It’s been a bit difficult finding reading time with the start of yet another semester (my last one!) so it took me a lot longer than it normally would have to complete this book. And it’s been a super long time since I read any of the Mortal Instrument books. I remember all the characters but couldn’t really remember the plot details. It all kind of came back to me as I read this fourth book though — which, by the way, I was a little surprised about because I thought the series ended with three?? But I guess not. Last I heard, there’s also a book five and six planned as well.
In City of Fallen Angels, Simon is adjusting to his life as a new vampire. Things get a bit rough when his mother sort of finds out and Simon decides to move out to protect her. Which turns out to be sort of a good thing, I suppose, since someone keeps sending people to try to capture or harm Simon, presumbly for his powers as a Daylighter, a vampire who can walk in the sunlight. Of course, nothing can harm him with the Mark of Cain on him.
At the same time, Shadowhunters are dying in Downworlder territory, causing a bit of strife between the two groups. At first everyone thinks it’s the leader of the vampires, Camille, but it soon becomes clear there is a greater force at work, with an ulterior motive.
Oh, and there’s also the Jace-Clary part of the story, which was my least favourite part so I’m going to kind of just glaze over it. Jace starts receiving dreams about harming Clary, and believes he might actually harm her. There was a lot of proclamations of undying love, angst and inner turmoil between the two — essentially, their relationship hasn’t really progressed since the last three books. I was hoping for it to mature, but it just can’t seem to get past this “I love you but I shouldn’t” kind of depressing thing. It’s also a bit hard to take their love seriously because this sort of obsessive love is what teenagers experience in “puppy love”, the kind of thing you think is cute but probably won’t last forever.
Anyway, this book felt very much like a “set-up” book — it’s setting up for a second major plot in the series. I’m not sure how I really feel about the continuation of the series; I thought book three ended off pretty well and tied things together neatly. All the same though, I do enjoy the series and the different direction it is headed in now does intrigue me and want me to continue reading. I will be the first to admit this wasn’t really a necessary sequel, but I guess I’m just a fan of the world Clare has created in her books and want to keep immersing myself in it.
I really like Simon (I can’t remember if I liked or disliked him in the previous books, but I think I was generally favorable towards him). He’s sort of the main character in this book (well, a central character anyway) and I think he does develop more as a character. He’s got a whole different life now — and I’m not only talking about being a super vampire that makes other vampires jealous, but also the fact he has two girls interested him! From being friend-zoned by Clary to having to rip girls off his back, Simon manages to feel like a refreshing new character while still retaining his personality, his thoughts and familiar self. He’s also got some angst going on now, with being a vampire and all — angst seems to be a central theme in this series — but I think Simon is a fabulous character and I’m really glad this book focuses more on him and that he has more of a role in the story now.
Overall, I quite liked the book. I was by no means obsessively reading it, but it certainly entertained me during my long commutes to and from campus. If you already enjoy the series, then I’m sure you’ll like this one too. If you haven’t read this series before, I find it is a bit of hit-or-miss amongst readers (at least, the ones I know), so I suggest just going with your gut feeling.