REVIEW #18 | “City of Glass” (The Mortal Instruments #3)

City of Glass

City of Glass

Title: “City of Glass”

Author: Cassandra Clare

Pages (hardcover): 541 pages

Original Publishing Date: 24 March 2009

Synopsis (from the inside flap):

“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?”


Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • violence
  • blood
  • character death
  • incest (?)
  • internalized misogyny
  • ableism
  • suicide
  • self-harm

Representation in the novel:

  • gay rep (side character)
  • Asian rep (side character)
  • biracial rep (side character)
  • m/m relationship (side characters)

⭐⭐⭐ .5
3.5/5 stars

I have so many conflicted feelings about this book.

Because, on one hand, I hated it, the first half in particular. I thought all the characters were just kind of…assholes? Jace was extremely out of bounds, Clary was just being, well, Clary, and Simon was…actually not horrible for once? Which is a surprise. But, yeah, for whatever reason, the first half of the book just seemed “meh” to me.

But the second half? I really enjoyed. For whatever reason, halfway through the book, the switch (finally) turned on. Instead of just putting up with the story with mild interest, I was actually pretty engaged. The plot started to pick up, and sure, the writing is still mediocre, but things were actually happening. Compared to City of Ashes, the previous book, this was almost a masterpiece. I just thought that everything finally clicked together, and it was working. The action was fun, the plot was moving, the characters finally started looking like more than one-dimensional snippets of what they could have been.

I just had to get through one of the worst first halves of a book ever to get there. Because, wow, I know when people say “Well, why would she do that? That’s just ridiculous! would have…” about a protagonist that’s a girl/woman, it’s usually thinly-veiled misogyny. But uh. I definitely understand why people would say that about Clary because I was so angry with her for most of this book.

But I got through it. To get to something that’s slightly better. Which, ya know what? I’m gonna take it. Because thank the Earth, the incest-y side plot has finally been resolved. Thank goodness; that was probably the most cringe-worthy and gross side plot I’ve ever read.

So yeah. Overall, while the first half of the book was mediocre at best, the second half really picked up, and I’m interested to see where the rest of the series is going.


3 thoughts on “REVIEW #18 | “City of Glass” (The Mortal Instruments #3)

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