Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (Spoiler Free!)

8755785Genre: 

Young Adult, buy Urban Fantasy

Pages: 

725

Part of a Series?:

The final book of The Mortal Instruments series

Release Date: 

May 27th, stuff 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

My Review:

I will warn you now: there will be NO NO NO NO NO spoilers for City of Heavenly Fire in this review, but there will be spoilers for City of Bones, Ashes, Glass, Fallen Angels and Lost Souls. If you’re reading this and you haven’t read the first five, I can’t imagine why you’re here, but I would suggest not reading this review.

Now I’m going to jump in. I was very excited for this book but also incredibly apprehensive. I loved the way the first trilogy of this series ended, City of Glass is beautiful and it remains my favorite. Fallen Angels was disappointing to me, and Lost Souls was better but I just didn’t feel like the second half of the series was good for me. I was happy with how City of Glass ended.

That being said, now after reading City of Heavenly Fire, I can say…that City of Glass is still probably my favorite of the entire series but City of Heavenly Fire was incredible and I’m highly impressed and I thought that the ending was really great.

It wasn’t perfect though, but I’ll get to that later. I’m going to be as spoiler free as I can possibly be, but if you literally want to know nothing before you read this book, I suggest you go. I promise to be spoiler free, and vague but it still may not be enough for you.

First off, the story. When we leave Sebastian at the end of Lost Souls, with the Infernal Cup, and the ability to transform the Nephilim into darker versions of himself, I thought, where on earth is this going? We know Sebastian is insane, and that the demon blood in his body has made him into a sick person but I couldn’t see exactly where the story was going in this book. It opens up with Sebastian attacking Institutes in order to build up his Dark Shadowhunter army. The fear of him is real, and the building tension and fear throughout the story is very real. I was clutching the pages, anxious to get through because I had to know what happened next. It wasn’t just the whole “it’s the end of the series” anxiety but also the “Ohmygod, what is happening, what is Sebastian doing, what is going to happen to my favorite characters” anxiety.

The romance in the story is absolutely beautiful too. There are so many great romances in the Mortal Instruments series and seeing them interact and struggle and work together, it was beautiful, and I loved all of it. I do love that we get to see Jace and Clary fight together, side by side for the first time in the series. Its the first time we really truly see them as equals and I absolutely loved it. There are a few couples that don’t make it, all heartbreaking but done in ways that killed your heart but also made sense too, if that made sense. Its hard to explain without feeling like I’m revealing stuff but the couples that didn’t make it together, it hurt but it was done in a way that it made sense and it was heartbreaking in all the right ways. Plus there are a lot of FANTASTIC sexy scenes, enough to get all of us Shadowhunters all hot and bothered.

We’ve known for awhile now that we would meet the main characters of The Dark Artifices-Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn-would be introduced in this and I was surprised with the…frequency that they appeared in the story. I won’t say more than that but what little we get to know of them as young Shadowhunters-in-training in CoHF makes me absolutely love them and I can’t wait to dive into their stories later. I also like that we get what seems like hints for Lady Midnight in this book.

Again, from the hints, and from Clockwork Princess (if you haven’t read that, please skip to the next paragraph), that Brother Zachariah would be…no longer a Silent Brother anymore. Again, no spoilers, but this scene caused me to burst into uncontrollable tears and the interaction between him and Jace was beautiful. I marked it in my book because it was truly one of my favorite scenes in the book.

I did have some issues with the end. I think that Cassandra Clare could have been…harsher than she was, and that she could have taken more risks than she ended up taking. I was disappointed that the sort of sacrifices she made didn’t make as much of an impact as she could have. Its so hard to talk about it without spoilers but I just thought Cassie could have taken more risks. I thought that the direction she took with Simon’s story was the sort of risk I was looking for but it changed in the end to something I didn’t expect and was also kind of disappointing too. I think she went safe in the ending of the book, though heartbreaking and heart wrenching, could have been…more realistic, I guess is the word I’m looking for.

The conclusion of Sebastian’s story, I’ll just do words: unexpected. but kind of expected. perfectly written. perfect in general.

I had two favorite parts: when Zachariah, no longer a Silent Brother, meets Jace. Then there is a part when…a group of our favorite characters come into contact with a demon that makes them…see things. The things they see…its very emotional and I had to pause after I read that part in order to wipe the tears literally streaming down my face.

Basically, I am highly impressed with this book, and the fact that it brought together so much that has happened in the Shadowhunter world. We got flashes to the time of Tessa, Jem and Will, we got hints at the time of their children. We have everything of the Mortal Instruments time come together and wrap up and we have hints at what is to come in the future, and I think it all comes through nearly flawlessly and I applaud Cassie Clare a million times. I am proud to wear the fearless rune permanently on my shoulder :)

One last thing that’s SLIGHTLY (very slightly) spoilery: Simon’s band finally picks a name. And its WONDERFUL.

Ave Atque Vale, Shadowhunters. Until Lady Midnight!

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

TMI Read-A-Thon: Favorite City of Bones Quotes!

Hello everyone! I am currently hosting a TMI Read-a-Thon, cure re-reading all the books of the Mortal Instruments series in anticipation of the release of City of Heavenly Fire. You can join in by clicking this link.

Every Friday, try for the next couple weeks, I’ll be posting my favorite quotes from each Mortal Instruments Book!

As this is my first week, of course, these are all my favorite quotes from City of Bones.

Enjoy! And make sure to share yours in the comments!

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Fandom Friday-The Shadowhunter Chronicles

So I’ve decided to start a new segment of my blog called the Fandom Friday

This basically comes from my desire to find more fandoms…and this doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m trying to fill my life with more fandoms but I’m trying to be more open to other ones.

The biggest reason I’m doing this is because I’ve always felt like…so many fandoms preach acceptance and tolerance and equality and respect and all that. And yet…I’ve found that a lot of us nerds can be kind of judgemental on other fandoms, sick myself included. I mean, some people are REALLY judgemental and mean about it, sometimes.

And I’m trying to be better at it. And I’ve decided I want to learn more about different fandoms and kind of have people…backing up the fandom? That doesn’t sound quite right. I guess I just want people to write of the fandoms that they like and say why they like them, and what they mean to them, and maybe we can all start to understand each other.

Hey, I’m not saying that you have to like the fandoms. There are some things that we’re just not going to like. But I’m hoping that we all learn about some new ones, understand the ones we don’t like and finally figure out the ones that we don’t really understand.

So the first one is my own. I’m looking for anyone and everyone who would like to contribute to this. You can do any fandom that you’d like, except Harry Potter, Stars Wars and Doctor Who…ONLY because these are my three biggest fandoms and they are also really, really popular and I write about all three of these all the time. Any others though, free game, and leave a little comment below (make sure to click “email me for replies”) and we’ll get this going!

So this week’s first Fandom Friday is The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. And I know its Sunday but its been a busy weekend and we’ll just forget the days of the week just this once okay?

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Now, the reason that I pick the Shadowhunter Chronicles as my first fandom of the week, instead of Harry Potter or Star Wars or Doctor Who is that I have almost never had to really defend my obsession with these. These are VERY popular fandoms and very highly accepted fandoms and some people may shake their head at HOW obsessed I am, but I never really have to defend it as a whole.

The Shadowhunter series…those I am always, always, always defending. They are honestly a big reason why I’m trying to be more accepting of other fandoms, even the ones that I just think are plain awful. Then I realized…a lot of people have a problem with Cassie and her books. It goes both ways.

Officially right now, there are 8 Shadowhunter books in two different series. The Mortal Instruments takes place in present time and is as follow: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and the 2014 finale, City of Heavenly Fire. The Infernal Devices is a companion series, taking place in Victorian England. This series is complete: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess. Cassandra has three more series planned: The Dark Artifices, (Lady Midnight, Prince of Shadows and The Queen of Air and Darkness) which is a Los Angeles series taking place five years after the finale of the Mortal Instruments, TLH, which is acronymed and not named and will be following the children of the Infernal Devices series and a completely secret series, that will take place three years after the Dark Artifices series.

The books are an urban, contemporary fantasy. Its a world that we all recognize and know, but there’s more to it than we know. Demons roam our world, along with vampires, werewolves, warlocks and fae. And there are those that would protect the world from those demons, called Shadowhunters, humans with a dash of angel blood, warriors trained their entire lives to fight these demons. They have their own secret world, can shield themselves from us and have their own secret country, Idris. They use special weapons like seraph blades, blessed by angels to defeat demons, and use steles to draw “Marks” or “runes” on their body to give them extra or enhanced abilities in battle.

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The Mortal Instruments takes place in countemporary world, with Clary Fray, a sixteen year old girl who suddenly can see people and things she wasn’t able to see before. She stumbles upon some Shadowhunters while they are on the hunt, when she shouldn’t be able to see them. Shortly after, her mother is kidnapped and it is revealed that her mother is a Shadowhunter and once was married to a man named Valentine, who has a desire to “purify” the race of Shadowhunters and begin a superior order. Clary has to find her mother, and help to defeat Valentine, along with the help of her human best friend, Simon Lewis, the warlock, Magnus Bane, and her new Shadowhunter friends, Jace Wayland, Alec Lightwood and Isabelle Lightwood. The first book in the series, City of Bones, will be hitting theaters this summer, on August 23rd.

InfernalDevices

The Infernal Devices takes place in Victorian England at near end of the 19th century. Tessa Gray, again, is a human girl, who leaves New York to join her brother, Nate in England. She is kidnapped as soon as she reaches the dock, and soon learns that she has abilities she was never aware of: shape-shifting. As long as she’s holding the personal item of a person, she can change into them, and access their memories. According to her kidnappers, she’s being prepped to become the wife of a man called the Magister, who has a use for her and her talents. She is rescued by the Shadowhunter boys, Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs and, just like Clary, is suddenly aware of a world that she wasn’t before. Her story  shows her trying to figure out what she is and why the Magister wants her, and what he has planned for her and the Shadowhunters.

I first discovered these books three years ago, in 2010. To keep a story short, my boyfriend and I had broken up, and lets just say it wasn’t a nice break up. It was kind of a messy one and a lot was going on at the time. My boyfriend and I had gone through a tough time, and broke up due to that, and a couple other reasons. I was feeling crappy at my job. I was taking five classes in college and was overwhelmed. Everything was just kind of down in the dumps and I was absolutely miserable. It SUCKS to break up with someone that you had plans for in the future. Of course, it all worked out, in the long run because we ended up back together and have been together for five years :)

But at the time, I just needed to be distracted. I didn’t want to think about all the crap that was going on; I needed distractions. I discovered Starkid during this time, and became super addicted to their Harry Potter musicals because of how much they made me laugh. And I found Cassandra Clare. I went to Borders to pick up a book, and I found City of Bones. I read it that night, and picked up City of Ashes the very next day, and picked up City of Glass the day after. Then I read Clockwork Angel. I got addicted FAST.

Now, a big part of the reason that I was addicted so fast, and that it remains one of my biggest fandoms, is because of what it did for me at that time. It really helped me. I needed to be distracted and it did just that. It kept me from being absolutely miserable. The stories are super funny, especially with Simon and Jace and their sarcasm. The pop culture references are always awesome, makes me think of Boss Joss Whedon and his pop culture references in everything that he does. Its action packed, and it has a lot of biblical and mythological aspects (though I do think she could go further with these). The world she builts is sexy and addicting and she spins a romance that I’m in love with. And Jace Wayland is a character that you just can’t get over, especially when you’re single and lonely haha.

But its also more than that. Despite what a lot of people say, I think Cassandra Clare is a great writer. I think she’s very contemporary and that’s the way I write. Not all of us are going to write like Jane Austen or whatever. Not all of us can write classically but that doesn’t mean we aren’t great writers and I think she’s a great writer. I also don’t think that she’s “stolen” all the things people believe she has. I believe she used a lot of it in her fan fiction but that was her fan fiction and let’s move on. And yes, there are allusions to different worlds from different books, but doesn’t everyone do that? There are no 100% original stories anymore. We all tell the same stories, but HOW we tell it, and the characters we have, in the places we have…that’s what makes our stories unique. Cassandra Clare pulled from J.K. Rowling who pulled from J.R.R. Tolkien who pulled from Norse mythology which…and on and on.

But sometimes, we just enjoy things that aren’t literary masterpieces. Not every book I read is going to be an excellent example of literary prowess. Sometimes I just want my not so guilty pleasure book. I enjoy these books. I love the stories and I love the characters and they’re good for me.

And I do like the ideas that Cassie brings in. She talks about fears a lot. She talks about bravery and courage and the idea of fears. Clary is afraid of loving Jace, she’s afraid of her father, she’s afraid of a lot of things. Jace is afraid of letting himself love and be loved, both in family and romantic ways and he’s afraid of Clary. Isabelle is afraid to let her tough girl guard down. Simon is afraid of losing his best friend. Luke and Jocelyn are afraid for Clary‘s safety and what Valentine is capable of. Alec is afraid of his sexuality and coming to terms with it. Valentine is afraid of not having control. And a lot of times these fears hold them back, and cause more problems than anything.

And she doesn’t preach of just overcoming your fears, but learning to accept them and learning to live with them. This is a huge reason why I have the Fearless rune tattoo on my arm. I really agree with the way she approaches fear, and courage and bravery, and overcoming and accepting fears. These people aren’t fearless, no one can be fearless but you can learn to live with your fears.

One last thing, I do like that Cassie has included gay, bisexual and lesbian characters. Alec is gay, and Magnus is bisexual and Aline and Helen are lesbian. I really like how a familiar concept can be presented in an unfamiliar territory. I do love that more and more authors are exploring these in books, not just in subtext but in more obvious ways. I love that even though Cassie gets letters from parents complaining about the LGBT characters, she continues to write about them. Its fantastic.

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So maybe you’ll never be a huge Cassandra Clare fan, or even a fan at all. But maybe you can understand and respect my own obsession with it, the way I am starting to respect YOURS!

And don’t forget, I am looking for some guest blog posts from ANYONE on their fandoms! Comment below, with what fandom you’d like to write about. It can be anything: movie, tv show, book series, video game, card game, cartoon, whatever. I want to learn ALL about it. Comment below and I’ll be able to contact you and you can be part of the Fandom Friday :)

Can’t wait!

City of Bones Full Length Trailer is Released!

NOTE: There are some people on Twitter, tadalafil taking credit for writing this blog post, information pills and sharing it with Cassie on twitter. Honestly, I’m trying not to be upset about it, but it does upset me. I work very hard on this blog and everything on here is written by me, unless otherwise specified.

This blog post is by @anerdgirlsays, and if you see anyone else on Twitter taking credit for, please let them know that this is NOT okay. Its not okay to take credit for other people’s work!

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Okay, I totally got to see this, in all its glory, on the gigantic screen at WonderCon, the volume so loud, your chair was vibrating, but I was still so very excited for the trailer to come out today. One, so I finally can talk to you all of YOU about it and two, so I can watch it over and over and over again :)

This is the first full length trailer that we’ve gotten for the movie. We’ve gotten the teaser trailer, which I loved, but this trailer…it just blows it out of the water.

The panel for Sony included City of Bones, Evil Dead and This is the End. Those that were there for the other panels seemed pretty annoyed at the City of Bones part. You could just tell that they thought we were Twilight fan girls, part two. After the trailer, however, a lot of those annoyed faces turn to ones that seemed pretty impressed.

So even if you aren’t a TMI fan, or a YA fan, or just don’t seem like you would like it, I urge you to watch the trailer below because they did some serious work with this trailer. It looks BADASS.

Here’s the trailer:

Seriously? How can you NOT be super excited about this? In the book, its told from Clary‘s point of view, in third person so you get a lot of her attraction and interaction with Jace Wayland. However, in the movie, you can see more of the other characters, which seems like it’ll be attractive to guys as well as girls.

I love that we finally see more of Aidan Turner as Luke, and especially Lena Headey as Jocelyn, Clary’s mother. We haven’t seen much, if anything, and it was awesome to finally see that.

I love that Alec is SO Alec. He has that dislike for Clary that he has in the books, and he expresses that to Jace and straight to Clary’s face.

I LOVE the demon, the Ravener demon that comes flying into the room after Clary. I was honestly worried about how the demons were going to look. Were they going to look cheesy or stupid or I don’t know. Those are the biggest CGI elements of the movie and honestly, that demon was scary as hell. Very SLIGHTLY bummed about Jace killing it instead of Clary but honestly, I was more stoked at how damn scary that demon was to care that much.

I like that we’ve seen more of the vampires and werewolves, SUPER awesome.

I LOVED the way that the demon blew the door off its hinges and flung Jocelyn across the room.

I love Eric‘s reaction to Clary, looking all hot in all that black leather.

Valentine! More Valentine, which was great. I’m glad we got to see more of him. I kind of wish he was all clean cut, and in his suit, not all…I don’t know, raggedy? But he still looks great.

Spoiler For those who haven’t read the book and don’t want it ruined: I also liked that they were setting up the Jace and Clary love story in the trailer, and obviously the movie. They show that cute little scene of them on the motorcycle, and the moment that they have in the greenhouse, and even just the way Alec reacts to Clary, and how he tells her off. And especially when he says “We need you. I need you.” It really sets it up well, or so I hope, for the huge shocker that they are brother and sister at the end of City of Bones.

My favorite part though had to be Simon, toward the end of the trailer, saying “The werewolves are here to save us. Never thought I’d say that.” One, it just made me crack up, and it was the first thing Cassie talked about after we watched it at WonderCon. And two, that line was so classicly SIMON. It was such a thing that Simon would say. I mean, after he finds out about Shadowhunters and demons, werewolves and vampires and all that, he says “That is SO cool”. So that part…it was just awesome.

So, I’m really, really super happy with the trailer. EXTREMELY happy. Any time a book that I love is made into a movie, I get extremely nervous, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out (cough cough Percy Jackson cough cough), so I’m really excited because this looks like its going to be a GREAT movie, and that’ll mean sequels which means CITY OF GLASS, which is my favorite TMI book.

I also see a lot of things from the book. I do see changes, but in the grand scheme of things, I see mostly things that make me feel like its going to be great. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so great after a trailer before, and I have confidence in this movie.

Now, we only 144 days until the movie release…

What did YOU guys think of the trailer? Share in the comments!

And be sure to tell everyone about WhatANerdGirlSays!

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Don’t forget! Today is the VERY last day to enter to win an awesome, AUTOGRAPHED copy of Clockwork Princess. The contest ends at 12 am, Pacific time, which is 5.5 hours from when this was published. Find out how to enter HERE