Review: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Title: City of Glass
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
First Published: March 2009
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Library
Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge, Support your Local Library Reading Challenge
541 pages




On the flap
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 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 new found powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?

This is the third book of the Mortal Instruments series. Read my review of the first book, City of Bones, and the second book, City of Ashes.

This is the first series I've completed in a long time. Which isn't saying much, since this one has just 3 books. There's a fourth book coming out next year, which is sort of a spin-off from the first 3, though the events happen after the events of the first three books. I'm not sure if I'll read it, I'm not too impressed by this series, though it certainly is lively!

My opinion
At 541 pages, City of Glass is the largest of the 3 books in this series, but it still reads almost as fast as the earlier two books. There's a war brewing up, and most of the book is about how all characters try to come together to fight on the same side, in spite of their differences. We still have our favorite characters doing our favorite things, and also some "condemnable" things. We have a lot of characters making peace with their beliefs and with others. Plus, we get a lot of answers too (Boy have I waited since book one for those?)

There's very little I can say of this book without giving the plot away, since being the 3rd book, you really need to have read the previous two books before being able to grasp the plot points of this one. Suffice it to say that the bad guy, Valentine, is trying to find the third Mortal Instrument, so that he can summon the Angel who created the Shadowhunter race, and demand a wish that can lead to several people dying.

I liked this book better than the previous two books, and would have given it a half rating more if possible. The answers to the many questions I had by the end of City of Ashes were tied up together pretty well. The writing is much better too, and that was a refreshing change from the earlier two books.

In spite of how well explained the mysteries were, City of Glass was a tad predictable. The main characters reach Idris, the home town of the Shadowhunters, where they stay at the house of some friends, along with two new characters. I sort of guessed most of the story at that point itself, it was only a matter how they were going to be linked together. But I was thankful that the author didn't resort to any garish or totally unconnected solutions at the end.

Somehow, this one was slower in pace than the other books. There's really not much that happens, so although it was better than the previous two books and more action-packed, it wasn't as fast-paced. It didn't really bother me much, but considering that this one is at least a 100 pages longer than the previous two, I didn't quite see the point.

I loved the battles depicted in this book. Though one is only mentioned as to be taking place, the darker first attack was quite creepy. Nevertheless, the descriptions of those scenes were done pretty well.

Overall, much as I wasn't so taken in by this series, the third book made the reading a lot more worth it. Still, a guilty pleasure read!

Title Demystified
Most of this book takes place in Idris, which is the home of the Shadowhunters. Idris is described as so beautiful, that anyone who leaves after staying there for a while gets homesick. Somehow I didn't get much touched by the apparent beauty. I'm not sure if it's because I read it fast or because the descriptions were really far and few between! Idris is called the City of Glass, I'm guessing it's because of the glass structures in the city.

Cover Art Demystified
The guy in the cover is Sebastian, one of the crucial characters in this book. Though I wasn't initially happy with the introduction of yet more new faces, I managed to look beyond it.

What did you think?
Have you read this book? I'd like to know what you thought about it. Please leave your review link in the comments, or a brief opinion, if you hadn't reviewed it.

Did you like it or you didn't? If you didn't, at what point did the book turn you off.

7 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I don't think this series is for me - maybe I'm too old? - but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review!

The1stdaughter said...

Great review! I actually loved this series, maybe the snarky remarks or just the escape. I didn't find them to be "great classics", but they were definitely a "guilty pleasure" read.

Have you heard there is a 4th book in the series coming out sometime in the next year or so? I'm pretty anxious to read it!

Amelia said...

I read this book in September and I totally agree with everything you said! I noticed that the pacing was slower, too, so that's cool that you pointed that out... And you know, there's another one coming out next year!! :o

Aths said...

Kathy, haha! Maybe not really old. (I'm not either :P) But it's not a great YA series!

Juju, thanks!

Danielle, very true! Not a great classic, but definitely a guilty pleasure read. And yep there's a 4th one coming out next year, not sure if I'll read it.

Amelia, glad you felt the pacing was slower too. I wasn't sure if I was imagining it. And yep there's a 4th one coming out next year, not sure if I'll read it.

Christina T said...

I really like this series but the final book does slow down and I felt like it dragged to the finish. However I still plan to read the spinoff and I'm very excited about Clockwork Angel because it is also historical fiction.

Great detailed review!

Aths said...

Christina, the 3rd book did slow down, right? I'll wait to read your review of the spinoff before I jump in. I'm not sure about the Clockwork Angel, part of me wants to check it out when it comes out!