City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)
by Cassandra Clare
Summary: In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.
Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.
The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?
When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...
Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!
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Source: I purchased a hardcover
City of Heavenly Fire was a huge book filled with so many adventures, conflicts, conclusions, connections, and closure. In some ways, it absolutely amazing. There was so much character growth. There was finally some closure and the finale also connected The Infernal Devices, which was to be expected given the timeline from the end of Clockwork Princess.
I loved seeing Simon grow as a character and be braver. There were so many things he needed to get over and he was learning to be a vampire and still be with Shadowhunters. I loved seeing his relationship with Isabelle grow, too. I felt like her character evolved, too. And of course, I enjoyed Alec. I felt like I got a greater glimpse into his character in the last three books. Even Maia grew into something I never expected!
The Mortal Instruments series has so many awesome characters and I love how I got to know and love so many of them throughout the series. When I think about the series and the conclusion, I realize that I love the world. The setting and premise intrigue me. The idea of Shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, and fairies existing in a world alongside humans and protecting them against demons is kind of awesome. I love the characters, too, for the most part. They are so human, even when none of them are.
But there are a handful of things I can’t stand about the series and, after 6 books, I can’t really let them go. Even though I loved the evolution of Simon, Isabelle, Maia, Alec, Magnus, and the Shadowhunters in general in the last three books, I still can’t help but feel like the series should have ended with City of Glass. The continuation of the series had a lot of problems for me. I enjoyed spending more time in the world, but the little things that I let go in the first three books and in The Infernal Devices series were harder to ignore as I finished the 9th book set in the same world.
The Villain: I hated Sebastian as a villain, not because he was bad at it, but because he was evil because of demon blood. Valentine was an extremist who would be sympathized with until he went too far and enlisted the help of demons to achieve his own ends. Sebastian was the logical successor, but he had none of the humanity. How do 100% evil people ever gain followers? I just didn’t buy it. Towards the end, yeah, he was powerful enough to scare people into following him, but he started from scratch and just suddenly appeared with all the power and support he had. I also didn’t think his obsession with Clary was believable, either. It was his weakness, but why would Sebastian really care, if he was so beyond humanity? Valentine’s weakness for love or companionship would have been believable because he was human. I am really picky about villains and Sebastian just bothered me.
Simple Solutions to Impossible Things: The one thing I cannot get over about the series is how impossible things get, but yet there is always some pretty simple solution. Finding out where the demon realm was, for example, should have been harder, and yet it wasn’t. And then, finding out it was almost impossible to GET to should have made things harder, but it was also easy to get to. And this demon realm had no escape and yet they all went willingly. I guess I would to, if everything always worked out at the last minute. It’s one thing to have it happen every so often, but every major conflict had convenient solutions. This made the book unpredictable, but not in a good way. If something is close to impossible, I don’t think the solutions should be so easy. Clary and Jace were important to every major conflict, and yet, as children, weren’t allowed to be a part of any sort of battles. However, they were always able to get away, if they were even being supervised in the first place, and freely did their own thing. It’s like detective show Rogue Cop Syndrome on overload. Not every hero has to do their own thing all of the time.
Main Characters and their Fates: My other problem, and this may be a slight spoiler, is that no one important ever dies or has any real consequence. Everyone gets a happy ending except side characters that weren’t super important to us. I mean, sure, people die, but it’s never people who really matter and their deaths never really change the characters. Part of epic journeys (with impossible stakes) is having real life consequences.
Simon: Of all of the characters in this series, Simon’s character evolution was the most interesting to me. First, he was a regular guy, then he turned into a vampire. He struggled with being able to say the world God, how to find his place in the world. He became a Daylighter, hunted and coveted by regular vampires. He didn’t accept himself and struggled with coming out to his family and his alliance with Shadowhunters. And throughout these 6 books, I felt like I really watched him grow and change. And that is probably why City of Heavenly Fire irked me the most. Every single character lives without consequence. What happened to Simon sucked, but then it’s all hunky dory because he’s around everyone at the end. But human beings are shaped by their circumstances and I loved how Simon was growing. And none of it mattered. And there was no point. How can an author who writes such awesome characters not understand that? And would think that’s a better alternative than killing off anyone? If you haven’t read the book, perhaps I’m being confusing, but I don’t want to state exactly what happened. I just didn’t like what the author chose to do.
Of all of the amazing things that happened in the series, I’m left feeling like it’s a series that doesn’t really go there or hit hard. It’s all conflict, solution, everyone is happy. It’s all romances and connections and pairing everyone off. I know everyone loves that, but it just bothers me. I really thought, with Shadowhunters being so proud and condescending, that the novels would cement the whole not everything is black and white message, but they end up being so simplistic, they are black and white. None of the lessons project overall because the books don’t allow them to.
City of Heavenly Fire was great because of how epic it was. If you loved the rest of the books, you’ll love this one. I just can’t spend anymore time in the world of Shadowhunters. I’m stopping here and I’m not reading any more spin off series. I loved many aspects of City of Heavenly Fire, and for that, I do recommend it. But I don’t think The Mortal Instruments series is all that great as a whole because it full of tropes and happy endings with significant others for everyone. I think the biggest part of my feelings is due to knowing that there will more MORE books set in the same world. I just feel like the author is beating a dead horse. I’m over it.
Labels: Review, Urban Fantasy, YA