Title: City of Ashes: The Mortal Instruments
Written by Cassandra Clare
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (March 25, 2008)
This is the second book in The Mortal Instruments series. See my review of the first book, City of Bones, here.
This probably contains spoilers for the first book…just warning you. It is going to be really hard to review this and assume you haven’t read the first book, so I’m going to review it with the assumption that you have. If you haven’t, GO BUY IT. And, it goes without saying, but read them in order.
Clary is still dealing with a lot of changes that occurred in her life in a very short amount of time. She’s found out she’s descendant of the demon-killing Shadowhunters, her mother has put herself in a magically induced coma that no one seems to know how to get her out of, and she can see Downworlders like vampires, werewolves and faeries. To complicate matters, she has to fight the strange attraction she has for Jace, her gorgeous, exasperating, overprotective, newfound brother and figure out exactly what she feels for her best-friend Simon – the guy she’s kind of dating and has been in love with her “since they were five.” Jace is also fighting his attraction to her and, now that his true parentage has been revealed, he is fighting to prove his allegiance to the Shadowhunters – something he’s not even sure of.
To make things worse, someone is killing Downworlder children. No one knows who is doing it or why; but Valentine, Clary’s back-from-the-dead father is at the top of the suspect list. All Clary wants to do is help her mother and find her place in this terrifying and thrilling new world she has found herself thrust into. As Clary’s coming-of-age tale continues so does this un-put-down-able story of love, betrayal and magic.
One thing I want you to know right now; I KNOW it sounds like there is a lot going on in these books and I KNOW you’re probably thinking it doesn’t all fit, but IT DOES. Clare so obviously KNOWS what she is doing here and IT ALL FITS. Trust me. This second book is just as good, nay, better than the first one. Clary is a great female character. She’s confused, conflicted, but she refuses to be weak, to wait behind, to NOT help, when she knows she can, she’s determined and hardheaded. She has her flaws; she’s impetuous, she’s impatient, she’s passionate and honest. She has her whiny moments. But all this comes together in such a normal way; she doesn’t come off like a Bella Swan. And Jace. OMG Jace. Have I told you HOW MUCH I LOVE JACE? Gah. Please read these books, I’m begging you! I think I’m about ready to reread them myself!
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