Book Review: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old 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 importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, 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. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary 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.

My review:

“Or maybe it’s just that beautiful things are so easily broken by the world.”

I’m not sure why I am so disappointed with this book. The fact that there was anything written after City of Glass alone was enough to indicate that this would not please me. And I was right, but that does little to comfort me. I had to read this book in so many different sittings. I almost gave up. The only thing that kept me hanging on was the little bit of light I saw at the end of the tunnel. That light is City of Heavenly Fire, which I’ve been told is just as good as, but probably not better than, City of Glass.

The closure and contentment I felt after reading City of Glass was destroyed little by little with each page of this novel. Heaven knows what would compel someone to write this book. Everything was just so unnecessary. Imagine reading a filler-chapter that was 500 pages long. That was this book.

In any case, I will tell you what City of Fallen Angels does have to offer.

We get a lot of Simon in this book. In theory, it’s always nice to read more about Simon. The unfortunate reality is that we are given this extra dose of Simon in the most cliché way possible. I don’t want to spoil anything, but seriously, never has a love triangle been so annoying. No one was even really hurt by it. This was a good example of a terribly-executed plot device. Cringe.

Then we get some cute bickering between Alec and Magnus. I love the two together, but their issues only took up a couple of sentences. Again, this came across as a lame attempt at adding a few extra pages to the book. More than anything it seemed like Clare was trying to remind readers that, “Hey! Alec and Magnus are still a thing but we’re not going to talk about it”. It was unrealistic and underdeveloped, to say the least. Double cringe.

And then we circle back to Jace and Clary. Clary and Jace. Someone please tell me how many ways you can say “I want you but I can’t have you”, because this entire series is basically that. It was okay during the first three books, but now it’s just an overused plot device. How many books can you write about two people who are meant to be together, but keep finding reasons to stay apart from each other? Stop it. Jace, we can only take so much of your self-deprecating behaviour. Clary, get a grip. All the cringes in the world.

The only redeeming aspect of this book was the ending, which was a decent cliffhanger but made me mad more than anything else. If anyone was to return, I didn’t expect for it to be him. I will leave it at that.

Like I said earlier, I’m hanging on by a thread, but that thread is wearing thin.

★★★ (3 stars) because the angels and demons and romance are there, but everything else annoyed me.

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