I kind of accidentally put completing this part 2 post off for too long (a few weeks after reading these books…) mostly because I got caught up with reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (review coming) and From Blood and Ash, both of which were five-star reads for me. But listen, I am COMMITTED to reading all these damn shadowhunter books, if for nothing else, for my undying love for Jem Carstairs. So please read on for my “review” of each book, followed by my overall thoughts on the second part of the series as a whole.
City of Fallen Angels, book 4
Overall Impression/Thoughts/Feelings: I’ll be honest. I barely remember this book at this point, since I did not have the foresight nor the motivation to write this when I first read this one. BUT I remember feeling that it was hands down the most boring and pointless of the saga. It felt incredible frustrating to read Jace “pulling away” from Clary after quite literally suffering through their dramatic, lengthy, torturous endeavors to finally get to be together in books 1-3. The plot line of Jace being “possessed” (that we will see come to life more so in the next book) felt so hollow, lame, and stupid in the events of this book. It feels like it takes forever to get there, and then suddenly Lilith is there, there’s a big confrontation on the roof of an apartment building/hospital (?) and there’s like an army of homeless people (?) that Lilith has recruited, and then she dies somehow, but then Jace is kidnapped at the end? It all felt so silly. I would honestly rather reread the first book in this series than read this one again.
MVP: Magnus Bane is quite literally the only one I can tolerate in this entire massive novel.
Favorite Scene: Probably Magnus recalling Tessa, Jem, and Will:
“Looking at her, he was in London again. He saw the gaslight and smelled the smoke and dirt and horses, the metallic tang of fog, the flowers in Kew Gardens. He saw a boy with black hair and blue eyes like Alec’s, heard violin music like the sound of silver water. He saw a girl with long brown hair and a serious face. In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants.”
Favorite Quotes: Hearts are breakable,” Isabelle said. “And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.” –Izzy to Clary(?)
“It’s fascinating. You know all these words, and they’re all English, but when you string them together into sentences, they just don’t make any sense.” – Jace to Simon (?)
City of Lost Souls, book 5
Overall Impression/Thoughts/Feelings: This was probably my favorite of the entire series. By this point, YES, I was sick of Clary and Jace’s drama, but “posessed” Jace was kind of spicy, and I found this to actually be quite a page-turner. Them in the demon club, them in the boat in Italy(?), them fighting demons with Sebastian…I was kinda into it! The setting and vibe of the book was quite different than just being in New York and/or Idris, which gets repetitive. The idea of being in a house (extremely reminiscent of Howl’s Moving Castle I might add) that can travel to any country/location in a heartbeat is really interesting. Also, Clary going (fake) “dark”, teaming up with the enemy, and having philosophical and moral discussions with her foe/brother, Sebastian, was also interesting…however, the abundant and excessive sexual tension between them was NOT NECESSARY. CC, what the hell?!? WHY??? More on this incest obsession below.
MVP: BROTHER ZACHARIAH
Favorite Scene: I pretty much lost my mind in the epilogue of this book when Clary asked Brother Zachariah if he was ever in love before joining the Brotherhood. I mean, I physically jumped up out of my bed to read that part. So yeah. Also, like I said, the demon club scene was hot.
– He flipped the book open to the front page, where the title was printed in ornate script. Across from it was a long dedication, the ink faded now and barely legible, though Clary could make out the signature: With hope at last, William Herondale.”
– “I’d do almost anything for you,” Simon said quietly. “I’d die for you. You know that. But would I kill someone else, someone innocent? What about a lot of innocent lives? What about the whole world? Is it really love to tell someone that if it came down to picking between them and every other life on the planet, you’d pick them? Is that—I don’t know, is that a moral sort of love at all?” – Simon to Clary
– “Our father’s dead,” he said. “There are no other relatives. You and I, we are the last. The last of the Morgensterns. You are the only one left whose blood runs in my veins, too. You are my last chance.” – Sebastian to Clary
– Clary took a deep breath. “Were you ever in love? Before the Brotherhood? Was there ever anyone you would have died for?” There was a long silence. Then: “Two people,” said Brother Zachariah. “There are memories that time does not erase, Clarissa. Ask your friend Magnus Bane, if you do not believe me. Forever does not make loss forgettable, only bearable.””
City of Heavenly Fire, (FINAL!) book 6
Overall Impression/Thoughts/Feelings: OH. MY. GOD. Kind of insane that I reread this entire 6 book series solely because I loved the prequel series so much, and I survived the reread with barely any crumbs or mentions of them throughout (by them I of course mean Will Herondale, Jem Carstairs, and Tessa Gray)…that is until THIS BOOK. Brother Zachariah/Jem was a main side character in this book, all leading up to the next series, which I understand that Jem and Tessa will be a huge part of. I cannot explain my excitement over this. If I had known the CC wrote additional Jem/Tessa content, I would have done this reread YEARS ago. Also, I am now pretty confident that I could have actually just reread this book only and been fine to move on and read the next series…BUT it was only 3,248 pages…right?!?! Anyways…
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (epilogue though? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
MVP: Can I be anymore obvious at this point…? BROTHER ZACHARIAH/JEM IS THE ONLY CHARACTER I AM HERE FOR. But also lil’ miss Emma Carstairs!
Favorite Scene: Basically the entire epilogue. The epilogue had nearly everything I read the series for, including: Jem and Tessa together (!!!), Clary and Tessa meeting, alluding to/discussing Will and the connection between Tessa and Clary and Will and Jace, JEM BEING REUNITED WITH CHURCH, Magnus being witness to all of this, and generally having Jem and Tessa back in my life. The amount of times I cried or teared up at just the MENTION of Will or Tessa or Jem’s prior life was crazy (meanwhile I can’t name one event that happened to Clary et al. that actually emotionally effected me but anyways….). Some other moments I really loved were: 1) Every time Emma Carstairs stood up for or otherwise risked herself for her parabatai, reminding me so much of Jem 2) Zachariah/Jem getting the letter from Tessa/the Spiral Labyrinth and tracing her signature with his fingers. 3) Pretty much every scene Zachariah/Jem was in because it almost always involved at one one allusion to his past life or connection to the current main characters 4) Magnus giving Alec his “book” (okay this was actually very touching), and 5) JEM STEALING CHURCH
Favorite Quote: Emma telling the Consul and Inquisitor, “I know where the heart is, but I don’t think you do“. after they accused her of missing Sebastian’s heart when she flung her dagger at him. Jem telling Jace “Once more a Herondale is the bringer of my deliverance. I should have anticipated.” and “Don’t carry the weight of the world on you, Jace. It’s too heavy for even a Herondale to bear.” Izzy saying “Is that Brother Zachariah? When did he get hot?“, and lastly, “She wept for herself and the changes that has been wrought in her, because sometimes even change for the better felt like a little death.”
Now allow me to complain 😇
General Qualms I have: These encompass all the books so I figured instead of being repetitive above, I’d just lay out my main issues here.
1) Once again…the near incest plot that becomes ACTUAL incest (at least from Sebastian’s POV). I don’t understand and I will never understand why CC insisted on this and how she got away with them being “brother and sister” for like 3 whole ass books. And then the sexual tension between Sebastian and Clary. WHY?
2) The only people in this series who didn’t annoy me more than 50% of the time were Magnus, Alec, and Izzy. Everyone else is terrible. Clary, her mom, Simon, Maia, Sebastian, even Jace are all incredibly annoying, irrational, and childish. Luke is generally okay, but clearly still had some classist opinions regarding Downworlders, was a terrible pack leader and absolutely needed to get overthrown, and his only real function was to hug Jocelyn from behind every time she freaked out about Clary or Sebastian.
3) I hated Simon basically until the very end of this book essentially. He truly behaves the most like a real teenager and frankly, I find it so annoying and grating.
4) How about how terribly Maia is treated! She literally had none of her friends to turn to in book 6 when her boyfriend literally died in her arms, and CC just threw her another love interest like…literally two days later and was like “okay, this plot is wrapped up!” Also, wasn’t Maia and Jordan’s story a little bit like excusing physical/emotional abuse? I get how CC spun it in the end but still….
5) Magnus was once again pushed to the side despite being the most interesting character of all of them. I’m so thankful his book is next in the order!
….I READ 6 BOOKS ALL BUILDING UP TO….A FADE TO BLACK SCENE????!! Tell me this is a joke.
Magnus’s book! Finally some good f**king food!!!! Finally DONE with Clary and Jace’s annoying asses!