City of Glass - Cassandra Clare City of Glass is the third book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy, the first two of which are City of Bones and City of Ashes. They're written by Cassandra Clare, who, as you may or may not know, was a very popular (and somewhat controversial) Harry Potter fanfiction author back in the Golden Fanfiction Age between the releases of books 4 and 5. This makes her pretty easy to make fun of, for example by pointing out that Jace in the Mortal Instruments books is basically Leather Pants Draco from her Draco Trilogy, and I won't argue with you there. (Shadowhunters even wear leather pants as part of their demon-killing gear. Trufax.)

But Clare was a popular fic author for a reason. In my mind, she's proven her storytelling chops with the Mortal Instruments trilogy. I liked the third installment a lot, and I bet I'll be going back and rereading all three books someday. They're funny, they keep you interested, and I liked the world she built. It's basically Buffy the Vampire Slayer if there were a bunch of Slayers and they had their own city, but with the "Ooh, mysterious stuff happened in the previous generation and it's relevant now!" aspect of, say, Harry Potter. Also (spoilers! sort of), everyone has a different father than they thought. The characters basically play a constant game of Musical Parents.

Endings of trilogies (or other series) are tricky. Sometimes the writer has thrown so many balls in the air in the first two books that they don't quite all get caught in the third. This isn't the case with City of Glass, which wraps up all the major plot points in a satisfyingly juicy way, while leaving a couple of things tantalizingly open-ended, so the ending doesn't seem too neat.

This series isn't for everybody. If you get really annoyed by angsty teenagers making snarky quips that mostly involve taking things literally, you'll probably want to throw these books across the room. And I definitely grew tired of lines like "There was a breathless undercurrent in [character:]'s voice, if someone who never breathed could be said to be breathless" (p. 370). ESPECIALLY AFTER THE SEVENTH TIME. JUST FIND SOME OTHER WAY TO SHOW THE CHARACTER'S EMOTIONS! WE ALREADY KNOW [HE OR SHE:] IS A VAMPIRE!!


Obviously, lines like that weren't enough to deter me from finishing the book. The trilogy may not be winning the Printz award anytime soon, but I don't really care. It's fun and funny and addictive, and it has werewolves and magic runes and a sarcastic gay warlock, and everyone has a weird name that looks cool on paper but I have no idea how to pronounce in real life ("Aline"? "Amatis"?), so it's basically everything I expect from a good escapist YA fantasy.