Mandy Reviews: Cassandra Clare—"City of Fallen Angels"
It’s no secret I’m an uber-fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. In my humble opinion, it’s one of the most well-written YA series doing the rounds at the moment. So, it’s no surprise I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on the latest instalment – City of Fallen Angels.
Cassie Clare had forewarned her faithful followers that this new book would be mainly from Simon’s point of view, where in the past, it’s been Clary, Clary, Clary. The book does, indeed kick off from the world according to Simon, but we still get to hang out in Clary’s head a fair bit, as well as the kick-arse Shadowhunter Isabelle. I was more than pleased about this – Izzy is by far one of my favourite characters, and in the past has come off a little too aloof. This time round, we get a much better idea of where she’s coming from.
City of Fallen Angels begins a new story arc in the life of Clary and the Shadowhunters, after number three (City of Glass) was tied up. This works against the plot in some ways, but unfortunately, there’s no real way around it for Clare. What she has managed to do, however, is set us up (BIG TIME) for books five and six, which will finish off the series. This book is all about the ending; a heart-thudding, sweaty-handed cliff-hanger that left me gobsmacked and begging for more.
Highlights were: The banter back and forth between Jace and Simon. Freaking hilarious in what were actually dire situations. Magnus Bane, the warlock. I’m happy to say that Magnus also appears in Clare’s prequel series, The Infernal Devices. Magnus is getting more and more intriguing with each instalment, his relationship and its possible consequences with Alec a winning storyline. Experimental half-breed demon babies. So gross, it’s brilliant. And while we’re talking grossness (a favourite topic of mine), you can’t go past very dead evil guys in glass coffins. Floating. In goop. The dead Shadowhunter who Clary still manages to get information from? More awesome in the form of extreme grossness. Simon’s new powers. Sorry, but I can’t go into detail on that one without spoilers, except to say that as a by-product, he’s suddenly loads more alluring to the ladies, and goes from the geek to the band stud with two girlfriends. Passionate scenes where Clary and Jace finally get it on. Sort of. And finally, the Ending. Yes, I said it earlier, I know -but whoooah!
Lowlights were: Well, I wouldn’t actually call them lowlights, just things I would have liked to have seen. I would love to see Clary display a bit more of her arse-kicking, Shadowhunter heritage. Sure, she hasn’t been in training all that long, but it would be awesome to see the chick slice and dice some demon flesh and save the guy for a change. Grief for a dead family member. Yeah, not going to go into who bit the dust at the end of City of Glass, but it was a shocker. City of Fallen Angels takes place just two months after those events, and although it’s mentioned numerous times, I felt it was a lost opportunity for some good old grief-stricken lunacy. Maybe we’ll see that in the next book. Finally, I have to admit I didn’t love the way Clary and Jace’s relationship has turned all angsty-like. You know, the whole ‘I’m bad. I’m dangerous. You shouldn’t be with me. I love you too much to be with you because I’ll hurt you’ kind of thing. Admittedly, when you make your characters happy and in love, it kills the fun. Characters in pain are way more interesting. And Cassandra Clare is a master of causing her characters pain. But then again, no one wants to read a six book series where they live happily ever after at book four.
Lastly, a reminder. The Mortal Instruments is one of those series that should be read in order. If you haven’t discovered this rich, beautifully sculpted world yet… what are you waiting for?
Cassandra Clare — City of Fallen Angels
Published 5th April, 2011, by Walker Books Ltd
Paperback, 448 pages