Wednesday, July 2, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire

The rain continues here, yet last night we were all geared up to go watch soccer. Rain doesn't stop soccer games, but apparently "lightning" does. We pulled up to the fields to find everyone leaving. Someone had allegedly seen lightning and all the games were cancelled. It was such a low drizzly rain - not the kind of rain that involves lightning, and we hadn't seen any all day. Here's what I think happened: some parent did not want to sit in the rain for a couple hours so they called in a lightning report. It's a shame. Our season is so short anyway, and the kids were all there, in uniform, and ready to play. 

This morning, the rain has finally let up, though it's still a bit drizzly. I should be able to accomplish a lot inside, yet somehow that doesn't happen. So I'll blog instead.

Today I'm reviewing a young adult book; Cassandra Clare's "City of Heavenly Fire," which is the sixth and final installment in her Mortal Instruments series. It came out in the end of May. If you haven't read the first five, this won't mean as much to you, but my enthusiasm may inspire you to start with the first one, which is called "City of Bones." While this series is not what you would call fine literature, it is fun, suspenseful, and engaging. Perfect summer reading.

If you've been reading this series, finally, all your questions are answered. Will Clary and Jace save the world from her psycho brother? Will Magnus and Alec get back together? Will Simon and Isabelle define the relationship? Will poor Luke and Jocelyn ever actually get hitched? I'm not telling all here, because that will spoil the story, but I am going to give one very necessary *SPOILER ALERT*. I must assure anyone who might be concerned, that Cassie Clare does not pull some kind of sick Veronica Roth trick here. After six books, people are so invested in the characters, it would be downright cruel to kill off the protagonists. It's a war, and people die, but the most important characters DO NOT. So you can read this book and this series free from that kind of fear.

I enjoyed seeing the final arc of character development in this sixth offering. Jace and Clary have both grown up considerably. While Jace's sarcastic wit remains intact, he seems much more at peace than he ever has been, even given their precarious situation. Their maturations seem natural, and have progressed both gradually and logically. At some points in the series, I just wanted to smack Clary and tell her to grow up, but by this book she really has. Obviously she loves Jace fiercely, but she has also realized there are things that are more important than her relationship. She is willing to sacrifice, if necessary, for the good of her friends, and indeed, the entire world. 

I loved the final developments with Sebastian. Everyone, including Jocelyn, gets some measure of closure. I always thought Sebastian was a delicious villain, but this book manages to make him sympathetic as well. The poor guy never really had a chance to be normal.

The ending has enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I knew Jace and Clary had something up their sleeves, but I didn't know quite what it would be. There is a final twist regarding Simon  (don't worry, he doesn't die!!!) that I did not see coming.

Thanks to Cassie Clare for another awesome series. She uses this final book to set up what I believe will be her next series, where we find out what happens to Emma Carstairs, and to Julian and Mark Blackwell. I'll be looking for them!

Alright - now to do the dishes, fold the laundry, and clean my bedroom. During the summer, the Haiku Librarian is more like the Haiku Housewife.

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