City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Release date: March 25th, 2008
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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?
City of Bones was a lot of fun! That fun however came to a grinding stop with City of Ashes. It took me forever to get through this book. The plot was slow moving and Jace (who had been my favourite character in the previous book) fell flat. Reading this put me into a serious slump. I just didn’t want to read at all, which is a real strange feeling for someone who tries to read even just a little bit each day. The ending did pick up the pace and add a little excitement to the book, but it was otherwise a bore.
City of Ashes picks up where its predecessor left off. Clary and Jace are trying their best to deal with the revelation about their relationship to each other and Valentine is still a threat as he tries to build an army of demons.
What I liked:
- We have more Magnus Bane! Woohoo! He was a standout character for me in City of Bones and I’m so happy that he appeared more in this book. I just love his flamboyant and sarcastic attitude.
- We got to branch out from the usual vampire/werewolf world and see the Seelie Court for the first time. The Seelies are quite an interesting bunch.
- We got to learn more about Isabelle in this book and I actually really liked her now. In the first book she wasn’t really nice, but here we see different side to her. This I was thankful for because Clary rubbed me the wrong way and Jace wasn’t his witty self. I was running out of characters to root for!
- It had a cliffhanger ending that makes me want to read City of Glass. For all of its faults, I do enjoy reading the books. It offers a distraction from the real world and that’s the point of fantasy right?
What I didn’t like:
- The pacing was quite slow. The first half dragged on and was bogged down by the constant drama between Jace and Clary. Or even Jace and Valentine. Basically, Jace was one giant mess, always getting into trouble. I wanted to shake him…constantly! That boy made me so mad.
- Clary is a character that you either like or dislike. I tolerated her in City of Bones, but here she got on my nerves. Enough with the constant whining! Giving her a special type of power was a bit strange. It’s like well she’s not very useful so here. Power or not, Clary is still super annoying.
- My opinion of Simon didn’t change. I still don’t like the character and probably never will. The love triangle angle between him, Clary and Jace grew old quick. I just find it weird to read about the feelings between Clary and Jace. I pretty much know what’s coming but it bothers me a lot.
Have you read City of Bones or City of Ashes? What did you think of these two books?