City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Published March 25th, 2008 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
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This is book 2 in The Mortal Instruments series. Check out the review for book 1: City of Bones
This recap and review might contain spoilers to City of Bones
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?
Well, after City of Bones I told you guys City of Ashes wasn’t far behind, and here I am ready to deliver. When last we left off Valentine had gotten away with the mortal cup after throwing Jace and Clary’s worlds upside down. Now he’s back and trying to stage an uprising against the Shadowhunters.
Wow. Just wow. I’m going to spend this review gushing about this book. I really liked the last one, but I LOVED this one. After City of Bones, I didn’t think I could be much more emotionally upended, but oh my…. City of Ashes was a non stop emotional roller coaster. Every step in the book was action packed, and left me holding my breath in anticipation over and over and over again. There were just too many moments that left me emotionally wrecked and squirming in my seat.
The world building went even deeper. We find out more about the Shadowhunters, more about Alec and Izzy’s parents, and more about the structure of the Clave. We are introduced to fairies and more Shadowhunters. I loved that everything was new and fresh without contradicting what was already written.
Clary just keeps growing as a Shadowhunter. She’s getting stronger and better as she gets used to her new life. Of course she’s not invincible, but she does pretty well for a 16 year old thrown into this paranormal world.
I love Simon. I’m pretty sure I’ve already said that in my prior review, but oh boy do I love Simon (sorry to be redundant but want to make sure you got that). So much happens to him in this book. My love for him (plus the story in general) left me flipping pages unable to put the book down.
Ok, I know in book 1 I said, eh, Jace, ok, whatever, but I admit it, I’m on the “I’m in love with Jace” bandwagon. There’s something about someone so cocky and strong on the outside, but so broken on the inside…. I’m a sucker for a bad boy that needs fixing. Did I mention that I’m in love with Jace now?
Oh, and I should add that Magnus is awesome. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite characters.
I’m going to stop gushing now, but obviously this book (and series) is a must read.