Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (Spoiler Free)

Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: April 5th, 2011

City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

I finished this book a few days ago and actually had to give it a few days to digest before I could write my review.  I wasn't really sure how I was feeling about it...  I mean, I knew that I absolutely LOVED this book as a whole.  It truly is the best book (so far) in the series.  As with the first three, it was engaging, suspenseful, and absolutely impossible to put down, BUT... I was extremely conflicted about the ending.  I definitely wasn't happy with it, but I didn't hate it.  That should leave me indifferent, right?  Not so much...  Shocked? Absolutely.  Slightly nauseous?  Sure.  Otherwise?  After giving it five days to digest, I still don't know how to feel.  The ending was good.  Great even.  A real cliffhanger.  One that will make me want to run right out and buy the next book at midnight on it's release date, but it still pissed me off...

With all that said, I can get down to my actual review...  I'll start by saying that this book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2011.  I read City of Bones this past summer and liked it enough to read the next book, but didn't love it.  A few weeks later I read City of Ashes, and was hooked!  From there, I went right to City of Glass.  With each book the story got better without getting overly complicated.  There were definitely parts in each book that pissed me off (especially the death of a certain young character in City of Glass), but I would have complained even more if the books were full of happy endings and rainbows, so I'm not going to complain... (The fact that I was pissed was a good thing.  A book that makes you FEEL is always a good book, even if the feelings aren't good ones.)  I re-read City of Glass to prepare and refresh for this book and I'm glad I did because this book pretty much picks right up where the former left off.

So... without giving spoilers on any of the books, I will attempt to articulate my feelings.  I loved, loved, LOVED that we saw more of Simon in this book.  He has grown so much over the course of the series, and we see a new, more mature, sexy side of Simon in this book.  He has always been one of my favorite characters and I was thrilled to see him get some of his due in this book.  There is also a new character in this book who I really took to.  He came up very early on in the series, but then we heard nothing more about him.  Until now.  I have a feeling that he is going to be a key player in the final two books (I certainly hope so).  Of course, the Clary/Jace relationship continues to evolve, but I'm reluctant to give details because I don't want to spoil any of the previous books for readers.  A character from a previous book that I thought was gone comes back.  Then there were some nice developments involving Magnus that made me happy (he's one of my favorite characters too), and we start to see more connection between The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, including a "new" character addition to TMI who we have only seen in TID.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and give it a five star rating.  I couldn't put it down and got in trouble with my husband more than once for reading under the dinner table and "setting a bad example for the kids".  I know there people out there who hated it, but I really don't know what they expected (happy ever after? unicorns farting rainbows?).  I like the direction the story is headed in.  It was well written and it turned out to be extremely different than what I expected.  Kudos to Cassie Clare for surprising the hell out of me!

My Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Grade Level Recommendation:  6th+  There were some pretty intense almost-sex scenes in this book.  There is also an extreme amount of violence (not gratuitous by any means, just a lot of it).  I think it's fine for middle schoolers that have gotten the go ahead to read Twilight and the like.  If parents haven't said yes to it yet, they shouldn't be okay with this series either.


  1. This book is really great! It's too bad that we have to wait till next May for the next in this series, and December for the next in TID! We should totally clone Cassandra Clare so we could get 4 books this December!!!

  2. Hmm. I have been hearing so many conflicted things about this book. I am trying to decide if I want to take the plunge, but this review may have changed my mind.



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