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City of Glass - Cassandra Clare

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Author: Cassandra Clare / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 22 June 2009 / Genre: Children's Fantasy & Magical Realism / Publisher: Walker Books Ltd / Title: City of Glass / ISBN 13: 9781406307641 / ISBN 10: 1406307641

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      15.02.2013 12:38
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      A great third book though not without its negative points

      City of Glass - Cassandra Clare

      Being an avid reader and am always on the lookout for new series' and I came across this series after checking out future movie previews, I came across a film in which will be released later this year (2013); City of Bones. The preview really caught my eye, and when I found out that it is a set of books I ordered the first one straight away. After getting three quarters of the way through the first book, I realised that I had to get the next couple of books immediately and kicked myself for not doing this sooner as I really wanted to continue the story without a break.

      My review of the first two books in the series, 'City of Bones' and 'City of Ashes' can be found on both Ciao and Dooyoo. This review covers the third book in the series, 'City of Glass'.

      City of Glass is part of 'The Mortal Instruments' book series, and there are, to date, five books in the series with the sixth and final book coming out in 2014. The books in this set include;

      City of Bones
      City of Ashes
      City of Glass
      City of Fallen Angels
      City of Lost Souls
      City of Heavenly Fire (unreleased)

      This series was originally meant as a trilogy, though the author decided to continue the set due to popular demand. I have only completed the first three books in this series so far so I can not tell whether it was a good idea to continue the series after its natural end, though I am hoping that it wont let me down, especially as I have already bought the fourth book!

      With all this said, I will now take you on to my review of the second book in this series; City of Glass.

      **********************
      ANGEL OF DEMONS
      **********************

      "You said you were going for a walk!? What kind of walk takes six hours?"
      "A long one?"

      A/N: Please bear in mind when reading this review that some spoilers from the first books may appear, though I will attempt to keep them to a minimum.

      Amid the chaos of war, the Shadowhunters must decide whether to fight with the vampires, werewolves and other Downworlders - or against them. Meanwhile, Jace and Clary have their own personal decision to make; should they pursue the love they know is forbidden?

      As with all these books so far, the synopsis as outlines above really does not do these books justice. It also focuses too much upon the side of Vampires and such like, and although this book more than its predecessors does run alongside vampires, werewolves and Fay, it is still not the main storyline. The main story follows the Shadowhunters - a group of people who are, in effect, demon hunters, though their personal storylines take president along the way, and thus, creates a much more well rounded story.

      As mentioned above, this was originally meant to be the final book in the trilogy, so throughout the book there is a strong feeling of that lead up to an action packed finale. In the past two books we have been introduced to a whole array of different characters, and the discussions between characters about the world they live in, which in Stephanie Meyers own words is 'a story world I love to live in'. The past books have all seemed like a lead up to this final book, which is how it is meant to be, though it does make me wonder where and how the next three additional books will actually lay out.

      City of Glass takes place in the main City of the Shadowhunters, where a large assortment of Shadowhunters have come to plan the final battle against Valentine, though tensions are high and confusion is paramount as no one really knows how to defeat the rogue Shadowhunter. Meanwhile, Clary and Jace fight their own inner battles and work towards the final outcome, though will they be able to be themselves?

      Like the previous two books, I am drawn immediately into the story. The action takes place not long after the last book left off, and just in case there has been a break in your reading, recaps are subtly bought in to the first few chapters, with more subtle reminders throughout. These parts actually bored me as I was reading straight from finishing the previous books, and although I skimmed a number of these parts, I can see that they are placed very well within the text and will act as a reminder if the reader so needs it.

      Again, as with the first two books, the flow and style is absolutely brilliant, though unlike the previous books, there are a number of drawn out areas in which do read rather slowly. There are many points in the book which can cover chapters rather than mere pages in which would have read much better. Due to this, I did find myself reading a lot slower, getting frustrated with parts of the storyline, and skimming bits and pieces throughout. Luckily, on the whole, the action does stand out over the slowness, so my attention was not really lost and as soon as the story picked up again, I was well and truly immersed.
      One very noticeable point in this book was the errors made throughout. I did not really notice any grammatical or text errors in the previous books, though they may have been there, only more subtle. Here, there were a lot of different errors from grammatical errors to the wrong words used and such like. I could not tell you whether this was the authors error or a printing error, though they stood out a mile in many places and were very off-putting. In some parts I had to re-read sentences just to make sense of what was going on. Again, this may have been a factor in my slowness of reading this.

      The story probably best falls into the urban fantasy genre, though I feel that it can not comfortably sit in one particular genre or another as it is so jam packed with so many different aspect. There is a whole heightened amount of humour in this second instalment, as well as aspects of science fiction, love story, action adventure and many more, though many of these are subtle - such as the love story.
      Keeping with the idea of the love story in this book, I feel that I should mention a little about it as in many books, the love story becomes the heart and soul of the book and occasionally becomes too overwhelming and so the story becomes lost. Stephanie Meyer, author of the 'Twilight' series, also speaks highly of these books, so it may make a person wonder just how strong this part of the story is. The answer is, at the moment, it is not. It is a sub-plot which is certainly there for a reason, and this reason will becomes clearer to you when reading these books. There is not only the one love story either, and among all of the complex subplots in this area, the main story still overrules it. This is thankfully, in my opinion, a perfectly written sub-plot/s as I hate it when a book is all about the love or love triangle off the characters and the main storyline becomes hidden and pushed to the back.
      The story is written from a narrative view, though unlike many books, this switches from character to character. The main part of the story follows Clary, though we see various points in which we follow other main characters. This works out brilliantly and almost runs as though it were a movie playing in front of you. There is no confusion whatsoever, and the pace and flow of each and between each is simply perfect.

      As I have already read two books in this series previous to this one, I have already got to know the characters well. There are a few new characters which are introduced into this book, though the highlight stays away from them in the most part and continues to focus upon the main players. These main characters grow in strength in this book and we get to know their characters and inner feelings even more so compared to before. In the previous book, I felt that there were a few weak links in some of the minor characters, though I feel that this problem has been overcome in this one, and even the smaller characters have their place and play it well.

      There is a medium amount of violence in this book, and although it is written really well, it is wise to remember that this book does cover a war and so there is quite a number of emotional scenes which cover loss, death and betrayal. I would not say that any part is overly emotional as such, and I did not feel close to tears in any way, though these such subjects may concern some readers.

      The first book was extremely predictable in many ways, and although I felt it was not ruined at all by this as you might expect, it did become a little annoying. The second book was written better in this sense as it was far less foreseeable and held more unexpected twists and turns. This third book falls somewhere in the middle. Once the story gets going, it became easy to predict a large amount of the action, though there were still things in which came as a surprise, and the way predictable scenes eventually panned out did still hold some amount of surprise.

      So what makes this book any different to other books along these lines?

      The first story in this series was not unique at all in its storyline, so I did wonder whether this one would be any different as it seems to be going backwards from the second book. It does take a more unique path in many ways, though of course, there are only so many different stories out there so there are a number of similarities in this story as you may find in other stories. I feel that there is a similarity between certain parts of this story to that of the Harry Potter stories, which is a little worrying considering the authors past (see below), though I do think that there is enough significant difference to allow this story its own life, and even with these similarities, I still find myself loving this story world.
      One thing which I find very important in a book is the ending. A story can be written perfectly, though if the ending is wrong, then it gives me a really terrible feel to the whole book, almost as though I feel my time was wasted reading it, even if I did enjoy the rest of the story.

      So how does the ending of this book compare?

      To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the ending. It was not that it was a terrible ending, in fact it was everything I expected to a large degree, and it wrapped a lot of things up nicely, though it just was not as powerful as it should have been. Throughout the three books, this ending has been building up bit by bit, the action increasing as the ending grows closer. I expected so much more power and action than what there actually was, and for this reason I felt as if I had lost out on something. The ending was also very predictable, though there were a number of surprises thrown in at the last minute which made for great reading.

      Like the other two books, there is an epilogue which covers a chapter length. This is used to calm the story down and wrap up a few loose ends. Whilst it did this extremely well, the difference between the actual ending to the main story and the epilogue did not really give out anything more than to end the story again.

      The story was over 500 pages long in paperback form, which makes it the longest book in the series so far, though I feel that it could have been significantly shorter if certain parts had been condensed, which would have been possible.

      **************************************
      CASSANDRA CLARE CONTROVERSY
      **************************************

      I have mentioned this in much more detail in my review on the first book, though felt it significant to mention this once more especially as many people are starting to hear more about it through the movie coming out later this year. I have also read and heard a lot of negative feelings and thoughts due to this which may make people avoid the books, which is something in which I am glad I did not do. I heard about this only after I had begun reading the first book, and luckily by that time, I had already fallen in love with the story.

      The controversy I am talking about goes back to the time when Cassandra Claire (as she was then known) was writing various fanfictions (stories based upon actual books such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings). There was many a time in which her writings came under severe scrutiny about plagerism, as well as accusations of racism and sexism.

      After looking into this further, it seems that once Clare changed the spelling of her surname, took her old fanfiction stories down from the internet and began her actual novels, the plagiarism and such like accusations diminished.

      It is true that the first book was not unique in the slightest, though I have not really seen severe signs of plagiarism within these stories, even with the similarities I have mentioned. Hopefully that means this author has left her past behind her, and I would certainly not recommend staying away from this series due to it.

      ************************
      FINAL WORDS
      ************************

      "Oh, come on," Clary said. "You're a vampire, not Spider-Man."

      City of Glass is a fantastic third instalment to this popular series and is full of the excitement and action that the first one held, though due to the slowness and drawn out areas and the many small mistakes throughout, I do rate it slightly lower than the first two. Saying that, though, it is still a book I very much enjoyed and would still recommend it especially if you have read the past two books. It almost rounds the whole story up, even though we now know there is more to the set. The question is, will the next three be any good or will they be forced?

      It is not a book to read before reading the first one as it is a continuation.

      The RRP on this book is £7.99, though I was able to purchase this in'The Works' shop. Amazon also has this at £2.60 plus postage and packaging. These are fantastic lowered prices for a fantastic book.

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        23.01.2011 22:03
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        really good read!

        I really loved City of bones, the first instalment in this best selling fantasy trilogy so I was really happy when I got the trilogy of books for Christmas and quickly read the first two before moving onto City of Glass, the 3rd instalment.

        You really need to read the previous two books to understand whats happening, but just for a quick summary: Clary finds out that she is a shadow hunter (their job is to fight demons) when her mother disappears, and this turns her whole world upside down, from discovering that her Uncle is actually a werewolf to her best friend Simon later becoming a vampire. What she also finds out is that Jace, another shadow hunter is her brother. This is only after she falls in love with him though.
        So now at the start of this book, Clary is discovering her powers and she and Jace are trying to decide whether to pursue their forbidden love. They all end up in the city of glass, the Shadowhunter main city where the race is on the brink of war, they must decide whether to go against their traditions and unite and fight with the down worlders.

        I really enjoyed this book, it was just the same good level of quality as the other books which were also really good. It was totally addicting and once I started it, I really couldn't put it down, ended up taking it in the car and the bath! There's a really good variety of characters as well, I love the way that she made up a whole new world and I got really into it, the only thing is how perfect Clary seems to be, nearly everything seems to miraculously go her way! Other than that though, I'd totally recommend it. There's a 4th one coming out in April, so I'll be pre ordering that!

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        18.01.2011 23:40
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        A fantastic book

        City of Glass is the third book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. It was published by Walker Books UK on 22nd June 2009 and the book is 496 pages long.

        Plot
        After some pretty dark and troubling times, Clary has finally figured out a way to save her mum but she needs to go to Idris to do it. The problem with that is that Jace is hell bent on not letting her go, even if it means going behind her back to get what he wants. Clary is just as stubborn as Jace though and will go to the end of the world to save her mum.

        Unfortunately, Clary doesn't only take herself to Idris, but drags Luke along with her and he is not happy. He knows the Clave's laws about entering without permission and thinks that their trip will end up doing more harm than good. If only that was their only problem. A massive war is coming and everyone must pick a side. Valentine's wrath is about to burn down on everyone but which side is going to be victorious?

        What I thought
        City of Glass is a book that I had been meaning to buy for a long time but always too many other books to read first. My mum never knows what books to buy me due to thinking I would already have them but this year, she let me pick the books I wanted for Christmas and this was right at the top of the list. Once I had started reading it, I couldn't put it down and ended up still being awake at 4am to finish it.

        I have found Clary to be a little bit too irrational in the first two books, which annoyed me, but in City of Glass, I thought the way she acted was extremely justified. With a huge war coming, Clary doesn't want to sit on the sidelines, she wants to be helping in any way that she can. Ok, she doesn't totally think about her actions first but in fairness, I don't think I would in her situation either. Everything she has ever known and loved is in danger of being destroyed and I think she was so brave to go through what she did. Clary's emotional stability also grows a lot in this book. She realises that even though she loves Jace, it can never happen and I liked the way that she tried to deal with her feelings. At least she tried to do something about moving on.

        City of Glass lets us see a completely different side to Jace and one that I loved. His arrogance and cockiness is what made me fall in love with him but I was always hoping that there would be more to come and I wasn't disappointed. So much is going on in Jace's life and I have no idea how he coped with it all. His father is a terrible man, he's in love with his sister and he doesn't really know who he is anymore. Jace's growth is much more than any other character in this book due to he crazy amount of things he goes through. Massive secrets are revealed that will shock everyone but not as much as Jace. I really liked how we get to see Jace go through so many emotions and so many changes throughout the book.

        Newcomers Sebastian and Aline were very interesting characters. I really liked that Sebastian was giving Jace a run for his money when it came to Clary, mainly because he was the completely opposite to Jace. Clary had been doing everything possible to get over Jace and to get him out of her head so when nice, sweet Sebastian showed an interest, no wonder she took a chance. I did like Sebastian to begin with although if you have read this already, you'll know why I stopped. It was nice that one of the new characters got quite a large part in the story but I would have liked to see Aline involved a little bit more.

        One of the best things about this book is how involved everyone is. Characters that I have grown to love over the series pop up at some point as well as the Lightwood family having a major role is what is happening. Character development was fantastic and this time, we get to see a lot of the characters grow and change. I always liked Isabelle and Alec so seeing them a lot more was a great thing for me. It was nice to see that one of them got an extremely happy ending and I couldn't have been more pleased with how this aspect of the story turned out.

        City of Glass was everything I could have hoped it to be. There is mystery, romance, and a lot of action. Everything worked so well together and I always felt like anything could be coming next. Cassandra Clare is full of surprises and I definitely didn't see some of the things coming. I even gasped a couple of times. City of Glass was supposed to be the last book in this series but there will now be another three books. I would have been extremely pleased with the ending if it had been the last book but I am also really excited for what comes next. I do have one idea in mind that I'm hoping will be brought up but you never know with Cassandra Clare. City of Glass is a fantastic third book in the series.

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