Updated: Jan 24, 2021
City of Fallen Angels
by Cassandra Clare
Published by McElderry Books
Book 4 in the Mortal Instruments Series
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.
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Violence Young Adult Meh.
City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, and centers around Clary Frey, Jace Herondale, Simon Lewis, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood, Magnus Bane, Jordan Kyle, Maia Roberts, Jocelyn Frey and Luke Garroway. When everything seems to be the way its supposed to be, suddenly shadowhunters are being murdered, and Jace starts avoiding Clary. When Clary decides to take action and figure out what is happening to Jace and who is killing shadowhunters, she ends up finding out her actions are the cause to what is happening.
So the first time I read this, I liked it. The second time I read this, I think I stopped halfway through. The third time I read this (and it's been 5+ years since my last readthrough) I had to push myself to finish it just for this review. City of Fallen Angels is consistent with the rest of the series. Unique in the way it combines teenage angst with the supernatural nature of these books. My problem was, it was boring. Most of it was filler to get to the end. There was hardly any character growth and everyone seemed to have hit a wall in development. And I feel like Clary and Jace went through a separation already ... we are just recycling plot at this point.
Clary is now training to be a Shadowhunter full time, and I would have loved to see more of her training. Otherwise, her character has stalled out. Jace is the same way. Still see's the worst of himself. Still tries dealing with it alone. Doesn't think he is good enough. By the fourth book, he should be moving past this. Simon's character grew a tiny bit. He is now starting to really think about what being a vampire means for him, and the impact on the future. I think the whole thing with Izzy and Mia was odd, because it isn't consistent with his character in the past. I do like that Izzy is starting to feel something for him. It shows a lot of growth with her character, which is sad that a side character gets the most development. I liked the arc with Mia and the newest addition to the series, Jordan. Their story works for them in the supernatural sense. Alec and Magnus's arc isn't unique amongst all books that involve a moral and immortal. There isn't an easy solution, and I am kind of glad it was left off unsolved, as it isn't meant to be easily solved.
City of Fallen Angels, in my opinion, wasn't needed. I think we could have cut 90% of this novel, added the 10% to the next one, and called it a day. But it is a part of this series, and while not my favorite book in it, don't skip out on it! :)