Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Book review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare


5 stars for COHF

A Twitter friend and fellow book lover gifted me a copy of this book as I would have had to check it out from the library and she didn’t want me to have to wait (thanks @JennJustReading!)  For personal reasons I put off reading the book for a couple of months after its release.  After the collateral damage in book 3 I was terrified that Magnus was going to get offed.  And that I just couldn’t take, so I put off reading it.  And then one day it just seemed natural to open my Nook and start reading. 
          I’ve read several YA series and so far, this by far has the best overall series ending.  Cassandra Clare has the gift of story weaving and by using this gift she brought characters from the Shadowhunter world together in this book.  It was just beautiful.  Especially because in books 4 & 5 I got really sick of all the drama between Clary and Jace and really just wanted to know what was happening with Magnus, Alec, Izzy, & Simon.  COHF completely made up for all the irritation of books 4 & 5.  There was closure for some story arcs, as well as hope for new story arcs and new characters to love.  Can’t wait for The Dark Artifices to release next year!
Below this line lie SPOILERS.  You have been warned.

          Really have to hand it to Cassie Clare for tying up the Sebastian/Jonathan story arc in such a way that it brought emotional closure for Jocelyn, Luke, Clary, and Jonathan himself.  Did not expect that and it was really touching to see the Jonathan that he could have been if Valentine had not been a narcissistic monster.
          Collateral damage in this book was limited to Raphael, Jordan, and Simon’s memories (which will be discussed below.)  Jordan’s death was shocking to me because so much had gone into his plot, but it definitely fit and was believable.  There’s hope for Maia at the end of the book to find happiness of her own.  Raphael’s death didn’t move me much, I was just grateful it was him rather than Magnus.
          Then we move on to the OMG of Simon and the genius of Cassandra Clare.  As any reader of the series knows Simon had been utterly miserable since becoming a vampire.  The only good thing to come out of it in his mind was Isabelle seemed to take more interest in him.  I really have to wonder about that, because Izzy proved to still be interested in Simon after he was human, but Simon seemed to really think it was the vampiric change that interested her.  I cried when Simon lost his memories and Izzy and Clary lost their connection to him.  (Not as much as when I thought Jem died in CP2 because I SOBBED when I thought Jem died.  Ahem.)  But.  It was just so well done as he now gets to come back as a Shadowhunter and he can still age and be part of his family and do all those things he lamented not being able to do as a vampire.  Yay Simon!
          Jem!  Tessa!  Jessa!  I swear Jem, Tessa, and Magnus had the best freaking lines in the book.  Or perhaps it’s just because they’re my favorite characters in the series.  Also loved the explanation on how Zachariah became Jem again (or as Izzy referred to him – the hot Silent Brother.)  So very much hoping for more Jessa in The Dark Artifices.
          May I bow down to Cassie Clare for creating Magus Bane in the first place and then gifting her readers by having him in all the Shadowhunter books so far?  Thank CC for the growth of Alec or I may have punched through my Nook into his thick skull.  Absolutely loved the way Magnus handled the situations in the book (of course) as well as the benediction to his freaking Demon daddy who ruled Edom.  More Magnus!

          Good things to come in the later Shadowhunter novels.  Emma Carstairs & Julian Blackthorn are going to be great main characters.  Crossing my fingers for more Magnus, Jem, & Tessa, but we shall have to see what the great Cassie Clare gives us.