City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoiled for you.
With her mother in a coma and her father hellbent on destroying the world, Clary Fray is dragged deeper into New York City's terrifying underworld of werewolves, demons and the mysterious Shadowhunters. Discovering the truth about her past was only the beginning. Now the fate of the world rests on Clary's shoulders, but can she master her new-found powers and control her feelings for a boy who can never be hers? From Amazon UK
I absolutely loved City of Bones when I first read it about two years ago, so much so I was dying to read City of Ashes. However, due to my TBR pile, it took me a while to actually get to it. I picked it up towards the end of last year... yet was bored. I got 121 pages in, and decided to put it down. For whatever reason, it just wasn't doing it for me. However, after reading something about the series recently, I decided to pick it up again, and I really enjoyed it! I'm not sure what it was that stopped me from enjoying it the first time round, because I didn't have any problem this time. It must have just been the mood I was in. Saying that, although I really enjoyed it, I wasn't as blown away as I was by the first book.
It's strange because I don't really know what to say about City of Ashes. It was both action packed, yet also a book where not a lot happened. We're introduced to the Inquisitor, who is the Shadow Hunters judge for all intents and purposes. After finding out that Jace is actually Valentine's son, she is certain that Valentine sent Jace back to the Institute as a spy, and so refuses to trust Jace at all, believing every word that comes out of his mouth is a lie. She becomes a massive obstacle, locking Jace up, and stopping him from trying being able to... well, do his job, especially when Valentine is still after more power. It's because of this that it feels like nothing happens. At every turn, she's there, blocking everyone from doing anything. She does her job, because we're supposed to hate her, but I feel she just slows the story down. Our Shadow Hunters have to wait around to find a way to weasel out of the constraints - sometimes literally - they're put in. Granted, some of the things she does leads to finding out things that our characters wouldn't have known otherwise, but it just annoyed me.
Despite this, there are a number of great fight scenes and other exciting moments. There are demons and danger and some major changes for a number of characters. There are new characters, plans to thwart, and discoveries made. And growing tension between Jace and Clary. That had to be the best part of the story. Just because they've found out they're related doesn't stop them from being attracted to each other, and it causes a great amount of inner turmoil. And Simon! Poor ol' Simon! He is such a sweetie, but he does have a tough time of it in this book - even more so than in City of Bones.
There is excitement and humour, and an addictive plot. City of Ashes really is an awesome read, and I am so excited to continue with this series, and see where it goes!
Published: 7th July 2008
Buy on Amazon US
Cassandra Clare's Website
My other reviews from the series:
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book 1)