I love the Mortal Instruments series, so much so that I have read the first 3 books multiple times. And I have eagerly awaited the next story with Jace, Clary, and the Shadowhunters. But for the first time in this series, I was a little disappointed. It was like Clare was distracted; there were too many tangents and items that didn't seem to fit. There were references to her new series, the Infernal Devices, that I'm sure will add to the intertwined story lines but did nothing for this tale but muddy the waters. There were characters that seemed flat with little or no development. Some of the main characters didn't fit with the previous stories as well - Jace was too tortured, Clary was too unsure, like the characters were struggling to come off the page. If it had been a movie I would have called it over acting. The last portion of the book seemed a little closer to the overall series with snarky dialogue and good action but it still seemed to lack focus. I also found myself re-reading due to grammar, something unusual for a Clare book. I was slightly surprised and hope it was just an editing issue.
I'm sure City of Fallen Angels will meet the expectations of the intended YA audience, especially those who are vampire or Simon fans. I still think Clare is a wonderful writer with imaginative stories and rich full characters But if you are not yet familiar with Cassandra Clare I would recommend starting with City of Bones or possibly even Clockwork Angel. They are both good reads and bring a new element into the Urban Fantasy genre.