Sunday, June 7, 2009

Review: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Book Three of the Mortal Instruments series

Tags: YA, paranormal, war

Rating: 4 out of 5


In this long-awaited finale to the bestselling paranormal series, newly minted Shadowhunter Clary Fray needs to journey to the City of Glass—Alicante, the capital city of Shadowhunter country, Idris—in order to find the book that will wake her mother from her deep slumber. But trouble begins before she even enters Idris. Demons are attacking everywhere, even in Alicante, which they supposedly cannot penetrate to. Shadowhunters are dying, and Valentine—Clary and Jace’s evil father—has given the Shadowhunters an ultimatum: join him in his quest to “purify” the world of all Downworlders, or be killed.

Armed with only their Shadowhunter instincts and fighting skills, Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, and Alec band together with new friends in order to try to stop Valentine. While Jace and Clary continue to struggle with their forbidden feelings for one another, it soon becomes clear that there may be a spy for Valentine in their midst. Ultimately, surprising secrets are revealed, friends are betrayed, bargains are struck, and enormous sacrifices must be made if the Shadowhunters want a chance to defeat Valentine, once and for all.


Cassandra Clare delivers a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy that has both Twilight and Harry Potter fans alike on their feet and drooling. In CITY OF GLASS, pressing questions from the first two books are answered and loose ends are tied up, albeit a bit too neatly for my taste. (But more on that later.)

The Mortal Instruments trilogy has really relied more on appealing characters and their development rather than an outstanding plot or story idea. The characters are ones you simply WANT the narration to revolve around: they are quirky and smart-mouthed, yet vulnerable and, inexplicably, human. Clary, short and hot-tempered, is the kind of female protagonist we’d all like to be if we were in an action-fantasy novel—she is resourceful, fun, emotionally turbulent, and unknowingly appealing. Jace is the bad-boy hero of our dreams, whose sardonic comments balance his tough-guy mask to hide his boyish insecurities.

That being said, the story uses a plot that is sometimes slow, oftentimes predictable, and occasionally a bit ludicrous. More than once I felt like some elements were watered-down ones of Harry Potter—most notably being the villain with unfortunate blood ties to the protagonists. The ending in particular was so sudden, so ideal, that I have trouble wrapping my mind around its plausibility.

Overall, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS is an enjoyable, action-packed, and sizzling paranormal trilogy. Fans of Twilight will adore the love triangles and unrequited/forbidden love angle, while Harry Potter acolytes may find a powerful competitor with their favorite series.

Similar Authors
Stephenie Meyer
J. K. Rowling
Melissa Marr

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Cover discussion: 4 out of 5 - The model-with-head-cut-off cover is hit-or-miss with me, but this one works because of the fascinating (that is, psychedelic?) patterns surrounding it. Oh, and I love the cityscape. And the books look so nice next to one another on my shelf. :)


  1. I completely agree. And yeah sometimes it was pretty predictable. I liked it WAY more than the previous two books.

  2. At first I didn't feel attracted to this series but after reading several reviews I really want to read it. Thanks for the review Steph

  3. I loved it! Yes it was a bit predictable, but I don't care. lol. I'm easy to please!

    Great review, and I agree about the cover - this one is my favourite! I don't mind the chopped off heads on these ones, they're just lovely. And very shiny. :)

  4. Oh, how I loved this series. But I agree with you completely - I think it was more the interactions (and relationships) between the characters rather than the plot that was this series' appeal. You kind of wanted them all to be happy, so you accepted whatever happened.

    I may be biased because I rarely go for fantasy series, but that's okay because I still loved this series.

    Great review, Steph! =)

  5. I LOVE THESE BOOKS!!!!!!!! OMG MY FAVORITE BOOKS EVER. They are an addiction!!!! :)


Hello! I'm so excited to read what you have to say. Due to high amounts of spam, I'm forced to disabled anonymous comments for the time being. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes, and I hope you can understand and still appreciate the content here!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...