“Angels Twice Descending” by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman


I feel like there is very little more frustrating than being stuck at home, needing to be somewhere, and yet you can’t leave until your washing is done. I’m heading to my mum’s place for the weekend and I should have left about an hour ago. Except today is the day that my washing machine has decided to be a diva and instead of only doing the one load, that load has now had to be separated into three. I am so close to kicking something,

Anyway, in order to be productive during this dead time, I’ve covered some books, packed up all my stuff, and downloaded a wonderfully weird podcast called Welcome To Night Vale so that I have something to listen to on my 2.5 hour drive (whenever I can actually leave). And since my washing still isn’t done, I figured I may’s well write my backlogged reviews. So here goes!

I finished Angels Twice Descending this morning. And the ending was both exactly what I expected and an unexpected punch to the gut.

This story takes place at the end of Simon’s time at the Shadowhunter Academy. It’s all about things winding down and Simon having his future spread out before him. It’s about Simon coming to terms with the possibility of getting his memories back and the possibility that Ascension (drinking from the Mortal Cup and becoming a Shadowhunter in truth) might kill him. This isn’t so much a story as it is an exploration of character and relationships. This is most definitely NOT a bad thing. The lack of a plot, or an explosive plot, means that we can get inside the characters’ heads. The Academy gang, the Mortal Instruments heroes, and everyone else. I loved getting a look into the way Shadowhunters deal with the Ascension process. Especially after the events of City of Heavenly Fire.

Angels Twice Descending was also a beautiful epilogue to The Mortal Instruments as it very nearly wraps up the lives of our heroes. We know where all of them stand at this point in time, a few months before the release of Lady Midnight. But this isn’t at all overdone. There’s a scene at Simon’s Ascension where all of our heroes come together one last time and we can see where they are now, such a long way from they were in City of Bones. All of these characters have been on such a dramatic (and, in fact traumatic) journey that this one scene was a well-earned peaceful denouement. We even get an Infernal Devices cameo!

The punch to the gut I mentioned is because there is a surprise death. I guess the story really couldn’t have ended any other way, given that everyone in the Shadowhunter universe always goes on and on about the dangers of Ascension. In fact, three of the Shadowhunter Academy students leave, rather than face the uncertainty of the Mortal Cup. But I was not expecting this death at all. And it hurt. It hurt a whole hell of a lot. In true Cassie Clare style, really.

I suppose this isn’t really a review, so much as a recount of my experience reading the story. I hope you guys find it helpful. There really wasn’t too much to review, here, anyway. Cassie knows her characters inside and out, and with this being an exploration of character, Angels Twice Descending was essentially flawless.

★★★★ 1/2

About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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3 Responses to “Angels Twice Descending” by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

  1. Saloni Desai says:

    I wasn’t really surprised by the death. I think it was heavily foreshadowed, but I was still sad to see it happen. I kept on hoping my suspicions were not true. I really liked the character, and I would have liked to see the New York gang spend more time with this character.

    • Bec Graham says:

      Actually everything the character gets upset about in the story is full on foreshadowing, I just chose to ignore it! I would have LOVED to see them with the New York guys. It really sucks that we can’t now 😦

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