I am torn. At times I wanted to give it four stars, at times two. So I guess I'll settle for a three.
For starters, it was a lot better than City of Fallen Angels. There were so many subplots that it both kept me hooked but also wore me out. I loved the city-hopping (though I can't say I agree with the picture that was created of Paris :P). The writing was very good. Apart from all these reduntant descriptions of clothes and looks. Clothing details: I don't care about those, if I know the style - once - I'm pretty much capable of creating my own image. Looks: I know by now Clary is a redhead, and I've read in length how she describes and admires Jace's looks. I got it the first time Sebastian's hair is pale. Unless he went to a salon and got it dyed purple, I don't need to be reading about it again, and again. Unless it concerns Magnus, I don't care about the clothes nor looks.
Jace and Clary: ever since City of Glass, I like neither. Clary is still selfish, even though she now kicks ass. Inherited that streak from her mother, I guess. And Jace is quite boring when he's gooing all over her, and since that's about all he does...
Alec and Magnus: What?? How it ended for the two of them didn't surprise me at all, it was a logical result of certain actions. It was those actions that make no sense to me, unless Alec doesn't really love Magnus or has no idea yet of the concept of love. He acted more like a kid who was afraid that his favourite toy, one day, many many years from now after Alec had died, would love someone else. As mature as Alec is as a shadowhunter, as immature he is in interpersonal relations. I have a sneaking suspicion that Clare is going to have me eat my own words when I read CoHF though, because I think (hope) that she'll come up with something really heartbreaking and engrossing to have these two make amends again. Magnus remains a favourite. He's intriguing, quick-witted and consistent. And Alec, well, I always had soft spot for Alec - him acting like an idiot hasn't changed that all that much.
Simon: le sigh, reading about Simon always was a joy. I also liked Izabella more than in the previous books - that combination of kicking ass, common sense and some vulnerabilty. Clary could learn so much from her.
Jordan and Maia: I'll repeat myself - What?? I do not care to know how they had sex all around the apartment, thankyouverymuch. And that was about all their storyline was about.
Jocelyn: Luke (who was sadly very absent) deserves so much better. Her reactions towards her own son stunned me.
Sebastian: I was hoping for some interesting character development and original plot twists concerning him, but that sadly didn't happen. Not everyone is either pure good or pure evil. I don't understand how there can be empathy for about everyone's case, but the kid who got brainwashed and whipped frequently by his own father, oh no, not for him. Yes, that makes so much sense. *rolls eyes* Even Darth Vader could find salvation in the end, so give me a break on this guy and how everyone now is out to see him be killed. Just give him a grouphug and don't let go until it gets through to him that he has some work to do if he doesn't want to be lonely. ;)
Favourite quote: "I know about parabatai," said Magnus, an angry, dark undercurrent to his voice. "I've known parabatai so close they were almost the same person; do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one that's left --?"
If this book accomplished anything, it is to make me curious to find out how the events in ID will evolve and how the small hints that were given in CoLS will fit in with the ID storyline, and how it all will end.
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