Rummanah Aasi
 Have you ever had a house guest who overstayed his/her welcome and made you wonder if he/she will ever leave? This pretty much summed up my feelings about the Mortal Instrument series. Thankfully City of Heavenly Fire is last book in the series.

Description: Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian--but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance.

Review: I have been disenchanted with the Mortal Instrument series especially after City of Fallen Angels. I was hoping the second trilogy would flesh out the secondary characters as promised, but unfortunately they are still regulated to the shadows as Clary and Jace take center stage.  
City of Heavenly Fire is a tome, clocking over 700 pages long. While the book looks like an epic and is crammed with action scenes in any space it can find, it feels anticlimactic. There is not enough depth and plot to really justify the large page count or frankly the second trilogy. We are once again asked about nurture versus nature as Sebastian becomes a megalomaniac much like his father. Unlike Jonathan who was complex, Sebastian comes off as a spoiled brat who is prone to throw tantrums when things don't go his way. I found Sebastian to be boring and his incest tendencies a bit too much for me to handle.
  The romance in the City of Heavenly Fire was just okay. There is enough tension in the various romantic couples to keep things interesting. Some are trying to go to a new level in their relationship while others are trying to define theirs or even salvage them. In other words, there was the same drama that took place in the other five books in this series. The fifty page or so epilogue wraps everything up perfectly in a nice tight bow.
  As I mentioned earlier, there were plenty of action scenes in this book. There are even characters who die, but for me, the deaths of these characters didn't have much of an effect on me. I thought they were pretty arbitrary and didn't really add anything to the story. 
 I have to say that my favorite parts of the story really relate to picking up the allusions to the infinitely better series, Infernal Devices, and discovering more about Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackwood, the main characters of the upcoming Mortal Instrument spin-off series called The Dark Artifices. These characters are the ones that grabbed my attention as I lost interest in our main characters. I do have to make a note that if you were unaware that a spin off was in the works, the inclusion of Emma and Julian's introduction does seem to be a non-sequitur to the overall plot arc of the book.
 Overall City of Heavenly Fire was a chore to read only because I was satisfied with saying goodbye to the characters for the first time. In my opinion, the series was better to end at book 3 with City of Glass rather than to drag on. I'm not 100% sure if I'll read the Dark Artifices when it comes out.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong fantasy violence, some language, a small fade to black sex scene, and some crude humor. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
5 Responses
  1. I still haven't read the 5th TMI book. But I know exactly what you mean by wishing it had died out earlier. I enjoyed the 4th book, but I still wished that it had ended with the 3rd.


  2. I am staying with you advice to stick with the first three books and that ending. I am with you that The Infernal Devices was the better series. I LOVED that series. I think I'd love more in that series. Then again maybe not. Thanks for reading through the complete series though, so I know I'm not missing much. Well written review.


  3. Hm... not sure if I want to read this one, but I still need to read the main series anyway... so I have time to consider it. Sorry this was a disappointment.


  4. I am with you, this series should have ended after the third book, I detested the fourth book and have not picked the series up again. Sounds like I am not missing much. Infernal Devices was far superior.


  5. Lol, the way you described this one with your first sentence is hilarious, Rummanah. I haven't read this series or any of Clare's books and have pretty much no interest in doing so, but I still feel your pain at reading a book just because you need to know how things end and having it disappoint you.


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