One word. WOW!
Cassandra Clare is quickly becoming one of my favorite young adult authors, up there with the likes of Kristin Cashore (see my reviews of Graceling and Fire), Holly Black, and Melissa Marr. City of Glass, the third book in the Mortal Instruments series was absolutely fantastic. It was a well-written, character-driven, action-packed journey that I loved every minute of. I finished City of Glass in 4 hours. And yes, my signature “book-affair” after effect – ragged lips indeed. Yes, I know it’s gross but when I don’t even know that I am literally eating myself, you can bet your pants that it is a good book.
My absolute, unequivocal favorite thing about City of Glass was the multiple points of view. I LOVED the fact that we could see into the motivations and thoughts of each of the main characters – Clary, Jace, Simon, Luke and Isabelle. Clare does a fabulous job of keeping each of these POVs exciting and bringing them together at the right moment. I especially like the cliffhangers within chapters where the POV switches to someone else. To give further credit to the author, I really don’t know which character was my favorite – I think I connected with each one of them, which of course made me connect more with the book as a whole.
So brief summary of City of Glass. This book takes place in Idris, the Shadowhunter world. Clary, the main protagonist, goes to Idris to find a warlock who can make a potion to save her mother, who is still in a coma of her own doing. There she meets up with the rest of the gang – Jace (her sort-of brother slash not her brother slash her crush), Simon (best friend turned vampire), Isabelle and Alec (Shadowhunter brother and sister), and Luke (father figure slash ex-Shadowhunter slash werewolf). The gang joins up in a race against time to stop Valentine (corrupt ex-Shadowhunter) who is intent on destroying the world as they know it. Clary continues to develop her runic powers – she can invent new runes and succeeds in getting the Clave to bind Shadowhunters and Downworlders (vamps, weres, fey, etc.) to win the war against Valentines and his demon army. Meanwhile, she’s still in love with Jace, and vice versa. They discover toward the end that Jace is not really Valentine’s son, and therefore not her brother (woohoo on the non-icky kissing!) Jace defeats his brother Sebastian (nee Jonathan). Clary defeats her father, Valentine. Everyone parties in Alicante like it’s 1999. That’s just the main story but there’s so much going on in this book that it’s diffcult to summarize the myriad of things in addition to the above like Alec’s relationship with Magnus, or Simon’s development as a vampire and his relationship with his “kind,” or Jocelyn’s (Clary’s mother) relationship with Valentine, that truly make this book a fantastic YA read. Now this is NYT Bestseller material.
The imagery was wonderful – I felt at times that I was in Alicante! The writing was fast-paced and kept building straight to the end with an oh-so-satisfying fight scene/conclusion. The plot was fascinating and Clare made sure to tie up all loose ends (something I find missing in a lot of books with this much detail and side-stories going on).
I closed this book with a sigh of complete satisfaction, and that’s saying a lot. I give City of Glass a resounding 4.5 out of 5 stars. The 0.5 deduction was really for some of the incestuous undertones which disturbed me a bit, more so in the earlier two books. It made everything ok at the end of the 3rd book to discover that Clary and Jace aren’t in fact related, but reading it while it was happening didn’t really do me any favors. It was just a bit awkward – I really loved Clary and Jace, and totally wanted them to be together but of course, given that they were brother and sister, that made it just a tad difficult. But that’s personal preference and social programming for you.
City of Glass was awesome! Read the trilogy, you won’t be disappointed.