Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire

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Synopsis from Amazon.com:

Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 “New York Times” bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian–but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance… Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

If you’ve been following by blog for at least the last month then you know that I have fallen deeply in love with The Mortal Instruments series. I have now read every book in the series and have made most of the main characters either a Man Crush Monday or Woman Crush Wednesday. Needless to say I was obsessed. And, sadly, now it’s all over and I’m at a loss as to what to do with myself.

Thankfully, there’s more books to read! The Infernal DevicesThe Bane ChroniclesThe Dark Artifices (which hasn’t come out yet but I will get my hands on it as soon as it does or as an ARC if I can)! I can’t wait to get my hands on these.

Until then I’ll be taking a break from the Shadowhunters world to read other things to cater to those of you that don’t actually read books by Cassandra Clare (although you really, really should!). If you haven’t read the first five books in the series please stop here unless you want to get spoiled. It’s review time!

City of Heavenly Fire was everything I needed it to be and more. There were some parts I could do without and definitely some sections I skimmed but overall I absolutely loved it. The story began with Emma, a young Shadowhunter in L.A. who will be the main character in the spin off series that comes out next year. I loved Emma and her friend, Julian, and their whole story and I’m excited to get to know them better.

The focus of this novel, however, was Jace, Clary, Alec, Isabelle, Simon, and Magnus. So much happened in this book and I was enthralled by it all. By beginning the novel with new characters I was thrown off a little bit but liked how Clare didn’t just jump into the drama right away. She eased us into it, showing us just how bad things were for the Shadowhunters and what Sebastian was doing.

Sebastian is probably my favorite character to hate. He’s so diabolical but also a cunning, evil genius. He’s smart, which is what made him successful. Thankfully, Clary and Jace are smarter. I loved seeing Jace and Clary work together in this book. Of course, with every war there were many losses in the novel as well, some of which I wasn’t expecting at all, but there was also victory and romance and enough happy moments to keep me satisfied.

Clare’s ability to bounce from character to character, setting to setting, in her novels is what makes them so great. I never got bored because as soon as we spent time with one or two characters we were then moving along to the next. The third person narrative really works here and I loved reading this book. I found myself so sucked into the story there was definitely a day I almost missed my stop on the train because I was so into the story.

The ending of the book didn’t satisfy me and honestly that’s probably because of two things. One, I hadn’t wanted the series to end but also, for Clare the story’s not really done. Sure the spin off will focus on Emma but it’s still a continuation of this story and I’m sure we’ll be seeing Clary and her crew again.

Even so, I wanted something more final about the ending. I won’t spoil it but I will say I was a little disappointed with the ending for Simon. I need more closure than that but apparently there’s a bunch of short stories about him so I guess I’ll have to read those to know more. Honestly, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to read them. More Shadowhunters!

Overall, I really did love this book. I still wanted more from it although I’m not sure what exactly. I don’t think this is my favorite book in the series, I think City of Lost Souls was better, but I still really loved it.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! You need a complete set. I wish I had one.

Favorite Line: 

“There are a hundred trillion cells in the human body, and every single one of the cells of my body loves you. We shed cells, and grow new ones, and my new cells love you more than the old ones, which is why I love you more every day than I did the day before. It’s science. And when I die and they burn my body and I become ashes that mix with the air, and part of the ground and the trees and the stars, everyone who breathes that air or sees the flowers that grow out of the ground or looks up at the stars will remember you and love you, because I love you that much.”

Stars:

4 stars

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Book Review: City of Fallen Angels

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Trust is dangerous, and to love is to destroy. Plunge into the fourth installment in the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly)—now with a gorgeous new cover, a map, a new foreword, and exclusive bonus content! City of Fallen Angels is a Shadowhunters novel.

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

I’m so hooked on this series. I don’t how it took me this long to start reading it but now I’m playing catch up and reading through them as fast as I can. Then I can start reading the Clockwork series and learn what the fuss is about Will Herondale.

But for now let’s talk about the City of Fallen Angels. If you haven’t read the first three books in The Mortal Instruments series be warned there will be spoilers!

As I said before, the series could’ve ended with City of Glass. It was a good ending. However, I’m so glad it didn’t because this book was crazy good.

In this novel we got some new, interesting characters, a lot more background for various characters including Magnus and Maia, and just a lot of good plot. This novel picked up a little while after the last book and of course everything seems to be fine and dandy but it’s really not.

Despite having the Mark of Cain on him, someone is looking for Simon and quite possibly trying to kill him. Clary and Jace’s new found relationship is on the rocks and as always Jace is struggling with his communication skills. Magnus and Alec are taking a well deserved vacation until unfortunately Magnus is called back for an emergency and Magnus and Alec are forced to question the reality of their relationship. Oh, and did I mention Simon’s having girl troubles? How geeky Simon went from pining away for Clary to having two girlfriends is still a mystery.

The point is this book had a lot going on but Cassandra Clare did an excellent job of keeping everything together and not making anything confusing or hard to understand. I found the story easy to follow and once again I enjoyed being able to bounce around from character to character and get a full scope of what was going on in everyone’s lives.

I’m impatiently waiting to get City of Lost Souls because this book ends with a major cliffhanger that honestly I saw coming but still. I need to know what happens next!

If you haven’t given this series a try yet, despite me giving you about a thousand reasons why you should, do yourself a favor and check it out. You won’t regret it.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! Buy the whole series. I would if I had some money.

Favorite Line:

“It means,” [Jace] said, “that love is the most powerful force in the world. That love can do anything.”

Stars:

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Book Review: City of Ashes

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Synopsis of Amazon.com:

Is love worth betraying everything? Plunge into the second adventure in the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

Jace is everything in this book. He makes this book. I’m only here for Jace, honestly.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way let’s talk about the book itself. If you haven’t read of City of Bones yet stop here or you’ll be spoiled.

This novel picks up not too long after the end of City of Bones. We find everyone still reeling from Valentine and the revelation that Jace and Clary are siblings. Clary’s attempting a relationship with her best friend, Simon, Jace is trying to figure out his family situation and being accused of working with Valentine by the Clave, and Luke and Clary are coping with the fact that Clary’s mother still won’t wake up.

The stakes are super high in this book with Valentine building his army. Luckily, Clary and Jace are discovering they have powers of their own and maybe not everything is lost. Plus, Simon steps up in this book, which is great because he was pretty annoying up to that point. Hopefully, now he’ll get a life and stop focusing all his attention on Clary because frankly I don’t think she deserves it. Not that she isn’t great in her own right but she isn’t the end all, be all.

Lastly, I really enjoyed Magnus and Alec’s relationship in this book. It was implied in the first book but this one solidified it a bit more. They probably won’t be holding hands, walking around Central Park anytime soon (if ever) but they’re cute and I like them together. Plus, Magnus is bae.

Borrow or BuyBuy! I really liked this one and already requested City of Glass from the library.

Favorite Line:

“That does it,” said Jace. “I’m going to get you a dictionary for Christmas this year.”
“Why?” Isabelle said.
“So you can look up ‘fun.’ I’m not sure you know what it means.”

Stars:

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Book Review: City of Bones

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Synopsis from Amazon:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

I’m hooked. I didn’t want to be hooked because I don’t have time to be hooked on another series but here I am hooked.

Clary Fray is a great protagonist. I won’t go into much detail about why I think so highly of her here because I did that yesterday. What I will say is I loved her and Jace’s chemistry. Jace is sarcastic and cocky from the start. He knows he’s good looking and a great Shadowhunter and he’s proud. I really want them to be together but … well I won’t spoil it for you. What I will say is it’s not over until I finish the last book.

Moving on, the other characters were also spectacular. Clary’s best friend, Simon, is adorkable, Isabelle and Alec, the Lightwood siblings and basically Jace’s family, are very different but also similar in an interesting way. I like Isabelle’s tough girl attitude and I really like Alec and his whole story line. I’m excited to see where that goes in the next books.

The adults are also great and have their own crazy back stories. Hodge, Alec, Isabelle, and Jace’s guardian, is basically the chill godfather who loves his garden and herbs. Kind of like a hippie but can also take you out if you try anything. Luke, Clary’s godfather type figure, is a boss. Period. I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll leave it that. I’m just a really big fan of Luke. Clary’s mom isn’t really relevant but from what we learn about her I wasn’t a fan. To be fair she’s not in the majority of the book so I really can’t pass judgement. Even so, I could do with less of her.

As for the plot I was never bored. There’s an air of mystery to the novel as well as some plot twists (some expected, some not). Overall, as the first book in The Mortal Instruments series, Cassandra Clare did a really good job of laying the foundation for this world without it being boring. Well done. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Borrow or Buy: This was a tough call and I went back and forth on it. On the one hand I really did enjoy this book. On the other hand I just couldn’t imagine actually buying it. It was good but it just wasn’t that good.

Favorite Line:

“Don’t.” Clary raised a warning hand. “I’m not really in the mood right now.”
“That’s got to be the first time a girl’s ever said that to me,” Jace mused.”

Stars:

4 stars

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Clary Fray

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Can you just take a moment to see how bad a** Clary looks? She looks like a boss because she is a boss.

However, Clary doesn’t start off that way, which is one of the reasons why I love her. The character growth of this girl is phenomenal and deserves all the praise. And I’ve only read the first book so I’m sure she has much further to grow.

If you don’t already know, Clary is the main character of The Mortal Instruments series. She’s goregous (but of course she doesn’t know it) and discovers that she’s the child of a Shadowhunter, half-human, half-angel species that hunts demons and demon breeds (Downworlders).

Clary starts off all sweet and innocent but even from the beginning she doesn’t take things just sitting down. She doesn’t let people (specifically love interest #1, Jace) talk down to her and keep her out of the loop. She wants to be part of the action and help find her mother who’s been kidnapped (parentnapped?).

What I really love about Clary is she’s not here for anyone’s BS. She’s a pretty good judge of character and in a world where it’s hard to know who to trust she does a pretty good job of picking the right people. Overall, Clary is smart, beautiful, and even funny and I love her.

“I don’t want tea,” said Clary, with muffled force. “I want to find my mother. And then I want to find out who took her in the first place, and I want to kill them.”
“Unfortunately,” said Hodge, “we’re all out of bitter revenge at the moment, so it’s either tea or nothing.”