I read City of Bones way back in the spring of 2014 for my Young Adult Fiction course and never wrote a review of it but I did give it 3 stars. I had no desire to re-read it in order to write a review, but I was curious about how the rest of the series played out, so I read the remaining 5 books over the course of June 2016, starting with City of Ashes.
City of Ashes – 3.75 stars
Though it’s been 2 years since I read City of Bones and I remember very little about it, I do know that City of Ashes is a definite improvement. However, it still isn’t quite hitting the 4 star mark for me.
All of the characters grew on me, but I just cannot get behind Clary and Jace right now. It’s just too disturbing for me. Clary was still fairly useless and clueless about the world that she now belongs to, which was maddening at times. I think my two favorite characters right now are Isabelle and Magnus. And I ship Magnus/Alec so hard it hurts.
I had been spoiled about what happened to Simon, but I thought that particular transformation was kind of cool to read. However, I got some hardcore True Blood flashbacks later in the book with him drinking Jace’s blood and the result of that à la the vampires drinking Sookie’s blood.
The epilogue hit me right where it needed to because I need Jocelyn to wake up finally and I hope that it becomes a big part of City of Glass. It bothered me just how little Clary went to see her mother. I know there was a lot going on, but you would think she would still make time to visit.
Valentine is such a psychopath and I loved seeing his character develop. His development made me look forward to seeing what happens in the rest of the series.
City of Ashes also made me excited to see the development of Clary’s and Jace’s special abilities and how they affect the war that is clearly brewing. Along with this excitement came the hope of seeing that Clary gets more educated on the world of Shadowhunting, because girl needs to get her shit together.
Really, the reasons why the book didn’t get 4 stars are the forced love triangle, the weird relationship between Jace and Clary, and how useless Clary is during battles (though her ability is freaking awesome when she actually remembers to try to use it). But given how much better this is than the first book, my hopes grew for the rest of the series.
City of Glass – 3.25 stars
Oh Clary. How much I wanted to punch you in the face multiple times while I was reading this. How can you still be so freaking naive about how little you know? I mean, seriously. Clary is a freaking useless heroine save for her rune magic. And she is so impulsive, to the point of hurting those around her. And don’t even get me started on the fact that she willingly told secrets to someone she literally just met. I know that ‘Sebastian’ was supposedly friendly with the Lightwoods and all that, but come on. He was way too interested in her way too fast and she should have been way more on guard. And then there’s how she reacted when Jocelyn (!) finally returned. Yes, I understand that Clary was hurt by the fact that her mother had kept the Shadowhunter world a secret from her, but can you really blame Jocelyn for trying to protect her daughter? Okay, maybe she didn’t go about it in the *best* way with the whole mind-wiping thing, but come on. I guess it made Clary’s lack of visitation in the last book make more sense. Because she had all of the *rage* built up in her and all that and even though she claimed that all she wanted was to be with her mother, it was clearly not the truth.
The amount that Clare forced Jace and Clary down the readers’ throats was almost disturbing. Yes, it was clear that they were going to be able to be together because there was clearly more to the story than the two knew, but just ew. I could barely stomach when they were together, despite my suspicions that a Sebastian was actually Clary’s brother, especially when they kissed and it was all *ew, gross, get away from me* and he was all familiar and all that nonsense. I just. No.
Along with the *huge, shocking* reveal that Sebastian was not Sebastian that I saw coming a million miles away was also the reveal that Lake Lyn was the mortal mirror. I mean, come on, why else would Clare have Clary and Luke land there when the portal went all haywire.
I did appreciate that this one didn’t take place in New York and instead was mainly set in Idris. I did love the world-building that happened there and I kind wish I could go to Alicante myself.
Also, I loved that this book certified that Valentine is bat-shit psycho. I mean, seriously. The crap he did was down-right mad scientist, all in the name of purifying the race. I was *almost* sad that he died. But not really. Because he was just as annoying as his children.
This definitely felt like a conclusion to a trilogy, so it will be interesting to see how the other three books play out. I don’t think I realized that it was not necessarily a 6 book series, but that it was originally a trilogy that expanded. For me, it cleaned up too nicely. I know that Max died, but literally none of the other main *good* characters died (save Jace being magically saved by the power of lady-boners). It felt way too anti-climatic for this major battle only for the good guys to win.
BUT HOLY SHIT MY SHIP IS OFFICIALLY CANON AND I AM SO BEYOND HAPPY AND JUST *FLAIL*.
City of Fallen Angels – 3 stars
Despite the decent rating, I have to ask: Why didn’t the series stop after the first 3 books?
I was so ready to have non-creepy relationship moments between Clary and Jace but no, he had to get all moody and closed off. I did like that Clary was finally getting some training because holy jeez did girl need to get a clue about the Shadowhunter world. I missed Alec and Magnus and honestly would’ve preferred to read about their adventures rather than the stupid romantic tension between Clary and Jace. It was kinda nice to read more about Simon, but holy shit is he just stupid for not telling Isabelle and Maia about the other one. That’s just asking for trouble. I’m not particularly looking forward to Sebastian being the main baddie, mainly because I’m so over the trope of the original baddie’s offspring coming back (*cough* Cursed Child *cough*). I wish that Clare would’ve thought of a new conflict to go with because it feels like it’s setting up to be almost an exact repeat of the previous three books.
City of Lost Souls – 3.75 stars
I’m getting really tired of Cassandra Clare writing about incest. Like. Seriously. Please stop. The entire relationship between Sebastian and Clary just grossed me the eff out. And I really want Jace back, please. I absolutely loathe this whole controlled Jace. Clary continues to annoy me, surprise surprise. I just really don’t like her as a protagonist. I’m not particularly fond of the side story with Simon/Maia/Jordan. And I’m not 100% on board with Simon and Isabelle, but I think I’m getting there. Also, screw Cassandra Clare for messing with my OTP. I trusted her to take care of them. I definitely liked this better than CoFA, but it’s still not hitting the mark for me.
City of Heavenly Fire – 4 stars
This was definitely my favorite of the series.
I was glad that Jace was back, even if he had fire in his veins and couldn’t exactly touch Clary. Magnus continued to be one of my favorites, even when he was being all drained of energy and all that. I’m getting really tired of these YA fantasy/dystopian/what have you stories ending with almost no main character deaths, to be honest. The authors build up to this huge battle and then only minor side characters are killed. Sebastian got on my nerves. He is just so generic as a villain and it was frustrating. And while I was frustrated with the lack of death, the ending is really what made it a 4-star read for me. It felt like a good conclusion to the series while still leaving it open for the characters to make appearances in the other books.
The Bane Chronicles – 3.5 stars
I’m still debating whether that’s my final rating or not
I enjoyed some of the stories, but not others. Magnus is one of my forever favorites, so it was really fun to get to read about his shenanigans. I think my favorites were the story about his first date with Alec and fretting over what to get Alec for his birthday (shocker, my OTP stories are my favorites). I didn’t particularly care for what happened in Peru or Magnus’s interactions with Marie Antoinette. I still haven’t read TID, so the story with Jem, Will, and Tessa didn’t have quite the punch for me that I think it would’ve if I knew the characters a little better. Seeing Magnus and Raphael interact was interesting and I really liked their dynamic. The stories about the Hotel Dumort didn’t particularly appeal to me, but they weren’t awful. Overall, it was a fun, quick read.