Sunday, August 30, 2015

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass Book Review

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.




I was sure I would love this.

The first book I read by Sarah J. Mass was A Court of Thorns and Roses and it was one of my favourite 2015 books, next to The Wrath and the Dawn. I adored the writing style, the world building, and the characters too. I had always heard about Throne of Glass as a separate series, I’m a big Tumblr user so every now and then amazing fanart, posts and discussions about the series would pop up on my dashboard, sparking my curiosity more and more. I wanted to be a part of that fandom, I wanted to fangirl at the characters and relationships, to overthink every detail and write overly complicated meta about the littlest thing, as I always do.


The first few pages I liked, sure there were a few logical errors here and there (Like the guards not taking a prisoner blindfolded, or Celaena’s almost pristine physical condition after spending a year being beaten and starved to death) but I wasn’t going to be picky, I loved ACOTAR and I was sure I would love Throne of Glass, I mean, it’s about a female assassin and mysterious murderers, what’s not to love??

And yet, the more I read into the novel the more things started to bug me. The writing style was all “Tell and not show”, we were constantly told what we should think about a character, an action, anything. I started to feel like a small child, as if I were too dumb to pick on such obvious stuff on my own. The problem with this kind of writing is that it not only bores the readers with endless descriptions of things they can see for themselves, but it also doesn’t give a lot of credit to the writer itself. Those are stuff the reader should figure out, if you have the need to explain why a cat is a cat, then you are not doing a very good job in the first place.

The show and not tell also applied to the characters and, in my opinion the one who suffered it the most was Celaena, our main character. We are constantly told what an amazing assassin she is, what a clever, kind, strong and impressive person the assassin obviously is, but we never actually see that. As a matter of fact, Celaena doesn’t even kill anybody and is constantly helped out by men. It amazed me time and time again how, for telling us just how awesome Celaena was, the author wrote things that showed the exact opposite. But I’ll get on to that later.

The world building in ACOTAR was beautiful, unfortunately due to how sheltered Feyre had to be in a place where every fairy wanted to kill her, we couldn’t see much of it. But the little details that were constructed into the plot gave us an idea of a much larger picture. We could see that the author put a lot of thought into the world, and it would be effortless for her to expand our knowledge of said universe since the grounds for it were already there.

I can’t say the same thing about Throne of Glass. In this world, magic was as ancient as the world itself until a conqueror decided to wipe it out. Why? How? We do not know. I was expecting to see more of this; imagine this place where magic, fairies, trolls and every being you can imagine exists, they all have their own cultures, languages, traditions, history (at least I hope so because it wasn’t explained, but it would be really lame if they didn’t) and suddenly a human comes wanting to vanish all of that.

I was expecting to see the devastation of that war, imagine what it must have been like to succeed in destroying something so ancient! Imagine the people having to readjust their lives to this new world without magic! How much did humans interact with it beforehand? And how did its disappearance affected their lives today? But I was saved from all of that by the fact that all magical beings never put up a fight. Apparently the King wanted magic vanished… so they simply vanished.

How did this happen? And, for the love of God why did it happen? It would at least make some sense if we were to say that these beings lived peacefully through ancient treaties or so, or that it wasn’t in their nature to be violent and so they never put up a fight and were slaughtered with ease, but then we are shown that these people were warriors, and mighty ones at that. There are legends about their wars and battles, so what happened?

Lack of thought into the storyline is what happened.

And yes, I know that there are some novellas that are previous to Throne of Glass, and since I haven’t read them I can’t say that the world isn’t really explained because it might be in those prequels, but that’s not the point. A first novel should be there to set the grounds for the story to come, you can’t just start up out of nowhere and give no explanation on the world, the rules and mythology as if it were fanfiction.

The story:

I wasn’t impressed by the plot, as much as I had wanted to love it. The summary promises us an assassin fighting for her freedom in a competition against other criminals to become the King’s next champion. But as the competition progresses and the champions start appearing dead, Celaena realizes that something dark is lurking in the palace, and it will be up to her to figure out what is wrong before she is targeted next.

Instead of all of this, we find that the competition, the main plot of the entire book is not really such thing but rather something that it’s dealt with in a couple of sentences. I was looking forward to the action of these trials, but they were merely mentioned every now and then as the narration decided to focus on the love triangle between Celaena, the Captain of the Royal Guard Chaol Westfall, and the crown Prince, Dorian Havillard. Besides this, not much really happened in the first 300 pages of the book, which is to say nothing happened in 90% of Throne of Glass, how is this possible?

The mystery killings were what intrigued me the most here. I love a good mystery, and I was curious as to see why the champions were being murdered; was it a plot to get a certain champion to win? Or was it something far more mysterious? After all they were killed in strange ways… and we saw none of that. The mystery is barely registered up until the 80% since before that Celaena was too content letting the guard deal with a possible treat to her life. She doesn’t care about people being killed, or that she could be next and so the narration doesn’t care either. It was disappointing that none of the plots mentioned in the summary were not a part of the book.

It bored me, it was not fun to read about nothing going on and on, back in circles of more nothing ever happening. The logic fails also bored and annoyed me in equal amounts.

The resolution of said mystery was lame as hell. Of course that person would be the killer! There was no surprise or suspense in the plot, and that was incredibly dissapointing.

The King wants to find hiss next champion, a person who would be loyal to him and do his bidding without questioning him, whether that is killing, torturing, spying or whatever he needs… And yet he wants for the champion to be chosen from criminals? Why? Why if he’s looking for someone who would be loyal to him, he looks between the people who have disobeyed his laws? That’s like hiring a self-proclaimed child murderer as a nanny!

Plus, he is not the one who is choosing these people, his court men do it for him. The King is hiring a person to be his thug, and it wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility that some of this thug’s mission would be to kill, spy or torture the same court member that brought him/her into the palace in the first place, who is to say that the thug won’t turn against the King? That he/she is actually a pawn of the person who took the champion into the palace?

Another logic fail is that, by hosting the competition in the castle and having everybody at court watch the trainings, they would all know who is chosen and how he/she works. There would be no secrecy! Everybody would know who the champion is, how that person works, his/her weaknesses and strengths. It’s dumb and pointless.

There is also the part of the contract. Apparently, the stipulations for this competitions is: you lose, you get send to wherever it is you came from or you do whatever the hell your sponsor wants you to do. If you win and become a champion, you sign a four-year long contract, after which you are freed and have your expensive salary to use as you please. Who the hell would do this?? You have killed for this King, you have done unspeakable things in his name and after only four years he would let go of you? That’s just plain dumb, you could sell his secrets to ANYBODY, who’d be better than his champion to know of all the dirty things he has done?

It doesn’t make sense, and I can usually overlook this things but the book itself demands you to use logical thinking only to suspend it in the things that should be logical, like the motherfreaking plot!

Now that that it’s settled I’ll move on to the characters:

Before I began reading I had seen contradictory opinions on Celaena, some hated her while others loved it. Conflict over the main character is nothing new, of course, but as I started to read reviews in more depth I saw a point that struck a cord with me; people hated Celaena because she was strong, and they would love her if she were a guy. This is something that I absolutely hate, and that unfortunately happens a lot in our society. Women are judged unfairly, and what’s acceptable for guys, it’s not for women. We have to be perfect, pure but sexy, innocent and smart, strong but not too strong.

How many times have we seen people complain about female characters but then praise male ones that are exactly the same? There have been far too many Korras, Kataras, Katherine Pierces and endless more female characters who have been treated this way. It’s an unfair double-standard that most people don’t even realize they are applying because we are too used to it. The fact that people were apparently judging Celaena this way pissed me off, and I was more than sure that she would be an amazing character wrongly accused for being too awesome.

And yet…

Celaena was my biggest problem and disappointment in this novel (don’t kill me just yet) and it’s such a shame because it started out so well! Just look at this:

“She loved clothes—loved the feeling of silk, of velvet, of satin, of suede and chiffon—and was fascinated by the grace of seams, the intricate perfection of an embossed surface.”

Lately, we’ve seen a tendency when it comes to female characters. People are getting tired (luckily) of the typical damsel in distress with no agenda or personality, and we are demanding more real characters, strong and capable as we are in real life (not to say the people like that don’t exist, but they are only a part of the population, not the entire world!). But there seems to be a misunderstanding on how said characters should be. There is the idea that, in order for a woman to be strong she has to think and behave like what is accepted as “typically male”, which often leads to female character proclaiming to be better than other girls because they dislike dresses and other stuff considered “feminine”.

It’s moronic. First of all, if you have to put other people down to make yourself look good, you are not that great. Secondly, what’s wrong with being feminine? Seriously! I have read about female characters proclaiming that wearing a dress made them “dumber”, though they were clearly not too bright to begin with if they were so easily affected by a piece of fabric. You can be awesome and like dresses and make-up, you can be strong and kick ass, you can be strong and have your ass kicked. I don’t know what it is with people and this kind of dangerous ideas about feminism that they believe women can only be respected, scratch that, should only be respected if they behave in a way that pleases men, but it’s freaking insulting and dumb, annnd annoying.

Which was why I had been so happy to see that Celaena was not like that. She was confident (She was the greatest freaking assassin in the entire world!) and she loved dresses, embroideries, she enjoyed colors, pastries, and I loved it! I honestly believed Celaena would become one of my favourite characters.

What happened you may ask? Or you don’t and I’m just writing this review to the empty void that it’s the internet, hello void! (Yes, I totally stole that but I’m talking to the void, he won’t mind.)

The writing style had a large influence on her, especially the “tell and not show”. On the book we are constantly told how amazing Celaena is, how she is the best Assassin in the entire world and she could kill anybody with a snap of her fingers, but we never see this. In fact, and something that confused me to no end was that the author kept on bringing characteristics, actions and situations that proved Celaena was the exact opposite of a “Great Assassin”. I simply did not get it, because this was constant, and how can you convince us of something by telling us the exact opposite?

As an assassin, EVERYBODY could sneak up on her. Hardly a chapter went by without someone startling her, or watching her for minutes without her noticing. How could this be? How hadn’t she been killed just yet? And it was aggravating because the same narration acknowledged it!

“Dorian peeled himself from the wall. For all her assassinating experience, she didn’t notice him until he sat down on the bench beside her.”

“He remained in the doorway, fearful that she’d wake up if he took another step. Some assassin. She hadn’t even bothered to stir.”

As a matter of fact, many people not only watch her sleep without her noticing, they also enter her chambers on several occasions and leave bags of candy, breakfast, prepare clothes and the bathroom, and even take out her dog without her even noticing. And here we are talking about a woman who not only spent six years as an assassin, but she also spent a year as a slave where she had to constantly watch her back, aaand then she was moved to a castle were the competitors (like herself) were being targeted and killed. But Celaena doesn’t even think it’s important to stay alert, she doesn’t care that there could be someone out to get her.

Her abilities were also confusing. Celaena tells us that she could make a perfect circle with arrows at a great distance, and yet she can’t hit a still target at only a few feet from her.

“She aimed for the edge of the innermost ring, which she hit with deadly precision. She could have made an entire circle of arrows, if she’d wanted. And if she’d had enough ammunition.”

Despite being an expert at this, Celaena seems incapable of identifying the qualities of a good arc and the force she should use on it. While firing she described how much strength she had to use and how the arc moved, without realizing that those were all things it shouldn’t do. I don’t get it, if the author researched how firing an arrow worked then why did she write the things it should not do? Like, if you describe a doctor you wouldn’t write her/him purposefully poisoning people.

It was this constant telling and not showing that started to get on my nerves until it just down right pissed me off. Why did I have to be told constantly of how perfect Celaena was at everything when I could see that she wasn’t? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you have to constantly keep telling the reader something that should be obvious, then that’s because you are not making a good job in the first place.

Sarah J. Mass tries to give us the perfect character, Celaena is the best at everything, but without her actually earning it. This is something particularly troublesome for me because it presents the idea that women have to be perfect to be praised, and perfection is impossible. It’s what I’ve said before, and Celaena is the best at everything. She’s the best assassin in the world at the tender age of sixteen (that was when she was imprisoned and was already known as such), she’s breathtakingly beautiful, she is the best at anything she proposes without effort. Every guy has a crush on her, every girl envies her. Animals, even the most anti-social, love her. She loves books, because every reader loves a bookworm. It’s a very dangerous idealization especially because it’s very poorly executed. Celaena is everything, and at the same thing nothing. She jumps from one thing to the other, her characterization as flimsy as her personality.
I wouldn’t mind it if Celaena was the best assassin, gorgeous, flirt, bookworm, dog whisperer and all of that if it made sense, but she’s magically all of those things without making any effort.

The assassin thing, for instance, I was looking forward to getting into the mind of this girl. Why is it that she became an assassin? Was it for money? Pleasure? Revenge? How does she feel about killing? Does she enjoy it, or simply does it because it’s necessary? Those are all aspects that we should have seen, parts of her personality that should be obvious to us since we are reading from her point of view and yet, none of this is ever presented. Celaena and everybody around her throw the title of assassin to us as if referring to her hair color, it doesn’t influence who she is or what she thinks and that’s a MAJOR fault in the book. Characterization is extremely important, and as the premise of the entire series being the adventures of a freaking assassin, one would think we would get to know said assassin.

Those were things that annoyed me, but there were things I hated about Celaena. I literally hated her. Trust me, I did not see it coming but I reached a point in the book where I didn’t want to root for her and, unless she had a 180 degress change in her personality, I would have been more than happy with her dying in the arena.

Celaena is incredibly misogynistic and petty. If you have read my previous reviews, you’ll know that I hate slut-shaming and girl-on-girl hate. I hate it with a burning passion; every time a girl judges another girl for her appearance, sexuality, or proximity to her love interest, it makes me want to take said book, violently throw it to the ground and jump on it as I scream DIE! DIE! DIE!

It’s that bad, and it’s why I hated Celaena. She instantly judged and denigrated any women who went near her love interest:

“She spotted the Crown Prince, dancing and laughing with some blond idiot.”

 
That’s awful! She doesn’t even know the girl, but because she’s dancing with Dorian she’s clearly an idiot.

“Dorian was dancing with a small brunette with outrageously large breasts that he took no pains to avoid glancing at every so often.”

The horror! That girl should be ashamed of her body!!

And as someone with large breasts, I find that outrageously offensive.

“Celaena studied Kaltain’s narrow, narrow waist. Was it really that small? Or could she barely breathe in her corset?”


So much body shaming! What is wrong with Kaltain’s body? What’s the need to have to shame her by suggesting that her corset must be killing her, since she couldn’t possibly have that tiny waist? What the hell does Celaena CARE??

Then, there was this gem:

She glared. “I hate women like that. They’re so desperate for the attention of men that they’d willingly betray and harm members of their own sex. And we claim men cannot think with their brains! At least men are direct about it.”


What a wonderful passive-aggressive insult! It’s like saying, “I’m not racist, but black people are more violent.” (This other gem is from Fox News, in case you are wondering.). Celaena says she hates women who betray their own sex for men… while betraying her own sex for men.

And what cemented my hate for her:

“After that, she’d sworn never to trust girls again, especially girls with agendas and power of their own. “



So, in Order to be good in Celaena’s eyes you should not have power that comes from confidence in yourself, or pursuits, or passions or goals. I CANNOT respect a person who wants for others to be miserable so she can like them. Celaena has power and agenda, but she is the only one who should have that. That’s horrible! And especially in the age the book is settled in, women are treated as properties. We have seen how everybody mocked her for being a girl, and yet Celaena wants women to remain this way, powerless and weak. How can someone be so horrible? That’s like living a comfortable life and wishing “Man, I hope there are still people in the world starving to death.” WHAT THE FUCK??!!

Celaena constantly feels the need to put people down so she can look better in comparison; she tore apart other girl’s appearance, personalities or ideas so that she could feel better about herself. If you need to tore other people down to look better, YOU ARE NOT VERY FUCKING GOOD.

Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing that annoyed me. Celaena is dumb. There, I said it, she is. There is a killer targeting champions, like herself, and she doesn’t care one bit. She doesn’t even set a guard or even locks the freaking door. Even after she saw the marks under her bed and how they keep appearing every day after she washes them, she never locks her door or, hell! tells the guards that are there to protect her that someone keeps sneaking into her room.

She has a test on poisons, and the very next day she finds a bag of candy that magically appeared while she was sleeping. It has no card, and she has no idea who left them there (May I remind you that she had found marks under her bed that suggested she would be the next to be murdered) and, without thinking it, she eats the entire bag of motherfreaking candy!


“Candy!” A large paper bag sat on a pillow, and she found that it was filled with all sorts of confectionary goodies. There was no note, not even a name scribbled on the bag. With a shrug and glowing eyes, Celaena pulled out a handful of sweets. Oh, how she adored candy.”

It never even crosses her mind that they could have been poisoned, and she eats half a bag!

“Sick? Who can get sick from candy?”

A grown person said that, one that has plenty of experience eating candy. And then, guess what?????? She gets freaking sick!

Another proof of her lack of judgement is related, again, to the poison test. They all had had to identify and rank poisons from the deadliest to the most harmless. Celaena has difficulties identifying one poison, Wolfbane. Then, at the very end of the book, she is poisoned with Wolfbane because she never cared to learn how the one poison she had failed to identify in a public test where everybody saw her ignorance on said poison, tasted like. Look, if you have a test and answer everything right but one question, wouldn’t you want to learn it so that it doesn’t happen again? You know, kind of like learning from your mistakes?
Celaena doesn’t. She was aware that everybody at court, including the participants who wouldn’t be above killing her to get the job, knew she was unable to recognize Wolfbane, meaning that was a poison they could use to kill her, and she never studies it! AND THEY FUCKING USE IT AGAINST HER!

The freaking King says it himself!:

“If she’d been really good, she would have noticed the poison before she drank.”

 

Yes! Thank you, generic villain! She should have noticed the poison.

She’s a hypocrite.

I have already mentioned how Celaena treats women, but that’s not when the hypocrisy stops:

A flicker of shame sparked within her. What was “Champion” but a dressed-up name for murderer? Could she actually stomach working for him?


YOU ARE FUCKING ASSASSIN FOR FUCKS SAKE!


What the hell?? I would understand if Celaena were an assassin against her will, or who targeted people who did wrong but she has claimed to kill innocent people because she was paid to do it, because others wanted to advance in their careers and wanted an “obstacle” removed. Not to mention that she fantasizes about brutally murdering people when they even look at her in a bad way, or they are better at something than she is, or they say a freaking joke. She’s a petty, petty person but we are supposed to believe that she’s “Oh so great and good at heart!”

“But you did not let the mines harden you; you did not let it shame your soul into cruelty.”

SHE’S ALREADY CRUEL, AND PETTY, AND A JUDGEMENTAL ASSHOLE!

All of this is part of a bigger problem, I don’t buy Celaena as an assassin. But it’s not that I don’t buy a girl being the best assassin at the age of sixteen, it’s just Celaena.
Look, I really dislike the term Mary Sue. For those of you who don’t know, a Mary Sue is a female character idealized to the point of perfection; she’ll be the best at whatever she intends, however impossible it may seem, she’ll be the most beautiful girl in the world that every boy craves and she might also have super amazing and impossible powers (depending on the genre). It’s basically wish fulfillment, a way for an author to insert him/her into the story but with improved characteristics. The male version is called “Gary Stu” and one of the most popular ones is Batman. My problem is that there is always a double standard for boys and girls. As I had said, before I started reading I came across many reviewers who claimed that people would love Celaena if she were a guy and, although that’s not true for me I know for a fact that it’s true to other people. I mean, Batman is the biggest wish fulfillment character out there and nobody says it’s ridiculous, but many would if he were a she.

But still, does that mean that Mary Sues and Gary Stus are not real? No.
And Celaena, unfortunately is a Mary Sue. My problem with these characters, either male or female is that they don’t earn anything. I hate people who are magically handed everything, it’s not logical or realistic.

Celaena was the best assassin before she was betrayed and imprisoned when she was only sixteen, which means she had trained for less than eight years before she became known as the greatest assassin. How could she have gotten so good when she doesn’t even has discipline? I don’t know if it’s possible for a child to overcome her own master and people who have trained and worked for decades, but it certainly is impossible for someone who has no self-discipline, will to learn or care about improving their knowledge.

Despite having being starved and beaten for over a year, and having to compete in fights with much older and rougher guys, Celaena doesn’t care that she is out of shape and doesn’t care for training either. She’s convinced that, because she was the “greatest assassin ever” she can still beat them without effort. That’s a major flaw, especially for an assassin because she’s overestimating herself.
This girl’s period stopped coming, her freaking period! You know how much weight she probably lost for that to happen? Her muscles would be atrophied because the body started consuming them long ago in order to stay alive. Her bone density probably diminished as well. As far as strength goes, Celaena should barely be able to take a few walks.
If she lost, she would be sent back to Endovier, don’t you think anybody would do anything in her power to stop that? But Celaena doesn’t care, she claims that she can do anything… though she is always offended when she is not helped in cheating the tests.

Not to mention how she spent the night before a test, awake reading a book. That’s how little she cares, but yet again why should she? She’s a Mary Sue, of course everything will work out for her.

Something that confused me was the title she had and how nobody really knew who Celaena was. As an assassin, anonymity is everything, I mean if everybody knows who you are then it’s much harder for you to get your job done, people will try to kill you all the time. Nobody knew who Celaena Sardothien was, just her name and her reputation... which basically means everybody knew who she was. She has met people on the book who recognized her easily enough and no wonder there, since she was always bragging. It was weird, because Celaena insisted on how nobody knew who she was or how she had to keep her identity a secret, while always trying to prove she was, in fact, Celaena.

“I hate you telling me to hold back when Brullo sings Cain’s praises and I’m just there, boring and unnoticed in the middle.”

That’s how it should be! For the love of God, she’s still weak and if the guys knew she was a treat they could team up and kill her easily enough. Wouldn’t it be better if she didn’t draw attention to herself? Smarter? It would be, but Celaena is not smart.

The truth is, for all her perfection, I can’t say anything positive about her. I liked her potential in the beginning, but she soon proved me wrong. And the thing is, flawed as she was I could have loved her! Minus the slut-shaming, I love characters who are freaking wrong and messed up, but what killed it was that everybody insisted on how perfect she was, on what a truly good and pure heart she had and how she could do anything.


Celaena is sold as a strong character, a woman who fends for herself in a male-dominated world and yet, she has no real power. Everything she achieves is done for her by men, the tests and fights, even her survival at the castle could not have been accomplished if she hadn’t been helped by several guys through the journey. She does nothing for herself, and we are meant to praise her as a feminist icon? I’m sorry, but Celaena is one of the most un-feminist characters I have read about, and that’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.

Dorian.

Damn, as if disliking Celaena wasn’t bad enough, I disliked everyone’s favourite love interest. Go big or go home, I guess.

Ok no, seriously, what’s up with this guy? Dorian Havillard is the crown Prince, and the one who takes Celaena out of the mines and into the castle to become his father’s next champion. Perhaps it was because he, like Celaena not killing anybody, did nothing a prince would do. You would think the future ruler of an empire would study and be engaged on what happens with his kingdom, the wars it’s fighting, its people. But no, Dorian is the typical playboy prince with daddy issues. If he lived today he would be the spoiled child of a corporate magnate, too busy chasing girls and thinking himself so charming, but stumping his feet and crying every time his dad doesn’t think he’s capable of running the company. Seriously, Dorian would complain and complain on how his father didn’t take him seriously when he did literally nothing to be respected. I guess he just hoped everybody would love him and respect him without him lifting a finger, poor guy.

His relationship with Celaena was pretty annoying, since it was basically half the plot of the book and one I couldn’t care less about. Dorian is bored of his life at court, and when Celaena arrives, a pretty and “sassy” girl who turns him down, he’s excited. Let’s face it, he chases Celaena because it’s a game for him and possibly because he had already chased the rest of the women in the castle.

He claims over and over that his attraction toward her is more than just that, but again it’s too much talking and little showing. Sometime in the plot he gets all of this profound feelings that he tries to shove down our throat, it fails to convince me for one simple reason; there is no reason. Why does Dorian like Celaena besides for a little fun? Well he likes her because she is… umm… ok, he appreciates her… ehhhh…. Mmmm… beauty?

I don’t know, there is no reason. And, yes I know that love is unpredictable and illogical and all, but he suddenly is in love and that’s it. What does he like about her besides the fact that she is someone fun to forget about court life?

He was a womanizer, or the term would be fuckboy? What does fuckboy mean anyways? Every online dictionary has a different answer... Sorry, I’m ranting. He uses women and then has the audacity of mocking them! And, of course Celeana beamed and laughed whenever Dorian said unflattering things about his previous lovers.

 I can't stomach the idea of marrying a woman inferior to me in mind and spirit. It would mean the death of my soul “

It would mean the death of my soul. It would mean the death of my soul.

What a fucking idiot. He’s met countless of women and none of them are similar or superior to him in mind and soul? Kaltain is smart as fuck, and she’s just one! But pretty Celaena, the one who chocked down an entire bag of possibly poisoned candy is, oh so superior??

Another reason why I disliked him, HE SAYS WOMEN EXAGGERATE WHEN WE ARE ON OUR PERIOD. Look, if that’s not a major danger sign I don’t know what it is. Just look at this:

“Celaena opened an eye and frowned as Dorian sat on her bed. “I’m in a state of absolute agony and I can’t be bothered.” “It can’t be that bad,”


Bite me Dorian, honestly. There was nothing I found that I could like about him.

Chaol.
Well, what can I say? I really like the guy for most of the book. Sure, it wasn’t an spectacular love or anything, but considering how everything pissed me off, finding something that didn’t was nice. Chaol Westfall is the captain of the royal guard, Dorian’s Best friend and Celaena’s personal guard who also forms part of the love triangle.

I actually preferred his relationship with Celaena to her and Dorian. With the prince it was pretty much insta-love/lust but I couldn’t get it from the assassin’s side, why did she like Dorian? All she said was that he was handsome and that he was not as bad as she thought he would be, but that’s it. Not to mention how we have the mention of her previous lover, Sam who was killed before she was imprisoned. Celaena mentions now and then how his absence still hurts her and yet there is no conflict with her new romances. God, so little thought was put into this, it’s mind-numbing.
At least with Chaol the two got to know each other, though my rooting for him and their relationship soon died when he started worshipping Celaena. Seriously, why did they have to ignore her faults in order for her to be loved? Why couldn’t she be an assassin with a bad temper like she was, instead of presenting us this wonderful person of pure heart and intentions that didn’t exist?

I also found ridiculous how he had never killed anybody. I’m sorry, but he was captain of the royal guard, CAPTAIN! How the heck did he get that title, by being Dorian’s friend? I’m sorry, but it was just impossible.

Nehemia was another character that was a bit of a disappointment. I loved that she was fighting for her people, even though her immaturity and selfishness worked against them rather than help them. Still, she had a plan, she had character I could root for her, but she was merely an accessory to Celaena. Their friendship, just like the romance has no grounds. Why did the two of them liked each other? Fuck me if I know, they seemed to like to laugh at other women and their silly ways so, I guess to add more to the girl-on-girl shame? As if we didn’t have enough of that already.

If I’m being honest, her entire development and inclusion in the plot made me afraid she would turn out as a stereotype which, in one way she did... But luckily, she wasn’t killed which was my biggest fear surrounding her character.

Overall, to say Throne of Glass was a disappointment is an understatement. The only reason I didn’t give it one star was because many people say that the second is amazing, and this was Sarah J. Mass’ first book, so I want to give the series another try instead of judging it right away. Still, so disappointing in every way. So far, I wouldn’t recommend this at all.



















Friday, August 28, 2015

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

tick
tick
tick
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it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

“Juliette,” he says, but he’s not looking at me; he’s looking at all of me. His eyes are searching my body as if to ensure I’m still intact, arms and legs and everything in between. It’s only when he finds my face that he meets my gaze; I step into a sea of blue in his eyes, dive right in and drown. I feel like someone’s punched a fist into my lungs and snatched up all my oxygen."


Imagine that repeated over and over, combined with a bunch of nonsensical, over-the-top and unnecessary angst for four hundred pages or so, and you get a feel of the book.

If you thought The Selection was too heavy on the romance, boy, you are in for a treat.

Now, I know I’m sounding a little harsh here, but Unravel Me was a disappointment compared to Shatter Me. Sure, the first book was a bit sketchy on the world building and plot, but it made sense. It was told from Juliette’s perspective after having being captive for over a year, everything was new and scary. Her mental state was particularly fragile which was conveyed by the writing style perfectly, and I was looking forward to seeing what happened with all of the characters in this second instalment.  I was hoping we would get to see a healthier Juliette, more attune with who she was and learning to embrace her powers, I wanted to see more about The Resistance and their plans, their history. The world was something that we lacked in Shatter Me, but now with Juliette out I was sure we would see more of it.

There was none of that, there was none of anything, really. If anything, Unravel Me was one entire book dedicated to cement this love triangle between Juliette, Adam and Warner, with a little action in the end to keep us hooked until the last book.

What can I say of a book without a plot? Without development? Well, Kenji was nice. I liked that there was someone out there who didn’t fall at Juliette’s feet and worshipped the very ground she stepped on. He told her she had to grow up, to put the boy drama away because they were fighting a freaking war!

And I’d really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.”

 I just wished she had listened.

During the entire book, all we have from our MC is angst, and drama, and horniness, and more angst. I’m fine with all of that, after all she’s only seventeen, but this was so much that it saturated my senses and left me numb, until I eventually got to hate it. I didn’t care how perfect Adam’s lips were, or how the sun shone like eggs or whatever for his smile, I wanted a freaking story.
I was so disappointed, because Juliette had so much potential! She was free, with people like her where she could be more comfortable with and finally begin to accept herself, instead all we got was how a terrible monster she was and how she didn’t deserve Adam but she wanted him… Oh wait, just like in book one.

It bothered me that she was so… mellow. Even when she was supposed to be all “kickass” and whatnot, she always got paralyzed or ended up begging, when she had the upper hand! God, is this how she’s going to be? A cartoon who can’t think for herself?

Warner… well, I know everybody loves him, and I did during the first book but here… he’s just so dull. Gone is the complex character we got to know and was replaced by a poor brooding nineteen year old with daddy issues. Warner used to be so smart and cunning, it was terrifying and exhilarating, now he’s plain dumb. I want the original back! Damn it!

Overall… I guess if you are team Warner you’ll love it, if you are looking for a story… emmm…. Probably not.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.









Rating: 3/5

America has passed the first stage of The Selection and now, as one of the Elite she'll ahve to decide if she wants to live and rule as a Queen at Maxon's side, to live a comfortable life with her first love Aspen, or to figure out who she is without needing a man by her side to define her.

Lol, I'm just kidding. Just the first two.

Alright, on with the review then.

I guess I should start by commeting the plot, but there wasn't one. America has dates with both Maxon and Aspen, trying to figure out who she wants.

Basically Aspen is non existent. I know, he's part of the love triangle which is the major plot and all, but he's barely around and America only thinks about him when she has a fight with Maxon, when the two of them make up, Aspen is not to appear again. It wasn't fair for Aspen either, at one point America decides she wants Maxon but doesn't tell Aspen, probably in case the two of them fight and she wants to run into his arms again. So I get why he finally snaps at her when she wants to go back to Maxon, but he did it for all the wrong reasons; Aspen simply wanted America to be with him because he was "the nice guy", if he were really nice he should think about what America wants, not on how she "owes" him her love because he was nicer than the other guy.

So America spends the entire novel going back and forth between the two guys. Instead of talking things through when there was a problem like reasonable people, all the characters just stay quiet or run away, making room for more drama. 

Though, in America's defense it's not like it was too easy. Sure, she could have chosen to do a thousand things different, but we are talking about a fluffy love triangle with no plot, so those other more logical choices weren't even an option. Maxon was really ridiculous too, he said he wanted only America and if she wanted him too, he would chose her right away, but when America does want him he keeps on dating the other girls, kissing them and nailing them against a wall... oops, spoiler. So, yeah, I get why she didn't trust him either.

The funny thing was when he said that America had lost his trust and she would have to work to get it back. Asshole, you were the reason she didn't trust you in the first place! But well, this is the relationship between the two of them, Maxon doesn't really care about America's stand on the relationship unless it affects him.

We do get to see a little bit more of the world, but it was too poorly thought to actually matter.

Basically, nothing really happens and I have a pretty good idea of how it will end up, but I'll still be continuing with the series... for some reason. Masochism.

Friday, August 21, 2015

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

One kiss could be the last. 

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever. 

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

My rating: 2.5/5

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After finishing White Hot Kiss I sat straigt in my chair, turned on the TV, and wondered for the eleventh time if I should give up the YA genre once and for all. I always try my best to stay chirpy, even if a book has dissapointed me or bored me, or pissed me off, but sometimes I just get tired. It takes me a while to realize that what i dislike is not the genre, but the annoyingly repeated clich├ęs and formulaic books that, for some reason, plague it.

White Hot Kiss, although it had a very interesting premise (gargoles and sexy demons? Sign me in!) was the same story we have read a thousand times before.

MC with some strange feature (in this case, blonde-silver hair) who thinks she's horrible, even though every guy wants into her pants.

-Obviously a virgin, and obviously every guy thinks she's better because of it, Because women who have had a penis inside of them are less of a woman, apparently.

-Slut shaming, girl on girl hate. Layla instantly hated any woman nearn her love interests, it didn't matter that they were really nice or were trying to help her, nope, Layla would snap at them just because she was an idiot.

-Diversity? Nah, why have something real when we can have token characters and absolutely offensive stereotypes?

The romance is the main focus, right? And yet, I can't understand why Layla likes this two guys besides saying she has a crush. None of them have a discernible personality, so i couldn't understand the big deal besides that they were both hot to the point of perfection.
Same goes for the boys, why did they like Layla? "Good" and "pure" were thrown in a couple of times but still, that's half the world's population. They were attracted to her because the plot demanded it, nothing else.

Overall, I did enjoy this one more than Obsidian, but that was partially because I was imagining another story where Leyla actually liked eating souls and she just went around doing something to affect the plot.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The YA Investigation: The Selection by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.




My rating: 3.5/5

I hadn’t really expected much from The Selection besides a fun and fluffy read, and in that department the book delivered well enough since I found myself giggling and smiling every now and then.
The story is a sort of splice between the Bachelor and The Hunger Games, not because the girls are killing themselves to get the prince, but rather because it takes a bunch of elements from the franchise and re-adapts it to this novel.

As with Shatter Me, I’ll point out, this is not Dystopian. This is a romance set in a dystopian world. What’s the difference you may ask? Well that, for starters, a dystopian novel brings up social, economical, cultural and political issues into a new perspective. The selection on the other hand, deals with a love triangle whilst some nameless rebels (Ok, they are actually the “Southerns” and “Northerns” but they are never really explained well.) enter the castle and break stuff, twice.

You’ll notice as you read, that there are a lot of elements reminiscent of The Hunger games: Casts like the districts, with each doing something for the Royals (Six are servants, five are entertainers like in THG each districts dedicates themselves to something like, harvesting, luxury making, etc). The best friend Aspen is Gale, Peeta is Maxon, America sings like Katniss. There is the travelling to each cast after being selected, the interviews, etc. It’s easy to see it starting as an AU fanfiction, honestly. I didn’t mind it, but I know some people do.

Overall the story was fun, entertaining though I wasn’t expecting much from it. America was a character I had a bit of a problem connecting with, she’s supposed to be poor, yet she and her family never went hungry, and she gave her leftovers to her boyfriend who really starved himself. Once she had money of her own she started cooking all sort of pastries and meals in large amounts so she could give it, again, to Aspen. Clearly in that way her family was well enough, and yet, when she met Maxon she told him her family would starve for days and throw endless pity parties.

Besides, her family consists of her parents and five children, and they all have their own bedroom! How can they be poor? My mom and I had to share a bedroom for ten years and we weren’t poor, just a little tight on the money. Plus, America can afford dresses (they are just a little behind the fashion department, oh the injustice!) and make up. But they are poor like, super poor.

It honestly sounds a lot like first world problems, so it was difficult for me to sympathize with her when she complained so much about doing so well.

Another thing, America doesn’t believe she is pretty… because of reasons, and she gets pissed at anybody telling her she’s pretty. Why? Why is it about writing female characters who don’t think they are beautiful just so that a guy can come and be attracted to her for her low self-esteem.

Analyzing it as part of the YA investigation well, let’s see:

Diversity:
What is this magical word I see here?? Di-ver-si-ty? I have never heard of such thing before! This is a futuristic world after all, and the US was invaded several times by different countries so of course everybody is Caucasian!

Female characters:
Well, America doesn’t have friends in her caste… because of reasons. However when the competition starts she does talk to other women!... About the guy they were all competing to get married.

Bedechel test be dammed!

Slut shaming: Lots and lots. According to The Selection, girls who wear make-up are clearly evil sluts and backstabbing traitors. After all, it’s a certified fact that putting color on your face and taking pride in your appearance instantly turns you into a psychopath.

Originality: Yeah… there is none, but I knew that before starting reading so it’s not like I can fault the book for that. Or can I?

The two love interests were pretty much the same, personality-wise though I wouldn’t want any of them for myself. Aspen is the sort of guy who gets angry because his girlfriend makes more money than him, because he is “supposed” to support her.

And Maxon, well he’s pretty selfish when it comes to what he wants in a partner. He just thinks about his needs and what his future wife can do for him (Talk with his friends, help him when he’s stressed) but he never talks about being in an actual relationship. Things have to go both ways, he should be there for his girlfriend as much as she is for him, but he doesn’t seem to care, his wife will be there to be his trophy.

In The YA Investigation, I'll give it the lowest ranking yet, 1/10 for not fulfilling ANY of the basic requirements.



Sunday, August 16, 2015

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare book review

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


My rating: 2/5

“City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare had been one of those books that I had heard about everywhere. People loved it, others hated it. Some had pointed out it’s fanfiction origins as something troublesome, complete with some plagiarism claims, others praised its originality in including characters not seen before in common YA novels such as POC and LGBTQ. I had always stood by and watched as the discussions developed but, having not read the books myself, I only read one or two discussions out of curiosity, never really going deep into the matter.

But then, my friend loved it. Her eyes would just light up when she told me a thing or two about the plot, how she was hoping to have time to read so she could finish the series and see if a certain plot twist was true. She catch on some of that enthusiasm to me, and so of course I to read it! It would have been awesome if we could had fangirled together. I love fantasy, and especially series. As much as I love standalone books, I always end up with a little empty feeling, knowing that that is the last time I’ll see those characters and worlds. I need more, and there is a consolation in knowing that the stories will continue, hopefully even improve and we can stay with those worlds for a long time.

Unfortunately, the City of Bones universe and its characters are not things I want to keep with me.

The book is about fifteen year old Clary Fray, who after her mother disappears under mysterious circumstances, she discovers that she is a Shadowhunter a person who can see and kill demons. It will be up to Clary to find out what happened to her mother and the answers might be more dangerous than she ever expected.

Warning, the following is a negative review of the beloved City of Bones, if you do not wish to have your vision tarnished, I suggest you stay away from this opinion of mine. If you don’t care, carry on.


The first thing that called my attention was the writing style. Even though I had heard about its fanfiction’s origins, it didn’t keep me from reading it. I have nothing against fanfiction inspiration, though I do have some problems with plagiarism. Regardless, as I started City of Bones I was taken aback to those summer days when college was over, and I had free time to mess around and read whatever I wanted. Fanfiction of my favourite shows/movies/books was usually my cup of tea. I don’t want to sound mean, though whenever people say that they usually accompany it by something mean… but City of Bones didn’t remind me of those excellent works with fluent writing style, amazing plotting and character development no, it reminded me of those Fanfics were characters are so OCC you wonder how someone could have gotten things so wrong, Mary Sues and Gary Stues are the “it” thing and there are a lot of problematic stuff such as abusive love interests, rape as plot device, etc.

The writing style was incredibly slow, and I soon began annoyed by it. Every action had an adjective “Clary said, curiously.” “Said Jace, sarcastically.” “Clary chew pensatively.” It’s perfectly alright to describe a few actions of course! But EVERY single verb was accompanied by an adjective, it became annoying and I began to predict what adjective would be used next compared to which ones had been used before. Soon we start to notice a pattern; an adjective would be used, after five or so descriptions later when another variety had been used, it would resurface again. I read the same word repeated SIX times in the same sentence, SIX! Not even when I’m writing at 3AM I let those mistakes pass, what was the editor thinking?

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Besides that, there were a bunch of misspellings and name changes that belonged more to an uncorrected reader’s copy rather than a finished book.

There was a need to describe everything, from the surroundings to the clothes, to the very littlest detail when there was no place for that. It reminded me of Fanfiction when authors do this to up their word count. It didn’t help with the plot or to develop more the characters or the settings, those descriptions only helped in making the reading drag along endlessly.

The world-building was something that I really liked, you could see that there was a lot of thought put into it. Sure it wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t mind it. But as great as it was, the way it was delivered did not help in my enjoyment of the book. The explanations on the Shadowhunters’ world, it’s elements and history consisted of various info-dumps. Basically a character (usually Clary or Simon, but sometimes Shadowhunters themselves, as if they didn’t know their own history) would ask how something worked or why was it like that, to which someone would reply “Well, it actually is…” and then ten paragraphs of mindless info dumps of the “copy-and-paste-wikipedia-article”. 

Usually, when explaining the world, especially in fantasy when authors are creating new cultures, rules and history it is better if the explanations are incorporated with the action, if we can learn what we need for the story to continue and for us to make sense of it as the story develops. Instead, in City of Bones we would learn the rules of, I don’t know, rune making when a character sneezed, it was dumb and out of place.

“Demons,” drawled the blond boy, tracing the word on the air with his finger. “Religiously defined as hell’s denizens, the servants of Satan, but understood here, for the purposes of the Clave, to be any malevolent spirit whose origin is outside our own home dimension—”
“That’s enough, Jace,” said the girl.
“Isabelle’s right,” agreed the taller boy. “Nobody here needs a lesson in semantics—or demonology.”


Now on with the characters, and what other character to start with than the Main one, Clary Fray!

Oh Clary, what fun times we had together! Slut-shaming Mary Sues are just my favourite kind of characters.

Ok, seriously now, what the heck?! To say Clary was the least favourite part of the novel would be an understatement! Actually, no, scratch that because Jace was close enough (Yes, to my surprise I disliked the “witty and sarcastic” character but I’ll get on to that later.). 

When we first meet Clary she’s waiting in line to enter a club on a Sunday evening, which is apparently the busiest night of the week. Do people in the US don’t need to go to school on Mondays or work? I knew people who would go out on Sundays back in high school, but only once in a while because it was freaking Sunday!

Anyways, she’s standing with her best friend who is, oh so clearly in love with her, in a kind of creepy way because he gets jealous of every boy she looks at, and then Clary looks at a boy with some really weird eyes.
We are half page in, and there is already something bugging me. If you have read my reviews you know I’m not really picky when it comes to the writing style unless I absolutely adore it (Like Daughter of Smoke and Bone) or find it odd like Shatter Me. It is very strange for me to hate a style since I tend to focus on the characters and plot, so it takes something really especial for me to divert my attention to it. In this case, it wasn’t good. The imagery that these two words present are extremely different and yet they are presented to describe the same thing. Antifreeze sounds synthetic, doesn’t that just make you think that the guy has contact lens that make his eyes of an electrical green? And then we have spring grass. Just think about it, doesn’t it just make you feel relaxed? Don’t you think of the warm sun and lying on the grass? 

It’s just weird and confuses the reader on what to think about those eyes. But this, unfortunately is not an isolated incident and we’ll soon find more and more sentences when the word uses make no sense.

But wait, I was supposed to be talking about Clary. Well, Clary is in the club where she sees the guy with the confusing adjective use being followed by two guys with knives and, even though she yells it, nobody really seems to care that there is someone in the club with a knife. Still, her friend decides to do something useful and look for security while she decides that it’s smart to follow the two guys with knives to an isolated place where nobody would hear her scream and she’s not only outnumbered but has no weapons herself… we begin to see the signs of Clary’s intelligence.

But then, after she conveniently waits for the “Shadowhunters” to explain everything in a bunch of infodumps, during which Clary allows them to tie up and torture a seemingly innocent dude, she steps up when they are about to kill him… just… says “stop” and… doesn’t really do anything. Seriously, what the hell was she thinking? So they then give a whole explanation on how she shouldn’t see them and we hear about the name Valentine. Apparently, lately every time they have captured a demon they all say that Valentine is coming, and even though he was a Voldemort-like villain nobody gave two craps about this fact, they would just go “Oh you sassy-lassy demon! Why are you all saying in this last couple of months that an evil guy capable of doing anything has come back from the dead? Even though we never really saw him die, just found his burned corpse-which could have been anybody’s- and he is clearly dead?” It was pretty obvious that this Valentine guy was actually alive and was going to be the bad guy, so imagine my surprise when this happens to be the great revelation of the book! That’s right folks, the evil guy that everybody said was alive, was actually ALIVE!

I was talking about Clary, damn it! There are just too many things to complain about, sorry. 

After the incident, she goes back to her home, wondering why she was the only one who could see those people but not telling anybody, because why tell your mom or friends of symptoms of mental illness?

Ok, I know I still haven’t said much about Clary but it’s just that after finishing the book, there was not much to say about. She was the MC and yet she had no development, no depth. We know that she likes to draw, that she’s not very bright and can’t pick a clue even though it slaps her in the face but all the characters in the book are like that so… yeah, Clary was our typical Mary Sue, a girl that was especial because of reasons, who everybody loves… because of reasons, and who always needs saving… because of reasons. I saw no reason for Clary to stay with the Shadowhunters except that it was convenient for the plot.

She is also one of the most horrible people I have ever had the displeasure of reading about, which didn’t help with the rating on this book. Clary is incredibly sexist, the second she meets another girl, Clary judges her based on her looks. If she’s pretty then she is surely a “slut” (which is a bad thing, because all girls with self-esteem are clearly evil) and nothing like good, pure Clary who is obviously so much better because she… she was… Screw it, there is nothing. Just look at this:

“There's always Sheila 'The Thong' Barbarino," Clary suggested. Clary had sat behind her in math class in ninth grade. Every time Sheila had dropped her pencil—which had been often—Clary had been treated to the sight of Sheila's underwear riding up above the waistband of her super-low-rise jeans.

Ugggh what the hell are you even doing watching your classmate’s butt, Clary?? That’s just plain rude. Everything in this paragraph is so wrong, why the need to clarify that Sheila dropped pencils often? Nothing more than to bang us over the head how terribly “slutty” this girl is. Not to mention she wears “super-low-rise” jeans, WHY?? Why the need to say all these horrible things?

To Clary's surprise, Simon said nothing to this. He was too busy staring at Isabelle, rapt and openmouthed. Of course, Clary realized with a sharp stab of annoyance. Isabelle was exactly Simon's type—tall, glamourous, and beautiful. Come to think of it, maybe that was everyone's type. Clary stopped wondering about the peanut-fish-olive-tomato soup and started wondering what would happen if she dumped the contents of the pot on Isabella’s head.

Why? Because she’s beautiful? How can someone be so petty?

She seemed to shimmer in the lamplight—she was wearing a long silvery skirt and a sequined top, and her nails were painted like glittering coins. Strands of silver beads were caught in her dark hair. She looked like a moon goddess. Clary hated her.

My God woman! You are awful, no wonder you have only one friend if you treat everybody like that.

There was no depth to Clary’s character, this is the person that will drive the story forward and yet, what do we know about her? That she likes to draw, kind of, though it’s barely even addressed in the book. She’s dumb, but again, the whole writing style was really dumb. Clary had lots of evidence that her mother was a Shadowhunter and yet she cried out every time somebody mentioned the possibility, then we are supposed to be shocked when it is revealed that she is, in fact a Shadowhunter, same thing goes for the entire plot. It is kind of like if I gave you this for Christmas:

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And the big mystery would be finding out what it is.

Clary’s plot in City of Bone is finding her mother, I think because she never really cared where her mother was except when it was convenient for the narration. I don’t know what it is that she is supposed to be doing besides antagonizing girls, being oblivious to Simon’s attraction toward her, acting jealous toward his relationship with Isabelle and denying stuff that were clearly true. I didn’t care for her, because she was nothing but a plot device. She had no personality (slapping people when they are trying to help you doesn’t count as “personality” to me) and no agency.

Nothing to care about.


Jace:

Sarcastic, smart-mouth characters are my favourites, there is no question. I don’t know why, maybe it is because they speak to my rotten, evil soul that I try so hard to keep hidden? I don’t know and I don’t care, which is why I was particularly excited to meet Jace. He was described as the epitome of sarcasm, surely I would like him? But imagine my surprise when I meet him and find an asshole who can’t say something funny to save his life. The humour was so basic, it was not sarcasm, it was stupidity. 

Jace is a Shadowhunter, born and raised between the Shadowhuner community to hunt (duh) and kill demons. But he’s more than that, he’s also a brooding idiot with daddy issues who treats everyone like crap, but he also plays the piano which is irrefutable proof that he’s a wounded soul that needs love. 

Because playing the piano and liking poetry instantly makes you deep and complicated.

I kept waiting for something to happen that would change my mind about him, but he remained the same. I didn’t care about him and his relationship with Clary, mostly because I didn’t see what they saw in each other that was so great. The end, it was funny I’ll admit it. At least it had to cut the angst between the two of them even though it’s obvious they are not what it seems.
Isabelle was an interesting character, or at least she could have been if there had been more effort put into her. While Cassandra Clare spent pages and pages describing exactly why Jace and Clary are such a great fit, she put little to no effort in developing the secondary characters, not even their romantic relationships which seem to be all that matters when it comes to these peeps.

Alec had no personality, no agenda besides being the “gay guy” and I hated it. You can’t just throw a character that has a different sexuality, skin color and/or cultural background for the sake of saying “I’m different!” they are not props to use and make you look good, they are characters and should be treated with the same respect as everybody else. Instead we get a few mentions here and there but nothing else.

If anything, I loved Magnus Bane, what little we got from him was worth it.

I wish the story had been different, it had so much potential but it was wasted! Why instead of making Clary and Isabelle instant enemies they could become allies? If I were Clary, I would want someone as awesome as Isabelle helping me find my mom, just imagine that; two girls becoming friends (and maybe something more) and Jace can go and suck a lemon for all I care. Unless he has better character develop, then we’d see.

Overall, the writing was dull and mind-blogging, the characters were flat, the plot was predictable and boring. I did not enjoy it and I’m not planning on continuing with the series.