Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Review: City of Glass

(Warning: a few minor & unavoidable spoilers for the previous two books below.)
This book counts towards the What's in a Name challenge.

Jace, Alec, Isabelle, Simon, and Clary have all made it to the City of Glass: Alicante, the home of the Shadowhunters.  Unfortunately, they come at the worst possible time.  Valentine is massing his forces for a final battle, a battle that the Clave refuses to acknowledge is coming.  Meanwhile Clary and Jace are struggling with their new powers - and their feelings for each other...

Entertainment: ★★★

While I enjoyed City of Glass, it just didn't appeal to me the way City of Bones did.  The plot felt a little repetitive, the "surprise" twists weren't all that surprising, and the romance has gotten progressively more awkward as the series progresses.  While City of Glass is overall fast-paced, interesting, and exciting, I liked it, but I didn't love it.

Plot: ★★★

It echoes the second book in many ways.  I saw the ending coming a few hundred pages in advance, and wasn't actually surprised by any of the twists.  Also, as I mentioned above, I was quickly losing interest in the romance side of the story.  The plot didn't wow me, and the ending was actually pretty boring for me, since I'd guessed just about everything.  However, I was willing to finish the book just for a little closure on the Alec-Magnus relationship.  Honestly that interested me much more than the actual plot. 

Characters: ★★★★

Clary, in my opinion, gets progressively more obnoxious throughout the story.  I can't even explain why she got under my skin, but she did.

That said, Jace was excellent, Isabelle and Luke and many of the side characters fairly well done, and Alec and Magnus were completely adorable.  Overall I liked most of the characters.

Writing: ★★

Maybe it's because I'm a detail-oriented nitpicker, maybe it's because I read all the books within a few days of each other, but by City of Glass I was starting to have deja vu with Clare's writing.  For example, I believe she describes battles as "Bosch paintings come to life" at least once in each book.  Also, whenever somebody gets a cut, slash, etc on their arms, the wound is described as a "glove of blood."  I swear I read that phrase at least twice in City of Glass and I know I read it in the first two books too.  Reading the same descriptions for the third or fourth time was, frankly, boring.  I still enjoyed Clare's writing, but much less than I enjoyed it the first time around in City of Bones.  My personal recommendation to readers would be to take a breather of at least a few days between books, to avoid the "wait, I thought I just read this exact same metaphor?" moments.

End Result: three stars.  A good book, but not amazingly excellent.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree about the battle scenes described as Bosch paintings. That started bothering me in the 2nd book, but I am also reading them back to back. I feel hints of Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer that distract me too. This is a good series of books, but nothing spectacular.