(Anyone else think something weird is going on with Clary's eyes on this cover?)
City of Fallen Angels didn't really do much for me. I think this was supposed to be a trilogy, but then Clare changed her mind (or her publisher pushed for more) and now there's three extra books. So this kind of felt like extra drama needlessly created. I give it 3 stars, so it's not terrible. Also, I listened to City of Fallen Angels on CD, and I think I may have missed out a little because of that. I'll get into that later. Overall, I can't say it was painful to get through, and I've already begun the next book, City of Lost Souls.
*WARNING: spoilers for the first three books in the trilogy below.
The Story: Everyone is back in NYC after the war, and Downworlders and Shadowhunters are getting along and serving on the Council together. Jace is being weird & mopey; Alec is out of the closet; Simon is being an unwilling player.... drama, drama, drama. Oh, and Clary has dropped out of regular school and is now training at the Institute while her mom and Luc plan their wedding. Then near the end of the book there's major drama.
So the first 2/3 of the book, roughly, is all teenage angst on the parts of Clary, Jace, and Simon. Clary is angsty because Jace is being weird and mopey. Jace is being weird and mopey because he was brought back from the dead and his brother wasn't. Simon has got two girls interested in him and he's all indecisive and then his mom finds out he's a vampire, so he's angsty.
The last 1/3 of the book is where the action is! It involves Jace, Clary, Simon, and Sebastian. (I'm starting to see the Harry Potter fanfiction more and more clearly in these books. Not necessarily a bad thing; there's a comfortableness in the familiarity; but still, it's there.) I liked the action bit a lot better than the angsty bit! I felt like I paid closer attention to the end of the book than the beginning!
The P.O.V.: In City of Fallen Angels, we get three p.o.v.'s: Clary, Simon, and Jace. I like that; I feel like the reader gets a lot more info when that happens! Three p.o.v.'s is definitely sustainable without feeling too confusing. And Clare really is a good author; even without chapter headings to tell you who's p.o.v. it is, the reader is never left wondering. You can immediately tell who is speaking.
The Ending: It's a cliffhanger. I've already begun the next book, City of Lost Souls, to find out what happens. So maybe don't start this book if you like tidy endings.
The Narration: I listened to this on CD, and there were two readers. One for Clary (a female, of course) and one for Simon and Jace (a male, of course). The Clary bits were great. The narrator spoke clearly and enunciated well, but still kept a good, normal speaking cadence. However, it felt like the volume dropped dramatically on the male narrator's bits, and he spoke very low and without clear enunciation. He also had a soft British accent. This wouldn't be bad, except for being combined with a low talker... I feel like I may have missed quite a bit on that. I also personally get really annoyed when I have to adjust the volume every time the narrators switch out.
*I checked out my copy of City of Fallen Angels from my public library.