Wednesday, March 18, 2009

REVIEW: "City of Glass"

Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments, Book 3
Pages: 560
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Summary (B&N):
To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters — never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City — whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

My Thoughts:

From book one, I've been hooked. Completely and totally hooked. Really, from page one, I was hooked-- I'm not even joking. Cassandra Clare's fantasy world captivated me from the very beginning, and that hold hasn't lessened in the two books since. Like I've said before-- it has everything in it: romance, action, suspense, wit, et cetera. And the characters vary too-- from werewolves to faeries, vampires to humans, demons to angels. With a cast list like that, how can you not find something in the book that interests you? Uh huh, that's what I thought!
Clare has a way of constantly twisting the story plot, keeping the readers on their toes, without confusing us. Not always an easy thing to do, but Clare does it wonderfully! Just when you think that you know where the story is going, which side a particular character is on, Clare throws you a curve ball that sets you back (almost) to square one. Its one of the reasons why the books are so engaging--- the reader has to think about it, and try to keep up, unless of course they'd rather just enjoy the ride until the end when everything is resolved. I prefer trying to figure things out as the book goes, but with Clare's novels, it is sometimes a bit of a challenge. All the more reasons to enjoy it!
Of course, the one thing I knew from book one, no matter how many curve balls she threw our way, was that Jace and Clary are not siblings. There, I said it. If it comes as a surprise to any readers out there, then I'm sorry for 'spoiling' that, but I think most readers have known all along, and strongly believed it in our hearts, that the two of them could never be siblings-- they belong together, they connect in a way couldn't be because of 'shared' blood. Plus, there were too many little clues and twists along the way that always made me realize that Jace wasn't really Johnathan. But I'm not going to go into too many details about this, one, because it's long and complicated if you haven't read all the books yet, and second, because I don't want to spoil anything else! Just trust me, and after you read COG, you too will probably think back to all the little things from the previous books that helped to point it out.
Besides the amazing story, I loved City of Glass because of the wit and sarcasm that I have come to expect and adore in the series, especially from Jace. It's so much a part of not only the characters, but the story, and it makes what would otherwise be a very dark and rich book (in a good way!) into one that has it's moments of lightness. I laughed at more than a few quotes in the book, in all of the books, actually, and some of them are where you least expect it. As much as I love a good strong fantasy book, heavy in plot and development, I want to have a few laughs along the way, too, and City of Glass delivers on both accounts.
Clary is a very strong character, and I enjoyed following her story through the series. Sometimes I find the heroine in books to be weak or annoying, but Clary was perfect-- as were most of the other interesting characters we are introduced to. From the flamboyant Magnus Bane (a gay warlock that falls for Alec) to the timid-turned-strong Simon, I enjoyed learning more about them all. They all added their own thing to the books, like layers on a cake-- without the one beneath it, the next one wouldn't be possible. I would love to hear more about them, especially some of the minor characters.... Its one of the reasons why it is so hard to see a good series end!
But what an end it was! I wasn't at all disappointed, and I doubt that you will be either. It was everything I expected, not only the action scenes, but seeing Jace and Clary finally fall for each other. Jace, for all his tough, bad-ass shell, proves again and again that he has a tender side in City of Glass. No wonder I love him so much! Seriously, why can't more men/boys in the real world have personalities and characteristics like those of the heroes from our favorite books?!
5/5 STARS! A dazzling ending to a brilliant series, City of Glass is everything the fans could possibly want, and more. The only disappointment will be at the end-- when the story is over, and there's no more to look forward to. (However, Clare does have a new series, a sort of prequel to this one, with different Shadowhunters from the 1800's or so, planned. Sadly, the first one won't be out until next year at the earliest.) A perfect example of fantasy and romance, humor and action, City of Glass (and the other two books) belong on any die-hard fantasy/romance fan's shelf, no matter the age. I would highly recommend Clare's work-- possibly even above Twilight---which is a very high compliment to give, if you know me and my love of Meyer's books... :D
Until Next Time,
The Book Queen


Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this author, but apparently I'm missing out!!

Wonderful review, TBQ!

The_Book_Queen said...

.::Blink Blink::. You're joking, right? You've never even heard of her series? WOW. No, I'm just kidding. It is a YA series, but I would recommend it for everyone and anyone. It's a great series-- I think you would really enjoy it!

Thanks for stopping by-- I appreciate it, like always.

Until Next Time,

Lea said...

Hi There!

Wonderful review! I've picked up the books in this series a number of times in my beloved book store and always had the impression they were very much geard for teens. However, since then have read so many wonderful things about Cassandra's stories I will maybe give them a try!

Thank you so much for sharing Book Queen!

Best Regards

The_Book_Queen said...

Hi, Lea

First off, Thanks for stopping by!

I think that's a common misconception for a lot of books-- people think that just becuase they are marketed as one thing, they are only meant for a certain group of readers. I've thought the same thing on a few books, but then I heard good things about the books and gave them a try, only to be pleasantly surprised. Believe me, this series would fit in that category.

However, I would recommend them-- they may not be quiet as sexy and complex as, say, Passion Unleashed, but in their own way, they have great qualities that are just as good! I don't think you would be bored. If you do pick them up some day, please, let me know what you think!


Anonymous said...

Eeep! I popped by to read the review and didn't expect the biggest plot point — Jace and Clary's siblinghood — to be spoiled! Great review, but now I'm pretty sad because I was looking forward to finding out on my own. Would you consider putting that info in whitetext or putting up a spoiler warning?

The_Book_Queen said...

Thanks for popping in!

I'm so sorry that my little slip spoiled it for you-- I promise, I didn't mean for it to! I thought (well, assumed, I guess, and that's always a bad thing, I know...)that most readers of the series would know by now that there is no way that they could be real siblings-- they have too strong of a physical and emotional attraction, and that would be much to disgusting and odd. BUT, I realize it's possible that some would still want to have this come as a surprise while reading the book, and it's my fault for not putting some sort of disclaimer before I said that. I do appologize.

Usually, when I do any major plot spoilers, I say so ahead of time, but as I said before, I (wrongly) assumed that that little bit of info wouldn't be a big spoiler. My fault, and I don't blame you for pointing it out to me, I would do the same if I found something like this in someone's review. ;)

I hope that I didn't ruin the book for you too much, and I hope that you don't forgo stopping in again for future reviews you are interesitng in just because of this one mistake on my part. I'm going to edit the post and put some sort of warning before that paragraph, to warn future readers.

Again, sorry that your time on the site was less than enjoyable, but thank you for reading my review, and I'm glad that you liked the rest of the review. I like getting both the good comments and the critisicm about my reviews and posts.

With Warm Regards,