Tuesday, December 4, 2012

City of Bones chapter 19+ Starbleached 2 Info

Business stuff first. The TENTATIVE title for Starbleached 2 is still Planet Bob. It's not going to focus on Adrienne, though she's still there, but rather on Bryan and Bob Harris, the dude from the cockpit in the first couple pages. Bob really surprised me when I was drafting out the story. As I may have said earlier, part of what this story is about is how our past defines our present and future. One thing that I'm exploring with this is how two people--in this case, Bryan and Mich--can come from a similar, horrible background and turn into who and what they are. It's one of my favorite things to think about. It is a lot of fun.

That said, this book is a horrible bitch to edit and I'm praying on my knees that you lot are going to like the end result.

Okay. On to what you really came here for. City of Bones.

When we last left our heroes, they had destroyed Dorothea's favorite tarot deck.

...as someone with a casual interest in tarot and the owner of several damn fine decks, I have this to say:

How does everyone react?

Jace says it should be bigger, Isabelle compares it to a toilet bowl. It's their version of the Holy Grail, and they're like...well, it should have more sparkles.

True fax: My family has collectively decided that one of my uncles will witness the Second Coming, settle into his mansion beside the Streets Paved With Gold and say "Well, the story was alright, but the special effects could be better."

And then Madame Dorothea betrays them to Valentine. BECAUSE OF COURSE SHE DOES. She's only helping the dude that wants to kill her and all her kind, and Downworlders are awful and evil things, and I do not think anyone connected with this book thought out this dynamic here. THIS DUDE IS MAGICAL HITLER AND YOU ARE HIS TARGET. WHY ARE YOU HELPING HIM, YOU TERRIBLE PERSON.

And then magic smoke comes out of the portal and turns Dorothea into a demon. BECAUSE OF COURSE IT DOES.

And it's the demon Abbadon.

...Clare, I've put up with a lot of shit from your book, including your decision to shit all over my religion because you have "issues" with it. I can accept this. But now you are giving me Left Behind flashbacks, and I couldn't even finish my reviews of that series. AND I SUDDENLY WANT TO, BECAUSE IT IS MORE INTERESTING THAN THIS BOOK.


Jace makes quips about New York and Staton Island and demon stink that aren't funny, because, and I don't know if anyone else noticed, BUT THERE IS A FUCKING DEMON IN THE FUCKING ROOM THREATENING TO FUCKING KILL YOU. Humor IS a defense mechanism, but that's more "Romantic tension" defense, and not "Raging demon." Or to quote the greatest movie of all time:

And of course, everyone enters the fray, Jace leading, and of course the only one not participating is Waif-like Clary. This will, no doubt, be changed in the movie. Either that, or she's going to stand on the bannisters all wide eyed while the monster rushes at her a la Freddie Kruger. And one by one all of them fail, and Clary is wishing desperately for a weapon and then SIMON comes to the rescue.

SIMON saves the day.

The mundane.

With a bow and arrow that got left in his van.

You know, I was willing to give Clary a pass on being utterly fucking useless in a fight because she's a mundane and mundanes can't fight monsters.

Congradulations, Simon. You just blew her only excuse out of the water. There is now NO REASON why Clary can't be an active participant in her own survival. Except that if she did actually try to fight, there would now be no reason for anyone to come and rescue her.

Alec is injured, so they have to drive him back to the Institute, because no MORTAL facility would know how to heal Demon wounds. And they let Simon drive.

The hypocrisy in this book is killing me. They don't let mundanes know about Demons, and then despise mundanes for not knowing about Demons, but are perfectly willing to use mundanes to fight and survive against the demons.

Have I mentioned lately that Shadowhunters are horrible people? Because they are really, really horrible people.

Meanwhile, on the drive, Clary moans about how she knew the skylight Simon shot out was there, and she could have thrown something at the light if she'd wanted to, and how awful and useless she is.

You know, I've noticed in my own writing when characters start talking about negative character traits, how stupid actions are or how inexplicable someone's behavior is, and I, personally, think the events are fine, this is usually my subconsious saying THIS IS NOT HOW THE WRITING SHOULD WORK, STUPID.

They get to the institute. Logic says Hodge should chew them the fuck out for being stupid teenagers and this does not happen. Instead, while Alec is dying in the infirmary, Jace has a guilt trip out in the hallway so he can confess his love to Clary.

Bullshit. Jace does not feel guilt, because Jace has shown all the behaviors of a clinical sociopath. The words coming out of his mouth do not balance his actions. But he LURVES Clary so everything is alright, and she must comfort his Special Snowflake-ness and make the fact that his blood-brother is dying of demon venom in the next room.

Hodge interrupts them before Jace can complete his emotional reawakening and kiss Clary (GAG ME) and drags them both upstairs. They argue about things for a moment, and then Hodge said "Well, too bad you didn't get the cup." and Clary says "We did get the cup" and Hodge says "Really? Hey, Jace, you look like your dad, and it's time for both of you to die."

Yep. It's a Face-Heel Turn. One that you could probably see from the beginning because, for the ten THOUSANDTH TIME, the adults in this novel were all members of the magical SS. Hitler is back, Clary has the holy grail he was looking for, and Hodge, who has been badly punished for his role in trying to impliment a demonic genocide, now has all the leverage he needs to get back in good with his old boss.

So Hodge summons Valentine, and Clary, who could solve every problem in this book right now if she had a .45, stands there like an idiot and watches Hodge and Valentine interact. It basically runs like this:

Valentine: Give me the cup
Hodge: I want to go home
Valentine: home is wonderful, isn't it? Give me the cup.
Hodge: I want to go home.

Repeat ad nauseum. It's also a chance for exposition, but because we want to create SUSPENSE, nothing is fucking exposited.

Then Valentine picks up Jace, promises Hodge that Jace will "be with his father soon" shoots Hodge in the fucking heart with magic and then leaves. End of chapter.

I really hope you can see where this is going, because the nausea will be much, much worse if you don't.


  1. You know what I really miss about this book's progenitor-series, Harry Potter? I miss the names.

    Dumbledore is an old word for bumblebee, an always busy apparently harmless creature. Also Dumbledore liked to wander around humming. Severus Snape isn't just a great-sounding name for a meany teacher in a kid's adventure book, it's also deeply tied into the man's working class Northern English roots. Voldemort sounds exactly like the name a self-important sociopathic teenager would make up - And that's exactly when he came up with that name.

    There is absolutely no grace, depth, or imagination to any of these names. Hodge. Valentine. Jace. Bleah.

  2. When you get down to it, the basic problem here is exactly that. Things are not in this book because the author wants to say something or give the reader the impression of something. Things are here because the author read something cool, but didn't understand what gave the cool thing its coolness.

    Also, there is a reason that Jace is Jace. Knowing this reason will actually make things much worse.

  3. Okay, this has been bugging me for a couple of days. Clary knows nothing of magic. She doesn't even have rudimentary memories of whatever magic she was exposed to in her early life. Even having just discovered magic, she has no idea that artifacts can potentially be hidden in images. The people hunting for the Mortal Cup *do* know this. Yet somehow it never occurs to them to look for paintings etc where Clary's mom might have hidden the important artifact they've been searching for. Clary has to find it by accident.


  4. In their defense, They didn't know Clary's mom was still alive. The Eva Braum analogue arguement applies here.

    That said, the first thing the Clave should have done is interrogate the living fuck out of Clary. But given that Valentine escaped discovery by pretending to be another member of his circle, I don't expect too much out of those bozos.