Book Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare

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Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to 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 of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian, but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance.

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

I wrote a guest review for Lazy Book Lovers, where I remained spoiler free. If you don’t want any spoilers please read  my review on LBL.

If you have already read it and would like to know my thoughts and discuss the book, please continue.

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Book Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare

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What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

(Note: I originally wrote this review February 23, 2014. )

This book has become such a huge guilty pleasure of mine. It’s not a great book. Heck, in the whole series the prose gets quite repetitive. Whenever Clare describes a character there is a formula about the angles of their face, what they are wearing, the color of their hair, their eyes, and what their eyelashes are doing. BUT it’s deliciously cheesy with teenage angst and I can’t help but admit I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of when I would love to watch soap operas in my childhood and teenage years. It was like Days of Our Live, Passions, and some CW supernatural drama all rolled into one. I just can’t get enough. LOL

I think I was supposed to read this after Clockwork Prince and before Clockwork Princess, which means the references to Infernal Devices made in Lost Souls were just supposed to be hints. But I already know how the dots connect.

Like all the good soap operas I have enjoyed in my life, here are a few things that bothered me: (Spoilers ahead.)

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Book Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare

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The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And, most importantly of all, she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her, his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

((Note: I originally wrote this review February 15, 2014. )

This book was just ok. Not as compelling as the previous books in the series. This forth book of The Mortal Instruments is supposed to be read after the prequel series’ Clockwork Angel and before Clockwork Prince. Which means the reader is not supposed to know who Brother Zachariah really is.

I feel though that either Clare should have kept The Mortal Instruments a trilogy or that the second half should be read after all threeInfernal Devices books. That way Tessa could have been included in City of Fallen Angels too. Her gift would have been very useful, and these kids would not have screwed up the way they did.

Spoilers Ahead:

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Book Reviews: The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes, and City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare.

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Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation

 

(Note: I originally wrote this review January 11, 2014. )

The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare.I liked this better than the first book. It was not as weighed down with the mythology or the history of the characters. Not having to keep track of all that lore, it was easier to focus on the story. It’s a quick read and the plot moves along. Of course there is all that teenage angst and love triangles. It’s like a guilty pleasure supernatural drama on the CW. 

 
Speaking of which, I can’t even be grossed out by Jace and Clary’s affections for each other because I know they are not related and they are just being so stupid. Why don’t these kids get a DNA test done?! They know Valentine is a manipulator and a liar. The man faked his death TWICE! Why would should they trust his word? Get a DNA test.Then there is Simon. Simon and Clary’s attempt at a relationship was so unconvincing and forced. I also felt it was unnecessary.

There a few things that bothered me, as most of my CW dramas do.
I was annoyed that some of the conversations were interrupted by SOME NEW TURN OF EVENTS! Would it kill you, Clare, to finish the topic?

Page 403 – Valentine wanted to trade Clary for Maia? What was the point of that? Valentine could have killed Maia and taken her blood for the ritual when he took Simon’s. What is the point of this nonsense trade? I think it was a silly plot device to get Valentine and Clary to talk and then lead to the final confrontation and reveal on page 422.

Anyway, I still really like Valentine because he makes the story interesting. It’s twisted, I know. He is diabolically insane. What kind of sick bastard experiments on his children when they are still in the womb? I am NOT rooting for him. I only feel these are the kinds of villains that enhance the story.

Page 145 – Shadowhunters and pop culture. Really? Alec had no idea who Madonna is? I am tired of these Shadowhunter kids being so oblivious to the world. Just because they are special snowflakes does not mean they need to live in a bubble. (LOL that can be a snow globe analogy.)

I am too lazy to look for it, but I am 98% sure Clary was told in City of Bones that Luke is in love with her mother. I think it was Hodge who told her. So, the conversation she has with Luke at the end makes little sense.

 
4 out of 5 Runes
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To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

(Note: I originally wrote this review January 17, 2014. )
 
Book Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare.I really enjoyed this book in the series and liked it the best of the first three. I felt like it wrapped up really well and don’t know why Clare continued the story with three more books after this event. From the sound of the summaries I read, the plots don’t seem as interesting.

Back to City of Glass. It was just jam packed with a mix of action and soap opera drama that made it a good page turner. The climatic conclusion was non-stop and really had my attention. I was glad Valentine’s plan backfired.

I know I have said over and over that Jace and Clary could have avoided all that drama with a simple DNA test, but not knowing the truth brought on a climatic reveal worthy of any of my favorite soap operas from my younger days. LOL


 
Speaking of which… compared Jocelyn’s tale to Luke’s. Luke said back in their school days she stood apart from the Circle. She would mockingly call the Circle “Valentine’s Fan Club” and it was not till Valentine’s father died that it awakened her sympathy and then they fell in love.
The way Jocelyn tells it, she says she was taken with Valentine but thought she did not stand a chance, but he chose her.So which is it? Or are both versions right, just from their separate point of views.

Also, why did Jocelyn not mention how she was able to steal the Mortal Cup from Valentine before she went into exile? That seems like a pretty important detail to me to just leave out of the story. Considering Valentine’s diabolical plans you would think he’d safe guard the Cup with his life, so how did she manage to steal from him?

One more thing. On page 350 Isabelle says Clary only knew Jace for about a month. Wth? The timeline of this trilogy seems it should at least be 3 months, 4 the most.


4 out of 5 runes

 

 

 

Book review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare.

(Note: I originally wrote this review October 22, 2013. I am copying and pasting.)

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Funny story: I bought this book back on Friday, July 17, 2009 at a Borders (aww, I miss Borders) when I was on set for Remember Me.

“So I left to go eat something at the cafe they got at Borders on 54th(?) and Park Ave. Also bought a book Erin recommended, book one of Mortal Instruments Series, City of Bones. Who knows when I will get to it.”

HA!! So I finally got to it, because I saw the movie a while back.

So first I am going to address the Cassandra Clare plagiarism scandal. I only found out about this less than a year ago. By then I already bought City of Bones and the 2 sequels and the prequel series called Infernal Devices. When a friend recommends a book/book series to me, my first thought is not I should look up the author to see if they ever plagiarized. Maybe I should from now on. However, I bought them and might as well make use of the money spent.

If you want to know more, Cassandra Clare plagiarism.

So back to the review. I saw the movie first and found it entertaining, but not epic. The sequel has been “shelved” – a.k.a. it’s not getting made. Bones did not bring in the box office revenue as was expected. 

The movie was way different from the book as I discovered. So many details were omitted or drastically changed. The final confrontation, the freaking climax of the book was COMPLETELY changed for the film.

However, it was an enjoyable read and a fast one. Kept it interesting. The characters were witty. Lots of mythology and history to remember.

I totally saw the similarities with Harry Potter. The Circle = Death Eaters. The Mortal Instruments = Deathly Hallows.

Also, even though this was not a fandom that was mentioned in the bodies of work Clare stole from, I saw similarities with Star Wars. (“I am your father,” anyone? Though I see Valentine more as Palpatine than Darth Vader.) Long lost siblings. This is kind of spoiler-ish but I guess because I already know it is an elaborate lie, I can’t believe they fell for it. Why not ask for a DNA test? It was only after I reread some passages again that I can see how they are being deceived. Still, get a DNA test. I want to see how they find out they are not really related.

3 out of 5 runes.