Book Review #23: City of Fallen Angels, The Moral Instruments Book #4
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Days to Read: 1 week
Synopsis (as taken from Chapters): 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.
My Thoughts: It’s been a long, long time since I last read a Mortal Instruments book (I read the third book as soon as it came out two years ago). Normally when such a long period of time occurs between reads, I read the entire series before picking the new book up. That wasn’t the case here, however. I remembered every little detail because the series is so good, so I didn’t have to do any re-reading.
As with the other books, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love stories with various voices and points of views, and Cassandra Clare spins each side with ease. She makes it painless jumping from person to person without losing the story.
However, I must say I was at first a little hesitant when I heard Cassandra Clare was writing a fourth book. The Mortal Instruments was originally intended to be a trilogy, and had ended on such a nice note that I really didn’t want—or expect—anything else from the characters. I knew Clare is a genius storyteller and would find some way to make this story continue, but I just didn’t see the point.
That is, until I read it.
This fourth book just reinstated my love for Simon and my indifference for Jace. Yes, I know Jace is sexy and loves Clary with every fibre of his being. But. There’s something to be said for the friends, the sidekicks, the cute vampires that don’t quite know what to do with themselves. And as a lover of Simon, I was most pleased with all his narrations in this book. He really took centre stage in City of Fallen Angels. Some of the other characters also had the chance to share their side of the story. It was refreshing to hear voices other than just Clary’s (like the first three books). It balanced the book out and made me care for each individual character more.
While some characters shined more than others, all of them still had a lasting affect. New characters were introduced to the reader, too. I particularly liked the fact that Clare touched on a topic that I had become worried about in the other book: Alec and Magnus’ relationship. As an everlasting warlock, I knew Magnus’ time with Alec would be limited, and I was worried about how that knowledge would affect them. So I’m glad to see reality found its way to them in this book, made them see their relationship for what it is, and opened their eyes. I know that part of the series isn’t over, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Alec found a way to live forever by the end of it all. Then again…bittersweet mortality could also be a painful, but perfectly honest way to go with regards to their future.
All in all, I found the plot of this book a little blander than the others, which disappointed me. I still enjoyed reading it and still flew through the pages, but I just couldn’t help but feel something was missing. I won’t go into too much detail about the plot, but to all those who have read the book, do you agree with me?
On the whole, I’m glad Clare wrote another book, and I can’t wait to buy the fifth book in the series. Hopefully that’ll be just a bit better than this one! Keep on writing, Clare, keep on writing.
My Rating: 7.9/10 (Yes, I really can be that precise)
“But I watch my brothers give their hearts away and I think, Don’t you know better? Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.”
“Or maybe it’s just that beautiful things are so easily broken by the world.”
“No. That’s Clary; she’s my best friend,” Simon pocketed his phone. “And she has a boyfriend. Like, really, really, really has a boyfriend. The nuclear bomb of boyfriends. Trust me on this one.”
“Still I pictured having you for fifty, sixty more years. I thought I might be ready then to let you go. But it’s you, and I realize now that I won’t be anymore ready to lose you then than I am right now. Which is not at all.”
“You’d think the Angel would have been foresighted enough to give us a birth-control rune, but no dice.”
“All that running and getting nowhere, he thought. Story of my life.”
“If we are going to the Silent City, you might want to get dressed. I mean, I appreciate the bra-and-panties look, but I don’t know if the Silent Brothers will. There are only a few of them left, and I don’t want them to die of excitement.”