Saturday, April 25, 2009

Short review - books 2 and 3 of Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Spoilers, probably. You Have Been Warned.

I took advantage of having the house to myself today and got stuck into both books. I finished the second one; and started and finished the third. It's late here, so these will be potted thoughts, but I wanted to get it done.

Book 2: City of Ashes:
For me, this is the most action-packed one. The parents of Isabella and Alec _ and Max _ a nine-year-old that Clare keeps forgetting is there _ even to the point of leaving him completely home alone at one stage in the book _ come into the action, but only periphally. However. The Inquisitor shows up who, for me, bore a striking resemblance to Dolores Whatsername from Order of the Phoenix. She's bonkers. But, as it turns out, Tormented. This is the book that has much in the way of Revelation, and Sweeping Tragedy. Seriously _ a lot goes down, and in a lot of ways I liked it better than the first book Fewer similes, for one thing. And the aforementioned action.

However. Clary. Clary Fray is one of the most annoying fictional female characters I have ever come across _ and I am including Bella Swan. Clary just reacts. All. The. Time. Then she goes dashing off, does stupid things and has to be pulled out of them by Jace and the other Shadowhunters.
Still. Clare is pretty good at pacing, which makes the book page-turnery enough to want to keep going.

Book 3: City of Glass
If City of Ashes is Revenge of the Sith (and it kind of is, just in terms of the amount of action that goes on _ ROTS has more action than the previous two incarnations, Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones put together) then, sadly, City of Glass is Phantom Menace. There's a lot of Talking. And a lot of Menacing. And, to be honest, with pretty much nothing happening for the first 200 pages or so, I was sorely tempted to put it aside. But that would have meant getting up off the couch and finding something else to read, and I had a very lazy day. So I persisted and there is some good stuff in it. It's just very well-hidden. The scenes with the angels are particularly well-drawn, I thought _ sad, and somewhat magnificent all at once.
Part of it is a little jarring, because I thought Valentine's motivations were ... not suspect, because the bad guy's motivations are always suspect _ they just didn't make any SENSE, and he's been written, I think, as someone extremely cold, and logical. I actually said out loud to my cat at one point, "But that doesn't make any SENSE!" Yes, I talk to my cat. What of it?
He's called on the demon hordes, to destroy the Shadowhunters' Clave _ purify it, so they don't sign Accords with Downworlders [vamps, werewolves, etc]. He basically says to the Clave that it's their fault he's called on demons to destroy them all because the would side with filthy Downworlders. Only .... the Clave hasn't really by that stage in the books. And I will admit that maybe I missed something, but it really made me go ... huh? and kind of pulled me out of the story because I kept going back over that part.
Still doesn't make sense to me though.
I don't hate myself quite so much for Mortal Instruments like I did for the Twilight series. They're readable, and set a pretty good pace, apart from the first half of the last one, and Clare's secondary characters are, I think, better drawn than Meyer's. Apart from wee Max. It's almost as if she just shoved him in in odd places, because she kept forgetting that she'd created a younger brother for the Lightfoots (Lightfeet?). So, okay, but I'm happy to lend them out and not get them back any time soon.
As always, with reading, onward!!!

And I do believe that means I've completed Quest the First for Once Upon a Time III. Yep, I have. But five is just a number, and I'm not done yet. :)


pussreboots said...

I love the photo of your cat. :)

Ana S. said...

Eek,I'm horrible! I joined this mini-challenge and then completely forgot I had! I think I did read enough challenge books to still have completed it, though...I'll have to see :P