Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare

Firstly, thanks to Walker Books Australia for this review copy <3

Date Read: May 30 - June 8 2014
Release Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
My rating: 

This review may contain spoilers for the previous 5 books but does not contain spoilers about City of Heavenly Fire

"Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

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. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance.

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?"


TMI - The Mortal Instruments; alternatively 'too much information' which is what this series has been (and especially this book)
TID - The Infernal Devices; prequel to The Mortal Instruments, set about 130 years before.
COB - City of Bones
COA - City of Ashes
COG - City of Glass
COFA - City of Fallen Angels
COLS - City of Lost Souls
COHF - City of Heavenly Fire
Clace - Clary and Jace's ship name
Wessa - Will and Tessa's ship name (The Infernal Devices)
TDA - The Dark Artifices (next generation of Shadowhunters after TMI, set in 2012)

My Thoughts Before You Read My Review:

It’s finallllyyyyy over omg. Let’s be honest, this series went on for three books too long. Let’s also not comment on the apparent 2-3 upcoming series in the Shadowhunter world. Out of sight, out of mind. 733 pages you guys holy shit. It goes beyond novel… More like a tome. I got a lot of stares reading this on the bus to uni because it was just so massive.

This was a whole 1-1.5 stars better than City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls. After COFA I thought “woah this series has fallen far”. After COLS? Absolute lost cause. See what I did there? ANYWAY I wasn’t even planning on continuing with this series but you know that itch you get to finish a series because you’ve darn well not just started it but progressed nearly all the way through? Yeah this was me. A part of me read COHF for closure… The other? BROTHER ZACHARIAH HOMG. For God knows what reason, at some point between the release of COFA and COLS I had managed to acquire the whole of The Infernal Devices. I actually went out and bought these I don’t even know why. One day, I picked up the nerve to read Clockwork Angel. And hated it. I was pushed by various people to continue so I skipped to the end of Clockwork Princess to see if it was worth reading – for me it was so I continued. I ended up loving the last 2 books in TID. Hence, because of certain characters in TID that appear in TMI, and ultimately COHF I just had to read this last book. I am glad I did. 

“If I cannot reach Heaven, I will raise Hell.”

After COG, Sebastian aka Jonathon Morgenstern aka Clary’s devil spawn brother, has completely gone off his nut in COFA/COLS and been on a rampage through the Shadowhunter world. It’s up to Clace and their gang to stop him wreaking havoc and potentially destroying everyone.

Clary, Clary, Clary. Sigh. You just never learn do you? To me, Clary has always been a Mary Sue. Stubborn, never learning, and incessantly dull. Yet somehow, she manages to get the boy, the best friend and everything eventually works out for her. Clary has annoyed me since book 1. I think by book 6, I’m so numb to her impulsive idiocy that I just didn’t notice it as much anymore – or maybe she achieved some character growth? I guess she was alright overall, she does her share of the fighting I guess but she’s just boring to me.

Unnecessary secondary characters and plot lines. Was not pleased. Did not care for Simon, Maia, Jordan and the rest of the wolves or vampires. All of these separate point of views could have been completely cut out and left on the side and COHF would still be long enough. I really didn’t see the point to these storylines and didn’t care about them at all. The series started out as Clary and Jace, Jace’s family and Clary’s family. Then focus on Simon. Hey let’s add in Sebastian! Then bring in Maia. And Jordan (when did he come in again?). And Raphael. Oh hey look there’s the Praeter Lupus (wtf?). And for the final touch let’s also introduce the next generation of Shadowhunters in the prologue of the last book and thread it throughout the story so readers will want to read TDA. I speed read through these extra character parts when they came up, not completely absorbing, just so I could move on. I mean, I guess Clare is showing us the Downworlders and how they’re important but. Just. Too much. Only secondary characters I cared for? Magnus Bane. AND BROTHER ZACHARIAH (my phone automatically capitalises his name now)! I really wanted more from the Jace/Alec parabatai relationship. I have never felt it throughout the 6 books like I did with Will/Jem – theirs was truly amazing and I felt their bond, it still resonates within me whenever it’s mentioned.

“Value your parabatai… For it is a precious bond. All love is precious. It is why we do what we do.”

Lol Clace omg. This was just a parallel of Wessa (that is a terrible ship name by the way, when I found this I was like UGH EW). Jace = Will for me. Same hot and cold personalities. Both snarky (which I did enjoy). Both with difficult family pasts, are troubled etc. There were just too many similarities between the two. But hey the romance is cute. On the rare occasion Clace manage to kiss/touch because of what happened to Jace in COLS. There was so much bloody tension and waiting it was infuriating and frustrating. You know when a book has UST and it’s lip bitingly frustrating in a good way? I WAITED TOO LONG HERE. Not in a good way. Every time, I was just like, 6 books please hurry up. However, I only JUST realised like yesterday that this WHOLE series spans 6 months. Too much crap has happened sure but still… 6 months and there’s dreams of marriage at 16/17? I know Shadowhunters get married early but woah 21st century guys.

I do like how the plot had a clear path throughout this. No more complexities, this is how it is once the twist was revealed. This is how we solve it, let’s do it. It played out nicely, and I liked how there was continuous action all the way through. From page 1 to page 733 there was always something happening, the book is constantly moving and that made it bearable. I liked the way Sebastian is developed as a villain. Sick, psychotic, but I think he just wanted to be loved and approved in that twisted way of his. There was a moment near the end where I did cry because of him! So there were definitely feels throughout this which made it enjoyable. Mainly Magnus/Alec and Brother Zachariah feels though… Still, feels!

“All my life it has scorched my veins and cut at my heart like blades, and weighed me down like lead – all my life, and I never knew it.”

I’m not going to deny that I like Clare’s writing. It’s lush, she doesn’t use words repetitively and the vocabulary is lovely. I have actually learnt some words from reading these books. I think it’s her style that managed to keep this so action-packed and the pace moving quickly, which I really appreciate. She writes snark/sarcasm really well and gives each of the main characters their own form of this – Alec, Magnus and Izzy especially. There are also some amazing phrases throughout this, which I thought applied to life in general, and some of the most heartfelt words that I’ve now written in my quote book. Can you believe who said most of these? You guessed it: BROTHER ZACHARIAH. I just love him so much. He’s so thoughtful, wise and caring. And he’s just full of so many emotions I wanna hug him omg please can I have him?

“When our hearts break, they break into shards that cannot be easily fit back together.”

“Have you ever felt that your heart contained so much that it must surely break apart?”

Despite the unnecessary length and extra storylines, I did enjoy this. Action-packed with a straight-forward plot, it ties up all the loose ends introduced in the series and brings Clace’s story to a final close.

“We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss.”


  1. Whenever I see a review about this series I feel like a complete loner because it seems like I'm the only one who didn't necessarily like this series! :/ I'm glad to hear this was a good read for you though, and that Clancy achieved some character development throughout the first six (!) books. I'll admit that Clare does have potential in the writing aspect, and I'm glad you agree!

    Thanks for sharing Jaz, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3 Glad this series is improving in your eyes!

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    1. You're not the only one don't worry, I didn't really like this series much either. I much prefer The Infernal Devices.

  2. Wow Jaz, you did well to stick through this series if Clary annoyed you from the first book! I'm only 3 books in and I had to stop because of the weird ickish factor between her and Jace being brothers and sisters (which I know is cleared up, but still). This book is actually freakishly huge but glad the series ended well!

    1. The first 3 books are fine imo - omg you don't have to live through the torture of Clary/Jace being brother and sister if you know it clears up then. When I first read it I was like OMGGGGG WHAAAT and yeah :( I hope you manage to get through it Jeann

  3. I agree completely, this went on far too long. The first three pretty much wrapped up, then she went ahead to milk as much as she could from the whole world she created. TID series was the same thing, just historical. Then the Magnus files (or whatever buzz title she created for those), that was horrid. That wasn't even anything! I've got this one, but have been putting it off. Not only because it's basically a book for giants, but I've heard it's more so 300 pages of actual series wrap up and the rest is introducing her next series. I hate that shit, I'll read this eventually but I'm done with her. Great review.

    It's strange, every time I visit I seem to be ranting about something :D

    1. I love your rants Kelly because I completely agree with them!
      I really did love TID though. I have not read anything else by Clare other than TMI and TID and I don't plan to. TAD (her upcoming series) is not hooking me in. Do tell me your thoughts if you ever decide to read this :D

  4. I absolutely love this series and was completely blown away by the ending. I love how she wrapped up the ending for each character so there were no loose ends and made the transition into a new Shadowhunter series something to look forward to. Love her writing style and I hated to say goodbye to this group of characters. Well done!

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