Book: City of Glass
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release date: March 24, 2009
Source: Bought for Kindle
Series: The Mortal Instruments #3
Summary: (from Goodreads) 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?
First impressions: Only Cassandra Clare can get a laugh out of me in the first two pages. I love the image of Simon bragging about his MarioKart skills in spite of the events happening around him. I love how Clare handles these kinds of juxtapositions between normal daily life and this supernatural world she's created, and it settled me back into this world on a happy note.
Lasting impressions: This book is by far my favorite of the series. Though it's clear that Clare was wrapping things up for what was supposed to be the end of the series, it also left open the possibility for new adventures and discoveries, and I am so excited that today is release day for Book 4, City of Fallen Angels. This book is epic in scope with lots of action, backstabbing, and surprises. A must read.
Conflicting impressions: At 541 pages, this thing is a beast. I was so anxious to get things moving that the few times where the action dipped I got frustrated with how many pages I had left.
**NOTE - Spoilers are hidden**
Overall impressions: The spirit of this book was very similar to Harry Potter for me. Everything is ramped up for this book - romance, action, magic, setting - and this heightened reality made the story soar. Taking place almost entirely in Glass City, with only a few scenes in New York, this added to the intensity of what was happening. I loved seeing Clary in Alicante, this home world she should have known a long time ago.
We meet lots of new characters in this book within the Alicante setting. The most important of these, Sebastian, is powerful and mysterious from the get-go. He clashes with Jace, particularly when he tries to woo Clary, which only further complicates things with our main characters. The Jace-Clary conflict reaches a fever pitch in this book, threatening to boil over into a frenzy if they can't figure out how to relate to each other. Thankfully, this book settles the incest question once and for all so we can leave that behind.
Simon plays a bigger role in the narrative this time around, adding complexity to his relationships with Jace and Isabelle. He is still struggling to come to terms with his new identity, both in his own acceptance of how this changes his daily life and in his role within the war against Valentine. He makes a big sacrifice toward the end of the book, with repurcussions that have yet to be felt fully. I can't wait to see how his story progresses.
Most importantly, this book marks the return of Clary's mother. She has been in a magic-induced coma since early in the first book, and Clary has worked tirelessly since then to find out how to bring her back. In Alicante, Clary must gamble on the good nature of Magnus Bane in order to have a chance - a choice that works out as planned and proves Bane really is one of the good guys.
This book had so much going on, but in a good way. I loved the onslaught of new elements because they fit so nicely with what Clare had spent two books establishing already. These characters all feel like old friends, and I would read about them darning socks and still find it interesting. Fortunately, Clare gave them much more exciting things to do, and this book flew by.
If you haven't yet started this series, I promise you won't be disappointed. Each book is better than the last, and in my humble opinion, this book makes the whole series worth reading. It's just that good.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Wondering about my thoughts on the other books in The Mortal Instruments series? Read my reviews of City of Bones and City of Ashes.