Title: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: 25 March 2008
Pages: 416 pages
Start Date: 16 April
Finish Date: 25 April
This is the second book in The Mortal Instruments series, it continues on from City of Bones, where Clary is first introduced to the Shadow world and her life is turned around. At the beginning of this novel, the Lightwood’s mother, Maryse, has returned from Alicante, angry with Jace and saying she believes he is working for Valentine. We have some Simon and Clary love we have some angry Jace and we have a werewolf murder. Maryse has called the Inquisitor, a member of the Clave who is there to put Jace under trial by the soul sword, one of the mortal instruments of the shadowhunters. The gang from the first book are back again and think Valentine is preparing the killings of downworlder children in order to change the alliance of the soul sword and gain more power. There is a steamy brother/sister kiss in the Faerie land, some special powers introduced, oh, and Simon’s a vampire now?
Like the first book in the series, I read City of Ashes for the first time in April 2016, in 5 days. I loved it and was incredibly excited to see where all the character arcs were going. Like I mentioned in my review of the previous book in the series, I was caught up in the hype. It took me a while to read this, and I think I’m just not loving the series as much as I did last time.
I had the same reading experience for the majority of the novel as I did rereading the first book. I would pick up the book and read a chapter or maybe half a chapter and then put it down and go and do something else. It was only when I got around 75% through I really started to enjoy the story more and I sped through the last 25% in a day.
The relationship between Clary and Jace in this novel made me feel uncomfortable. In this novel, the characters are aware that they’re brother and sister and they still act towards each other in a way that I’m just not okay with. I can vaguely understand that it wouldn’t exactly be easy to turn off feelings for someone, since Jace and Clary weren’t aware they were related at the start of City of Bones, but reading it just wasn’t exactly helpful in making me want them together.
Jace’s witty and sarcastic lines are still here and are just as funny as they always have been. Clary is still the same non-memorable slightly irritating main character who never listens to anyone. Alec is cute and funny, the scene at Luke’s with the fearless rune and so funny and I think my heart actually broke the first time I read the scene on the boat after Izzie gets hurt. Izzie is the same loyal and fierce character I’ve always loved. I still love Magnus too.
The plot in this book was good, it wasn’t overly amazing but I didn’t think about putting it down or anything. I loved Simon’s arc in this book as well as the hints we got about Magnus and Alec. The abilities revealed in this book excite me, they add drama and tension to the arc in this story but makes me more excited to just pick up the next few books because I know what happens next since I’ve read them all.
I feel like this has been a pretty sad review for a four star story, and honestly I think I would have been a three star read if it wasn’t for the ending. Since I read it in a day, it shows that that was my favourite part of the story. The battle on the ship was really dramatic and all the moments with Simon and Jace and Alec and Izzie and just everyone. The ending just saved this story for me.
So I recommend this story if you haven’t read it before. It was a five-star read for me the first time round. It is a fun and enjoyable urban fantasy. The reveals and twists and turns in this are fun to find out but I think the reread just ruined it since I knew everything that was going to happen.