Tag Archives: Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)

City of Heavenly Fireby Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire brings Cassandra Clare’s epic Mortal Instruments to a dramatic conclusion. Each instalment has brought its own twists to the tale and this last book is no different. Despite everything that has gone before, the dangers that our intrepid band of Shadowhunters and assorted Downworlders face as the story comes to its dramatic end are the most gripping.

The pace and tone of the book are firmly established in the prologue, with Sebastian playing his hand and working to bring down those who oppose him. As always, the adults of the Clave are seemingly unwilling or unable to confront the truth and it is left to Clarey, Jace, Alec, Isabel and Simon to save the day. Well, it is aimed at a teenage audience so you wouldn;t expect anything else.

I have really enjoyed this series. The quality of the writing and the plot are excellent and Cassandra has created a magical world in which nothing is ever exactly as it seems. There are the usual teen romances, although by this point they are pretty much over the will-they-won’t-they stage in their respective relationships and now busy getting on with whatever it is that teenagers do! But much like the Harry Potter series, the final instalment is the darkest. All the pain and grief of the previous five books culminates in a fast-paced and exciting climax. There are several unexpected twists, but in the end, our teenage heroes once again save the day, but at what cost?

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)

City of Lost Soulsby Cassandra Clare

This is the fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series and I think that by now I have said all I can say about them. The vagaries of teenage romance provide a distraction from the magic and mystery of the fight to keep the world safe from demons and more human looking baddies.

The ongoing will-they won’t-they relationship between Clary and Jase continues it’s never quite getting there course. And as usual, the teenage Shadowhunters can’t rely on the adults to face up to the dangers they all face. Instead it is once again up to them to save the world from impending doom.

City of Lost Souls is not exactly great literature, but it does continue in the same easy to read vain as the previous four books, perfect for it’s teenage audience. I must admit that Cassandra Clare’s style and plot have kept me wanting to find out more. I enjoy the naivety of the storyline, the struggles of the characters as they balance their natural desires as young adults with their responsibilities as part of the shadow world.

Populated by vampires, fairies, werewolves, demons, angels, warlocks and more, Cassandra Clare has created a dark and mysterious world that is simplistic in its structure, but compelling as a form of escapism. I am looking forward to reading the last in the series, not because I want it to end, but because I want to see how the various romances pan out. I am sure that “team good” will eventually win the day, but will Jase and Clary ever actually get together? Will Simon and Izzie become an item? And what will become of Alec and Magnus? And for that matter, will the grown-ups ever start listening to the kids who obviously know best?

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)

by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen AngelsBook 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.


City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3)

by Cassandra Claire

This is the third book in the Mortal Instruments series and continues the story of a group of teenage “Shadowhunters”.

Reviewing a book like this is always a little odd. If you have read the first two books you will already know what to expect will probably read this regardless of what I have to say. If you haven’t read any of these books and don’t know what a Shadowhunter is then you really need to grab a copy of City of Bones and get started.

Having said all of that, with the characters and plot well established, City of Glass just gets on with the job in hand – brining the story to a dramatic mid-season climax. For me this is the best book of the series so far. It has much more pace than the first two, with plenty of action and intrigue. Relationships are settled and back stories become much clearer. City of Glass also moves the action out of New York to the Shadowhunters’ home city if Alicante.

One of the problems faced by many writers is how to keep up the pace throughout a series. Quite often there is a kind of lull around the mid-point, but not here. Cassandra Claire writes with a real pace and passion. There is no letting up once the actions begins.

I enjoyed the book immensely, being caught up with the lives of the teenagers as they come face-to-face with their enemies, whilst at the same time, trying to come to terms with their emotions and sexuality.

At the half way point of the 6 book sequence I can’t help wondering what on Earth can happen to them next. I do have an idea where the next book might lead but that will have to wait until I get myself a copy. City of Fallen Angels, here is come…

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)

by Cassandra Clare

City of AshesFollowing on immediately from City of Bones, the teenage Shadowhunters are facing new threats, not only from the expected sources – vampires, werewolves and rogue Shadowhunters, but also from their superiors in the Clave itself.

Now, if you haven’t read the first book, some of that won’t make any sense, in which case, I suggest you stop right now and go and read City of Bones!

If you have already read the first book, then what you will get here is much of the same, just a little darker and with more intrigue and plot.
Where the first book followed a fairly simple narrative, the characters and sub-plots in this book add to the tensions and wonderful characterisations created by Cassandra Clare.

The book is easy to read but difficult to put down! I find myself drawn into the relationships between the characters, maybe because I work with teenagers. Like all teenagers, they are frustrating, flawed and often driven by the emotions (or hormones!). 

At over 400 pages it isn’t a short book, but there are no wasted passages or plot lines. The whole thing has a great pace the style is accessible to readers of any age.

A great book.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)

City of Bonesby Cassandra Clare

The central character of the book is fifteen year old Clary Fray. Being a teenager growing up in New York can be hard enough for anyone. But for Clary Fray, things are just about to get even tougher. During a night out with friends, Clary sees something that she shouldn’t have done, in more ways than one. In a cross between Buffy and the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter, Clary’s life changes in ways she could never has suspected. And it seems that not only are the people she loves the most keeping secrets from her, but even she is not what she seems. 

And as she confronts the truth about her heritage, she must also learn to accept that existence of a shadow world that she would never have suspect. Clary, along with her friend Simon, find themselves at the centre of a search for an ancient cup. 

With the growth in popularity in the vampire-style novel writers can be excused for sticking to a well tried formula, but that is not what you get from Cassandra Clare. As the first of four, City of Bones sets the scene well. 

City of Bones is a story about teenagers, for teenagers. The book is easy to read and is one I just couldn’t put down. The characters are well developed and their lives sufficiently complex to make them interesting. There are continual twists and turns in the plot, the whole book moving at a pace that keeps the reader interested throughout. 

The world created by Cassandra Clare is intriguing and the tale she tells a compelling one. I couldn’t put the book down and will definitely be looking out for the second in the series.