City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is the fourth book in The Mortal Instruments series, which was originally a trilogy. It picks up not very long after City of Glass left off. This review doesn’t contain spoilers, but if you’re looking to start reading this series, I definitely suggest starting from the first book. There’s a lot of continuity and character development throughout the books and I suspect they’ll make much less sense if you don’t read from the start. My reviews for the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series:
Right, now that’s out of the way, on to the review proper. City of Fallen Angels focusses more on Simon than the previous books have. This didn’t bother me since, despite hating Simon in the first two books, I found him suddenly more likeable in City of Glass. In City of Fallen Angels he continues to develop and mature and it’s clear at the end that there’s still space for him to continue to grow. It’s always good to see characters not be “complete” because that’s not how real life works.
Clary and Jace, of course, continue to feature prominently, of course. Their storyline, however, was fraught with angst. A different sort of angst to the previous books, which I found less interesting to read about. There was less tension and more moping on their parts.
I would have liked to have more Magnus and Alec in this one, but there wasn’t much room left over for them. I suspect/hope that we’ll be seeing more of them in the next book (and maybe Magnus in the prequel series, the Infernal Devices, which I have yet to read).
All the characters spent the first part of the book doing their own thing with their paths crossing occasionally up until it all came together at the climax. The problem was that, despite mysterious bad guys trying to kill one of the characters from the start, there wasn’t that much danger and the reader didn’t know who the bad guys were until the climax started. While it didn’t result in a boring story or anything like that, it was a little bit less exciting than the previous books. Especially juxtaposed with the immediate prequel, which involved an end-of-trilogy climax. That it ended on a bit of a cliff hanger with many things unresolved didn’t help either. (Especially since I won’t be able to read the next book for a little while :-/ )
All that isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy City of Fallen Angels, just that I didn’t think it was quite as good as it’s predecessors. I still recommend it to anyone who’s enjoyed the first three books. If you’re reading this and you’re new to the series, I definitely suggest starting with the first book, City of Bones.
4 / 5 stars