Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire


I am coming.
Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance?  Quoted from Goodreads


I'll be honest, I had some issues with the way The Clockwork Princess ended (mostly good, but a few things that really bugged me) so I was a little nervous going into this book to see if it was even worth reading books 4, 5, and 6 of the series when I enjoyed the way book 3 ended so much, and I did end up liking it.  I felt like this book sort of brought the series back up to where it was in the first three.  We get a lot more action and a lot less angst (of course there is some angst.  This is a Cassandra Clare book, after all).  

So what made this book stand out from all the others so far?  First: Jace and Clary's relationship.  Everything is just so much better here.  Yes, (and warning, there are some spoilers for the last book if you haven't read it, so be careful) they can't touch each other for a good portion of it, but their relationship is solid.  The indecision and doubt that we get in the five previous books is gone, so while they still have problems, they work together much better as a team.

Second: Action.  This book has an amazing prologue that completely sucks you into the story and never lets up.  We get deception, murders, war, kidnappings, and as evil a villain as you could desire, all of which leads up to a climactic ending.  I'll be honest, I was expecting more deaths (don't worry, we do get a few) and destruction, but I felt like it was still an satisfying conclusion, and enough bad things happened you never knew who exactly was safe.

Third, Cameos and the Clave. There are a lot of really fun cameos from the Infernal Devices (Tessa and Clary have a fun little conversation), so the books tie in well together. As for the Clave, I love that they're supposed to be good but  kind of evil at the same time.  It lets you totally see why Valentine was able to gather so many followers against them.  At one point, I was ready to overthrow them myself, which leads into my next point.

Warning. If you're thinking maybe I'll just finish up this book then take a little break from Cassandra Clare's novels for awhile, think again.  This book totally sets up her next series.  The prologue is all Emma Carstairs.  We periodically get chapters from her POV throughout the book, and there's even a pretty emotional cliffhanger ending for her part of the story.  Aaaaaaaaaaaah!  

As far as Clary, Jace, Simon, Sebastian, Isabelle, Alec, Magnus, Jocelyn, Luke, Maia, etc. goes, this is a pretty good ending (I'm not saying they all live, I'm just trying to give you all the people who get a POV in the story).  Things aren't perfect, and I'm betting they'll make small appearances in in the next series, but it ends really well.

So are these last three books worth it?  I'd say yes.  It's another fun adventure full of the characters you know and love.  It also ties into the ginormous universe Clare seems to be building, and it's fun to get all these connections. I'm giving it a strong 4 stars, with potential to being bumped up half a star later depending on how I feel in six months.  And I will be reading Lady Midnight when it comes out next year.  With the introduction to fiery, little Emma and all her problems, it would be impossible not to.

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