This book was somewhat of a disappointment. I went in with pretty high expectations – Laini Taylor is a bone-chillingly beautiful writer and this bookThis book was somewhat of a disappointment. I went in with pretty high expectations – Laini Taylor is a bone-chillingly beautiful writer and this book has been getting rave reviews – and it went well for a while and then just fell flat.
The beginning was great. Prague is such an inspired location and the perfect setting for mystery and darkness and intrigue. Brimstone's teeth-for-wishes shop that Kaoru was an errand girl for was weird but strangely homey (maybe because it was where Kaoru grew up for a bit). And the doors that opened to exotic locales around the world (the better to collect teeth, my dear) is the kind of magic that pulls at something intrinsic in the soul (who doesn't want to open a door and instantly be able to escape to another place?).
And Taylor perfectly built up the suspense. I craved answers to all the mysteries that abounded – what are the damn teeth for? Why are the angels leaving burning handprints on Brimstone's doors? Who is Karou and why is she so special?
But all that potential gets thrown over for some weepy love tragedy. I just cannot invest in Kaoru and Akiva. It is sappy beyond sappy and just too on-the-nose Romeo & Juliet for me, complete with insta-love (and, yeah, maybe Akiva attacks Kaoru at first sight - thinking (accurately) that she's Brimstone's minion - but he just bring himself can't kill her because there's something about her).
The revelation about who Kaoru is and why Akiva just loves her so much he can't help himself was, I felt, beyond lame. And made me like the book less. And made me like Kaoru/Akiva as a couple less. And led to a completely unexpected change in point-of-view that totally threw me and brought me out of the book as effectively as if someone had dumped a bucket of cold water over me.
And I get really, really annoyed by wide-eyed idealists who think they can save the world using nothing but love. Past Akiva thought that he could put an end to a millenia-long war through falling in love with a girl on the other side. I WONDER WHY THAT DIDN'T WORK OUT. It's like if the Israel-Palestine conflict was resolved solely through the love story of a Palestinian and Israeli couple. Maybe, maybe Past Akiva was going to come up with a concrete plan for some kind of counter-movement just as soon as he stopped staring into his beloved's eyes, but as far as he actually got was, "Hey! This girl is hot and I love her! And she's the enemy! Why are our people killing each other? If only people realized that such a love was possible, the war would be over!"
Even the beauty of Taylor's prose could not save this book from the overly melodramatic romance plot. Sigh, at least I will always have the first half. And at least this book had Brimstone (who was awesome, but criminally underused)....more
Middle books in a series are hard. Especially in romantic YA series. The first book sets up the romance and it’s all exciting-new-beginnings and will-Middle books in a series are hard. Especially in romantic YA series. The first book sets up the romance and it’s all exciting-new-beginnings and will-they, won’t-they. The last novel is when the heroine finally has to make a freaking decision. And the middle book is all about the indecision – usually the heroine breaks up (or is broken up with) the boy she chose/got with in book 1. It is beyond frustrating.
I do not care about Tucker v. Christen. This is stupid. You are stupid, Clara. Tucker and Clara got barely any cute scenes together. They were pretty much angsty the entire time. All the chemistry from last summer had dissipated, because Clara spent all year worried about Tucker dying then worried about Tucker finding out how much she’s still tied to Christen then Tucker being angry that Clara’s been keeping secrets from him and her entanglement with Christen. They’ve had a very strained relationship and I’m actually glad they broke up because I couldn’t take the angst any more.
It would’ve been better if Clara wasn’t so stupid and self-involved. She’s all, “Why would God care who I fall in love with?” but then spends the entire book angsting about how it’s her purpose to fall in love with Christen. WHY DOES NO ONE IN THIS SERIES EVEN TRY TO FIND AN ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATION. Clara’s mom totally think she’s meant to be with Christen. Clara’s mom got with her husband (view spoiler)[the archangel Michael (and he’s definitely THE archangel Michael and why does no one comment on this fact) (hide spoiler)] eventually when she was supposed to. Clara's mom acts like it was REALLY BAD that she "fought her destiny" and that she shouldn't have done it, because it was FATE. Maybe she wasn’t fighting her destiny and causing grief! Maybe she was supposed to struggle for that long! Because if she hadn’t, wouldn’t Clara and Jeffrey been born too soon? If Clara is indeed supposed to be with Christen, would it make sense for her to be like 50 when they first met (which would have happened if Clara's mom had gotten married to her fated man and settled down to have children earlier)? Would that have worked in the timeline?
So even IF Clara and Christen are FATED to be romantically together, why does it have to be right now instead of later on in their lives? And why does no one consider that their relationship is meant to be in a platonic best-friends-forever sense. You can have intensely deep relationships with your friends. I guess there’s that “I saw us kissing!” crap. But maybe that’s for the future.
And why didn’t Jeffrey tell anyone about his Purpose. His mom would’ve understood and supported him. Also then Clara wouldn’t have felt the need to save Tucker in Book 1. GOD THIS FAMILY IS SO BAD AT SHARING IMPORTANT SHIT. Even when she was dying Clara’s mother refused to be helpful. So much pain could be avoided if everyone just TALKED TO EACH OTHER.
Clara is 99% incurious and never bothers to pump people for information (like, hello, her father, who is almost incapable of lying and inclined to be helpful). Clara had an angel who she could have ASKED about her Purpose - the thing that drove like 80% of the book - and she never did. Why not? I mean, her mom knows a lot, but she is also wrong a lot and it’s not like there’s a handbook to being an angelblood. It seems to me that it is 90% guess work. But maybe a frickin’ ANGEL would know more about it and maybe tell you what it’s all about. This lack of seeking information is tied together with Clara's tendency to jump to conclusions - always the wrong one. I mean, she’s a little primed for it by her loving but frustrating mother. Like maybe the reason that Tucker wasn’t at the funeral in her vision was that THERE WAS A GODDAMN BLACKWING PRESENT. And even when she knew it, Clara was still all "the only possible reason the Tucker could not be at the funeral is if we broke up." No sweetie. NO.
Clara also never bothers to really support Jeffrey when he is obviously going through a hard time. No, she’s too involved with herself. This is also shown by how she keeps calling Grace her best friend even though (a) they never talk (b) they never hang out. Angela is clearly her actual bestie. Grace is just kind of there – and frankly, she’s mostly around because she’s Tucker’s sister.
The flaws in this story tend to be extra frustrating because Hand is an overall great writer. The scenes with the Blackwing are terrifying. There’s some real fear and horror elements going on there. The whole Clara’s-mother-is-dying plot is beyond heartbreaking. Hiccupy-breathing and tears-in-the-eyes heartbreaking. The grief and pain and devastation is all there and beautifully dealt with. And I love a bunch of the side characters – Jeffrey might actually be my favorite, but I also love Tucker and Angela and even Christen. And Clara can be good but she is just SO GOD DAMN FRUSTRATING by her willingness to just go along with everything instead of thinking outside the box and trying to get answers. ...more
This is a damn good book. It reminds me a lot of Vampire Academy – didn’t expect much out of it, but the author manages to turn a tired paranormal conThis is a damn good book. It reminds me a lot of Vampire Academy – didn’t expect much out of it, but the author manages to turn a tired paranormal concept done so badly by so many people into an enjoyable, romantic, fun, fresh book. I’ve yet to read another angel book that was any good and this was the first I Am Compelled By My Very Nature To Help People book (see also: A Need So Beautiful, Die for Me) that dealt well with that concept.
I thought the romance between Tucker and Clara was very nicely done. Downright steamy in places! And I fell a little in love with Tucker – he is such a fun guy, always up for something exciting (fishing! rafting! hiking!) and is just compellingly nice but knows how to mess with people. I’m glad that Clara was so clearly drawn to Christian through (1) falling into the popularity/handsome trap & (2) her stupid mission. Because there was no real chemistry between them and the fact that they really are only potentially together through shallow or silly predestination reasons rings true. She is clearly much more interested in Tucker as a human being than Christian.
I find it so frustrating that Clara and her mom are so focused on the concept that her Purpose (or whatever they called it…God, they said it like every chapter and I still didn’t care enough to remember) is to date/fall in love/be romantic with Christian. That does not even make any sense. Yes, she has a feeling of love in the vision. But she is also saving him from a fire. The love may not be the essential part of that! And now that it’s clear that (view spoiler)[Christian is an angel/angel-blood (how did Angela/Clara/Clara’s mom NOT FIGURE THAT OUT), that whole love-feeling was probably just finding out about each other’s angelness! (hide spoiler)] It does not make sense that everyone is obsessed with the idea of Christian as The One when he is so clearly not and it would be beyond lame if Clara’s sole reason for being on earth was to fall in love with Christian. Just as icky if it was to have Christian’s children (which would be the only other reason to compel them to get together). Whatever, silly YA romance conceit.
I am also SUPER ANNOYED with Clara’s mom for being SO SECRETIVE. Have you read anything ever Clara’s mom? You know keeping secrets always leads to terrible results that wouldn’t occur if you had just BEEN OPEN AND HONEST. Good God.
In that vein, WTF is up with Clara totally ignoring the fact that her brother is acting all guilty and secretive and is possibly turning into a Black Wing? She seems like a generally good sister – healthy relationship with brother, got super protective when the popular girl tried to use him to salve her wounded ego, she helps him out. And yet. She is just going to continue to not help him out in a time when he is clearly in trouble. Because why? She’s too busy being self-involved? I didn’t think she was necessarily that selfish, but both her brother and her friend (unnhhh, how did I forget her name too? Tucker’s twin) told her she was too self-involved. So they obviously felt it. And the fact that her brother is possibly going evil and she’s just not bothering to deal with it tells me that may be true. Shape up in book 2, Clara! I know you can be a better sister!...more
I thought this was a young adult novel when I started reading it. Don’t ask me why. It got on my TBR list somehow and I never bothered re-reading theI thought this was a young adult novel when I started reading it. Don’t ask me why. It got on my TBR list somehow and I never bothered re-reading the synopsis. It was about angels, which was the hot new supernatural thing in YA when this book came out so I thought it was just another Fallen or the like.
Obviously, wrong. This is a The Da Vinci Code-esque book. What I'm going to call Paranormal Thriller Chick Lit. Aka, A Discovery of Witches with angels (which came out in 2011, but I don’t read many books in this genre, and that’s the only other one I’ve read recently).
Honestly, replace “angel” with “vampire” and you’ve got a pretty good sense of what the angels and angel society are like. Angels are: soulless, merciless and immortal, have an overly complex society which mostly involves boring dinner parties talking about how old and rich they are, hang paintings by famous artists on their walls (originals, of course!) and rank themselves in a hierarchy based on how pure(ly angelic) they are. And the size of their wings (wink, wink). Replace “angelologists” with “vampire slayers” (or “watchers” or “agency” or whatever the name of choice is) and you’ve got a pretty good sense of what they are like: an ancient organization working through the centuries to protect humanity from the soulless killers in their midst. Maybe the major difference between an angel book and a vampire book is that there are a lot more Bible quotes in this one.
Was this formulaic? Yeah, but I think that comes with the territory of “thriller.” But I found it all surprisingly enjoyable. Employing my excellent skimming ability, I glided past the boring parts and just tuned in for the exciting parts. Half the time I thought the explanation of the angels was insane, but in a good way, like an old sci fi movie where you’re just going No way!! Really?? REALLY?!?! the entire time. I find that the right amount of absurdity makes me positively gleeful.
This is Trussoni’s first foray into fiction, and it shows. This book could use some tighter editing. There are loooooooong passages describing every action a character does. Example: "Standing at his fifth-floor window, he removed the silk Hermes tie he'd been using as a bandage, slowly working the fabric away from the scabbing flesh. His tie was ruined. Folding it, he placed it on the sill. Outside, a slice of morning sky hovered in the distance, lifting above rows of buildings as if propped on stilts. The snow hung upon tree branches, slouched down the slopes of drainage pipes, and tapered into daggers of ice. Water towers on rooftops dotted the tableau...Walking to the galley kitchen, he turned on his espresso machine, packed fine-ground beans into the portafilter, and--after steaming some milk--made himself a cappuccino in an antique Fiestaware mug, one of the few he hadn't broken." It goes on like that.
It is horribly tedious. I would skip pages and pages of characters doing nothing at all or repeating their same thoughts over and over (Celestine is jealous of Gabrielle! The hot art guy finds Evangeline surprisingly young and attractive for a nun!). The book should’ve been cut down a hundred pages at least.
The other thing is that EVERYBODY spoke in exposition. There were very few times when the dialogue didn’t primarily involve someone going “Now let me tell you my life story” or “Now I’m going to explain to you all about this aspect of angels.” One character actually says "There are a number of piece of information I have been entrusted to relate to you" before he begins his exposition. Since I found Trussoni’s theory on angels and the Nephilim and all that fake mythology insanely fascinating I actually enjoyed all the exposition. But it is still very noticeable when every single named character plays the exposition fairy almost every time they open their mouths.
Also, if you are in a world filled with angels, stop being surprised when people named Grigori turn out to be Not Human. Just sayin’.
This book has a breathtaking cover I want to enlarge and hang on my wall. Unfortunately, the inside was as dull and insipid as the cover is gorgeous.This book has a breathtaking cover I want to enlarge and hang on my wall. Unfortunately, the inside was as dull and insipid as the cover is gorgeous. An actual review would be one giant THIS IS DUMB repeated ad nauseum so instead, I decided to entertain myself by doing a Fallen in 15 Minutes (inspired by the addictive Movies in 15 Minutes). Spoilers ahoy!
1854 Daniel: I have to run away. I have to get away. I have to leave before the mysteriously unspecific bad juujuu happens. 1854 Luce: I love you! 1854 Daniel: Don’t kiss her. Don’t kiss her. Don’tkissherDon’tkissherDon’tkissher. *kisses her* Oh shi—
Modern Day Sword & Cross School: This is a school for problem kids. The dress code is all black so the boys can angst even more prettily and the girls can be even more emo. YOU’RE WELCOME. Luce: *is late to her first day at Boarding School for Ostensibly Bad Kids* Attendant: Meds, beds and reds, kids. Luce: What? Attendant: Meds. Because the students here are supposedly psychotic, despite no indication they are more troubled than average angsty teen lit characters. Beds. Because even crazy kids have to sleep. Reds. Because there are cameras everywhere. But don’t worry, you still have easy access to mirrors, tacks and other items with which you could harm yourself or others. And you can still get booze and have parties and get wasted without any repercussions. And you can leave school grounds whenever you feel like it. Luce: Uh... Gabbe: Hi y’all!!!! *is southern and pretty* Todd: Hi. *is boring* Cam: Hey. *is hot* Luce: *swoons* Arriane: YOU ARE MY NEW BESTEST FRIEND!!!!!!! *is the only actually crazy student* Luce: Uh...ok. Arriane: I’M GONNA LOVE YOU AND HUG YOU AND CALL YOU GEORGE!!!! Luce: Uh...sure. That’s cool. Or whatever. Daniel GRIGORI: *is mysterious* Luce: *swoons HARDER* Daniel GRIGORI: *flips off Luce* Luce: I still love you!
In the school cafeteria Luce: *stares at Daniel* Daniel GRIGORI: *ignores her* Luce: *runs into Molly* Molly: Oh no you didn’t! This meatloaf will look good...in your hair! Arriane: I WILL CUT YOU!!!! Arriane’s school-provided wristband: *electrocutes her* Arriane: *twitches* Attendant: Ten points from Gryffindor! I mean, detention for everyone! Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood: Hello dear Luce! Let me help you with your meatloaf hair. I’m the resident plot fairy! I will help you get the background info you need and then conveniently die at a dramatic moment to “up the stakes.” Luce: Umm...nice to meet you?
At detention IN THE CEMETARY Attendant: As punishment you must form pairs and clean the ANGEL statutes. Questions? No? Molly: Stay away from Daniel, girl. Luce: Uh... Daniel GRIGORI: She’s right, you should stay away from me. Luce: Um. Daniel GRIGORI: Well? Are you going to stay away from me? ANGEL statue: *tries to crush Luce* Daniel *protects her* ANGEL statue: DAMMIT.
Later Arriane: SO WHY ARE YOU AT THE BOARDING SCHOOL FOR OBSTENTISBLY BAD KIDS?!?!? WE’RE ALL MAD HERE. I’M MAD. YOU’RE MAD. YOU MUST BE MAD OR YOU WOULDN’T BE HERE!!!! Luce: Well...y’know how it is. You like this boy. He likes you. You go into a cabin in the woods to hook up. The shadows that plague you all your life appear and start a fire and kill the boy. You start muttering about killer shadows and suddenly you’re crazy. Arriane: YOU’RE A PYRO?!?!? OH BOY!!! I LOVE FIRE!!!! IT’S SO PRETTY!!!! Luce: Umm...that wasn’t really the point of my story. But...okay. Cam: Hey Luce! I’m having a party. You gonna come? Daniel GRIGORI: *twitches head* Luce: (thinking)Is that a nod? That’s a nod! Daniel totally wants me to go the party! (outloud) Yeah, sure.
At the party. With alcohol. In the dorms. Of the School for Ostensibly Bad Kids with cameras everywhere Cam: Hey, Luce! I’m glad you’re here. You’re really pretty. Daniel GRIGORI: *leaves party* Luce: Um...yeah, Cam. That’s great. I have to go out for a moment. To...wash my hair. Cam: I miss you already! Luce: *follows Daniel* Daniel GRIGORI: *talks to Gabbe (the southern one)* Luce: *is insanely jealous Daniel talks to other girls*
At Daniel’s secret lake retreat Luce: I’m so glad I’m here. Daniel GRIGORI: Let’s have a swimming contest. I’ll even let you win this time. Luce: This time? We’ve never swam against each other before. Daniel GRIGORI: It’s...uh...a saying. Luce: I really feel like I know you. Daniel GRIGORI: I DON’T KNOW YOU. WE HAVE DEFINITELY NEVER MET BEFORE, ESPECIALLY NOT IN 1854. Luce: But, really, you seem so familiar. Daniel GRIGORI: STOP MAKING UP FANTASIES ABOUT ME. I DEFINITELY DO NOT KNOW YOU. AT ALL. WE HAVE NEVER MET. EVER. NEVER EVER EVER. GOODBYE. *runs away*
Later Luce: Hi, Daniel. Daniel GRIGORI: Stop stalking me! Luce: I just...I just... Daniel GRIGORI: Geez, woman. Leave me alone. I don’t know you! You don’t know me! You’re annoying! Luce: But...but...
In the records room Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood: Told you I was the plot fairy! Here’s Grigori’s file. Luce: Criminal history. Loitering on public beach after hours...vandalism of a shopping cart...jaywalking [a/n: I am not making this crap up. That is Grigori’s actual criminal record in the book] Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood: Jaywalking? Luce: That’s not lame at all. *sighs* I love bad boys.
In the library Fire: Burn, baby, burn! Luce: Aaaah! Todd: Remember me? I exist! Shadows: Grr. Argh. Todd: *dies*
Todd’s funeral Random person: Hey, Luce, want some ANGEL food cake? Luce: Umm.... Cam: It’s going to be okay, Luce. Is there anything I can do for you? You know I’m always here for you. Daniel GRIGORI: Let’s bounce. Luce: Okay! It’s been real, Cam!
Charred Library Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood: Plot fairy service! I’ve got some more research for you. By the way, Grigori treats you like crap. Luce: YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND OUR MAD LOVE! Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood: Right, so let’s research this Watchers thing. Miss Sophia (librarian/religion teacher): I can help you with this. I know all about Watchers and angels. This is not suspicious at all. By the way, the Grigori family specializes in fallen-angel folklore. Cam: Hey, sweetie. *kisses Luce* Daniel GRIGORI: *punches Cam* KEEP YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF MY WOMAN! Daniel GRIGORI and Cam: *brawl* Daniel GRIGORI: Let’s take this outside like men. Daniel GRIGORI and Cam: *brawl. In the rain. You’re welcome, fangirls.*
At school the next day Cam’s note to Luce: Hey, honey. Let’s go somewhere nice. And by nice, I mean a backwater dive bar. I’ll get my driver to pick you up. Don’t worry about the cameras. Like there are any solid security measures at the Boarding School For Ostensibly Bad Kids! Luce: ...
At the backwater dive bar Sketchy Bar Patron: Pretty girl. Me like. Me take. *Cam demolishes Sketchy Bar Patron with no effort* Luce: Stop fighting over me! It’s only hot when Daniel does it! Daniel GRIGORI: Did someone say my name? Luce, how do you constantly get yourself in trouble like a dumb little puppy? Luce: Stop talking down to me! I’m smart! I haven’t demonstrated this ever but it’s true! I know Latin and French! I won the science fair three years in a row in middle school! I do the Sunday crossword puzzle—sometimes in under an hour! I have an unerringly good sense of direction! It’s not my fault you’re a flaky, erratic, controlling freak who’s continuously hurtful to me! Daniel GRIGORI: Shut up. Luce: Okay. *Daniel GRIGORI kisses her* Daniel GRIGORI: You’re not dead! Luce: Umm...should I be? Daniel GRIGORI: Yeah, I’m not going to really clarify that comment right now.
Next day, back at school Luce: So...Cam...you’re a really great guy... Cam: You are totally breaking up with me. It’s Grigori, isn’t it? I could make you happy, Luce. Luce: Daniel makes me happy. Cam: Oh? He can’t even kiss you. Luce: He did kiss me. On the lips. Cam: O rly? Then let me kiss you too. *Cam kiss her* *Cam gets punched in the face by Gabbe (the southern one). While he’s kissing Luce, so she gets slammed to the ground, too.* Gabbe: C’mon, sugar. Let’s brawl. *Cam and Gabbe fight* Daniel GRIGORI: We’ll just let them do their thing. We have to talk. I have good news and bad news. Luce: Bad news first. Daniel GRIGORI: I’m immortal. And I fall in love with you over and over again. And every time you hit 17 we make out and you die. Luce: And the good news is...? Daniel GRIGORI: This time you didn’t die! Luce: You kissed me fully expecting that I would keel over dead right after? Daniel GRIGORI: Yes. Luce: I’m oddly okay with that. Daniel GRIGORI: I love you so much. Over and over again. In Jerusalem. In Italy during WWI. In the Tsar’s St. Petersburg. In Reformation Scotland. In Shakespeare’s London. In Versailles. In Cape Town. In Melbourne, in Nimes, in Tibet. And every time you wear black, like the true perpetual emo love of a fallen angel you are. You’re completely historically inaccurate choice of clothing is one of the many things I love about you, like your lack of personality and willingness to kiss me even when you know it will kill you. Luce: *runs away*
In the library Luce: Do you know where Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood is? I can’t find her and Daniel kissed me and— Miss Sophia: Excuse me, dear. Daniel GRIGORI kissed you? Luce: Umm...yeah. I don’t know why I told you or why you’re so interested in your students’ love lives. Miss Sophia: I am very...involved. Luce: I’m going to go find Daniel. Miss Sophia: I shall join you. That’s not suspicious. Not at all.
In the cemetery Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood: Oh my goodness. There’s some kind of weird crap going down in the cemetery. Luce: I must find Daniel! Daniel! Daniel GRIGORI: What’re you doing here? Luce: I totally figured out you’re an angel! Daniel: Yeah, about that... Luce: I love you! Cam: Oh, bravo! Good show! This ends here, Daniel! By the way, even though I've been the "nice guy" this whole book, I'm actually evil! HELL-O spiced up love triangle! Shadows: Grr. Argh. Gabbe: Hey, sugar! Arriane: HEY LUCE I AM STILL IN THIS BOOK!!!!! AND I WILL PROTECT YOU!!!!! Luce: Um...what’s going on? *Cam and shadows fight Gabbe, Arriane and Daniel* Miss Sophia: I will take Luce and Penn to safety! They will be fine with me! I am definitely not evil!
In the old church Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood: Alas, my end is here. My last service to the plot is to conveniently die for it. Goodbye! Luce: What? Miss Sophia: *kills Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood* She was only slowing us down, dear. Luce: What’s wrong with you? Miss Sophia: The fate of the world hangs on two dumb, lovesick teenagers, that’s what’s wrong with me. Thank goodness this lifetime your heathen parents failed to baptize you. No religion means no one owns your soul, so you won’t keep coming back like a bad horror movie villain. Luce: That’s...not good. Miss Sophia: When you die tonight—you die. In this lifetime you’re nothing more than you appear to be: a stupid, selfish, ignorant, spoiled little girl who thinks the world lives or dies on whether she gets to go out with some good-looking boy at school. Even if your death wouldn’t accomplish something, so long-awaited, glorious, and grand, I’d still relish this moment, killing you. [a/n: actual speech from book. It was too awesome to not include] Luce: *does nothing but think about how much she loves Daniel* Daniel GRIGORI: *saves Luce* Luce: You’re all glowy and beautiful! Daniel GRIGORI: Where’s Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood? Luce: Who? Your wings are pretty. By the way, what just happened? Is Miss Sophia with Cam? Is Cam a demon? Daniel GRIGORI: Luce, we’re all fallen angels. Except Miss Sophia. She’s part of some secret sect that hates love. And wants to destroy the world or something.
Later Daniel GRIGORI: I have to go do stuff. I love you and I’ll be back. Luce: I LOVE YOU FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER.
After years of reading the reviews that either praised it to high heaven or pointed out all its many flaws, and years after reading the Draco TrilogyAfter years of reading the reviews that either praised it to high heaven or pointed out all its many flaws, and years after reading the Draco Trilogy which was perhaps the most spectacular fanfiction ever, I have finally gotten around to reading this.
It’s good, not great. The quips come at a furious pace and the plot runs nearly as quickly. Things are constantly happening and it’s not bogged down in too much talk, even though the exposition fairy was working overtime and not as subtly as Clare probably hoped. There were even twists I didn’t see ((view spoiler)[the mentor is working for the Big Bad! (hide spoiler)]) or wouldn’t have seen without being spoiled ((view spoiler)[Jace and Clary are siblings! (hide spoiler)]).
On the other hand, I feel like no one was given depth, just clever bon mots, Valentine is the stupidest name ever for a villain and Clary was kind of a bitch of a friend to Simon for the first half of the book (up until the rat incident, she mostly acted like he was this annoying tag along that was preventing her from spending more time with Jace, which she really wanted – despite the fact that Simon appeared to be her best and only friend for over a decade and maybe she should’ve been fucking nicer and not Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls before she learned her lesson about how true friendship should trump friendship based on popularity).
Also, Clare lifted the falcon speech she used in this book (nearly) directly from the Draco trilogy. It’s a really good speech. I remember being impressed with it when I first read it and I can see why she’d want to use it in a book she publishes for real. On the other hand, maybe because it was written for another character or because I knew it was written for another character, I liked it a lot better for Draco than for Jace. I mean, Jace had known Daddy issues from Dead Daddy, but this falcon is the first we heard about Abusive Daddy, whereas Draco had a long known history with his father’s harsh attitude towards his son. It just felt too cut and pasted into this story. I guess this is the problem with fanfiction – people can catch you when you plagiarize yourself because they’ve already read the earlier stories. ...more