City of Ashes Review

April 19, 2013 Reviews 2 ★★★½

City of Ashes ReviewCity of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Series: Mortal Instruments, #2
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date Published: March 25, 2008
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Rating: three-half-stars
Description: 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.

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Our book club has decided to read the entire Mortal Instruments series, one each month, leading up to the movie coming out in August. We started reading this series in March 2013. Feel free to read along with us! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this series.

 

Rose review avatarRose’s Review     [ File # csp8697504, License # 2513804 ]Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php)(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / happyroman   **Mild Spoiler Alert**

I have to give Cassandra Clare credit.  She does create a deep, dark and completely intricate, albeit almost too complicated for this reader to be engaged, plotline. I am happy that my book club is pushing me to read this series, or I might have given up.  Now, do not take that wrong, you fans of Clary out there… I like the book. See? I gave it three stars.  However, the backstory is soooo complicated and the names of the various evil demons quite a mouthful that at times I find myself confused.  I will admit this confusion is more than likely solely my own inexperience with this genre.
As for the book, I liked the second installment more than the first.  The intricately detailed plotline definitely creates a rich backdrop for Clary, Simon, Jace and Alec to continue with their quest to protect the mundane world and prevent Valentine from achieving his evil? plan.  One thing I certainly appreciate about Cassandra Clare’s work is that the characters are always sarcastic and funny.  This keeps me entertained. What I did not expect was for Jace to be my favorite type of hero. In City of Bones, I pegged Jace as your typical run-of-the-mill gorgeous, smug-with-good-reason Nephilim love interest. I did not expect him to become the tormented hero.  I previously short changed Jace, but after a kiss between Jace and Clary I decided there is a lot more going on with him than first meets the idea. Oooo, can someone say “intrigue?” And let’s face it  that kiss, despite being forced upon them, was HOTT!

“She felt the brush of his lips…Almost against her will she felt herself go fluid and pliant…His arms slid around her, his hands knotting in her hair, and the kiss stopped being gentle and became fierce, all in a single moment…”

  Jace so clearly wants Clary, feels deeply for her, and yet

“he pulled away, gently disengaging himself, drawing her hands away from his neck and stepping back.”

Overall this was an joyable read and of course with the cliffhanger at the end, I will begin the third installment, City of Glass with no prompting from my fellow book club goers, although they strongly offer it.

Julie Review Avatar    Julie’s Review     [ File # csp8697504, License # 2513804 ]Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php)(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / happyroman   **Contains spoilers for Book 1**

City of Ashes starts out with a an action scene and pretty much doesn’t stop. While the first book was slower and focused more on developing the background, this book doesn’t waste much time rehashing the world building and just jumps right in.  This book was definitely darker and more sinister than the first, with our villain Valentine going after another of the Mortal Instruments and murdering Downworlder children to use their blood for his evil plans. We also learn that Valentine did something to his children, even though he supposedly never even met Clary, and Jace and Clary discover their really cool abilities, somewhat accidentally on Clary’s part, and are able to use them to fight back. I really like Clary’s ability, she’s definitely the more behind the scenes of the two since Jace is all about action, so I think their abilities fit them very well. 

I really enjoy dark and emotionally intense stories, that’s why I prefer the paranormal genre – bad stuff happens to all my favorite characters and that makes it all the more fun to read. I love when my characters go through something so difficult and then are able to get past it and let it make them stronger. I think some of that is happening in this series.  Jace and Clary, who found out they’re brother and sister at the end of book 1, are crazy in love with each other and don’t know what to do about their forbidden romance. They’re both fighting their feelings and trying to give into their feelings at different times in this book, and that was getting annoying to me. Unless the author is planning on having them get together despite everything, this brother-sister unrequited love plot line should stop. But this is probably the only thing I didn’t like about the book. But back to the dark and emotionally intense – Simon! If you thought Simon getting turned into a rat and kidnapped in book 1 was bad, wow wait until you find out what happens to him in this book. I’m not going into any spoilers but omg I did not see any of that coming. Poor Simon! He really does go through a lot of.. um.. changes? in this book but I think in the end it will be alright. His story is definitely the most interesting one for me, with Clary’s abilities a close second. I’m excited to read book 3 for next month’s discussion, especially since this one ends in a bit of a cliffhanger about Jace and Clary’s mother!

Here’s another  trailer for the movie for City of Bones that will come out in August:



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