Wednesday, 4 June 2014

City of Heavenly Fire Review

Hola! So today I will be reviewing a book from a series very close to my heart- and that is of course
Cassandra Clare's City of Heavenly Fire. Of course, if you haven't read the series, firstly- WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS?! Secondly, do not I repeat do not read any further. Grab the first book, City of Bones, and get ready to enter the world of the Shadowhunters and sell your soul to gorgeous demon hunters :)

Moving on to the rest of you, who have read the series- City of Heavenly Fire is definitely worth the read. It's hella long, this I know, almost 750 pages, but seriously, it's fantastic and well worth the read. If you stopped reading after City of Glass, stop, grab City of Fallen Angels, and just keep going. For me. Please.

Anyways, synopsis time. City of Heavenly Fire picks up where City of Lost Souls left off- Jace is no longer connected to Sebastian, but he now possesses heavenly fire. It flows through his veins and he cannot touch anyone. He has to be extremely careful with the fire, but it has one benefit- potential to kill Sebastian. And everyone needs Sebastian dead. Meanwhile, Sebastian is creating more "Endarkened" with the Infernal Cup, and his growing army will take out their wrath on Idris and the Shadowhunters if Sebastian isn't stopped. And he won't stop until he gets the one thing he wants- Clary and Jace, his sister and brother.

You must, must, read it, and once you do, come back here and discuss with me and our other Shadowhunters about the book!

See you back here soon!

Ahh, welcome to the review, those who have read COHF. Did you cry? Did you laugh? Are you emotionally destroyed forever at the thought of never having another book about Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle and Alec? Me too.

Okay so in this book, much like the other books in the series, we had several storylines going at once. Mainly, there were the Clary/Jace/Simon/Izzy/Alec scenes, because they are the original characters of the series and they were definitely the most dominant. Then there was the Maia scenes, where we occasionally flicked over to her to see how she was coping with the whole Downworlders when-the-cat's-away-the-mice-will-play attitude. There was also the Emma scenes, where we saw Emma and Julian and the rest of the Blackthorns, who were just a heartbreaking bunch to watch as they struggled through everything. There was also the Jocelyn/Luke/Magnus/Raphael scenes, after they were kidnapped, where we occasionally flicked back to just ensure that they were still alive.

My favourite scenes were of course the ones we spent with the big five (Clary, Jace, Simon, Izzy, Alec, occasionally Magnus but for the purposes of this book I'll leave him out). They were and forever will be my favourite characters in this whole series. Jace particularly, because he was my first "book boyfriend", and still holds my heart quite firmly. And I'll never be over my obsessive love of these characters because everything about them makes my heart swell with pride and I just wanted them to be okay and they were and just... Okay I'll stop before I get too emotional.

Anyways, the book starts with Emma and the Blackthorns at the Los Angeles Institute. They are being attacked and they are left parentless and scared. This chapter didn't really work on me because after waiting two years for this book, I wanted to tear into the storyline of my perfect Big Five and not read about poor little Shadowhunter children, even if Emma is a Carstairs.

Can I just side track for a sec and talk about Emma. I ended up really quite liking Emma. I felt sorry for her when she and Julian decided to become parabatai, because she clearly likes him and this feeling she has might not her requited. I'm super excited to see how she will develop and how her story will unfurl in The Dark Artifices, and how Cassie will deal with another potentially cheesy love story (she hasn't let me down so far, let's keep our fingers crossed!) Anyways, moving onto my main point. Emma was incredibly like Jace. And during the story, I didn't pay much attention to this. Until I realised- technically, Emma is not blood related to Jace whatsoever. I even consulted my Clockwork Princess family tree. So this got me thinking- maybe Emma has somehow, through scandal or secrecy or whatever else, acquired Herondale blood. And then I realised, on the family tree, there are records missing around Emma's grandparent's time. To me, this just seems like the perfect idea for a plot bomb later on- I would bargain that Emma Carstairs has Herondale blood in her somehow.

Moving on, let's discuss the first important character death- Jordan's. I absolutely called it.

I knew he had to die, and when he did, it was so early on and expected that it didn't exactly profoundly injure me emotionally. Of course, when I thought it through, this was the character who helped Jace meditate and who played x-box with Simon, and that made me miss him, but I definitely was not crying at this stage.

So we move on to the first major battle. I love the battles in these books because they just aren't boring. They're interesting and inthralling whereas some books can be like, "She took her sword and plunged it in the beast. The beast screamed out in pain as it died. Other people were fighting things around her. Wow." Now although that may or may not be coated in a little bit of my sass, it's very true, and I'm glad these books aren't like that. The first major battle was the attack Sebastian led on the Adamant Citadel. Now, Clary and Jace, being Clary and Jace, run through the portal when they aren't meant to and some super-weird heavenly fire crud goes down.

Firstly, Jace manages to seriously injure Sebastian with his bleeding fire thingo, and Brother Zachariah comes along, accidentally gets licked by a flame of heavenly fire, and all of a sudden, Jem comes back, Brother Zachariah is pretty much no more. Then, Clary, in an effort to heal dear Jace, puts her all into an iratze, and gets seriously hurt.

And to think, this was one of the less violent battles.

At this time, Simon is being held captive by Maureen, crazy vampire fangirl who is now the leader of the New York clan. And this remained one of my most favourite scenes until more exciting stuff started happening, because Maureen dressed Simon up and held him captive like a doll. It was hilarious, and despite Simon actually being in quite a bit of danger, he was still making me laugh.

Then, eventually, the message gets to the Shadowhunters that Sebastian is in Edom, and he wants Clary and Jace. He offers for the Clave to hand them over, however, before they can refuse, Clary and Jace leave for Edom with Simon, Izzy and Alec. The scenes in the demon realm were some of my favourite scenes. Scratch that- they were my favourite scenes. It was my Big Five wandering around a foreign place and trying to stay positive. There was so much sass and humour in those scenes that they definitely became my favourites.

I would also like to mention that it was these scenes where I started to hate Alec a lot less. Originally, he'd just sort of been there, and I'd not cared much for him. And it was during this book where I realised that I love Alec Lightwood. He was hilarious, but at the same time, so, so sad, and I wanted to sweep him up and say, "it's okay, little Alec. You'll be okay." I officially love him and I need to go back and reread the series in this newfound Alec-loving light. Also, the whole making a pie scene was hilarious and I laughed and laughed at Alec's sass.

Most of my favourite scenes were the ones in the demon realm, Edom. I loved watching them explore and fight, whilst still managing to be the Big Five we all know and love. It was while I was reading these scenes where the sadness of the end really set in for me. There were some demon battles, none of them were super significant, but then we got to Jace's heavenly fire "fireworks show". Initially, I wasn't quite sure whether this meant he'd totally gotten rid of the heavenly fire, or whether it was still in him but just less of it, but slowly I came to the conclusion that it was the latter. I'm still not positive, so if anyone knows, let me know in the comments or with a tweet :)

Anyways, besides the Edom scenes, my other favourite thing in this book was how much wonderful shippy nonsense we got! In the first, like, four chapters, we'd already had a kiss from all the big ships (and by that I mean Clace, Malec and Sizzy). Not to mention the whole Lord-Montgomery-Sizzy-inside joke (which made a fantastic reappearance in the scenes after Izzy was saved by Simon). It was all very cute and everything stayed okay… nothing was too painful.

Which brings me to the most painful part of the whole book- where Simon loses his memories. This whole almost in tears, but that's probably because I don't cry during books very much. I didn't want Magnus to die, but the thought of Simon not remembering Clary, his best friend, or Izzy, or anything he's been through, was super-duper painful. And of course, because nothing can end perfectly happy in YA, Simon did have to lose his memories, to say goodbye. At this point, the tears flooded my bedroom and I'm still airing out my clothes and books. Anyways, I think the point where I really started to feel the pain was when Clary made contact with him. The less painful one was when she asked him who his best friend was, and he replied with, more or less, "Eric". The one that made me cry even harder was when she met up with him outside the school, and he handed her the flyer for his band and his band, which has had so many different names over the series, was called The Mortal Instruments. At that point I could no longer contain my feelings and I started choking and crying everywhere.
scene had me

I also was made very emotional when Alec and Magnus were reunited, when Magnus said, "Oh, my Alec. You've been so sad. I didn't know." That line injured me on the inside and I am still trying to recover. It was so sweet and emotional and I just want to curl up and cry okay…

Moving on to a more significant thought other than my pained feelings toward Simon and Malec, I would like to discuss Sebastian. We knew he was going to die, he really did have to. What I did not expect was the sword cutting out all of the evil in him and that we would get to see Sebastian as he would have been, as Jonathan. And I think this was a really hard scene for me, because I didn't want this Jonathan to die, and it wasn't his fault. It was Valentine's. And I wished that things had been different, much like Clary did at the time. It was sad, but I knew he had to die, had to go. Because I still don't trust him, really.

Coming off that point, I am super worried about how Clary threw Sebastian's ashes into Lake Lyn. I mean, I don't actually think that the Lake can do anything in the area of piecing together ashes of a dead super-demon-Shadowhunter, but I don't know, that Lake is one of the shiftiest Instruments, I don't really trust it… What are your thoughts? I mean, if we get nice-Sebastian back, I'll be pretty okay with that, however, if we get evil-Sebastian, I think I'll scream. Then again, maybe this will never be addressed in The Dark Artifices I don't know.

I was also thrilled to see Jem and Tessa in the end scenes, and when they talked about Will, you could hear my heart shattering just a little. It was so cute to hear him talking about their ancestors and oh my goodness I never made the correlation between fRAY and gRAY. How did I miss that? Anyways, I'm super up for Clary/Tessa brotp, they would be so great together as best friends. Shopping trips with Tessa and Clary! With wives (pretty much) of Herondales oh my gosh can you imagine coffee dates?!

Tessa: Yeah, literally he was so angsty. All he did was push me away. And all that time he loved me!
Clary: We went through so many issues… We thought we were siblings for a while, then he was possessed and tried to kill me… Not to mention the fact he has a death wish the size of England!
Tessa: I guess they see it as "heroic"…
Clary: I just think he's a bit dumb.
Tessa: Yet we love them anyways…
Clary: Yeah. Remind me why again?

Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed this book even if it does mean that The Mortal Instruments is over. The series means a lot to me. I started this series during 2012, right on the release of City of Lost Souls, and ever since, I've read over one hundred and fifty YA books. It was the series that started it all for me, and I cannot imagine what I'd be without the series, and I'm seriously going to miss Clary, Jace and the other Big Five characters. But of course, that is the beauty of books, you can throw yourself back into their world, their stories, any time you want.

So leave a comment with your thoughts or opinions on some of my theories and also your twitter name as I will follow you and or shout you out :)

Have a lovely day,
Lily xoxo

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