Friday, June 20, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire & Other Rant-y Things

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)
DNF at page two-hundred or three-hundred and something

Once upon a time there was a twelve-year-old girl who loved reading. She read anything she could get her hands on - but unlike other girls her age, she refused to read Twilight. No, she was far too good for that. Instead, she devoured the Mortal Instruments series, which she believed was far more well-written, more complex than that worthless Twilight.

Fast forward two years later, and Summer is eagerly waiting for the next installment in the series, City of Lost Souls. The previous one wasn't as good as the others, but she believed that this would be the one. To kill the time, Summer browsed a website she recently discovered: Goodreads. Mind you, she did not make an account, but she did spend a considerable amount of time reading reviews of her Favorite Series of All Time.

What she found weren't gushing five-star reviews - they were scathing one-star critiques of her most beloved novels. As she scrolled, she read review after review that went into detail of the novel's major flaws, and some even claimed that - gasp - Cassandra Clare plagiarized in her works!

Summer's eyes were opened. She didn't realize that so many people disliked her Favorite Series of All Time. What was most puzzling was, who could hate the beauty that is Jace?!

Of course, she went on with her Clare-obsessed life. But, she was encouraged to read more; instead of reading one book every two weeks, she went through books almost daily. And she began to notice Clare's series is not one in a million - there are plenty of other excellent series out there that receive far less attention than The Mortal Instruments.

It is now spring of 2013. Summer decides to conduct an epic re-read of her Favorite Series of All Time after finishing the newly released Clockwork Princess (which she, inevitably, loved). To her astonishment, she found that she did not, in fact, love City of Bones.  

Perhaps it was a book slump. Perhaps re-reading the novel took away the surprise factor. But, she knew in the back of her mind that she was merely making excuses. She had read Harry Potter plenty of times and not once did she tire of it.

Such was Summer's state of indecision until, a year later, the much anticipated finale to her Favorite Series of All Time was released. What she read would shatter her perception of The Mortal Instruments series and end her years as crazy fangirl.
Okay, that last sentence was pretty melodramatic, but that is exactly how I felt. Not that I was a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments series before that, but I was still unsure of my opinion.

Actually, to this day I'm still unsure of what I think of Clare and the claims of plagiarism. I've done some reading on the topic and while some claims didn't have much evidence to back them up, some seemed pretty plausible. Plus, I've lost a ton of respect for Clare after finding out that the only reason she is extending her series so much is because she wants MOAR money. (I mean, the Bane Chronicles are pretty ridiculous. Get some originality, would you?)   

Anyways, I won't really go into this entire debacle, because people who have had experience with her will probably know the facts a million times better than I ever would.

So. A few weeks ago, I checked out City of Heavenly Fire from the library (thank God I didn't buy that huge-ass book). Right from the start, I was contemplating of DNFing the novel. The story was just that bad.

First off, Clare, what the heck do you think you're doing? Why are you introducing MORE characters in the sixth and last book of the series? I can barely keep track of the regular cast of characters, but you had to piss everyone off and include even more people that we have to keep track of?


To worsen things and to give me an even bigger headache, we have to read chapters from said new characters' POV too! Seriously, it's ridiculous how many POV changes there are.

An embarrassingly obvious observation hit me as I was trudging through CoHF. All the characters are freaking cardboard cutouts. THEY HAVE NO PERSONALITY. Each and every one of them are walking stereotypes that I could not be bothered to give a crap about.

You have:
- Jace, the token hawt blondy who is the best fighter in the whole world

- Clary, the weakling who becomes a badass fighter in the span of a few weeks (AKA the Mary Sue) and who is a freaking martyr (what a brave girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1)

- Alec, the stereotypical gay friend with no personality other than the fact that he's gay

- Isabelle, the hawt badass friend that Clary compares herself to

- Sebastian, the evilly villain who isn't all that scary and who is somehow in love with his sister (incest anyone?)

(Pshhht, I'm not bothering with the new characters. For one, they aren't even developed, and for another, I'm too lazy to go through each character.)

Onto my favorite part of this book, the writing. NOT. How I ever thought Clare's writing is beautiful is beyond me, and how such crappy writing has gotten itself published with 30 books to boot is also beyond me. Really, there are only so many variations of said you can use. And the useless descriptions are useless. No wonder the book is 700 pages long.

Up until the point I read, absolutely nothing made sense. You might be saying right now, "But Summer! If you had read the entire book, stuff would've made sense!" On the contrary, even small things didn't make sense. For example, how did Sebastian pop out of nowhere, and why didn't he do it before? But no, he only appeared when it was favorable for the plot. Oh, so there's this magic thing that does this and turns these people but NEVER ACTUALLY HARMS THE MAIN CHARACTERS, conveniently enough.

Never have I seen so much deus ex machina used in a series as much as in Clare's.

Now to the romance. I like to call Clare The Matchmaker, mostly because every single character in her books has to have a romantic partner. Rarely will you find anyone single throughout her books.

One of the main reasons why I DNFed this was because there was so much emphasis on romance. The world is about to end, why do you care about making out with your blond-haired-perfect-cheekboned boyfriend? (Yes, I'm calling you out, Clary and Jace.) And in every single POV, someone was brooding about their relationship problems, while I was pulling my hair out from frustration.

Still not sure why I picked this up in the first place. Maybe I just wanted some redemption for Clare, because I really loved The Infernal Devices series. I guess that was the best she had, so I highly doubt I'll be reading any of her future books.

Not that I'd ever want to support someone like her.


  1. For your own sake, I applaud you for choosing not to read this. I don't even know how the book ends, but one of these days I'll probably read Wikipedia or something. And I agree - she is being a total cash cow with all this she's doing. I mean, ten novellas? Seriously??
    No no, I'm glad you let it all out. Plus, I enjoyed reading your comment. ^_^ Thanks Alyssa!

  2. I'm not sure whether to read this series or not. Loads of people seem to love it but I'm not a huge fan of YA in general (I hated The Hunger Games, for example). I think most of this series is in the library so what do you think. Are they worth checking out?

  3. This book (or series, rather) is the epitome of the stereotypical YA book. Honestly, YA is an amazing genre--you just have to find the right books. :) If you didn't like The Hunger Games, I don't think you'll like this (even if they're nothing alike). Maybe try out the first book and see how you like it? The first three books are actually okay; from books 4-6 is where it goes downhill.