Monday, 28 July 2014

Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Heavenly Fire
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 733
This book saved my life because: It redeemed the second half of the Mortal Instruments,
a great wrap up to the series.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

In all honesty, I was kind of over The Mortal Instruments by the time I got to this book, the conclusion to the series. I was a major, major fan of the series around about the time I was getting into YA (early teens), and when Cassandra Clare announced a 4th book (soon to turn into another 3 books), I was over the moon. And then came City of Fallen Angels, and Lost Souls. Which almost put me off the series entirely. What was a perfect trilogy, I thought, was practically ruined by these next two books. I was talking to Keely from My Spin on Books blog, and we were both saying that this would be the last Cassandra Clare book we would read.

However, then I read the book, and my opinion was completely changed.

I loved this book. I think it was such a well-written conclusion, the only thing that I think was that the length was a bit long. But apart from that I think Clare did an amazing job of finishing off the series.

One of the reasons that I was worried about that I didn't need to was the death/sadness that was anticipated on this book. Everyone knows that Cassandra Clare has a bit of a reputation for enjoying putting her characters through hard times. And this book was heralded with 'six characters you know by name will die'. Which had everyone pretty scared. But I was presently surprised by the lighter tone in this book. The last two were very dark, and despite the destruction occurring in the Shadowhunter world, I still found this to be a much happier book. Maybe because Jace and Clary weren't going through their usual struggles (well they still were, but nowhere near as bad).

There was also lots of humorous banter that was great, which also added to my enjoyment of the book. I was laughing so hard even in the few pages. I especially enjoyed jokes that referred to their previous struggles, like:

“You're pining," said Jace.
Alec shrugged. "Look who's talking. 'oh I love her. Oh, she's my sister. Oh why, why, why—” 

which I thought was just great, practically a summary of the first three books

Another reason why this book was so great was that it intertwined the past (The Infernal Devices/TID), the future (the Dark Artifices/TDA) with the present (The Mortal Instruments/TMI). Her other two series integrate in this book so well, and it made me want to read the Dark Artifices series. Although I did find it a bit odd that Emma, who is getting her own series, is featured quite a bit in COHF and gets her own POV, I still enjoyed reading her sections. It was also good in showing giving a bit of background and insight into the next story, making me quite keen to read it.

But also really cool in a weird way was the continuation of the Infernal Devices storyline. It was so crazy when characters from both series would meet. I especially loved the Brother Zachariah/Jem jokes:

“Brother Zachariah,” Isabelle said. “Months January through December of the Hot Silent Brothers Calendar. ”

But also I felt like the slightly confusing ending of TID was concluded a bit more in this series. I feel like it will also be continued more in TDA, at least I really hope so.

The one main thing that I thought could have improved this book was the length. I know it is important to take the time needed to finish up a series, but I feel like this still could have been achieved in a shorter book. There were just some areas that dragged on for a bit.

However, I still thought this was an amazing conclusion to the series and has changed my view of Cassandra Clare completely. I am really looking forward to reading The Dark Artifices and seeing what Emma Cairstairs gets up to.

xx Viv

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