Review: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)– Cassandra Clare

Release Date: April 5th 2011
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Book
Pages: 424
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Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: 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.

Review: This review contains spoilers for the previous books in ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series.

I love the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders… but I felt this book was “meh” for the most part. To me, it felt like it suffered middle-book syndrome. And while technically this is book 4 out of 6, so it could be classified somewhat as a middle book, I do not. City of Fallen Angles book is the beginning of a new storyline - the previous storyline was closed off, but it was left open enough for a new storyline - enter City of Fallen Angels. Cassandra Clare had finished the series with City of Glass before deciding to write this one, and she even described books #4-6 as a second trilogy… so why shouldn’t I classify it the same way? But, even if it was a middle book, is that really a good enough excuse for middle book syndrome?

City of Angels starts with Clary, Jace and gang being back at the Institute after the events of City of Glass. Clary is now actively training to become a Shadowhunter, her and Jace are finally together and happy and everything has settled from the aftermath of Valentine - but that won’t last long. As Shadowhunters start going missing and tensions start rising, Jace starts pulling away from Clary, Simon is dealing with his own issues, and Clary and her mother find out that something straight from their own nightmares is actually happening - but how, and why?

City of Fallen Angels focuses more on Simon than previous books. There is a bit going on with him - including him learning to deal with the fact that he is now a Downworlder, trying to find a balance between his old life and his new one, and possibly learning that sometimes moving forward means having to let go of the past. At the same time, he is also learning to be a man. Previous books show possible love interests in both Maia and Isabelle - and let’s just say that in the beginning, Simon was being a bit of an ass, but these strong ladies will get him sorted, I am sure: :) Oh, and the Mark of Cain is also something that he is learning to deal with - the one thing that will protect him, but it is also the thing that makes him a target (besides being a daylighter).

Throughout this story, Jace is becoming withdrawn. Well actually, he is becoming mopey. We have to suffer through this for a while (and Clary’s reaction to it) before something happens that forces Jace to face up to what is happening - and this, is where things start to get a little more interesting.

Although missing from the half the book, I am totally loving this Alec and Magnus thing! They are adorable, and even Alec seems to becoming more relaxed in general. I am a big Magnus fan - I always will be, I find him hilarious, compassionate, passionate, sarcastic, and honest, but it seems that he is fighting his own demons (no pun intended). I wasn’t too sure on the whole Alec and Magnus thing to begin with, but I am totally there now.

I also liked seeing “old” characters returning - for both good and evil. Camille makes an appearance and she always puts an interesting twist on things. But I have to say my absolute favourite is Brother Zachariah! But lets not forget about new characters - we get one massive new character enter the mix. Although hidden behind the scenes for some time, this new character is not hiding anything - they are who they are and they want what they want - and they have orchestrated an elaborate plan to get exactly just that. And this is where things get interesting! But sadly, this happens right near the end of the book.

I treated this book as the beginning of series (which may have been a downfall and raised my expectations)… so I felt that it should have full of action, mystery, intense moments, character and world building and a strong storyline… and for the most part, I was let down. I love this world, so all of it was “okay” but it didn’t blow my socks off. The action and plot really happened at the end - all in one big moment; it was exciting, but it also made me feel that a majority of the story leading up to this point was not required. And to be honest, if it wasn’t for the last part, this book wouldn’t have made 3 stars for me - actually, even now I keep wavering between 2.5 and 3 stars for this one.

But, on the upside - those who have shipped Jace and Clary right from the very beginning were rewarded with some rather hot scenes :)



“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”

“That new lead singer they have is hot. Is he single? I’d like to ride him around town like a bad, bad pony”

“But I watch my brothers give their hearts away and I think, Don’t you know better? Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before”

‘”This is from a guy who has all the sex appeal of a penguin”

“Love is a contradiction”

“I think I’m better than everyone else. An opinion that has been backed up with ample evidence.”

“Oh, good. You’re starting to talk about yourself in the third person. That’s not a sign of impending megalomania or anything.”

“Here’s a hot tip: Most girls don’t like being stalked.”

What do you think?

  • Is it weird that this review makes me want to read the book more? I stopped after City of Glass, because I was afraid of how the rest would turn out. I think I’ll go in with some more realistic expectations now :) Thanks!

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