Monday, May 2, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Book Jacket

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 in City of Fallen Angels.


Reading City of Fallen Angels was like reuniting with an old high school friend who you never expected to see after graduation.  I was perfectly fine with the way the Mortal Instruments trilogy ended.  I didn't think I needed more of their world (and I didn't exactly love the hundreds-year-sequel, The Clockwork Angel).  But within a chapter, I was giddily happy to find Clary, Jace, Simon, and the rest just as screwed up and awesome as ever.

Actually, with the addition of switching POVs (...did this happen in the original trilogy?  I'm thinking no, but I could be totally wrong), I actually came to like Simon a lot more than I ever did before.  I liked seeing the process of him dealing with being a vampire, and the results of the Mark of Cain is all kinds of terrifying and cool.

Clary and Jace just can't catch a break.  I read the original trilogy ready to stab the pages if it turned out they were brother and sister.  Happily, such measures were not taken, but even without that (monstrously huge) obstacle, their relationship is far from happy happy joy joy.  Which is excellent, because without conflict they would be boring!  However, I felt there was one too many steamy make out scenes.  I like the swoon as much as anyone, but after awhile I wanted to pull them apart and say, "Kissing will do nothing to solve your problems!  Stop touching each other and start talking!"  Eventually they did, and I stopped wanting to punch them.

The minor characters continue to steal their scenes.  Isabelle rocks, and she's given a bit more depth.  Alec and Magnus are hilarious sidenotes throughout most of the beginning, but quickly become integral to the plot when they return to NYC. 

I haven't even touched on the plot.  It's good!  I promise.  And the ending is one of those "oh no you didn't" ones, which are absolutely delicious (but would be more so if the next book weren't so far away).

I didn't really expect anything out of this book, but I kind of loved it.  Nice job, Ms. Clare.

Four out of five seraph blades.

Release Date:  April 2011
Reading Level:  Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: YPL CLA

Don't believe me?  Check out these reviews of City of Fallen Angels:

The Crooked Shelf
Frenetic Reader

1 comment:

  1. By the way, for those reading this review and you're thinking to yourself, "WHY does this girl want our beloved Jace dead . . . ?" It's because it would make things easier. By the sounds of it, Jace is in a whole world of trouble . . . or more like, in a whole world of doom. He's doomed. Clary and him are doomed. And I think anyone else that wants to protect Jace is doomed. That is all.