City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Just as the first three books had proved, I knew that I was going to be in for a rollercoaster ride with this book – and I was right.
With Valentine defeated and Clary and Jace knowing the truth about their relationship with each other, things shouldn’t have been happier. Not only for those two, but for all of their friends – Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike. But a new darkness is rising; and this isn’t necessarily one they can defeat that easily.
As Jace begins to act up and pull away from Clary – from everyone – with no explanation as to why apart from the haunted look in his eyes, Simon realises that he has his own problems to deal with. Not only because he has two attractive girls both bidding for his attention, but because, perhaps more crucially, he has one of the most ancient vampires seeking his assistance while trying to battle his own longings as he tries to understand precisely what he has become.
Trust is a tentative thing for the friends now and no one can be sure about what is going on. As Jace gets worse and Clary begins to discover the truth, they realise that this is a fight against an even bigger foe than before. In part, it’s a fight against themselves; their own inner demons and fears fighting to be let lose. Can the bonds between the teenagers hold even when nothing is as it seems?
Just as the previous books, this is a gripping tale that gets you sucked into the world so hard and fast that your head is still spinning even while you are frantically reading as fast as possible. Clare knows how to build up the tension and anticipation as she builds to the climax. After events in previous books, there is no guarantee for the reader whether a happy ending will be possible or not and the knowledge that literally anything could happen makes this a real page turner.
However, despite being completely gripped, something was beginning to change for me in this book. Once again, the centre of all of the torment is Jace. The sarcastic boy from the first few books is almost gone now. While it shows good character development, there does seem to be a sense of predictability that if anything truly bad is going to happen to any of them, it is going to be Jace with the emotional backlash hitting Clary. Their on/off relationship has spanned for four books now and still doesn’t seem to have any development taking places despite the discoveries the characters themselves have uncovered.
It almost feel as if this is a beautiful broken character that Clare has created and now she wants to keep reminding everyone of that. However, that is not to say that it detracted from the book or the intensity of the plot, but it does leave me wondering where the final two books will take his character.
Once again looking forward to the next book.