Friday, September 9, 2011

City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels
By: Cassandra Clare
ISBN:  9781442403543
Published April 5, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Available Format:  Hardcover, paperback, audiobook, ebook

My Rating: ★★★★☆

City of Fallen Angels is book four of The Mortal Instruments series that was originally meant to be a trilogy.  Someone has been killing Shadowhunters who previously belonged in Valentine’s Circle and leaving their bodies around the city.  This provokes hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters. Internal feuding among vampires is ripping the Downworld community apart, and only Simon, the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side, can decide the outcome.  Unfortunately for them, he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Meanwhile, Jace and Clary investigate a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them, consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.  Love, blood, betrayal and revenge:  the stakes are higher than ever.  (Synopsis modified from Wikipedia)

I really don’t know why this book has gotten so many negative (and often quite rude) reviews!  I love this series, and while this was not my favorite, I love this book as well. 

I did desperately miss Magnus and Alec, and I wanted to know more about Maia and Kyle.  Jace came across more sad and pitiful, but not necessarily in an endearing way.  I have a love/hate attitude toward the ending.  I feel like that is what the whole book was leading up to—Jace is mysteriously conflicted and then his fears are realized—and we’re left hanging, of course.  So, his annoying behavior throughout the book actually makes more sense in the end.  Clary was just so-so this time.  She’s still not the strong heroine I want her to be, but she isn’t completely weak and boring either.  She just sort of floated along through the whole narrative, which would have been perfectly okay if there had been more depth in some of our other favorites (previously mentioned). 

Other than that, I was okay with the plot and all the subplots.  I still love Simon, and I think he was a more meaningful star than Clary, which I think was intentional.  It seems like there is much less demon fighting and more relationship issues happening, so maybe that’s why many people were a bit turned off this time.  Even in the pivotal action scene near the end, it is more about Jace and Clary than what they are fighting against.  I don’t mind all the relationship stuff, so I never once found myself completely bored with the story. 

I did take a long break in the middle of reading this because I was so inundated with my other work I had to put my reading-for-pleasure aside.  It took a few minutes for me to get my bearings again when I continued the story this week, but then I was sucked right back into the Shadowhunter world. 

I’m anxious to see how this ending plays out.  Will Jace overcome this evil?  Will his and Clary’s relationship survive?  Will Clary ever toughen up and be able to stand up for herself (more like Isabelle)?  I wonder if Camille will return, and does she really know a way for Alec to become immortal.  Hopefully Cassandra will heed the fans’ advice that we get more of Alec and Magnus (By the way, you can learn more about Camille and Magnus in Clockwork Angel)!

If you are a Mortal Instruments fan, I don’t know how you can resist checking this volume out as well.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!