City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. This review will not contain spoilers for City of Fallen Angels, but it will have spoilers for the previous three books.
Clary is back home in New York and has settled into a new routine of training to become a Shadowhunter. She is happily dating Jace and her mother is preparing to marry Luke. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are coming to a previously unknown peace. Life is exactly as she had always wished and she couldn’t be more excited about what awaits her. But doesn’t Clary know that nothing can last forever and everything has a price?
When Shadowhunters start being murdered, the fragile peace between the Downworlders and Shadowhunters is tested. In an effort to maintain the new ties, Clary and the rest of her friends do everything they can to find out why these Shadowhunters are being targetted, or at least at first. Simon isn’t much help since his mother just discovered his dark secret, not to mention the fact that both Isabelle and Maia are mad at him. Alec and Magnus are off on vacation. Jace begins avoiding Clary and won’t tell anyone why. This leaves Clary with no one to turn to.
In an effort to save the peace and find out what is going on with Jace, Clary discovers a dark secret that is much too dangerous for her to take on alone. Will she be able to save those she loves or are the powers that are now stirring too much for all of them?
I have to say I am shocked by City of Fallen Angels. The first thing that really surprised me about this book was how much more sophisticated the writing itself is. While it is still written at a level that would be easy for a high school aged person to read, it is much more concise and flows so much smoother than the first three books in this series did.
Clary also felt like she had “grown up” quite a bit between the third and fourth books. Maybe it was a result of everything she faced during the third book or the six weeks of training she had between them, but she was much more likable in this book than any of the other one so far. She didn’t seem like as much of a whiny teenager, but someone who understood how the world worked.
Going in I wasn’t sure what the conflict was going to be since Valentine and Sebastian were both out of the picture, but I don’t think Clare could have come up with a better way to continue the series. It tied into the first three seamlessly, which is really impressive since Clare was not originally planning on continuing the series past City of Glass.
There wasn’t a lot of worldbuilding in this novel, which was slightly disappointing, but I can’t complain too much about it since it really wasn’t necessary to the story. Everything made sense and flowed nicely so I doubt adding additional worldbuilding would have benefited the story. However, that does not change the fact that I wanted more.
I think the most unbelievable part of the book was the fact that Alec and Magnus were off traveling at the beginning. At the end of City of Glass, it was clear that Alec and Magnus were headed in the right direction, but it didn’t seem realistic that Alec would pick up and go off on vacation for an extended amount of time with everything that had just happened.
I am really glad that I read Clockwork Angel before I read this book though. I am reading them in publication order, which means I am going back and forth between TMI and TID series. If I hadn’t read Clockwork Angel, I feel like a lot of the details in this book would have been lost on me. I would not have understood just how important they were.
Overall, I was really impressed with this novel and it was definitely my favorite book in the series so far! I gave it 5 out of 5 stars and think that if the rest of the series continues at this level then I will be recommending it to everyone!
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