Book Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
City of Fallen Angels (CoFA) is the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. It was published on 7th April by Walker Books and it is 432 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
Set two months after the events of City of Glass, Clary and Jace have begun to attempt to live their lives again. Finally taking her rightful place in the world of Shadowhunters, Clary begins training with Jace but it isn’t exactly going to plan. The young couple can barely keep their hands off of each other long enough to do any training at all.
At the same time, someone is committing murders all over New York City and the motive could be devastating for everyone. Valentine isn’t the only one who is able to come up with the deadliest plans and someone else, someone new, is out to cause a lot of chaos. If everything goes to plan, Clary and Jace’s relationship could be the strongest it ever has been or completely destroyed.
What I thought
The Mortal Instruments is one of my all time favourite YA series and I couldn’t wait for the fourth instalment. Unfortunately, I am going to go against the general view on this book here and say I didn’t love it. I liked it, it was ok, but not nearly as good as the first three books in the series. If you haven’t read all three previous books in this series so far, be prepared for some spoilers.
What I did love about this book though was the characterisation. Although Clary and Jace are the true main characters, I feel as though many others could easily be in the same position. That cannot be said for the other books in the series though and it seems like Cassandra Clare tried to shake things up a little bit this time around.
Clary is quite absent for the majority of the book and only really made an impact towards the end. During the time early on that she was around though, I did feel extremely sorry for her due to everything she had going on. Her life isn’t easy and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better for her, apart from the fact she finally has the boy she loves and has been fighting for all of this time. I don’t really have complaints about Clary but mainly because she wasn’t around enough for me to have any real thoughts about her. Previously, Clary has been a very strong female character but I see this fading slowly over time now. Yes, she can still kick ass but in the way she acts/ reacts is getting weaker all of the time. I really wanted Clary to stand up for herself more and to be a bit more pushy when it came to Jace.
I think so many people are going to get annoyed with me saying this but…I am so over Jace now. After how City of Glass ended, I was really hoping for Jace to have changed and also for his relationship with Clary to have changed. Although this is true in some respects, it isn’t in the way that matters. Jace’s attitude really annoyed me a lot and although I understood the way he was acting, I didn’t think it was entirely necessary to take the story this way. Cant Clary and Jace have some form of happiness for a little while at least? On the plus side though, Jace does change a little bit when around a certain someone and I really liked this aspect of the story but it just didn’t last long enough.
Simon is the character who I loved the most though this time. He has slowly been coming into his own over the course of the series but now, he isn’t just following in Clary’s footsteps anymore. Now, he has his own life and his own story happening. So many interesting and exciting things happen to Simon in CoFA and I think I would have been extremely happy if this book had been all about him. I certainly would have ended up liking it more. Simon is finally coming to terms more with being a vampire but probably because that is the least of his worries now. Simon is complex but interesting, easy to relate to and funny at the same time. How could anyone not like him?!
The plot, although it had new dimension in a sense, was very samey. There was a lot of angst between characters, old problems written in a different way and nothing really getting resolved. For me, the plot was neither nothing new or exciting and I was extremely let down by this. After this book had received so much pre-release hype, it didn’t live up to it. While I was reading CoFA, I was waiting for something completely amazing and heart stopping to happen but it just never came. Many other smaller things do happen throughout but nothing is ever as big or as extravagant as it could and should have been. Up until the very end of the book, the pacing is slow and drawn out and because of this, I wasn’t completely hooked at any point like I had been with the other books.
Overall, I wish this series had been left at the original three books that it was supposed to be. The ending of book three was perfect for me and I couldn’t imagine where the story was going to or could go. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this book at all but I just didn’t love it either. I’ll still be reading the last two books of the series though.