Book Finished: July 22nd, 2014
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Finishing a series is always a bit sad for me – even if it is a series that I actually thought was going to end three books ago and then surprise! We got three more.
Overall, I am a bit sad to leave these characters behind, and really enjoyed the journey through this book. However, there are a few notes I have to make.
I actually knew who Cassandra Clare was way, way back in the day when I was just a young nerd reading Harry Potter fan fiction. She wrote a very popular series (under a slightly different pen name) that I thoroughly enjoyed reading (the fan fiction series has been the subject of a plagiarism controversy in the years since). Upon and reading the first book, City of Bones, years ago, I could not help but notice several major similarities to Harry Potter. I certainly wouldn’t call it theft in any way; there are only so many stories in the world and Rowling certainly didn’t create brand new character archetypes and scenarios out of thin air. But in this last book, some similarities between the series were again very apparent to many – enough that a few of them were an annoyance to me. For example, at one point Clary is given a sword that’s sort of like a brother sword to the one her brother, Sebastian, carries – they’re the only two swords made with that particular steel and temper. A bit like…two brother wands that are made with a feather core from the same phoenix who only gave those two feathers? And the villain and main character both come across them by fate? Still, as earlier noted, I wouldn’t call this plagiarism. Just a definite, at times annoying, similarity.
Despite this, Clare is a decent writer, especially with dialogue. I was thoroughly engaged with the story, and genuinely liked the characters and cared about their outcomes. Clare has managed to craft a likable heroine in Clary, and though Jace can be grating, I felt invested in how their relationship would turn out in the end. Though there were a few points that made me roll my eyes so hard I was close to having a view of my brain (ahem – a certain someone remembers to bring a condom to a demon realm. They are in literal Hell, and this character somehow managed to pack a condom in their bag for this), I flew through this book. Sebastian was an interesting and disturbing villain, but had enough humanity that he was even strangely likable too. The biggest complaint (beyond the Harry Potter similarities) is that the epilogue may have just too pretty of a bow on it. Even so, I found myself smiling as finished the last few pages, glad with the characters are.
I would definitely recommend the series if you are looking for a new read. Any cons or issues here are truly minor. Don’t be put off by some of the books’ size; they’re a fast read and a fun ride.