Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guest Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (@cassieclare)

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Published: Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster)
Reviewer: Stephanie

My Rating:

Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian, but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance.
Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

I am not sure where to begin because so much happens in this last installment of The Mortal Instruments. I am sure I will forget to say a few things and think of them later. So I will start with it was a very satisfying end and a much improved story from the previous two books in the series (City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls). It actually made it worth it to continue after City of Glass. There were a few hiccups that made me decide to demote it half a star, but all in all, Heavenly Fire is an enjoyable read.

The beginning introduced Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorns. They'll be the protagonists of the next series, Dark Artifices. I was worried the introduction of these characters would take over the story, but the balance was perfect. There was just enough development to set up the next series without them stealing any of the thunder in Heavenly Fire.

I can also see the set up for the next series with the involvement of the Faeries and the unfair treatment of certain characters. It's got Treaty of Versailles vibes and I sense disturbing consequences.

Enough about the set up for the Dark Artifices, and on to the conclusion of this chapter of the soap opera. At 725 pages I was expecting a lot of filler, but the story moved along. Some things were tied up and answered, while some were set aside for later. Even when the story did slow down a bit three quarters of the way though in the demon realm, it was still interesting. I liked the moments of their bonding and friendship. Particularly Jace and Alec. For parabatai there was a lack of development between them in all of the previous books. While that will always be an issue I have, their moments in HF are some of my favorite.

I was glad for some of the throw backs to previous events. So much happens and it had been a few months since I read the other books, a reminder was needed.

There was a lot of build up for some aspects of the story that I thought either paid off really well, and some that made me question whether it was the right way to go about it.

Some of the deaths that occurred were either really well done, or felt unemotional. I suppose though that depends on how attached the reader was to those characters in the first place. So there goes a reason for a demotion in my rating.

I will say the way the grief and mourning the characters go through was well done.

I am not sure if a spoiler alert is required here. I think it is obvious since this is the last book in the series, but here is a SPOILER ALRET warning anyway. Sebastian was a well done diabolical, soap-opera-cartoon villain. His father messed him up so badly that it is sad to think of what could have been. The man he did become was too corrupted and excuses are not made for him. That is what I liked about his final death.

When it comes to the romantic couples, my shipper heart is pleased. I really can't get more into it without ruining the whole book.

It is not just the romantic relationships that melted my heart but others that came to understanding and the start of forgiveness that melted my heart.
It was little things like that being tied up that I really enjoyed.

I can keep going with favorite lines, scenes, or parts I wish went a different way, but looking over eight pages -front and back - of notes I don't want to spoil anyone. That would be best saved for a discussion post.

There are moments of excitement; sentimentality; cheesy dialogue of love; comic relief; eww-gross; and oh, remember that for later. Heavenly Fire could have easily ended poorly and been as bad as the lackluster City of Fallen Angels, but luckily it was the best of the second half of the series. You know and understand the characters and the world they live in so well it makes it easy and gratifying to read for hours.

4.5 our 5 realms

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read this series yet. Close to the movie's release date I began the first, but got side tracked and have yet to pick it up again. Your review has made me want to give it another try! Thanks, Stephanie.