Series: Mortal Instruments #4
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date Published: April 5, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Description: 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.
The stakes are higher than ever in the #1 New York Times bestselling fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series.
Our book club has decided to read the entire Mortal Instruments series, one each month, leading up to the movie coming out in August. We started reading this series in March 2013. Feel free to read along with us! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this series.
Okay, so I am guessing I am in the minority here, but I liked this book! It was probably one of my favorite out of the entire series so far. If we gave half stars, I would give this a 3.5 star rating. I really could never rate this series much higher simply because it is not my favorite genre. I know that sounds a little harsh, but I really enjoy character driven books and typically speaking, fantasy books are more plot driven. It is for this reason more than anything else, that I found this fourth installment more interesting than any of the previous books in this series. This book is all about the characters and their relationships to one another and themselves. In this book, the Clary and Jace along with Simon and Alec, seem to catch a breather from all that is happening around them and have a small amount of time to finally reflect on recent events. While many of the readers in my book club were annoyed with Jace, I found his character more fascinating in this book. Ever the tortured hero, Jace is terrified that he might actually hurt Clary as their relationship intensifies. This is symbolic in so many ways! Clary, ever the impatient one, is ready to push the boundaries of her relationship with Jace. Alec gets a good dose to jealous to keep things interesting (and humorous). Maia’s story line develops further. We get to know Simon better and feel for him as he attempted to assimilate into vampiric culture while desperately trying to hold on to his human life. We are also introduced to a few new characters, one of my favorite being Kyle. Overall, the fourth book acts as filler, but interesting filler with various character’s relationships being fleshed out and explored and finally ending with a relatively anticipated cliff hanger of an ending. I can see why people who were previously enamored with this series might be a little put off, but I liked this book. It was quick, fun, and entertaining read wrought with relationship drama galore!!!
City of Fallen Angels read like a first in a series, not the 4th. It was more “oops I thought my series was over but now I have to write another story” than a logical next book. To me, it seemed a bit scattered and didn’t make much sense until it all came together. Unlike the previous 3 books that contained a lot of world building, action, and focused on the Mortal Instruments and their purpose, this book was mostly drama.
All of a sudden Jace starts pulling away from Clary with no explanation, and no he does not want to break up with her, don’t even suggest that, but no he can’t really be with her right now either. Simon keeps getting attacked, or, at least someone keeps attempting to attack him and keeps failing miserably because of his Mark. Someone keeps trying to create more of what Jonathan/Sebastian was, and it just results in deformed dead babies. And everyone is keeping secrets. No one communicates, and that puts everyone in danger. The previous Vamp leader shows up and everyone is trying to arrest her, and we can’t figure out if she’s good or evil.
It finally comes together in a frustrating yet interesting ending when Simon is forced to do something to protect Clary and Jace is connected to something horrible. Simon and his Mark save the day, sort of, but Jace is still pushing Clary away because he still thinks he is evil because Valentine raised him. The book ends in a pretty big cliffhanger, which is frustrating since the first 3 books each had more resolved endings.
While I really enjoyed the first trilogy in this now no longer a trilogy, this book was just so-so. But, I’ll still read the other books because I need to know how it will end.
Some fun quotes that show the banter and characters are still interesting and it is still worth it to stay in their world:
“You’re just worried they’ll hire a male instructor and he’ll be hotter than you.”
Jace’s eyebrows went up. “Hotter than me?”
“It could happen,” Clary said, “You know, theoretically.”
“Theoretically the planet could suddenly crack in half, leaving me on one side and you on the other, forever and tragically parted, but I’m not worried about that either. Some things,” Jace said, with his customary crooked smile, “are just too unlikely to dwell upon.”
“But I watch my brothers give their hearts away and I think, Don’t you know better? Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.”
“So you’re trying to make her happy despite the fact that the reason she’s unhappy in the first place is you,” said Simon, not very kindly. “That seems contradictory, doesn’t it?”
“Love is a contradiction,” said Jace.”
“And then there was you. You changed everything I believed in. You know that line from Dante that I quoted to you in the park? ‘L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle’?”
Her lips curled a little at the sides as she looked up at him. “I still don’t speak Italian.”
“It’s a bit of the very last verse from Paradiso – Dante’s Paradise. ‘My will and my desire were turned by love, the love that moves the sun and the other stars.’ Dante was trying to explain faith, I think, as an overpowering love, and maybe it’s blasphemous, but that’s how I think of the way I love you. You came into my life and suddenly I had one truth to hold on to – that I loved you, and you loved me.”