Google+ Reading Teen: Audiobook Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Monday, April 25, 2011

Audiobook Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Reading level: Young Adult
Audio CD
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (April 5, 2011)
Author's Website:
Buy the Audio:  Amazon
Buy the Book:  Amazon

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.
 As many of you know (and yelled at me about), even though I went out and grabbed my copy of City of Fallen Angels on release day, I decided to wait until I received it on audiobook from Simon Audio before I delved into this latest Mortal Instruments book.  I have SO MUCH LOVE for this series that I didn't want to be swept away by the frenzy of "I MUST READ THIS NOW AND BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE!" and instead really wanted to take my time and enjoy this book over a couple of days.  I am really, really glad that I did, because this audiobook was fantastic!

Molly Quinn (from the t.v. show Castle) was the main reader.  She read all of Clary's points of view, as well as Izzy's and also a few of Jace's.  I had just finished listening to City of Bones, Ashes, and Glass before listening to this one, which had different readers, so it took me awhile to get used to Molly's voice, but after awhile I thought she was a really good fit.  She has a very distinctive voice, and I felt like she could easily BE Clary (it helps that she actually looks a little like Clary as well).  Ed Westwick (Gossip Girls) was really awesome!  He narrated with his British accent (I love me some British accent), but when he read the character's lines, his accent was very New York.  I especially loved his husky Jace voice!  :D  I've listened to all of the books in this series on audio, and this one was by far the best one. 

So, what did I think about the book?

Well, I will start off by saying that this was my least favorite of the books so far.  It seemed quite a bit darker than the other books, and also a bit more of a downer.  Jace in particular was battling a lot of "inner demons" and so he just seemed extra sad, almost as if he'd had all he could stand, and of course he deals with this by pushing Clary away, or hurting her so that she will push him away.  Also, there was a lot of Simon in this one, and I love Simon, but he's not really the one I want to read about, and he was pretty down himself.  All of this I completely understand, given what is happening in their lives, it just doesn't make it as fun to read.

Something else I noticed was that there wasn't as much Demon fighting in this one.  I don't know if this is because they banished most of the demons in the war, or why exactly, but there wasn't really any demon presence until the end.  I found that a little strange, given their (Shadowhunters') occupation as demon-hunters.

HOWEVER, I don't want you to think I didn't like this book.  I really, really did.  For serious fans of the Shadowhunter world, we will eat up ANYTHING written about these characters.  We love them that much.  I like that things aren't just all roses for Jace and Clary now, although I'm not sure how much more poor Jace can take (Let me just tell you, if he goes of and pulls a Peeta on me, I think I might just shoot someone!)

It was obvious to me after City of Glass, especially after reading the series for the second time, that Cassie was not done with this story.  The Herondale box, the prediction that Jace would fall in love with the wrong girl, the scar/mark on Jace's shoulder, the mention of Camille, the offer from the Faery queen, and so many other things that were left open, made it clear that this story would go on.  This is one of the things I absolutely LOVE about Cassandra Clare's writing.  She's not just a writer, she is a storyweaver!  I don't think I've seen another author comes so close to the brilliance of J.K. Rowling in her ability to see a story as detailed as this one, tying in all the aspect of the different threads, even and especially including The Infernal Devices.

My favorite parts of this book, oddly enough, were the hints that she dropped about Will, Jem, Tessa and Magnus from Clockwork Angel/Prince.  I'm am SO excited to see the way that Will and Jace fit together.  I want to know what happened with Will and Magnus, I want to know about the Herondale knife, the scar all Herondale's have, and the connection to The Silent Brothers.  This absolutely fascinates me!  If you haven't read Clockwork Angel, and you're planning on continuing with this series, I can't recommend it enough.  I loved it, and I love the way the stories fit together.  It's just brilliant!

There are so many other things I loved about this book.  The tension is back between Jace and Clary, the ache you feel, knowing they love each other, but just can't seem to get the timing right.  It was just so heart-wrenching!!  I have a hard time believing they are only 16/17 years old, because they are just SO mature and so serious (even mentioning marriage), but that's ok, because I like thinking of them as being older than they're supposed to be..haha :D.  It was nice to see Simon starting to work out his love life.  I didn't really buy him and Izzy as a couple, or him and Mia, but I think after this book, I'm feeling one of those two relationships a little more.  Seeing Simon change from a guy who needs protecting, to a guy who is a pivotal player, and protector was great. 

Overall, here's how I feel about this book.  If you were happy at the end of City of Bones, and you don't want to read about Jace and Clary having an entirely new set of problems, then just stop reading.  If you go into this book, just know that things will be shaken up, and that this is only the beginning.  It ends in a SERIOUS cliffhanger, and your jaw will hit the floor, and you might just want to find Cassie and force her to tell you what's going to happen, and that Jace isn't going to lose it completely.  You have been warned!  But for those who just can't get enough of this world, this book is a must read.  A whole new can of worms is opened, and you'll be glad you opened it!

Game on!

For those who have read the book, and still have questions, Cassie did an AWESOME Q&A post on her blog answering lots and lots of question!

  • Sexual Content:  Moderate: Jace and Clary get more hot and heavy in this one.
  • Profanity:  Mild/Moderate: About the same as the others
  • Violence:  Very Heavy:  Less amount, but possibly more disturbing


  1. It's a great audiobook and I can't wait to hear COLS. I can't wait another year to find out what happens next.

  2. Felt the same way. Just finished last night. It took me longer than normal, because I had to set the book down. I usually can't stop...I want to see what will happen. But I was afraid to in this book. I knew that Sealie Queen comment would come back to haunt me.

  3. Great review! I completely agree. This happened to be my least favorite of the series, so far. I do, however, have this one on audiobook. I just had to! I mean, come on... it's Ed Westwick!! Such a sexy voice. I'm looking forward to listening to this one because of him.

  4. I'm not the biggest fans of Audiobooks, but I really want to listen to this one. I LOVE Molly Quinn, she's my Clary.

    And I agree with most of what you said about CoFA, I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite in the series. Somehow I was expecting something different. But as a TMI fan and lover of Shadowhunters I REALLY cannot wait to read the next two. AND THE INFERNAL DEVICES SERIES <3

  5. I listened to a lot of this on audio but then switched to book so I could finish it faster. Love Ed Westwick tho.

  6. Nice review! Believe it or not, I haven't read the Mortal Instrument series yet. Although, I want to, and I know of its primise. I've only heard excellent things about the series. My birthday is in July, and I've asked for the box set, so I plan to get on the band wagon soon. I enjoy audiobooks, but with continuing series, I prefer to read the book. I feel like I'll miss hearing something if I listen vs read the words. However, with stand-alone novels, I don't mind audio. But in the end, I'll take the story any way I can get them.


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