April 5, 2012

Review: City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare

Author: Cassandra Clare
Title: City of Glass
Series: The Mortal Instruments (#3)
ISBN: 9781416914303
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (March 24th 2009)

Buy your copy: Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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 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.” GoodReads’ blurb

I really, really liked City of Glass. It was not as brand-new and shiny as City of Bones, and it was not as dark and emotional as City of Ashes, but I still enjoyed it. Explaining the why might prove to be more difficult, though.

I think everything boiled down, once more, to characters. By this point, I’ve to admit that I had guessed most secrets and could see the end coming – suitably epic but a little bit too fast and easy for my liking, by the way. Still, there was this one thing I hadn’t figured out, not really, and it was such a pleasant surprise.

I’m talking, of course, about Jace. His “giving up” on book two didn’t sit too well with me, so it was great to see this darkest moments now. It was specially good to see how outside biases can change the perspective a person has of themselves. That scene was my favorite in the book: when Jace and Clary believe they’ve finally found out why Jace is so special, and the knowledge brings some sort of dark liberation to him.

I also started to like Simon on this book. He’s finally “grown a pair”, to be vulgar about it, and is willing to accept who and what he is. It suits him! (Unfortunately, I don’t think I like him enough to put him on the limelight of book four... we will see, I just started listening to it).

More things. Things I didn’t care for so much. The first on that list would be Sebastian. For the outstanding characterization Clare does in her books, even with her villain Valentine, he fell flat and quite empty of real motivations. Or perhaps he hadn’t read the Evil Overlord List to World Domination, because the first rule is “Thou shalt not gloat” and he breaks it the first chance he gets... Also, what’s with that “cosmic wrongness” in that one scene with Clary? I don’t know if it’s because of his blood of because of who he is, but if it’s the latter I’m quite disappointed.

Then, there’s Magnus and Alec. There’s not enough Magnus and Alec, not by a long shot. There’s some important stuff going on with them, and I feel cheated for not having learned more. And, to top it off, they seem to be absent in book four... Booh!

In truth, though, this book is action-packed and easy to read. It’s a bit over-the-top in some parts (ending, I’m looking straight at you) and I thought some other scenes were too easily dismissed (that’s your cue to get my glare, Lightwood tragedy scene) but what can I say? It did its job. It kept me listening till the wee hours of the morning, and it left me feeling suitably satisfied. It can’t compare with book two in depth and emotion, but if you’re enjoying the series thus far, City of Glass won’t disappoint.


  1. ahhh I loved this book! this series! so glad you enjoyed it ROn and yes Simon, I really like him here in this book. sometimes I was torn apart with jACE and him. :) Great review Ron! x


    1. Hehehe! I didn't like him enough to prefer him to Jace, but I can see what you mean :)

      The series sure was amazing! I'm so glad I got to read it, too! Thanks for the comment!

  2. If I remember correctly, Magnus and Alec aren't entirely absent in book 4, but they weren't around nearly as much as I wanted them to be.
    Like you, I found Simon quite irritating in the first two books, but he started to turn around in book 3 and he's the one who stayed with me, of all the characters.
    I'm curious to find out what you'll think of book 4. I really loved the original trilogy (well, maybe not loved, but certainly liked), but it all felt forced in book 4 and characters started acting compeltely irrationally. I'll be keeping an eye out for your review. :)
    Great one, Ron, as always.

    1. I know what you mean about the change between the original trilogy and book four. As for Simon, I grew to like him well enough, but I don't think it was enough for him to become a POV character. Perhaps it's just the build-up to his problems that felt rushed, or... I don't know. The truth is that I've listened to about 3.30 hrs from book 4 audio edition, and decided I needed a break due to my inability to stay awake for more than 40 minutes straight.

      I'm currently listening to Harry Dresden, book 6, and hope to get back to city of fallen angels soon enough, though!

  3. I'm glad you liked City of Glass. I agree it's not new like City of Bones and not as dark as City of Ashes, but there was still so much action and adventure and I just loved this book. In a twisted way, I was happy we got to meet Johnathan and how he connected so well into the story. I'm also glad your reading City of Fallen Angels and I look forward to your review of it. I for one absolutely loved it.

    1. I think I understand what you mean about being happy to meet Johnathan! He explains a lot of things, doesn't he?

      City of Fallen Angels is... going slowly :) I took a break from TMI because it wasn't catching me, but I'll come back to it soon!

      Thanks for the comment!