City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare follows Clary, Jace, and Simon and a bevy of other familiar characters, as well as some new ones. When exactly this story picks up after City of Glass isn't mentioned, although it's apparent that a significant amount of time has not passed.
In this book we have Simon as narrator quite often, as befits his new, exalted, Mark of Cain bearing existence. Jace’s narrations are upped quite a bit too, while Clary’s seem to lag a bit. To me, it seemed that CC is done with Clary as the most important person in the book. Although she still is important. We’re focusing more on Jace and Simon, and Isabelle and Alex seem like they’ll be getting more important parts in the next book.
Jace has been having bad dreams, nightmares, where he pictures himself killing Clary. Out of love and fear for her wellbeing as well as his self-control, he distances himself from her, only to cause both of them grief to the point of sickness. When Shadowhunters are born, a ceremony is performed, since without certain wards and protections, they’re like open doors for any demonic possession or presence. After Jace was brought back to life, he was essentially born again, and since they kept it a secret that he died, Jace was an open door for demonic possession or presence.
Simon is being courted by everyone. Some of you may remember Camille from Clockwork Angel, from The Infernal Devices series, a prequel of sorts to The Mortal Instruments, and she is also seen, very briefly, in City of Glass, at the end. Wanting to get her clan back from Raphael, but not knowing the exact outcome, she tried to recruit Simon, as his Mark will certainly mark her victor. Then you have the Clave wanting Simons help against Camille, when it comes to light that she’s been a very, very bad vampire. Then you have the random street attacks on Simon and the threats to people he knows.
Alec and Magnus come back halfway through the book, after going on a vacation. Everything is not peachy keen in paradise though, and it seems Alec has finally realized that his lover once hung out with Napoleon, and will outlive him.
Maia’s past has caught up with her, in the dubious form of her Praetor Lupus ex-boyfriend, werewolf sire Jordan Kyle. After attacking Maia during his first change, Jordan is approached by the Praetor Lupus. A group of wolves designed to help keep some balance. He takes a case to protect Simon when he sees Maia’s name mentioned in it.
Clary is continuing in her training, trying to be a better Shadowhunter. You see her become drawn from the strain of Jace’s distance. She’s also the one that figures out that Jace’s dreams could quite possibly be, not because he’s Valentines son and therefor sick and wrong, but a demons influence. Turns out, she’s right.
Enter Lilith (yes, I said Lilith) mother of warlocks and first wife of Adam. She’s a Greater Demon that was cursed with barrenness. She’s been trying to replicate what Valentine did to Jace, Clary and Sebastian/Jonathan, but has been unsuccessful. She saved Sebastian/Jonathan after he was cut down in a fight with Jace. I hesitate to say “murdered” or “died” because it seems that although he’s not particularly well (he’s floating in a tub full of nasty water and is sustained only by a rune) he’s not completely gone. Which bring us back to book three, City of Glass, when Valentine had murdered Jace and the angel Raziel asked Clary what she wanted and she asked for Jace back, alive. Jace was well and truly dead, so he was brought back, not resuscitated or revived. Since Lilith is so damn old, (she got kicked out of Eden, for pity’s sake!) she knows that for every life restored to Light, one life can be restored to Dark, and I’m assuming vice-versa. So, not wanting to be left out, and freakishly obsessed with children (turns out she’s had thousands, and they’ve all died) she retrieves Jonathan for that precise moment. When Simon uses his Daylighter blood to revive Jonathan enough to actually come back. It also turns out that Jace is the ‘counterweight’. Not knowing if this is implicitly true, after all, a Greater Demon was the one who said this, but one cannot live without the other. If Sebastian dies, so does Jace, and again, vice-versa.
Finally, after everyone is bloodied, cut up, tired and seriously contemplating waltzing off the top of a forty-foot building, Lilith is killed, shattered into a billion little holy salt particles after Simon threw himself in front of Clary, taking a blow meant for her. And I should insert some biblical quote here, that I can't find but whatever harm is done to the one who bears the Mark of Caine, gets it back sevenfold. So yeah, holy salt particles.
Like usual, CC is a wonderful writer, and I love her characters dearly, but this book fell flat. It really felt like a transitional book. I know that The Mortal Instruments series was initially designed to be only three books, and I think that owes to a lot of the flat feeling. I believe that book five, City of Lost Souls, will be better. I hope so, at least. She set a lot of good groundwork though, so hopefully after this escapade of a transitional book is over with, she’ll get back to her amazing writing.
Camille disappearing was way too convenient. With two Shadowhunters right in front of her, it seems a bit too fantastical that she just vanished. I definitely believe we’ll be seeing her again, so that seemed a good way to make sure she survived until the next book, impracticality aside. She also hinted at having some information that Alec would find useful concerning his and Magnus’ relationship problem (i.e., he’s going to die) although she said the solution was not, in fact, vampirism.
It seems that we may see the end of flippant Isabelle and may actually see an ‘in love’ Isabelle, if the conversation at the end of the book between her and Simon is any indication. Since CC also put some huge hints concerning Maia and Jordan working out their issues, that would obviously leave Simon and Isabelle as the single loose ends, and they have a good foundation to be built upon.
I am severely disappointed that at the end of this book, we leave Clary and Jace as we left them at the end of book one, book two and book three. There’s nothing new there. Nothing has changed at all, basically. Sure, their love is deeper now, but they’re still asunder and there’s no happy ending for them in sight. The conflict of their love hasn't changed. I’m getting tired of it, frankly. I understand the conflict and general tone of the book would be altered, but there are other ways to give these two characters problems than to harp on the same ones.
On the Sebastian/Jonathan and Greater Demon, Lilith front, I don’t understand. Lilith is completely destroyed, not just temporarily returned to her demon netherworld sphere, to be returned later. She’s a pile of holy salt right now. So why is her influence in Sebastian/Jonathan and Jace continuing? Even after Clary cut the rune off of Jace and the demon is question is gone, beyond a shadow of doubt?
The ending of the book was one big cliffhanger, without the breathlessness and expectation of actually being on a cliff, hanging by your fingertips. It felt like a lot of the same, no matter how well written and entertaining. It has absolutely nothing on the previous books in this series. Case in point, the ending in City of Glass was amazing. I finished the book with a happy sigh, content to know that Valentine was no more and Clary and Jace would finally get some happiness. Boy, was I wrong. This "cliffhanger" was a crude ending compared to the previous books.
For The Mortal Instruments die-hard fans, I would tell you to read it, but you will anyways, because you’re a die-hard fan like I am. Or was. I will most definitely be reading City of Lost Souls, in hope that this was just a transitional fluke since she didn’t originally plan on going beyond three books. If book five is more of this, I’ll only read the sixth to be done with the series, but I am disappointed. The book I waited for on pins and needles was not what I expected. I had trouble getting through it, despite it being a good book. After reading three hefty books with the same story line, four was just hard to swallow. (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Fallen by Lauren Kate is a book about, well, you guessed it. Fallen angels. Sort of. When gearing up to review I like to sit back and really think about the story I've just read. Even while reading the book, I found myself pausing, out of a general lack of interest.
This story introduces us to Luce, a girl with a somewhat troubled passed. She’s a suspected arsonist, with a boy she liked, Trevor, being the victim. Throughout the whole story, we don’t get any clues, or real answers as to what happened. It seems like the Trevor part of the plot was thrown in to ultimately get Luce into the reform school, Sword & Cross. She also sees these dark, malevolent and creepy “shadows” that she’s seen for twelve years. They’re always negative and scary, and at S&C, they seem stronger.
At Sword & Cross, Luce meets the inevitable motley crew, and the inevitable love triangle. Speaking solely about the love triangle, I didn’t feel that fire, the struggle, the angst. It fell very short for me, and was an intense disappointment. Luce meets this boy Daniel, who flips her off on her very first day. She’s inexplicably drawn to him, and is almost certain that she’s seen him before, that she knows him from somewhere. It turns out that she does. No spoilers here, but you can imagine, with the whole fallen angel theme.
Daniel as a character was promising. I saw a lot of chances where the author might have delved deeper into him, his background, maybe even his emotions. But no cigar. Cam, the other member in this trio, on the other hand was way more out there. There were more interactions in a way, and he was one of the most talkative characters in this book. Although you see more of how and who Cam is in this story, it wasn’t enough to pacify me.
The other characters in this book thread in and out of pages and chapters without any real coherency. You see this one character, Arriane, pretty consistently for a while, until poof, she’s gone for three or so chapters, and you’re kind of wondering why she isn’t around, because her abscense wasn’t explained at all. My favorite character of this entire book so far has been Penn. Who is actually pretty well developed, you see a bunch of interactions, and she’s generally a realcharacter, as opposed to all the other paper board cut out characters.
Luce appears to be stalker-ish, naïve, guilible, and doesn’t seem to be a strong female character. I’m hoping for a turn around in this aspect. You never see her take charge, besides maybe 20 or 15 pages before the end were she decides she believes what she’s been told and wants to find Daniel to tell him. She’s a clingy, needy girl, who seems to need to be with either Cam or Daniel, or both, interchanging them to fit her schedule Although she’s not a “player”. Most of the damn novel consisted of her thinking, stalking, and agonizing over these guys, and not being able to decide and blah, blah, blah. Trust me, I’m a fan of star-crossed lovers, of the angst and grittieness of love, and even of the love triangle. But I just wanted to smack her and say hey, Luce? Maybe since you’ve spent your whole entire life without a boyfriend, and according to yourself you’ve never been kissed, maybe you want to give it a rest and focus on yourself? YOU’RE IN A REFORM SCHOOL!!!
Another problem that I had with this book was it’s wordiness, for lack of a better term. It seemed like the author was sort of rambling about, giving you just enough information to keep the pages reluctantly turning, while not revealing anything at all. In the end it felt like a lot of talk, with little action. Sort of a show and tell with no showing. The story was just so promising.
I was very excited for Fallen, and unfortunately, I can say that I’m pretty disappointed. This book seemed very promising, and the writing and the book itself was promising. I saw a bunch of different opportunities where the author could have turned things around. I’m hoping the second book in the Fallentrilogy, Torment is better. And unless the second book is abonomably bad, without any redeeming qualities, I will not read the third book, Passion. Or maybe I will. I just see so much potential here!
I really wanted to like this book. I wanted to love it, to add it to my favorites, and I was so excited to hear there were two more. I’m not sure how far I’ll get into thisseries, or into LK’s writing in the future, if she decided to continue (I’m not sure) but if you like a light read, where you can pass the time on a long train or plane ride, where the story doesn’t really matter you just need it to occupy you’re time, I’d recommend it. I don’t know, maybe you’ll like it more than I did. I hope you do. Try it, you never know. I can say that I will be reading the second book, fingers crossed and holding my breath.