Sunday, April 17, 2011

City of Fallen Angels

Rating: 5 out of 5 Half-Dead Demon Half-Brothers

City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels. (courtesy of

Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite young adult fiction writers out there. I would say she is in my top four along with Jennifer Donnelly, Markus Zusak, and Lauren Oliver. Her Mortal Instruments saga continues in this fourth book and it took me awhile to get used to the idea that the story was continuing. Book three had wrapped up so beautifully that I wondered where she was going to take the story to bring in more conflict.

During the first, say, half of the book I wanted to smack Jace. That was a new feeling for me. He was always one of my favorites during the other three books. This installment finds a tortured and conflicted Jace (again) but in different ways. For the longest time, Clare keeps it under wraps as to what is really bothering him and why he is acting so dumb. He finally has Clary, the girl he loves, and he starts avoiding her for no stupid reason. And then when he does see her he paws at her and tries to take off all her clothes. The sexual tension is unbelievable in a good way but even Clary comments on it. She says You can't just kiss me in place of talking. Good call, Clary. I don't know. The Jace and Clary story is wonderful, but, during the beginning through the middle I couldn't help thinking that Cassandra Clare was just stretching for more drama with them.

That was not entirely true. I had changed my opinion by the end of the book which is why the book gets such a high rating from me. The denouement of this novel is fantastic. Everything comes out smoothly and surprisingly. There are enough little twists to keep the reader guessing which is always a plus.

The Simon/Maia/Isabelle love triangle is interesting, but I'm glad the introduction of Jordan kindof breaks that up. I'm hoping that develops more and in the way I want it to. Cassandra Clare, I am sending you mental vibes of how you need to end that plot to make me happy. Simon is also one of my favorite characters, but he kindof gets whiny in this book.

I can see why we had to read the prequel Clockwork Angel before we read this book. There are characters in the book and characters mentioned that would have no real meaning if I had not read Clockwork Angel. So, if you haven't read Clockwork Angel, read it before you read this one. I was a little more than annoyed when I had to read the prequel last year instead of reading this one, but I'm glad Clare had some forethought that way.

Just a couple more comments.

Cassandra Clare's writing, in the first three books, was superb. I remember reading City of Bones and just feeling like the words sparkled and leaped with magic and life and vigor. This one, and even Clockwork Angel, not so much. The quality isn't what it used to be. More mental vibes headed your way, Ms. Clare. Bring back the magical feeling in your writing! Maybe it is still there and I've just gotten used to it. I don't really know.

I love the tie-in with the Bible and Dante's Inferno. There are continual references to both in these books and I think Clare has done an amazing job of creating her own mythology/world with those two books. It goes to show what a good writer can do. I have given this book 5 out of 5 Half-Dead Demon Half-Brothers.

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