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Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Review: City of Fallen Angels

Release Date: April 5, 2011
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Length: 424 pages

"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 who used to be in Valentine's Circle, 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. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she 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.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels."

Review:

Background: Unlike the first three installments in this series which has a dominant focus on Clary Fray, this installment focuses more on both Simon and Clary giving Simon more of his own plot which is slightly separate from Clary's. Simon has grown in to his vampiric Daylighter self well but this may just be the calm before the storm. He's keeping secrets and when they get out they could hurt not only himself but others as well. Clary is starting her Shadowhunter training and now that there are no secrets between her and her mother they freely discuss shadow world related things and plan for her mother and Luke's wedding.

Protagonists: I loved that this book deviates from a larger focus on Clary and gives us a large plotline about Simon who was one of my favorite characters from the first three books. These characters do grow a bit more mature and learn to handle their own situations better in this book which is great because even though I've had three books with these characters I would hate to see them lack any sort of character development. While Simon has to deal with a proposition from a affluent vampire and his feelings for Maia and Isabelle, Clary has to see if she has what it takes to be a real shadowhunter and has deal with Jace who begins to distance himself from her.

Romance: At the beginning of this installment Simon has been dating both Isabelle and Maia for the past few months and wants to know where he stands with them so that he can do the right thing and begin to seriously date only one girl. I loved having some Simon romance drama in this book to balance out Clary's own love woes. We also have a bit of drama with Alec and Magnus as well though that isn't until after the first half or so. Clary romance with Jace begins to waver as well due to Jace's doubts and fears. There is a creative way that creates drama in their relationship without seeming to outlandish which is welcomed because I hate it when the romantic drama is over dramatized and is all perception on one or both ends.

World-Building/Pacing: So I combined these two groups together since they are both kind of short. On the world-building end we do get to see a new villian and we learn more about shadowhunters such as marriaga customs and the like but other than that we don't get to see too many new things. We do get to see The Mark of Cain in action as well as a few references to the Infernal Devices series as well. The pacing of this book was a bit slower than I wanted it to be. It seemed that without the imminent danger that the past few books had throughout the book it was a slower read than I would have liked but about halfway in it begins to pick up for me, again probably the danger thing, and it became easier to read.

Predictability: The overall predictability for this installment was lower than I would have thought, though that was probably because there wasn't all that much understandable foreshadowing. There were parts that later I would realize to some people could be considered foreshadowing but for me it was harder to have those "aha" moments where I could understand what's going on, so having those unpredictable moments, even though I felt a bit cheated out of an "aha" moment, led the story to move along a bit quicker.

Ending: The ending was crazy, and I'm not talking the last chapter but the last few pages were so unexpected, well kind of, what happened wan't unexpected, but how it did totally was. The ending has a great and completely shocking cliffhanger leaving the reader not only wondering what will happen next but how these characters will deal with the bombshell unleashed.

Overall I have to give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I know, I know I can hardly believe I would give this book only 4 out of 5 but I just couldn't get past the slow pacing in this book. It was still a great book and any fan of the seies will enjoy it.

P.S. Don't forget to enter my SIGNED Clockwork Princess giveaway as there are only a few days left, and remember, it's International!

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