Thursday, February 4, 2016
Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire
Why did I pick it up: I FINALLY thought I'd finish up this series in anticipation for Lady Midnight coming out next month.
Summary: Clary, Jace, Alec, Isabelle, Simon, Magnus, and all of the characters of this series are back, bringing with them character from The Infernal Devices and the upcoming The Dark Artifices. Sebastian is prepared for war and brings it down upon the Shadowhunters -
This will be spoilery if you haven't read the previous books.
Favorite Character: Magnus ... but I really like Emma too
Suggested Age Range: 9th grade+
Diversity Represented: Not really
Romance: Yes, more "grown up" romance than in the previous books.
The Good: Let me start by saying the epilogue is worth reading the whole book for. If you've gotten bored in this series (I had) you need to read this book just for the epilogue.
Okay, so Clare really does a great job of finishing out this book while introducing new characters and bringing in the characters from the Immortal Instruments. All of those characters, especially Emma Carstairs, are really what propelled me through this book.
I felt like there was a lot of world building in this book, which is great because I always like that part, but strange to have all of that expansion in the final book in the series. I mean, Clare will continue with this world, but still a little lofty.
I LOVED Magnus and Alec in this book. Alec because such a more important character for me then he has ever been before. Magnus has always been a favorite character, but he was so much more a part of the story rather than a tool the shadowhunters use. I loved that turn of events.
The Bad: This book was too long for the amount of stuff that happened.
I felt like Clare was trying a little too hard to tie up all of the loose ends and give everyone a happy ending.
Spoilers below, highlight to view:
This is shadowhunter life, there aren't happy endings and not everything needs to be tied into a nice little bow. I don't want Clare to go all George R. R. Martin on us, but not everyone has to live. Simon didn't die, but he shouldn't have gotten his memories back. There needs to be a little pain for the ending to not feel so fake. Magnus dying would have been great for the story arch (not great over all, I love Magnus), but I understand if she wanted to keep him around for future stories.
I just felt like she wanted to make everyone happy, leave everyone in couples, and give us the impression that everyone lives happily ever after, which isn't real life and left me unsatisfied.
That being said, I loved the prologue. I loved the languid pace and seeing everyone happy. I loved the feeling of future. That might seem contradictory to what I've just said, but it was nice and reminded me of the ending of Harry Potter. I love the future looking, but it would have been more satisfying if one of our characters had felt some pain.
The Bitter Truth: The middle DRUG and it could have been improved by cutting out 70% of the description of the war. I didn't care. Lots of little battles. I didn't care. At this point in the series all I care about is the characters and so much time was spent on plot and world building (lots of new areas, etc.) that it made me impatient to get to the character parts. It is worth reading if you're reading the series, but it was LONG and tough to get through (I believe I said this about book 5 as well) ... I also posted a formal discussion on this topic.
How much did I like it? *** 1/2 ... only because of the "slow" part in the middle. The other parts were definitely *****.
Book Bingo: Book of over 500 pages.