3-3.5 starsI'm not sure that I can be thoughtful enough to mark spoilers while I think my way through this review, so I've marked the entire thing as a spoiler.DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW UNLESS YOU'RE READ THE ENTIRE BOOK - BE WARNED!=====================This book doesn't have the same HEAVINESS to it that the prior one [b:City Of Fallen Angels|6752378|City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)|Cassandra Clare|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1292350615s/6752378.jpg|6948844] did. So it was more read-able... more enjoyable. But it still seems to lack the HEART AND SOUL that The Infernal Devices has. I don't understand if it's Ms. Clare's perception of the "modern" world versus the "old-fashioned" world or what. But there's a lack of morality beyond situational morality in The Mortal Instruments.At the end of the book, Jace & Clary are musing through what happened. Clary is thinking about SebastianShe had seen Sebastian looking at Jace, even at herself, and knew there was some part of him as echoingly lonely as the blackest void of space. Loneliness drove him as much as a desire for power--loneliness a a need to be loved without any corresponding understanding that love was something you earned.That very quote sums up, to me, the contradiction that is Clary. She's definitely a product of her age and time. She's a teenager with limited life and emotional experience. Clary's only been in love once - with Jace. This quote shows me that as clearly as she can see others (in this case, Sebastian), she's clueless about real emotion. Do you earn love? Whether it be a parent, a child, a sibling, a lover, or a friend... do you EARN love? You earn respect. You earn trust. But you don't earn love. You might prove your love to others, but you don't earn it.In this book, I think I start to see the philosophical differences in Ms. Clare's POV and in my POV that are driving the wedge in my mind that makes me not like The Mortal Instruments books as much as The Infernal Devices books. Love isn't earned. If it's not freely given, it's not love - it's coercion or co-dependence. Life and love are not black-and-white. People are shades of gray, even if they fall more within the "black" or "white" side. Motivations aren't ever pure; they're messy and a combination of both selfish and selfless.In The Infernal Devices, the characters willingly sacrifice themselves for those they love. Tessa does. Will does. Jem does. Even Charlotte and Henry do - for each other and for the underage Shadowhunters in their care. There might be some rash actions, but I'd argue that Jem and Will are well-trained and proven Shadowhunters. They might not always get it right, emotionally, but they don't selfishly rush in and try to save the day when they don't know what they're doing. Even when Tessa pleaded for Nate, it was because he was her brother and she loved him; she couldn't accept his manipulations, until she realized that Nate didn't have it IN him to truly love anyone but himself.And the villains in The Infernal Devices seem less black and white, too. Oh, they definitively fall to one side or the other, and yet we're exploring some shades of gray with them. Except perhaps for Nate, who's a sociopath/psychopath; they only know how to manipulate and persuade others to do what they want. And while I see Ms. Clare trying to somehow compare Nate and Sebastian, Sebastian was MADE the way that he is. Even Valentine saw that Sebastian was empty. Or is he? Did Ms. Clare try to bridge that gap of sociopath by "joining" Sebastian with Jace, so that when Sebastian experienced Jace's emotions and thoughts in this book, he wanted more?Ms. Clare is keeping that YA-sensibility going... Love is always right. Our young hero and heroine must always save the day. Blah blah blah. The whole idea that Magnus spouts when he says"There are some people--people the universe seems to have singled out for special destinies. Special favors and special torments. God knows we're all drawn toward what's beautifula nd broken; I have bbeen, but some people cannot be fixed. Of it they can be, it's only by love and sacrifice so great that it destroys the giver."I don't think that Ms. Clare means the same meaning that I see in that statement. To her, it's justification for why Jace, Clary, and even Simon are singled out. But it's said by MAGNUS, a 700-year old warlock, who's lived and loved and been broken many times. You can picture him seeing Camille as he says it. Or even Will, Tessa, and Jem. I don't think he says it to justify why Jace & Clary have to be rash and reckless. But, ultimately, I think that it points to what will happen. Because Clary and Jace have yet to be fully selfless when it comes to their love for one another. And for this to end, they'll have to be. (And don't try to tell me that Clary was being selfless when she asked Raziel to bring Jace back to life.)Clary is the very definition of the phrase, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread". She's a teenager, yes. As Jace says,"There are ways in which we're so alike. We're reckless. We don't think before we act. We'll do anything for the people we love."Partly, I think it's because Clary didn't grow up as a Shadowhunter. Her mother tried to protect her - to keep her safe and insulated from that world. And so, Clary doesn't stop to think about the consequences of what SHE sees as the *right* action. She doesn't see danger or death as a true threat to her will, despite what she's experienced. Clary does what she does, because in her own mind, she's protecting the ones she loves: Rushing into Hotel Dumort to "save" the rat, Simon. Creating new ruins, like the one she used to sink Valentine's ship. Creating her own portals, at whim. Giving Simon the Mark of Cain. Asking Raziel for Jace's life without asking or thinking about the possible consequences; then keeping it all secret and hidden. Stealing the Fae Rings and using them to find Sebastian and Jace - convinced that she can stay apart from the evil and "save" Jace. Preventing Jace from going to the Clave, as he desired.Is that human? Yes. Is it relatable. Yes. But for a heroine, it's necessary to LEARN life lessons from your actions. To take responsibilty and not in just the guilt way that Clary does. But owning up to bad judgement. To not asking for help or guidance, but simply knowing better than others. To not completing training, so that she can gain the knowledge she needs. To not thinking through the ruins thing, as Luke warned her; because he told her that she has no idea what makes a ruin good or bad, evil or good. Her expePerhaps Clary *did* learn something at the end of this book:"I never meant to hurt you. And I don't just meant at the Burren. I mean from the moment you--the real you--told me what you wanted. I should have listened, but all I thought about was saving you, getting you away. I didn't listen to you when you said you wanted to turn yourself over to the Clave, and because of it, we both almost wound up like Sebastian....but I risked your life because I thought it was what you would have asked for, and after I'd betrayed you once, I thought I owed it to you...."Jace definitely learned:"...But the thing is, sometimes you do (need protecting). And sometimes I do. We're meant to protect each other, but not from everything. Not from the truth. That's what it means to love someone but let them be themselves.""In some ways, we've been through something no one else can every understand by the two of us," he said. "And it made me realize. We are always and absolutely better together."PREDICTIONS1. (Not really much of a limb) Jace and this "fire of heaven" - Clary inadvertently gave Jace the only thing that can truly destroy Sebastian once-and-for all. It has to be why Raziel allowed Simon to take Glorious - he knew that it was necessary to destroy Sebastian. It's just that we'll go about it in a more tortured, round-about way, and not really get there until book 6. (Unless Ms. Clare is going to milk her series and her readers for everything they're worth and ignore the fact that GOOD stories have endings. Even Harry Potter had a clear ending, for goodness' sake! But with the advent of The Dark Artifices, her next 3 book arc sequel, I'm hoping that book 6 [bc:City Of Heavenly Fire|8755785|City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)|Cassandra Clare|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1281011425s/8755785.jpg|13629068] is the end. The battle that ends Sebastian and this part of the story.)Whether Jace is allowed to kill Sebastian by himself, or if we're now in the TOGETHER mode, so that Clary is also involved (again), remains to be seen. She'll be involved. But will she be needed to wield Jace as the weapon? 2. Brother Zechariah is someone we already know from The Infernal Devices. The Silent Brothers are supposed to be OLD, so why not?