Monday, May 21, 2018

Review: CITY OF GLASS by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I liked this book better than the first two in the series. It had higher stakes and gave me the answers I've been craving. (City of Glass's Chapter 17 was the most important chapter in all three books. When Jocelyn tells Clary all the details she needs to know, I was utterly lost in the audiobook and couldn't stop listening.)

I don't really have much to say about this book, or about this series in general, but I do want to make one statement about Cassandra Clare as a writer. One thing I've seen her do well in all three books is to make the characters question her own writing. What I mean by this is that readers always have questions about how the world works, why this can't happen, why things don't work a certain way. I, for one, always question the logic in a book because it seems like far too often characters make stupid decisions only because the author can't think of a better way to solve a problem. But Cassandra Clare isn't like that. She challenges the logic and answers the questions that most other writers don't address. Here's one of many examples from this book: Simon asks Clary why she can't just create a rune to destroy all demons or to destroy Valentine. This is the kind of question an intuitive reader would ask, but most authors would gloss over that point, probably thinking, Well she could create that rune but that would make the story less exciting and fun, so as long as that thought doesn't cross her mind, I can make the plot go this more exciting route instead. Like I said, Clare doesn't do this; she answers all those kinds of questions I had and explains why the world doesn't allow for this or that, and that made the story so much more realistic and enjoyable for me. This is the biggest compliment I can give her as a writer.

Another thing I really liked is how much this story ties into Bible theology. I think a lot of writers shy away from religious aspects, thinking it will alienate part of the audience they are trying to reach, but Clare really embraces Biblical concepts in her stories. For example, I love the idea that the mark of Cain was actually an ancient rune. Ideas like that are so cool and help to make the magical system seem more realistic.

Overall, City of Glass was a strong concluding novel to the original trilogy. It answered all my questions and wrapped up all the loose ends. I'm really happy with how the book ended, both with the main storyline and with the direction all the relationships took. (I don't understand why there are three more books though.) I think there are a lot of good messages and morals in the whole story, which I was glad for because we don't always see that in young adult novels.

Next, I plan on starting Clockwork Angel before continuing on with City of Fallen Angels. I've heard it's best to read the books in publication order, so that's what I'm going to do. I'm looking forward to delving deeper into the world of Shadowhunters.

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