The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out that he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse that’s wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. Not to mention that he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other one.
When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.
Executive Summary: Finally!
This was the first of the books that I could honestly say I really enjoyed. The plot line was a lot more complex (in a good way), and everyone was pretty involved in the action.
We begin the story with Simon double-dating Maia and Isabelle. (Simon has quickly become one of my favorite characters in the book because he’s awkward and weird and I relate to that. Lol.) He is summoned by Camille, the head vampire of the Manhattan clan (who is supposedly in hiding because she was banned by Raphael for feeding on humans). Camille tells him that she wants him to join her to help her regain her status, and in turn she will help him with his learning (apparently there is a lot that vampires need to know). She gives him 5 days to make a decision.
In the meantime, his band acquires a new member, Kyle. Simon and his mother get into a fight because she finds his blood stash and he tells her he’s a vampire, and he stays with Kyle.
Throughout all this, Jace has been having dreams of murdering Clary so instead of, you know, talking to someone, he just ignores her and makes a situation way worse. I get it, they’re teenagers. It still annoys me. And separately, Simon is being stalked by people who are trying to attack/kidnap him but because of his Mark of Cain, none of them succeed. Jordan and Jace form a plan to lure them out at their band’s show.
After their performance, because Simon hasn’t been feeding properly, he “accidentally” feeds on this groupie, Maureen. Kyle turns out to be Jordan (there are a lot of name changes in this series!), who is the werewolf who turned Maia. After he became a werewolf, Jordan joined the Praetor Lupus, a group to help newly formed downworlders, and as such, he helps straighten out Simon’s situation. Simon also meets a promoter who is interested in their band. Mmm-hmm. Simon tells Luke about his situation with Camille and the people following him.
Jace and Clary are practicing their fighting when the always creepy Seelie queen appears. She tells them about another dead Nephilium and also gives Clary some more mysterious tidbits of “wisdom” to think about. Later that evening, they find out that a baby was abandoned behind the Beth Israel hospital with a note asking the hospital to euthanize the baby.
They soon realize that the Nephilium who have been murdered were all part of the Circle previously. They agree that it is acceptable to have Clary try her rune making skills on the most recently murdered one to figure out who has killed them and it turns out it is Camille. Luke splashes acid on the rune to destroy it and let the Shadowhunter die. Turns out bringing people back from the dead is apparently inhumane and gross. Go figure.
Luke calls Simon and sets up a clandestine meeting to talk about Camille. Clary and Jocelyn go to see the now-dead baby at Beth Israel hospital. The baby has been glamoured so that on first glance, you can’t see that it has claws and black eyes…like Jonathan/Sebastian apparently had when he was a child. Clary uses a scrap of fabric from the baby to figure out where he had come from and got the address of the Church of Talto at 232 Riverside Drive. She texts Isabelle the address too.
Simultaneously while Simon, Jace, and Jordan are discussing the whole Maureen catastrophe, a note is left at their door saying that Simon needs to go to 232 Riverside Drive or they will cut his girlfriend’s throat. So Simon begins calling all the possible girls who might be his girlfriend. Maia. Isabelle. Clary. No one has been kidnapped.
Clary gets inside the church and it’s (surprise) creepy. She sees a picture of a woman holding a baby with black eyes and deduces that someone is trying to make more children like Jonathan. She is then attacked by a demon. Luckily Isabelle is prompt in her timing and helps kill it. Clary really needs more training.
Simon meets Camille to give her his answer and then “sneakily” takes a photo of the location to allow the Nephilium to create a Portal there and capture her. She agrees to talk but only to Magnus Bane. Turns out many years ago Magnus was her lover which of course creates all sort of drama with Magnus and Alec. Hmph, mortals. So emotional. 🙂
Once Jace realizes what has happened to Clary, he has to go help her. (Um where was your help when she was being attacked by a demon, doofus). They start making out and then Jace pulls a knife on her. (So we move from incest to assault…?) They realize that someone has been messing with Jace’s dreams so they decide to take him to the Silent City to get help. They find out that Jace has the mark of death on him (aka he died and then Clary asked the Angel to bring him back so she has set the world in some sort of imbalance. Also the reason he is able to be mind controlled is because he wasn’t “reset” after he was reborn so it was easy for someone to break into his mind. A little far fetched but ok, I’ll take it.). Clary leaves him to be fixed, but the Silent Brothers don’t get started in time as Jace has a horrible dream and leaves the Institute.
Simon figures out who the girlfriend is. Maureen.
Everyone goes to Jocelyn and Luke’s engagement party. The Seelie Queen sends Clary a bell which can be used to summon the Queen at any time. Clary sees Jace and only mildly questions why he’s there and not at the Institute. She stupidly agrees to let Jace give her a permanent rune “like they have at Shadowhunter weddings.” (I’m assuming that’s like getting your gf/bf’s name tattooed on you…a guarantee that it’s going to go sour). Only it turns out it’s not a sappy love rune.
Simon meets Maureen who takes her to meet her creator who was the promoter earlier in the story. Her name is Lilith and she has been around since the beginning of creation. Apparently she was Adam’s first wife but she wasn’t obedient so God made Adam a new wife out of his own body so that she would always be subservient. (This part struck me as a little over the top. I’m not sure whether we are supposed to feel for Lilith or not?) Simon realizes that Lilith has Jonathan/Sebastian in a weird coffin and begins to get a bit suspicious.
Isabelle realizes that Simon is gone (but not Clary) and everyone sets about to go look for him. Isabelle finds the card in Simon’s wallet for the promoter “Satrina Kendall” and oh so quickly puts together that Satrina is Lilith. Apparently Lilith has many names and one of them is also Talto (the church where they were earlier) so they decide to start looking for Simon there. Alec finds Camille there who has apparently been captured by Lilith (who she was working for all along), and Alec stupidly agrees to release her.
Jonathan is alive because of Clary’s imbalance. A life for a life or something. Lilith wants Simon to turn Jonathan into a vampire so that he can be brought back to life (although Simon would die for it) and create a new race of demon-vampire-Shadowhunters (I think). Only Simon’s blood will work because of his “daylighter” status because the Angel blood is what can bring the dead back (Not much detail about the downsides of this…). Then Jace shows up with Clary and we find out who has been controlling his dreams this whole time. Lilith was the greater demon who had been used to create Jonathan in the first place and considers herself Jonathan’s mother.
Simon agrees to drink Jonathan’s blood and try to revive him in order to save Jace and Clary. Meanwhile Clary cuts the rune that Jace has applied to himself under the will of Lilith to remove its power. Lilith releases hellhounds to attack them which they manage to hold off. Lilith is about to attack Clary when Simon with his Mark of Cain jumps in the way. And then Lilith is attacked 7x and dies.
The rest of the group finds them and everyone gets updated on the situation. Jace decides to wait alone with Jonathan to ensure nothing happens while the rest of the Clave gets there. Clary and Jace have a heartfelt reunion (now that Jace isn’t trying to kill her) before Clary goes downstairs. And then…when Jace is left alone with Jonathan, he begins being controlled again. This time by Jonathan. He cuts his hand and and Jonathan’s and they share blood. The book ends with Jonathan saying “We are one.”
Um…OK. I was good up until the very end. So Clary removed the rune which allowed Lilith to control Jace. But then after Lilith died, it spontaneously came back to allow Jonathan to control Jace? I realize that this is a YA book and I’m willing to suspend a lot of my disbelief on things. But the explanation of “Lilith’s blood in Jonathan’s veins” doesn’t really cut it. Lilith was no longer able to control Jace so why can Jonathan? It doesn’t really make a lot of sense. But OK, I’m curious to see where it goes, so I’ll hold off on my rant. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the more detailed, intertwined story line with all the different groups of characters.
3.5 stars. I liked this one slightly better than the last one (which I also gave 3.5 stars) but the ending bit was a little…difficult for me to buy into. I’m going to pick up book 5 to read while I’m waiting in line at the DMV today so hopefully the explanation in there will be more satisfying. And also we are left with the unanswered plot line of the Seelie Queen’s bell. And somewhat Simon’s ability to bring people back from the dead. It could be really good…