Monday, 18 April 2011
Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Format: Trade paperback
Released: April 7th, 2011
Grade rating: A-
Contains spoilers for City of Bones/Ashes/Glass!
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 – most importantly of all – she 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. And 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.
Like thousands of other readers, I have been anticipating City of Fallen Angels for months, ever since I first heard that it was being written. I was excited, and also skeptical. Not because I thought Cassie wouldn't write a good book (is that even possible?!), but because I loved City of Glass and its resolution so much. It's 2 years since I read it, and I spent a large chunk of that time thinking it was the last Mortal Instruments book, and that that was how everything would end. Full stop. So yes, I was nervous when City of Fallen Angels showed up at my house, and I didn't start it straight away - I waited almost 2 weeks. I really don't know why, because it was fantastic. I needn't have worried at all!
There's no easy way to talk about this book at length without spoiling things, so I'm going to try and keep this fairly short. You all know the drill: the Shadowhunters are back, Clary and Jace are still in the midst of a drama-filled relationship, and there is more evil afoot. What that evil is will remain a mystery in this review because there's no way I'm divulging such important and, frankly, gobsmackingly shocking information. There's a lot going on in this book, but it's all relevant and, as always, well-written thanks to Cassie's lovely writing and fondness of similes. How she comes up with some of them, I'll never know, but they don't half paint a good picture!
Like Stephenie Meyer once said, The Mortal Instruments is a story world I love to live in. Honestly, I could stay there for weeks and not get bored. It includes everything I love: vampires, demons, romance, hot blonde boys, drama and an intricate, well thought-out world. In this instance, I did wish for more Alec and Magnus (LOVE them!), as they didn't appear until around halfway through. I came away with a newfound appreciation for Simon, though, as well as a reminder that Isabelle is one tough lady. However, I did spend quite a lot of the book kind of sat there with a puzzled expression on my face, and this was in relation to the epic couple that is Jace and Clary. You'll know what I mean if you've read it and, well, if you haven't, let's just say that some peculiar plot twists present themselves.
I ended up really loving City of Fallen Angels, though I'm quite happy to admit that if City of Glass had turned out to be the final end to this story, I wouldn't have minded. For me it wasn't a continuation that was absolutely necessary, but it's one that I'm now glad has happened. So, while this book wasn't quite as good as its predecessor, it's a must-read for fans of the series or just fans of the paranormal genre (If you haven't read City of Bones yet, go and get it. Now!). I can't wait for City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire, and I'm already busy speculating as to what will happen next. I think that's a sign of an epic series, which is exactly what this is. I've been reading it for almost 4 years now (since it was first published with different UK covers), and it's well up there with my favourite books ever. Also, my wait for City of Fallen Angels has taught me to never doubt Cassie Clare. She will never disappoint!