Tuesday, November 20, 2012

City of Bones Chapter Ten

Let's see. Last chapter twist was the Clary's mom was Valentine's wife.

If you did not see this coming, you need to drop your Reader Cards off at the door.

Anyone want to take bets for how long Clary will wonder who her father is, before finally admitting the bleeding obvious?

Having just read this chapter, and it is the never ending chapter THAT NEVER BLEEDING ENDS, let's go over the things we know and the things that we don't know before we get started:

-Clary's Mom was married to Valentine
-Clary was told that her Dad's name was Jonathan Christopher, or J.C.
-Jace's dad was murdered
-the murderers are the two men who talked to Uncle Luke
-Uncle Luke was a Shadowhunter and a member of Valentine's circle.
-Mom was a Shadowhunter and a member of Valentine's circle.
-There is a block on Clary's mind.
-Valentine wants the Mortal Cup.

Also, I want to point out that this plot is now, basically, Eva Braum escaped the bunker and sixteen years later had a fifteen year old kid, and the kid's dad is Totally Not Hitler. And nobody gives a fuck that Magic!Hitler's wife is still alive and running around on her own recon.

On to the actual chapter.

After the kids stop screaming, Hodge tells Clary that everybody left the circle once they realized that Valentine was totally twisted. So to translate this into IRL history terms...this is members of the SS leaving when they realized that Hitler totally intended to kill people. Because, you know, joining a hate group in the first place is perfectly fine. Jace's dad was also in the Circle, and he left. Isabelle and Alec's parents and Hodge stuck around.

Three members of the supporting cast stuck around for Magic!Holocaust. And this is never addressed again.

And then...Isabelle announces that dinner is ready, and we have wonderful humor about how horrible Isabelle is at cooking.

You know, maybe I'm getting so pissed at this becasue I OD'ed on WW2 documentaries on netflix a couple weeks ago, but...look, this book is watered down Harry Potter. Everybody knows it. So the characters and organizations are technically modeled on Rowling's sources, once removed. J.K. Rowling is on record stating that Hitler inspired Voldemort. And having read all the HP books, she got kind of close. Kind of. She overplayed the tragic!past (Hitler's big injury was not getting into art school) and underplayed the evil. Voldemort was a flamboyant asshole who liked to kill people out of hand, throw things at his followers and make Harry's life miserable. Hitler was a mild-mannered vegitarian who didn't believe in smoking, drinking or makeup. He loved his dog, he loved his girlfriends, he was from all reports devistated when his niece killed herself and handled Eva Braum with kid gloves so that she wouldn't hurt herself...and he gleefully ordered mass genocide because he thought it was right. He was a repellant son of a bitch, and the people who followed him weren't any better. The thing that disgusted me the most were the stories of SS officers going to conquered countries and demanding the mass deportation of Jews, and getting really petulant when the leaders of said countries refused to deport any of their own citizens, because they would get a bonus if they sent so many thousand human beings to the camps. You watch enough of these things, you start wanting to tear down the entire universe and replace it all with eternal puppies because that's the only way things will ever be right again.

And we just interrupted the magical universe's version of "Dr. Mengele is in Argentina and your Mom is Eva Braum" for kitchen games with Isabelle.  And after we get a few paragraphs of food description, we get this:

“Well, I think it’s kind of romantic,” said Isabelle, sucking tapioca pearls through an enormous pink straw. 

“What is?” asked Simon, instantly alert. 
“That whole business about Clary’s mother being married to Valentine,” said Isabelle.

The stages of understanding just how shitty a book really is.

 Seriously. The emotional baggage to Valentine should literally be the baggage attached to Hitler. This is like saying, "AWW, your Mom's Eva Braum and now Hitler's back and he wants to be with her for ever and ever and evers. Love."

Yes. Your mom fucked the most evil dude in our history, and I think it's romantic.

Please tell me somebody smacks the shit out of her?

“Isabelle,” said Hodge patiently, “this is the man who rained down destruction on Idris the like of which it had never seen, who set Shadowhunter against Downworlder and made the streets of the Glass City run with blood.” 
“That’s sort of hot,” Isabelle argued, “that evil thing.”
Look, if I stay on this subject the blog will go on for several days, so let's just do this. Watch Downfall. Watch any one of the six gazillion documentaries on the Holocaust. Then come back here and tell me that Isabelle hasn't just qualified for emergancy sterilization so that her sociopathic stupidity is never passed on to the next generation.

So now they explain that the Mortal Cup can make Shadowhunters out of normal people...as long as the chosen are children, as long as the children are tested to within an inch of their lives. Otherwise it kills them. Now, my brain just went, "But if mortals don't know about Shadowhunters and Shadowhunters themselves are dwindling because they keep getting dead at a young age, and the only children you can choose are obviously vollunteered by their parents, who are mortal because otherwise this kid would be a Shadowhunter already, but they don't know about Shadowhunters so HOW CAN THEY--"

and then this happened.
But this is a book that just straight up fucking glorified the relationship between Adolf Hitler and Eva Braum as something romantic. Expecting logic is a little much.

Anyway, just giving the cup to everybody is bad, because it'll kill most of the people who drink from it. So Valentine's brilliant plot was to gather 20% of the children for his demon killing army and let the rest die of his drugs. So we have the Final Solution against the demons, and also mass genocide of the people Valen-hitler was trying to protect. The kids ask Hodge how could he do that, and Hodge replies:

He was insane. Brilliant, but insane.
No shit. Only you can leave out the Brilliant part. It implies that the genocidal asshole was actually right about something.

So they decide that nobody can go after Valentine and Clary's mom because that would hurry up the end of the book and this would be a bad thing. Instead, they're going to go to the Silent Brothers who will break the block on Clary's memory and make her remember things. There is a lot of talking. During which, this is stated:

“It seems to me,” Clary said with an edge to her voice, “that no one the Clave thinks is dead, is ever actually dead. Maybe they should invest in dental records.” 
“My father’s dead,” said Jace, the same edge in his voice. “I don’t need dental records to tell me that.”
Just like how they're insisting Clary's dad was mundane, they're now insisting that Jace's dad is dead.

Moving on.

The Silent Brother, Jeremiah (...bible name) tries to break the block on Clary's memories. Only he can't, because there is a block there. "What, like she's repressed them?" Jace asks, and Jeremiah says no, it's a spell. They have to go where ALL the silent brothers are, and of-fucking-course it's in New York. They ride through the city in a magical carrige while Jace tells Clary his Tragic Life Story. See, he had this loving father, but these two guys, who are the guys he saw in Luke's apartment, they came in one day and killed his dad. And he watched it. Only he didn't know who those guys were until he saw them in Luke's apartment and now he's not telling Hodge because Hodge would stop him from killing Valentine. Then Jace launches into a long speil about how demons are evil and the only thing keeping the mundanes safe are the Aryans Nephilum like Jace.

Then Clary asks him about reproduction, and we're suddenly one traffic stop away from reproducing the steam-on-the-car-window scene in Titanic. 

So they go into the Silent City AKA the Bone City AKA the City of Bone, because we HAD to get our title drop in there, and Brother Jeremiah takes Clary to see all the other Silent Brothers. And they go into the city and it looks, I shit you not, exactly like the Mines of Moria, right before the Balrog shows up and ruins everyone's day:

Clary’s first sight of the Silent City was of row upon row of tall marble arches that rose overhead, disappearing into the distance like the orderly rows of trees in an orchard. The marble itself was a pure, ashy ivory, hard and polished-looking, inset in places with narrow strips of onyx, jasper, and jade. As they moved away from the tunnel and toward the forest of arches, Clary saw that the floor was inscribed with the same runes that sometimes decorated Jace’s skin with lines and whorls and swirling patterns.
I want Gandalf-Analogue to scream "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" to a Balrog wearing a swastika while weeping quasi hobbits in the background wave hobbit-weed they grew in their victory garden. Winston Churchill is Gimli. Broromir has a French accent. So does Faromir, but he's the bad-ass awesome French Resistance to his brother's Surrender to Evil.

Too bad I have to go back to this shit.

Oh, hey, all this marble doesn't seem very City-of-Bone-y. What are the arches made of?

Those who die in battle are burned, their ashes used to make the marble arches that you see here. The blood and bone of demon slayers is itself a powerful protection against evil. Even in death, the Clave serves the cause.

So the Silent Brothers go into Clary's head, and they find the block. Clary halucinates the name Magnus Bane, because otherwise this book would go nowhere, and the Silent Brothers state they cannot break the spell on her mind. It's too powerful. She has to go to Magnus Bane, the guy who put it there.

I have a question: what if Clary had hallucinated a purple people eater? Would she have to go find that?

Moving on.

So Jeremiah leads them out of the city, Clary and Jace flirt over her blood, not kidding at all, and they decide to take a cab out of the magical ash house. End of chapter.

So at the end of this chapter we now know:

-Clary's Mom was married to Valentine
-Clary was told that her Dad's name was Jonathan Christopher, or J.C.
-Jace's dad was murdered
-the murderers are the two men who talked to Uncle Luke
-Uncle Luke was a Shadowhunter and a member of Valentine's circle.
-Mom was a Shadowhunter and a member of Valentine's circle.
-There is a block on Clary's mind.
-Valentine wants the Mortal Cup.

Next chapter: We take every mythological thing ever and translate it into Clare's quasi-Christian theology mess. And it works exactly as well as you think.

And I have to say it: this book is termites-in-its-smile bad, all wrapped up in cotton candy, but it's not the worst book I've ever heard of. Captive of Gor made me want to kick things, but it was not the worst book I've ever heard of. The book we're doing after this? Narcissus in Chains? It is now the second worst book I've ever heard of. What is the worst book I've ever heard of?

This is.

I found it last night, and even though it's a self-published book (by a former pro) and even though that technically means I shouldn't touch it out of professional courtesy, it's on the list of things to do. HOLY. SHIT. I almost want to snuggle it but then I'd be dirty, blog readers. I'd be so very very dirty.


  1. "Those who die in battle are burned, their ashes used to make the marble arches that you see here. The blood and bone of demon slayers is itself a powerful protection against evil. Even in death, the Clave serves the cause."

    We cremated my grandfather. He was a big guy. 6'3" and barrel-chested. His ashes fit into a little urn.



    Anyhow, if you want to see Chrisitianity/Paganism put into a blender and set on puree down right, go research the more mystically-inclined kabbalah works (Spelling varies. Start at Wikipedia).

  2. " It is now the second worst book I've ever heard of. What is the worst book I've ever heard of?

    This is. (LINK)"

    But. But how. How is this a real thing?! How is a book about those poor abused Pearls/Whites fighting against the oppression of Coals/Blacks an actual thing?!


      It's a novel.

      About a little white girl.

      Who spends the first half of it WEARING BLACKFACE.

    2. FINALLY a book that allows us to feel empathy for the oppressed people of the world... By making her into a pretty white girl. Who's worried about her looks.

      Seriously, Pearls and Coals? No question who the truly beautiful people are here.

    3. I'm reading because I am NOT kidding about flogging the living crap out of it, and trust me. It gets worse.

      There is an all black KKK (the FFP) the main character's ONLY driving motivation is to get screwed by a black man so her child will have a better chance at life, there is MASSIVE plot contraditions, there is Glorification of White Culture, I think we're moving into Magical Brown Person territory in the later books, there is a beauty and the beast romance where the beast is a black man half-mutated into a black panther...it just kind of goes on, and on, and on.

      And then there's the promotional video where an actress portrays the main character by putting on blackface and begging to be screwed by a black man:
      I am not making this up.

  3. It's like this whole chapter took a u-turn and went directly into ULTRA fail mode instead of just general, modest meh.

    There's a few works that do it that I really love. I have all hearts and stars for anything Neil Gaiman does, including Good Omens. It's just...it amazes me that Clare's managed to miss the ENTIRE POINT of just about EVERYTHING she's borrowing from.