by Cassandra Clare
Book four of the Mortal Instruments series continues the story of the teenage shadowhunters as they struggle to rebuild their lives after the cataclysmic events that ended book three.
Fighting demons and downworlders (ie vampires, warfewolves, etc) is one thing, but coming to terms with their sexuality and raging hormones is far more daunting. Once again, Clary and Jace, the two central characters of the series, find themselves unable to enjoy their relationship. Outside influences continue to put up barriers between them. One the other hand, reluctant vampire Simon Lewis finds himself at the sharp end of an unexpected love triangle that includes a werewolf!
With the major villain from the first three novels, Valentine, finally defeated, you would have thought there would be some time for our heroes to enjoy life a little, but oh no, it seems there is always something, or someone ready to upset the lives of the shadowhunters and their friends.
Although there is plenty going on, City of Angels is one of those mid-series books that doesn’t quite live up to the expectations set by its predecessors.
As a fan of the series so far I found the change in pace and focus interesting, but I must admit that the on-off relationship between Clary and Jace’s relationship is beginning to annoy me a little. I just want to bang their heads together and shout at them to sort things out. However, I am sure that the teen audience the books is really aimed at can sympathise with their emotional torment.
Although it lacks the same pace and dynamic as the previous three books, City of Fallen Angels sets our teenage heroes on a new and possibly more sinister path. A good read.
by Christopher Brookmyre
Whether you like his books or not (and why wouldn’t you?) you have to admit that Christopher Brookmyre certainly knows how to give a book a title!
And if you are one of those who don’t find the title amusing then probably won’t like the book either.
A Big Did It And Ran Away is a reference to that old childhood ploy of passing the blame onto someone else, and that is, in a way, what drives the plot of this book. Basically it is a thriller with a twist. Warned of a terrorist threat to the UK, the police are on full alter and on the lookout for anything unusual that might offer a lead to where and when the attack might take place.
Meanwhile, feeling his life drifting away from him and struggling to cope with the combination of a new child and new job, Raymond Ash finds himself at the centre of some very unusual events.
Christopher Brookmeyer’s talent as a storyteller is indisputable. The plot is as relentless as anything written by le-Carre of Forsyth, the witty snipping at modern life as anything written by Tom Sharpe. It is a unique blend of thriller and comedy that makes this such a good book.
The plot is solid, the characters interesting and flawed, and the politics realistically absurd. A wonderful combination that makes this a really great read.