Monday, 2 May 2016

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare: I'm Horribly Disappointed

City of Glass by Cassandra ClareTitle: City of Glass
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering 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 Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters 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?

You want to know something, I am actually really looking forward to writing this review. I do love a review where I get to gush endlessly about how much I loved a book. Sadly, City of Glass is not one of those books. It does make the list as one of those books so horribly disappointing that I actually look forward to writing my ranty review about it. BRING IT ON!*

*Quick note people: This book pissed me off, and when I am pissed off I swear a lot. Ooops. Sorry, not sorry. Fuck you, Clare!

First, let me start with some less detailed and non-spoilery points about this book. Here is a quick list of all the reasons I ended up hating this book:
  • Clary: STILL AN ANNOYING BITCH WHO SEEMS INCAPABLE OF THINKING OF ANYONE BUT HERSELF.
  • The pacing: I don't know if Clare will ever understand the importance of narrative pacing, but she really needs to hurry the hell up and try to at least learn. PACING IS EVERYTHING, WOMAN! And your books are paced so awfully, I could strangle you out of pure frustration.
  • Valentine: One of the most annoying, contradicting bastards I have come across in a long time. He also says some of the stupidest things I have ever heard.
  • The incest fetish: Seriously, Clare, you have a problem!
  • The anti-climactic ending: Or, as it could be known, the Stephenie Meyer complex. Lets have hundreds of pages leading up to something that's over in minutes. YAY! 'Cause that's not fucking annoying. 
Okay, now I am going to go into actual detail about this book. If you haven't read this book yet, you might want to leave if you don't want to be spoiled. Or you can stay and read it and save yourself the trouble/torture of reading the book yourself. 


Me by the end of every Clare book.
Now, I know you probably won't believe me but, I really want to enjoy this book. I really did. The first book was disappointing, but I enjoyed book two more. I was hoping book three would make me start to really enjoy this series, but it just didn't. The worst part is that this book started so well, for the first 200 pages I was sure this would be a 4/5 read for me. Clare goes right ahead and ruins it, once again, with her poor pacing and needlessly long books. 

During the first 200 pages or so, I really was enjoying this book. I actually began to like Jace as a character - might have something to do with the fact he was way less woe-is-me, daddy-didn't-love-me, I'm-so-damaged in this book. That was a giant plus! And, let's be real for a second, anyone looks good next to Clary - the worst character in existence, I am starting to wish death upon her. Clare's writing had hugely improved from book one to book three too. And the pacing finally seemed to actually be working. HA, I was so naive! I should have known that Clare would find a way to completely ruin it. Spoiler alert: SHE DID!

My first issue came up really quickly with her silly Mean Girls reference. Now, was it a reference or another example of her trying to steal dialogue from TV shows and movies. And, come on, if you're going to put a reference in, at least make it make sense. It doesn't:
"Aline!" Isabelle looked appalled. "You can't just go around asking people what it's like to be a vampire."
Seriously, Clare, that's where you're going to try and drop the  'You can't just ask someone why they're white!' reference. It makes zero fucking sense. Since when is asking someone what it's like to be a vampire an insult? It's like someone asking me what it's like to be a human. It's not offensive, at all. You're not going to turn around and be like 'How very fucking dare you ask me such a thing, you scoundrel!'. NO! I'd be like 'It's alright.' Now, I'd really like to think the best of you and say this is a harmless reference but, come on, I'm not really going to trust the woman who had her fanfiction account taken down for plagiarism.

My other big issue was all the incest fetish that is going on in this book. I'm a little worried that Clare might have a problem here - yes, it's a real thing. Having one incestuous relationship in your book, fair enough, but why throw in two. SERIOUSLY?!?! We're going to have Clary making out with her fake brother AND her real brother. WHY?!?! Jace didn't know he was her "brother" when they first kissed. But Sebastian is very aware of the fact they have the same mother and father, and he is still trying to shove his tongue down her throat. WHAT EVEN IS THIS BOOK!!!!


Clare also has a habit of wasting her villains. Villains always have such potential to be the most awesome characters. She never really stood a chance with Valentine, he's always been a bit pathetic. But here he really began to bug the crap out of me. He is just one of the most annoying villains, and he contradicts himself so much. The guys all for building up the Shadowhunters, but then proceeds to try and basically murder almost all of them. He also talks far too much, he's one of those villains who you just know is about to spew every single detail of his evil plan - giving his enemies everything they need to foil it. DUMBASS! I wanted to smack him when he sends his projection into the city and tells them 'What I predicted has come to pass, now do you believe me!' like he saw the fucking future. NO! You made this happen. You made it come to pass, you freaking idiot. Gah, the guy is so dumb, how is he the villain in this series.

 Then there's Sebastian, who totally should have been present in this series for longer because he was fucking awesome! FINALLY, someone called Clary and Jace out on their bullshit and it was fucking glorious!
"You've no idea what it's been like, being around the lot of you these past few days, having to pretend I could stand you. That the sight of you didn't make me sick. You," he said to Jace, "every second you're not panting after your own sister, you're whining on and on about how your daddy didn't love you. Well, who could blame him? And you, you stupid bitch"-he turned to Clary-"giving that priceless book away to a half-breed warlock, have you got a single brain cell in that tiny head of yours?..."


YES, SEBASTIAN, GO YOU!!!!

And, to answer your question, no, Clary does not have a single brain cell in her head. Glad you caught on so quickly to that! Sebastian did then proceed to ruin my love for him by throwing out awful homophobic slurs to Alec. Not cool, Sebastian, NOT COOL!

Let us move along to Clary and Sebastian & Clary and Jace - that whole fucking mess. For the majority of this book Clary and Jace are still under the impression that they are brother and sister. I am not, as I already know they are not and I also knew her real brother was some guy called Sebastion - spoilers be everywhere. But the characters don't know this, they still think they're related. But they still want each other because they have a "deep connection" - after knowing each other for five minutes. Seriously, they know each other for a few weeks before they find out they're related. Yet they act like they had been part of some epic love story for years. During this book they finally give in to their feelings, and almost screw each other senseless in a field. Yup, despite the fact they think they are siblings. No, guys, don't do that. Joffrey is evidence enough of why siblings shouldn't sleep together, okay! Clary is totally cool with this by the way, she doesn't care any more, she has to give in to her feelings - blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Then she finds out Sebastian is the one who is really her brother and this is her reaction when she's reminded of the fact she has kissed him:
"I already feel like I'm going to throw up or pass out. Don't make it worse."

CONGRATULATIONS, CLARY! You finally had a normal reaction to finding out you've been getting it on with your brother. You are kind of forgetting the fact that you were rolling around in a field, a few days ago, with the guy you thought was your brother, about ready to rip each others clothes off and have sex. Come on, Clary, get your shit together! 

Time to get to the length and pacing of this book. WHY DOES CLARE NOT UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF NARRATIVE PACING?!?! WHY! It kills me. Her books could be amazing if she just learnt how to pace them. Pacing is far too important to me - the poor pacing of the Shadow and Bone series completely ruined it for me. This was going so well at the beginning, but then came hundreds of pages of all talk and absolutely no action and I was bored. I was bored to tears. I am actually proud of myself that I managed to get to the end of this book. The length of her books amazes me, especially with how much of the book feels completely unnecessary. I wonder how it went through all the different stages before publication without another human being figuring out it could have been at least 100 pages shorter.

IT IS TIME! Time for us to get to my BIGGEST issue with this whole book: THE ENDING! The ending is awful. Totally awful. Beyond awful. So beyond awful that it has looped back round. This book is 500 pages long, and all of those pages are used to build up to this 'epic' fight that is coming between Valentine and the Shadowhunters. Oh yes, bring it on, this is going to be fucking awesome. Nope. Of course it isn't. I forgot who was writing these books. Clare just did a Stephenie Meyer in Breaking Dawn - build up to a massive battle that doesn't even happen. The fight in this book lasts all of ten minutes. I'm not exaggerating, that's stated in the book. And we don't see any of that because we're following useless Clary Fray for most of it. But, it's okay, she's off to meet Valentine and she can redeem herself by kicking some ass. NOPE! Wrong again. Let us just have Valentine chat on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on... You get the idea. Then bring out an angel. Then BAM! The angel can kill Valentine with a giant lightning bolt and Clary can just continue to be absolutely fucking useless. 

Me by the end of this book!

The epilogue was so awful... I'M NOT EVEN GOING TO GO THERE!

And I'm still not letting go of the Harry Potter links. Of course Valentine/Voldemort needs to get the Deathly Hallows/Mortal Instruments to win.


I FUCKING GIVE UP!

2/5 Butterflies

It gets two because for the first 200 pages it was actually a really good book. Sadly that didn't last long. I am still determined to get to the Infernal Devices trilogy and finish this series, but it might take me a while. I'm not sure the Mortal Instruments series is going to ever work for me. 


I hope it goes without saying that this review is just my opinion. I get that I am basically the odd one out when it comes to this series. All my Goodreads friends who read this seem to have rated it 5/5 - so I am obviously missing something. I like to think none of you reading are silly enough to get upset by a negative review of a book you like. If you loved it, that's okay, it just didn't work for me. And, hey, if you also didn't like it - YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 

9 comments:

  1. YAS GIRL SLAY. T THOUGHT THE SAME HERE!
    IT WAS I MEAN CLARY WAS SOOO IN LOVE WEEKS AFTER ALL THAT SHIT HAPPENED. I MEAN ..... RIDICULOUS.

    I THINK I'LL TRY THE infernal devices basically for magnus xD

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  2. Oh no... not again -.- Well, I am glad you liked the beginning a lot more than the other two books. But I am a fan of Cassandra Clare and Stephanie Meyer so I don't think I have much to say here. Sebastian is a pretty great villain and he appears a lot more in the next three books so that's a plus for you, but I do agree Valentine wasn't the best villain of the bunch.

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  3. LOVE THIS REVIEW! Not saying I hate the book, but I love that there's so much sense you've knocked into me. I'm pretty sure I got swept away with all the hype when i was reading this at a younger age. Probably will feel the same as you if I re-read it. I do think the series does progressively get better, although there's a weird lull in the middle. The finale was actually quite good!

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  4. I totally forgot that they were 'siblings' for the first three books. When I read them I thought this was the end of the series so I was massively annoyed by the ending myself. And then I couldn't be bothered with the other books for some reason, I suspect because Jace and Clary were being annoying. But I did smile at your playback of Clary's disgust at kissing her brother when she was all over Jace before. I did like the series otherwise, but I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. There are others out there!

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  5. Hahaha, I love ranty reviews. I'll admit, though, I love this book. #noshame
    Ok, but I totally get you with the incest thing. It really could have ended in book two. Why the need to drag it out to book three? I've been spoiled for this series ages ago, so the wait for them to discover they aren't actually related was painful. I do find her books take me FOREVER to read, and maybe it's because of the pacing issue you mentioned. I don't know. All I know is that sometimes her chapters are ridiculously long and it annoys the heck out of me, not because they are bad, but because I need to stop reading and go to sleep. Clary is really stubborn, but I actually like that about her. THAT MEAN GIRLS REFERENCE. LOL. I'm glad someone else noticed that. I remember thinking that it was really random. Anyways, I really liked this review. I get you, but I still love the book. XD

    Sarah | Kerosene Lit

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  6. I kind of binge read this series and I personally never really thought they were siblings, but it is totally weird. There's some other really strange stuff that happens in later books. I started this series after Clare decided it was going to be a 6 book series rather than a 3 book series, but for those that didn't I would have been angry as well if that had actually been the end of the series.

    I am a weirdo that likes to read negative reviews of books that I love. I guess it's that I like to see other view points. I find it interesting.

    Also, I nominated you for the Infinity Dreams Award.

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  7. Great review! I didn't even make it through the first book in the series as I hated the writing, the characters, the incest plot, the pacing, the copying from every book I ever liked and so on. I didn't waste my time continuing with the book and wouldn't touch anything she ever copies...oops I mean writes...ever again. So I loved your review!

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  8. FINALLY SOMEONE SPOKE ABOUT THE INCEST! I get using the pseudo-incest in order to create tension (I don't agree, by any means, but I get it) but actually including incest into the plot made me pause for a second. I don't know if you've read the infernal devices, but there's a pretty similar scene to the one between Clary and Sebastien, and pulling incest-related plotlines three times is a tiny bit worrying, in my opinion.
    As for continuing the series, I've read the 4rth book and the story doesn't get much better (in fact the pacing gets even worse, the plot is practically non-existent for 3/4 of it, basically it's not great even if the writing did improve significantly).
    Great review!

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  9. "No, guys, don't do that. Joffrey is evidence enough of why siblings shouldn't sleep together, okay!"

    #DEAD :D :D :D Just... #DEAD THAT'S MY DISEMBODIED SPIRIT OVER THERE, FLOATING AWAY IN THE DISTANCE. I've been cracking "baby Joffrey" jokes with my co-blogger since book 1, because JESUS, IS CLARY DETERMINED TO SLEEP WITH HER BROTHER(S)!

    And... I want to say... things... but... I can't... spoilers. @#)%&!%)*!)%&!)*%! <- Remind me to decode this in a comment on your review of upcoming titles. Yes. Important messages therein.

    Also, I went into TMI totally ignorant of any HP connection and in book 1 I kinda sorta thought it was an accidental ripoff on Cassandra's part. Like, when I was 15 I accidentally wrote contemporary Harry Potter? Somehow? His parents were dead and he was fleeing from (and then chasing) their killer and at no point did the light bulb go off in my wee little brain that YOU DID NOT COME UP WITH THIS, LEXIE, YOU ABSOLUTE IMAGINARY GENIUS. Granted, Cassandra was like 3 times that age, but hey! Benefit of the doubt! Me = benevolent! We're rolling with it! And then came book 2 and FREAKING CORNELIUS FUDGE CAME OUT OF THE WOODWORK and I remember slamming the book down on the balcony, marching inside my apartment, powering the laptop up, and googling Cassandra Clare + Harry Potter. And BOY, OH BOY, WAS IT A SIGHT TO SEE. And WE SHOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT GIVE HER A PASS FOR IT, AND I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THAT YOU ARE STILL REFERENCING IT. As well as the moderately horrifying incest that's such an integral part of this series, for some mysterious reason.

    J.K. did just fine without it. All I'm sayin'.

    I'm loving these reviews so much, Bookish Twin of mine! Though I wish they didn't at the expense of your nerves.

    - Lexie

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