“Clary is back in New York and life is good: she’s training to be a Shadowhunter and is finally able to call Jace her boyfriend. But nothing comes without a price. When Jace inexplicably begins to pull away from her, Clary is forced to acknowledge that she herself has set in motion a chain of events that could lead to the loss of everything she loves. Even Jace.
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever…”
Warning: Some spoilers ahead
Back in August of last year fans of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series heard the words every reader wanted to hear – the series was going to be continued, extended to another three books. This news was greeted with a collective gasp, cheering and plenty of dancing (or was that just me?). Fast forward to April 2011 and we have the fourth book in the series, City of Fallen Angels.
Beginning this book was like being reunited with old friends and it felt SO GOOD! I had a bit of a Kanye moment once Jace and Clary came into the scene…
Jace to Clary: So are you planning on staying up there-
Me: Jace, Jace, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but IM JUST SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU GUYS!
*figuratively hugs the characters then lets them get on with the story*
The story picks up 6 weeks after the end of City of Glass, and everyone is adjusting to life after Valentine and life without Max. While Jace has been helping to train up Clary as a Shadowhunter, their relationship has been blooming. So how come Jace suddenly starts to pull away?
Simon on the other hand is still trying to find the balance between a normal life and his new vampire self, not to mention his two girlfriends who don’t realize they’re not Simon’s one and only. When a new vampire comes on the scene and makes Simon a very tempting offer, life becomes very complicated not just for Simon, but for the Shadowhunters as well.
Though it’s the fourth book in the series, most of the conflict from the other books has already been resolved, so we’re starting anew – mostly. At first it felt a little strange since unlike starting any other new book from the beginning, there was no need to adjust to the setting of characters – we already know and love them, but we don’t know what they’re in for yet. There were however a few loose ends left at the end of City of Glass which are picked up in this book, but it’s not toward the middle to end of the book we start to see what the complication for this half of the series will be and where the plot will go.
A fair bit of the book focused on the characters relationships with one another and how they were dealing with things mentally, emotionally and psychologically. There’s plenty of romance, particularly from Jace and Clary (that alley scene *fans self*), but Cassandra Clare definitely pushed the characters this time around, there’s a lot more emotion.
It was frustrating seeing Jace doubt himself and his relationship so much but people don’t heal overnight and Jace definitely has some issues to work out, plus there was that whole possessed by a demon thing, so he’s forgiven.
I loved how gutsy Clary was, I think I forgot just how strong she could be. She showed initiative in her Shadowhunter duty and tried her best to be a better fighter. When Jace was M.I.A. she carried on, she was definitely upset and put out by the situation, but she didn’t let it take over her life. Even in the way she related to Jace, she showed more confidence and has grown up a lot as a character.
The action and suspense at the end of the book really turned up the heat in the story, the fight scenes were very well written. As the story comes to a climax at the end with an epic action sequence, you think it’s all over (seriously, with only about 10 pages to go) then, BAM, cliffhanger! Initially I was struck with disbelief with how it ended but it’s a good cliffhanger and only made me a million times more excited for City of Lost Souls.
After finishing the book, especially for those who have a hard time with the way the book ended I highly recommend you check out the Q&A Cassandra posted on her blog, understanding her reasoning for certain things really cleared a few things up, click here.
This book is hypnotically well written, you get so comfortable reading it, 424 pages just doesn’t seem like enough. It comes complete with all the snark and sarcasm we’ve come to love from Cassandra Clare’s characters.
I recommend giving City of Glass another read before starting this one just to refresh your memory on a few points , that’s only if you have the will power to resist diving straight into this one. I doubt fans of Cassandra Clare will need much encouragement to check out the latest addition to the series, but for those who haven’t read the books – what on earth are you waiting for??
Publication Date: April 2011
Publisher: Walker Books
P.S. Ed Westwick a.k.a. Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl lent his voice along with Molly C. Quinn for the audiobook version of COFA. Definitely worth checking out, Ed makes everything sounds 100x sexier.
Teaser Quote: “You’re the first Shadowhunter I’ve ever met.”
“That’s too bad,” said Jace, “since all the others you meet from now on will be a terrible letdown.”