(This review will contain spoilers for both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series. You’ve been warned.)
City of Glass left off on a high note, the series could have easily been a trilogy. Almost everything was wrapped up with all the main characters. Valentine’s dead, Jace and Clary are not actually brother and sister, Magnus and Alec are back together. Everything’s good. I didn’t really know how it could continue to go on from there with no main villain or major problem. But I sensed something wasn’t quite right when there was no mention of finding Johnathan’s (“Sebastian”) body. Unless there is at least a paragraph describing the remains of a character, I will never believe that they are dead. Especially in a world with demons and magic.
I thought City of Fallen Angels was a good continuation to the series. I was concerned when Valentine died in City of Glass that there would be a lack of villain’s present, but with the addition of Lilith to the story and the ongoing arc of Simon’s mark of Cain I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I was really happy that Simon became a more important character in this book rather than the previous ones where he was really only there for comic relief and support. Now Simon has his own story to tell and his own relationship problems. I really love Simon/Isabelle. They are perfect for one another. I’m really glad the love triangle didn’t last long though, I’ve never really liked Maia and I’m getting sick to death of love triangles.
Now, on to Clary and Jace. They can never seem to NOT have problems. I did start liking Clary more in this book, but I liked Jace even less. Clary seemed to be the logical one in this particular chapter of the series. Jace on the other hand, just got careless. I thought a lot of the things he did, though he had good intentions, were obviously stupid. Jace is suppose to have these higher abilities but he continues to make stupid decisions like listening to an apparition in his dream. Come on, Jace. You’re a half angel Shadowhunter! You should know better. Of course Clary had to try and save him because he’s obviously incapable of thinking a single thing through logically!
I did enjoy the mystery of the cult and the various men trying to abduct Simon. I actually liked how Lilith was added to the story as a temporary villain. Obviously she was a means to an end with the mark on Jace connecting him to Johnathan. But I liked that we were able to experience a female villain because it seems like all YA novels that have female villains, they’re queens or princesses or something like that. But Lilith was a demon. She was powerful, sassy and didn’t exist to be a trope. Her followers that attacked Alec and Isabelle were pretty creepy too. That made for a good little sub plot to switch back and forth from.
The ending was pretty easy to guess once they explained the markings on Jace. I really REALLY loved that Simon ended up being the one to vanquish Lilith and that it wasn’t Jace. Jace seems to be too perfect at times and it was nice to see Simon getting the spotlight once in a while. As soon as everyone was back together on the rooftop and they explained how the marks on Johnathan and Jace worked, I knew something was going to go wrong. They made it seem like Clary had removed it, but I knew it couldn’t be fixed that easily. Then once the Clave arrived and Jace was left on his own, I knew something was going to happen with Johnathan. You just know when a character insists on being left with something evil that they’re going to be corrupted or changed somehow. I still admit to it being a little bit of a shock for me that Jace is evil now and VERY heartbreaking. But it does leave me excited for City of Lost Souls.
The Mortal Instruments so far: 4/5 stars
City of Fallen Angels: 4.5/5 stars