Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels

And it is finally here. The next book in the mortal instruments series, i.e., #4 City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed at all.
This is how the Summary goes:
The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities 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—most 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 help 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 solution 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.

Let me first specify something - I just read the book, it was definitely worth the wait and I have yet to construct my thoughts about the book but i’ll try to write this post spoiler free as much as possible.

Okay so everyone’s favourite tattooed demon slayer are back along with their downworlder cohorts kicking some demonic ass and thwarting evil villains’ and their devious plans. Sort of. 

And Simon is trying really hard to maintain his old mundane life, with his new daylighter needs, and an increasingly over protective mother…….it is definitely not an easy task of being a vampire as well as being a teenager. To top that off with the dual love affairs, involving a particular lady shadowhunter, and she-wolf, and well Simon would most likely consider letting one of the assassin’s, who have been trying to off him, finish the job and put him out of his misery if not for the mark of Cain preventing it. Meanwhile Jace and Clary are on the rocks. Jace isn’t eating. He isn’t sleeping. Thoughts and visions of hurting Clary abound. Something is terribly wrong. Secrets can hurt more in the end than the truth, and a big one is about to rebound on our nephilim power couple, and possibly destroy them. When all the powers of heaven and hell collide, can love truly conquer all? 
Cassandra Clare’s fourth venture into the showhunter world, starts off bit rough and scraped around the edges. The gang is separated. All the plot points and individual character threads are important overall, and do eventually tie in together for the book’s story arc, but it can be hard to follow. I find this forgivable because she’s trying to balance kicking off the new story lines, with character updates, introducing new characters, multiple POVs, while maintaining her previously developed world. I think it’s quite ambitious of her. 
At the end of COG I felt like I could breathe easy, because Jace and Clary made it out together. Well, all the angst is definitely back, and killing me softly all over again. It does get a little annoying that no one’s communicating with each other. I also feel cheated thinking this new second series was going to tie in more with the Infernal Devices trilogy. I read that there would be some crossover, but found it minimal. You really don’t need to read ID to understand CoFA. I was also disappointed not to see Tessa. After COG I thought the scene between Magnus and Tessa would be important somehow. I did like getting to see how my favorite characters are handling the changes in their lives, Simon’s POV, Jace and Clary’s relationship problems, Alec and Magnus’ budding relationship, and Isabel’s surprising rise to a more prominent role in this book. City of Fallen Angels is definitely about the relationships. Since a lot of the book separates our heroes and heroines, I find that I miss the dynamic of them all together battling the forces of evil. I did rejoice a bit at the end when that did happen. 
COFA is definitely full of complicated relationships. As Jace continues his inner struggle over who he is and where he comes from; he also continues his moody distance thing with Clary that rakes readers over the coals from beginning to end. Simon, the newly turned vampire, is also struggling with his new lifestyle and two girlfriends. Maia’s old boyfriend who turned her into a werewolf makes an appearance surprising everyone with his actions. Alec struggles with his lover’s long and complicated past and future immortality. I enjoyed greatly how Clare allowed for conflict to develop between the relationships over a period of time. They were not resolved immediately, thus providing time for emotions of the reader to fully develop. Readers have referred to Clare’s great enjoyment of “torturing” her readers; however, the readers seem to enjoy this torture most thoroughly.

Along with the development of relationships, the plot continues on as creatures fight for Simon’s alliance. With a new rash of shadowhunter deaths, and someone unsuccessfully trying to create demon blooded babies like Sebastian, the gang of friends must uncover the perpetrator and save everyone once again. The cliff hanger at the end is amazingly torturous leaving the reader dying for yet the next installment, which we must wait a little over a year for. 
Overall a lot of good things are happening in CoFA. If you can wade through the multiple points of view telling the story you will be rewarded with a very interesting new villain and plot. There is a cliffhanger at the end that sets up the sequel. City of Fallen Angels is definitely a sinfully delicious pleasure. 
Also besides the ebook I also got the audiobook version of CoFA……well Ed Westwick is definitely the reason for that. This was an excellent recording. I don’t know why a lot audiobooks aren’t treated like a music recording. I hate getting one that sounds like it’s in a can or has a lot of noise in the background. Sometimes the VoiceOver talent isn’t very good but a good recording can compensate. The City of Fallen Angels audiobook should be the standard for the format. It was recorded well. Ed Westwick and Molly Quinn were wonderful narrators. I highly recommend the audiobook version of CoFA. Not only for the narration but also for all those ‘Chuck Bass’ out there. 
Genre :      Fiction, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

Publisher Margaret K. McElderry

Rate:              5/5 (It was amazing, I recommend it)


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