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Monday, November 7, 2011

My Thoughts: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

" 'He does make me happy,' Clary said. 'But he can't control everything in the world, Mom. Other things happen—' she fumbled for words; how could she explain that it wasn't Jace making her unhappy, but what was happening to him, without revealing what that was?" "In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants." Except for teasers, the fourth installment of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments romance fantasy has been strictly embargoed, leaving us clutching for word clues. A teen series that keeps readers on tenterhooks.

Most of you have read Cassandra Clare's popular The Mortal Instrument series. And most of you were VERY excited when it was announced that it wasn't to end at City of Glass. That she was coming back with the much loved characters and keeping the story alive. I myself, really didn't care. Only because I had only read the first book- years ago when it first came out. I told myself I wasn't going to read anymore because I really hated the Clary and Jace were brother and sister, I was not happy, so I chose not to read further. It wasn't until Simon and Schuster Canada offered me a finished copy of City of Fallen Angels that I decided to find out what all the hoopla was about. Why did people love this series so much? Why were they so excited for it's return? So back in March I read both City of Ashes and City of Glass, and I really enjoyed them, a lot. However when my Copy of CoFA came in the mail, I did not immediately jump in and start reading.

As I mentioned before, when I first read City of Bones I was not a happy camper, I was so frustrated that Jace and Clary were brother and sister. I remember liking Jace and his sarcasm, I also remember thinking that Clary was perfect for him. She could handle him. Therefore, after the big reveal, I had no desire to continue reading. But, that is in the past now. We all know the truth and can now breathe easy.

Clare writes amazing characters. We all know that. And City of Fallen Angels brought to us the fabulous characters she does so well. In CoFA we got to see more of Simon’s perspective on things. Which is something I really enjoyed. Simon was one of my favourite characters from The Mortal Instruments series. He was smart, totally dorky and completely endearing. How could you not like Simon? I really liked experiencing things from his point of view, and getting inside his head. I found reading about his concern when it came to his relationships with Isabelle and Maia. I could feel his concern and despair when his mother discovered him (that scene broke my heart), also when he attacked Maureen, the guilt he felt. Simon is one of Clare’s more complex characters, and I was pleased to see more from him. Clary was the same old Clary we all know and love (sometimes), she’s loyal to her friends and her sarcasm is renowned (maybe not like Jaces’s but...). Her friendship with Simon makes me smile.  I like Clary. I think she’s a well developed, well rounded character. However, for me, for a female protagonist, she’s not the most memorable for me. I sometimes felt like Clare felt like she had done all she could for Clary and focused more on others (this is just my perspective).  I think there are certain character’s in The Mortal Instrument series that are stronger than she is. In saying this, I need to reiterate; I liked Clary, however I just felt like she was left in the shadows more often then not. Jace, a crowd favourite. Normally I love Jace, his sarcasm and wit are legendary. Even at his lowest, Jace is known to be clever and always ready with a joke. I felt like this was missing in CoFA. Mostly because he was dealing with some heavy stuff. We still got Jace’s jokes, and sarcasm, but it felt forced and sometimes it fell flat. He did have some great banter with Simon and some great one liners for sure, but they were few. His personal demons got in the way, and I was sad about that. Clare also introduces new characters in City of Fallen Angels. Kyle/Jordan is my favourite. I loved him. I loved what he brought to the story, and his attitude. I felt for him and Maia and I am curious about their story, I can’t wait to explore that in future novels. I enjoyed seeing his friendship with Simon blossom. He even got along with Jace. It made for good reading. Magnus was another favourite of mine, and I was glad that him and Alec showed up in the end. I was worried I was going to miss them. I love Magnus, and he says one of the most remarkably romantic things to Alec, I was speechless, and saying “awwww,” all at the same time.

Where I did enjoy reading CoFA for the most part, I had a few issues with things. When Jace started avoiding Clary, I didn’t know why, I felt like that wasn’t explained very well. One minute the two were getting along great, the next Jace is having huge issues with Clary and not speaking to her, this was so confusing to me. At first I thought that I had missed something and went back to check, but no, there was nothing to explain his sudden shift. I sometimes find that Clare over dramatizes things in her novels. Everything is such a big event, there is rarely anything subtle to be found in her books. Nothing is ever down played. This is partially why I didn’t read this book when it first came to me. I had already read the two previous books in the series, and I wasn’t sure that I could handle more. So I took a break, and I think that I enjoyed CoFA more then I would have if I had read it right away. I did not like the end of the novel mostly because it was so over played and so dramatic. It’s like Clare asked “what the worst thing that could happen?”  and then did exactly that. I was SO frustrated. I should have been expecting it. But It bugged me.

Even with all my hang ups with this book, I still really enjoyed it, and was pleased with what I got. Clare doesn’t miss a beat with this book, and I am looking forward to reading more of the series.

~Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. I understand what you mean about taking a break between books, sometimes it's necessary.

    :) ut I'm glad you enjoyed it over all.

  2. Ugh that ending killed me! Don't get me wrong, I love the series, but I agree with the way you said 'what was the worst thing that could happen'. I knew it couldn't possibly end happily, even though it seemed that way, but I was definitely frustrated.

  3. The characters are my favourite part of her books too. I didn't love CoFA either. Like you, I thought the ending was a bit frustrating.


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