City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #4)
Rating: 4 stars
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.
The stakes are higher than ever in the #1 New York Times bestselling fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series.
I initially hadn’t liked this book as much as I liked the rest. It started out full of possibilities, with Valentine being killed and the Accords being signed between Shadowhunters and Downworlders, it seemed like a new basis for everything to start gain, afresh and away from any malevolence (namely Valentine) that had haunted the past three novels.
Along the way I felt that this novel was going to be mainly about courtships that were going to span the entire book, without really going anywhere. Also, I started to grow tired of Jace and Clary’s relationship. I shipped them so, so hard in the first three novels.While the idea of “forbidden love”, and the possibility of finally getting back together got me rooting for them all this time, I started to get bored of the whole “undying love” that seemed like it was never going to materialise into anything. The whole time, it seemed as if their relationship alternated between passionate make-out sessions (which I’ll admit, can be exciting at times), and long periods of cold war; and that was all there was to it. Even towards the end, I felt so devastated that Jace’s situation was only going to get worse, and that he and Clary still couldn’t get the happy ending they so deserved. At this point, I must really say, I miss the strong, unfazed, and determined Jace.
It did get better though, as the novel progressed. It started to get more exciting with the appearance of Lilith, and Simon seemed to become a stronger character as well. Clary seemed to be a much more independent character, thanks to her new training at the institute. I also liked that the novel was at some points narrated from Izzy’s perspective. Being the one character I’ve respected and admired throughout the novel, it was interesting seeing how she, too, had her fair share of secrets and undesirable pasts.
In all honesty, I think that City of Fallen Anges is a fairly well-written book still. Clare’s ability for gut-twisting, heart-wrenching plot twists never fail to impress (the ending of this novel, nooooooo!!!!!!!). Perhaps it was because the previous books in this series were so action-packed and brilliantly written, readers seeking for a thrill would be disappointed in finding that this novel had only one main battle (against Lilith), as compared to the many fights and victories present in the previous books.
Additionally, I felt that it was still interesting to see a Mortal Instruments novel being narrated with less action, and more focus on the more everyday aspects of the characters’ lives, such as their relationships with their family, friends, or loved ones. Certain issues, such as Simon’s difficulty “coming out” to his mother, as well as Maryse and Robert Lightwood’s failing marriage, weren’t touched on previously and offered a fresh take on the Shadowhunters’ and Downworlders’. I felt that this novel, in a way, sheds light on the more “human” aspects of these–slightly supernatural but still mortal–characters, paying more attention to their emotional demands rather than physical abilities. I’m still a die-hard Shadowhunters/The Mortal Instruments fan though, and I’m looking forward to see what the next novel will bring!
– “If we’re going to the Silent City, you might want to get dressed. I mean, I appreciate the bra-and-panties look, but I don’t know if the Silent Brothers will. There are only a few of the left, and I don’t want them to die of excitement.”
– “You and your name-dropping. ‘I knew Michael’. ‘I knew Sammael’. ‘The angel Gabriel did my hair’. It’s like I’m with the Band with biblical figures.”
– “You’re the first Shadowhunter I’ve ever met.”
“That’s too bad,” said Jace, “since all the others you meet from now on will be a terrible letdown.”
-“No. That’s Clary; shes’s my best friend.” Simon pocketed his phone. “And she has a boyfriend. Like, really, really, really has a boyfriend. The nuclear bomb of boyfriends. Trust me on this one.”
-“We can buy you one of those books they have for little kids ‘Timmy Has Two Dads’. Except I don’t think they have one called ‘Timmy Has Two Dads and One of Them Was Evil’. That part you’re just going to have to work through on your own.”
– “If love were food, I would have starved on the bones you gave me”