City of Fallen Angels : by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels

Just finished reading City of Fallen Angels by CC.  This book has been much anticipated and so I wanted to take my time.  I hope I’m not putting any plot spoilers in below but if you haven’t read the first three books you should really read these in sequence.

The story picks up a few weeks after the events of Idris.  Clary has returned to New York where she is now training as a Shadowhunter and dating Jace.  Everything seems to be okay until Jace starts to become withdrawn and the relationship quickly becomes strained.  At the same time Simon is having to come to terms with his new status as a vampire.  He’s living at home, afraid to tell his mum what’s happened, he has two girlfriends who are unaware of the existence of the other and he seems to have become the target of some plot to kill him by a gang of strange hooded characters.

This is a difficult review to write because I have slightly mixed feelings in some respects and also I don’t want to particularly go into any details about the story or how it ends.

On the plus side this story is very easy to read.  I think CC is an excellent story teller and she’s managed to come up with a new plot seemingly from nowhere.  I like the way that information is blended in effortlessly about the different downworlders.  We learn more about the vampire world and the werewolves and come to terms with the history behind some of the newer characters.  I also thought the main Demon character was well done with a convincing backstory.  A little more focus is given to Simon in this novel and this is a refreshing change although, as much as I like him, I’m not sure that Simon is exactly leading man material (simply my opinion – I’m sure that a lot of readers love him!).  Simon was struggling for a little while there and I thought things might have gone differently for him but I won’t elaborate further.  All our favourite characters are present, although this is only a cursory appearance for the parent/authority figures and Magnus and Alec’s absence for a large part of the book is sorely felt.  There were a few threads along the way but eventually they do all tie together and the pace and action are impressive.  Also, I have to hand it to CC – she can definitely write a romantic/passionate scene that will raise temperatures and set pulses racing.

The elements that gave me mixed feelings – Jace.  He got on my nerves a bit in this story with his constant self-berating.  Its not that I can’t understand his feelings just that I started to lose patience with him a bit.  And, somehow he seemed weaker in spirit and personality in this book.  I’m beginning to think that being in love doesn’t suit him!  I couldn’t really understand why he couldn’t confide more in his friends or just communicate with Clary.  Although that leads me to one of my other points – the ‘old gang’ don’t spend any time together in this book – or so it seems.  So we miss out on the banter/interaction between them all.

This book felt very much like a stepping stone into the next two, which I don’t mind at all.  I like a bit of scene setting.  I think anybody expecting a lot of lovey, touchy feely relationship chapters between Jace and Clary will definitely be disappointed because this book isn’t going to deliver that.  Personally, I say, they’re shadowhunters.  They don’t kill a pack of demons and then go on a year out – there are always more demons plotting away and they’re not going to take a time out just so that Jace and Clary can make out in peace and quiet for a while!

Minor gripes aside this is a good read and one in an excellent series of books which I would definitely recommend.

Rating A

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