Sunday 9 July 2017

City of Ashes Review

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)
City of Ashes 
by Cassandra Clare



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:

I gave this book 4.5 stars. Personally, City of Ashes has always been my least favourite book in the Mortal Instruments series. Mostly because it was the one book where we got almost no Clary and Jace moments and in the very beginning I was just here for the ship. It was nice to just go back into the story and see it for what it was and not basing my enjoyment off of whether or not the romance was good.

I don't actually know why I disliked this book more than the others, it was actually really good when I read it over again. I seemed to have forgotten most of the plot of this book and it was so great to go back and read it and see everything from a different angle. I really had a good time reading this book and actually read most of it in one day. Cassandra Clare's writing has always been very addicting and I understand why so many people have loved this series over the years.

Izzy was a bit rough around the edges in the first book, she seemed a bit bitchy, but in this book we saw more of her softer side. She is a lot nicer if she actually cares about you or even likes you, I can relate to that. I feel bad about disliking Izzy so much when I first read the series. I was too harsh on her and she really is a fantastic character. She's a dynamic character, we think she's just beautiful and mean, but really she's just a teenage girl trying to figure things out just like the rest of them. She had her good days.

Malec's relationship was very subtle in the beginning and that's what I loved about it. You had to be paying attention to notice it, all the quick glances, flirty comments, Alec saying the hickey on his neck was from falling. You can also see how much more happy Alec is in the first book. He was pretty miserable and really hated Clary for her part in Jace's life, but I think being with Magnus has mellowed him out a bit. Magnus has a huge part in Alec's character development.

Something I found troublesome was Maia's real age. In the beginning of the book when we first meet her she has her inner dialogue about life before being a werewolf and how she was changed and all that and she states that she's 16. But later when she is captured by Valentine and he asks her how old she is she says 15. Now this probably isn't very important in the grand scheme of things but I'm still really curious, I want to know.

I feel like it says a lot about Jace that when he's getting attacked by demons he's upset that a demon destroyed his favourite jacket. His priorities are so backwards but I can't help but love him for it. Even when he makes everyone think he's the villain by opening his mouth and being an asshole, it's a defence mechanism and I see why he does it considering his tragic backstory. He's just too charismatic for me to hate him. He showed a different side of himself when he saved Simon. There was no one around to see him do it, but he did it anyway, even let Simon drink his blood to keep him alive. 

It's become some sort of ritual that nearing the end of each of these books someone needs to get seriously injured or die. First book, Alec gets hurt fighting Abbadon, this book, Izzy after she gets attacked by a giant spider demon. I wonder who will get injured or die in the next book? That was a rhetorical question I already know, but that's for my next review.

The characters are kind of irritating, or at least they're supposed to be but I'm so overcome by nostalgia that I can't be that mad at them. Yeah, they make a lot of questionable decisions. Really, very bad decisions, but they're trying. The first time I read this book I was so irritated by the characters that I didn't read City of Glass till a few months later. They had to star somewhere though, it makes it that much better for character development to take place.

What I find a bit worrying is the amount of people who jumped behind incest during this book because they wanted Clary and Jace to be together so badly. It actually concerns me, but enough of that, I'm just glad those days are behind us.

Luke is such a great character, he doesn't get enough love, but he's one of the better characters in this series. I started crying during the epilogue because I love him so much. I just want him to be happy, he deserves it. 

Overall, I don't think this is my least favorite book in the series anymore. The reread really opened my eyes and this is actually a pretty good instalment in the series which you should most definitely read.


“We came to see Jace. Is he alright?""I don't know," Magnus said. "Does he normally just lie on the floor like that without moving?”

“I've got a stele we can use. Who wants to do me?""A regrettable choice of words," muttered Magnus.”

“Mom. I have something to tell you. I’m undead. Now, I know you may have some preconceived notions about the undead. I know you may not be comfortable with the idea of me being undead. But I’m here to tell you that undead are just like you and me … well, okay. Possibly more like me than you.” 

“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.” 

“No, I'm just a very naughty boy. I do all sorts of bad things. I kick kittens. I make rude gestures at nuns.” 

“I'll just have them change the entry in the demonology textbook from 'almost extinct' to 'not extinct enough for Alec. He prefers his monsters really, really extinct.' Will that make you happy?” 


  1. This book was soooo slow at the start-- but was also the book that got me HOOKED.

    I also didn't know any spoilers or anything in the future, and lack any foresight, so everything was super entertaining for me.

    However, the exact moment I was hooked: The Faerie Court scene. Oh my god. THE TENSION!!!!!! I loooooved it.

    1. The Faerie Court scene made me cringe so hard the first time I read the series. I get really bad second hand embarrassment so the thought of two siblings making out made me so uncomfortable. Worse was the fact that their friends were standing there watching. It was a lot better reading it a second time.