Tuesday, May 27, 2014

City of Glass Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I'm now in the process of reading The Mortal Instruments series. The first four books of the series are re-reads for me, while the 5th and 6th books will be first-time reads. I'd read City of Glass once before this read-through, and I was surprised at how different my opinion was this time around. As usual, I'll give a non-spoilery summary and overall thoughts/rating before jumping into a spoilery discussion and my favorite quotes.

Also, as you might be able to tell, I'm a bit behind on my reading, since this is going up the day City of Heavenly Fire comes out. AKA I have 2 more books to get through before I can even think of getting to City of Heavenly Fire. I fully intend to have the books finished by the end of the month, but at this point, I'm fairly certain that the last couple posts will not be out by the end of the month. But I'll keep you updated. At this point, I'm putting a halt on my other series so that I can finish up this. Once I get all of these reading posts out for May, I'll get those started up again.

Book Summary
[Reminder: don't read this section if you haven't read both of the previous books. I have to talk about what's happened up to this point to discuss the plot of City of Glass!]

After the events of City of Ashes, everyone at the New York institute need to travel to Alicante. Clary finally has the name of someone who could help her wake her mom up. The Clave is meeting to figure out what to do about Valentine, so the Shadowhunters need to be there as well. However, things seem to quickly fall apart as Valentine throws everything into chaos.

Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed City of Glass. The first time through, I liked it but although I really enjoyed it, I thought it was just about as good as the other two books. This time through, I don't think that at all. It was far, far better than the other two. 

I'm finding it hard to put into words my opinion about the original trilogy. While I enjoy all the books as they are, there's a certain... lack of balance to the trilogy. While the first two books contained a lot of information and exciting scenes, they were nothing in comparison to everything we discovered in City of Glass, as well as all of the action-packed scenes in the book. By the time I reached the half-way point in City of Glass, I was (pleasantly) surprised that I was only half-way through. For me, reading the first half of City of Glass felt like the equivalent of reading either City of Bones or City of Ashes because of how much had happened already. I see this as the first two books being slightly lacking, rather than as City of Glass having too much in it. Approximately 250 pages of City of Glass were just as satisfying as City of Bones and City of Ashes had been... and those are both over 450 pages. It's a clear indication that Cassandra Clare's writing improved greatly.

That reminds me- in my City of Ashes discussion, I said that I was glad that this became a 6 book series rather than the trilogy it was originally written to be, because City of Ashes felt like only the tip of the iceberg. However, at the end of City of Glass, the story feels very complete. I'm definitely still not opposed to the series continuing, but I can also see that making it only a trilogy would be very conclusive as well.  

City of Glass also cemented my love of all of our "good" characters. There were some characters I maybe didn't like as much at the beginning, but while I still have favorite characters, I've come to really like and care about all of the characters.

I really don't have many complaints for this book. I really, really loved it- a lot more than I did the first time. This could be partially due to the fact that in my first read, I read City of Ashes and City of Glass in the same weekend, each in a single day. I didn't really give myself any breathing room from the series, and I didn't really have time to process what happened and my feelings toward the books. I probably also wasn't reading as closely or thoroughly because I just wanted to know what happened. I gave myself a few days with City of Glass, and although I did read the last 40% (according to my kindle) in one sitting, I at least had time away from the book to process everything that was happening.

Also, as a side note, I really enjoyed getting some tie-ins with the Infernal Devices. I'm glad that I read the Infernal Devices before re-reading TMI, because I can actually understand some of the references that I missed the first time around.

So, rating. At this point, I'm giving it 5 stars out of 5. I tend to be kinda picky with my 5 star ratings (although I'm trying to not be quite as picky) but I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed City of Glass the second time through. 

Spoilery Discussion!

Even the first time I read the series, I didn't really believe that Jace and Clary were actually siblings. The entire time, I was kinda like "OK, Clare, how are you going to resolve this? How are Clary and Jace going to end up together?" I was completely convinced that they would end up together, so I was fairly certain that some twist would come up and we would find out that they weren't siblings. Obviously, this time around, I knew that "Sebastian" was actually Clary's brother, which made the scene where they kiss even creepier than before I knew.

I also loved that this is where Clary finally fully harnesses her power to create runes. She's used it off and on throughout the series, but this is where it finally becomes really helpful.

I honestly have trouble even talking about the book, because although there were scenes that I really loved, I just really loved it as a whole. Everything was just so wonderful that it's hard to pinpoint the best parts.

I liked how the whole Sebastian/Jace thing was handled. I liked how the characters kinda found out at different moments. I felt so bad for Jace when he believed that he had demon blood in him. The one complaint is that it was made very clear that the child with demon blood would not be able to understand or show compassion or love or really any sort of emotion. But Jace has certainly shown emotion... so I'm not sure why no one caught onto that fact that Jace clearly couldn't be the demon-child.

I loved the story about Jace's star birthmark, especially now that I know where it came from. The fact that the star birthmark was passed along from one of my favorite characters is just so great! Also, one moment that stood out for me was at the party in the epilogue. Magnus was talking to a girl with brown hair when Clary arrived. After all of the Infernal Devices references, I couldn't help but wonder... was it Tessa? Tessa has brown hair. She would probably be there, fighting alongside the warlocks. And, while we obviously don't know everything about Magnus by any stretch of the imagination, we don't know of any other brown-haired girl that he would even give the time of day to. I dunno, it just seemed more important than just some random girl who happened to pop up.

I don't even know what else to say about this book, because it was just so good. Everything was great.

Favorite Quotes

Page 48: "Did you ever think that in a past life Alec was an old woman with ninety cats who was always yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off her lawn? Because I do," he [Jace] said. 

Page 151: "It's my cologne. Eau de Recent Injury." Jace raised his left hand.

Page 168: "Nice, bah. He's gorgeous." Magnus gazed dreamily in his direction. "You should leave him here. I could hang hats on him and things."

Page 251: "I'm really, really grateful to you for saving us, Maia, and Jace is too, even though he's so stubborn that he'd rather jam a seraph blade through his eyeball than say so."

Page 256: Malachi scowled. "I don't remember the Clave inviting you into the Glass City, Magnus Bane."
"They didn't," Magnus said. "Your wards are down."
"Really?" the Consul's voice dripped sarcasm. "I hadn't noticed."
Magnus looked concerned. "That's terrible. Someone should have told you." He glanced at Luke. "Tell him the wards are down."

Page 268: "You had to make a crazy jail friend, didn't you? You couldn't just count ceiling tiles or tame a pet mouse like normal prisoners do?" [Jace]

Page 316: "Have you tried talking to her?"
"No," Jace said, "we've been punching her repeatedly in the face instead. Why, do you think that won't work?"

Page 366: "If you ever meet the man who could take advantage of Isabelle, you'll have to let me know. I'd like to shake his hand. Or run away from him very fast, I'm not sure which." [Simon]

Page 496: There was only one thing she could ask for, in the end, only one real choice. She raised her eyes to the Angel's. "Jace," she said.

Page 516: "All Lucian wants," said Amatis firmly, "is you. You and Clary. That's all he ever wanted."

Page 534: "I am a man," he told her, "and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone, woman, and bring me something brown."
"Brown?" Isabelle made a face.
"Brown is a manly color," said Jace, and yanked on a stray lock of Isabelle's hair with his free hand. "In fact, look- Alec is wearing it."
Alec looked mournfully down at his sweater. "It was black," he said. "But then it faded."
"You could dress it up with a sequined headband," Magnus suggested, offering his boyfriend something blue and sparkly. "Just a thought."

So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! I hope to get a couple more posts out soon, since it's getting close to the end of May, but we'll see!

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all tomorrow!

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