I wasn't sure what to think when I first saw this fourth installment in The Mortal Instruments "trilogy." While I had enjoyed the first three books immensely, it seemed to me that the relationship issues had been solved satisfactorily, and the big bad had been fought and defeated, and things were well on their way to happily ever after. But of course other big bads could appear, and it would be fun to see Jace and Clary work as a team, unburdened by the many various obstacles they had faced in the first trilogy (much the way that Eve and Roarke, in J.D. Robb's "In Death" series, team up to solve cases as their relationship continues to develop throughout the course of the series).
Instead, I was disappointed to find the book seems total rehash of everything that was purportedly resolved at the end of the third book. Same big bad issues (more or less), same villainous motivation - plus the relationship between Jace and Clary completely falls apart for pretty ridiculous reasons (you know, when if only characters would explain one little thing, everything would be okay - but for some inexplicable reason they don't, and everything spins out of control?) - undermining everything that was resolved at the conclusion of the trilogy. I'm not sure what the intent was here, but while I was initially excited to revisit some favorite characters and see them progress into an interesting new future with different conflicts and issues, instead I got a redressed version of the earlier books, and it was all rather disappointing.
Not that there isn't anything to like here - the writing is solid, and I always enjoy Clare's sense of humor and her skillful dialogue. I just wish I had stopped with the third book, which left me feeling that happy, satisfied glow that comes with a solid conclusion to a good series.
Books in the Mortal Instruments series:
1. City of Bones
2. City of Ashes
3. City of Glass
4. City of Fallen Angels
City of Fallen Angels (#4 in the Mortal Instruments series) by Cassandra Clare (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011)
Also reviewed at:
Reading with Tequila: "As the first book in a new trilogy in this series, I can only hope that it was setting the stage for something bigger that will bring the frenzied "need to read as quickly as possible" feel back to the next two books."
So Many Books, So Little Time: "
I don’t really know how to start with reviewing City of Fallen Angels other than it took my hesitant expectations and trampled on them."
YA Reads: "This book is hypnotically well written, you get so comfortable reading it, 424 pages just doesn’t seem like enough. It comes complete with all the snark and sarcasm we’ve come to love from Cassandra Clare’s characters."