Goodreads rating: 4.14
Hardcover, 424 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1442403543 (ISBN13: 9781442403543)
New York, New York, 2007 (United States)
" 'He does make me happy,' Clary said. 'But he can't control everything in the world, Mom. Other things happen—' she fumbled for words; how could she explain that it wasn't Jace making her unhappy, but what was happening to him, without revealing what that was?" "In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants." Except for teasers, the fourth installment of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments romance fantasy has been strictly embargoed, leaving us clutching for word clues. A teen series that keeps readers on tenterhooks.
About halfway through this book, I was thinking to myself: I can't believe I'm considering giving this book a four instead of a five. I guess I expected more than was given in the first half (the first three-fourths if I'm honest with myself). I kind of felt like it was pandering and I wondered where it was all going. Jace was being a butt-face and Clary didn't know how to handle it. Then he finally told her what was going on with him (for all the blathering teenagers take part in, communication is one of the biggest problems between teen couples), and he goes to the Silent Brothers. Not much of a spoiler there, it was obvious he was going to tell her one way or another. The second half was way better than I expected and was the reason I gave this one a 5 instead of a 4. It's a great read for Mortal Instruments fans (yes, some steamy, sexy Clary and Jace scenes are included). If for some reason you haven't started this series, get on top of it. I have no choice but to go into spoilers now.
Where to begin...? Well, first off, I liked the new-ish angle Clare was working off of. Having THE Lilith be the orchestrator of Jace's dream problems was perfect. Although I am a little confused if she's actually dead, because I know that demons usually get sent to their home dimension, but she turned into salt because she inadvertently inflicted horrible pain on Simon (who has the mark of Cain, pain inflicted sevenfold, blah blah) when he threw himself in front of Clary. The reason she was even there was to revive Sebastian (I can't bring myself to call him Jonathon), because since a soldier of the Light was brought back to life (Jace, in City of Glass) now a soldier of the Dark is allowed to be revived and for some reason she chose Sebastian-Jonathon. Ugh and that ending!! What's going to happen with that? How much of Sebastian is part of Jace now. He and Clary just made up and now he's all screwed up again?
Before I forget, I will mention Camille (inevitably Camille is clearly forgettable by the end). I hate how she tricked Simon into letting her go; I really was interested in what she had to say. And I find it hard to belief that Lilith broke her out of Sanctuary. For what purpose? I'm glad I re-read Clockwork Angel before reading this one, mostly because of the relationship between Camille and Magnus. Who knew he was bi? I guess when you live long enough... Anyway, speaking of Magnus, I thought it was funny, the part where Will is mentioned from the first ID book. It makes me even more intrigued to read the next installment of that series, simply because I'm confused as to the kind of relationship he and Magnus had. But I'm glad everything between Magnus and Alec turned out alright despite Alec being a little bitch about everything. It's sometimes hard for me to imagine Magnus as being young. He's around 500 years old but he seems to turn into a teenager again when he's around Alec. I guess he really is in love with him, more than he ever was with Camille.
Saving Jace and Clary for last, let's go with... Jordan (AKA Kyle in the first half) and Maia. We're painted this picture of Jordan in City of Ashes: horrible, violent boyfriend who turned out to be a werewolf and bit Maia, leaving her to fend for herself afterward without a single bit of connection. Then he shows up, letting Simon stay with him (more on that later) and it turns out he works for this weird werewolf protector society who look after newborn Downworlders. He picked Simon to get close to Maia (even joined Simon's crappy band), and when she finds out, there's hell to pay. She studiously hates him, ignoring him at every turn, nearly tearing his throat out the first time she sees him. But then by the end of the book, she kisses him. He told her the truth, of how the night he bit her was the first time he had even changed and he had no control over what he did. That he tried to find her but the society that found him kept him from doing so. I guess it softened her up, and I hope they end up together. He so obviously cares about her.
On to Simon and Isabelle. In the beginning of the book, Simon has a fair choice between Maia and Isabelle, dates them both, and doesn't want to tell either one about the other. Just a bit of a problem there. When they find out (even though there was no exclusivity even spoken of), they both ignore him. Then, when Maia sees Jordan again, she's a little occupied, unsure of her feelings for someone she once hated. Which leaves Isabelle. She was always my first choice. They have a longer history together and I feel like Simon needs someone with a lot of spirit in her. And not a sworn enemy like Maia is. I loved Simon and Iz getting closer near the end after everything. She finally said (at least partly) how she feels about him, and Simon was about to make a move when the whole freakin' Clave comes barging in to take stock of the situation. I just hope to see more of them in the next one, getting closer and closer.
And finally...(drum roll please)... Jace and Clary. The beginning was so frustrating because Jace was being so secretive. We the readers find out why, but Clary has no clue and Jace even goes to the length of protecting Simon to avoid talking to her about it. There were, of course, some tantalizing kissing scenes between them (I don't even care that one of them was a dream), and those were some of the best parts simply because Jace and Clary finally let themselves go, if only for a moment. When Jace goes to the Silent Brothers because they say they can fix his dreaming problems (of killing Clary no less), he gets another dream where Max - his dead sort of brother - comes to him and etches a strange rune on his chest. The next thing we know, he's at the bridal party with Clary, telling her how he feels, wanting to draw a binding rune that feels just wrong and then Clary passing out. It turns out Lilith got her claws into Jace through his unprotected mind and is able to control him. She needs Clary as leverage so that Simon will do her bidding (involves lots of blood sharing) to revive Sebastian. The point where he makes a slight cut in her neck, I actually cried a little. They had finally started to trust each other again and now this woman is ruining it. Thankfully, Clary remembers that to take the power out of a Mark, you have to slash through it. And that's what she does, taking her power away... After they defeat Lilith, when Jace is in another one of his self-loathing moods, it's just her and him at the top of the roof. He explains over and over how he doesn't deserve her, especially after losing control like he did (literally melted from his words by the way), with Clary saying that as long as they love each other it'll be okay. Love those two, seriously. But I wonder what's going to happen now that he seems to have some weird bond with Sebastian-Jonathon. How badly will that mess everything up, and more importantly: how?