Stars: 3 / 5
As promised I continued with the series and here is my take on the next one.
City of Fallen Angels is the fourth installment in The Mortal Instruments series, an urban fantasy by Cassandra Clare published in April of 2011. The novel is set in modern day New York but in an alternate world where humans, vampires, werewolves, magical fey, demons and shadow hunters co-exist. The plot begins a few months after The Mortal War against Valentine Morgenstern ends.
In the previous book, City of Glass (My review of the book here) - Jace and Clary along with the rest of the Shadowhunters and Simon - the Daylighter - had gone to Idris to get a remedy for Jocelyn to wake up. Valentine closely follows them for the third Mortal Instrument - The Mirror. Jace and Clary face their own share of mishaps along with their struggle to forget the forbidden love. In the end they successfully unite the Shadowhunters and Downworlders - The Fair Folk, Werevolves, Warlocks and Vampires - to fight against Valentine Morgenstern and his son Jonathan "Sebastian" Morgensten. Jace kills Sebastian but Valentine kills Jace in a rage and uses his blood to raise the Angel Raziel. But the angel kills Valentine knowing his true intentions. Angel Raziel brings Jace back for Clary. Jace and Clary find out that they are not brother and sister finally releasing Jace and Clary of incest. Phew! Simon gets the Mark of Cain – Clary puts it to protect him from Raphael and his hidden intentions.
Cassandra had neatly tucked everyone in their corners and given a closure with that. But as we see she did not end it there and proceeds to continue with the story of Jace, Clary and Simon back in New York. Clary is back in New York with Jace and other Shadwohunters getting trained at The Institute – pleased that finally she could call Jace her boyfriend. However Jace is hiding a secret very deep and dark from Clary and everyone. While Simon is being pulled in every direction where everyone wants a piece of him since he is both a Daylighter as well as carries the Mark of Cain. How will Jace, Clary and Simon together face new challenges is what the rest of the books is about.
As I suspected the series was supposed to end with the third book – City of Glass. However per Wiki and Cassandra’s blog, she had extended this series into a second trilogy. And if we follow the path that Cassandra is taking, the first trilogy had Clary, Jace along with their Shadowhunters and Downworlder friends battling against Valentine Morgenstern – Clary’s father; it makes sense that the second trilogy would be their battle against Valentine’s son Jonathan(Sebastian) Morgenstern – and Clary’s brother. Almost gives the series a Star Wars feeling – the movie series that comes on in three parts always.
Cassandra focuses most of her plot on Simon Lewis – the Daylighter Vampire – while Clary and Jace becoming sub-plots, giving Simon a more evolved character. However the story still revolves around Jace and Clary. Again Cassandra refers quite a few time to India and things / people etc. from India. Very pleased to read about that. Although is it Clave or Conclave? Cassandra seems to use both the words to represent the same thing. I don’t remember if she had some kind of expansion or differences between them in the first place.
What bothered me most about this book was that it was all over the place running from one end to the other. The order of sequence or the flow of the plot that was there in the previous three books lacked in here. The other thing what lacked was the presence of adult Shadowhunters – they completely seemed side-lined. After seeing what someone like Valentine could do and after knowing what these young Shadowhunters can bring to the table I am surprised to see that Cassandra made them work in two different silos. Would have been perhaps a better plot if they had worked together.
The title of the book made much less sense to me in connecting it to the plot as well. I wonder what Cassandra had originally titled this book. It felt like I was back in the mode of City of Bones where I literally ran through the book just to finish it the first time around I read it. Although the feeling is same with this book, this time around I will give the benefit of doubt to the remaining two books before I shrug them off, cause City of Glass was a very very good one. Plus the characters are now much more evolved and better to read about.
All in all another book that you can perhaps fast-read and still not miss anything.
1) Again this book is written in different parts with each part titled and having a meaning of its own.
2) Sub-Plots: Like any book or series, Cassandra also has several sub-plots and small plots that make us want to know what is going on with the other characters as well, and wonder if they become main plots of their own. A few that intrigued me so far are:
3) Other books, TV Shows and movies author mentions in the plot:
5) Now that Simon as the Mark of Cain, how will this impact him, what does it mean for him is something we have to watch out for in Cassandra’s future books.
7) Clary's Sights: Several scenes in the series described clearly shows that Clary had acquired the power of "Sight". However I have a feeling that we will be seeing these scenes either in the book the sights are seen or future books in the series. I am curious to see if they come true.
b. From Book II "City of Ashes":
c. From Book III "City of Glass": Clary has some sights in this part too: