Tuesday 1 October 2013

Book Review - City of Glass

City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #3
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 24th March 2009
Publishers: Walker Children's
No. Pages: 541
Source: Gifted
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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?

The following review may contain spoilers concerning earlier books in the series.
If you have not read the previous installments, please proceed with caution.

For the original 'last' book in The Mortal Instruments series, City of Glass ended extremely well. It answered a large number of questions, it gave out happy endings like charity fundraisers hand out leaflets downtown and it did make me feel like I'd turned the last page of the series, however, I don't personally think it was as amazing as some people led me to believe in their own reviews, and neither did it really have the same kind of feel the synopsis gave off. The synopsis gave off a vibe of 'I'm exciting, I'm non-stop adventure, I'm the best book so far, read me read me!' when in fact, it was possibly my least favourite in the series, it had plenty of dull or bland moments, and actually, wasn't really that exciting until the last 100 pages.

I sometimes feel that reading other books in between making my way through a series such as this can really highlight those features that I most dislike, especially when other books provide the same amount of romance, or action, or description and don't have these feature's I don't like, and it in turn affects how well I enjoy an authors work. I feel, in this case, this is what has happened. I have read a few books lately that completely blew me away and had me turning page after page, flooding me with excitement and anticipation, where-as City of Glass felt like a bit of a let down in areas, much like a balloon slowly being let down. The further I read, the less impressed I got, the more small features I disliked, the less I wanted to read it, yet I still did, and this is down to Cassandra Clare's talent in descriptions. Where some people may hate the overly descriptive books, the use of too many phrases such as: 'blood red' and 'emerald green', I do not. Where the characters in the scenes may have left a lot to desired, the descriptions made up for some of the bad points, and that's some of the reason why I really can't bring myself to scrutinise this book as much as I could if I chose too.

Plot wise, I thought the build up to the grand fight/war/battle was very good; I could feel the tension between the characters, I could sense what some of the characters were going to do and it was overall, quite a good story. Once again, City of Glass, much like City of Ashes, didn't feel like a follow on or an extension of a long plot, but felt like it had it's own revelations and plot twists, and this is a feature I always like in Cassandra Clare's novels. I also felt some of the character developments continued, while some lost some of my respect and liking, especially Isabelle's actions towards Simon after a certain family disruption. I felt her lack of respect for herself, no matter how much happened between them, could give younger ladies the impression that her actions are completely excusable, when in fact, it was not only quite unfair on Simon, something Ms Clare decided not to delve into, but also undermining for Isabelle. Clary too, I felt, took quite a dip in her character development, as she seemed to be more concerned about whether she should say things or be quiet, or whether she loves Jace or not, or whether Sebastian looked like a 'prince' or not. If I'm quite honest, she really began to great, yet other easily forgotten characters like Maia and Luke I feel just improve with every book. They each have become bigger characters, with more to say and much more to be involved in, and maybe I just have a soft spot for furry creatures who happen to be lovely people, but I really seem to like werewolves the best in the this series. I also continue to like the relationship Clary and Simon have with each other, considering their tension and experiences within the month that the three books so far took place in, and I am excited to see where their friendship goes, especially considering they're both on City of Fallen Angel's cover.

Overall, City of Glass was a good book considering all the minor problems I had. I enjoyed reading it. I would read it again. I will be reading the next three in the series. However, I haven't read the snippet of City of Fallen Angels at the end of my copy of City of Glass as I'm in no huge rush to jump into part 2 of this series; one, because I don't own City of Fallen Angels yet, and two, because I feel I should give some other series a chance.

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