Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review - Cassandra Clare's City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments Book 4) by Cassandra Clare
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: April 5th, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages
Rating: ★
To Buy

Every action has it's consequence. There is a price to pay for bringing Jace back from the dead, as there is for Simon being a vampire who can now walk in daylight and repel attacks on his person because he bears the mark of Cain. Yet when Jace was brought back or when Clary traced the mark onto Simon's forehead, none of them thought that the punishment for that one action would be so severe. They all are trying to resume their normal lives and are planning for Clary's mom's wedding to Luke when the repercussions start to be felt. Simon has apparently the most to deal with, what with his mom finding out about him being a vampire, resulting in his being kicked out having to move in with one of his band mates. But that family squabble could happen to anyone, minus the vampirism, it's the threats on his life that are more disturbing, as well as different factions of supernaturals having an unhealthy interest in his ability to walk in daylight. Though it's Jace's problem that could be their undoing. Nightmares seem like a mundane concern when stacked up against Simon's problems. Though the nightmares might be what undoes them all.

Have you ever been reading a book or a series of books that just turns you off reading altogether? There's just something or a lot of somethings that piss you off so much that the thought of picking up another book and reading any written word makes you panic and flee into fits of hyper productivity in anything other then your "to be read" pile. This is a rare occurrence for me, the last time happened to coincide with the final Twilight book and put me off reading for the entire month of August. I'm thinking that I can overcome this malaise quickly... or at least I hope I can because I really have other books to read, but in the meantime, well, my office is getting clean!

As you have probably guessed I am not the biggest fan of this series, even if I have been taking a sort of gleeful revenge by writing scathing reviews. Yet after this forth book I almost think I can't take it anymore. And there's two more books! OK, I am getting a little twitchy thinking about those final two volumes. Power through, power through. Yes, I have developed a mantra in an attempt to just get done. Also, it's not that these Mortal Instrument books are the worst I've ever read, it's just lazy writing (how can a windowless room have a stained glass window later in the scene?) with predictable plots, like, stop hitting me over the head with you "subtle" foreshadowing Clare! I just don't like these books. There. I've said it. I. Don't. Like. These. Books.

I shall now illuminate my reasoning like a window magically appearing in a windowless room, seriously, editors, how could you not fix that. I had hope with City of Fallen Angels because the book did shift it's primary focus off the angtsy Jace and Clary (have I mentioned before how much I hate these names?) and Simon has became our protagonist, and I was all hyped. Simon, someone different, a geeky little vampire and how he's handling his transition... which somehow became the most boring story ever. One is that Simon's vampirism has made him sexy so he's juggling two girls, please, no. Stick to who he is. The other is that there are SO MANY good becoming stories out there about newbie vampires and this one didn't even come close. I think my common refrain for this series is just go watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and leave it at that. But other great shows with becoming stories... how about Being Human? I'm talking UK NOT US people. If it wasn't for the fact that I know there is so much great literature, films, and television shows about vampires, this series would have sworn me off them for good. As it is, I could do with a supernatural reprieve for a few months. Thankfully I swore off True Blood awhile ago otherwise I wouldn't be able to watch it's final season.

But nothing is getting to me as much as Clary and her budding artistic abilities. Thank Lilith that Clary has stopped talking about the sky, it literally made this book shorter by a hundred pages. As an artist, illustrator, and designer myself, I have one thing to say: Get the Terms Right Clare! It is very apparent when someone is writing about things outside their skill set and they don't bother to do the research. This gets on my nerves. I'm sure that everyone who has a specific trade or knowledge of something will cringe when it's wrongly applied. I sometimes catch it with things I have a passing knowledge of, but like when I'm watching the new series of Father Brown, I'm not the person on the message boards posting about how his vestments are wrong for the time period. Also, this guy does exist, go check out the imdb boards!

However, on art, I'm going to call you out! Firstly, art terms and writing terms aren't interchangeable. So while artists sometimes use the word "draft" it rarely means the same thing, but I'll let this one slide, because sometimes common vernacular ends up trumping actual meaning. But you're not getting away with Clary calling her drawing of Jace an illustration. It could be a drawing, a sketch, or a portrait, but NOT an illustration. See, an illustration is an image that accompanies text. I mean just look at the freaking definition in a dictionary! An illustration is "something that illustrates, as a picture in a book or magazine." Unless Clary is writing some erotica about Jace that she needs an illustration of his sleeping body for IT IS A DRAWING. I'd say do better Clare, but after four books, I see you can't do better, it's the same thing over and over again. I'll finish your series, but then we're done.


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