Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
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Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (April 5, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Hardcover): 424
Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book 4)
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9781442403543
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The Mortal War is over, and 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 important of all - Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, 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. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she 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.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever...

This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series.

I am an avid fan of The Mortal Instruments; in the series, Clare develops a shadow set world where all matter of supernatural creatures exist in a haggard attempt at peace. In this installment, that thin layer of peace between the Downworlders and Shadowhunters is tried and tested as the world of the vampires is thrown into a civil battle and someone is after the blood of Shadowhunters.

Overall, I thought that this book picked up intensely from the events in the City of Glass that were left obscure and unsettled. As we begin to watch the plot unfold, it is a deep and interesting point and climax to the book and the unsettling mystery that has drifted through the story. However, and to refrain from spoilers, I will simply say the ending the plot was a little too simple. How were two teenage Shadowhunters and a Vampire really able to pull that off? I think it was powerful and illustrated the significance of inner power, but it was just a little on the impossible side.

I cannot deny that I enjoyed this book but compared to the others in the series, it was not the thrill ride I was prepared for. In the first three books, every time you thought you were settled into the story, another twist and another turn were thrown at you, keeping you at the very edge of excitement and page-turning. But that wasn't the case for this book, the plot was linear until the end, vamping up the setup for the next book, City of Lost Souls.

I also felt that there was too much of a focus on the relationship between Jace and Clary. I admit that it is a hot blossoming romance but there are so many other couples and so many more story plots that could have been introduced if we weren't always thrown back to the (hot) almost-sex scenes of these two. Jordan's introduction was strong and well planned and made for a great addition to the TMI cast; he helped to expand on Mia and all the intricacies of the support characters including Simon, a focused character in this book. But then we go back to Jace to realize that he hasn't changed throughout the series, he hasn't grown as all the characters have. He still finds withdrawal his safest place and still refuses to fully accept Clary they way she deserves and craves.

Rating out of 5:

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