Thursday, May 14, 2009

Book Review: City of Glass

Title City of Glass (Mortal Instruments Series, Book #3)
Author Cassandra Clare
Genre YA Science Fiction/Paranormal
Rating B-

Summary Finishing up the Mortal Instruments Series (you have to read Books #1 and #2 to get this one), City of Glass tells of how Clary and Jace (and the rest of the Shadowhunters and Downwolders) figure out what in the world is up with the megalomaniac Valentine Morganstern. They also do some serious (and sometimes seriously disturbing) coupling.

First Line "The cold snap of the previous week was over; the sun was shining brightly as Clary hurried across Luke's dusty front yard, the hood of her jacket up to keep her hair from blowing across her face."

Review That was a gripping first line, right? No? Yeah, I didn't think so either. I didn't think the book got gripping until about page 149 (of 541). Sure, there was a wee bit of witty banter (especially from the lovely Jace and Simon) prior to that point, but the plot was having a really hard time ramping up for me. That was problem #1.

Also, did you notice that I said there were five hundred and forty-one frigging pages in this book? Yeah, I like a good long love-fest with my favorite characters as much as the next chickie, but this one was unnecessarily long. My case in point:
  1. Clary and Jace find out some interesting news about Clary's childhood in a kind of cool way through some visions (roughly four pages);
  2. Clary's mom explains about her childhood, some of which is re-iteration of what we saw in the visions, some of which is clarification/revelation (roughly twenty-one pages); and then in yet another scene
  3. Jace finally finds out the clarification/revelation while off fighting a battle (roughly eight pages).

The same information was presented three times--and I'd figured it out even before the first time. It got a little tedious. I did some skimming.

The only part I didn't skim was when the Angel Raziel was summoned by Valentine. That was the best scene of the entire series. A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Loved it. I'd re-read that scene over and over and over again. Good stuff. Favorite passage (Spoiler Alert):

"The Angel opened his mouth and spat. Or at least that was how it seemed to Clary--that the Angel spat, and that what came from his mouth was a shooting spark of white fire, like a burning arrow. The arrow flew straight and true across the water and buried itself in Valentine's chest. Or maybe 'buried' wasn't the word--it tore through him, like a rock through thin paper, leaving a smoking hole the size of a fist. For a moment, Clary, staring up, could look through her father's chest and see the lake and the fiery glow of the Angel beyond... [The Angel says,] That was the justice of heaven. I trust that you are not dismayed."
I love dispensing "The justice of heaven." Great stuff!

The combination of the undeniably witty banter, the fantastic coupling, and the scene where Raziel was summoned (he is one bad Angel), was enough to earn this book a B- (even in spite of the painfully slow pacing and plot development).

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