Book: City Of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, Book 6).
Author: Cassandra Clare.
Published: May 27, 2014.
The highly anticipated finale of The Mortal Instruments series. I must admit, I was looking forward to it. I did enjoy the first 5 books. I read it a few months ago and I suppose it was a good a good enough read. I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed by it. I don’t know if it was the text or myself. I guess it’s worth taking into account the fact that I read the first 5 books when I was 16-18 & I read this book when I was 20. A lot can change in that time, you learn more and interests change. Maybe I just grew out of this series? I don’t know. But as for the text itself, this is what I found.
So if you’re familiar with the series, Sebastian is building up and army and Clary & all the gang have to stop him. That’s basically what the premise is.
As usual, Cassandra Clare’s writing is beautiful. Her descriptions and prose are what I love most about her books. As readers of her books are probably familiar with, she switches from different character POVs. I love how she does that. It’s one of the things I like most in novels, as it keeps things interesting.
As for the plot itself, I thought the build up was brilliant. For a finale, there needs to be a major climatic build up in order for it to be spectacular and blow people away. She really did have us on the edge of seats for most of the book. You can feel that something massive is coming.
Unfortunately, the disappointing thing about this is that there was no massive climax. It all felt very meh. Nothing really spectacular happened. From the great climatic build up, I was expecting explosions and fireworks and heartbreak. What we got was seriously disappointing.
Firstly, the battle in Alicante. Ok so I get that there was a battle towards the beginning-ish? of the book, which is a bit atypical of a finale. But there was another battle at the end, the classic battle that is at the end of every fantasy series. I was seriously looking forward to it, but it was so short. We only got like two or three scenes. And most of it was just the 40,000 Blackthorn kids running to some building. I don’t know, the city hall or something, I can’t remember. But anyway there is a bit of fighting and battling but by far not enough. When Jem appeared and starting swinging his sword around (literally) I was like yes! Finally! But he only hit like 2 people and then brought the 40,000 Blackthorn children to the hall place. Boring final battle, yawn.
I have a few other issues about the battle. I mean why weren’t the werewolves and vampires there to fight as well. I mean you had these whole sub-plot about vampire clans and head of the werewolf packs, and it went nowhere. It would have been relevant if they went to Alicante at the end to aid the Shadowhunters but no, nothing actually happened there. It was like whatever, I don’t even know why those sub-plots were included. As for the faeries, I hated how they were all branded as evil.
As for the other fight between Clary & Sebastian. I mean, come on I don’t even think it’s allowed to be called a fight. She literally pulled a dagger and stabbed him and he died. Boring. For a villain he died pretty easily and with like no effort. And this is the guy who was able to evade the hands of the Clave. He just dies after a girl strolls up to him and stabs him. Come on? I wanted a 1 on 1 battle to the death, but no that would be too fun.
There was so much disappointment. I mean Sebastian wasn’t even that great of a villain. He was like, a kitten compared to any of the great villains. He wanted to control his sister, that’s as bad as he got. He wasn’t scary or crazy or even psychotic. He seemed pretty weak to me, I don’t know how he led an army.
As for other weak characters: Magnus’s father. He was so pathetic. I can’t even remember his name. Hold on… ok Asmodeus is his name. A Prince of Hell, apparently. Pffft, everyone was expecting a massive terrifying demon because Magnus was like keeping his identity a secret. What we got was an old man. I mean he could’ve been a demon of subtle evil, I could’ve rolled with it. But no he was as disappointing as everything else. He only wanted memories as a trade to get them out of hell. That’s it? No blood or souls or fucking terrifying shit? Just memories? Ugh I’m seriously over this shit. Hell in this book isn’t even horrible. They have to fight like once and that’s about it. You’d think if you went to hell and back you’d never be the same. But no, the gang seemed to have a great time. Clary & Jace fucked in some cave, brilliant! Great craic lads!
As for the characters… ehhhh. I dunno, I kinda didn’t care about anyone. Clary, Jace, Magnus, Alec, Simon, Jordan, Maia, didn’t really care what happened to them. I love Isabelle because she’s a legend. It was kinda sad what happened when Simon forgot all about her. I think she saved this series for me. When Jordan died I was like alright. I didn’t care much for him, and neither really did the others apparently. When Raphael died, it was kinda an emotional moment. Not because he was a great character, because I didn’t feel much for him, but because Magnus said something about saving him and then Raphael saved Magnus by sacrificing himself. Good moment. Sabastian took about 10 years to die and he reverted into some weird good character. I don’t know that was really dragged out.
I absolutely loved Malcolm Fade. He was so funny. I kept reading his voice in a really weird tone. Got a good chuckle out of him even though he was only in like one scene for 5 minutes. Best character in the book!
As for the 40,000 Blackthorn children… that annoyed me. I mean why is there so much children?? And their introduction was just like setting the readers up for the next Shadowhunter series: The Dark Artifices. I didn’t like that. It’s like Cassandra Clare was plugging her next book instead of creating a great finale. As for the characters themselves, I loved Helen Blackthorn. We needed more Helen. It pissed me off so much how marginalised her and her girlfriend Aline were. I mean like lesbians! Come on, such an amazing dynamic. I remember being so delighted the first time they were introduced in City of Glass was it? I don’t know, but I was so happy to see lesbians in a YA series. I found her half Faerie, half Shadowhunter lineage so fascinating and refreshing and the whole racial-politics thing with the Clave so interesting. What annoys me is how now her and Aline are banished to Wrangel Island in Northern Russia so we won’t be seeing them in TDA. As for Mark, he’s also Faerie/ Shadowhunter which I like. As for the other 5 children, I don’t really care since they’re fully Shadowhunter and young and annoying. Emma Carstairs, bit of a tragedy there but again, not much interest.
The thing with Simon was heartbreaking when he didn’t know who Clary was but of course it had to be a happy ending so everything worked out, I don’t like that idea that vampire’s are inherently evil. It means also that the majority of the main characters are Shadowhunters which is a bit supremacist. Also Maia loses her boyfriend but ends up with Bat which is annoying. Everyone gets paired up which is something I’m whole-heartedly against. It gives the idea that independence and being single is bad or leads to sadness. I don’t agree with pairing and I think it’s a very shallow and easy option.
I also felt that this book was very long. It could been cut down a lot.
Maybe I just grew out of this series or it was in itself poor, either way a disappointing but alright book.