Saturday, October 22, 2011

City of Fallen Angels

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."

8 comments:

  1. I didn't even know there was a fourth. I'll pass. I didn't like half of the second book and none of the third.

    Though I did get Clockwork Prince for review. Trying to decide if I want to pick up Clockwork Angel to read them both. Have been told both that a) they are better and b) they aren't any different than the MI series. With conflicting statements like that, I just don't know!

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  2. Cat - I had Clockwork Angel checked out for a while, but somehow the fact that it was a prequel kind of made me reluctant to read it. I have heard good things about it, though. I think I'll wait to hear your take on them, if you give them a try. :-)

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  3. ha, we had a fantasy blog called Twisted Kingdom and this blogger that doesn't even blog any more was a member. She reviewed the first book in this series and said she hated it... Best comments ever! People are so mad at her. To this day we still get comments and the blog sort of died off for posting, so I still can't help laughing when a new comment pops up. I keep thinking I should read the first book to see what I think, but I haven't...

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  4. Kailana - Oh, I remember Twisted Kingdom! I didn't know you were one of the bloggers there. That is funny. I haven't had that happen to me very often, thank heavens. But one of my review policies is that if I can't think of anything good to say about a book, I just don't review it. So I imagine that helps. :-)

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  5. I kinda enjoyed this series, though by book 4 the relationships had certainly been flogged to death. I still have hope that Clare might bring something new into the fold for book 5. However, the prequel...Clockwork Angel...I loved! So much more my cup of tea...I don't know whether it was the characters or the victorian setting or the clockwork bad guys, but I cannot wait for book 2!! I do hope you decide to read Clockwork Angel despite your disappointment with how this series is turning out..

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  6. Mariel - I do keep hearing good things about Clockwork Angel, so I will have to give it a try. Does it deal with the current characters' parents, or does it go back further than that? I think I'd prefer further.

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  7. Much further, a good century ago - but there some interesting links. You'll recognise some of the family names. I do hope you like it. I just started the sequel, Clockwork Prince.

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  8. Mariel -Yikes - sorry it to me so long to post your comment! I always forget about that pesky comment moderation on older posts, although it's been great at keeping spam to a minimum. Anyway, I will give Clockwork Angel a try. Did you enjoy the sequel as much? (I'm so behind on blog reading, but I will stop by to try and find out!)

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