The Snobbery’s Naughty and Nice List 2012 Edition (Part III)

The other day was all full of warm fuzzies for music that I loved.  I can’t really post about music that I hated because I don’t listen to music I hate.  I DO, however, force myself to slog my way through books I can’t stand.  Let’s take a look at some of those, shall we?

Since I was forced to write a post about music I hate, that original paragraph doesn’t matter anymore.  I was going to do nice/naughty/nice, but now you get two naughty posts in a row.

Here are some books I think should DiaF.

Mrs Claus with the Naughty List

~o~

sj’s Worst Books Read in 2012

~o~

fifty-shades-of-grey-trilogy

Fifty Shades of WTS IS THIS ISH I’M READING?! by Stephenie Meyer EL James

I know you all know about these, so there’s not much I can say that hasn’t been said a billion times everywhere else on the internet, but dude.  I thought the first one was bad enough (and really, the sex wasn’t sexy so I feel bad for the people who think this not-all-that-kinky kink is truly hot, BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT HERE) with our virgin Ana losing her flower to multi-gazillionaire Dom Christian Grey, but they just got worse as they progressed.  Stalker sexually-harassing ex-boss?  I CAN TOP THAT WITH A HELICOPTER CRASH!  No, I am not joking.  And then it turns out that the harassing ex-boss was actually supposed to be adopted by the Greys, but was passed over in favour of Christian? ZOMG, SO MUCH DRAMZ.  Ridiculous.  I hated these.  And the worst part for me is that if something fanfic was going to be pulled to publish (don’t get me wrong, I have major problems with that, this is a total just sayin’ moment here), I can find you 20 pieces of fanfic right now that are better than this crap.  AT LEAST 20.  Full of typos, full of wonky sentence structure, the worst dialogue you’ve ever read.  Just don’t even bother, please?

If you’re looking for kinky erotica, try Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty books.  They’re miles beyond this.

~o~

Grave “Not really about assassin nuns at ALL” Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Some of you weren’t around when I wrote about this book for Trashy Tuesday, so maybe you should all go read that post before continuing?  Oh, and then read this, which was a FOLLOW UP post.  Okay, done reading those?  Good.

I know this book is going to end up on ALL the BEST OF 2012, ZOMG lists, but it was SO BAD.  So, so, so bad.  Seriously.  I don’t understand how someone can take an exciting premise like ASSASSIN NUUUUUUUUUUUUNS and make it stupid and boring.  Boring!  ASSASSIN NUUUUUUUUUUNS!  They should never be boring!  I made this audioboo for Meg while I was reading it (it was my first boo, so ignore how quiet I’m talking and how loud the fan on my laptop is) of a section of the book.  You can hear both my random pirate voice and the sound of me dying laughing at the end.

~o~

The Mortal Instruments

“I stole from every series anyone ever loved” by Cassie Clare

I read all of these this year, but only wrote about the first four for Trashy Tuesday.  By the time the fifth came out, I was pretty much deep in “Oh, who the fuck CARES?!” mode about them.  If you visit that first post, you’ll see that I said the author put Harry Potter, Buffy, X-Men, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars in a blender and poured this mess out.  I stand by that statement.  It also pisses me off to see people say “oh, she used to write fanfic, but she never PUBLISHED any of it!”  Um…really?  Cos I have a PDF of the Draco Trilogy (from when she still spelled her last name ‘Claire’) on my hard drive right now that begs to differ.  Whole passages lifted, just changing the names (cos she can’t have everyone knowing that Jace is really just leatherpants!Draco, can she – IT’S NOT OBVIOUS AT ALL), so…don’t try to tell me that she didn’t publish her fanfic.  She did.

I still need to write up the most recent, but I have ALREADY FORGOTTEN most of what happened and I don’t really feel like subjecting myself to that again.  Except I remember something about Jace being bound by evil and a TARDIS-like apartment that took them all over the world and was bigger on the inside.  Stupid.  Don’t read these.  Please.  Don’t let my hours spent reading them so you don’t have to be in vain.

~o~

Socialpunk by someone who doesn’t care enough to put their name on the cover

Monica Leonelle (the author, even if her name isn’t on the cover, you can trust me on this) came onto my radar because I (and 999 other people including Meg) won one of her books in a First Reads giveaway.  Not one of us ever received the book.  Why?  BECAUSE IT STILL HASN’T BEEN WRITTEN.

Let that sink in for a second.

Yes, 1000 people won a copy of a book that hasn’t been written at all.  Fun, right?  Yeah, but not really.

Anyway, this book was free on onlyindie.com (which apparently doesn’t exist anymore) and I like free things.  Except when I don’t.  And I didn’t.

It only took me a few hours to read, but it was so bad, those hours felt like I was being dragged naked across rusty nails embedded in shattered glass that was set on fire.

Maybe I exaggerate, but seriously.

Take The Matrix (which I already hate), cross it with every other dystopian teen story in existence, mix in a stupid cliffhanger where it turns out the boy she’s been sleeping with is gay, and you have this book.

I’m at a loss as to how it has any decent ratings at all, but maybe people like boring and predictable?  [shrug]

~o~

I Have Daddy Issues, So Will Write a Book About Myself by Charles Yu

As I already said in my mini-review of this book, I had expected something like Thursday Next meets Doctor Who.  You know, a time travel machine repairman that lives in a fictional universe where you can go hang out in Star Wars any time you want?  Where you can go back and forth in time at the press of a button?  It should have been cool, but IT WAS A LIE.

I told you all during my non-reviews of Justin Cronin’s Passage series that I’m not a fan of literary/genre fiction.  This could have been a lot of fun, but it wasn’t.  It was SO DEPRESSING.  I had to force myself to keep reading, and put it down several times.  It was just…ugh.

So, then!  I get emails from Pantheon about THE NEW CHARLES YU! and I think “OH, HELL NO!  You are NOT fooling me again!”  It’s again described as a mashup of literary and genre fiction.  I think I’m putting him on my “Done with this author forever” shelf, just as a reminder.  In case I ever think “OOOOOOH, that sounds AWESOME!” again, I’ll know that it just won’t be.

~o~

Okay.  There you have my most hated books of 2012.  Anything you read this year that you’re feeling particularly ragey about?

Trashy Tuesday – City of Fallen Angels

I’m seriously super glad this is the last one in this series for now.  I know most of you have enjoyed reading why I hated these books so much, but I’m really glad to be able to stop talking about them.  While this one wasn’t as obviously derivative as the rest, it was still very bad.  I get frustrated and depressed while reading because I can’t believe this crap is popular when I know so many authors that deserve the recognition much more, for writing actual characters with depth and original voices.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, it’s a good thing we’re constantly told who’s speaking in these books because every character has the same voice.  EVERY.  CHARACTER.  God, if you’re going to rip off every popular thing in the history of pop culture, at least please work on your dialogue.  Anyway, this one was the worst.  The majority of the book was stuff like “oh, you have two girlfriends, you should stop doing that.”  “I know I should stop doing that, but how do I pick one?” and “I really really love you, are we going to do it?”  “I don’t know, do you think we should do it?  Maybe we should, I’m just going to stab you first, ‘kay?”  It was beyond tiring, but I guess you’ll see that now, won’t you?

So we left off with Valentine killed by an angel, Jace killed by Valentine, but resurrected by the aforementioned angel and Jace and Clary making out because they weren’t brother and sister.  Blech.  Simon has the Mark of Cain on his forehead and hasn’t been killed by the Vamp Coven of NYC yet because of it.

Image courtesy of goodreads.

Jace is having disturbing dreams about Clary.  Like, start out sexy dreams, but turn into him stabbing her repeatedly and ish.  Clary’s trying to snuggle up now that they’re no longer related, but he keeps pushing her away.  He’s afraid something is wrong with him, and doesn’t want to hurt her.

Oh, and Sebastian?  The one that is actually Clary’s older brother that Jace left for dead in Idris?  Yeah, someone is trying to make other babies like him by feeding the mothers demon blood, but the experiment is failing and only these deformed, clawed babies are being born.  Yuck.

Simon is still living at home, trying to convince his mom he’s just a normal boy.  This becomes difficult as she wonders why he’s not eating and is acting even angstier than most 16 year old boys.  She finds his refrigerator full of blood and freaks out so he puts her under a glamour and runs away.  While on the street (hiding his forehead with his emo bangs and being a babealicious vampire stud), he’s attacked by some thugs in grey tracksuits that try to force him into a van, but before he can even properly defend himself, they turn into pillars of salt.  Mark of Cain in action, baby.

He’s forced into some meeting with the ACTUAL head of the vampires in the area and she asks for his help taking down Raphael, because he’s just a little upstart usurper.  Since he’s got the Mark, the two of them together would be virtually unstoppable.  Simon says he needs some time to think about it.

I know we haven’t mentioned it in a while, but Simon’s got this band.  They’re a typical band of teenage boys that can’t make up their minds what they want to be called, but they somehow manage to get a few gigs now and then.  He’s been kinda sorta dating both Maia (werewolf) and Isabelle (Shadowhunter) for the last few weeks and has to stagger which performances they can come to so that they don’t run into each other.  Not only that, but there’s this little girl Maureen.  She’s, like, 14 and his BIGGEST FAN.  Not in an Annie Wilkes kind of way, but in a “ZOMG, SIMON I LOVE YOU, YOUR BAND RULES!” way.

So, Simon’s band is playing and he hasn’t been feeling too well since his mother destroyed his blood stash.  He starts to get sick on stage and rushes outside.  Maureen follows him out and he bites her and drinks her blood.  He’s interrupted by his newest bandmate, Jordan.  (Jordan turns out to be Maia’s ex-boyfriend, the one that turned her into a werewolf in the first place.  He claims that he didn’t mean to attack her, and that he wanted to apologize, but that after, he was taken in by this Werewolf Secret Service type group that goes around teaching new wolves to control themselves.  Um…okay.)  They decide that Maureen will be okay if they just leave her there in the alley and let her forget about what happened.

The next day, Simon gets a note telling him that his girlfriend has been kidnapped and that if he hopes to rescue her, he needs to show up at XXXX Address by –:– o’clock.  He is calling around to the three girls he thinks it could be…Maia, Isabelle and Clary – but they’re all safe and decidedly not kidnapped, so he thinks maybe it was just a joke.

Meanwhile, Jace and Clary are this close to their FIRST TIME.  They’re hanging out in Jace’s room and down to their undies kissing and junk when Jace pulls a knife out and cuts her.  Say what?  Wow, dude.  Way to ruin sex for her for life.  Good job!  She doesn’t run away screaming, though, she sits and makes him talk to her.  Seriously, I think the hardest part of this book to get through were the endless conversations.  The first 80% of the book was talk about feelings, and Simon’s two girlfriends, and then more feelings.  Blah.  Anyway, so Clary convinces Jace that he needs to talk to one of the Silent Brothers.

I know, right?  They were all killed in the second book?  That’s totally what I thought.  I guess there were a few (like Yoda and Obi Wan) that escaped the massacre, and they’re back in business at the City of Bones.  There, we learn that Jace is – I’m trying to remember how it was put and I’m failing.  When he was killed by Valentine on the shores of Lake Lyn, then brought back by the angel Raziel, his soul was gone from his body for a few minutes.  When it came back, they never told anyone what had happened (I think it’s because Clary didn’t want anyone to know that she’d wasted her one wish on a selfish jerk, but whatever).  All Shadowhunter babies have this ceremony performed when they’re young because for some reason they’re especially susceptible to demonic influence.  Since Jace didn’t have this ceremony performed when he was reborn, he’s being controlled by a greater demon in his dreams.  GET THIS BOY BAPTIZED, PRONTO!

Jocelyn and Luke are having an engagement party thrown by Luke’s pack.  Jace shows up and somehow convinces Clary that the Silent Brothers cured him already and starts talking about how he wants to be bound to her.  The Shadowhunters don’t have weddings, they draw runes of commitment and binding on each other to signify that they’re all soul-matey and stuff.  Stupid Clary for some reason agrees EVEN THOUGH SHE’S ONLY SIXTEEN, but then starts freaking out when she realizes that the rune Jace is drawing on her isn’t the one for marriage.  She gets knocked out and he kidnaps her.

Maureen shows up to taunt Simon about killing her.  After he drank most of her blood, she was picked up and turned into a vampire.  He follows her, realizing that she was the girlfriend the note was referring to.  Isabelle, Alec, Jordan and Maia follow because of this business card that Simon left behind conveniently, that has the address of the building where everything’s about to hit the fan.  They get to the building and start checking out each floor, looking for their friends.  On one floor, they find a room full of cribs, each with its own dead, deformed baby.  The person trying to create more Li’l Sebastians can’t seem to get it right, and this room is evidence of that failure.

Jace is up on the roof with Clary, along with a strange glass coffin-like object filled with some type of suspension fluid…and Sebastian’s body.  Maureen brings Simon up there, and we finally learn the identity of our big-baddie.  It’s Lilith, the first wife of Adam, who was mother to all demons and the biggest, most powerful demon of them all.  She’s the one that’s been possessing Jace in his sleep, and forced him to draw another commitment rune on his chest that allows her to control his actions when he’s awake.

She reveals her terrible plan, which is that since Simon is a daywalker, his powerful blood (which contains Jace’s powerful blood) will be able to revive the demon-blooded Sebastian and help her create a new Master Race.  It sounded kind of stupid when she was telling it, but that could just be my prejudice against this series speaking.  Simon is forced to drain Sebastian (because Jace is under orders to kill Clary if he doesn’t), but since Sebastian is all demon-y, his blood is like poison to Simon.  Clary does something smart for once, by turning to Jace and saying something stupid and girly like “ew, gross, I can’t bear to watch!” but when he puts his arm around her, she steals his knife and slashes at the rune on his chest.  The power of the rune is broken and Jace comes back to himself, horrified at what he’s done to his supposed One True Love.  He yells at Clary to run away, and she does, but she hides behind some plants or something because she’s a stupid gawker that has to see how everything turns out.  She’s back to being an idiot again.

Since Jace and Simon think Clary’s gone, Simon stops drinking and Jace decides to stand up to Lilith.  She reveals that she knows where Clary is hiding and goes all Evil Indiana Jones on her, repeatedly whipping her out of her hiding place.  Simon throws himself in front of the whip, and the Mark of Cain acts once again.  Now it’s Lilith that’s turned into a pillar of salt.

The Shadowhunters all arrive at the scene and Simon heads down to fill them in on what happened on the roof while the rest of the kids were battling the mothers of the demon babies downstairs.  Jace and Clary have a tender moment, once again professing undying love for one another, then Clary goes down to assure her mother that she’s okay.

Once he’s alone, the cut rune on Jace’s chest begins to heal, and even though Lilith is dead…Sebastian isn’t.  Jace starts hearing Sebastian’s voice in his head, and is compelled to finish the resurrection ritual.  CLIFFHANGER ENDING!

I know, right?  So, I guess the next one is coming out in May.  You’ll be hearing about it then, for suresies.  I have yet to decide what to read/write about for next Tuesday.  If you have any ideas/suggestions, leave them on the What is Trashy Tuesday page.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the song I had running through my head while I was reading this, it’s better than anything that happened in the book:

Trashy Tuesday – City of Glass

Oy.  Book Three of the Mortal Instruments series.  Only one more after this (but I suppose I’ll have to read the others when they come out, if only so I can continue to bag on them) but this one is a doozy, guys.  We have fighting and torture and murder and PLOT TWISTS!  But, you’ll probably see most of them coming from eleventy billion miles away.  Since I’ve already wasted a bunch of words bitching, I should get started, yeah?

Okay, Clary is supposed to be heading to Idris with the Lightwoods (Alec, Isabelle, their parents and their little brother Max) and Jace.  Jace tells Clary they’re not leaving until later because he thinks she needs to stay put, and asks Simon (the daywalking sparkly vampire) over to back up the lie he tells his foster family about Clary changing her mind about going.  Simon arrives at the Institute just as they’re attacked by Valentine’s minions.  Magnus Bane holds the portal open for them, and Jace has no choice but to pull Simon through with him.  Clary (of course) is furious and acts a twit, deciding to just open her own damn portal.  Luke knows she’ll manage to mess it up somehow, so tags along with her.  Werewolves aren’t exactly welcome in Alicante (the capitol city of Idris), so he realizes that going is a bad idea.  He knows she’ll end up getting herself killed if she doesn’t have someone with her that knows the ropes, though.

This proves correct immediately, as Clary’s portal doesn’t open in Alicante.  Rather, it opens over Lake Lyn, this cursed lake that the angel Raziel supposedly rose from to create the Shadowhunter race.  Clary swallows the water and starts hallucinating.  Luke drags her over hill and dale to his sister’s home in the city.  His sister was once married to the son of Umbridge the Inquisitor (his name was Stephen Herondale), but when Luke was attacked by a werewolf, Valentine demanded that Stephen divorce Amatis, as her family line was no longer pure.  I know.  It’s not like Luke and Stephen were going to be having babies together so the logic is specious at best, but…whatever.  Anyway, Luke has pack business to take care of, so he leaves Clary with his sister.

The Lightwoods are staying with some friends in the city.  We’re introduced to Aline and her cousin Sebastian.  Jace gets all flirty with Aline (which pisses Simon off for some reason) and everyone thinks Sebastian is kind of a creep, even if he is super handsome.  The new Inquisitor demands that Alec bring Simon to HQ, and Alec assures him that they’re just going to use the main portal to send Simon back to New York, since his kind aren’t really welcome there.

WRONG!  The Inquisitor locks Simon up after he refuses to implicate the Lightwoods as current Deatheaters members of the Circle.  It’s not just any cell, no!  (Actually, I’m going to go on a bit of a language rant here.  The guy in the cell next to Simon tells him that they’re being held in an oubliette.  Now, [and I just looked it up to make sure] an oubliette is usually a dungeon in a castle [which is kind of appropriate here] BUT it is accessible ONLY from a hatch in the ceiling.  This cell that they’re being held in has barred windows AND a door.  I’m sorry Ms Clare, but what you’ve described is most certainly NOT an oubliette.  Moving on.)

Back with Clary, she sneaks out of Amatis’ house to go find her friends.  She gets directions to where they’re staying and walks in on Jace making out with Aline.  Clary gets all pissy and they have this huge fight that leads to her storming off.  Sebastian follows her, and Clary tells him all about her mother in the coma and how she has to find this one warlock (Ragnor Fell, jeez warlock names are stupid) because he might know how to wake her.  Alec and Jace fight about something stupid, and Jace yells at him, telling Alec that he knows Alec thinks he loves him, but it’s just because Jace is the safe choice.

Sebastian shows up to take Clary out to see Ragnor Fell the next day.  Somehow, this kid that just showed up knows all the happening places, I guess.  They get there, and Magnus walks out of the house.  Sebastian is frozen in place (because Magnus thinks he’s skeezy) and he tells Clary about how Ragnor was dead when he got there, but the information he has for her indicates that she needs to head to Wayland Manor and look for a cookbook.  The cookbook is a lie, it’s really a soopersekrit spell book that Magnus wants, and it will also help him wake her mother up.  Sebastian kisses Clary, but she pushes him away (because he’s a creep).

Simon is visited by Raphael’s projected self.  He’s told that he needs to run far far away, because as a sparkly vamp, he’s too dangerous to let live.  He tries to escape from his cell, but  since Simon’s got all this daywalker strength, they’ve taken the added precaution of inscribing the bars and and the door knob with Stars of David.  Cos…you know, Jewish vampire and all.

Jace is at Amatis’ when Clary gets home.  He goes with her to Wayland Manor (since he grew up there and knows where the cookbook is) and while there, they find an honest-to-goodness angel imprisoned in the basement.  The angel shows them its memories, and they learn that Voldemort Valentine was experimenting with Angel and Demon blood, feeding them both to Jocelyn during her pregnancies.  This is apparently why Jace and Clary have super powers.  She was fed dried Demon blood during her first pregnancy (Jace) and dried Angel blood during her second pregnancy (Clary).  The angel uses Jace’s knife to kill himself and the manor implodes, but not before they escape.  As they’re laying in the grass, recovering, there’s another (icky) make out session, but Clary finally stops him to tell him that she won’t allow herself to be used like that.  Yay, she acts like she has a brain!

They get back to Alicante to find the city in flames.  The wards that protect the city are no longer functioning and Max, the youngest Lightwood, is killed by Sebastian.  We didn’t hear much about Max anyway, so there was little emotional impact, but this is where we learn that Sebastian is working with Valentine.  They break Simon out of the prison, and discover that his cell-mate was Hodge.  Hodge tells them that the third Mortal Instrument that Valentine seeks is the Mirror and that the Mirror is actually the cursed lake that Clary took a dunk in a few days ago.  Sebastian kills Hodge, then runs off.

Valentine projects himself into the middle of the survivors and tells them that he will resume the attack on Hogwarts at midnight if they don’t send him Harry Potter.  Wait.  No, he will resume the attack on the CITY at midnight (the following day) if they don’t surrender.  Some of the older members of the Clave are all “hell, yes, we’ll surrender, we don’t want to die!” but others agree to work with the Downworlders (an unprecedented move) in order to save themselves from Valentine and his demon hordes.

Clary and Jace spend the night together (nothing dirty, but they do hold hands all night) and she wakes up to find him gone.  There’s a stupid sappy note left behind.  She goes downstairs, and her mother walks in, because Magnus made good on his word to heal her once he had the book.  We learn that the reason Simon can walk in the daylight is because he drank Jace’s super-enhanced blood, AND that Jace is actually the son of Stephen Herondale (grandson of the previous Inquisitor) and his second wife AND that SEBASTIAN is actually her brother.  YOU STILL KISSED YOUR BROTHER YOU STUPID GIRL!  UGH.  So, to sum up:  Sebastian was the one given demon blood in vitro, Jace got the angel blood.  Clary also got the angel blood, but it was by accident as Valentine wasn’t aware Jocelyn was pregnant a second time.  Clary comes up with a way to bind Shadowhunters and Downworlders together, giving each the fighting prowess of the other.  She also puts the Mark of Cain on Simon’s forehead, so that he can’t be killed by the vampires who despise and envy his abilities.

Jace has run off to kill Sebastian and Valentine.  Valentine leaves his little cave hideout to summon the Angel Raziel.  The one who summons the angel gets one wish.  His wish is to kill all of the Shadowhunters he doesn’t already have on his side, so he can start anew with his little master race.  Sebastian and Jace fight, Jace wins and runs off to stop Valentine.  Clary ‘ports herself to the lake to stop her father, but he binds her with spells to keep her silent and immobile.  Jace shows up and Valentine kills him.  Somehow Clary manages to change the runes on his summoning circle, so when the angel rises from the lake, he ends up getting pissed off at Valentine and kills him.

Clary is given the one wish, since she changed the runes to her name…and she wishes for Jace to be brought back to life.  [sigh]  Really?  You get one wish.  FOR ANYTHING!  Bah.

The book ends at a big party with fireworks and whatnot…and Jace and Clary kissing, only this time we don’t have to be squicked out cos they’re not actually related.

Trashy Tuesday – City of Ashes

Okay, so…we left off last week on a thoroughly squicky moment, with Clary lamenting the fact that she could no longer make out with the super hawt Jace because she found out that he’s her brother.  Oh, and that her recently revealed not to be dead father, Darth Vader Voldemort Valentine, wants to destroy all humans mudbloods Downworlders.  Not only that, but her mother is still in a coma.

I went into this book hoping that Ms Clare’s storytelling abilities might have improved some after having first been published, but I was sorely disappointed.  The book opens in a New York City penthouse, with a warlock teenager carving a pentagram on the marble floor for Valentine, so they can summon one of the Greater Demons.  There was a super annoying bit in here about how the marble was so shiny that the stars above were reflected back…but then two sentences later she goes on to say that the night is so foggy, the Statue of Liberty isn’t even visible.  Um…what?  Make up your mind!  Is it foggy or is it clear enough for stars to shine through?  Ugh.  Anyway.  Valentine uses the Mortal Cup to control the demon, and the boy that helped summon it is killed.  Then Valentine and the Demon have a little chuckle over how clever and awesomely evil they are.

Cut to Clary and Simon watching a vampire movie at his place.  Simon freaks out about something, and when Clary tries to comfort him, he kisses her.  She’s all “Wait, whaaaaaaaaaat?  I thought we were just friends!”

We make another jump, this time to Grimmauld Place the Institute.  Alec and Isabelle’s parents have returned from the Shadowhunter home country (Idris) and their mom (Maryse) is all keen to kick Jace out, even though she’s the closest thing to a mother he’s ever known.  She suddenly believes that he’s been in league with his father all these years and doesn’t trust him anymore.  Jace takes off in a huff and heads to a local werewolf watering hole, where he proceeds to pick a fight.  A young werewolf has been killed in the alley outside this very bar and the werewolves are all pissed that he’s refusing to investigate, since he’s one of the nephilim and this is what they do.  

Luke (the Alpha of this pack) comes running in to break up the fight and takes Jace back to the Institute.  Maryse claims she was trying to force him to leave so he wouldn’t have to submit to questioning by the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts the Clave.  The Inquisitor is of course positive that Jace is in cahoots with his father, and when Jace can’t resist getting a little mouthy about the questions she has for him, she has him locked in the dungeon at the City of Bones as punishment.

Locked up and feeling sorry for himself, Jace begins to hear screams coming from the supposed Silent Brothers above.  The Fear Demon  that Valentine summoned with the warlock teen at the beginning has come back to clear the joint for his master.  Valentine comes into the dungeon and taunts him a second time tells him that he doesn’t have to stay locked up if he’ll just come over to the dark side of the force.  Oh, and that it’s useless staying behind because he’s now stealing the Sword of Omens Truth that would have exonerated him.  Jace refuses.

An alarm goes off at the Institute, warning of the breach at the Silent Brothers fortress, but all of the adults are out hunting the killer of a faerie child.  Alec, Isabelle and Clary suit up and decide to go rescue Jace themselves.  They arrive to find all of the Silent Brothers dead, and Jace still locked up in the dungeon.  Clary pulls out her stele and creates an Open rune on the door of the cell, but it works better than she’d anticipated and opens ALL of the doors, the shackles, everything.

They all go running out, to find all of the Shadowhunters waiting for them outside.  The Inquisitor loses her ish at Jace about how his father stole the one thing she could have used to find out if he was telling the truth, so she knows he’s still working with his daddy and blahblahblah.  Since they don’t have a prison anymore, Magnus (remember, he’s the High Warlock of Brooklyn) offers to keep him locked up at his place.  The Inquisitor reluctantly agrees, because she really has no other option.  This is what she’d prefer to see, though:

They get back to Magnus’ apartment, and with a little brainstorming, realize that Voldemort Valentine is using the blood of the children he’s been killing to turn the Sword into something demonic.  Since a faerie child was just killed, they decide to ask the Faerie Queen for help.  Isabelle is again the one who conveniently has an in and they head off to Faerie (the entrance to which is located in a nearby park).

The Queen listens, but isn’t really sure about helping.  While there, Clary is tricked into drinking a faerie drink, which means she’s trapped.  In order to let her leave, the Queen commands that she kiss the one she most desires.  Poor, deluded Simon steps up, but the Queen just laughs at him.  Clary and Jace kiss in front of everyone and they’re allowed to go.  Simon storms off into the city and our brother/sister duo argue with each other about their illicit feelings and just what they’re supposed to do with themselves since they’re IN LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE.

They head back to the Institute to find the de facto leader of the Vampire coven waiting on the steps with Simon’s body.  Raphael tells them that Simon will die, or he will turn.  To turn, he has to be buried and rise.  Remember when Simon bit one of the vampires while trying to escape in the last book?  Apparently the teensy tiny bit of blood he ingested then was enough to bring him over after he was drained tonight.  Clary makes a big deal about Simon being buried in a Jewish cemetery, even though little mention was made of his faith before this point.

Simon’s buried.  Simon rises.  Simon’s super hot and irresistible now.  Ew.  Instead of being a slave to his fledgling desires, he’s all full of control.  I guess he’s the new Bella?  Anyway, for some stupid reason, Clary, Jace and Simon head to Luke’s house.  Luke is there with a young werewolf girl (Maia) who was just attacked by Valentine’s demons.  Luke gets attacked and Clary, Simon and Jace fight them off, but not before Jace drags his father’s location out of one of them.

Maia is stupid and takes off on her own.  Simon is stupid and takes off on his own.  Jace is stupid and takes his flying motorcycle to Valentine’s hideout…which is on a boat.

Darth Vader Valentine once again tries to get Jace to join him in his quest to rid the galaxy world of the Jedi Downworlders.  Jace refuses again, even though daddy promises none of his friends will be hurt.  He heads back to the Institute and the Inquisitor tells him she was tracking him.  Since she now knows that Valentine is on a boat, she’s going to imprison Jace again and try to exchange him for the Sword and the Cup.  Jace laughs and tells her she’s being stupid, that Valentine will never go for it, but she locks him up anyway.

Maia and Simon are kidnapped by Valentine.  The only young magical blood he’s missing to finish the transformation on the Sword is that of a werewolf and a vampire.

Jace discovers he has more powers than most of the nephilim and is able to use his super jumping abilities to escape the prison he’s in.  He meets up with Clary and she uses her super new rune drawing skillz to create a Fearless rune for him to battle the Greater Fear Demon and rescue her friends.

Jace flies back out to the boat and discovers Simon has been mostly drained of his blood, but Maia has escaped.  He allows Simon to drink from him to keep him from dying, then sets off to battle the Fear Demon and his father.  Clary, Luke and Magnus turn Luke’s truck into a watertight vehicle and are driving it toward Valentine’s boat.

The other Shadowhunters are also on their way.  Valentine has summoned a whole host of demons and there’s this frantic battle on the boat.  The Inquisitor sees Jace fighting for the good side, questions him some more and finally believes him.  She sees a funky little scar on his forehead shoulder and as she’s about to mention something about it, she’s killed.

Clary realizes that there’s no way the good guys are going to win, so she creates another awesome rune that pulls the boat apart at the seams.  As she, Jace, Simon, Magnus, Luke and…too many other people to really fit in a truck…are making their escape, Simon starts freaking  out about the coming sunrise.  There’s nowhere for him to hide, but wonder of wonders HE DOESN’T BURN!  Oh, holy schnikes.  We have a daywalker, folks.  I wish I hadn’t called this at the moment he was turned, but I totally did.

We’re submitted to more emo-angst from Clary and Jace about their feelings for each other, and the book ends with a woman telling Clary she might know how to wake her mother.  Yup.  Mommy’s still in a coma, and we didn’t even really talk about it at all.  I know teenagers are pretty narcissistic, but surely she would have spent a little more time worried about her mommy than whether she can continue to kiss her brother?

Ugh.  Halfway done now!  See you next week.

Trashy Tuesday – The City of Bones

I know.  It’s hard to believe we’re done with the Stone Age.  Unfortunately, we have to move on to something else, and this is it.  Don’t sigh, it’ll be fun.  Promise.

Cassandra Clare used to spell her last name ‘Claire’ and was a huge name in the world of Harry Potter fanfic.  There were allegations of plagiarism and getting people to buy her new computers…all of the stuff that generally happens in fandoms, but multiplied times a billion.

Anyway, when Em asked me to read the second one so she knew whether to continue with the series, I jumped on it.  “THAT’S JUST WHAT I NEED FOR THE NEXT TRASHY TUESDAY,” I said.  I didn’t care that the covers were gross or that I knew they’d be horrible.  I looked forward to it.  This is what I love the most, talking trash about…trash.

So.  This book.  Take Harry Potter, Buffy, X-Men, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars (and a bunch of other things I’m probably forgetting right now) and put them in a blender with internetisms and leather pants.  You’ll have this book.

Excuse me.  You’ll have this series, because somehow she’s managed to put out FOUR BOOKS already, with more on the way.

Everything is perfectly normal for perfectly normal Clary before the night she witnesses a group of tattooed hooligans murder another teen at a dance club…until she realizes she’s the only one who can see both the hooligans and the kid that was killed.  The next day she gets into an argument with her mother about leaving town for the rest of the summer and storms off.

She heads out for coffee with her BFF Simon, and while there, runs into one of the tattooed kids from the night before…but he no longer has any tattoos.  Oh, and she thinks he’s super cute and agrees to leave the coffee shop to talk to him.  Smart girl, Clary.  Super smart.

While she’s talking to him outside, her mom calls and there’s a ruckus in the background.  Her mom tells her she needs to call Luuuuuuuuuuuuke because he’s the only one she can trust, then the line dies.  Instead of thinking and calling the cops or anything a normal person would do, Clary takes off running for home.  She gets there to find that their house is trashed and she can’t find her mom anywhere.  When she enters her room, she’s attacked by some kind of demon that she manages to kill all by herself, but not before it stings her.

Newly non-tattooed Jace shows up with his magic stele (think wand, tattoo gun and sonic screwdriver all combined into one) and rescues her from the demons disguised as cops – that show up to clean up the mess – and he takes her back to the Institute.  Mutant Academy The Institute is a kind of safe-house and school for travelling Shadowhunters and their children.  Shadowhunters are actually nephilim, a group of people that’ve pledged to rid the world of demons.  They got their powers by drinking the blood of an angel from the Mortal Cup.  After that, anyone who drank from the cup became a Shadowhunter, but the Cup has been missing for the last 15 years (conveniently, that’s how old Clary is).  13 Grimmauld Place The Institute is also hidden in plain sight.  Mere mortals (called Muggles Mundies) can not even sense its presence, you have to be a Shadowhunter, vampire, werewolf or warlock to know it’s there.  Oh, but vampires can’t enter because it was once a church and the ground is still sanctified.

While there, she meets the other two teens (Alec and Isabelle, brother and sister, their family has essentially adopted Jace since his parents died) that were with Draco Jace the night she witnessed the murder (but they were actually killing a demon, so everything’s cool there) and Professor Xavier Barty Crouch Jr Hodge.  Hodge was once part of a group of rogue Shadowhunters that called themselves Deatheaters The Circle.  Their leader was a man named Voldemort Valentine, and their purpose was to rid the world of all demons and Mudbloods Downworlders (this list includes all vampires, warlocks and werewolves).  When Valentine was destroyed/went into hiding (no one is really sure which), the Circle was disbanded and all of its members were caught and punished.  Hodge’s punishment was rather severe.  He’s forced to spend the rest of his days inside the Institute.  If he steps outside, he’ll die.  Choosing life over death, he’s become tutor to the kids that live there.

Everyone wonders how Clary is able to see all of these things she shouldn’t be able to.  Muggles Mundies can’t see magic Shadowhunters if they don’t want to be seen, nor are they able to see Grimmauld Place the Institute.  Hodge calls on Jeremiah, one of an order of magical monks known as the Silent Brothers, to delve into her mind to see what’s up with the what’s up.  He discovers a mental block that he can’t get past, so takes Clary and Jace to the home of the Silent Brothers – the City of Bones.  They do all of their mystical mumbojumbo to try to get past the block, but all that comes up is a name.  MAGNUS BANE

No, really.  That’s his name.  And guess what?  Isabelle just happens to have an invite to a rager he’s having at his place that very night!  Alec, Isabelle, Jace, Clary and Simon (for some reason) all head to the party.  Jace stops outside to check out the sweet flying motorcycles driven by Sirius Black vampires, and pulls a prank on the bloodsucking fiends by putting holy water in the gas tank.  Since the motorcycles are fueled by demons, this is supposed to completely dissolve the engine or something…I don’t know, the explanation was pretty sucky. (HA!  Punintentional.)

Anyway, at the party they discover that Magnus is the High Warlock of Brooklyn and he has been erasing Clary’s memories since she was two, but only her mom can put things right.  (Remember Clary’s mom?  The one that was kidnapped at the beginning?  Yeah, I’d forgotten too.)  Magnus flirts with Alec (Alec swears he’s not gay, but is constantly casting longing glances in Jace’s direction), Simon tries to impress Isabelle by drinking some faerie drink and gets turned into a rat.

The vampires get pissed about the holy water prank, try to start a brawl and Magnus kicks everyone out.  Clary realizes that Peter Pettigrew Simon is missing and they all come to the conclusion that he must be with the vampires, who thought the rat was one of their own.  Jace and Clary head to a vampire nest downtown to get Simon back and are helped by a kid they meet in the alley outside.  They get in and it turns out the kid is a vampire, the acting leader of the Vamps Take Manhattan or whatever they called themselves.

Rat Simon takes a bite out of the vamp that’s holding him and they try to make their escape as some werewolves come out of nowhere.  They steal a flying motorcycle, and crash it as the sun comes up (demon bikes only run at night).  Once back at the Institute, Simon goes off to sleep to recover from his injuries while Clary and Jace make out in the greenhouse.  Clary figures out where the Mortal Cup is and all the kids go to get it.  It’s being held (unknowingly) by the fake witch that lived downstairs from Clary her whole life.  Mommy hid the Cup in a tarot card she drew for the neighbour, and Clary’s developing powers will enable her to remove it.

While there, they’re betrayed by the fake witch and a greater demon comes to destroy them all.  Luckily, Simon thinks to shoot out the skylight with an arrow and the demon dies in the sunlight.

They hightail it out of there, and take the Cup to Hodge, cos he’s the only adult left in this story.  Hodge betrays them, he’s still working for Voldemort Valentine.  He touches his Dark Mark uses a magic mirror to call him and Valentine appears to remove Hodge’s curse and abscond with both Jace and the Cup.  Clary tries to follow Hodge, but gets snatched by a bunch of werewolves.  Those werewolves are led by Luke, her mom’s best friend.  Luke has some bad news for Clary, namely that Valentine is her father, not some soldier that was killed before she was born.

They make the super smart decision of going after Valentine, Jace and Jocelyn (Clary’s mom) and the werewolves launch a full scale assault on their hiding place.  Clary, Luke and a few of his pack members make it inside.  They find Jocelyn knocked out and hooked up to an IV, bound with silver chains.  While Luke is distracted by that, Clary sneaks off and finds Valentine and Jace.

There is much monologuing.  During the speech talking about how brilliantly evil he is, he reveals that not only is he Clary’s father BUT JACE’S AS WELL.  EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, girlfriend, you made out with your brother.  Grooooooooooooss!

Luke shows up, he and Jace fight Valentine.  Valentine escapes through a portal to the Shadowhunter Home Country, where he’s hidden the cup.  He implores Jace to join him so together they can rule the galaxy as father and son, but Jace refuses.

Clary takes her mom to the hospital because she’s in a coma and heads back to the Institute.  There she finds Magnus flirting with Alec (the warlock is a great healer and ‘hey, I healed you!’ is a fantastic pickup line) and Jace.  They get all weepy about how they can’t be together because they’re related.

REALLY?!  Your mother is in a coma, you’ve just learned about werewolves, vampires and magic…and the thing you’re most worried about is that YOU CAN’T MAKE OUT WITH YOUR BROTHER?!

Ew.