Sunday, July 20, 2014

Read - City of Heavenly Fire

City of Heavenly Fire
by Cassandra Clare
2014
725 pages

'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?
'

*** MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS ***

This is the sixth and final book in the Mortal Instrument series, and ohhhh what a journey it's been.  I'd had sort of a love/hate relationship with the series.  I was definitely looking forward to the end, to reading this book, to see how things would be wrapped up.  I was not thrilled to see that this was a beast of a book, over 700 pages long.  I couldn't decide if that was good because there was a lot of story to tell, or bad because it was going to be dragged out with filler or side stories that didn't need to be added at this point.  Turns out it was a bit of both.

I'm a bit surprised at how much I liked this book.  It wasn't to the point of me loving it and not being able to put it down, but it was an improvement over how I felt about some of the others.  The author seemed to reel things back in and keep on track better this time.  The previous book seemed to venture so far out into more and more side stories, and into such farfetched plot lines that I had a huge fear this finale was going to be some completely horrid over the top mess.  What a pleasant surprise that it wasn't!

There were some things that didn't seem to really need to be there, like pretty much the whole werewolf storyline.  I realize she had to wrap up their part of the story but it just seemed weak and pointless.  I found myself skimming over a lot of that.  Also skimmed over some of the longer descriptive parts or the longer sappy parts.  At 725 pages, you get tired of reading and want to get to the end!  And the author did spend quite a chunk of this book setting up her next series, which I was a bit bummed about.  This book could have been a more manageable size without so much time laying the foundation for a new series.  (I'm not sure yet if I'll even read that series.)

I think things fit together nicely in this book.  There was the occasional 'Really?' *eye roll* moment along the way but overall I think most things kept on track and all roads led to the final battle.  I was glad to see that even that big climax was quite well done, quite tame actually.  Let's face it, we all knew Sebastian was going to die and that Clary would save the world.  It was just a matter of how.

And then the emotions came.  The last 100 pages or so . . . wow . . . I think I was in some form of sniffling or sobbing all the way to the end.  This was all the tying up loose ends, wrapping up story lines.  There were reunions, and coming to terms with things, and separations.  Alec and Magnus clinging to each other when it looked like their only hope was for Magnus to sacrifice himself.  Jocelyn crying as a cleansed Sebastian died.  Clary finally allowing herself to cry for everything.  And Simon.  O - M - G, how cruel is Cassandra Clare to do that to Simon and all who loved him?  That was heartbreaking, yet strangely awesome, somehow harder to deal with than death.  Although I'm somewhat happy with how his story eventually ended, it seemed like a muddy middle ground.  I was hoping it would have ended with just a glimmer of recognition, or maybe him being able to see Clary, Izzy, and Magnus standing there when they were glamoured.  Ya know?  End it with the reader wondering.

I was hugely disappointed that we still don't know what the deal is with Church, the cat?!

In the end, I think this was probably one of the better books in the series.  I'm both sad and relieved to see it end.  And I tell ya, it really makes me want to go back and watch the City of Bones movie again!

Have you read this book/series?  What did you think?  Will you read the next series?

3 comments:

  1. Great review!!!! I concur with everything. Church?! Yes you knowChurch has an awesome back story and I want to hear it more than I do about the Seelie Court. I don't care for the fairies at all so why would I read about them? But will I? Maybe (sheepishly). Not sure yet. Poor Simon. Magnus was one of my fav characters. I would like to read more about him.

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    1. Yes, I would like to read more of Magnus's story too, and not just the quickie tales of his silliness that I've seen available. (I admit, I have not read those though.)

      The next series doesn't come out for over a year. That's kinda crazy. I hate when there is sooooo much time between books. I think I might read it. We'll see what's going on in my reading life at that point but right now I guess there are some things I'm still curious about with these characters. I wonder, since Emma and Jules are so young now, if it will pick up when they're older.

      ~Deb

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    2. You are probably right. She took a lot of time to establish Emma and Julian's conflicting love story. Also Tessa and Jem. I want to know more about their rekindled love story. Ok. Alright. Already talked into it. Lol. So weak when it comes to books. A year. Man that is quits a wait. But no worse than me waiting on the next GoT. >tapping finger<

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