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The Shadowhunters Are Back
on March 9, 2016
The Shadowhunters are Back
City of Fallen Angels marks the first book in The Mortal Instruments Part 2. It's hard for me to think of this as a continuation of the first three books - it definitely feels like the beginning of another trilogy. I chose to listen to this book instead of read it (I have recently discovered audiobooks at my library). I think I made the right choice. This book was a bit slow at first and I'd have likely put it down to pick up something else since I'm still coming out of an epic reading slump.
POV - I loved that the stories in this book were told from two points of view (both third person): Simon and Clary. I enjoyed being able to follow their independent stories, both of which were fulfilling. The POVs jumped back and forth comfortably with enough attention paid to one before moving to the other. I particularly enjoyed the way this book was read. Sections where Simon was the main protagonist was narrated by a male and sections where Clary was the main protagonist was narrated by a female. Then there were random sections where neither of them were the main focus, and I think the narrators just flipped a coin.
Story - I really enjoyed the story, even though the beginning of the book was a little slow. The last book ended and tied up the loose ends of the previous 3 books, so I was curious about where it was going to go with this one. It felt like the beginning of a 2nd spin off series (Mortal Instruments: Back in New York!) which didn't bother me at all. There were two main plots to this story: Simon's vampire escapades and Clary's shadowhunter escapades. Both of these story archs were equally engaging, but I think Simon's storyline was my favorite. I hope the next two books follow a similar format.
Characters - Let me just start with this: Simon was badass. My favorite parts of the book were his chapters. He felt like the most real character in the book. I really enjoyed watching him grow up and transition into a main character in his own right. My other favorite character was Isabelle. She's strong, she knows who she is, and she can be both a warrior and a girl. If I were a character in this book, it would want to be Izzy. I also enjoyed getting a glimpse into the world of the werewolves!
Romance - For the most part, I found the romances in this book to be extremely irritating. It definitely cost my rating of the book a full star. It doesn't help that I'm a grown adult and can't relate to what it feels like to be a teenager in love, but I think I'd still have be irritated by it if I did. First, if you've ever read any of my reviews before you'd know that I hate love triangles (even if they serve a purpose in the story). Second, the main romance was just groan worthy. There were a lot of "I love you but I can't be with you and I won't tell you why so I'm going to childishly avoid you" moments, and a few "I love you so let's do it right here in public because we have no shame" moments - both of which left me feeling angry and grateful that I'm not a teenager anymore.
Characters - I know I had characters as one of my pros, but as much as I loved some characters, I was equally disgusted by other. I have to say the weakest characters in this story were Alec and Jace. Both of them showed incredible immaturity. Alec reminded me of every jealous exboyfriend I'd ever had. I'm surprised his significant other let him get away with treating him like that - I'd have dumped him. Besides, he didn't really need to be in this book anyway. He didn't do anything except whine about not being the only person his significant other ever loved. Jace spent almost the entire book being melodramatic - clearly fishing for comfort and attention. Both of these characters exhibited personality traits that I can't stand.
I was back and forth with ratings for this book. I think that if I would have been reading it in text, I might have put it down and picked something else up. This book took a little while to get where it was going, but once it got there it flew. I can honestly say that I understand why these books are so popular. I think that if I was reading them with younger eyes, I'd be more enthralled. I'm definitely going to continue with this series, but probably solely in audiobook.