Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Review: City of Ashes

City of Ashes coverTitle: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pub Date: March 2008, Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, 453 pages


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.

My Thoughts

What can I say about this book? Cassandra Clare really has a great series going with her Mortal Instruments books. I was ready to pick up #3 and start reading as soon as I put down City of Ashes, but my conscience stopped me in order to write this review. And after all, I'd hate to start mixing up the two books before writing my review for this one.

Once again, looking at a world with all walks of supernatural life, coupled with bits of religion (Christianity) sprinkled throughout makes for a fascinating read. I've picked up several new bits of mythology in reading these books and it's obvious that Clare must have done a great deal of research to write these novels. She also has a great ability with dialogues, as I mentioned in my review of City of Bones. I have to say I would have liked to see a bit more of the sarcastic banter in this book--it really was toned down until about the second half. Perhaps that's why it took me a little longer to get into the story, as well. It just seemed a bit slower this time around, until I got a little over halfway through, and then at that point I really couldn't put the book down. By the end of it, I still had several unanswered questions; hence, the temptation to pick up City of Glass and dive in. This book is definitely a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more.

The main cast of characters is still enjoyable to read about, with a few new faces thrown in this time around, as well. The Inquisitor is a truly unlikeable woman (hmmm, a bit reminiscent of Dolores Umbridge??) and I found it difficult to believe that she could behave the way she was. Even given what we find out about her life towards the end of the book. Her unwillingness to listen to the truth was a little over the top, in my opinion. But I suppose that is what makes us love to hate her. We also meet a new young werewolf, Maia, and I am curious to see if she plays a role in City of Glass.

Fans of City of Bones will certainly enjoy this sequel. I know I did, though perhaps not quite as much as that first book.

My rating: 4 stars

Other reviews of City of Ashes:


  1. Now if I just had time to sit down and read it!

  2. I really need to read this trilogy. I had the first book out from the library, but I had to return it unread. Glad you love it so much, I look forward to seeing what I think when I get around to it... :)

  3. You've won the Kreativ Blogger Award on Book ♥ Soulmates.

    Check it out & congrats :)

  4. I'm glad to hear that you liked City of Ashes. I bought this one and City of Bones to my younger sister for her birthday(and I'm borrowing them when she has finished reading :D). So far she is loving City of Bones.


This blog does not use CAPTCHA, please comment freely! However, I have had to disable the "Anonymous" commenting feature since the spammers are just out of control. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment -- I love to hear what you think! Feedback and discussion are always welcome. Happy reading :-)