Saturday, July 7, 2012

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon and Schuster)
Pages: 424
Series or Stand Alone: Book 4 in the Mortal Instruments series
Summary: 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 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 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 in City of Fallen Angels.

So close to City of Lost Souls! I’m actually really glad that I re-read these, it made me appreciate them more than I remember.
This book kicks off with the good! Jocelyn is awake and engaged to Luke! Jace and Clary can be together without it being super effing weird! Simon is adjusting to life as a Daylighter sporting the Mark of Cain with the help of not one but two superhot girlfriends! Alec and Magnus are traveling the world like the bosses they are! Of course, this lasts for like two and a half seconds. Jace is pulling away from Clary and she doesn’t know why. Simon’s mother finds out his secret and kicks him out in a flurry of fearful prayers. On top of everything else, someone is out there killing former Circle members--someone no one expected to see. The Shadowhunters aren’t able to rest easy for long.
As complex as the original three Mortal Instruments book are, the next ones take it to a new level. The relationships and feelings between the characters are becoming even more complicated since they’re maturing. One of the best things in Clare’s series is the relationship between Alec and Magnus. The portrayal of Alec’s jealousy and the issues that would occur between a mortal and immortal are well explored.
I enjoyed that Simon became more of a central character. When I first read these books, the sheer level of jealousy and possessiveness that Simon had in regards to Clary got to me. Since I re-read these and focused on the characters rather than the straight up plot, I had more sympathy for Simon, especially when I saw the way the Shadowhunters treated him. I love that by this point, he has gained the respect of the Shadowhunters and fits more into their world than he did when he was human. This book explores what it means for him to be a vampire who can walk in the sun, sporting Heaven’s Mark.
The focus given to Jace and Clary’s relationship was a little much for me when it came to this book. Jace started to annoy me because he didn’t just speak to Clary about what was going on, instead hiding out by protecting Simon. Clary started to annoy me because rather than ask Jace for the majority of the book what his deal was, she obsessed over it. She redeemed herself later by demanding an explanation, but for a good chunk of this book I was like, “Girl, there is more to life than Jace, ask what his deal is or get over it.” I understand that they’re this epic couple, but for real now.
However, BONUS: the appearance of Camille Belcourt and her references to William Herondale. INFERNAL DEVICES REFERENCES FOR THE WIN! I love seeing the connections between the two series!
While City of Fallen Angels is probably my least favorite installment of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, it is still a highly entertaining novel. It provides the set up for the new trilogy utilizing the characters that were already explored in the previous trilogy, with the addition of a few new ones (Kyle, Camille Belcourt) and a new villain that is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

Rating: 3.5/4 - good.

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