Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: City of Ashes

Title: City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare 

SPOILER FREE description (as explained here): Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

A History of City of AshesAfter a long anticipation, City of Ashes was published on March 25, 2008 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. It soon became a Gaylactic Spectrum Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009) and was named in ALA Teens' Top Ten (2009).

On the Author, Cassandra Clare: Clare was born overseas in Iran before becoming a journalist for the Hollywood Reporter. After college, she lived in both New York and Los Angeles. While writing City of Bones in 2004, she was inspired by a 
Manhattan landscape. It wasn't until 2006 that she finally got serious about the story. City of Bones was her debut novel.


After flipping the last few pages of City of Bones I immediately had to pick up City of Ashes. Just like the first book, I consumed the story very quickly, despite its length.

I have to stand by what I said in my review of City of BonesClary and Jace are still some of my favorite characters but they do get the slight advantage of being the main protagonists. At the same time, however, in this squeal Clare had time to develop some of the supporting cast. I found myself loving Simon more and more as the novel went on, along with a new found interest for Alec. Maia was another superb addition. I can't wait to see how she adds to the plot. 

Clare continued their struggle-filled storyline with Simon as the third point of the triangle. I have to say, I'm not sure how this is going to end. Unless there's some magical explanation as to how they're not siblings anymore, I don't see it happening. Then again, Clare builds the anticipation up so high you can't help but want them together. It would've been unrealistic to both Clary and Jace if she'd stopped their romance so abruptly. But still, pulling it out the way she did seems like she's hinting for more. I can't say I was surprised when Simon broke up with Clary at the end of the book. With my new found appreciation towards him, I think he deserves someone who loves him as much as he loves Clary, without any wavering doubt.

I didn't find the plot quite as riveting as the first book. However, that is a story which is very hard to follow. First books in a series usually end up being my favorites anyway: the characters are new and the plot could go anywhere. This story was by no means a 'flop', however. I still found myself turning the pages as fast as I could. I think I read this book twice as fast as City of Bones, with both more time on my hands and more invested into the story. City of Glass... here I come!

A great second dose of Clare's fantastic characters. Ready for a third helping! 

Who would I recommend it to?
Fans of fantasy and action. Boys and girls. Fourteen and up. 

Favorite quote:
"But if you can't tell the truth to the people you care about the most, eventually you stop being able to tell the truth to yourself."

Read the book yourself? A big fan of The Mortal Instruments Series?  Leave a comment below!

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