City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Published by: Simon & Schuster on April 5th, 2011
Series: The Mortal Instruments Book 4
The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend. But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
SPOILER-FREE REVIEW AHEAD (with spoilers from first 3 books)
Hi, everyone! First of all, I’d like to apologize for not posting in so long, but that is because I’ve been in a massive reading slump. I think that I’m finally beginning to get out of it, though, since this is the first book I managed to read in three weeks. And damn, was it a good one.
My relationship with Cassandra Clare books isn’t the same as a lot of other people in the reading community. I feel like with Cassandra Clare, you either love her or you hate her. For me, it isn’t really either, although I am definitely a lot closer to loving her than I am hating her. I enjoyed the first 3 books of the Mortal Instrument series, but I never really had a fierce urge to pick up the next book. I loved the Infernal Devices. A few days ago, I decided it was time for me to pick up City of Fallen Angels, the fourth book in the series. I’ve heard mixed reviews with this one; some people rank it as their least favorite, while others love it the most. I have to say, though, this is probably my favorite one I’ve read so far. I didn’t like City of Glass that much, because I thought the pacing was slow and I didn’t like the Jace and Clary relationship, but City of Fallen Angels had fantastic pacing. I was never bored.
The Jace and Clary relationship was, unfortunately, still a major part of this book, and I actually found it to be even more disappointing than what was presented in City of Glass. It’s just too cheesy for me. All they’re ever doing is thinking about each other, even when there are far more important things going on, but then when they are together, Jace is always running away. And what’s his answer when she asks him why he’s running away? “Because I love you.” I naively assumed that Clary would have some sense and tell him that’s not a freaking answer, but of course, because she’s so head over heels for him, she falls for it and just goes back to kissing him. Even in the summary of the book, when Clary’s talking about all the great things that have come after the War, peace between Shadowhunters and Downworlders being one of them, she still says the most important is that she can finally be with Jace. Like, please. You’re sixteen. Clary and Jace’s relationship–and Jace’s character in general (his arrogance was funny at first, but now it’s just annoying)–was the only thing that kept me from giving this book five stars, and I feel like that might continue with the final two books in the series. If Cassandra Clare stops trying to sell this epic love story to us, which, frankly, is more stupid than epic, it would just work so much more for me.
That being said, the other characters are a whole lot more interesting than Clary and Jace. Simon is definitely my favorite, and I was so happy to be reading from his POV so frequently in this book. Back when he was into Clary, Simon used to bother me, but now I love him. While Clary and Jace have their “problems” about being too in love with each other, Simon has real problems. He’s a vampire, he has to deal with his immortality and how everyone he loves will eventually leave him, and his mother has kicked him out. He’s also dating two girls at once, which usually would make me hate him, but since it’s Simon, I couldn’t be too angry with him. Simon’s character arc is so interesting to follow, and I was so happy to see that Cassandra Clare made him a main priority in this book. I really hope that continues with the final two books.
Alec and Magnus didn’t play as big of a role in this book; in fact, up until the very end, they were out of the picture since they were on vacation. I liked Alec and Magnus before, but honestly, Alec was bothering me a little in this book because he was constantly whining about Magnus’ past relationships. Like, he’s hundreds of years old. Do you seriously think that he’s been celibate until he met you? I do really like Isabelle, though. She’s such a badass, but we also get to learn about why she’s more closed off and less open to love than her brothers are. Also, I really ship her with Simon. Definitely my main ship of the series, much more than the trainwreck that’s Clary and Jace.
Even though the plot wasn’t as major in this book as it was in the other ones, I thought Cassandra Clare did a much better job with the pacing, and I was never bored. At first, I found the “Shadowhunters being murdered” plot point to be pretty much recycled from the plot of book 2, but then it got a lot more intense. And this is a spoiler free review, but the cliffhanger at the end was honestly so amazing, and it made me so excited to pick up the next book, which I’ve actually already started reading. I think the main reason why I didn’t really have any motivation to pick up this book at first was because City of Glass ended so definitively. There really wasn’t any cliffhanger or anything pushing me to read the next one, but City of Fallen Angels has both, so I am definitely ready to read book 5.
That’s all for today’s review! Have you read City of Fallen Angels? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to like this post if you enjoyed it. I’ll see you next time!