(The Mortal Instruments #4)

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. 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.

"There might not be so much of a difference between the side of Light and the side of Dark as you suppose. After all, without the Dark, there is nothing for the Light to burn away."

Ironically, the mains Clary and Jace continue to be my least favorite of the series. Really I have nothing personal against Clary, it's just that her obsession with Jace and their relationship gets old. Jace himself irritates me more because, when they're not mooning over each other, he's always moping. Granted he has legitimate reasons in each book - but there's still always a REASON and so he's always moping. Beyond that, the author spends plenty of time in the story making it seem important to be in his head moping - and then seeing the other characters WORRY about his moping and talking to him about it. Argh! Mopey men just aren't my thing.

Something every once in awhile = acceptable. Every book, new reason but same game = annoying.

My heart-joys Alec and Magnus don't make their much-awaited appearances until after the halfway mark, off around the world enjoying their vacation. Things turn sour for them when they return for a very real concern raises its ugly head. There's a sweet embrace at the end, but thanks to a stupid spoiler I accidentally read (see red RAGE) I know something now that makes me keep rushing forward and ruining these moments of building up. Spoilers. Are. Evil.

I still don't like Isabelle, but Simon has grown more interesting. When the story is told through his eyes, it wasn't boring like before and he's grown more likeable. Thankfully Clare wraps another triangle up quickly too.

The story itself is interesting enough – there are small, brewing mysteries popping up amidst moping/mooning of Clary and Jace. The end battle was pretty epic, though, even if I didn’t need the cliffhanger that made me go oh noes because it shows something ELSE will be wrong with Jace the next book. At least I know in advance what it is and don’t have to hurt myself with the suspense waiting to see what his problem will be next time.

There isn’t any mention of mortal instruments in this one, but I’m sure that may come up soon? I don’t want to provide spoilers but we get some big, bad returns here that continue the previous three’s woes, as well as the introduction of a new baddie that will cause issues (one I know about because of an evil spoiler.)

Despite some of my nagging about the mooning and moping, this book was hard to put down. Clare has improved with her writing style and, even if she indulges in the trademark overdoing it formula of YA romance back and forth, her style is smooth and flows well. Tension during fight scenes is spot on, there’s epic build-up and battles, and the romantic moments between certain characters I DO like are oh-so-sweet.

Bring on the next book, I’m ready to grind my teeth in irritation, hold my breath in excitement, and giggle like a school girl during the sweet moments again.

   Book Quotes:

“Hearts are breakable," Isabelle said. "And I think even when you heal, you're never what you were before"

“Or maybe it's just that beautiful things are so easily broken by the world.”  

“Dudes do not follow other dudes to the bathroom."

   Book Trailer: