Book Review: City of Glass [Mortal Instruments 3]


Title: City of Glass [Mortal Instruments 3]

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Urban, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, YA, Teen, Action & Adventure

Rating: 5 Stars




To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?


I loved this book. I may be giving it more credit than I should because I fan-girled over certain aspects of the plot, but I’ll hold by my 5 star rating. Let’s face it, this series has it’s issues. Clary is notorious for making bad, childish, and impulsive decisions. Jace whines about –everything- and pouts in the corner over Clary every chance he gets. Don’t even get me started on Simon. I swear I hate him. Despite all that, however, the series, this book even, is great.

With each book as I get farther and farther into the series, it seems that the world building is only getting richer, and the characters, are getting, if not smarter, at least more adaptable. There are some great kick-ass scenes in this book that are going to make you squeal if you’re as much of a fan of this series as I am (but I’ll be nice and not tell you what they are).

Unfortunately it wasn’t all rainbows and puppies, and there were definitely some drawbacks this time around. There was a lot going on in this book – in fact, it seemed to have more action and tension than the previous two books combined. There’s a lot going in the world of the mortal instruments. Unfortunately, that means that not all of the characters introduced are going to get a significant amount of face time.

Alina was one of those characters. To be honest, When I read the book, and even later when I went back over it for notes and context I’d written myself as reminders… I didn’t remember Alina all that well. I’m still not sure if there was any significance at all to her being in the story. Quite frankly, if the author had left her out entirely, I don’t feel the story would have changed that much. She had a piss-poor attitude, and really didn’t seem to be around for any reason other than to piss off Clary.

The same can be said for several of the other minor characters, and really it’s a shame… BUT on the flip-side of that coin, I think there’s a good reason why those characters got so little face time. This book was jam-packed with backstory and histories of the various characters. I felt like I got a significant amount of information out of this book (as opposed to the previous two), and while at times that did make things a little dry, I was glad to have the information so I could start sorting out the events of the previous books in my head. So let’s take a moment to talk about some of the characters:

Spoilers: I am sad to report that in this installment of the story, Max dies. He was a cute character, and it’s always awful when a child dies in a story—but I’m glad the author chose to make the decision. Though he was adorable, Max wasn’t an important character. I think by killing off Max, the author made a real point about the war at hand in this book and the tragedy of what happened that day.

I will admit, despite my ongoing hatred for the character of Simon (I swear, he annoys the crap out of me with his passive-aggressive puppy love issues with Clary), I did like him a bit more in this book, particularly towards the end. It was nice to see him stand up as a character and start to really become an individual rather than a side character that was around to play off Clary and Jace. I still hate him though, and his angst-y attitude. Let’s be clear.

I also didn’t like the new Inquisitor…but there’s no surprise there. If anything, this one was almost (I said almost) worse than the previous one. I don’t know what it is with the Clave, but I can feel Clary’s frustration with them. There doesn’t seem to be many members who are even decent human beings. It seems to consist entirely of lemmings and Harry Potter villains.

Clary and Jace this time around both frustrated me and made me squeal with joy. I adore their relationship, even if it is taboo, but there comes a point where even the fan-girling isn’t enough. Jace through this book was even more whiny that usual. He was angry and outright mean through most of it – though I can understand why. Clary spent most of the story being selfish and acting childish (as per her usual character), running into danger without a thought to anyone or anything other than her whim of the moment. It was frustrating, but I can also understand where the two characters were coming from. There was so much tension and frustration between the couple from the outset of this book and through the previous two books that they just weren’t thinking clearly anymore. In the same situation I’m afraid to admit that I probably wouldn’t be much more mature than they were.

As for the dark and seriously creepy Sebastian… he was a character I loved to hate. He was charming, but in a way that seriously creeped me out from the very beginning of his appearance in the story. Seeing where his story ended up… I’m not surprised. I think it’s a testament to Ms. Clare’s writing that Sebastian’s character came across with such an amazingly dark vibe. You could practically smell the evil on him, and it gave me the shivers.

Overall? I really liked this book – maybe even more than the first two books of the series (though it still isn’t my favorite. We’ll get to those.) I’d be happy to recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA fiction, and certainly to anyone who even remotely liked the movie or either of the previous books. This series seems to get better and better as it goes a long, and it feels like the world of the mortal instruments is becoming more filled out and intricate as the series goes on. This is going on my keeper shelf.