind or whatever from the magic space-sphincter didn’t muss his hair. Because of course it didn’t.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 8

Clary apparently assumed that Valentine kept living in this place even after faking his death for the second time, because reasons or something. Because apparently no one inherited or bought the place afterwards. Sure. Okay. I mean, given how Shadowhunters used to literally confiscate the possessions of any Downworlders they killed, of course no one would want to purchase a big, fancy estate out in the country. Makes sense.

Un-Logic: 1

Also, this:

You Keep Using That Word: 13 (“Portal”)

Jace leads the way to the library, and Clary is for some reason surprised that it’s not an almost exact copy of the one at the Institute. Because all personal libraries are the same or something?

You Keep Using That Word: 14 (“Institute”)

Jace talks a bit about spending time in the library, mostly to humble-brag about how many languages he knows.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 9

Clary takes a minute to imagine Jace as a child, reading stuff, because that’s what we really needed right now.

Entirely Pointless: 1

Jace walks over to a shelf and finds the book without any difficulty at all. Whelp, so much for that little sub-plot.

Clary takes a look inside, and the title is “printed in gilded Latin letters.” Just what the hell are “Latin letters”?

[Checks Google]

Okay, so a “latin font” seems to be one that uses serifs (those little lines at the ends of certain letters – compare Times New Roman to, say, Arial), but other than that, I’ve got nothing. The Latin alphabet is pretty much the same as the English one. So, what the heck were you going for here, CC?

Whatever. Clary flips a bit further, and doesn’t recognize the language. Apparently, it’s Ancient Greek, which Jace can kind of read. Because of course he can.

Both Hands, Ma’am: 10

Jace reminises a bit about how strict a father Valentine was. Yes, CC, we get it – he was horrible. You don’t need to remind us at every opportunity.

Then Clary, in a fit of child-like mischief, decides that they should make a mess of the library. Yep, that’ll show Valentine, who isn’t here, and probably hasn’t been for years. Yep.

Jace joins in, because why the heck not, and they somehow manage to trip the opening mechanism for a secret door. Because of course there’s a secret door. And why should these characters have to actually work to progress the plot?

Ugh. End chapter.

So that’s chapter 8. I’ll grant it this – stuff happened, and I didn’t feel like any one scene was a huge slog to get through. Plus, we finally got to see Clary taking Jace to task for his behavior, if only for a minute.

Next time, we’ll see what Valenting has hidden in his secret basement, and we’ll finally finish part one. Lord knows it’s taken a long time to get here.

Counts

Both Hands, Ma’am: 10 (Total: 31)
Entirely Pointless: 1 (Total: 8)
Our “Heroes”: 5 (Total: 50)
Plot Hole: 0 (Total: 8)
Rapier Twit: 1 (Total: 2)
You Keep Using That Word: 11 (Total: 94)
Shoddy World Building: 0 (Total: 18)
No Shit Sherlock: 0 ( Total: 1)

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Comment

  1. Lunafreya on 28 January 2019, 02:44 said:

    First comment, yay :D

    (Tangent: “Jace and the Lightwoods” sounds like a band name.)

    Oooh, I’m envisioning an emo band with angsty songs such as “Daddy was a modern day Hitler”, “Why can’t I bang my sis?”, and “I’m hot so I get a free pass”

    Why is it that the rest of these books can’t be even half as well-written as this scene?

    The writing was better because we weren’t in Clary’s PoV and there weren’t any excessive descriptions of Jace?

    And to my amazement, Clary actually has a normal, human reaction – she starts throwing plates at Jace.

    While Jace totally deserves to get plates thrown at him, methinks Clary deserves an Our “Heroes” for destroying Amatis’s china without a second thought.

  2. Aikaterini on 28 January 2019, 11:45 said:

    That’s the kind of note a 13-year-old girl sends a boy she’s got a crush on

    Well, all the better to make us forget how immature Clary is. Sure, she throws tantrums whenever Simon dares to look at a pretty girl, but, hey, at least she doesn’t include X’s and O’s in her notes!

    He also calls Simon “fledgling,” which upsets Simon. But not Jace calling him “vampire.”

    Because Raphael isn’t the Designated Dreamboat.

    Simon is now super-special awesome, because how else could he truly be worthy of Clary’s affection?

    But not truly worthy. Just like how Jacob, even after becoming a werewolf, still wasn’t considered truly worthy of Bella’s affection in “Twilight.” The third wheel becoming supernatural is just a step up to raise them above puny mundanes/humans, but still below the superior group: vampires and Shadowhunters. I think it’s more of an excuse for Simon to get to play around in the fantasy world, which is meant to be off-limits to normal humans.

    She’s just gotten back the Amatis’s place, and is imagining that she’s back in New York

    So, there’s no reaction to the date she had with Sebastian? No reflection on how Sebastian grabbed her and his eyes turned black? No? …Okay.

    Jace fakes being unconcerned about Clary being gone all day, because what kind of person expresses concern for friends/family wandering around alone in a city they’ve never been to?

    This is taking the Byronic hero archetype to levels of parody. It’s just like when Jace ran off to play piano in “City of Bones” instead of tending to Clary while she was hurt and when he snippily told Alec in “City of Ashes” that he didn’t want Alec to pass a message to Clary while he was in the Inquisitor’s cell because “I don’t have anything to say to her.” Seriously, dude, stop posturing and grow up.

    Clary explains that she was out with Sebastian.

    OMG, Jace, it was so horrible! He made me smile and we had a nice horseback ride and he told me stuff about my family. So lame! Good thing that he started grabbing me and acting like a psycho at the end, kinda reminded me of you.”

    Clary actually has a normal, human reaction – she starts throwing plates at Jace.

    I’d like this more if 1) it didn’t come completely out of nowhere, because since when has Clary been mad enough at Jace to do something like this? 2) if this wasn’t “too little, too late” – seriously now you’re throwing plates at him because of Simon? Where was this reaction back in “City of Bones?”, and 3) if this had any lasting impact. But of course it doesn’t. Clary throws plates at him and it’s treated with as much gravity as the typical scene where the ‘feisty’ heroine slaps a man. Jace isn’t hurt by this, isn’t shocked by this, and doesn’t truly apologize.

    But just as she’s about to punch him, he manages to catch her hand. Because he’s just so super fast, and we can’t have him getting any more hurt.

    Because, again, heaven forbid that anybody’s anger against him be justified. Heaven forbid that he have to suffer consequences for his awful actions.

    Clary points out that he and Simon have never really gotten along.

    Yeah, no kidding, genius. Again, where was this observation back in “City of Bones?” When has Clary ever truly cared about how horrible Jace is to Simon?

    There’s more PDA

    Well, good to know how seriously we’re supposed to take Clary’s anger in this scene. This is like something out of a bad Harlequin novel.

    Clary: I can’t believe that you lied to me!

    Jace: Whatever, let me quip at you some more. Because that’s totally an appropriate reaction to you throwing plates at me.

    Clary: You’re such a jerk!

    Jace: Look, I deigned to let the vampire have some of my super-special blood, okay? That totally makes up for me treating him like garbage this whole time.

    Clary: Oh, okay. Let’s make out.

    Seriously, will no one refer to Simon by his name?

    Nope. And nobody will see anything wrong with this. Because the narrative hates Simon.

    Jace reminises a bit about how strict a father Valentine was. Yes, CC, we get it – he was horrible. You don’t need to remind us at every opportunity.

    Oh, no, she needs to. Because then the reader might start noticing that Jace acts more like a spoiled brat instead of the abused child that he’s supposed to be. They might start to forget Jace’s Tragic Past of Doom, which is meant to be the justification for him acting like a narcissistic psycho.

  3. The Smith of Lie on 28 January 2019, 17:11 said:

    because the Shadowhunters don’t buy into any pussy-ass nonsense like the Geneva Conventions.

    This is needlessly pedantic, but seeing how Shadowhunter Funland is not a country recognized by any other country on Earth, I seriously doubt they are signatories of the Geneva Convention. And lets not open the can of worms question “Would the Convention even apply to the vampires, given that they are technically not humens?”

    Of course this does not make Shadowhunters any less despicable.

    (Tangent: “Jace and the Lightwoods” sounds like a band name.)

    And it sounds like they’d be playing some sort of hipster folk rock.

    Oh, but then Clary got a bad feeling and stopped, prompting Sebastian to start talking like a creepy, possessive, violent stalker. Ah, there’s that subtlety I’ve come to expect from CC.

    My head canon is that what Clary felt wasn’t any sort of premonition or even detection of evil. No, no, no. She got bad feeling because her Narrative Imperative Drive detected a kiss from someone who is not the Designated Love Interest A: model Jace and a warning lights started blinking.

    This brings us to the actual head vampire of New York, Camille. Who is apparently still missing. You know, that sounds like something that might be interesting. Something that, say, a group of people trying to maintain the peace between vampires, other supernatural creatures, and those who traditionally hunt said creatures might be inclined to look into.

    Oh please. The best you can count from the Shadowhunters ia “And a good riddance.”

    He also calls Simon “fledgling,” which upsets Simon. But not Jace calling him “vampire.” Interesting.

    It’s the Narrative Imperative Drive. It makes Simon incapable of percieving the insult in anything Jace says unless it is appropriate for building the tension in the Love Triangle.

    Raphael drops the term “Child of the Night,” just to be extra-pretentious.

    I’m actually torn between this and “Vampyre” as being the more pretentious…

    Look, CC, I get that you maybe have an incest/taboo fetish, and that’s fine. And I’m not going to say that a YA book exploring sexuality and romance and whatnot is a bad thing. But maybe you should keep your personal kinks personal, or at least not make them a central part of your YA series, okay?

    You know what? Seeing that this stuff is the actual draw of the book (we all know that Urban Fantasy is just a set dressing for the juicy Brother/Sister romance) I’d expect that people who are actually into it would have found actual incest erotica in the deep dark depths of the internet… I guess that “forbidden love” angle is much more popular than I’d have though, but really how much can you milk that one idea?

    Oh, and apparently Clary will take them there by magic, because I guess that’s just a thing she can do now, because reasons. End scene.

    Sure, why not. By this point I’d be ok with her sprouting wings and breathing fire if it was going to bring the ending quicker.

    Seriously, will no one refer to Simon by his name?

    My headcanon is “Because CC is petty like that.”

    There’s a bit of gushing about how awesome Clary is for doing what she did, because of course there is.

    If I had half as much authorial fiat backing me as she does, I’d be a President for Life in my private country by now…

    Also, I’m now wondering what kind of fairy tales Jocelyn read Clary.

    Unbowdlerized ones? I mean the oldest versions tended to be fairly gruesome.

    [T]he cold in the manor was more than physical cold: The place felt cold, as if there had never been warmth or light or laughter inside it.

    This might be my memory finally failing, but I have a vague recollection of presence of Demontors being described in similar way. Except you know, it made sense.

    The Latin alphabet is pretty much the same as the English one.

    Hell where I live it is the norm to call the alphabet now in use in most countries as the Latin Alphabet. So yeah, that paragraph was a failure from where I sit, good job CC!

    Whatever. Clary flips a bit further, and doesn’t recognize the language. Apparently, it’s Ancient Greek, which Jace can kind of read. Because of course he can.

    Well this is even better. Maybe that’s just the spork, but it seems almost like CC is saying that Ancient Greek text was written with the Latin Alphabet, which is pure nonsense.

    Jace joins in, because why the heck not, and they somehow manage to trip the opening mechanism for a secret door. Because of course there’s a secret door. And why should these characters have to actually work to progress the plot?

    The worst part is that I expected this exact thing to happen just as the Clary suggested messing the place up. Because in CC’s book thats the only reason for such an action – to contrive the discovery of a secret room.

    Next time, we’ll see what Valenting has hidden in his secret basement

    Oooh! I hope it’s pickles. Jars and jars of pickles.

    [Aikaterani]Well, all the better to make us forget how immature Clary is. Sure, she throws tantrums whenever Simon dares to look at a pretty girl, but, hey, at least she doesn’t include X’s and O’s in her notes!

    What have you done!? You pointed an actual point in favour of Clary. How could you?!

    [Aikaterani] Oh, no, she needs to. Because then the reader might start noticing that Jace acts more like a spoiled brat instead of the abused child that he’s supposed to be. They might start to forget Jace’s Tragic Past of Doom, which is meant to be the justification for him acting like a narcissistic psycho.

    Well that and the fact, that he is so absent for the most of the plot, that people might actually forget that he was a bad guy and why he should be stopped…

  4. Juracan on 29 January 2019, 18:08 said:

    Wow. Just… wow. CC really turned Isabelle’s girly settings up to 11, didn’t she? I mean, damn. That’s the kind of note a 13-year-old girl sends a boy she’s got a crush on. What happened to the ‘comfortable with her sexuality’ Isabelle from the first book?

    Isabelle has the potential to be an interesting character, and yet… Clare kind of doesn’t do anything with her? I suppose this applies to all of Clare’s characters, to be honest, but this bit reminded me that Isabelle, from what I can tell from these sporkings, doesn’t really have much to do in the books. Other than provide a girl for Clary to feel jealous of and be a love interest for Simon.

    Like you said, Clare has one card to play, and it’s the love triangle. Which in and of itself isn’t even a bad thing, but in an urban fantasy story where our characters are trying to save the world, it’s a bit stupid that we’re meant to care that much about relationship drama. There are bigger fish to fry!

    Raphael swears (“Dios”, because he’s Hispaic, don’cha know)

    [raises hand] Hey, I got a question. Maybe I’ve asked this before, but:

    If Raphael is Hispanic, shouldn’t his name be spelled ‘Rafael’? I realize that we’re going off of the points of view of characters who don’t necessarily know that. And I also realize it’s not out of the question that it’s just an odd name; people in every language group will sometimes come up with weird names or weird variations of names. But it’s more likely that his name would be ‘Rafael’ rather than using ‘ph’ which isn’t really a thing in Spanish.

    Jace talks a bit about spending time in the library, mostly to humble-brag about how many languages he knows.

    Er… why does Jace know so many languages? I’ve definitely asked this, but there’s no reason for it? As far as we can tell, maybe he should know English, French and German (given the Shadowhunter city’s location), and maybe it’s a pretentious enough society that he has lessons in Latin or something, but other than that?

    I know the Doylist answer is because it’s supposed to paint Jace as brilliant so we can swoon over him some more.

    Jace joins in, because why the heck not, and they somehow manage to trip the opening mechanism for a secret door. Because of course there’s a secret door. And why should these characters have to actually work to progress the plot?

    So not only do they accidentally open the secret door, they weren’t even looking for it. They just so happened to be making a mess for funzies and then the Plot happened for them.

    Man this is terrible writing.

  5. Lunafreya on 31 January 2019, 22:47 said:

    [The Smith of Lie] You know what? Seeing that this stuff is the actual draw of the book (we all know that Urban Fantasy is just a set dressing for the juicy Brother/Sister romance) I’d expect that people who are actually into it would have found actual incest erotica in the deep dark depths of the internet… I guess that “forbidden love” angle is much more popular than I’d have though, but really how much can you milk that one idea?

    Forbidden love is definitely one of CC’s kinks, and she’ll milk this trope until the cow dies. This series is named after a HP fanfic she wrote about an incestuous relationship between Ron and Ginny. In her Shadowhunter books set in Victorian England, the designated love interest cannot fall in love with the MC because he has a curse on him where everyone he loves dies, and the sequel to that concentrates on gay relationships and how they were socially unacceptable in that time period. Lastly, in her books set in Los Angeles, the MC and her parabatai are in love but they have to hide it because romantic/sexual love between parabatai is forbidden.

    [Juracan] Isabelle has the potential to be an interesting character, and yet… Clare kind of doesn’t do anything with her? I suppose this applies to all of Clare’s characters, to be honest, but this bit reminded me that Isabelle, from what I can tell from these sporkings, doesn’t really have much to do in the books. Other than provide a girl for Clary to feel jealous of and be a love interest for Simon.

    (WARNING: SPOILERS) I think CC heard this same criticism because she added exactly 2 points of “character development” to Isabelle:
    1. Max dies in this book and she spends the next 3 books struggling to get overcome her grief. Except this rings hollow because a close bond between Isabelle and Max was never really established and Max was mostly ignored by his older siblings. I reckon Isabelle actually gave more thought to Max in death than she ever did while he was alive.
    2. Maryse revealed to Isabelle a few years ago that Robert had an extramarital affair, and this made Isabelle not want to trust men. Until… as cheesy as it is… Simon came along. Except this doesn’t make sense because we see in City of Bones and City of Ashes that she’s in a happy relationship with Meliorn, and she shows no signs of distrusting him or being wary of him cheating on her.

    If Raphael is Hispanic, shouldn’t his name be spelled ‘Rafael’? I realize that we’re going off of the points of view of characters who don’t necessarily know that. And I also realize it’s not out of the question that it’s just an odd name; people in every language group will sometimes come up with weird names or weird variations of names. But it’s more likely that his name would be ‘Rafael’ rather than using ‘ph’ which isn’t really a thing in Spanish.

    (WARNING: MORE SPOILERS) CC kinda-but-not-really retconned this by having Alec and Magnus adopt a kid and name him Rafael after Raphael the vampire. Except the kid was like 6 when they met so shouldn’t he have already had a name? Were Alec and Magnus like “NO. YOU HAVE A BAD NAME. FROM NOW ON YOU ARE RAFAEL BECAUSE WE HAVE A THEME OF NAMING OUR KIDS AFTER DEAD PEOPLE.”????

  6. The Smith of Lie on 8 February 2019, 09:09 said:

    [Lunafreya] This series is named after a HP fanfic she wrote about an incestuous relationship between Ron and Ginny.

    Ok, I heard about the existance of that fic, but I had no idea the series shares the name. I just thought that Mortal Instruments is a little pretentious and misapplied use of the line from Shakespear’s Julius Ceasar. (Which by the way is a weak quote compared to my personal favourite of “Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.” which has an addtional advantage of always sounding appropriate in any context or without context at all.) Knowing that the reference is so direct makes the series twice as disturbing as it was before. I am willing to bet that original plan was for Clary and Jayce to be siblings and still have incestious relationship, except that would have caused some backlash.

    1. Max dies in this book and she spends the next 3 books struggling to get overcome her grief. Except this rings hollow because a close bond between Isabelle and Max was never really established and Max was mostly ignored by his older siblings. I reckon Isabelle actually gave more thought to Max in death than she ever did while he was alive.

    I can imagine this sort of working, except I don’t believe CC pulled it off. Because a guilt over not paying enough attention to a family member is a relatable and understandable emotional response to their death. It could lead to Isabelle becoming overprotective towards Alec and generally becoming more aware of those she’s close to. Buuut, what I expect to happen is for her to mope and whine a lot about how she misses Max and be over the top angsty about it in a way that is a parody of mourning.

    Maryse revealed to Isabelle a few years ago that Robert had an extramarital affair, and this made Isabelle not want to trust men. Until… as cheesy as it is… Simon came along. Except this doesn’t make sense because we see in City of Bones and City of Ashes that she’s in a happy relationship with Meliorn, and she shows no signs of distrusting him or being wary of him cheating on her.

    Ah, the off-screen ret-conned in character developement, the best kind of character developement…