Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

20331482Title: City of Heavenly Fire

Author: Cassandra Clare

Format/Length: Paperback/733 pages

Publisher/Date Published:  Walker Books Ltd/ May 28th 2014

Category/Genre: Young Adult/Urban Fantasy

Source: Library

Description: Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last instalment of the internationally bestselling The Mortal Instruments series.
Erchomai, Sebastian had said. 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 this world can defeat him – must they journey to another world to find the chance?

3/5 stars —


As the books progressed, I found myself less interested in the series, so perhaps that is the cause of my low-ish rating. After careful consideration, I decided that I would drop down my rating (from 3.5/5), because in all honestly, this was disappointing. I had expected more from this novel. However, there were some good points about the novel, so I’ll start with them.

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1) The author’s writing.

2) The characters (some of them, anyway).

I have always adored the way that the author writes her novels — her choice of words, her dialogue, her description. I think that she surpasses many of the YA authors there are out there today, and she brought something fresh and new to the genre, through her writing style. I would simply read another novel that Clare writes because I enjoy reading her words: how they are placed on the page just seems so effortless. Though, admittedly, I am beginning to tire of Shadowhunter novels, I think she’s very talented.

I like most of the characters in these novels… apart from Clary. She’s always annoyed me, but save for her, I think Clare does a fantastic job in crafting quirky, realistic, and mostly likeable characters. Though I’ve never been quite as infatuated with Jace as most teenager readers appear to be, I do love his witty humour and banter: this novel made me smile. Perhaps not as much as the previous books, but there was still some humour that cut through some of the darkness. I also enjoyed the wide cast of characters.

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But I found this novel had way too many downsides that I wasn’t really expecting, which was why I decided that I could not rate this novel more then three stars. Trust me — I wanted to give this book 5 stars, but unfortunately, it didn’t quite reach to my expectations.

1) It was . . . underwhelming.

2) Very predictable.

3) LONG. Waaay to long.

What I wanted from this book: twists and turns, shock character deaths, heart-breaking moments, an ending that would leave me satisfied, but at the same time, I wanted to crave more. What I got: a predictable storyline, minimal character deaths, moments which were supposed to be heartbreaking…but I did’n’t quite feel it, and an ending that left me… well, kind of glad it was done. This novel was simply underwhelming for a last in the series. I’m merging point one and two into the same paragraph because they are closely linked, but this was way too predictable. I feel like I’ve thrown that word around in this review too many times already, but it’s true. There was nothing shocking or surprising about it.

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I can’t really put my finger on what it was that stopped me from loving this, but part of the reason, for sure, was the amount of years wait between the books. Readers were left waiting (and hey, I get it — novels take time to write!) and the downside of this was that I’d forgotten a lot of what had happened in the previous books. And quite frankly, I didn’t have the motivation (or time!) to re-read the others in the series before this had to go back to the library. And also? This novel was long. So, so long. See the page count up there??? I mean, sure, Clare’s got nothin’ on George Martin, but man, that’s pretty dang massive for a novel geared at teenagers.

There was a lot of… waiting for something to happen.

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I have the feeling I may have used this GIF before… but it just sums up my feelings perfectly.


4 thoughts on “Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

  1. *eyes boggle at length of book* I knew it was big but not THAT big. It’s like Harry Potter 5 big!!! I’ve read the first four in this series and even that was too much for me – I got sick of them verrrry quickly. But a lot of bloggers I know just read the sixth one anyway so they could finially be finished with them :P

  2. I agree – there are a lot of good points about this book but I think the series peaked at the third one. I enjoyed reading this one but didn’t love it and felt like it just kept going and going.

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