Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire
Cassandra Clare

Margaret K McElderry
Released May 27, 2014
725 pages
YA / Fantasy / Magic

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In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

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!

Two volumes of boredom finally pay off with a more interesting story in the sixth and final book of Cassandra Clare’s The Immortal Instruments series. Too bad the more interesting story was bogged down by shoehorning in new characters to bridge to the forth-coming trilogy The Dark Artifices and tons of winks to readers who have read the other books. Also, if you haven’t read the Victorian London set prequel series The Infernal Devices, don’t read this book. It will spoil the ending to that story and then some.

Spoilers for… possibly a lot of things, including City of Heavenly Fire

I don’t want this to turn into a rant, so I’m going to make lists of things. Here are the things I liked about this book:

  • Drunk Simon is the best Simon.
  • Jace stopped being such an asshat, though I still didn’t like him much.
  • Magnus is still my favorite except when his dialogue was filled with winkwinknudgenudge references to the short stories that I haven’t read.
  • Cagey evil faeries are awesome bad guys.
  • Sebastian wasn’t quite so mustache twirly of a villain in this one and his story’s conclusion was satisfactory.
  • Brother Zachariah!

Things I didn’t like about this book:

  • I guess Cassandra Clare is on the George RR Martin of YA fantasy. This book was entirely too long and didn’t need to be 750 pages. There was a lot of repetition and drag through the middle of it.
  • While I enjoyed Brother Zachariah’s twist, I did not like the fact that I now pretty much know how The Infernal Devices ended. It was unnecessary to bring in Tessa and it all felt a bit shoed in.
  • How many endings does a book need? This book has more endings than the movie version of Return of the King.
  • There is no danger in this book. I mean, there are bad guys and fights and whatnot, but never does it feel like our main characters are put into life-threatening situations. After such an “epic” series, someone really should have died or at least been seriously maimed (see: Harry Potter). Instead it lacked any emotional oomph at the end.
  • Emma and the Blackthorn kids showing up just to set up the next series. While they gave a slightly different perspective to the events happening, not much about their story line contributed to the main story at hand other than to have familiar faces for the future.
  • So a good quarter of this book felt like set up for another series instead of feeling like a satisfactory conclusion to a six book series.

Other than those things, nothing about this book really stuck with me enough to mention it in a review. That’s a little sad considering I just finished reading it two days ago.

So why exactly do I feel inclined to not only read the Victorian prequel series despite knowing the ending and the future series? What is it about Cassandra Clare’s world that I feel I need to know what happens? It’s not because she’s a particularly fantabulous writer and yet I feel like I need to move forward just to know what is going on.

I am conflicted. Should I continue reading Clare’s Shadowhunter books despite my general disinterest in what happened in the second half of this series?