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The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Image    The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

 

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the six book Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The sextet is actually comprised of two trilogies, the first consisting of City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass; and the second trilogy comprising of City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire, which comes out this May.

There is also a spin off trilogy called The Infernal Devices, consisting of The Clockwork Angel, The Clockwork Prince, and The Clockwork Princess, which came out last year. There are also two more upcoming spin off trilogies: The Dark Artifices, consisting of Lady Midnight (which comes out in 2015), The Prince of Shadows, and The Queen of Air and Darkness, and, finally, The Last Hours series.

There are also three companion books: one of which is a companion guide to the Shadowhunter world: The Shadowhunter Codex, which came out in 2013. There is also Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Guide, which contains essays written by several other prominent YA authors, including Holly Black (one of the writers of the The Spiderwick Chronicles and the author the Modern Tales of Faerie series, which has been featured on this blog), Rachel Caine (author of The Morgansville Vampires series), and Kami Garcia (author of the Beautiful Creatures series).

Finally, there is a series of short stories available on ebook called The Bane Chronicles. This series stars one of the most popular character in the series, Magnus Bane. A printed collection of the stories will hit be available this November.

 

Originally, The Mortal Instruments was going to only be the first three books, and City of Fallen Angels was going to be a standalone book about Simon Lewis, a vampire with the power to walk in daylight and the best friend of the main protagonist, Clary Fray. Eventually, Clare realized that there was a another story to be had, and extended the series.

 

In this book, Simon Lewis is doing his best to live his life normally, despite being a walking corpse that feeds on the blood of the living. He told his friends, he’s keeping it from his mom, and for the most part, everything seems ok.

However, between the fact that he’s a Daylighter (a vampire who can walk around in the sunlight) and that he has the Mark of Cain written on his forehead, there are powers in the world that want him on their side. Including, Camille Belacourt, a very old and powerful vampire that wants Simon on her side so she can take back her clan.

Meanwhile, Jace has started acting really weird. Granted, he’s a kind of odd guy already, but he’s acting weirder than normal, and Clary is getting really concerned. He’s been avoiding her, having nightmares, and just generally acting nervous and skittish, all things that are very uncharacteristic of him.

On top of that, there have been murders of Shadowhunters, and instances of infants being injected with demon blood. For the most part, it’s a pretty bad time to be part of the Shadowhunter world.

 

I really like the direction the series is going now. A few minor characters, some of which are only mentioned in the first series, have come to the forefront in a really good way. You can really tell that Clare has gotten better and more developed in her writing, though some of the scenes between Clary and Jace can get very flowery. Clare’s strong point is developing characters, which shows up pretty well in this book. I really recommend it, and I think you might be able to pick up here if you haven’t read the first three books, though I do recommend reading them first, if nothing else than to catch up on the world building.

 

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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The Mortal Instruments Book 3: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City_of_glass    The Mortal Instruments Book 3: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City of Glass is the third book in the six book Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The sextet is actually comprised of two trilogies, the first consisting of City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass; and the second trilogy comprising of City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire, which comes out this May.

There is also a spin off trilogy called The Infernal Devices, consisting of The Clockwork Angel, The Clockwork Prince, and The Clockwork Princess, which came out earlier this year. There are also two more upcoming spin off trilogies: The Dark Artifices, consisting of Lady Midnight (which comes out in 2015), The Prince of Shadows, and The Queen of Air and Darkness, and, finally, The Last Hours series.

My original plan was to try to review both of the Mortal Instruments trilogies and the Infernal Devices trilogy before the City of Heavenly Fire comes out, but due to scheduling conflicts and finals coming so very, terribly fast, it does not appear that that is going to happen. Instead, I’ll just write about City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls right beforehand, and write on the Infernal Devices afterwards.

There are also three companion books: one of which is a companion guide to the Shadowhunter world: The Shadowhunter Codex, which came out in 2013. There is also Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Guide, which contains essays written by several other prominent YA authors, including Holly Black (one of the writers of the The Spiderwick Chronicles and the author the Modern Tales of Faerie series, which has been featured on this blog), Rachel Caine (author of The Morgansville Vampires series), and Kami Garcia (author of the Beautiful Creatures series).

Finally, there is a series of short stories available on ebook called The Bane Chronicles. This series stars one of the most popular character in the series, Magnus Bane. A printed collection of the stories will hit be available this November.

 

City of Ashes ended with Valentine Morganstern, the big bad guy of the book, gaining control of the second mortal instrument, the Mortal Sword. Between that and the Mortal Cup he stole in the first book, he’s pretty much prepared to take over the Shadowhunter Clave and eradicate anyone he deems inferior to his kind, i.e. everyone not purely Shadowhunter.

In addition, his daughter, Clary, the main protagonist, has been approached by a woman named Madeline, who claims to know how to wake her mother up from her coma. The only thing is, they have to get to Alicante, the main Shadowhunter city, to perform the spell. Clary, along with Jace Wayland, her supposed brother, and his adopted family, the Lightwoods, are supposed to leave that evening.

Except Jace, in an attempt to keep Clary out of danger, lied to her about the departure time and right before they left, tried to make her best friend and vampire, Simon, a part of the lie to protect her.   Unfortunately, the demons attacked the group right before they left, thus killing Madeline and forcing Simon to escape to Alicante.

Only problem is, Downworlders (vampires, werewolves, faeries, and warlocks) are not allowed in Alicante, which means trouble for Simon. It also doesn’t take Clary much time to realize what has happened and to force herself into the action any way possible. When Jace rejects her, she turns to trust another Shadowhunter she meets, named Sebastian Verlac, as she tries to save her mother and keep her father from using the demons to take over their world.

The first time I read this, I was worried over how it would tie together, but I think it did nicely. As with City of Ashes, I spent most of the book more interested in side plots, but the main plot eventually became interesting enough that it got most of my attention in the end. All in all, it was a good end to the series.

Which is kind of funny, considering there ended up being more installments, but it was a nice end to this part of the series. I think Clare’s main strength is her growth and development of characters, while sometimes her writing style and pacing can get a little…. flowery. Then again, one might not consider that a bad thing.

I consider this a good brain candy read, it’s not too complicated, but the story is interesting enough for a good break during the day. (Which was great for me, considering I am also reading House of Leaves and John Dies at the End, both of which require a good bit of concentration and brain power.) This is one my favorite guilty pleasures, and I do recommend it for someone who wants to try a take on the ever popular genre that is YA Paranormal Romance.

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Image  The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes is the second book in the six book Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The sextet is actually comprised of two trilogies, the first consisting of City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass; and the second trilogy comprising of City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire, which comes out this May.

There is also a spin off trilogy called The Infernal Devices, consisting of The Clockwork Angel, The Clockwork Prince, and The Clockwork Princess, which came out earlier this year. There are also two more upcoming spin off trilogies: The Dark Artifices, consisting of Lady Midnight (which comes out in 2015), The Prince of Shadows, and The Queen of Air and Darkness, and, finally, The Last Hours series.

There are also three companion books: one of which is a companion guide to the Shadowhunter world: The Shadowhunter Codex, which came out in 2013. There is also Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Guide, which contains essays written by several other prominent YA authors, including Holly Black (one of the writers of the The Spiderwick Chronicles and the author the Modern Tales of Faerie series, which has been featured on this blog), Rachel Caine (author of The Morgansville Vampires series), and Kami Garcia (author of the Beautiful Creatures series).

Finally, there is a series of short stories available on ebook called The Bane Chronicles. This series stars one of the most popular character in the series, Magnus Bane. A printed collection of the stories will hit be available this November.

 

City of Bones ended with one of the weirdest plot twists I have ever read in YA fiction. If you haven’t read City of Bones (and I feel like you shouldn’t read a review of City of Ashes if you haven’t) please stop now because we are entering spoiler city.

At the end of the last book we learned that Jace and Clary, (the two main characters of the first book, and who seemed like the main romantic couple) are brother and sister. This was one of those I-need-to-put-the-book-down-and-walk-around-for-a-while-twists. Apparently, it actually turned a lot of people off the series, and it’s one of the reasons I consider The Mortal Instruments a guilty pleasure instead of a book I just really like.

But I digress: apparently Valentine Morgenstern, the big bad of the series, is assembling the three Mortal Instruments (title drop!), which are weapons he can use against the Shadowhunters (the demon hunter society Jace and friends are a part of). So far, he has the Mortal Cup, which allows him to have some control over demons.

This book begins with the mysterious killings of some Downworlder (non-human) children. Unfortunately, the blame gets pointed on Jace, as a higher up has decided that Jace is Valentine’s secret spy sent to bring down the Clave. So now, not only do our heroes need to figure out what Valentine is up to, they need to prove that Jace isn’t a spy for his crazy father.

 

I think the best part of book is the blink and you miss it moments between Alec Lightwood, a Shadowhunter struggling with his sexuality, and Magnus Bane, the Warlock who originally erased Clary’s memories in an attempt to shield her from the outside world. Their relationship was pretty much in the background, and was only mentioned a few times, but it’s a really interesting side plot that was refreshing to get back to after long periods of talking about the whole incest thing. It was also the main reason I kept reading the series back when it was new to me.

City of Ashes brought a bunch of new interesting elements and characters to the story, such Maia, a kind werewolf girl, and the idea that the parents of the main characters were part of this scary rebellion group that approved of the genocide of many people. The scenes between the adults and the teenagers are really interesting, as you can tell that their time with Valentine seriously affected their lives, and they clearly have regrets for what they did in the past. Which is probably for the best since otherwise our main characters would have been raised by the fantasy version of Neo-Nazis.

That being said, the incest thing can be uncomfortable at times. Most of the time, really. When I was reading it, there were times when I was just going to roll with it, and times when it just kind of weirded me out and I had to put the book down. Please keep in mind that if you decide to read this book, it is a major part of the story.

 

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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