Book Review: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in
City of Fallen Angels.

I feel like City of Fallen Angels is going to be another polarizing book, like Mockingjay.  I've read several negative reviews on Goodreads, which has made me feel conflicted about my own opinion of City of Fallen Angels.  I usually don't read any other reviews of a book until I've written my own review, so that may be part of the problem.

My initial feelings after finishing City of Fallen Angels were that the book was great, except for the cliffhanger ending.  I was fully prepared for a cliffhanger ending and a transition-y feeling book because this is the first book in the second half of the series.  I knew that the new story line would start and that Clare would probably leave us hanging as to Jace and Clary's relationship.  So, I wasn't too upset at how the book ended because I was ready for it.

However, the more I thought about the actual content of the book, the more I realized that City of Fallen Angels has fallen short of the other books in the series.  There was a lot of teen relationship angst, especially with Clary and Jace.  It got to the point where the plot took a back seat to Jace's martyr complex.  There were some great plot points that Clare could have built an excellent book on, but instead the focus was on relationship drama between all of the characters.  That got old for me!

What has always stood out for me in The Mortal Instruments series is the world-building and imagery, and City of Fallen Angels was no exception.  Clare sets the scenes so that you get lost in the Shadowhunter world.  I love feeling swept away like that.

All in all, I'd say that City of Fallen Angels is a good read, but not on the same level as the first three books in the series.  I'm definitely still excited about the series as a whole but I'm hungry for a better plot and less angst in book five.


  1. I definitely thought the conflict between Jace and Clary was a bit old too, but after the life altering events in the last book, I can understand why. I thought Clare did a great job in presenting all of her characters. The pacing and suspense was excellent. I read the book practically in one sitting!

  2. I just ordered this one and it arrived on Thursday.

    Now I just have to seat myself down and do a major back to back reading...

    loved the review and Kelli how do you manage between feedings! Very impressed.


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