Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review: City of Fallen Angels

Title: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Category: Young Adult
Page Count: 424
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Series: The Mortal Instruments, #4
Source: Bought
Challenge: n/a 
Quick Rating: n/a
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilites 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 - not important of all - Clary 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. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t helpt her. His mother just found out that he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that’s wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solutions 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.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Thoughts on City of Fallen Angels…

For City of Fallen Angels I’ve decided to do a very informal review. One that’s not even really a review at all! I am so biased towards this series, and it means so much to me, I really don’t know if I can be entirely fair with rating it. I could hate it, and I’d still give it five stars, just because of what it is. The first three Mortal Instruments books are very near and dear to my heart, but how did the fourth installment measure up? I figure by now everyone who is going to read it has read it maybe, but be forewarned - there may be spoilers ahead!

To start with, I was beyond excited for this book. I’d randomly check my order history, just to be sure it was still preordered and hadn’t disappeared into cyberspace somewhere. I contemplated going out to a store on the day it was released and buying a copy, because I didn’t want to wait until my special Barnes & Noble edition showed up. And speaking of the B&N special addition, it was so worth it. Having a book signed by Cassandra Clare herself is amazing, but that letter from Jace to Clary. Oh, my heart broke for them.

But the actual book, the juicy bits inside? It hurts to think this, much less type it, but I was actually…disappointed. That feeling wasn’t there, not like the previous installments. I read the first three books back to back to back within a couple of days. This one actually took me over a week to finish it. It just didn’t engage me like before, and it didn’t draw me in.

One of the reasons I think this happened is the constantly skipping point of view. Every couple of pages we were in a different character’s head. I’ve never had a problem connecting with multiple POV’s before, but this time, they were so abrupt, I just couldn’t really sink into the story. It almost felt like a television series or something, or a movie even, constantly skipping to a different scene with a different cast. Each segment ended with a cliffhanger as well, almost making the novel read like a script rather than a true novel.

But, then again, I loved seeing Simon more prominently featured. The dialogue is flawless, as always, and laugh out loud hilarious when it comes to the boys (Simon, Jace, and Kyle/Jordan) interacting with one another, and playing off one another. In fact, those scenes with those three, and all the snappy comebacks dripping in sarcasm were probably my favorite scenes from the whole book.

And Simon’s love life? I love that the nerdy boy who never got any attentions has two hot girls interested in him, but I just didn’t feel a spark with either of them. While I do prefer Simon with Isabel if I had to pick, there’s no real spark to me. There’s no chemistry, no draw. We see a bit of emotion from Isabel at the end, but I think I’ll need a lot more to really get behind this couple. The same with Simon and Maia. I didn’t feel it, despite how much I loved the characters individually. I do prefer Maia with Kyle/Jordan, but again, it just fell flat for me.

And of course, the star couple, Clary and Jace. I was always a Clary and Jace fan, even when it felt so wrong to want them together. I feel like they were still just as steamy as ever, but it almost seemed like they were going through drama for the sake of drama. This couple has already been through hell and back together, why not just leave them alone? Let this be the couple who is happy, and maybe a little more in the background. Let the secondary characters from the previous books take center stage, and just let Jace and Clary be sappy and romantic and crazy in love. This new obstacle for them just feels almost unnecessary, and honestly, I’m a little tired of them not just being able to be together. We suffered and cried and pined with them through three whole books of torment, why add more?

Needless to say, though, I love the characters and I love the world. I will never get truly tired of any of it, even if 100 more books come out. Did I feel the way this book went was almost unnecessary? Yes. Did I feel the writing wasn’t quite as up to par? Yes. Am I actually way more excited about the next Infernal Devices book now? Yes. Was I disappointed and under whelmed? Yes. Am I still giving it five stars because I love this world so much? Yes. But I will read City of Fallen Angels again and again, and I will be a squealing fan girl when the next one comes out. Cassandra Clare has a devout fan for life, no matter what she does.

1 comment:

  1. We're review twins today:) I'm really biased towards this series as well which is probably why I still rated it so high even though a lot of people seemed to have a similar reaction to yours in that they were just a little disappointed. I think with Clary and Jace, if they were completely happy we'd get a little bored with them and their such a vital part of the series. Really fantastic review though, I loved reading your thoughts!