City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instrument #2)
My rating: 5 stars
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.
Okay, much like the first book, I spent the whole day reading this, in total abandonment of everything that’s going on around me. It’s THAT addictive!! And now that I’m done with it, I just can’t wait to start on the next book.
If you enjoyed City of Bones, this book was an excellent follow-up on it. While City of Bones created an introduction to the world of Shadowhunters, as well as the dynamics between the characters, City of Ashes led the reader through the story with a preconceived expectancy to see how everything unfolds. The plot in this book was much more exciting and action-packed. The relationships between the characters in this novel were portrayed with so much tension and potential, making it especially nerve wrecking. My heart was hanging on a cliff, just hoping for Clary and Jace’s (my OTP!!!) relationship to sustain the entire novel. The whole new romantic relationship with Simon at the side didn’t exactly make it any easier.
Speaking of Simon, I also found that this novel, to some extent, revolved around him. It was, after all, partly narrated from his perspective. From him turning into a vampire, and later into a new breed that seems to transcend boundaries that restrict vampires (such as being in daylight and in holy grounds), the novel seems to build on his abilities and strengths as a character, further empowering him from the mundane he was in the previous novel. The glimpses of his new relationship with Maia were also pretty cute, in my opinion. 🙂 Through brutal interactions with the inquisitor, we also come to find that Jace’s family history might not be what we initially thought it was.
Also, its interesting to see that Clary is finally coming to action in this novel. I mentioned in my review on City of Bones that I initially disliked her as she seemed rude and indignant. Rather than being a shrieking, cowering “deadweight” (quoted from Alec in CoB), she now seems to be taking charge and to actually be useful to the team on their quests. Now I’m quite excited to see how she grows as a character and a Shadowhunter.
If you enjoyed City of Bones, there is a high chance you’ll like City of Ashes as well! Be prepared for sleepless, meal-skipping, heart-racing days of reading, with nothing but the Shadowhunters holding your thoughts at captive. 🙂
– “I’ve got a stele we can use. Who wants to do me?”
“A regrettable choice of words,” muttered Magnus.”
– “You see, cuckoos are parasites. They lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. When the egg hatches, the baby cuckoo pushes the other baby birds out of the nest. The poor parent birds work themselves to death trying to find enough food to feed the enormous cuckoo child who has murdered their babies and taken their places.”
“Enormous?” said Jace. “Did you just call me fat?”
“It was an analogy.”
“I am not fat.”
– “I’ve heard the word ‘fear’. I simply choose to believe it doesn’t apply to me.”
– “Clary screamed out loud as he fell like a stone-
And landed lightly on his feet just in front of her. Clary stared with her mouth open as he rose up out of a shallow crouch and grinned at her. “If I made a joke about just dropping in,” he said, “would you write me off as a cliché?”