March 27, 2012

Review: City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare

Author: Cassandra Clare
Title: City of Ashes
Series: The Mortal Instruments (#2)
ISBN:  9781416914297
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children (year)

Buy your copy: Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover

My rating: 4 of 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” GoodReads’ blurb

So I know my reviews aren’t really making justice to the high quality of the books. So sue me. I’m going to go on and rave some anyway.

I got started with City of Ashes as soon as I was done with City of Bones – which, in my mind, has created a bit of a confusion about when one ends and the other begins, but anyway.

The characters are as interesting as they were in book one, if not even more – we have this added layer of drama everywhere. Drama between Jace and Clary, because they are what they are. Drama between Jace and Alec, because it won’t be. Drama between Alec and Magnus, because someone is just too blind. And drama with Simon and Clary. So, I guess you can imagine just how thick the relationships are in this one, and how much better we get to know the characters and their own inner conflicts.

I’m going to remark a bit more on the central arc of the plot in this one. In short? Loved it. Now, let’s try to make a longer version without spoiling it:

Jace is considered suspicious, since he’s Valentine’s son. Someone comes to investigate him, as well as to investigate the Downworlder deaths. And... let’s say, I liked how this was handled. You know, the whole prejudice and loneliness and mistrust factor.

If you could read City of Bones and stop there, I don’t know how you did it. If you still haven’t started, then go ahead right now! And if you’re working your way through the To Be Read pile, like I’m doing, just push City of Ashes to the first positions. You won’t regret it.


  1. awesome review!! I just read City of Bones like in january.. and never got the time to read city of ashes :( Im so glad you loved it!!

    Farah @MajiBookshelf

    1. I've already finished the original trilogy! Jumped on the next audiobook as soon as I finished this one, and while it's still good, I've to say so far, City of Ashes is my favorite. I hope you find the time to read it!

      Thanks so much for dropping by, Farah!

  2. EEEE, glad you loved this one Ron, I definitely loved this series, every books. I finished this in one sitting. Great review Ron, I loved this part"sue me" lol. x


    1. Hehehe! Yeah, I know what you mean about reading in one go. I stayed up until the wee hours listening to this one! The series is one of the best ever, too!

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. This is one of my all time favorite series. As soon as I finished City of Bones I got right into this one. Thankfully I never had to wait for the first three books because they were already out. I actually bought both City of Ashes and City of Glass together so I wouldn't have to go back a third time. I loved how City of Ashes was darker than the first. So much drama is going on, especially with Jace, and it still amazes me how well Cassie Clare can write such vivid, emotional scenes. You are literally right there in the story. Anyone who hasn't read City of Ashes, or I will just say The Mortal Instruments series, you are so missing out and definitely need to get on this series.

    1. I completely agree, Caitlin! This series is pure amazing. City of Ashes is my fave from the original trilogy, too - there're layers of drama that just aren't there in book three. Also, she takes some chances in her character development that I just love (and wish more people would take).

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! :)

    2. My pleasure. I love talking about books I have read and love. Especially this series lol.


  4. You're missing your rating up there Ron!
    I loved this series, I thought it was lots of fun. I wish she'd kept it at 3 books :(

    1. Ooopsie. *Looks embarrassed* True, true... There it is now, a solid 4 stars book!

      I haven't yet read book 4, to be honest. I finished the original trilogy, and then went on a listening rampage and wrapped up Soul Screamers. Yesterday night put the last words of If I Die to rest, so tonight I'm going to start with book 4 of Cassie's. I'll let you know how I like it!

      Thanks for the comment, Lisa!

  5. Two Words. Seelie Court.



    I love this book, because while it piled on the drama, tension and while things were going to hell in a hand-basket,it doesn't really feel like the obligatory middle book in a trilogy... or what used to be a trilogy. And Clare did an excellent job of continuing and heightening the Valentine plot through the midst of everyone's personal drama. GAH. It's SUCH a soap opera, but I adore it. Fantastic review! :)

    1. Hahaha! Poor Simon! I loved that scene!

      You know, I think you nailed it there. It doesn't read that a transition, middle book that just had to be written. It's so much more complex, and deeper. And... I guess it IS a bit of a Soap Opera, but hey, who doesn't like those from time to time? More so when there's action and Jaces in spades.

      I love this series too!