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So here’s the story. Way back in 2013, I had a bunch of Audible credits built up and no idea what to do with them. On impulse, I got books 1-5 of The Mortal Instruments. I really liked the first three, but the fourth was so awful that I couldn’t bring myself to start the fifth. Fast forward two and a half years, and I dusted it off my (virtual) shelf and gave it a listen. And here’s the thing. It’s better than City of Fallen Angels, but it does’t hold a candle to the first three.

So, what happens in this book? Honestly, I’m not really sure. It’s 535 pages (or 17 hours) of mostly filler. Greater demon Lillith bound Jace to Sebastian/Jonathan, and he’s now 100% willing to participate in nefarious deeds. Of course, no earthly spell or weapon or anything really can separate them, so the other characters do a bunch of really stupid stuff in an attempt to help their friend. Meanwhile, Alec is freaking out because Magnus is immortal and he is not, and now he’s not only worried about who came before him, but also who will come after him, to the point where he actually considers stealing Magnus’s immortality. Simon flits around being the perfect best friend to Clary and sort of boyfriend to Isabelle, while also being reckless and selfless to the point of being unbelievable. Maya and Jordan also have some sort of romance going on, which takes up a lot of this book for being a relatively minor plot point. There’s also a fairly disturbing side plot of Sebastian/Jonathan developing feelings for his sister, and really, this series needs to calm down with the incest.

It’s kind of a mess. But it’s a better mess than City of Fallen Angels, it was at least entertaining, and it left me wondering what will happen in City of Heavenly Fire, so I guess I’ll continue on. (Although I’ll try to get that one from the library, because I don’t want to spend any more of my money on this series.)

If you’re reading this series, do yourself a favor and stop at book three. However, if you feel a burning desire to carry on, let me reassure you that at least book five is better than book four.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

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