Thursday, February 20, 2014

City Of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: McElderry Books
Published: April 5, 2011
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Source: Amazon

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.

'City of Fallen Angels', forth book in the Mortal Instruments series, disappointed. Continuing the series after the great 'City of Glass', this book was expected to accept the baton and run its portion of the race, eventually handing satisfied fans over to its sequel. Unfortunately City of Fallen Angels tired about halfway through and was forced to drag itself across the finish line. The renewed plot, after the previously-thought finale in City of Glass, was slow to arrive, the quality of the writing just wasn't the same, and previously-redeemed characters, yes Jace that's you I'm talking about, seemed to spiral out of control. This book was a good read, but could have done with some series tweaking.

I'll be quick to address what exactly I didn't like in this book. While it was nice and entertaining to return to the lives of our mostly awesome group of characters, and it was cool to continue down each of their different paths, I thought it could have been done much better.

Personally, the plot didn't start until three-quarters of the way into the book, in and around 250-300 pages. That's a lot to get through. I felt like the beginning was just spent catching up and became really repetitive really quickly. I did actually really enjoy parts of the first half, even found myself laughing at times, but turns out I sighed with frustration more times than laughed.
Then I thought the author, Cassandra Clare, tried to include bits and pieces of the actual story in a way that would build up the suspense. For me, that didn't work too well. By the time all the serious stuff started happening, I was so detached, that I found it really difficult to enjoy the book.

Speaking of being detached, what was that whole 'can't happen' romance between Jace and Clary. We all know, at this point, that Jace and Clary aren't in fact siblings, so what's keeping them apart right? I really believe Clare just enjoyed keeping them apart for the sake of, finding any sort of excuse to do so and rolling with it. Which I hated, because it made me really dislike Jace. Like, even more! I'd been rooting for the couple for three books before starting this one, and now, after reading I hate to admit that I'm not too bothered with whether they stay together or not.
I understand Jace being afraid to hurt her while under the influence of a certain evil someone, what I didn't get was the whole self-pitying, self-punishing, self-loathing thing. Whenever Jace spoke about how he loved her and explained how he didn't think he deserved her, all I heard was "I love you, so I can't be with you." It makes no sense whatsoever, I know, but that's how I thought it came across.

I think it's safe to say that I didn't like Jace's character. Luckily, I liked every other character to the extent that my disliking Jace didn't completely override my thoughts on the book. I also really enjoyed exploring the relationships between the different characters, other than the Jary/Clace one that is. Maia and Kyle, Jocelyn and Luke, Alec and Magnus, and my personal favourite, Simon and Isabelle. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked those two, their individual character developments, and their relationship.

Well, that brings us to the ending. While I absolutely loved learning about Lilith and her plans, I thought that Clare's writing didn't do it justice. For some really strange reason the ending seemed really rushed and ill-prepared, and I couldn't help but wish she'd taken her time while writing it, because it was such a crucial moment in the book!

Unfortunately I was let down by this the fourth book in the series, and hope the next is an improvement!

I know there are a lot of mixed opinions about this book. What did you guys think of it?
Thanks for reading!

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