Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy > Paranormal
Synopsis: What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
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I feel like I’m one of the very few Cassandra Clare fans who actually likes the ‘second’ trilogy better than the original one. Let me clarify. For those of you who are not aware, The Mortal Instruments was initially supposed to have three books: City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass. Something changed (probably money, don’t kill me) and Clare decided that no, she needs three more books: City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire. By some miracle, I did not decide to stop after the third book, and I’m very glad that I continued because despite having low expectations, the second half of the series blew me away.
If you are told that the original trilogy is much better, and then the books go downhill, and you’re just on the fence about the original, I strongly suggest that you continue reading. There is so much more action, so much more wonderful romance and bonding coming. I absolutely loved the fourth and fifth books.
This series is one in which character development needs to be consistent, and that’s probably one of the reasons why the second half is better for me- the characters are so much better developed, more lovable, and I was completely invested in them. The villain in the original trilogy never stirred any emotions for me, and the one in the second half is just fantastic. I’m growing quite fond of this series.
If you have not read books 1-4 yet, I’d suggest you stop reading my review right here.
City of Fallen Angels left off at a strong cliffhanger, and we dive right back into the story in this installment. Jace is missing, and everybody suspects that he is with Sebastian. No tracking spells or devices seem to be able to track down Sebastian’s whereabouts, and the Clave seems to care more about finding Sebastian than Jace’s life. As we all are aware from the fourth book, Jace and Sebastian are connected; hurt one, you hurt the other. Clary and her friends find themselves in a complicated predicament- how do you defeat Sebastian without hurting Jace?
This book was fast-paced and action-packed from beginning to end. The first two books were frustrating for me because there seemed to be a lot of filler action within the pages, but every scene in this installment serves a purpose. Clare puts her characters in compromising situations, to say the least, and it was a lot of fun to see how they wriggled out of said situations. I especially enjoyed the dynamics between Clary and Sebastian’s relationship, because we see more of them. They are siblings, so their interactions are bound to be complicated and sticky, and that’s exactly what we get.
I’ve always admired Cassandra Clare’s ability to weave normal teenage drama within the overaching fantasy plot-line. We see a lot more of Isabelle and Simon’s developing romance, which was very nice. We see complications arise in Alec and Magnus’s relationship, as well as some family drama, some more history etc.
Overall, this book was solid, but I did have some problems with how Clare manages the romance. I admire that she puts some in there without it seeming off-topic or irrelevant, but I did feel that some of it was unnecessary, such as the story arc with Maia and Jordan. Perhaps that’s just me- I’m not huge on romance, but what the heck because I really do enjoy the pairings in this series.
I think the strongest point for this series is the character development. None of the characters are the same anymore; there are such vast differences between their personalities in the first book and their personalities in this one. I always appreciate good character development, which is why I’m a lot more in favor of the ‘second’ trilogy than the first one. I didn’t care much for the characters in the first two books, but now I love all of them, even Clary who I initially thought was annoying.
I’m so glad that some of my favorite characters are getting more time in these books. Simon is absolutely adorable, and he’s hysterically funny. We get to see more of his family dynamics (what with his mother and sister dealing with his vampirism), we see him put into situations where he has to decide whether to save his life or be heroic. His loyalty to Clary is commendable, and his budding relationship with Isabelle was a delight to read- they have such effortless chemistry! Speaking of Izzy, I think she’s a fierce, strong female character. I absolutely love that she’s a girly-girl who wears short dresses and sky high heels but Clare makes her beautiful and bad-ass, kind and fierce at the same time, which is something I don’t usually see in YA novels. I didn’t really know what to think of Alec before this book, but I’ve decided that I really like him. And of course, Magnus is – excuse me for I lack a better a word – bae.
Like I said before, I wasn’t big on Valentine as a villain; he just didn’t have that spark I usually look for in an antagonist. Now, Sebastian- he’s insane, and I love it. He’s dark and twisted. He has no filter, no limits, and he’s more dangerous than his father ever was. The way he manipulates people around him, how he would do anything and everything to get what he wants- yes, he’s pretty bad-ass. For some reason, I always pictured him as Chris Wood in my mind, and I think he’d be a great Sebastian in the TV show. Please click this right here for reference.