My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
City of Glass sent me on an emotional rollercoaster. You know characters are well written when you viscerally feel the emotions that they are experiencing, you connect with them as if they are real people and cannot help but be completed enamoured with the story. Of course, to get this experience you need to follow the characters on their journey from the first book, City of Bones. This is not a book that you could read by itself and fully understand the immersive and expansive world that Cassie has built.
Even though I may usually not be consciously thinking about the fact that I’m going to review a book – I believe having been writing reviews much more frequently I am more cognizant of the aspects of a book. I am now subconsciously more aware of a book, especially with a re-read or an author I’m familiar with. I’m so used to having spent the last decade with the characters from the Mortal Instruments, that I feel I had forgotten who they were at the start. You don’t realize just how much they’ve grown until you re-read the books.
Each character learns so much over the course of the books that we get to know them and watch them evolve. The Clary I think of is artistic, strong, passionate, fiercely loyal and loving, brave and capable – so it is strange seeing her when she is new to the Shadow World. You can see the potential, although she has not grown and matured into that person yet. In City of Glass, I was amazed to be reminded just how whiny, child-like, quick to anger and throw temper tantrums, and reckless she could be.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I am continually impressed with and in awe of how much Cassandra Clare’s writing has improved over the years. Just the level of growth each principle character experiences over the course of the novels is fantastic. There were also so many emotional or action-filled scenes that the plot just raced by, but not in a bad it. I just fell completely into the story and didn’t want to put it down.
The fact that, even three books later, Cassie continues to expand the world she builds is incredible. I love when a fictional world, even one set within our own with hidden depth, is so real that you feel like you could live there. You understand the way of the world and its nuances. It was wonderful getting to see the Shadowhunters’ home country, Idris and the city of Alicante.
I can’t really discuss more without there being spoilers from the first two books or City of Glass, so all I have left to say is please read this series. If you give it a chance, even if it’s not perfect at first, I hope you will fall in love with it just like I did.