City of Fallen Angels is the 4th book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I received the book from the very generous Simon & Schuster Canada.

There are many elements of this series that interest me. I find the idea of tattoo runes fascinating, especially because the use of a pen like instrument (the steele) is what really seems to separate the Nephilim from other trained warriors. The pen is mightier than the sword, is an interesting topic in a book about teens raised to fight demons. I enjoyed Simon`s struggle with his vampire instincts, and the understanding that accepting our nature is the best way to control it.

Simon is really the most interesting person in this book, and there`s a little less about Jace and Clary`s drama. Which is a good thing because I still find their relationship to be icky. In fact, I think most relationships in this series are pretty unhealthy. This is a problem I have with a lot of books for teens; stalking your girlfriend because you are afraid that if you actually talk to her you will hurt her is creepy, weird and not a good example of love. Ever since Twilight this has been a trend, the brooding guy who follows the girl `to protect her`. At least in this novel Simon points out the creepiness of it all, and Clary gets mad at Jace (although not mad enough if you ask me).

I don`t really like that Jewish/Christian mythology is becoming quite so prominent in the series. It reminds me of the show Supernatural that I loved when it was two demon hunters fighting beasts from urban legends, but got annoyed with when the Heaven vs Hell battle got full blown with Lucifer and everything. I think a touch of mythology from religion makes things interesting but I`m not sure I like how far Clare takes it.

I enjoyed the book overall, but it didnt have the same edgy sarcasm that was so delightful earlier in the series. I`ll keep reading, but I hope Clare steps it up in the next book, doesnt just draw everything out. Enough with the Jace being bad for Clary but perfect at the same time. That`s been done. Maybe focus on Magnus and Alec??

In my mailbox

IMM is hosted by the Story Siren. See her vlogs on Sundays.

This week I got a package of awesome from Simon & Schuster Canada.

I got City of Fallen Angels in hardcover, a poster and some buttons!

I can’t wait to read the book, I might have to jump right to it, skipping my TBR pile.  I think I’ll put the poster up in the teen room of my library for now, and when we update that to something newer in a few months I’ll take it home and put by my bookshelf. I will keep one button, and use the others for prizes. I think I might have to throw a Mortal Instruments party at the library when the movie comes out. The Harry Potter Party and Star Wars party went so well, and maybe this would bring in an older crowd… oh the possibilities!

I also purchased

Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians from Bookingham Palace, a store in the same mall as my library. It’s a super-cute take on Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. I’ve started collecting librarian books, and this is one of my favourites. I’ve also ordered Library Dragon and a doll that goes with it, but that hasn’t come in yet.

Clockwork Angel

*this review will be brief because I have a migraine and can’t stand to look at the screen but I like to write about books the day I finish them because of my terrible memory.

I’m on a Cassandra Clare binge the past couple of weeks, reading the first three Mortal Instruments books and now the first installment of the Infernal Devices

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

 “The handsome young fellow who’s trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs” (40)

I thought Clare did a good job at shifting from contemporary New York sensibilities to the London of 1878 . The speech, gender roles and views of foreigners were well done for the time period. 

Although it’s Jem’s conflicting opinion with the prevalent views of the time that endears him to me;

“Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the sam. You are that flame.” (283)

Will was a bit too much like Jace for my taste, but I was very fond of Jem, Charlotte, and Henry. Tessa’s powers were impressive and provide interesting potential for sequels, but I feel like she’s less fleshed out than the other characters. I often have a problem with heroes of the story (I think Frodo and Harry get way too much credit for what their “sidekicks” accomplish) so maybe I’m just bias against her.

I really liked Sophie’s observation about how the more beautiful the appearance of a bug or snake- the more poisonous.  I think this will definitely be something that comes back to us in this series.

The steampunky aestectics intreague me and I’d like to learn more about Tessa’s clockwork angel and what the magister has planned!

City of Glass & the anticipation of City of Fallen Angels

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)In the third installment of the Mortal Instruments series Cassandra Clare has us on the edge of our seats yet again. There were quite a few aspects of the plot I predicted (such as the mirror, and the parentage of some characters) but there were also several big surprises. I love Clary’s contribution to the battle, and the suspenseful confrontations Jace gets involved in.

There was less humour in this one than the previous book, but there were still a few good one-liners. The atmosphere and tone remain a strong point in the series.

One of my favourite parts of City of Glass is the character development seen in Jace. His mixed feelings for Valentine, and confusion about his heritage make him feel wonderfully real.

See my reviews of City of Bones & City of Ashes for more thoughts on the series!

What I’m hoping for in City of Fallen Angels (to be released April 5th)

  • More about Simon, how he’s dealing with being a vampire
  • Alec’s coming out to his family
  • The politics of downworlders taking their place on the council
  • More dark humour + sarcastic dialogue
  • More demon fighting action

City of Ashes

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Ashes was an excellent sequel to City of Bones. Cassandra Clare’s writing has a tone and personality to it that makes me feel like we’d get along great. Theres a sarcasm and darkness that is somehow light as a feather, flowing beautifully. The action is steady and the characters interesting.

What really draws me in though is the structure of the world, the hierarchies and prejudices. I’ve been thinking a lot about what MMO  (massive multiplayer online role playing game) I want to get into, and yesterday I made the argument to my boyfriend that Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments would make a fantastic game.  You could be a shadowhunter, vampire, werewolf, warlock, fay or mundane. There’s so much potential there, especially with the potential for designing runes if you were a character like Clary. If such a game is ever made, I will definitely check it out.

*spoiler alert if you haven’t read City of Bones

The one major thing that bothered me about this book is that it’s marketed as sexy but the major “love story” is between characters who believe themselves to be siblings. I’m pretty confident that Jace will turn out not to be the Jonathan they believe he is, but the situation is just icky. Any sexual tension just makes me feel awkward, witnessing incest isn’t my cup of tea (not that I like tea…).

I’m already halfway through City of Glass, so I’ll be posting about that soon.

City of Bones

I was fortunate enough to get City of Bones at a library book sale for criminally cheap.

I can see why Cassandra Clare and Holly Black are friends (or at least seem like they are, I don’t know them personally – unfortunately!) because they have the same wonderful dark, sarcastic humour. The tone of their books are similar, with that edgy-funny feel to an action/adventure story with magic.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)The dialogue (especially in the first half) felt incredibly real; unlike the last couple of books I’ve been reading. These were more believable young characters in a fantasy than the characters in realistic fiction. I love that, when the magic and mythology doesn’t take away from the humanity of characters.

The mythology of this series is certainly ambitious. So intricate! I don’t think I would want to take on so many types of supernatural beings in one novel, I’d spend half the time on exposition and bore the reader. Clare never bored me though, she wove the world around the story seamlessly. I had a hard time putting the book down, because I was so immersed in the world.

This is a series I’ve been meaning to read for what seems like ages, and part of me regrets waiting so long to discover it’s level of awesome- but another part of me is glad because YIPEE I already own the next book and have the 3rd waiting for me at the library. That’s the beauty of being a latecomer to a book, you don’t have a long wait for sequels.

I didn’t like the last fourth of the book nearly as much as the beginning. This was largely because I predicted what would happen and was disappointed to be right. I wanted so badly to be wrong about a certain plot twist!! I find it to be icky and reminiscent of the worst part about Star Wars (which I love anyway) and a lot of soap operas. However, the plot twist I’m not a fan of was handled very nicely, and I’m still eager to dig into City of Ashes.