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Thursday, November 20, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire, the final book in the Mortal Instruments series, really delivers!  It's chock full of action and adventure during the great war between Sebastian and the Shadowhunters (with the Downworlders who have joined the Council) and romance between the various main characters.  Overarchingly, this is a classic good vs. evil battle, with characters working together loyally and bravely to take down Sebastian, the monsters he's created, and the demons he's recruited.  The fight will take Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, Alec, and Magnus to a place where almost no one has dared to go before, to accomplish what "can't" (in the eyes of the Council) be done.

Even if the good vs. evil plot is a classic, there are more than enough twists and turns in City of Heavenly Fire to keep readers engaged.  Every time it seemed like Clary and friends had reached a place where they could sleep for a few hours or catch a bite... there was another upheaval in the plan!  The reader also gets to "travel" with the group; they begin in NYC but over the course of the novel they travel to Alicante and another place that I can't tell you about because it's a plot point.  ;)  I was reading the book in the southeastern US, having never traveled to NYC, and I was dazzled at the descriptions of the Big Apple and the big city of Alicante.

During their travels and battles and triumphs, Jace & Clary, Simon & Isabelle, and Alec & Magnus manage to find time to thoroughly hash out, explore, and grow their romantic relationships.  I love the depth and complexity of these relationships.  They are much deeper than what you would imagine your usual teenage romance to be.  In their own ways, each pairing is a star-crossed, Romeo & Juliet-type love affair.  Jace is a born & bred Shadowhunter, Valentine's son, and Clary is new to the Shadowhunter world.  Simon is new to the Downworld, and is a vampire, while Isabelle is a born & bred Shadowhunter, raised to believe that Downworlders are somehow "less" than Shadowhunters.  Same with Alec (Shadowhunter) and Magnus (warlock), with the added tension of being a same-sex couple in a society that is only beginning to recognize and accept that.  And although this book will be found in your library or bookstore YA section, there were a few scenes that could cause a blush!  Cassandra Clare has done a fantastic job of building up the relationships in these books, with a comfortable, realistic pace.

The plot of the book overall moves at a very good pace.  There weren't any moments that felt "bogged down" or sluggish, and the conclusion felt just right, about 1/3 of the book, for the series finale.  There was a great mixture of dialogue and demon butt-kicking!  I love how all the guys (Jace, Simon, Magnus) have this dry sense of humor!  I also enjoyed reading how each characters' individual strengths played out and contributed to the outcome.

In fact, the only thing that caused this book to lose one star in the rating (from me) was the narration.  I listened to the audio version, narrated by Jason Dohring and Sophie Turner, and I just didn't connect with Jason.  To me, it was just a little flat when mixed in with Sophie's vibrant dictation.  Also, Sophie was narrating Clary's parts (of course) and Jason was covering Jace... but Sophie has a British accent (Clary is from NYC) and Jason is American (from listening to previous audio versions of Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices books, I'd given Jace a British accent).  I absolutely loved Molly Quinn's narration of the fifth book, City of Lost Souls, and was a little disappointed to find that she hadn't been brought on for the sixth book.  But the book itself is fantastic; I never considered discontinuing listening, because I had to know what happened next!


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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1 Person left their mark:

  1. Awesome review! I just finished the book myself so I just tried to skim instead of read in detail so I can write my own but I'll come back and read it once I finish that!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks