Saturday, April 9, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare


In a world of vampires, werewolves, warlocks and Shadowhunters, nothing is ever as it seems! Clary and Jace should be living that happily ever after thing but he seems more distant than ever and she doesn’t know what is happening to him. Simon’s band finally knows the truth but his mom is another story. He is struggling with being a vampire and everyone is interested in having him on their side. Isabelle and Maia are both dating him and that’s not going to be a problem, right? But everything is not as it seems. There are Shadowhunters dying. There’s a wedding being planned. There are secrets being kept. There are people from the past returning. Valentine may be gone but the damage of his actions remains. Who will survive? Who will change? How can they go on?

My thoughts:

5/5 stars (Was there ever any doubt?)

I struggled to read this book, I will admit. I was nervous about what would happen to my beloved characters. I love them all and hated to think about what might happen in the first of three books. It’s not like starting a new series where I had no connection with them yet. I know Clary, love Jace, and worry about Simon. But knowing that there would have to be pain to make an interesting story that would span three books, I was afraid. So while I could have devoured it in a matter of hours, I read it over four days, putting it down when I couldn’t stand it anymore. Crying at times, I hurt for my friends on the pages. But I know Cassandra Clare’s writing, having read everything she has published. And I know something of her character having followed her on twitter for awhile. I have come to trust her as a writer. She may inflict pain on her character but she does it only to tell the story. She loves her characters too and I must trust her. So I have finished the book and I loved it. I can’t wait for City of Lost Souls to be available.

Cassandra Clare is a masterful story teller. She has brilliantly crafted a new story, the city of Fallen Angels, from the neatly closed ends of the last. This story is more sophisticated that the last, for an older teen reader. There are more threads woven together and one wonders what they all have to do with each other. Unlike the previous books, this one spreads the character out into different locations doing different things. They don’t face things together but it is carefully and purposefully orchestrated.

Simon is trying to figure out how to be a vampire. We see a lot more him in this book. Second only to Clary, he is a central character. He needs blood to survive but he loathes drinking it. He waits too long to feed and pays the price. He struggles to understand his relationships with both Isabelle and Maia. He has one real fan of the band, fourteen year old Maureen. She complicates things as well. Everyone is interesting in having his allegiance. The clave want him. Some vampires want him. The new enemy wants him. They all have different agendas and motivations but they all want Simon. He has the mark to deal with and that is more than he would have ever have realized. And there is a new member of the band that seems very interested in him too, Kyle. But what does Simon want? He has overcome his love for Clary he thinks and all he really wants a normal life but that is impossible.

Clary is trying to learn to be a Shadowhunter. She wants Jace but her mother is not a fan. Her efforts to keep them apart limit Clary’s time with Jace but then he starts limiting their time together and Clary is confused. Something is wrong with Jace but he won’t talk to her. Their desire and passion for each other is unchanged but something is keeping them apart? When Clary finally finds out, she aches for him, as did I. Their secret of his death and return haunts them both. Their love is strong and unyielding but I wonder how much anyone can take.

There is a lot of relationship angst in this book. Isabelle has never loved any boy. She is afraid of them hurting her so she never gives her heart but it might be too late as far is Simone is concerned. Maia has been hurt lots of times and Simon is just the latest. She has been hurt by Jordan and by her own brother and now her past comes back to haunt her again. Not to be left out, Alec and Magnus have problems as well. It seems the only relationship left unscathed in this book is Luke and Jocelyn.

Many small plot points were neatly wrapped in this book but the ending is a cliffhanger. I knew that because I had heard before hand that it had that kind of ending. I wanted to warn the characters. I shouted at the pages at times afraid of what was coming but it was to no avail. It came anyway. It is, of course, an emotional roller coaster but it was an exciting ride, one that I will take again and again as I wait for the next book in the series to be published. Thanks, Cassandra for the journey.

Don’t miss this one. Enjoy the read!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this wicked book review. I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading 'City of Fallen Angels". I am, as well, nervous to read it but not so much.